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Connection between early neutering and joint disorders in German Shepherd Dogs needs more research

I was pleased to see the JAVMA News story 1 concerning the study by Hart et al 2 on the effects of early neutering in German Shepherd Dogs. Although I don't doubt that there is an association between cranial cruciate ligament disease and early neutering, I do have concerns with these types of retrospective studies and the findings they produce. I have a number of patients that are sexually intact. Most of them are working dogs (eg, sled dogs, hunting dogs, search

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Veterinary licensing in US waters outside of state jurisdiction

As members of the AVMA Aquatic Veterinary Medical Committee, we would like to clarify components of the new AVMA policy “Veterinary Licensing in US Waters Outside State Jurisdiction,” which the AVMA Board of Directors approved during its April 2016 meeting. 1

Veterinarian involvement is a key factor in the health and welfare of aquatic animals raised in the United States and in waters outside of state jurisdiction. Throughout the United States, veterinarians are required for diagnosing diseases, prescribing drugs, issuing veterinary feed directives and international health certificates, and performing other duties

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Concerned about Caine Veterinary Teaching Center closing

I am writing on behalf of Herd Health PLLC, a veterinary practice group based in Caldwell, Idaho, regarding the recently announced plan to close the Caine Veterinary Teaching Center. 1 Herd Health is a mobile food animal practice established in 1993 that currently employs eight veterinarians serving clients locally, regionally, and in other states. The practice has a long history of working with the CVTC throughout its many years of service to the state of Idaho. Some of us finished our student training there as senior veterinary students, and we have in

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Buttercups not to blame for Thoroughbred abortions

In the article “Abortions in Thoroughbred mares associated with consumption of bulbosus buttercups (Ranunculus bulbosus L),” Swerczek 1 describes a herd of 54 Thoroughbreds with severe weight loss and emaciation, including 7 mares that aborted after having been confirmed pregnant between 30 and 45 days of gestation, and attributes the clinical signs to buttercup toxicosis. We contend that this conclusion is incorrect and inappropriate, as it rests on unsupported suppositions.

First, no fetuses were recovered from the mares that aborted, and no diagnostic tests were performed on any of the

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Proper use of post hoc power analyses

When research results are not statistically significant, authors sometimes perform post hoc analyses of the power of their statistical tests. As stated previously, however, “Calculating power using observed effect sizes is not helpful because such estimates are very poor estimates of the actual power of the test.” 1

Importantly, poor estimates of test power have correspondingly large 95% confidence intervals. As an example, Gordon-Evans et al, 2 in a study examining long-term outcomes of dogs with cranial cruciate ligament rupture treated with either a lateral fabellar suture technique or tibial plateau leveling

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Regarding the Fairness to Pet Owners Act

I have been practicing veterinary medicine since January 1969 and have observed many changes in practice models over the years. One truth remains above all else: to survive, a business must remain in the black. Raising taxes, imposing unnecessary regulations, and increasing paperwork all serve to increase overhead. Either consumers pay, or the business fails.

With regard to the Fairness to Pet Owners Act (HR 3174/S 1200) currently being discussed in Congress, I worry, as I believe many veterinarians do, that mandating prescriptions for all drugs will result in lost income for veterinary

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Support for veterinary nurse title

Way back in 1959, I wrote an article for the journal Modern Veterinary Practice urging the development of a formal veterinary nursing profession. Years later, I was pleased to see the establishment of the veterinary technician profession but disappointed that, unlike in the United Kingdom, the term technician was used.

So, I was delighted to see that the term veterinary nurse is again being considered. 1 To me, Registered Veterinary Nurse is accurate and preferable, as this title acknowledges the formal training and accreditation of the professional person holding it.

Robert M. Miller,

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Diagnosis disagreement in “Pathology in Practice”

In a recent Pathology in Practice article, 1 the authors describe a 1-year-old Quarter Horse colt with a 6-month history of nasal discharge and respiratory noise. Clinical and radiographic findings indicated a mass filling the left nasal passage and paranasal sinuses. The authors wrote that, at necropsy, a multilobulated bony mass was found and that histologic findings were consistent with a poorly productive, osteoblastic osteosarcoma. They also state that osteosarcomas “generally consist of proliferating lamellar bone and intratrabecular fatty and hematopoietic marrow.” However, I believe this description more accurately describes benign bone proliferation

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Global food security as a national responsibility

The AVMA Committee on International Veterinary Affairs (CIVA) read the recent commentary “The role of the US veterinary profession in improving livestock health and productivity and reducing poverty in the developing world” 1 with great interest and is fully supportive of Dr. BeVier's view “that the developing world would be much better off if the US veterinary profession took a leadership role in providing services to the forgotten world.” The CIVA also agrees that the US veterinary profession should “work on improving livestock productivity, which will increase farm income and help poor

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
In defense of funding new US veterinary schools

We concur with the sentiments expressed by Dr. David Lane in his recent letter to the editor 1 concerning the troubling economic landscape for rural veterinary practice and the need to improve selection of students likely to return to rural areas to practice. However, we disagree that money allocated to establishing new US veterinary schools would be better used for student scholarships at existing institutions.

As educators, we recognize the responsibility veterinary schools have to deliver a sustainable future for the profession and foster innovation to accomplish this. The troubling increase

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association