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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To survey first-year veterinary students' knowledge of companion animal (dog, cat, and horse) behavior and popular-culture (ie, pop-culture) behavior myths related to animal body language, motivations, and learning prior to participation in an introductory animal behavior course; evaluate potential associations between sources of prior behavior knowledge and knowledge on the preclass survey; and determine whether postclass scores on the same survey were predictive of final examination score for the behavior class.

SAMPLE

156 first-year veterinary students.

PROCEDURES

Students were invited to participate in an anonymous electronic survey before and after a semester-long, 2-credit introductory animal behavior course. Demographic features, self-assessed animal behavior knowledge, and sources of prior behavior knowledge were evaluated as predictors of preclass survey knowledge scores. Postclass survey knowledge scores were evaluated for association with final examination scores as a measure of validity.

RESULTS

Preclass knowledge scores were low (mean ± SD, 49 ± 12.7%; n = 152). Reporting peer-reviewed journal articles as a source of incoming knowledge predicted 9% higher scores, whereas reporting magazines or online pop-culture articles as a source of incoming knowledge predicted 7.6% lower scores for preclass behavior knowledge, compared with scores for students not citing those respective sources. Companion animal ownership was not associated with preclass survey knowledge scores. Postclass knowledge scores were substantially improved (mean ± SD, 84.3 ± 8%) and predictive of final examination scores.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results indicated a profound deficit of behavior knowledge among veterinary students at the start of their curriculum. Students graduating from veterinary institutions without a comprehensive behavior course may be at a disadvantage for day 1 competency in addressing animal behavior problems.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective

To characterize clinician preferences and justification for preferred methods for managing canine idiopathic acute diarrhea (IAD) and compare results to evidence-based literature.

sample

284 surveys from veterinarians in small animal first-opinion practice.

Methods

Veterinarians were asked to complete a survey (61 questions) including background demographic information, practice type and location, duration in practice, and management questions for canine IAD pertaining to nutritional, probiotic, antimicrobial, antidiarrheal, benign neglect, and other therapies. The survey was available between May 5, 2021, and August 30, 2021.

Results

Respondents reported that their preferred first-line therapy for canine IAD included dietary modification (41.3% of respondents), probiotics (20.1%), antimicrobials (21.2%), antidiarrheal medications (13.0%), and benign neglect (4.3%). The percentage of respondents who reported each therapy as either extremely effective or very effective for canine IAD varied by treatment, as follows: antimicrobials (75.2%), dietary modification (59.13%), antidiarrheal medications (42.5%), probiotics (35.5%), and benign neglect (6.52%). Perceptions of effectiveness, efficiency of treatment, and clinician justification for use were variable among treatments. Reported practice styles were occasionally in disagreement with evidence-based methods of canine IAD management.

Clinical Relevance

Current clinical management of IAD is not consistently in agreement with evidence-based recommendations. The results of this study underscore the continued need to evaluate veterinary prescribing practice trends compared to evidence-based recommendations and promote dissemination of new information.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association