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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine whether intrarenal injection of sodium pentobarbital is a viable method for euthanasia in anesthetized client-owned cats and assess potential factors associated with time to cardiopulmonary arrest (TCPA) for such treated cats.

ANIMALS

131 client-owned cats.

PROCEDURES

In this retrospective study, client-owned cats presented for euthanasia between March 1, 2009, and January 15, 2010, were evaluated by veterinarians to determine suitability of intrarenal injection versus other methods of euthanasia. Cats included were anesthetized and then received 6 mL of sodium pentobarbital (390 mg/mL) by intrarenal injection. Results for TCPA were compared for cats grouped on the basis of variables of interest.

RESULTS

131 cats were included, of which 74 (79%) had a TCPA < 1 minute and 28 (21%) had a TCPA between 1.5 and 8 minutes after intrarenal injection. Most (124/131 [95%]) cats had no observable reaction to the intrarenal injection other than cardiopulmonary arrest. Median TCPA was longer for cats without (1 min; 25/131 [19%]) versus with (0 min; 106/131 [81%]) palpable kidney swelling upon injection.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

The effects of intrarenal injection of sodium pentobarbital in cats of the present study were similar to those typically observed with IV administration of euthanasia solution. When this intrarenal injection method is used, cardiopulmonary arrest with few agonal reactions can be expected to occur quickly in most patients. The intrarenal injection method is suited for euthanasia of anesthetized cats with easily located kidneys when IV access may be difficult.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To gain a better understanding of sources and frequency of use of pet health information accessed by owners and assess the level of confidence in information accuracy as reported by pet owners who visit their veterinarians.

Design—Prospective study.

Sample Population—412 participants from 17 small animal veterinary clinics.

Procedures—Questionnaires pertaining to pet owners' habits related to pet health information (sources and frequency of their use and confidence in accuracy of information accessed) were distributed by front desk staff at 17 participating veterinary clinics. A cover letter was included with each survey that offered instructions for completion and assured respondents of their anonymity. All completed surveys were placed in an envelope and returned to the researchers for analysis.

Results—Results indicated that pet owners who visited their veterinarians acquired pet information from veterinarians via the telephone or in person and from family or friends more frequently than they acquired such information from the World Wide Web. Pet owners also reported more confidence in information received from veterinarians (in person and via telephone conversations), compared with information from any other accessible source.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The use of Web sites by owners as sources of pet health information will undoubtedly continue to grow. Veterinarians can play a more proactive role in helping pet owners to access reliable Web sites that provide useful pet health information, thereby providing a benefit to all parties.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To assess small animal general practice veterinarians' use and perceptions of synchronous video-based telemedicine before and during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

SAMPLE

550 respondent veterinarian members of the Veterinary Information Network (VIN).

PROCEDURES

An anonymous online survey was used to gather data from VIN-member veterinarians in small animal general practice regarding their perceptions and use of synchronous video-based telemedicine. Two emails to all VIN members were used to distribute the web-based questionnaire. For consistency, only responses from North American veterinarians who reported working in small animal general practice were included in analyses. Responses were collected between September 28, 2020, and October 21, 2020.

RESULTS

There were 69,488 recipients and 680 respondents (1.0% response rate), 550 of whom had North American internet protocol addresses and reported working in small animal general practice. Not all respondents answered all questions. Use of video-based telemedicine substantially increased among respondents during the COVID-19 pandemic, and most (86/130 [66.2%]) reported little to no difficulty in adopting videoconferencing. Respondents also reported that telemedicine took less time (61/135 [45.2%]) and resulted in less financial compensation (103/135 [76.3%]) than in-person consultation. Several respondents reported concerns regarding legal issues and potential inferiorities of telemedicine.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Our results indicated that a substantial proportion of respondents incorporated synchronous video-based telemedicine into their practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite low perceived difficulty in adopting videoconferencing telemedicine, many planned to discontinue it for some clinical applications once the pandemic is over. Further research is required to elucidate the perceptions and challenges in successful use of veterinary telemedicine.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To evaluate owner satisfaction with a home-based, synchronous videoconferencing telemedicine application as an alternative to in-clinic appointments for conducting recheck examinations after surgical sterilization in dogs.

DESIGN Randomized controlled clinical trial.

ANIMALS 30 client-owned dogs undergoing elective surgical sterilization and postsurgical recheck examination between September 27, 2017, and February 23, 2018.

PROCEDURES Dogs were randomly assigned to have their recheck examinations performed remotely (the telemedicine group) or at the veterinary clinic (the control group). After the recheck examination, owners completed a survey regarding their satisfaction with the recheck examination and their dogs' behavior during it. Information regarding the surgery and recheck examination was obtained from the electronic medical record. Mann-Whitney U tests were used to compare results between the telemedicine and control groups.

RESULTS Owners were equally satisfied with recheck examinations performed by videoconference and in-clinic appointments. Owners of dogs in the telemedicine group indicated that their dogs were less afraid during the virtual appointment, compared with what was typical for them during in-clinic appointments, but the difference was not statistically significant. Most owners who completed a postsurgical recheck examination by videoconferencing preferred this method for similar appointments in the future.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested that owners were satisfied with videoconferencing as a means of conducting a postsurgical recheck examination. Further research is needed to assess videoconferencing's ability to reduce signs of fear in dogs during veterinary examinations, its economic feasibility, and the willingness of veterinarians and animal owners to adopt the technology.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To estimate the proportion of veterinarians working with feline patients in private practices who do or do not perform onychectomy and assess attitudes regarding and practices related to onychectomy in a large population of veterinary practitioners.

DESIGN Anonymous online survey.

SAMPLE 3,441 veterinarians.

PROCEDURES An online survey was provided to members of the Veterinary Information Network from June 18, 2014, through July 9, 2014. Descriptive statistics and frequency distributions for applicable response types were calculated, and Mann-Whitney U tests were conducted to compare responses to onychectomy-related opinion questions between respondents who indicated they did or did not perform the procedure. Not all respondents answered every question.

RESULTS 2,503 of 3,441 (72.7%) survey respondents reported performing onychectomy, and 827 (24.0%) indicated they did not; 1,534 of 2,498 (61.4%) performing the procedure reported a frequency of < 1 onychectomy/month. Most (2,256/3,023 [74.6%]) respondents who performed onychectomy indicated that they recommended nonsurgical alternatives. Surgical techniques and approaches to analgesia varied, with use of a scalpel only (1,046/1,722 [60.7%]) and perioperative administration of injectable opioids (1,933/2,482 [77.9%]) most commonly reported. Responses to opinion questions in regard to the degree of pain associated with onychectomy and recovery; whether declawing is a form of mutilation, is necessary in some cats for behavioral reasons, or is a necessary alternative to euthanasia in some cats; and whether state organizations should support a legislative ban on onychectomy differed significantly between respondents who did and did not perform the procedure.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Onychectomy is a controversial topic, and this was reflected in survey results. In this sample, most veterinarians performing the procedure reported that they did so infrequently, and most offered nonsurgical alternatives to the procedure.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

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 assess differences in strength of the human-animal bond between Hispanic and non-Hispanic owners and determine whether these variations were associated with differences in medical care for pets.

Design—Survey.

Sample Population—419 pet owners presenting a dog or cat for veterinary services at private veterinary clinics in Aurora, Colo; Chula Vista, Calif; and Mexico City.

Procedures—Owner and pet demographic information was obtained via open-ended interview questions. The human-animal bond was assessed through the Lexington Attachment to Pets Scale. Pet health data were obtained from medical records for the specific visit observed, and a body condition score was assigned.

Results—Hispanics were more likely to own sexually intact dogs and cats as pets than were individuals of other race-ethnicity groups. Overall, owners were most likely to classify their pets as providing companionship. When data for the 2 US locations were examined separately, no significant difference existed between how non-Hispanic White and Hispanic owners viewed their pets, and scores for the Lexington Attachment to Pets Scale did not differ significantly among race-ethnicity groups.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—There was a strong human-animal bond among Hispanic respondents, and Hispanic pet owners in the United States and Mexico verbalized this attachment in similar ways to non-Hispanic White owners. There was no observed association between owner race-ethnicity and strength of the human-animal bond for Hispanic and non-Hispanic White pet owners in the United States. Thus, other factors must be considered to explain the observed difference in percentages of neutered animals between groups.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To assess the prevalence of medical errors (specifically, near misses [NMs] and adverse events [AEs]) and their personal and professional impact on veterinarians.

DESIGN Cross-sectional study.

SAMPLE Members of the Veterinary Information Network (n = 46,481).

PROCEDURES An electronic survey regarding veterinarians' experiences with NMs and AEs was distributed via email to an online veterinary community between September 24 and October 21, 2015. Responses were summarized and compared between genders by means of the χ2 test.

RESULTS 606 veterinarians completed the survey (1.3% response rate). Overall, 447 (73.8%) respondents reported involvement in ≥ 1 NM (n = 389 [64.2%]) or AE (179 [29.5%]). The NMs had a short-term (≤ 1 week) adverse impact on professional life for 68.0% (261/384) of respondents and longer-term negative impact for 36.4% (140/385). The impact on respondents' personal lives was similar (63.6% [245/385] and 33.5% [129/385], respectively). For AEs, these numbers were 84.1% (148/176), 56.2% (99/177), 77.8% (137/176), and 50.6% (89/175), respectively. Both NMs and AEs were more likely to negatively impact female veterinarians than male veterinarians.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE These findings suggested that many veterinarians experience emotional distress after a medical error. Support should be provided to mitigate this adverse impact on the wellbeing of veterinarians and, potentially, their future patients.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association