CVJ - February 2022, Vol. 63, No. 2


Case Reports

High female mortality caused by an atypical Mycobacterium species closely related to the Mycobacterium ulcerans-marinum complex in a colony of bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps)

Sonia Chénier, Manon Tremblay, Dara Lloyd, Marc Olivier Duceppe, Olga Andrievskaia (page 133)

A commercial breeding colony of bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps) experienced an increase in mortality that affected females only. Before death, the animals had lost appetite and weight, were dehydrated, and some had labored breathing. Necropsy revealed granulomas in many organs (ovaries, lungs, liver, kidneys, heart, bone marrow) in which numerous acid-fast bacteria were identified. Bacterial isolation confirmed Mycobacterium spp., which was identified by whole genome sequencing as closely related to the Mycobacterium ulcerans-marinum complex. Due to the zoonotic potential of this bacterium and the poor prognosis for the remaining sick animals, the entire colony was culled and 7 animals were evaluated. The possible routes for introduction of this bacterium, the female predisposition to the disease, as well as the zoonotic potential of this microorganism are discussed.

Key clinical message: An atypical Mycobacterium species closely related to Mycobacterium ulcerans-marinum complex can cause high female morality in captive bearded dragons.

Calcifying aponeurotic fibroma on the paw in a dog

Yeseul Yang, Du-Min Go, Jae-Ha Jung, Dansong Seo, Sung-Hyun Hwang, Dae-Yong Kim, Yongbaek Kim (page 139)

A 12-year-old, spayed female, Maltese dog with a round and firm mass on the dorsal part of the left rear paw and a cervical mass was brought to the clinic. The paw mass was contiguous to the adjacent tendon; it was composed of neoplastic mesenchymal cells and had scattered foci of calcification with chondroid differentiation microscopically. The neoplastic cells were positive for vimentin and S100, but negative for desmin and smooth muscle actin. Microscopic features and immunohistochemistry results were consistent with calcifying aponeurotic fibroma (CAF). The cervical mass was composed of polygonal cells forming acini with marked anisocytosis and anisokaryosis and diagnosed as thyroid follicular carcinoma. No recurrence or metastasis occurred during follow-up. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case of canine CAF with features identical to its human counterparts.

Key clinical message: This report describes the rare case of calcifying aponeurotic fibroma on the paw in a dog. This is apparently the first case in the veterinary literature with identical clinical and pathological features to the human counterpart.

Successful ligation of the left and right gastric vein in a dog with congenital portosystemic shunts type Aii

Yusuke Ozai, Akiko Uemura, Ryou Tanaka, Seijirow Goya, Kazumi Shimada (page 143)

The type Aii shunt is a congenital extrahepatic portosystemic shunt (ePSS) involving the left and right gastric vein and the caudal vena cava (CVC). This report describes the case of a 6-month-old Italian greyhound diagnosed with a type Aii large-diameter ePSS. Staged surgeries were employed to completely ligate the 2 gastric veins and to avoid the risk of traumatizing the shunt vessel, CVC, and celiac artery. Clinical signs improved post-operatively, and after 3 years, ultrasonography demonstrated no evidence of reoccurrence. This procedure provides an alternative surgical option for correction of ePSS type Aii.

Key clinical message: This case report demonstrates congenital PSS involving the left and right gastric vein and the caudal vena could be treated with both ligation of left and right gastric vein. This technique could decrease the risk of traumatizing the shunt vessel, CVC, and celiac artery.

Chronic splenic torsion in a dog with an accessory spleen

Justin C. Mergl, Beth Hanselman, Meghan Kirsch (page 147)

A 4-year-old, neutered male, mixed breed Old English sheepdog was presented for evaluation and treatment of anorexia, vomiting, and diarrhea. Presumptive severe pancreatitis was diagnosed based on the referral bloodwork. Abdominal ultrasonography identified a suspected liver lobe torsion based on the presence of a normal spleen. However, an exploratory laparotomy identified a splenic torsion in addition to a grossly normal spleen.

Key clinical message: This case demonstrates that a second, potentially large area of splenic tissue (ectopic or accessory) can be present in the dog; therefore, the presence of a normal appearing spleen on abdominal ultrasonography does not rule out splenic torsion.

A case of juvenile form of dilated cardiomyopathy in a 6-month-old Shiba Inu dog

Koichi Shimizu, Ryohei Suzuki, Yoshitaka Ikeda, Yohei Mochizuki, Takahiro Teshima, Masaki Michishita, Hirotaka Matsumoto, Hidekazu Koyama (page 152)

A 6-month-old Shiba Inu dog was brought to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital because of a cough, exercise intolerance, and pulmonary edema. The dog had a Levine 2/6 systolic murmur. Transthoracic echocardiography revealed left atrial and ventricular dilatation (left atrium to aortic ratio: 2.8), mitral and tricuspid valve regurgitation, and severe left ventricular myocardial hypokinesia (fractional shortening was 11.8%). Bubble contrast echocardiography did not reveal a congenital shunt; therefore, the dog was clinically diagnosed with early onset dilated cardiomyopathy. From the first visit, the dog was treated with pimobendan, taurine, torasemide, and isosorbide dinitrate. After 435 days, echocardiography revealed that systolic function had not improved. On Day 465, atrial fibrillation was confirmed via electrocardiogram, and treatment with diltiazem hydrochloride was initiated. The dog continued to appear clinically stable thereafter, until it died suddenly 1087 days after the initial visit. A postmortem histopathological examination identified severe enlargement of the left atrial and ventricular chambers as well as attenuated wavy fibers in the ventricular myocardium, which confirmed dilated cardiomyopathy in a juvenile. This is the first report of a juvenile form of dilated cardiomyopathy in a Shiba Inu dog. This case report provides evidence that the extended prognosis of this dog differed from that in previously reported cases of dilated cardiomyopathy in young dogs.

Key clinical message: This is the first reported case of a juvenile form of dilated cardiomyopathy in a Shiba Inu dog. This report provides evidence that the prognosis of this dog differed from that in previously reported cases of dilated cardiomyopathy in young dogs.

Brief Communications

Hepatic fibrosis and mineralization in a free-ranging barren-ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus) from the Northwest Territories

Heather Fenton, H. Dean Cluff, Barry Blakley, Jamie L. Rothenburger (page 157)

Due to concerns about the appearance of portions of liver from a harvested adult, male barren-ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus), samples were submitted for diagnostic investigation. The gross and histologic findings were consistent with severe hepatic fibrosis and mineralization. Concentrations of vitamin E in the liver were also deficient. Disease investigations in wildlife of detectable abnormalities such as this provide important information for understanding the role of disease as populations change, as well as for safety of human food sources.


Integrated surveillance of antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial use: Evaluation of the status in Canada (2014–2019)

Simon J.G. Otto, Margaret Haworth-Brockman, Misha Miazga-Rodriguez, Aleksandra Wierzbowski, Lynora M. Saxinger (page 161)

Integrated surveillance of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and antimicrobial use (AMU) across One Health sectors is critically important for effective, evidence-based policy, stewardship, and control of AMR. Our objective was to evaluate progress towards achieving comprehensive, integrated AMR/AMU surveillance in Canada.

Materials and methods
Based on an environmental scan, interviews of subject matter experts, and reports from the 2014 National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases and the 2016 Canadian Council of Chief Veterinary Officers, we identified 8 core surveillance requirements and their specific components; the latter were assessed using a 2-way classification matrix, with 7 common elements ranked according to development stage.

Components that mapped to requirements of a comprehensive, fully integrated AMR/AMU surveillance system were mostly in the lowest stages of development (Exploration or Program Adoption). However, both the establishment of the Canadian AMR Surveillance System integrated reporting and expansion of existing components under the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program and the Canadian Integrated Program for AMR Surveillance are improvements. Regardless, obvious gaps in Canadian AMR/AMU surveillance prevent this from being a comprehensive and integrated One Health program.

Action is needed in 3 crucial areas: i) development of a complete, integrated AMR/AMU surveillance program, based on current success; ii) changes in Federal/Provincial/Territorial policies to require standardized AMR/AMU reporting; and iii) more resources for AMR/AMU surveillance (dedicated persons, funding, and enabling structures and policy). There is an urgent need for prioritization by Federal/Provincial/Territorial governments to address governance, leadership, and funding to create surveillance systems that inform stewardship and policy.

The epidemiology and economics of pooled testing for disease investigations of lead exposure involving beef cattle in Saskatchewan (2007–2019)

Caitlyn Best, Tasha Epp, Sarah Parker, John Campbell (page 171)

From 2007 to 2019, the Western College of Veterinary Medicine Disease Investigation Unit conducted lead investigations in 12 beef cow-calf herds and tested 1104 presumed exposed but clinically unaffected cattle, 49 of which were unsafe for slaughter (blood lead ≥ 0.1 ppm). In all investigations, the lead source should be evaluated, and all potentially exposed animals intended for food should be tested. Clinically affected animals should be tested individually. Individual testing of clinically unaffected animals may be expensive for large groups. However, pooling a conservative number of blood samples (n = 2 to 5) from clinically unaffected cattle may efficiently identify groups that are safe for slaughter. If a pooled test produces a blood lead concentration over the minimum threshold (0.1 ppm/n), these samples should be individually re-tested. Herd size, lead toxicity prevalence, pool size, and number of pools that require individual re-testing all affect the potential cost savings of pooled testing.

Neuroinflammatory diseases of the central nervous system of dogs: A retrospective study of 207 cases (2008–2019)

Jessica A. Elbert, Wilson Yau, Daniel R. Rissi (page 178)

In this study we describe 207 cases of neuroinflammatory diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) in dogs autopsied at the Athens Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (University of Georgia, United States) from 2008 to 2019. Idiopathic and infectious diseases were diagnosed in 111 cases (53.6%) and 96 cases (46.4%), respectively. Idiopathic diseases consisted of granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis (n = 42; 37.8% of idiopathic cases), nonspecific lymphoplasmacytic meningoencephalomyelitis (n = 39; 35.1%), necrotizing meningoencephalomyelitis (n = 22; 19.8%), presumed steroid-responsive meningitis-arteritis (n = 6; 5.4%), and necrotizing leukoencephalitis (n = 2; 1.8%). Infectious diseases consisted of bacterial infections (n = 49; 51% of infectious cases), viral infections (n = 39; 40.6%), fungal infections (n = 5; 5.2%), and parasitic infections (n = 3; 3.1%). Our study provides an overview of the most frequent neuroinflammatory diseases of the CNS of dogs in our diagnostic routine; indicates that a comprehensive diagnostic approach, including a thorough evaluation of the pathology findings and ancillary laboratory testing results, is important for an adequate diagnosis of neurologic diseases in dogs; and underscores the problems associated with the variability in tissue sample collection methods among cases. The great number of nonspecific lymphoplasmacytic meningoencephalitis also highlights the need for development of molecular laboratory tests to identify potential infectious agents in these cases.

Review Articles

Male dairy calf welfare: A Canadian perspective on challenges and potential solutions

Lexie M. Reed, David L. Renaud, Trevor J. DeVries (page 187)

Male dairy calf welfare is a key issue in the Canadian cattle industry. The welfare of male dairy calves can be explored through the aspects of health and biological functioning, affective states, and natural living. Presently, the main welfare issues associated with the production of male dairy calves include morbidity and mortality, colostrum and feeding management, transportation, isolation, castration and disbudding, and euthanasia. Opportunities to improve male dairy calf welfare include improving accepted industry practices, enhancing education and compliance with industry codes of practice, and increasing veterinarian involvement in on-farm animal welfare. The benefits of improving male dairy calf welfare include maintenance of the cattle industry’s social license and improved producer mental health and occupational satisfaction. The main barriers to improving male dairy calf welfare are economics and cultural attitudes within the industry towards male dairy calves.

Student Paper

An apparently healthy female crossbred Labrador retriever-poodle dog with severe intra-abdominal adhesions as an incidental finding to ovariohysterectomy

Caitlin E.L. Brown (page 194)

An apparently healthy 1-year-old, female crossbred Labrador retriever-poodle dog was brought to a veterinary clinic for elective ovariohysterectomy (OVH). Severe abdominal adhesions complicated the procedure. There was no report of a previous illness or surgical procedure that would be a predisposing cause for the adhesions. The OVH was completed despite the adhesions and the dog recovered well. It is unclear whether this was simply a case of severe intra-abdominal adhesions or an atypical sclerosing encapsulating peritonitis (SEP). The differential diagnoses include inflammatory processes, a genetic predisposition, or an idiopathic cause. Fourteen days later, at the time of surgical staple removal, the dog was healthy and had reportedly been doing very well. Although rare, intra-abdominal adhesions can occur in young and previously healthy dogs without causing clinical signs. Veterinarians should be aware of such a condition when approaching abdominal surgeries and be prepared to manage these cases appropriately.

Quiz Corner

(page 125)



Let’s get more student papers in The CVJ!

Tim Ogilvie and John Kastelic (page 121)

Veterinary Medical Ethics

(page 123)


Heather Broughton, Sophie Perreault (page 127)

One Health

One Health and antimicrobial stewardship: Where to go from here?

Kayley D. McCubbin, Herman W. Barkema, Amreen Babujee, Jocelyn Forseille, Kathy Naum, Phil Buote, Darrell Dalton, Sylvia L. Checkley, Keith Lehman, Tricia Morris, Karen Smilski, Wendy L. Wilkins, R. Michele Anholt, Samantha Larose, Lynora M. Saxinger, Dean Blue, Simon J.G. Otto (page 198)


“First do no harm” … But is doing nothing doing no harm?

Lianna Titcombe (page 201)

Veterinary Wellness

Moving from compassion fatigue to compassion resilience
Part 6: Building organizational resilience

Debbie L. Stoewen (page 203)


Index of Advertisers

(page 186)


(page 207)