Zita Talamonti, Simona Cannas and Clara Palestrini
The present report describes a case of distal tail self-mutilation in a 5-year-old neutered male domestic short-hair cat. The cat started licking his tail few months before the behavioural visit. Because of the severity of the self-induced injuries, the veterinarian performed a surgical partial caudectomy. After 3 months, the excessive self-grooming of the tail recurred. Neurological and dermatological examinations, radiographs, urine and blood tests did not show any abnormalities. During the behavioural visit, through direct observation of the cat’s posture and behavioural history, the pet received a diagnosis of psychogenic alopecia. The cat was treated with clomipramine for 2 months (0.5 mg/kg/PO SID) along with behaviour modification and environmental changes. After 1 month, the cat no longer showed excessive self-grooming. Even if no other systemic pathologies were identified, it is always recommended to address these patients with a multidisciplinary approach.
Simona Cannas, Fancesca Rampini, Diana Levi, Emanuela Dalla Costa, Zita Talamonti, Michela Minero and Clara Palestrini
Consequences of a long stay in dog shelter have particular significance, because, since 1991, the Italian law (14/08/1991, n.281) prohibits euthanasia of dogs unless “they are seriously ill, incurable or proven dangerous”. Caught dogs are recovered for a quarantine period in the sanitary kennel, if they are not returned to the owner, they are moved to shelters until adoption or death. The aim of this work was to identify the relationship between dogs characteristics and their destiny in order to define useful predictors to better manage the stay of dogs in shelter. We analysed the records of all dogs recovered in a sanitary kennel from 2005 to 2010 and subsequently moved to shelters (n=771). Descriptive and inferential statistics were performed in order to investigate possible factors that might affect adoptability of sheltered dogs. The characteristics of dogs that spent more time in PVCS, before being transfer to the CR, were: large size, male gender and age between 11 months and 2 years (p ≤ 0,05). Male dogs spent more days in CR, as opposed to female (p ≤ 0,05). In our sample 76% dogs were adopted, 18% were still in the shelter, 4% died and 2% were euthanized. Female dogs were adopted more than males; young dogs more than elderly (over seven years); sizes medium and small more than large. It would be interesting use the data from this research and complete them with information regarding dogs behaviour, to better manage dogs during the stay in shelter and to improve their relocation.
Simona Cannas, Greta Veronica Berteselli, Patrizia Piotti, Zita Talamonti, Elisabetta Scaglia, Damiano Stefanello, Michela Minero and Clara Palestrini
It is widely accepted that psychological stress and mental illness can compromise the function of the immune system. Clinical and epidemiological studies on humans recognized that specific psychosocial factors, such as stress, chronic depression and lack of social support are risk factors for the development and progression of cancer. Unfortunately, most of the animals studies on this subject are based on laboratory tests performed on mice. This retrospective cohort study aims to analyze the relation between stress and tumor in pet dogs, by evaluating and comparing the stress level in two groups of 69 dogs each, balanced for sex and age: the oncologic group consists of dogs diagnosed with cancer and the control group consists of healthy dogs. Our results show that, before the cancer diagnosis, more dogs in the oncologic group faced changes in their household and routine as opposed to the control group (p<0.05). More dogs of the oncologic group than the control group also showed signs of stress and anxiety, before the cancer diagnosis (p<0.05). As reported by their owners, these included attention seeking, hiding without a specific reason, following the owner around the house, hyper-vigilance, fear of fireworks and gunshots, biting, aggression towards other dogs, licking and chewing excessively parts of their body. Our results are aligned with the evidence from human research, indicating that dogs with cancer are significantly more likely to have shown signs of stress compared to the control dogs during their life.
Riccardo Benedetti, Mirko Barabucci, Alessandra Pigliapoco, Simona Cannas and Clara Palestrini
The present report describes a case of pyloric wall leiomyoma in a shelter dog with a history of vomiting, pica, licking and chewing the walls of the kennel. The clinical, radiological, ultrasound, hematological and blood chemistry examinations showed no abnormalities. A compulsive oral disorder was diagnosed and treatment with behaviour therapy instigated. The compulsive oral behaviours stopped following behaviour therapy, however, the vomiting persisted, suggesting the need to proceed with further diagnostic exams. The ultrasound examination, repeated after 6 months, had revealed the presence of a hypoechoic mass (3.52 cm) in the pyloric-antrum obstructing the gastric outflow. Following gastric dilatation the mass was surgically excised. Histological examination revealed a pyloric leiomyoma. In clinical practice this case highlights the importance of gastrointestinal diseases in the development of behaviour changes related to pica.