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Abstract

Objective—To determine the validity of the information on the World Wide Web concerning veterinary anesthesia in dogs and to determine the methods dog owners use to obtain that information.

Design—Web-based search and client survey.

Subjects—73 Web sites and 92 clients.

Procedures—Web sites were scored on a 5-point scale for completeness and accuracy of information about veterinary anesthesia by 3 board-certified anesthesiologists. A search for anesthetic information regarding 49 specific breeds of dogs was also performed. A survey was distributed to the clients who visited the University of Georgia Veterinary Teaching Hospital during a 4-month period to solicit data about sources used by clients to obtain veterinary medical information and the manner in which information obtained from Web sites was used.

Results—The general search identified 73 Web sites that included information on veterinary anesthesia; these sites received a mean score of 3.4 for accuracy and 2.5 for completeness. Of 178 Web sites identified through the breed-specific search, 57 (32%) indicated that a particular breed was sensitive to anesthesia. Of 83 usable, completed surveys, 72 (87%) indicated the client used the Web for veterinary medical information. Fifteen clients (18%) indicated they believed their animal was sensitive to anesthesia because of its breed.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Information available on the internet regarding anesthesia in dogs is generally not complete and may be misleading with respect to risks to specific breeds. Consequently, veterinarians should appropriately educate clients regarding anesthetic risk to their particular dog.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To characterize trends in gender, employment, starting salaries, and educational debt of graduates of US veterinary medical schools and colleges from 1988 to 2007.

Design—Meta-analysis.

Sample Population—Veterinary medical graduates from 26 or 27 of 27 US veterinary schools and colleges from 1988 through 2007.

Procedures—Data were obtained from surveys published in the JAVMA. A χ2 test for trend was used to analyze trends in choices of employment and educational indebtedness for the veterinary graduate populations over time.

Results—The greatest changes in employment occurred in predominantly large animal practice, which attracted 10.7% of new graduates in 1989 but only 2.2% in 2007, and in advanced study, which attracted 15.2% of new graduates in 1989 and 36.8% in 2007. In 2007, 75% of graduates were women, but this gender shift was not associated with the decline in the percentage of graduates entering rural practice. From 1989 through 2007, starting salaries in private practice increased at a rate of 4.60%/y. During the same period, educational debt increased at an annual rate of 7.36%, or 60% higher than the rate of increases for starting salaries. As a result, debt at graduation increased from 1.1 times the starting salary in 1989 to 2.0 times the starting salary in 2007.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Veterinary students are now more in debt than they have ever been. This trend together with a substantial increase in the rate of interest charged for government-backed education loans create conditions for new graduates that appear unsustainable.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate US consumer expenditures for veterinary services, pets-pet supplies, and pet-related services.

Design—Retrospective economic analysis.

Sample Population—US consumers from 1980 through 2005.

Procedures—Descriptive statistics and probit regressions were calculated.

Results—From 1980 to 2005, total inflation-adjusted expenditures on pet-related and veterinary services increased, as did the percentage of households with a pet-related expenditure. The percentage of households with veterinary service expenditures was fairly constant. Among households with a pet-related expenditure, the percentage purchasing veterinary services decreased. The probability for pet-related and veterinary service expenditures increased with income, education, and family size and was higher for household heads who were white, were married, owned their residence, and lived in a rural area.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Overall spending on veterinary services increased substantially, providing no indication that successful practices should change strategy. Households that spent money on veterinary services increased their spending sufficiently to exceed the loss of income for veterinarians associated with the increasing proportion of pet-owning households that did not spend anything on veterinary services. Because the probability of veterinary service expenditures was strongly related to household income, caution is suggested in planning provision of veterinary services when incomes are constrained. Among households with pet-related expenditures, the decreasing percentage of households with veterinary service expenditures suggests a growing proportion of pet owners who are not having their veterinary service needs met. Because non-white households were less likely to purchase veterinary services, the veterinary profession cannot afford to delay efforts to enhance diversity and cultural competence.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To compare published recommendations regarding biosecurity practices for various production animal species and classes.

Design—Literature review.

Population—Educational materials available on the World Wide Web that provided biosecurity recommendations for dairy cattle, beef cattle, small ruminant, swine, and poultry producers.

Procedures—Web sites for national producer organizations, university cooperative extension services, and state departments of agriculture were searched to identify educational materials with biosecurity recommendations.

Results—A single national organization was selected as representing each animal agriculture commodity group. A total of 53 university Web sites were visited, and 65 publications prepared by university cooperative extension services were identified and evaluated. Web sites for all 50 state departments of agriculture were searched, and 29 were found to have at least 1 publication related to biosecurity practices, for a total of 46 publications. Evaluation of the biosecurity recommendations revealed wide variations by source and within and among commodity groups.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that educational materials for producers contained wide variations in recommended biosecurity practices. It is possible that some producers choose not to implement biosecurity recommendations because of confusion as to the specific recommendations they should follow.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

As efforts to reduce the overpopulation and euthanasia of unwanted and unowned dogs and cats have increased, greater attention has been focused on spay-neuter programs throughout the United States. Because of the wide range of geographic and demographic needs, a wide variety of programs have been developed to increase delivery of spay-neuter services to targeted populations of animals, including stationary and mobile clinics, MASH-style operations, shelter services, feral cat programs, and services provided through private practitioners. In an effort to ensure a consistent level of care, the Association of Shelter Veterinarians convened a task force of veterinarians to develop veterinary medical care guidelines for spay-neuter programs. The guidelines consist of recommendations for preoperative care (eg, patient transport and housing, patient selection, client communication, record keeping, and medical considerations), anesthetic management (eg, equipment, monitoring, perioperative considerations, anesthetic protocols, and emergency preparedness), surgical care (eg, operating-area environment; surgical-pack preparation; patient preparation; surgeon preparation; surgical procedures for pediatric, juvenile, and adult patients; and identification of neutered animals), and postoperative care (eg, analgesia, recovery, and release). These guidelines are based on current principles of anesthesiology, critical care medicine, microbiology, and surgical practice, as determined from published evidence and expert opinion. They represent acceptable practices that are attainable in spay-neuter programs.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To assess the knowledge and use of infection control practices (ICPs) among US veterinarians.

Design—Anonymous mail-out population survey.

Procedures—In 2005 a questionnaire was mailed to US small animal, large animal, and equine veterinarians who were randomly selected from the AVMA membership to assess precaution awareness (PA) and veterinarians' perceptions of zoonotic disease risks. Respondents were assigned a PA score (0 to 4) on the basis of their responses (higher scores representing higher stringency of ICPs); within a practice type, respondents' scores were categorized as being within the upper 25% or lower 75% of scores (high and low PA ranking, respectively). Characteristics associated with low PA rankings were assessed.

Results—Generally, respondents did not engage in protective behaviors or use personal protective equipment considered appropriate to protect against zoonotic disease transmission. Small animal and equine veterinarians employed in practices that had no written infection control policy were significantly more likely to have low PA ranking. Male gender was associated with low PA ranking among small animal and large animal veterinarians; equine practitioners not working in a teaching or referral hospital were more likely to have low PA ranking than equine practitioners working in such institutions.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that most US veterinarians are not aware of appropriate personal protective equipment use and do not engage in practices that may help reduce zoonotic disease transmission. Gender differences may influence personal choices for ICPs. Provision of information and training on ICPs and establishment of written infection control policies could be effective means of improving ICPs in veterinary practices.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To gain a better understanding of sources and frequency of use of pet health information accessed by owners and assess the level of confidence in information accuracy as reported by pet owners who visit their veterinarians.

Design—Prospective study.

Sample Population—412 participants from 17 small animal veterinary clinics.

Procedures—Questionnaires pertaining to pet owners' habits related to pet health information (sources and frequency of their use and confidence in accuracy of information accessed) were distributed by front desk staff at 17 participating veterinary clinics. A cover letter was included with each survey that offered instructions for completion and assured respondents of their anonymity. All completed surveys were placed in an envelope and returned to the researchers for analysis.

Results—Results indicated that pet owners who visited their veterinarians acquired pet information from veterinarians via the telephone or in person and from family or friends more frequently than they acquired such information from the World Wide Web. Pet owners also reported more confidence in information received from veterinarians (in person and via telephone conversations), compared with information from any other accessible source.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The use of Web sites by owners as sources of pet health information will undoubtedly continue to grow. Veterinarians can play a more proactive role in helping pet owners to access reliable Web sites that provide useful pet health information, thereby providing a benefit to all parties.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association