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Abstract

Objective—To determine the extent of use of cytology as a diagnostic method in veterinary practice and assess how veterinarians in practice communicate with veterinary clinical pathologists.

Design—Online survey.

Study Population—870 veterinarians.

Procedures—An online survey was made available to members of the Veterinary Information Network from October 1, 2004, through December 1, 2004.

Results—Respondents reported obtaining a median of 7 cytology samples weekly (range, 0 to 100). On average, respondents reported that 48.1% of the samples they collected were evaluated in-house, 29.5% were submitted to a veterinary diagnostic laboratory, and 21.6% were evaluated in-house and then submitted to a diagnostic laboratory. Most respondents (89.2%) reported using cytologic assessments to guide additional testing, and most (80.3%) indicated that they found the comments section of the cytology report to be the most important section. When asked to indicate the importance of various factors in their decision to use cytology as a diagnostic method, respondents overwhelmingly indicated that accuracy was very important. The most common reasons for consulting with a clinical pathologist were to discuss a discrepancy between clinical and cytologic findings, to clarify a diagnosis, and to ascertain the pathologist's confidence in a diagnosis. Respondents expressed more confidence in results when board-certified clinical pathologists were examining cytology samples than when others were.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that improving communication between veterinary practitioners and veterinary clinical pathologists could enhance the diagnostic value of cytologic examinations and improve clinical decision-making.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To compare veterinarians' and pet owners' perceptions of client expectations with respect to the monetary aspects of veterinary care and identify challenges encountered by veterinarians in dealing with pet owners' expectations.

Design—Qualitative study based on focus group interviews.

Participants—6 pet owner focus groups (32 owners) and 4 veterinarian focus groups (24 companion animal veterinarians).

Procedures—Independent focus group sessions were conducted with standardized open-ended questions and follow-up probes. Content analysis was performed on the focus group discussions.

Results—Pet owners expected the care of their animal to take precedence over monetary aspects. They also expected veterinarians to initiate discussions of costs upfront but indicated that such discussions were uncommon. Veterinarians and pet owners differed in the way they related to discussions of veterinary costs. Veterinarians focused on tangibles, such as time and services. Pet owners focused on outcome as it related to their pet's health and well-being. Veterinarians reported that they sometimes felt undervalued for their efforts. A suspicion regarding the motivation behind veterinarians' recommendations surfaced among some participating pet owners.

Conclusions—Results suggested that the monetary aspects of veterinary care pose barriers and challenges for veterinarians and pet owners. By exploring clients' expectations, improving communication, educating clients, and making discussions of cost more common, veterinarians may be able to alleviate some of the monetary challenges involved in veterinarian-client-patient interactions.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To examine the effects of euthanasia rates, euthanasia practices, and human resource practices on the turnover rate among employees with euthanasia responsibilities at animal shelters.

Design—Cross-sectional original study.

Sample Population—36 shelters across the United States that employed at least 5 full-time employees and performed euthanasia on site.

Procedures—By mail, 1 survey was sent to each shelter. Surveys were completed by a senior member of management and were returned by mail. Questions assessed characteristics (eg, euthanasia rates) and practices of the animal shelter, along with employee turnover rates. By use of correlation coefficients and stepwise regression analyses, key predictors of turnover rates among employees with euthanasia responsibilities were investigated.

Results—Employee turnover rates were positively related to euthanasia rate. Practices that were associated with decreased turnover rates included provision of a designated euthanasia room, exclusion of other live animals from vicinity during euthanasia, and removal of euthanized animals from a room prior to entry of another animal to be euthanized. Making decisions regarding euthanasia of animals on the basis of factors other than behavior and health reasons was related to increased personnel turnover. With regard to human resources practices, shelters that used a systematic personnel selection procedure (eg, standardized testing) had comparatively lower employee turnover.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Data obtained may suggest several specific avenues that can be pursued to mitigate turnover among employees with euthanasia responsibilities at animal shelters and animal control or veterinary medical organizations.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

The report provided here contains a simplified set of diagnostic testing recommendations. These recommendations were developed on the basis of research funded by the USDA–Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service–Veterinary Services through a cooperative agreement. The report is intended to provide simple, practical, cost-effective consensus testing recommendations for cattle herds that are not enrolled in the US Test-Negative Program. 1 The information has been reviewed by paratuberculosis (Johne's disease) experts at the USDA and academic centers as well as stakeholders in various segments of the cattle industry. The recommendations were accepted by the National Johne's Working Group and Johne's Disease Committee of the US Animal Health Association during their annual meetings in October 2006.

The report is intended to aid veterinarians who work with cattle producers in the United States. The recommendations are based on information available up to October 2006. There is a paucity of large-scale, high-quality studies of multiple tests conducted on samples obtained from the same cattle. It is understood that there may be special circumstances that require deviation from these recommendations. Furthermore, as new information becomes available and assays are improved and their accuracy is critically evaluated, changes to these recommendations may be necessary.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To identify clinical signs associated with and outcome of human exposure to Micotil 300 (tilmicosin injection).

Design—Retrospective case series.

Study Population—Reports of 3,168 human exposures to Micotil 300.

Procedures—Reports of human exposure to Micotil 300 submitted to the Elanco Animal Health Pharmacovigilance Unit between March 1992 and March 2005 were reviewed.

Results—At least 1 clinical sign was described in 1,404 (44%) reports, whereas the remaining 1,764 (56%) exposures were presumably asymptomatic. Eighty percent of exposures involved males; mean age was 38 years. Sixty-one percent of exposures were a result of accidental injection, with injection site pain, bleeding, swelling, or inflammation being the most common signs, followed by nausea, tachycardia, dizziness, anxiety, an abnormal taste, headache, lightheadedness, limb pain, paresthesia, chest pain, and soreness. Only 156 (5%) reports involved serious adverse effects (ie, tachycardia, bradycardia, hypertension, hypotension, heart disorder, chest pain, tachypnea, or death). There were reports of 13 deaths following tilmicosin exposure, but only 2 of those deaths were related to accidental exposure. Time to onset of clinical signs was ≤ 60 minutes in 63 of the 156 (40%) reports involving serious adverse effects.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that the overall risk of accidental human exposure to tilmicosin resulting in serious adverse effects is low (approx 2 people for every 1 million doses administered). Nevertheless, safe handling and proper use should be emphasized.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To examine changes between 1996 and 2004 in regard to numbers of animals handled, medical care provided, expenses, numbers of employees, and agency policies for animal care and control agencies in Ohio.

Design—Cross-sectional survey.

Sample Population—223 animal care and control agencies.

Procedures—A questionnaire was mailed to animal care and control agencies in Ohio to collect information for 2004; results were compared with published results of a similar survey.

Results—165 of the 223 (74%) agencies responded. Estimated total number of animals handled in 2004 was 315,519, which represented a decrease of 7% compared with 1996. However, although number of dogs taken in decreased 17%, number of cats taken in increased 20%. Between 1996 and 2004, the euthanasia rate decreased from 65.3% to 56.8%, and the adoption rate increased from 24.5% to 33.6%. Number of dogs euthanatized decreased 39%, but number of cats euthanatized increased 14%. The proportion of agencies with a spay-neuter policy increased from 56% to 71%, and the proportion that maintained an association with a veterinarian increased from 39% to 80%. For dogs handled by county dog warden agencies, the odds of euthanasia were higher if the agency did not have a spay-neuter policy (odds ratio, 1.36).

Conclusions—Results suggest that the status of dogs handled by animal care and control agencies in Ohio improved between 1996 and 2004, but that the status of cats deteriorated.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association