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Abstract

Objective—To describe an epidemiological investigation of a bovine tuberculosis outbreak on a Colorado dairy operation.

Procedures—A cull dairy cow infected with Mycobacterium bovis (index cow) was detected at a Texas abattoir during routine slaughter surveillance and subsequent diagnostic testing. This initiated an epidemiological investigation that was performed in accordance with USDA regulations.

Results—The index cow was traced back to a Colorado dairy (index herd). Of the 908 cattle in the index herd, 101 (11.1%; 86 adult cattle > 2 years old and 15 immature cattle ≤ 2 years old) were infected with M bovis. Fourteen M bovis–infected cattle ≤ 2 years old were identified on 5 additional premises that had purchased cattle from the index herd directly or indirectly. All 115 affected cattle were infected with the same genetic type (spoligotype) of M bovis. A substantial proportion of cattle that left the index herd during the 5 years previous to the identification of the index cow were untraceable because of a lack of unique animal identification and inadequate records.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that neonatal calves can have an important role in the transmission of M bovis. Also, this report highlights the exigent need for unique individual identification of livestock, including neonatal animals, so that thorough epidemiological investigations of reportable (zoonotic or foreign animal) diseases can be conducted when necessary.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the practices and perceptions of veterinarians in North Carolina regarding borreliosis in dogs in various geographic regions of the state.

Design—Cross-sectional survey.

Sample—Data from 208 completed surveys.

Procedures—Surveys were distributed to veterinary clinics throughout North Carolina. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize perceptions pertaining to borreliosis among dogs in North Carolina.

Results—A significantly higher proportion of responding veterinarians believed that borreliosisis was endemic in the coastal (67.2%) and Piedmont (60.9%) areas of North Carolina, compared with more western regions (37.5%). The 3 variables found to be significantly different between the northern and southern regions of the state were the estimated number of borreliosis cases diagnosed by each responding veterinary clinic during the past year, the perception of borreliosis endemicity, and the perceptions related to the likelihood of a dog acquiring borreliosis in the state.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Veterinarians’ perception of the risk of borreliosis in North Carolina was consistent with recent scientific reports pertaining to geographic expansion of borreliosis in the state. As knowledge of the epidemiological features of borreliosis in North Carolina continues to evolve, veterinarians should promote routine screening of dogs for Borrelia burgdorferi exposure as a simple, inexpensive form of surveillance that can be used to better educate their clients on the threat of transmission of borreliosis in this transitional geographic region.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine incidence of animal bite injuries among humans in North Carolina by use of statewide emergency department visit data; to evaluate incidence rates on the basis of age, sex, urbanicity, biting species, and month for selected species; and to characterize bite-related emergency department visits.

Design—Retrospective cohort and cross-sectional study.

Sample—Records of 38,971 incident animal bite–related emergency department visits in North Carolina from 2008 to 2010.

Procedures—Emergency department visits were selected for inclusion by means of external-cause-of-injury codes assigned with an international coding system and keyword searches of chief complaint and triage notes. Rates were calculated with denominators obtained from census data. Cross-sectional analysis of incident emergency department visits was performed.

Results—By the age of 10, a child in North Carolina had a 1 in 50 risk of dog bite injury requiring an emergency department visit. Incidence rates for dog bites were highest for children ≤ 14 years of age, whereas the incidence rate for cat bites and scratches was highest among individuals > 79 years of age. Lifetime risk of cat bite or scratch injury requiring an emergency department visit was 1 in 60 for the population studied. Rabies postexposure prophylaxis was administered during 1,664 of 38,971 (4.3%) incident visits.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Emergency department visit surveillance data were used to monitor species-specific bite incidence statewide and in various subpopulations. Emergency department surveillance data may be particularly useful to public health veterinarians. Results may inform and renew interest in targeted animal bite prevention efforts.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To examine the feasibility of depopulation of a large feedlot during a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in the United States.

Design—Delphi survey followed by facilitated discussion.

Sample—27 experts, including veterinary toxicologists and pharmacologists, animal welfare experts, feedlot managers, and consulting veterinarians.

Procedures—4 veterinary pharmacologists, 5 veterinary toxicologists, 4 animal welfare experts, 26 consulting veterinarians, and 8 feedlot managers were invited to participate in a Delphi survey to identify methods for depopulation of a large feedlot during an FMD outbreak. A facilitated discussion that included 1 pharmacologist, 1 toxicologist, 1 animal welfare expert, 2 consulting veterinarians, and 2 feedlot managers was held to review the survey results.

Results—27 of 47 invited experts participated in the Delphi survey. Survey consensus was that, although several toxic agents would effectively cause acute death in a large number of animals, all of them had substantial animal welfare concerns. Pentobarbital sodium administered IV was considered the most effective pharmacological agent for euthanasia, and xylazine was considered the most effective sedative. Animal welfare concerns following administration of a euthanasia solution IV or a penetrating captive bolt were minimal; however, both veterinarians and feedlot managers felt that use of a captive bolt would be inefficient for depopulation. Veterinarians were extremely concerned about public perception, human safety, and timely depopulation of a large feedlot during an FMD outbreak.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Depopulation of a large feedlot during an FMD outbreak would be difficult to complete in a humane and timely fashion.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the relationships among traditional and laparoscopic surgical skills, spatial analysis skills, and video gaming proficiency of third-year veterinary students.

Design—Prospective, randomized, controlled study.

Sample—A convenience sample of 29 third-year veterinary students.

Procedures—The students had completed basic surgical skills training with inanimate objects but had no experience with soft tissue, orthopedic, or laparoscopic surgery; the spatial analysis test; or the video games that were used in the study. Scores for traditional surgical, laparoscopic, spatial analysis, and video gaming skills were determined, and associations among these were analyzed by means of Spearman's rank order correlation coefficient (r s).

Results—A significant positive association (r s = 0.40) was detected between summary scores for video game performance and laparoscopic skills, but not between video game performance and traditional surgical skills scores. Spatial analysis scores were positively (r s = 0.30) associated with video game performance scores; however, that result was not significant. Spatial analysis scores were not significantly associated with laparoscopic surgical skills scores. Traditional surgical skills scores were not significantly associated with laparoscopic skills or spatial analysis scores.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of this study indicated video game performance of third-year veterinary students was predictive of laparoscopic but not traditional surgical skills, suggesting that laparoscopic performance may be improved with video gaming experience. Additional studies would be required to identify methods for improvement of traditional surgical skills.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To identify factors associated with use of a veterinarian by small-scale food animal operations.

Design—Cross-sectional descriptive survey.

Sample—16,000 small-scale farm or ranch operations in all 50 states.

Procedures—Surveys were conducted via mail or telephone during 2011 for small-scale operations (gross annual agricultural sales between $10,000 and $499,999) in which an animal or animal product comprised the highest percentage of annual sales.

Results—8,186 (51.2%) operations responded to the survey; 7,849 surveys met the inclusion criteria. For 6,511 (83.0%) operations, beef cattle were the primary animal species. An estimated 82.1% of operations (95% confidence interval [CI], 81.1% to 83.0%) had a veterinarian available ≤ 29 miles away; 1.4% (95% CI, 1.2% to 1.7%) did not have a veterinarian available within 100 miles of the operation. Operations for which the nearest veterinarian was ≥ 100 miles away or for which a veterinarian was not available were located in 40 US states. Overall, 61.7% of operations (95% CI, 60.6% to 62.9%) had used a veterinarian during the 12 months prior to the survey. Producers with college degrees were significantly more likely to use a veterinarian (675%) versus those who did not complete high school (52.9%).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of this study indicated most small-scale operations had adequate access to veterinarians during 2011, but there seemed to be localized shortages of veterinarians in many states.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the effect of an intervention (educational campaign) on hand hygiene (HH) and health-care workers' (HCWs') perceptions of HH.

Design—Prospective observational study and cross-sectional survey.

Sample—Observed opportunities for HH performed by HCWs before (n = 222) and after (249) intervention, measures of HH product usage, and surveys distributed to 300 HCWs.

Procedures—Data were collected by means of direct observation, measurement of HH product consumption, and surveys of HCWs.

Results—Adherence rates of HCWs for HH practices before and after the intervention were 27% (61/222 observations) and 29% (73/249 observations), respectively. Combined HH and glove use adherence rates before and after the intervention were 84% (186/222 observations) and 81% (201/249 observations), respectively. Before intervention, the highest combined HH and glove use adherence rate was detected for technicians (90% [57/63 observations]) and for opportunities after exposure to a patient's bodily fluids (100% [5/5 opportunities]). Rate of use of alcohol-based antimicrobial hand rubs (AHRs) and amount of HH products used did not significantly change during the study. Survey response rates were 41% (122) and 21% (62) before and after the intervention, respectively. Availability of AHRs and role modeling of HH (performance of HH each time it is warranted) were considered the factors most likely to increase HH adherence rates by survey respondents.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated the intervention did not increase HH adherence or use of AHRs. High rates of glove use before the start of the study may have been a confounding factor. Future educational campaigns should indicate that glove use should not supersede HH.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

A survey was conducted to assess progress by accredited veterinary medical colleges in the United States and Canada with regard to implementation of recommendations from the North American Veterinary Medical Education Consortium (NAVMEC). Results indicated broad support for many of the recommendations and a willingness among stakeholders in veterinary medical education to accelerate their implementation. Respondents also expressed a desire for evidence-based decisions and detailed implementation planning. Many colleges of veterinary medicine reported progress on initiatives started prior to the meetings of the NAVMEC that closely aligned with NAVMEC recommendations. Only isolated progress toward implementation of system-wide recommendations that required coordination among multiple colleges of veterinary medicine and other stakeholders was identified. Survey results confirmed the need for changes to the current veterinary medical education paradigm and a commitment among many stakeholders to work together to effect these changes.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To explore the nature and content of information publicly posted to Facebook by early-career veterinarians.

Design—Cross-sectional descriptive study.

Sample—352 early-career veterinarians.

Procedures—Publicly accessible Facebook profiles were searched online from March to May 2010 for profiles of early-career veterinarians (graduates from 2004 through 2009) registered with the College of Veterinarians of Ontario, Canada. The content of veterinarians’ Facebook profiles was evaluated and then categorized as low, medium, or high exposure in terms of the information a veterinarian had publicly posted to Facebook. Through the use of content analysis, high-exposure profiles were further analyzed for publicly posted information that may have posed risks to an individual's or the profession's public image.

Results—Facebook profiles for 352 of 494 (71%) registered early-career veterinarians were located. One-quarter (25%) of profiles were categorized as low exposure (ie, high privacy), over half (54%) as medium exposure (ie, medium privacy), and 21% as high exposure (ie, low privacy). Content analysis of the high-exposure profiles identified publicly posted information that may pose risks to an individual's or the profession's reputation, including breaches of client confidentiality, evidence of substance abuse, and demeaning comments toward others.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Almost a quarter of veterinarians’ Facebook profiles viewed in the present study contained publicly available content of a questionable nature that could pose a risk to the reputation of the individual, his or her practice, or the veterinary profession. The increased use of Facebook and all types of social media points to the need for raised awareness by veterinarians of all ages of how to manage one's personal and professional identities online to minimize reputation risks for individuals and their practices and to protect the reputation and integrity of the veterinary profession.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association