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History

A 9.5-year-old 20.4-kg spayed female Border Collie was referred to the oncology service of Washington State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital for evaluation of a right anal gland mass and hypercalcemia. The referring veterinarian had evaluated the dog 3 weeks earlier for a 1- to 2-year history of alopecia, polydipsia, polyuria, and polyphagia; noticed a right anal gland mass; and then performed a CBC, serum biochemical analyses, serum thyroid and parathyroid panels, and abdominal ultrasonography. The CBC and thyroid panel results were within reference limits; however, the biochemical analyses revealed mildly high serum alanine aminotransferase (141 U/L; reference range, 18

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine whether career choice and starting salary of new DVM graduates in the US were associated with their educational debt accrued during veterinary school.

SAMPLE

Up to 48,527 fourth-year students at US veterinary schools who responded to the AVMA Senior Survey in 2001 through 2021 and accepted a full-time position or advanced education opportunity.

PROCEDURES

To determine whether career choice was associated with educational debt, multiple linear regression was performed, controlling for graduation year, gender, age, marital status, having children, tuition level, and school location. The correlation between educational debt and starting salary was also determined.

RESULTS

On average, mean educational debt increased by $6,110 each successive year. A mean of 60.5% of respondents accepted positions in private practice (public practice, 3.3%; advanced education, 36.2%). Respondents choosing public practice had a mean of $24,913 less debt than those choosing advanced education, controlling for other factors. Respondents choosing public practice also had less debt than those choosing private practice, but debt did not differ significantly between private practice and advanced education. The correlation between educational debt and starting salary was significant but low (r = 0.177).

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Findings suggested that the amount of debt incurred during veterinary school was associated with new veterinarians’ career paths. Notably, graduates with higher debt levels appeared to seek higher paying jobs or clinical training that might lead to higher paying jobs, leaving public practice—a field in which critical needs have been identified—underrepresented despite the availability of loan forgiveness programs and other incentives.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate the Brucella suis exposure status of pigs raised with outdoor access on farms in New York State and assess biosecurity and management practices of those farms.

ANIMALS

250 pigs that were raised for commercial purposes, had access to the outdoors, and were > 4 months of age on 24 farms in New York State.

PROCEDURES

Farms were randomly selected from a sampling frame generated for the study and contacted to recruit them to participate. Participating farms were provided a questionnaire to complete. Up to 30 pigs per farm were tested for serum anti-Brucella antibodies.

RESULTS

Farm were classified as seasonal and year round. Seasonal farms raised pigs for slaughter, and year-round farms bred pigs, raised them for slaughter, and sold live pigs to others to raise. None of the 250 pigs had antibodies to Brucella spp. Nevertheless, the biosecurity assessment revealed a need for enhanced practices in procurement and management of swine in a wide range of areas.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

There was no evidence for ongoing B suis infection on these swine farms in New York State, but biosecurity and preventive practices at these facilities could be improved to prevent the introduction and spread of B suis and other pathogens.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Aging is the single most important cause of disease, disability, and death in companion animal species. Contrary to the common view of aging as mysterious and inevitable, it is more usefully understood as a set of complex but comprehensible and modifiable biological processes that are highly conserved across species. The purpose of this Currents in One Health manuscript is to describe key mechanisms of aging at the cellular and molecular level and the manifestations of these in the tissues of the musculoskeletal system, adipose, and the brain. The characteristics of these processes as identified in common laboratory animal models and in humans will be described and compared with the much more limited information available concerning aging in dogs and cats. This will highlight important targets for future research in these species. The consistent patterns across species in the hallmarks of aging and their manifestations at the level of tissues, organ systems, and individual animals signify potential targets for interventions to mitigate the negative health impacts of aging and extend both life span and health span (the period of life free of significant disease or disability). Further research to elucidate aging mechanisms in companion dogs and cats will eventually support development, testing, and implementation of clinical therapies to prevent and ameliorate age-related dysfunction, disease, and death.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To compare the cardiorespiratory effects, quality and duration of sedation of 2 subcutaneous sedation protocols for noninvasive procedures in guinea pigs (GPs).

ANIMALS

24 pet GPs (15 females, 9 males) of 3 different age groups: infant (n = 8), juvenile (8), and adult (8).

PROCEDURES

The study design was a randomized, crossover, blinded, clinical trial with a washout period of at least 7 days between protocols. Guinea pigs were sedated SC with alfaxalone (5 mg/kg; group A) or alfaxalone (5 mg/kg) and midazolam (0.5 mg/kg; group A + M) to facilitate blood sampling, radiography, or abdominal ultrasonography. Vital parameters, hemoglobin saturation (SpO2), and sedation scores were recorded every 5 minutes.

RESULTS

Mean heart rate was lower in group A than group A + M (P = 0.001), and respiratory rate was significantly (P = 0.001) decreased relative to baseline during sedation in both groups. The SpO2 remained above 95% in both sedation groups. Rectal temperature was significantly (P = 0.001) lower during recovery versus baseline. Onset of sedation was shorter and the duration longer in group A + M than in group A. The duration and depth of the sedation was different between age groups (P = 0.001), being longer and deeper in adults. Bruxism, hectic movements, twitching, and some degree of hyperreactivity were observed during 41 of the 48 sedations.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Subcutaneous administration of alfaxalone provided reliable sedation for nonpainful procedures in GPs. When combined with midazolam, alfaxalone provided longer and deeper sedation that was more significant in adults than in younger patients.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

The economic literature on veterinary technicians is limited, and the AVMA Task Force on Veterinary Technician Utilization has recommended increasing veterinary technician economic research in several areas. The aim of this review was to provide an economic overview of the veterinary technician profession based on intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. Data sources for this paper include articles and texts from the veterinary, human medical, and service industries concerning veterinary technicians and from economic and psychology literature. Findings of this literature review indicated that veterinary technician intrinsic and extrinsic rewards are complex. Veterinary technicians appear to find value and meaning in their job tasks, which contribute positively toward job satisfaction and self-identity. Low financial rewards, workplace incivility, and work overload appear to be problematic for the individual veterinary technician, veterinary technician profession, and veterinary industry as a whole. The economic and psychology literature indicated that changes to the profession, such as increasing veterinary technician utilization, should simultaneously incorporate the economic needs and values of veterinary technicians and veterinary practice operators.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate the safety and efficacy of cystoscopic-guided scissor transection of ectopic ureters (CST-EU) in female dogs.

ANIMALS

8 incontinent female dogs with intramural ectopic ureters.

PROCEDURES

For this retrospective case series, data were collected from medical records of dogs that underwent CST-EU to relocate the ectopic ureteral orifice to an anatomically normal trigonal location between June 2011 and December 2020. Outcome after hospital discharge was determined using owner telephone questionnaires.

RESULTS

Ectopic ureters were bilateral in 4 of the 8 dogs, and all dogs had other urogenital tract anomalies. Owner questionnaire follow-up was available for 7 dogs, and results indicated 6 dogs had improved urinary continence immediately following the procedure. At the last follow-up (44 to 3,384 days after CST-EU), 3 of the 7 dogs were completely continent with CST-EU alone, 3 others became continent or were markedly improved with the addition of medications for urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence, and 1 required ureteroneocystostomy, colposuspension, and an artificial urethral sphincter to become fully continent. Owners of 5 of the 7 dogs reported that they considered the outcome of CST-EU as good to excellent, and all owners reported that they would consider having CST-EU performed again should they have another incontinent dog. Complications were minor, and only 3 dogs showed transient lower urinary tract signs after CST-EU.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results indicated CST-EU could provide a safe, effective, minimally invasive alternative in the absence of laser technology for the treatment of intramural ectopic ureters in female dogs.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

This article provides information to assist practitioners in the diagnosis, medical, and surgical management of obstructive urolithiasis in miniature pigs. The article focuses primarily on pigs managed as pets because production swine rarely undergo intensive treatment for urolithiasis. As much as possible, the information in this article is based on published literature, but given the limited number of publications addressing obstructive urolithiasis in pigs, some information is based on the authors’ clinical experience. Medical and surgical management of obstructive urolithiasis of pigs is often similar to management in ruminant and small animal species, but differences in swine anatomy, handling, and temperament create unique challenges. Pigs tend to be more difficult to restrain and examine than other livestock and often require heavy sedation or anesthesia to facilitate physical examination and basic diagnostic procedures. Because pigs are monogastrics, some oral treatments used in small animals may be used effectively in pigs. Clinicians should follow AMDUCA and consult the Food Animal Residue Avoidance Databank prior to extralabel drug use because pet pigs are still considered a major food-producing species in the United States.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To retrospectively evaluate the complication rate following dorsal placement of a commercially available 1-hole subpalpebral lavage system (SPL) at a veterinary teaching hospital.

ANIMALS

102 client-owned horses with ophthalmic disease.

PROCEDURES

Medical records of horses (2010 to 2020) with ophthalmic disease were reviewed to determine whether a commercially available SPL system was dorsally placed. Data collected from the medical record included signalment, presenting complaint(s), diagnosis, ophthalmic procedures performed, SPL laterality, hospital service that placed the SPL, anesthetic technique for placement (general anesthesia or sedation with local nerve blocks), duration of SPL management while hospitalized or at home, type of enclosure for the horse, use of eye protection, duration of time the SPL was in place, location of SPL management (home vs hospital), types and numbers of medications administered, recorded complications, and outcome of the globe. Complications experienced during treatment were categorized as either ocular or nonocular. The χ2 test for independence test and Fisher exact test were performed to examine the relationship between the department that placed the SPL, method of anesthesia, antimicrobial administration, type of facial protection used, and complication type and rate.

RESULTS

Overall complication rate for SPL systems was 29.1% (37/127), with 21.2% (27/127) being ocular complications and 7.9% (10/127) being nonocular complications. SPL complication rate was not affected by any variable that was examined.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Commercially available SPL systems placed dorsally have a low ocular complication rate. These SPL systems may be placed by veterinarians with varied training backgrounds and managed at home without significantly increasing complication rate.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate the effects of a single dose of orally administered gabapentin in alleviating stress at a veterinary visit in privately owned dogs.

Animals

22 healthy client-owned dogs (1.5 to 8.5 years old) were enrolled in this study.

PROCEDURES

Each dog received a 50-mg/kg oral dose of either gabapentin or placebo 2 hours before the beginning of each visit protocol. The dog’s behavioral responses were coded from recorded video clips during a 5-minute-long standardized physical examination and pre– and post–physical examination phases. The veterinary technician separately rated each greeting behavior at each visit. Physiological variables during veterinary visits (ie, eye surface temperature and salivary cortisol concentrations) were also compared between the pre– and post–physical examination phases. The owner was queried 24 hours after a visit to determine the incidence of adverse events.

RESULTS

The greeting test score, eye surface temperature, and cortisol concentrations did not differ substantially between the gabapentin and placebo treatment groups. Lip licking frequency during the physical examination phase was significantly lower in the gabapentin treatment group than in the placebo group (P = 0.001). Lip licking frequency during the pre– and post–physical examination phases was also significantly lower in the gabapentin treatment group than in the placebo treatment group (P = 0.004). No serious adverse events were reported by the owners following gabapentin treatment.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results showed that the 50-mg/kg dose of gabapentin was well tolerated without serious adverse effects in healthy dogs. Further studies are recommended of dogs with documented stress in response to a veterinary visit.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association