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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective

To estimate the effects of practice ownership on wellbeing of US private practice veterinarians.

Sample

1,217 practice owners and 1,414 associate veterinarians (ie, nonowners) who participated in the 2021 AVMA Census of Veterinarians and Practice Owners Survey.

Procedures

A professional quality of life instrument was used to measure compassion satisfaction (CS; a positive attribute), burnout (BO), and secondary traumatic stress (STS) in practice owners and nonowners both as scores and as score categories (low, moderate, and high CS, BO, and STS). For hypothesis tests, propensity score matching was used, with owners (n = 595) matched to nonowners (595) on several demographic and employment factors.

Results

Owners had significantly (P < .001) higher CS scores (mean ± SE, 34.1 ± 0.3) and lower BO scores (26.1 ± 0.3) than nonowners (32.8 ± 0.3 and 26.9 ± 0.3, respectively), but STS scores were comparable between groups (27.4 ± 0.3 and 27.5 ± 0.3; P = .55). The prevalence of low CS scores and high BO scores was significantly (P < .001) higher for nonowners versus owners (53.8% vs 42.7% and 51.6% vs 46.4%, respectively). Both owners and nonowners had a high prevalence of high STS scores (81.8% and 83.2%, respectively; P = .53).

Clinical Relevance

Results suggested that practice ownership confers a benefit to private practice veterinarians in terms of CS and BO, but not STS. The prevalence of poor CS, BO, and STS scores was higher than reported previously for 2016 to 2018, suggesting an impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The high prevalence of high STS scores in both groups warrants attention and action to protect the welfare of the veterinary workforce and support optimal patient care.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to characterize the relationship of diet and management factors with the glandular gastric mucosal microbiome. We hypothesize that the gastric mucosal microbial community is influenced by diet and management factors. Our specific objective is to characterize the gastric mucosal microbiome in relation to these factors.

ANIMALS

57 client-owned horses in the southern Louisiana region with and without equine glandular gastric disease.

PROCEDURES

Diet and management data were collected via a questionnaire. Gastroscopy was used for evaluation of equine gastric ulcer syndrome and collection of glandular mucosal pinch biopsies. 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing was used for microbiome analysis. Similarity and diversity indices and sequence read counts of individual taxa were compared between diet and management factors.

RESULTS

Differences were detected in association with offering hay, type of hay, sweet feed, turnout, and stalling. Offering hay and stalling showed differences in similarity indices, whereas hay type, sweet feed, and turnout showed differences in similarity and diversity indices. Offering hay, hay type, and sweet feed were also associated with differences in individual sequence read counts.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

This study provides preliminary characterization of the complex relationship between the glandular gastric microbiome and diet/management factors. The ideal microbiome to promote a healthy glandular gastric environment remains unknown.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Dietary fiber describes a diverse assortment of nondigestible carbohydrates that play a vital role in the health of animals and maintenance of gastrointestinal tract homeostasis. The main roles dietary fiber play in the gastrointestinal tract include physically altering the digesta, modulating appetite and satiety, regulating digestion, and acting as a microbial energy source through fermentation. These functions can have widespread systemic effects. Fiber is a vital component of nearly all commercial canine and feline diets. Key features of fiber types, such as fermentability, solubility, and viscosity, have been shown to have clinical implications as well as health benefits in dogs and cats. Practitioners should know how to evaluate a diet for fiber content and the current knowledge on fiber supplementation as it relates to common enteropathies including acute diarrhea, chronic diarrhea, constipation, and hairball management. Understanding the fundamentals of dietary fiber allows the practicing clinician to use fiber optimally as a management modality.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To investigate equine squamous gastric disease (ESGD) and equine glandular gastric disease (EGGD) in Icelandic horses moving from pasture into training.

ANIMALS

81 horses (median age, 3 years; interquartile range, 1 year) from 10 farms representing 4 different Icelandic regions.

PROCEDURES

Initial gastroscopy was undertaken within 2 weeks of moving from pasture into a training establishment. A total of 71 horses underwent endoscopic examination again 8 weeks later. Various management and behavioral factors were assessed through face-to-face questionnaires with the owners or trainers. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine factors contributing to any change in ESGD and EGGD severity score during the 8-week training period.

RESULTS

Incidence of EGGD and ESGD in this feral population was similar to that found in domesticated horses. ESGD incidence (severity score, ≥ 2; score range, 0 to 4) reduced from an initial 71.6% (58/81) to 25.4% (18/71). On multivariable analysis, sex (ie, being a stallion or a female vs gelding) increased the likelihood of ulcer grade reduction. Being fed preserved forage 3 or more times a day also improved the likelihood of ESGD reduction (odds ratio, 17.95; 95% CI, 1.67 to 193.40; P = .017). Overall, the farm explained 35% of the variance, confirming the importance of management factors. Incidence of EGGD (severity score, ≥ 1; score range, 0 to 2) reduced from 47% (38/81) to 40.8% (29/71) during the same period. No measured variables were associated significantly with EGGD incidence or reduction.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Pasture provision (without supplementary feed or forage) does not result automatically in a low incidence of gastric ulcers. Regular provision of preserved forage is a key factor in reducing ESGD incidence.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Most homeostatic systems in the equine neonate should be functional during the transition from intra- to extrauterine life to ensure survival during this critical period. Endocrine maturation in the equine fetus occurs at different stages, with a majority taking place a few days prior to parturition and continuing after birth. Cortisol and thyroid hormones are good examples of endocrine and tissue interdependency. Cortisol promotes skeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, thyroid gland, adrenomedullary, and pancreatic differentiation. Thyroid hormones are essential for cardiovascular, respiratory, neurologic, skeletal, adrenal, and pancreatic function. Hormonal imbalances at crucial stages of development or in response to disease can be detrimental to the newborn foal. Other endocrine factors, including growth hormone, glucagon, catecholamines, ghrelin, adipokines (adiponectin, leptin), and incretins, are equally important in energy homeostasis. This review provides information specific to nutrition and endocrine systems involved in energy homeostasis in foals, enhancing our understanding of equine neonatal physiology and pathophysiology and our ability to interpret clinical and laboratory findings, therefore improving therapies and prognosis.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To demonstrate the efficacy and safety of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for xenogeneic use with intra-articular administration in dogs with osteoarthritis.

ANIMALS

80 client-owned dogs with naturally occurring osteoarthritis in elbow or hip.

PROCEDURES

A multicentric, double-blinded, parallel, randomized and placebo-controlled clinical trial was performed. After intra-articular injection of equine umbilical cord MSCs, dogs were reexamined at weeks 4, 8, and 12 using a force platform (gait analysis), orthopedic assessment, and validated owner questionnaire. Eighteen months after treatment, a long-term follow-up was done.

RESULTS

Best results were obtained 8 weeks after treatment, where 63% of the patients showed an improvement in the gait analysis. Also 8 weeks after treatment, 77% of the dogs improved in the orthopedic examination; 65% of the owners considered that the treatment improved their pet’s quality of life 8 weeks after treatment. The long-term follow-up revealed that 59% of the owners observed a duration of effect longer than 6 months after a single intra-articular injection of equine umbilical cord MSCs. No systemic or permanent adverse events were detected at any time point.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results of this study demonstrated the safety and efficacy of intra-articular administration of xenogeneic MSCs for the treatment of canine osteoarthritis.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To examine factors that impact emergency veterinarians’ decisions in selecting a place of employment and their perceptions of factors important in fostering a work environment conducive to long-term employment.

SAMPLE

433 Veterinary Information Network members who reported practicing emergency medicine in the US and were not diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care.

PROCEDURES

An electronic survey distributed via the Veterinary Information Network data collection portal, made available from May 25, 2022, through June 15, 2022.

RESULTS

Factors rated as most important in selecting a place of employment included working with a highly trained support staff and collegiality of coworkers. Factor analysis was used to extract factors that can influence emergency medicine practitioners’ views of a work environment conducive to long-term employment. The factor found to be most important was leadership. All factors, except for professional growth, were rated as more important by female practitioners when compared to male practitioners.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Aspects promoted in emergency medicine veterinarian recruitment efforts should include, in addition to the innate nature of the position, the elements identified as most attractive to current practitioners. By better understanding the impact of gender, children status, and years practicing emergency medicine on the relative importance in creating workplace environments conducive to long term employment, hospitals can be better equipped to meet the needs of both their current employees as well as potential new hires.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association