NC State Veterinary Medicine Research Roundup, May 2021

A look at some of the latest published studies from the CVM.

Diet and Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) who received a diet change from a grain-free, legume-rich diet had better clinical outcomes after being treated for congestive heart failure (CHF) than dogs who continued a grain-free diet, according to a new study.

For the retrospective study, published in the Journal of Veterinary Cardiology, researchers looked at 67 dogs with DCM and CHF for which a diet history was known and grouped them into two groups — those with a grain-free diet and those diets that included grains — to see if diet change was a component of therapy.

Previously, DCM has been associated with grain-free diets, and some dogs with diet-associated DCM have shown improved myocardial function following a diet change and standard medical therapy.

Researchers found that grain-free-diet dogs that survived at least one week after diagnosis of DCM, treatment of CHF and had a diet change had better clinical outcomes and showed reverse ventricular remodeling compared to grain-inclusive dogs.

Study authors included former NC State clinician Darcy Adin, as well as James Robertson, Anna McManamey, Sandra Tou, Kate Meurs, Bruce Keene, John Bonagura and Teresa DeFrancesco.

Read the study here.

Stents and Ischemic Injury

New research outlines that stents releasing exosomes derived from mesenchymal cells enhance vascular healing in rats with renal ischemia, a blood deficiency in one or both kidneys

Study researchers found that such exosome-releasing stents promote endothelial cell tube formation and proliferation, accelerate reendothelialization and decrease in-stent restenosis, as well as reduce vascular and systemic inflammation and promote muscle tissue repair.

Authors of the study, published in Nature Biomedical Engineering, include Ke Cheng, Jhon Cores, Phuong-Uyen Dinh, Teng Su, Ke Huang, Dashuai Zhu, Deliang Shen, Zhenhua Li and Shiqi Hu.

Read the study here.

Researcher holding a sea turtle

Rehabbing Sea Turtles with Ketoprofen

Longer administration of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug ketoprofen appears to be safe with respect to blood clotting and blood data when treating sea turtle injuries, according to research published in the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine.

Sea turtle injury treatment often requires analgesic treatment, and ketoprofen is widely used in veterinary medicine for musculoskeletal pain relief. Short-term doses have been previously studied in loggerhead sea turtles but the safety of longer-term administration during a five-day course of treatment had not been previously analyzed.

More research is needed to explore other potential side effects, but blood work was normal. Study authors include Maria Serrano, Alex Lynch, Mark Papich, Emily Christiansen, Laura Ruterbories and Craig Harms.

Read the study here.

Preventing Outbreaks from United States Produce

Following recent outbreaks of Salmonella and Escherichia coli in fresh produce in the United States, new research finds that the environment and the initial setup of the farm contribute sto contamination of fresh produce, as opposed to solely fecal matter from farm animals.

Researchers reviewed whether the establishment of a vegetation barrier (VB) on small-scale sustainable farms could prevent the transmission of Salmonella and E. coli to nearby fresh produce fields.

Data analysis of soil, air, produce and fecal samples, fiunds that the VB is an effective tool to reduce such transmission from animal farms to fresh produce fields, and fecal samples from animal farms are not the only source of pathogen contamination.

Researchers recommend the need for more effective bioremediation and prevention control measures, along with VBs, to reduce pathogen transmission. Study authors include Sid Thakur, Lyndy Harden, Morgan Young and Ayanna Glaze.

The International Journal of Food Microbiology published the research.

Read the study here.

Mariea Ross-Estrada

Mariea Ross-Estrada

The Value of Online Clinical Clerkships

A survey of veterinary students finds an overwhelmingly positive response to a three-part online clinical learning environment, according to a study authored by Mariea Ross-Estrada and Amy Snyder and published in the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education.

The course program was focused on small animal primary care. It included synchronous clinical rounds, simulated online appointments and independent learning activities.

The majority of students surveyed say that the online clinical experience met or exceeded expectations and provided a meaningful learning experience. Such courses may have an important place in veterinary education as the field of telemedicine grows, preparing students to enter a modern veterinary workplace.

Read the study here.

Treating Paraplegic Dogs

A retrospective study finds that paraplegic medium- to large-breed dogs with extensive epidural hemorrhage (DEEH) have a less favorable outcome after surgical decompression than paraplegic dogs with thoracolumbar intervertebral disc extrusion.

Fifty-nine client-owned dogs are included in the study to evaluate outcomes and prognostic factors after decompressive hemilaminectomy in paraplegic canines. Medical records and advanced imaging were reviewed, and ambulatory status six months after surgery and postoperative complications were recorded.

Researchers find that dogs with DEEH can have severe postoperative complications, but more extensive decompression improved outcomes.

The study, published in Veterinary Surgery, was authored by Natasha Olby, Peter Early, Karen Muñana, Christopher Mariani, James Robertson and Christian Woelfel.

Read the study here.

Cat genomics

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy in Cats

Veterinary medication pimobendan acutely increases left atrial function and mildly increases left ventricular systolic function in client-owned cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, according to a study published in BMC Veterinary Research.

Prior studies have suggested that pimobendan is associated with positive effects in cats, but there is little pharmacodynamic data about using the medicine in a clinical cat population.

The prospective study confirms previous findings in research animals and retrospective analyses, suggesting that chronic dosing studies are safe and warranted. Research authors include Yu Ueda.

Read the study here.

~Jordan Bartel/NC State Veterinary Medicine