Article Structure Animal Behavior Case of the Month

The digital edition of JAVMA is the journal of record. Accepted articles may be published in both the print and digital editions or the digital edition alone, as decided by the editorial staff.

Animal Behavior Case of the Month: Serves as a learning exercise for readers, the majority of whom are general practitioners, by providing clinically relevant information on the evaluation and treatment of behavioral problems in animals in a concise and objective manner. Please note: We are prioritizing those cases that are broadly educational to the veterinary community above the rarer, referral type case.

Word count for main text: ≤ 1,400

  • Excludes references

Figures: generally not included, but 1 is welcome

Formatting (applies to main text, references, and any figure legends)

  • 8.5 x 11-inch page size
  • Double spaced
  • 12-point font
  • 1-inch (2.5-cm) margins
  • Left justification
  • Sequential line numbering

Manuscript text file (in order of inclusion; uploaded as a single document)

  • Title page—Includes the following:
    • Manuscript title—Includes the feature name, the problem described, and the species involved (eg, Animal Behavior Case of the Month: [diagnosis] in a [species]). This title will not be published but will be used for article indexing and reviewer selection.
    • First name, middle initial (if applicable), and last name of each author, along with each author’s professional degree and highest earned academic degree (eg, MS or PhD, MPVM) and, for authors who are diplomates of veterinary specialty organizations recognized by the AVMA’s American Board of Veterinary Specialties or similar specialty organizations recognized by other countries, diplomate status (eg, DACVS or DACVIM). List a bachelor’s or associate’s degree only if it is the author’s only degree. Do not list other specialty board designations, certifications, or honorary degrees.
    • List of professional affiliations of the authors at the time of the case management.
    • Name of the corresponding author and their email address.
  • Body of manuscript—Includes the following sections:
    • Signalment: In a single sentence, includes the patient's age, sex, breed, species, and body weight if relevant.
    • History: Provides a brief, 1- or 2-sentence description of the behavioral problem for which the patient was evaluated.
    • Physical Examination Findings and Laboratory Results: Describes the examination and any tests performed as part of the patient evaluation. The results, including any abnormal findings, are to be summarized in the text; pertinent laboratory abnormalities are to include mention of the reference range for the given variables. Tables of test results such as hematologic and serum biochemical values are generally not needed.
    • Diagnosis: Describes any differential diagnoses, additional steps taken to determine the diagnosis or diagnoses, and rationale for the diagnoses made.
    • Treatment: Briefly describes the treatment provided, including any medications and recommendations for behavioral monitoring, behavioral modification, and follow-up.
    • Follow-up: Describes the clinical course of the condition, subsequent alterations to the treatment plan, and condition at last follow-up.
  • Acknowledgments: Identifies individuals who made important contributions to the article but who do not meet the criteria for authorship. Ensure that individuals named in the acknowledgments have given their permission to be listed. Report any funding sources and conflicts of interest.
  • References: Are formatted using the current American Medical Association Manual of Style. Are limited to those that are necessary. Primary references (eg, original studies) rather than secondary references (eg, textbooks and review articles) are preferred whenever possible. Please note that authors bear primary responsibility for the accuracy of all references.
  • Figure legend: Provides sufficient information to allow the figure to be understood without reference to the text. When abbreviations from the main text are used in figure legends, they should be redefined in the legends. When using abbreviations unique to the figures, each should be defined in the legend in alphabetical order (eg, ALP = Alkaline phosphatase. CK = Creatine kinase. TP = Total protein.).
  • Appendix (maximum of 1): Used when information pertaining to Materials and Methods (and not results) can be more clearly summarized in tabular rather than narrative format.

Figure (to be uploaded separately)

  • Is submitted as separate image file at a minimum resolution of 300 dots per inch at the size it will be printed in the journal (ie, usually the width of 1 printed column or 8 cm).
  • Text and symbols, if used, are at least 1.5 mm tall when the figure is reduced to 8 cm in width.

Manuscript submission
Are submitted electronically at

  • Enter the manuscript title from the title page.
  • In the Abstract field, provide a brief (≤ 3 sentences) synopsis of the case (eg, patient signalment and presenting complaints, diagnosis, and treatment).

When prompted during manuscript submission, supply keywords from the journal website that describe the topic of the manuscript to facilitate indexing and aid in the selection of reviewers.

Return to JAVMA instructions for authors