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    ABSTRACT: In people, abnormalities in vertebral column conformation, such as kyphoscoliosis, induce degenerative changes in adjacent intervertebral disc (IVD) structure and composition. It was hypothesised that canine IVDs adjacent to a vertebral malformation undergo early degeneration. In a blinded retrospective study, thoracic IVD degeneration was evaluated in 14 dogs on magnetic resonance images using Pfirrmann’s grade. IVDs adjacent to a vertebral malformation had higher grades of degeneration than non-adjacent IVDs (P<0.0001). There was an age-dependency, with dogs between 1 and 4 years showing higher grade of degeneration in adjacent than non-adjacent IVDs (P<0.0001). Conversely, in older dogs, all IVDs - including the non-adjacents - showed degenerative signs, possibly due to normal aging. These results suggest that congenital vertebral malformation results in early degeneration of adjacent IVDs.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · The Veterinary Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Objective-To evaluate a modified proportional margins approach to resection of mast cell tumors (MCTs) in dogs. Design-Retrospective case series. Animals-40 dogs with subcutaneous and cutaneous MCTs undergoing curative intent surgery. Procedures-Medical records were searched to identify dogs with a cytologically or histologically confirmed diagnosis of MCT that had not previously been treated surgically and that had undergone full oncological staging. In those dogs, tumors were resected with lateral margins equivalent to the widest measured diameter of the tumor and a minimum depth of 1 well-defined fascial plane deep to the tumor. Surgical margins were evaluated histologically. Cutaneous tumors were graded by use of the Patnaik system and the 2-tier system described by Kiupel et al. The prognosis for subcutaneous tumors was assessed in accordance with published recommendations. Follow-up information on dog health status was obtained through clinical examination, the dog owners, and the referring veterinarians. Results-The 40 dogs had 47 tumors. Forty-one (87%) tumors were cutaneous, and 6 (13%) were subcutaneous. On the basis of the Patnaik system, 21 (51%) cutaneous tumors were considered grade I, 18 (44%) were considered grade II, and 2 (5%) were considered grade III. On the basis of the Kiupel system, 37 (90%) cutaneous tumors were considered low grade, and 4 (10%) were considered high grade. The prognosis for the 6 subcutaneous tumors was classified as likely resulting in a shorter (2) or longer (4) survival time. Forty tumors were deemed to have been excised with clear margins and 7 with incomplete margins. Local recurrence was not recorded for any dog but was suspected for 1 (2%) tumor, although not confirmed. Interval from tumor excision to follow-up ranged from 30 to 1,140 days (median, 420 days). Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-The modified proportional margins system resulted in satisfactory local disease control in dogs with MCTs.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
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    ABSTRACT: Cruciate ligaments (CLs) are primary stabilisers of the knee joint and canine cranial cruciate ligament disease (CCLD) and rupture is a common injury. Elastin fibres, composed of an elastin core and fibrillin containing microfibrils, are traditionally considered minor components of the ligament extracellular matrix (ECM). However, their content and distribution in CLs is unknown. The purposes of this study were to determine the elastin content of canine CLs and to ascertain its relationship to other biochemical components and histological architecture. Macroscopically normal CLs were harvested from Greyhounds (n=11), a breed with a low risk of CCLD. Elastin, collagen and sulfated glycosaminoglycan content were measured and histological scoring systems were developed to quantify ECM changes using a modified Vasseur score (mVS) and oxytalan fibre (bundles of microfibrils) staining. Elastin contents were 9.86±3.97% dry weight in the cranial CL and 10.79±4.37% in the caudal CL, respectively, and did not alter with advancing histological degeneration. All CLs demonstrated mild degenerative changes, with an average mVS score of 11.9±3.3 (maximum 24). Increasing degeneration of the ligament ECM showed a positive correlation (r=0.690, P<0.001) with increased oxytalan fibre staining within the ECM. Elastin is an abundant protein in CLs forming a greater proportion of the ligament ECM than previously reported. The appearance of oxytalan fibres in degenerative CL ECM may reflect an adaptive or reparative response to normal or increased loads. This finding is important for future therapeutic or ligament replacement strategies associated with cranial CL injury.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2013 · The Veterinary Journal
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