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On bats and rabies

The recent JAVMA News article 1 pointing out that bats are the leading rabies vector in the United States was a timely reminder that bats pose a risk of causing rabies and that avoiding contact with bats and other wildlife is one of the best ways to protect oneself from rabies. However, it is important to remember that human rabies is rare in the United States, with only one to three cases reported annually and only 42 cases reported in the United States between January 2003 and October 2018. 2 Of the

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Experiences with passive restraint of cats

The recent JAVMA News story “Study looks at which method proves best to restrain cats” 1 describes results of a study examining cat welfare during handling. The authors concluded that passive restraint was less stressful and caused less struggling than did full-body restraint for cats undergoing routine physical examinations.

I have advocated for this approach since the mid-1960s when Dr. James Beckley, a private practitioner in Fairbanks, Alaska, introduced me to his method. For this method, a short (approx 2 feet in length) soft cord was prepared with loops at each

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
The one-health challenge for academic veterinary medicine

An important challenge for veterinary medicine is deciding how to embrace the concept of one health in ways that will enhance the profession's role in society. We argue that the place to begin addressing this challenge is in the veterinary colleges and suggest that it is essential that students be schooled in one-health principles throughout their veterinary education. In addition, colleges have an obligation to develop a cadre of veterinarians with the advanced knowledge and skills necessary for careers in population health. This will require specialized education.

At a minimum, we believe that

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
One health and domestic violence

I want to thank Hodgson et al 1 for their recent commentary on engaging family physicians in one health and their discussion of how focusing on the human-animal bond can enhance patient care for both physicians and veterinarians.

However, it is also important to remember the role the human-animal bond can sometimes play in connection with violence in the home, whether domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, or other forms of interpersonal violence. It has been shown, for example, that 71% of battered women report that their abuser threatened to harm, did harm, or

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Starting salaries and educational debt of year-2018 veterinary college graduates

Our thanks to Drs. Bain and Salois for bringing back an improved summary report 1 of the AVMA's annual survey of fourth-year veterinary medical students. We especially value the information regarding benefits and the histograms showing distributions of starting salaries and educational debt for new graduates, and we appreciate that mean and median values for educational debt accumulated during veterinary college were calculated both including and excluding respondents reporting zero debt.

That said, we also believe that providing some additional information would be beneficial. For example, it is good

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
The benefits of international engagement

We want to thank AVMA President John de Jong for his May president's column entitled “The importance of building relationships with our international colleagues.” 1 As holders of the International Veterinary Congress Prize, we have collectively spent many decades working in international veterinary medicine, and we appreciate that Dr. de Jong mentions several salient points in his column. He notes that veterinary colleagues across the globe have common objectives aimed at improving the lives of people and animals. Further, he mentions building relationships with veterinary associations worldwide and suggests that because the AVMA represents

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
More on instructor quality

The recent letter to the editor 1 about the need to address instructor quality in the accreditation standards for colleges of veterinary medicine struck a chord with me. I know through personal experience that students may learn very little from courses with poor instructors. Thus, I agree with Drs. Royal and Bailey that it would be beneficial for veterinary colleges to provide their instructors with training opportunities to increase teaching effectiveness. However, I do not believe that simply offering such courses would ensure quality instruction. I would like to add to their suggestion by recommending

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Toxicosis in dogs associated with ointments containing 5-fluorouracil

We agree with Glass et al 1 that more should be done to warn patients and physicians of the risks of 5-fluorouracil poisoning in pets.

The fatality rate in dogs with 5-fluorouracil toxicosis is reportedly as high as 48% to 64%. 2 , a,b Toxic signs include gastrointestinal and neurologic abnormalities followed by bone marrow suppression. However, bone marrow suppression is uncommonly seen because most animals with severe toxicosis do not survive long enough to develop hematologic effects. 3

We have previously described 33 cases of 5-fluorouracil ingestion involving dogs

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
What can we agree on?

Over the past almost 4 decades that I have been involved with the veterinary profession, there have been numerous major studies 1 examining the state of the profession. Most have largely agreed on the challenges, but the continued existence of these challenges proves our efforts to address them have fallen short. Do we need another study, or do we need a different approach?

To galvanize broad-based action, the first step is to agree on the problems. But igniting true motivation for change will require understanding the potential impacts of those problems to prioritize them

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Rights versus responsibilities

I am in full agreement with Dr. Owens' comments on transitioning canine blood banks to community-based programs. 1 However, I take exception to the suggestion that such a move respects the “essential rights” of these dogs. Such terminology, I believe, risks opening a Pandora's box. I would rather use a phrase that a classmate of mine, Dr. Grant Hobika, first brought to my attention. He said that he did not believe in animal rights, but rather in human responsibilities. I personally find this to be a more comprehensive and more definable term, without raising concerns about

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association