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Abstract

OBJECTIVE To explore the extent to which veterinary colleges and schools accredited by the AVMA Council on Education (COE) have incorporated specific courses related to animal welfare, behavior, and ethics.

DESIGN Survey and curriculum review.

SAMPLE

All 49 AVMA COE-accredited veterinary colleges and schools (institutions).

PROCEDURES The study consisted of 2 parts. In part 1, a survey regarding animal welfare, behavior, and ethics was emailed to the associate dean of academic affairs at all 49 AVMA COE-accredited institutions. In part 2, the curricula for the 30 AVMA COE-accredited institutions in the United States were reviewed for courses on animal behavior, ethics, and welfare.

RESULTS Seventeen of 49 (35%) institutions responded to the survey of part 1, of which 10 offered a formal animal welfare course, 9 offered a formal animal behavior course, 8 offered a formal animal ethics course, and 5 offered a combined animal welfare, behavior, and ethics course. The frequency with which courses on animal welfare, behavior, and ethics were offered differed between international and US institutions. Review of the curricula for the 30 AVMA COE-accredited US institutions revealed that 6 offered a formal course on animal welfare, 22 offered a formal course on animal behavior, and 18 offered a formal course on animal ethics.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested that AVMA COE-accredited institutions need to provide more formal education on animal welfare, behavior, and ethics so veterinarians can be advocates for animals and assist with behavioral challenges.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the proportion of adult cattle that change test status when an ELISA for antibodies against Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis (MAP) is used to assay samples collected twice at variable intervals and to determine whether cows with an initial strong positive result were more likely to maintain positive status, compared with all cows with an initial positive result.

Design—Cross-sectional observational study.

Animals—3,757 adult dairy cattle.

Procedure—Serum samples were obtained twice from cattle at intervals ranging from 77 to 600 days between collections. Samples were tested with an ELISA for detection of antibodies to MAP.

Results—Of 157 cattle with initial positive results (value for the sample divided by the value for positivecontrol serum [S/P] ≥ 0.25), 62 (39.5%) had negative results for the second sample. Of 71 cattle with an initial S/P value ≥ 0.40, 13 (18.3%) had a negative result (S/P < 0.25) for the second sample. Of 33 cattle with an initial S/P ≥ 0.70, 3 (9.1%) had a negative result (S/P value < 0.25) for the second sample. Interval between collection of samples did not affect results.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Many cows changed ELISA status between samples collected at variable intervals. Cows with an initial high S/P value (≥ 0.70) were more likely to maintain positive status than cows classified as positive on the basis of cutoff values of ≥ 0.25 or ≥ 0.40. Veterinarians should expect variability in ELISA results when repeated testing of cattle is used as part of an MAP control program. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:1685–1689)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To compare use of 4 disease severity scoring systems to predict bacteremia (yes vs no) and outcome (survived vs died or culled) in dairy cows with acute coliform mastitis (ACM).

Design—Retrospective cohort study.

Animals—99 dairy cows with ACM.

Procedures—Cows were classified as having mild, moderate, or severe disease with a scoring system based on systemic disease signs alone (systemic severity score [SSS] system), a system based on local disease signs alone (local severity score [LSS] system), and 2 previously described systems based on a combination of local and systemic signs (local-systemic score 1 [LS1] and local-systemic score 2 [LS2] systems). Test performance was calculated to determine whether a severe disease classification could be used to predict bacteremia or outcome.

Results—21%, 53%, 63%, and 38% of cows were classified as having severe disease with the SSS, LSS, LS1, and LS2 systems, respectively. For both bacteremia and outcome, sensitivity was highest for the LS1 system, but specificity and accuracy were highest for the SSS system. Examination of a scatterplot of true-positive rate versus false-positive rate for each of the scoring systems indicated that the SSS and LS2 systems were similar in their ability to correctly identify cows with bacteremia or an adverse outcome.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that the SSS scoring system was better for identifying cows with bacteremia or an adverse outcome than was the LSS system and that the LS1 and LS2 systems were intermediate in their discriminatory abilities.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate biosecurity practices of cowcalf producers.

Design—Cross-sectional survey.

Sample Population—2,713 cow-calf operations were used in phase 1 of the study, and 1,190 cow-calf operations were used in phase 2.

Procedure—Producers were contacted for a personal interview between Dec 30, 1996 and Feb 3, 1997 regarding their management practices. Noninstitutional operations with 1 or more beef cows were eligible to participate in the study. Producers who participated in the first phase of the study and who had ≥ 5 beef cows were requested to continue in the study and were contacted by a veterinarian or animal health technician who administered further questionnaires. All contacts for the second phase of the study were made between Mar 3, 1997 and Apr 30, 1997. Additional data on use of various vaccines, testing of imported cattle for brucellosis, Mycobacterium paratuberculosis, bovine viral diarrhea, and tuberculosis as well as potential for feed contamination were collected during the second phase of the study.

Results—Producers commonly engaged in management practices that increased risk of introducing disease to their cattle such as importing cattle, failing to quarantine imported cattle, and communal grazing. Producers inconsistently adjusted for the increased risk of their management practices by increasing the types of vaccines given, increasing the quarantine time or proportion of imported animals quarantined, or increasing testing for various diseases in imported animals.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Cow-calf herds are at risk for disease exposure from outside sources when cattle are introduced to the herd, and producers do not always adjust management practices such as vaccination schedules and quarantine procedures appropriately to minimize this risk. Veterinary involvement in education of producers regarding biosecurity risks and development of rational and economical biosecurity plans is needed. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:185–189)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To analyze the sulfur content of water and forage samples from a geographically diverse sample of beef cow-calf operations in the United States and to estimate frequency and distribution of premises where forage and water resources could result in consumption of hazardous amounts of sulfur by cattle.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Sample Population—709 forage samples from 678 beef cow-calf operations and individual water samples from 498 operations in 23 states.

Procedure—Sulfur content of forage samples and sulfate concentration of water samples were measured. Total sulfur intake was estimated for pairs of forage and water samples.

Results—Total sulfur intake was estimated for 454 pairs of forage and water samples. In general, highest forage sulfur contents did not coincide with highest water sulfate concentrations. Overall, 52 of the 454 (11.5%) sample pairs were estimated to yield total sulfur intake (as a percentage of dry matter) ≥ 0.4%, assuming water intake during conditions of high ambient temperature. Most of these premises were in north-central (n = 19) or western (19) states.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that on numerous beef cow-calf operations throughout the United States, consumption of forage and water could result in excessively high sulfur intake. All water sources and dietary components should be evaluated when assessing total sulfur intake. Knowledge of total sulfur intake may be useful in reducing the risk of sulfur-associated health and performance problems in beef cattle. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;221:673–677)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the use of systemic disease signs for classifying severity of acute coliform mastitis in dairy cows.

Design—Prospective cohort study.

Animals—144 dairy cows.

Procedure—Cows were examined at the time of initial identification of disease (time 0) and classified as having mild, moderate, or severe disease on the basis of rectal temperature, hydration status, rumen contraction rate, and attitude. A CBC and serum biochemical analyses were performed, and milk samples were submitted for bacterial culture at time 0 and 48 hours later.

Results—69 cows were classified as having mild disease, 44 as having moderate disease, and 31 as having severe disease. Median WBC and neutrophil counts were significantly lower in cows with moderate or severe disease at time 0 than in cows with mild disease. Band neutrophil count was significantly higher at 48 hours and serum calcium concentration was significantly lower at time 0 and at 48 hours in cows with severe or moderate disease, compared with cows with mild disease. Twenty-eight, 51, and 77% of cows with mild, moderate, and severe disease, respectively, had > 100,000 colony-forming units/ml of milk at time 0. The odds that a cow with severe disease would die or be culled were 3.6 times the odds for a cow with moderate disease and 11.2 times the odds for a cow with mild disease.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that a classification scheme based on readily observable systemic disease signs can be used to classify disease severity in cows with acute coliform mastitis. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:567–572)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine effects on production and risk of removal related to Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis (MAP) infection at the individual animal level in dairy cattle.

Design—Longitudinal study.

Animals—7,879 dairy cows from 38 herds in 16 states.

Procedure—A subset of dairy cattle operations that participated in the National Animal Health Monitoring System Dairy 2002 study was evaluated via a serum ELISA for antibodies against MAP and categorized according to ELISA score. Dairy Herd Improvement Association records were obtained to collect current and historical lactation data and removal (ie, culling) information. Production variables were evaluated on the basis of serum ELISA category.

Results—Cows with strong positive results had mature equivalent (ME) 305-day milk production, ME 305-day maximum milk production, and total lifetime milk production that were significantly lower than cows in other categories. No differences were observed for ME 305-day fat and protein percentages, age, lactation, and lactation mean linear somatic cell count score between cows with strong positive results and those with negative results. After accounting for lactation number and relative herd-level milk production, cows with strong positive results were significantly more likely to have been removed by 1 year after testing.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Without management changes designed to reduce the farm-level prevalence of MAP infection, paratuberculosis will continue to reduce farm income by decreasing milk production and potentially increasing premature removal from the herd. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:1975–1981)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate associations between Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis (MAP) and caudal fold tuberculin (CFT) test results in cattle.

Design—Longitudinal and cross-sectional evaluations.

Animals—1 California (approx 3,600 cows) and 3 Colorado (approx 640, 1,190, and 1,480 cows) dairy herds considered free of Mycobacterium bovis infection.

Procedures—In the California herd, the association between CFT response and MAP status was determined with ELISA and mycobacterial culture of feces within 1 year before and after CFT testing. The association between CFT and MAP status in all herds was modeled with mixed-effects logistic regression.

Results—In the California herd, significantly higher odds of being classified as suspect by CFT were found for cows with results of MAP ELISA negative before and positive after CFT testing (OR, 5.6) and cows positive before and after CFT testing (OR, 8.1). Higher odds were found for cows positive for mycobacterial culture of feces before and negative for culture after CFT testing (OR, 4.6) and cows negative for mycobacterial culture of feces before and positive for culture after CFT testing (OR, 13.2). All herds had higher odds of being classified as suspect by CFT testing for cows with positive results for ELISA (OR, 2.9) or mycobacterial culture of feces (OR, 5.0), compared with cows with negative results of the same tests.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A strong association was found between positive MAP test results and being classified as a suspect by CFT testing. Within-herd MAP prevalence may affect specificity of CFT testing for tuberculosis in cattle.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To estimate seroprevalence of Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis (MAP) infection among adult dairy cows in Colorado and determine herd-level factors associated with the risk that individual cows would be seropositive.

Design—Cross-sectional observational study.

Animals—10,280 adult (≥ 2 years old) dairy cows in 15 herds in Colorado.

Procedure—Serum samples were tested with a commercial ELISA. A herd was considered to be infected with MAP if results of mycobacterial culture of ≥ 1 individual cow fecal sample were positive or if ≥ 1 culled cow had histologic evidence of MAP infection.

Results—424 of the 10,280 (4.12%) cows were seropositive. Within-herd prevalence of seropositive cows ranged from 0% to 7.82% (mean, 2.6%). Infection was confirmed in 11 dairies. Cows in herds that had imported ≥ 8% of their current herd size annually during the preceding 5 years were 3.28 times as likely to be seropositive as were cows in herds that imported < 8%. Cows in herds with ≥ 600 lactating cows were 3.12 times as likely to be seropositive as were cows in herds with < 600 lactating cows. Cows in herds with a history of clinical signs of MAP infection were 2.27 times as likely to be seropositive as were cows in herds without clinical signs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Annual importation rate, herd size, and whether cows in the herd had clinical signs typical of MAP infection were associated with the risk that individual cows would be seropositive for MAP infection. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:97–101)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the incidence of bacteremia in dairy cows with naturally occurring acute coliform mastitis (ACM) with a wide range of disease severity.

Design—Cohort study.

Animals—144 dairy cows with ACM from 6 herds.

Procedure—Cows were examined at time of identification of ACM (time 0) and classified as having mild, moderate, or severe mastitis on the basis of rectal temperature, hydration status, rumen contraction rate, and attitude. Cows were reexamined at 24 or 48 hours. Bacteriologic culturing of milk and blood (30 ml), CBC, and serum biochemical analysis were performed at each time point. Appropriate samples were obtained at a single point from herdmates without mastitis (controls) that were closely matched for lactation number and days since parturition. Blood culture results were compared among severity groups and controls by use of χ2 tests, as was outcome of an ACM episode for cows grouped by blood bacterial isolates.

Results—Bacteria were isolated from 52 blood samples from 46 of 144 (32%) cows with ACM, which was significantly more than control cows (11/156; 7.1%). Group-1 isolates (Escherichia coli, Pasteurella multocida, Mannheimia haemolytica, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter agglomerans, and Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium) were identified in 20 of 144 (14%) cows with ACM and 0 of 156 control cows. Group-1 isolates were identified in 4.3, 9.1, and 42% of cows classified as having mild, moderate, and severe ACM, respectively. Escherichia coli and K pneumoniae milk and blood isolates obtained from the same cow were of the same genotype. Bacillus spp were identified in 21 of 144 (15%) cows with ACM, which was significantly more than control cows (3/156; 1.9%). Thirty-five percent of cows with a group-1 isolate died during the mastitis episode.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that bacteremia develops in a substantial proportion of cows with ACM. Classification of severity of disease is important for establishment of effective treatment protocols; parenteral antimicrobial treatment may be indicated in cows with ACM. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;219:976–981)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association