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Questions on statistical methods

Regarding the report by Rovel et al1 titled “Evaluation of standing low-field magnetic resonance imaging for diagnosis of advanced distal interphalangeal primary degenerative joint disease in horses: 12 cases (2010–2014),” I was disappointed to see what I believe to be clear critical flaws in the statistical methods. First, t tests were performed on data that were not collected from a random sample. Second, ordinal grade data were treated as continuous measurements.

Specifically, t tests should be reserved for data collected from random samples, whereas this study was a case series,

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Animal welfare regulations in the United Kingdom

Last year, the British Parliament passed new regulations under the United Kingdom's 2006 Animal Welfare Act stating that “[n]o dog may be kept for breeding if it can reasonably be expected, on the basis of its genotype, phenotype or state of health that breeding from it could have a detrimental effect on its health or welfare or the health or welfare of its offspring.”1 These new regulations came into effect on October 1, 2018, but how they will be enforced is still an open question. Also, although the regulations specifically apply

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Life expectancy in female veterinarians

In their recent study, Tomasi et al1 found that the proportionate mortality ratio (PMR) for suicide among veterinarians, whether in clinical or nonclinical positions, was higher than the ratio for the general population in the United States and was higher for female veterinarians than for male veterinarians. Although more than two-thirds of the 398 veterinarians in their database who died by suicide were < 65 years of age, 45 of the 72 (63%) female veterinarians were between 25 and 44 years of age, compared with 74 of the 326 (23%) male veterinarians. The

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Suicide among veterinarians

I found the recent study1 on suicide among US veterinarians to be both interesting and balanced. The subject matter is quite broad, and it would be interesting to see follow-up studies on how proportionate mortality ratios for suicide among veterinarians compared with ratios for physicians and individuals in other professions, along with studies comparing ratios for associate veterinarians versus veterinary practice owners.

In their discussion, the authors speculated that one factor that may help to explain the high risk of suicide among veterinarians was the fact that “veterinarians are trained to view euthanasia as an

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
More on nonoperative treatment of cranial cruciate ligament rupture

I read with great interest the letter to the editor1 and authors’ response2 concerning the study by von Pfeil et al3 on preferred methods for treating cranial cruciate ligament rupture in dogs weighing > 15 kg (33 lb). I was especially pleased to see the study by Vasseur4 mentioned because this is a landmark paper whose conclusions, to my knowledge, have not been disputed in the published literature in the 34 years since it was published. I have quoted the finding from that

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Reassessing prerequisites

I disagree with the suggestion by Moore et al 1 that we should reassess the prerequisites for admission to veterinary college. I started veterinary school in 1954, graduated in 1958, and am still practicing. Preveterinary and veterinary school were both quite pleasurable for me. I learned a wealth of knowledge that I still use, and I still love practicing and using what was presented to me during my school training. It was fun, not anxiety producing or stressful. Don't eliminate physics and organic chemistry. Physics is a prerequisite for radiology, and organic chemistry is the basis for

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Reassessing admission requirements

Moore et al,1 in their study on courses required for admission to colleges of veterinary medicine, suggested that there might be some benefit for first-year veterinary students in replacing current prerequisite courses in organic chemistry and physics with courses in anatomy, physiology, and histology. Coincidentally, in a conversation with a college classmate—himself a physician—several months ago, we agreed that we felt at a bit of a disadvantage, compared with our veterinary and medical school classmates who had had prior exposure to anatomy, physiology, and histology before being immersed in those disciplines during our first year

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Reducing numbers of homeless dogs and cats

We appreciate the recent article by Phillips et al1 concerning steps private practitioners can take to help reduce the number of homeless dogs and cats and shelter euthanasia rates. This issue is of great importance, and we applaud the multiple points the authors make to address the problem. However, we argue that assisting with feral cat colony management is not beneficial either to the cats themselves or to wildlife in the area.

Under a one-health approach, veterinarians must balance the health and needs of animals, humans, and the environment. In our

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Surgical versus nonsurgical treatment of cranial cruciate ligament rupture in dogs

The recent report by von Pfeil et al1 provides results of a cross-sectional survey of Veterinary Orthopedic Society members regarding their preferences for surgical treatment of cranial cruciate ligament rupture in dogs weighing > 15 kg (33 lb). Although the study achieved its stated objective, it notably did not assess respondents’ attitudes toward nonsurgical treatment options for such dogs.

The report reminded me of a similar situation involving human patients with moderate to severe knee osteoarthritis. For years, total knee replacement was considered so obviously successful for

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Advising clients on use of cannabis

Given the more than 2 decades since medical use of cannabis in humans was first legalized, it is not surprising that researchers, veterinarians, and pet owners alike are asking whether cannabis is safe or effective in animals.1 Currently, 30 states have legalized marijuana use in people, including 10 states that have legalized both medical and recreational use, and another 13 states have passed laws allowing some limited medical uses of marijuana. The US FDA has approved 3 cannabinoid-based drugs, including, most recently, Epidiolex, which contains cannabidiol and has been approved for use

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association