OBJECTIVE To identify courses in which first-year veterinary students struggled academically and to survey veterinarians as to their opinions on existing prerequisite courses and proposed alternatives.
DESIGN Electronic surveys.
SAMPLE Associate deans for academic affairs at colleges of veterinary medicine and practicing veterinarians in North America and the Caribbean.
PROCEDURES Surveys were sent to associate deans of academic affairs seeking information on courses in which first-year veterinary students most commonly struggled academically. The 6 courses most commonly listed as prerequisites for admission to veterinary college were identified, and practitioners were asked to rank the relative importance of those courses for preparing students for veterinary college and to rank the importance of 7 potential alternative courses.
RESULTS Data were obtained from 21 associate deans and 771 practicing veterinarians. First-year veterinary students most commonly struggled academically in anatomy, physiology, and histology courses, but these courses were rarely included as prerequisites for admission. Practicing veterinarians agreed that anatomy and physiology should be considered as possible alternatives to 1 or more current prerequisite courses, such as organic chemistry and physics.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE First-year veterinary students commonly encountered academic difficulties in anatomy, physiology, and histology. Because few surveyed veterinary colleges include these courses as prerequisites for admission, many students were exposed to this material for the first time as veterinary students, potentially adding to their academic difficulties and causing stress and anxiety. To help address this situation, veterinary colleges might consider replacing 1 or more current prerequisite courses (eg, organic chemistry and physics) with anatomy, physiology, and histology.
Objective—To develop and psychometrically test an owner self-administered questionnaire designed to assess severity and impact of chronic pain in dogs with osteoarthritis.
Sample Population—70 owners of dogs with osteoarthritis and 50 owners of clinically normal dogs.
Procedures—Standard methods for the stepwise development and testing of instruments designed to assess subjective states were used. Items were generated through focus groups and an expert panel. Items were tested for readability and ambiguity, and poorly performing items were removed. The reduced set of items was subjected to factor analysis, reliability testing, and validity testing.
Results—Severity of pain and interference with function were 2 factors identified and named on the basis of the items contained in them. Cronbach's α was 0.93 and 0.89, respectively, suggesting that the items in each factor could be assessed as a group to compute factor scores (ie, severity score and interference score). The test-retest analysis revealed κ values of 0.75 for the severity score and 0.81 for the interference score. Scores correlated moderately well (r = 0.51 and 0.50, respectively) with the overall quality-of-life (QOL) question, such that as severity and interference scores increased, QOL decreased. Clinically normal dogs had significantly lower severity and interference scores than dogs with osteoarthritis.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A psychometrically sound instrument was developed. Responsiveness testing must be conducted to determine whether the questionnaire will be useful in reliably obtaining quantifiable assessments from owners regarding the severity and impact of chronic pain and its treatment on dogs with osteoarthritis.
Procedures—Owners completed the CBPI on day 0. Dogs received carprofen or a placebo on days 1 through 14. Owners completed the CBPI again on day 14. Pain severity and pain interference scores from the CBPI were calculated, and the change from day 0 to day 14 was assessed within each group and between groups.
Results—No significant differences were detected in median scores for pain severity (3.50 and 3.25 on days 0 and 14, respectively) and pain interference (3.92 and 3.25 on days 0 and 14, respectively) in dogs receiving the placebo. Dogs receiving carprofen had significant changes in median scores for pain severity (4.25 to 2.25 on days 0 and 14, respectively) and pain interference (4.33 to 2.67 on days 0 and 14, respectively). There was a significantly greater improvement in pain severity and pain interference scores in dogs treated with carprofen, compared with improvement in scores for dogs receiving the placebo.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The CBPI was able to detect improvements in pain scores in dogs with osteoarthritis treated with an NSAID or a placebo. These results, in combination with previous reliability and validity testing, support the use of the CBPI to obtain quantifiable assessments from owners regarding the severity and impact of chronic pain and treatment for dogs with osteoarthritis.
Objective—To determine whether a single intranasal
dose of modified-live bovine respiratory syncytial
virus (BRSV) vaccine protects calves from BRSV challenge
and characterize cell-mediated immune
response in calves following BRSV challenge.
Animals—13 conventionally reared 4- to 6-week-old
Procedure—Calves received intranasal vaccination
with modified live BRSV vaccine (VC-group calves;
n = 4) or mock vaccine (MC-group calves; 6) 1 month
before BRSV challenge; unvaccinated control-group
calves (n = 3) underwent mock challenge. Serum
virus neutralizing (VN) antibodies were measured on
days –30, -14, 0, and 7 relative to BRSV challenge;
nasal swab specimens were collected for virus isolation
on days 0 to 7. At necropsy examination on day 7,
tissue specimens were collected for measurement of
BRSV-specific interferon gamma (IFN-γ) production.
Tissue distribution of CD3+ T and BLA.36+ B cells
was evaluated by use of immunohistochemistry.
Results—The MC-group calves had significantly higher
rectal temperatures, respiratory rates, and clinical
scores on days 5 to 7 after BRSV challenge than VCgroup
calves. No difference was seen between distributions
of BRSV in lung tissue of VC- and MC-group
calves. Production of BRSV-specific IFN-γ was
increased in tissue specimens from VC-group calves,
compared with MC- and control-group calves. Virusspecific
IFN-γ production was highest in the mediastinal
lymph node of VC-group calves. Increased numbers
of T cells were found in expanded bronchialassociated
lymphoid tissue and airway epithelium of
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—An intranasal
dose of modified-live BRSV vaccine can protect calves
against virulent BRSV challenge 1 month later. ( Am J Vet Res 2004;65:363–372)
Objective—To characterize cytokine messenger RNA
(mRNA) expression in intranasally vaccinated calves
after bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) challenge.
Animals—Twelve 8- to 12-week-old calves.
Procedures—Calves received modified-live BRSV vaccine
(vaccinated) or spent tissue culture medium
(mock-vaccinated) intranasally, followed by challenge
30 days later with BRSV, or mock challenge with spent
tissue culture medium (mock-challenge controls).
Interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) mRNA was
measured in lungs, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid
cells, pharyngeal tonsils, and tracheobronchial lymph
nodes, and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) mRNA was
measured in lungs and BAL fluid cells by reverse transcriptase-competitive
polymerase chain reaction assay.
Results—Resistance to clinical signs of disease was
conferred in vaccinated calves. Expression of TNF-α
mRNA in lungs and BAL fluid cells was higher in
mock-vaccinated calves than control or vaccinated
calves. In the lung, IL-4 mRNA expression was higher
in vaccinated calves than control or mock-vaccinated
calves. In pharyngeal tonsils, expression of mRNA for
IL-4 and IFN-γ was higher in mock-vaccinated calves
than control calves. In tracheobronchial lymph nodes,
IFN-γ mRNA expression was higher in mock-vaccinated
calves than vaccinated calves.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although vaccinated
calves had decreased clinical signs of disease after
BRSV challenge, compared with mock-vaccinated calves,
this difference was not related to a T helper type 1 bias,
as determined by increased expression of interferon-γ
mRNA relative to interleukin-4 mRNA in lungs, BAL fluid
cells, or tracheobronchial lymph nodes of vaccinated
calves. Pulmonary inflammation was decreased in vaccinated
calves as determined by decreased expression of
TNF-α mRNA. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:725–733)
Objective—To characterize the temporality of dates
of breeding and abortion classified as mare reproductive
loss syndrome (MRLS) among mares with abortions
during early gestation.
Animals—2,314 mares confirmed pregnant at
approximately 28 days after breeding from 36 farms in
central Kentucky, including 515 mares that had earlyterm
Procedure—Farm veterinarians and managers were
interviewed to obtain data for each mare that was
known to be pregnant to determine pregnancy status,
breeding date, last date known to be pregnant, and
date of abortion.
Results—Mares bred prior to April 1, 2001,
appeared to be at greatest risk of early-term abortion,
both among and within individual farms.
Mares bred in mid-February appeared to be at
greatest risk of abortion, with an estimated weekly
incidence rate of abortion of 66% (95% CI, 52% to
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Mares in
central Kentucky bred between mid-February and
early March were observed to be at greatest risk of
early-term abortion, and risk gradually decreased to
a background incidence of abortion of approximately
11%. Mares bred after April 1, 2001, appeared to
be at markedly less risk, indicating that exposure to
the cause of MRLS likely occurred prior to this
date. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:1792–1797)
Objective—To estimate spatial risks associated with
mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS) during
2001 among horses in a specific study population and
partition the herd effects into those attributable to
herd location and those that were spatially random
and likely attributable to herd management.
Animals—Pregnant broodmares from 62 farms in 7
counties in central Kentucky.
Procedure—Veterinarians provided the 2001 abortion
incidence proportions for each farm included in the
study. Farms were georeferenced and data were analyzed
by use of a fully Bayesian risk-mapping technique.
Results—Large farm-to-farm variation in MRLS incidence
proportions was identified. The farm-to-farm
variation was largely attributed to spatial location
rather than to spatially random herd effects
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicate
that there are considerable data to support an
ecologic cause and potential ecologic risk factors for
MRLS. Veterinary practitioners with more detailed
knowledge of the ecology in the 7 counties in
Kentucky that were investigated may provide additional
data that would assist in the deduction of the
causal factor of MRLS via informal geographic information
systems analyses and suggest factors for
inclusion in further investigations. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:17–20)
Objective—To characterize a 2007 bluetongue disease (BT) epizootic caused by bluetongue virus (BTV) serotype 17 in sheep in the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming.
Animals—1,359 sheep from ranches in Wyoming and Montana.
Procedures—Information on clinical signs and history of BT in sheep was obtained from ranchers and attending veterinarians. At 3 to 6 months after the 2007 BT epizootic, blood samples were collected from rams, ewes, and lambs within and outside the Big Horn Basin; blood samples were also collected from lambs born in the spring of 2008. Sera were tested for anti-BTV antibodies by use of a competitive ELISA to determine the seroprevalence of BTV in sheep and to measure antibody titers. Virus isolation and reverse transcriptase PCR assays were used to determine long-term presence of the infectious virus or viral genetic material in RBCs of sheep.
Results—The percentage of sheep seropositive for BTV closely matched morbidity of sheep within flocks, indicating few subclinical infections. Flocks separated by as little as 1 mile had substantial variation in infection rate. Rams were infected at a higher rate than ewes. There was no evidence of BTV successfully overwintering in the area.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—This epizootic appears to be a new intrusion of BTV into a naïve population of sheep previously protected geographically by the mountains surrounding the Big Horn Basin. Rams may have a higher infection rate as a result of increased vector biting opportunity because of the large surface area of the scrotum.
Objective—To identify risk factors for rectal tears in horses; assess the effect of initiating cause on tear location, size, and distance from anus; and determine short-term survival rate among horses with various grades of rectal tears.
Design—Retrospective case series.
Procedures—Medical records for horses with a rectal tear were reviewed, and data including age; sex; breed; cause, location, and size of the tear and its distance from the anus; tear grade; treatment; and outcome (short-term survival [ie, survival to discharge from the hospital] vs nonsurvival) were recorded. Data for age, sex, and breed of horses with rectal tears were compared with data for all horses evaluated at the hospital during the same interval to determine risk factors for rectal tears.
Results—Arabians, American Miniature Horses, mares, and horses > 9 years of age were more likely to develop a rectal tear than other breeds, males, or younger horses. Dystocia had a significant influence on rectal tear size. Location of a rectal tear and its distance from the anus were not associated with cause. Applied treatments for grade 1, 2, and 3 rectal tears were effective, unlike treatments for grade 4 rectal tears. Irrespective of treatment, the overall short-term survival rate among horses with grade 1, 2, 3, and 4 rectal tears was 100%, 100%, 38%, and 2%, respectively.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Accurate identification of risk factors could help practitioners and owners implement adequate measures to prevent the development of rectal tears in horses.