Browse

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 53 items for :

  • Viewpoint Articles x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All

Abstract

The US dairy industry has made great strides in improving animal health over many decades, which has driven substantial improvements in economic, social, and environmental sustainability. As consumer and corporate focus on climate continues to grow, the continued need to research and improve animal health and understand its connection with the environment is integral to the success of the dairy industry. Research to address these areas can be supported by national research programs and collaboration between them. The USDA and Dairy Management Inc established a collaborative research agreement in 2007; to date, this collaboration has not explicitly focused on animal health or its intersection with the environment. It is integral to the success of animal agriculture in an ever-changing sustainability landscape that animal health is addressed as a key piece of socioeconomic and environmental sustainability. An academic-industry stakeholder committee reached a consensus that supported this idea and identified that it is equally important to communicate these research findings with consumers in a way that resonates. The purpose of this Viewpoint article is to highlight that national research programs at the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s National Animal Disease Center and Dairy Management Inc can and should play an important role in supporting and facilitating research at the intersection of animal health and sustainability broadly.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

General practice veterinarians (GPs) are often faced with the question of which services they should provide themselves and which are more appropriately the province of board-certified specialists. The growing availability of specialty care, the expectations of many pet owners for advanced care resembling that which they receive, the expanding availability of new and more technologically sophisticated interventions, and many less easily defined shifts in the economic and cultural context of veterinary medicine all add to the pressure to limit services in general practice and refer more patients to specialists. However, the criteria for making decisions about referral are often ill-defined and controversial. Furthermore, most GPs are trained by specialists in secondary or tertiary care institutions, providing them with a perspective that may not reflect the realities of the general practice environment.While each referral decision for a specific patient must be made in the unique context of that case, reflection and discussion concerning relevant general principles can help GPs build a rational foundation for making such decisions. The principles and methods of evidence-based medicine and the expanding concept of a spectrum of care can usefully inform decision-making about referral. It is also critical that all stakeholders contribute to discussion of these questions and to the training of veterinarians so that the next generation will be prepared to shape and embody the role of GP in a manner that best meets the needs of patients, pet owners, and veterinarians themselves.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Volatile anesthetic agents are potent greenhouse gases with warming potential hundreds to thousands of times greater than CO2. As health systems, both human and veterinary, seek to reduce their environmental impacts, responsible anesthetic stewardship is a topic of great interest. Through an online survey, we explored the levels of awareness, beliefs, interest, needs, and current actions of veterinary anesthesia professionals around the climate impacts of anesthetic care. We found that even within a respondent group with specialized training and experience, there were significant knowledge gaps about anesthesia’s environmental impacts. We also found there is much interest in learning more about climate-friendly anesthesia and broader sustainability initiatives for the veterinary profession. Fortunately, there already exist many ways for the profession to reduce our environmental impact while still providing excellent patient care. In this article, we explore 5 broad categories of action: (1) reducing the overall quantity of anesthetic agent used; (2) choosing lower-impact anesthetics; (3) considering the fate of the anesthetic end product; (4) expanding learning through formal education, experience, and research; and (5) reaching beyond anesthesia to implement a range of sustainability initiatives at veterinary workplaces. Together, we have an opportunity to create a healthier future for our world, our patients, and each other.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Supply chain issues disrupt veterinary care and cause downstream consequences that alter the practice of veterinary medicine. Antimicrobials are just 1 class of pharmaceuticals that have been impacted by supply chain issues over the last couple of years. Since February 2021, 2 sponsors/manufacturers of penicillin products have reported shortages in the active pharmaceutical ingredient. With the release of the 2021 Summary Report on Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed for Use in Food-Producing Animals by the FDA, a key finding was a 19% decrease in penicillin sales and distribution from 2020 to 2021. Herein, we provide our clinicians’ professional perspective regarding how drug shortages, specifically that of penicillin, might contribute to misconstrued patterns in antimicrobial use and what can be done by veterinarians and the FDA to minimize the impact of an antimicrobial drug shortage on animal health and well-being.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Global and national authorities have not historically approached animal health emergencies through a gendered lens. Yet these events almost certainly have gendered dimensions, such as differential engagement of women or men depending on their culturally accepted or assigned roles for animal care; risk of exposure to zoonoses; and access to emergency resources during response and recovery. Despite the role that gender seems to play with respect to animal health emergencies, little research has been conducted to better understand such dynamics, and little policy has been promulgated to address it in a way that optimizes response while ensuring equitable outcomes. This piece summarizes 3 key themes that emerged from a panel discussion on gender and animal health emergencies at the World Organisation for Animal Health Global Conference on Emergency Management in April 2023. These themes were differential gendered exposure to pathogens; a lack of equitable gender representation in animal health decision-making; and enhancement of pathways for recognizing gender in national and international actions in preparing for, detecting, and responding to animal health emergencies. Beyond increasing opportunities for women to engage in leadership, the animal health and veterinary communities will benefit from connecting practitioners with gender experts to develop more integrative approaches to emergency preparedness and management. Animal health professionals should also advocate for further research to elucidate gender-specific dynamics in human populations in the context of animal emergencies and the promulgation of evidence-based policies. Such transformative efforts will lead to better outcomes for all people who depend on and provide care for animals.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

In this review, we examine mammalian body size as it reflects life history and genomic composition, with a primary focus on canids and the domestication of the gray wolf. The range of variation in body size is greater among Carnivora than any other terrestrial order. In the Canidae, this range is some 2 orders of magnitude. Macroevolutionary patterns (eg, Bergmann’s rule and Cope’s rule) that have been proposed in the past often fail to comport with modern studies on this aspect of carnivoran evolution. Clades often begin with small to medium size (mesocarnivorans) and diversify mostly in a right-skewed (larger) direction. The observed variation in body size reflects phenotypic plasticity in response to life history. As with many Mammalia, historically high gene flow (hybridization and introgression) among canid lineages has been a crucial source of genomic variation (nuclear and mitochondrial), yielding the potential for high plasticity of phenotypes such as body size. In addition, epigenetic marks connect genetic expression with environmental conditions in the manifested phenotypes. Among Mammalia generally, a larger size is associated with a longer life span, reflecting the foregoing genomic composition and environmental influences over a long geological time. However, the larger modern domestic dog breeds trend toward shorter life spans. The latter appears to reflect genetically mediated phenotypes that emerged secondary to domestication but nonetheless against a background of broadly and deeply conserved developmental and physiological patterns and body plans.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Discrete choice methods (DCMs) are a suite of research techniques for identifying individual preferences using choice information. Widely utilized by other fields yet rarely employed in veterinary research, DCMs have tremendous potential to improve veterinary healthcare by understanding and incorporating owner and veterinary professionals' (encompassing veterinarians, veterinary clinicians, technicians, receptionists, attendants, etc) preferences to optimize the care continuum. DCMs have several advantages over other stated preference methods, such as ranking and ratings, including improved data quality and actionability. However, they are not a panacea, and limitations that may affect DCMs' application to the veterinary field are outlined alongside realistic mitigation strategies. The information provided aims to increase awareness of DCMs and their utility in veterinary research and encourage greater uptake as a more robust method for measuring preferences.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

The purpose of this viewpoint is to discuss the risks associated with offering clinic-backed payment plans, with a particular focus on financial risks. We provide a financial calculator tool that clinics can use with their financial information to make more informed decisions about whether implementing clinic-backed payment plans are viable for them. Realistic but hypothetical financial information for a clinic is used to simulate financial evaluations, including cash flow budget analysis, multivariate sensitivity analysis, and risk assessment to help clinics better understand these evaluations. Our simulations show that even under high default rates, the revenue benefits outweigh the labor costs and could bring higher profitability to clinics while increasing access to care for clients and patients.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

The challenge of meeting pet healthcare demands with inadequate staff resources creates legal and ethical considerations for the veterinary profession. Inadequate staffing can result in access to care issues that impact companion animal health, public health, and the human animal bond. An overburdened work environment may also result in liability issues related to standard of care, client dissatisfaction, and subsequent complaints. The following recommendations may ameliorate the legal and ethical impacts to include: a focus on how to optimize current resources (human and technology); improve client communications and medical record-keeping strategies; promote preventive care; develop and memorialize clinical standard operating procedures; and prioritize staff well-being to prevent burn out. These recommendations should be considered good practices when functioning under optimal conditions but are even more valuable to implement effectively in an overburdened companion animal medicine environment.

Full access

Abstract

Studies in human medicine indicate that between 22,000 and 400,000 people die every year as a direct result of medical errors. In veterinary medicine, 42% of human-caused incidents caused harm to the patient, including 5% resulting in death. In a university veterinary teaching hospital, there were 5.3 errors/1,000 patient visits, and 4 of these resulted in death. Veterinary medicine falls far behind other safety-critical industries in adopting a culture of patient safety. Organizations should respond in a just and effective way when errors occur. Psychological safety for team members to identify and speak up about areas of concern must be created and the results of improvements made based on these concerns shared within the professional group. If veterinary medicine is going to embrace patient safety culture, it needs to be included in the curriculum. Accrediting and licensing bodies need to require the teaching and application of principles of patient safety culture. Faculty must be trained to deliver patient safety–oriented care. Experts in human systems engineering should be brought in to educate veterinarians on how the systems we work in impact patient outcomes. If we are going to fulfill the promise of the Veterinarian’s Oath, we must embrace patient safety culture and all the difficult changes it requires of our professional culture.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association