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The Journal of Small Animal Practice (JSAP)

The Journal of Small Animal Practice (JSAP) is the BSAVA's monthly scientific journal, featuring original, peer-reviewed articles, case reports and other scientific and educational information from around the world. The aim of JSAP is to facilitate the dissemination and implementation of new ideas and techniques relating to clinical veterinary practice, and ultimately to promote best practice.

JSAP is provided to BSAVA members as part of their membership benefits. Members - to access JSAP, log in then click on the 'read latest issues' button that appears below. 

You can search for JSAP articles from within the BSAVA Library by clicking on the JSAP tab from the search results page. If you are a BSAVA member and already logged in, you can click through from the search results to access the full article. 

May issue - Editor's choice

Canine medial patellar luxation

Despite being one of the most commonly diagnosed causes of canine hind limb lameness, the pathogenesis of medial patellar luxation remains incompletely understood. Most cases are considered developmental with anatomical deformities leading to failure of the stifle extensor mechanism. These include coxa vara, coxa valga, reduced anteversion angle, distal external femoral torsion, excessive distal femoral varus, internal proximal tibial torsion, proximal tibial valgus, tibial tuberosity medialisation, patella alta and shallow trochlear groove. The diagnosis of medial patellar luxation is generally easily made during an orthopaedic examination, however, assessment of the associated limb deformities can be challenging. While radiography remains the most common method for assessment of limb deformity in dogs, accurate characterisation of three‐dimensional structures from two‐dimensional radiographs is limited, particularly for tibial deformities. CT is advantageous in facilitating the precise qualification and quantification of skeletal abnormalities contributing to the luxation. This is critical in planning correction of said deformities and in achieving accurate realignment of the quadriceps mechanism. Dogs presenting with lameness secondary to medial patellar luxation are candidates for surgical intervention. Techniques used to realign the extensor mechanism and improve patellofemoral articulation congruity include femoral trochleoplasty, tibial tuberosity transposition laterally and/or distally, corrective osteotomies of the femur and tibia and soft tissue balancing techniques. Every case should be carefully evaluated to identity all abnormalities and develop a comprehensive plan that addresses each of them. Complication rates following medial patellar luxation surgery vary extensively but can be reduced following accurate measurement of conformational deformities and subsequent tailored corrective surgery.

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April issue - Editor's choice

Evaluating skin biopsy specimens from alopecic dogs

The scientific evaluation of diagnostic techniques is complicated. There are two main risks when adding a novel diagnostic technique to the standard care of a group of patients: the execution itself of the new test may carry additional danger for the patients (eg, a longer anaesthesia, systemic reaction to a contrast medium, etc.), and the interpretation of the results of the new test may lead to “overdiagnosis” of certain conditions (ie, the diagnosis of a condition for which treatment may be ultimately less beneficial for the patient than no treatment). It is not common to spectate the development of a diagnostic technique that could help with the diagnosis in a large number of animals with likely limited side effects. In this month’s JSAP, Dr Bond from the Royal Veterinary College and colleagues have assessed whether the addition of transverse sectioning in histological processing could enhance the diagnostic benefit from skin biopsies of dogs with alopecia. The results on the sample of 31 alopecic dogs were promising. This study has the potential to provide the first step for a change in current veterinary dermato‐pathological practice making it closer to the standard of care for the histopathological investigation of alopecia in humans.

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A collection of JSAP reviews for primary care practice is freely available to all.

If you are not a member of BSAVA and wish to receive JSAP, you can either become a member or subscribe to the journal via our publisher, Wiley.

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