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Observations from rabies surveillance and COVID-19

We would like to share ideas on the publication “Rabies surveillance in the United States during 2020.” 1 According to Ma et al, the number of rabies samples submitted in the US dipped below 90,000 for the first time since 2006; this is thought to be due to factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as similar declines in sample submission were also observed in Canada and Mexico. 1 We agree that the COVID-19 outbreak has the potential to alter local disease prevalence. It’s possible that this is due to disease control lockdown

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
The role of carbohydrates in feline diets

In the Timely Topics in Nutrition review article “Evidence does not support the controversy regarding carbohydrates in feline diets,” 1 the authors suggest that, for healthy cats, an upper limit of 50% of calories coming from carbohydrates in their diets is acceptable. But they also state that low-carbohydrate diets can help diabetic cats and achieve remission. 1 How are we to know that a cat is diabetic until it has been fed a high-carbohydrate, diabetogenic diet, to which, admittedly, many cats adapt. But they can develop other health consequences, which these

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Author: Peter Eyre
Characteristics of educational debt

Educational debt is a huge societal liability. Americans owe more than $1.7 trillion in educational loans, of which veterinarians hold about $400 million.

The recent article “Characteristics of and comparisons between US fourth-year veterinary students graduating with and without educational debt from 2001 through 2020” 1 —authored by the AVMA’s Veterinary Economics and Publications Divisions—describes the first in-depth analysis of the debt characteristics of veterinary students and graduates. I commend the AVMA for sponsoring this excellent study. According to the report, as tuition and fees escalated during the last 2 decades, the mean student debt at

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Concerns about <italic toggle="yes">JAVMA</italic> News article

We would like to comment on the JAVMA News article in the November 15, 2021, issue “Taking the chronic out of enteropathies.” 1 The article discusses the use of a panel of new serologic tests for inflammatory bowel disease, relying heavily on a research paper published in 2021 in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine (JVIM) by Estruch et al. 2 However, the News article fails to mention that the results of this study have been questioned due to lack of reporting and analytical assay

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
The promise of precision medicine

We were encouraged to read “Tailoring medicine by reading the code for life” 1 by Greg Cima in the January 1, 2022, issue of JAVMA. The points put forward in the article were timely, clear, and well reasoned. They made it obvious that the explosion of precision medicine tools available in human medicine has begun to allow veterinary medicine to adopt analogous tools. We think it critical to also emphasize one of the most impactful and common applications of precision medicine in humans: the use of genomic diagnostics in oncology. A genomic

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
COVID-19 pandemic and veterinary telehealth

We would like to share ideas on the publication “Veterinarians’ perceptions of COVID-19 pandemic–related influences on veterinary telehealth and on pet owners’ attitudes toward cats and dogs.” 1 Dubin et al concluded that telemedicine use increased during the COVID-19 outbreak, and there was a similar concern of pet owners for SARS-CoV-2 virus transmission from cats versus dogs. 1 During the pandemic, telecare became a widely used tool. Availability of communication network and affordability of telecommunication are main concerns for telecare users. 2 We agree with the usefulness of a telecare system, but

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
AVMA Future Leaders

I was very disappointed to see this article 1 written without credit to the AVMA Future Leaders Class of 2015-2016 who researched and spearheaded the inclusion of the ProQOL survey into the AVMA annual survey that facilitated this wonderful research. I am a member of that future leaders class and task force, and a large amount of work went into determining a validated questionnaire that could serve the profession and individuals as an evaluative mental health tool. In addition, requesting permission to use the tool and then meeting with the AVMA Economics colleagues to include it into their survey was all

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Author: Jason Doll
Workforce crisis

This letter serves as a response to the article “Are we in a veterinary workforce crisis? Understanding our reality can guide us to a solution” 1 published in the September 15, 2021, JAVMA. I want to first commend you on publishing this article as it certainly made a statement that does address one of the largest issues facing our profession: staff shortage. However, I believe that the main issue in this article is the proposed solution of the authors. It hearkens back to “work/life balance” conversations in veterinary school, where it was more about being

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Ventilation shutdown

The JAVMA recently published a report 1 on the use of ventilation shutdown with high temperature and humidity (VSD+TH) for de-population of 243,016 pigs. While the report suggests its findings could guide future use of this method, my conclusion differs: ventilation shutdown, in any form, entails enormous suffering for the animals involved, and our profession must urgently take measures to ensure it is never used again.

The AVMA Guidelines for the Depopulation of Animals find that, in some circumstances, VSD is acceptable if at least 95% mortality is achieved within an hour. 2 The

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
First, do no harm

I have subscribed to JAVMA for 39 years. During that time, it has connected me to colleagues, brought news of scientific and clinical advances, and helped me find jobs and hire associates. Through all this time I have looked to JAVMA to establish and maintain the standards of news reporting in our profession. Therefore, it was with surprise, sadness, and disappointment that I read the article about Dr. James Cook in the June 15, 2021, issue. 1

The article on Dr. Cook references lay publications that were factually incorrect. The article quotes

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association