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Decline in North American wild bird populations

A recent JAVMA News story 1 describing a study of bird populations over the past half-century reported that the United States and Canada have seen a net loss of 2.9 billion breeding birds since 1970, or approximately 29% of the 1970 total. Further, > 90% of these losses, or > 2.5 billion birds, were from just 12 families, including sparrows, blackbirds, warblers, and finches. Avian population declines are influenced by many factors, and we agree with Dr. Licciardi's 2 recent comments on the veterinary profession's obligation to protect our

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Changing how we think about one health

The AVMA's recent efforts lobbying Congress to support a bill requiring federal agencies to adopt a one-health approach to zoonotic disease outbreaks, as reported in JAVMA News, 1 strikes me as a poor use of member-funded resources.

Legislation requiring federal agencies to work together is notoriously ineffective. In my nearly 13 years’ experience working in or with the federal government, I have found that agencies will often pay little more than lip service to statutory requirements to collaborate if they are not already inherently incentivized to do so. The health

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Shortage or salaries?

I enjoyed reading the recent JAVMA News article “Veterinarian shortage or salaries not keeping up?” 1 The suggestion from Dr. Fred Ouedraogo that “What is happening in the veterinary profession might not be a shortage but a mismatch in price” is spot on. It should come as no surprise that there seems to be a lack of veterinarians to fill associate-level positions. Veterinarians are indeed graduating each year, but they are not taking associate jobs as readily as they used to. They are blazing their own paths, specializing, or using their veterinary degrees in

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Preparing students for practice

Dr. Milligan's letter 1 on the need for colleges of veterinary medicine to provide students an educational experience, including hands-on training, that will prepare them for general practice should be required reading for academic clinicians and veterinary college administrators. Education of interns and residents in the details of tertiary care should not, in my opinion, be the primary goal of in-clinic veterinary college training, and colleges that can't provide their students adequate in-clinic training in primary care veterinary medicine should make other provisions, without increasing educational time or student indebtedness. Primary care may not be

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Serologic testing for coccidioidomycosis

I read with interest the What Is Your Diagnosis? article by Matula and Reetz 1 featuring a dog in which coccidioidomycosis was diagnosed after travel to Arizona. Because the clinical utility of serologic testing in making the diagnosis was not discussed in the report, I would like to bring it to the attention of practitioners outside the endemic region who may occasionally see these patients.

Serum IgM and IgG antibody titers measured by means of agar gel immunodiffusion have been shown to correlate well with clinical disease 2 and are readily available through at

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Number of veterinary pathologists has increased since 2013

The recent JAVMA Facts and Figures article “A census of veterinarians in the United States” 1 includes data regarding the percentage change in numbers of diplomates for the veterinary specialty organizations recognized by the AVMA. Values given for the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP), however, differ markedly from those obtained from the college's own database. According to Figure 7 in the article, the number of ACVP diplomates decreased approximately 7% between 2013 and 2018. However, numbers in our membership database do not support these figures. Rather, the ACVP

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
More praise for being a general practitioner

Thank you very much to Meindl et al 1 for their commentary, “Never apologize for wanting to be ‘just’ a general practitioner.” Gaining acceptance to veterinary college is a challenge; graduating from veterinary college is a triumph. Going through veterinary college was the most humbling, exhausting, and awesome experience of my life. What struck me most though was not the overwhelming amount of material in the curriculum, but the often soul-crushing feeling of learning how much more I still did not know.

Given the extensive amounts of information and experiences crammed into

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Questions benefits of high carbohydrate content in canine diets

I read the article “Role of carbohydrates in the health of dogs” 1 with interest. However, I worry that the article could be seen as attempting to justify feeding diets containing carbohydrate contents similar to those commonly found in commercial pet foods (ie, 30% to 60% on a dry-matter basis). I agree with the authors that, “Dogs do not have a dietary requirement for carbohydrate, except during pregnancy and lactation.” 1 In my opinion, then, it is incumbent on pet food manufacturers to convincingly demonstrate that carbohydrate contents this

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Question regarding a cat with pheochromocytoma

I am writing regarding the recent Pathology in Practice report 1 describing a cat with a malignant pheochromocytoma that had metastasized to the skin, left kidney, mesentery, abdominal musculature, lungs, and brain. In the description of the cat's history, the authors report that a mass had been removed from the cranial aspect of the urinary bladder that, histologically, had features “consistent with a urothelial carcinoma.” A month later, the cat was referred for further evaluation because of ultrasonographic abnormalities suggestive of possible recurrence of the mass. The cat was euthanized three months later,

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
More thoughts on academic training in one health

I read with much appreciation and agreement the letter to the editor from Drs. Eyre and Brown. 1 In their letter, the authors discuss the need for expanded opportunities for one-health training and public health education for both veterinary students and postgraduate veterinarians. With an estimated 75% of newly discovered and emerging infectious diseases in people being zoonotic 2 and the looming threats related to climate change, veterinarians and animal health professionals have an important role to play in “assuring the conditions in which people can be healthy.” 3

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association