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Surviving veterinary medicine

I appreciate the recent letter from Dr. Shagufta Mulla. 1 Unfortunately, there are far too few qualified mental health professionals to meet the need. And even if there were, most people do not have the funds or adequate insurance to cover therapy. For many people, therefore, the only options are friends and family, a support group, and insightful books.

I can recommend three books that I have found particularly effective for myself and many others. I have no financial interest in their purchase or promotion. They are listed in no particular order. One note of caution:

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Advancing diversity and inclusion in the veterinary profession

A recent JAVMA News story 1 and subsequent letter to the editor 2 discussed concerns about diversity and inclusion at the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine (ISU CVM). Increasing diversity in veterinary medicine is a priority for our profession, and Iowa State University will continue to work diligently to be part of the solution. We welcome contributions from members of the ISU CVM community, such as our students and Dr. John Andrews in his letter, 2 that help us better understand the challenges and opportunities

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Animal agriculture and global food security

I would like to expand on Dr. Gwendolen Reyes-Illg's letter 1 related to veterinary medicine and global food security. 1 The growing Western market for plant-based meat alternatives is all very well and good but we should not ignore the urgent need for improved veterinary services, particularly those related to disease prevention and surveillance, in poor rural communities around the world. Farmed animals are vital to local economies and the nutrient needs of the people, providing food, labor, capital resources, and fertilizer and fuel from manure.

Regrettably, in many developing countries, veterinary

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
A different view on veterinary medicine and global food security

In her recent letter to the editor, Dr. Reyes-Illg 1 asserts that “the livestock sector is responsible for roughly 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, a higher share than that attributed to transportation,” citing a report 2 from the Food and Agricultural Association of the United Nations. However, that report was released in 2006, and the calculations have since been drastically revised downward. More recent reports conclude that total emissions from global livestock production represent 14.5% of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions 3 and production of livestock in

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Intestinal echinococcosis in a dog from Missouri

We read with interest the recent report1 of a 17-week-old German Shepherd Dog with no history of travel outside the state of Missouri in which Echinococcus multilocularis infection was documented through histologic examination of a full-thickness jejunal biopsy specimen and a PCR assay. This appears to have been the first documented case of infection with this zoonotic parasite in a dog in the contiguous United States. In previous studies,2 5 of 123 farm dogs in southwestern Minnesota were positive for E multilocularis coproantigens by means

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Journal clubs for veterinary practitioners

I enjoyed the description of a virtual journal club devoted to veterinary pharmacology, 1 and I applaud the authors for forming and maintaining their group. Given that the title of the commentary included veterinary practitioners, I would have liked to see additional advice or best practices for a private practice setting. A just-in-time mindset for acquiring new knowledge for application to patients or production animals might be more appealing. Veterinarians could join virtually with individuals in similar types of practice and use the steps of evidence-based veterinary medicine (EBVM) as a template for selecting

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Diversity and inclusion at Iowa State University

As a graduate and former faculty member of the Iowa State University (ISU) College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM), I read with great interest the recent JAVMA News story 1 “Veterinary colleges continue to face diversity, inclusion challenges,” which discusses the recent censure of the ISU CVM administration by the ISU Student Government Senate (SGS). 2 The article highlights the difficult issue of social equity but fails to consider the need for a CVM to pursue a carefully crafted mission and vision. There must be a balance between the two.

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Veterinary medicine and global food security

I was pleased to see the recent JAVMA commentary on the important role the veterinary profession can play in ensuring global food security. 1

One important issue that I believe warrants more emphasis is the connection between increased consumption of animal products and global environmental harm. The authors note that climate change and overexploitation of land and water resources worsen global food shortages. Animal agriculture disproportionately contributes to both. A report 2 from the Food and Agricultural Association of the United Nations notes that the livestock sector is responsible for roughly

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Rabies surveillance

I am writing in regard to the recently published report from the CDC on rabies surveillance in the United States during 2018. 1 Table 6 in that report lists numbers of reported human and animal contacts with baits containing an oral rabies vaccine during 2018 and indicates that there was one adverse event reported following human contact with a bait containing the vaccinia-rabies glycoprotein recombinant vaccine. Although there was indeed a report, this event appeared to represent only a temporal association with the bait and not a true adverse event. Therefore, we wanted to provide additional details

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Vaccine hesitancy and rabies vaccination

I would like to comment on the recent JAVMA News story “Vaccine hesitancy.” 1 In my own practice, I vaccinate judiciously on the basis of each individual pet's exposure risk, the most current information from vaccinologists, recommendations from professional organizations such as the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, 2 and, in the case of rabies, the laws of the state in which the owner resides. For rabies, dogs and cats not vaccinated in accordance with state law face extended quarantine or, potentially, euthanasia if they bite a person or

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association