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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective

To assess veterinary extension in the United States as perceived by veterinary extension personnel.

Design

Cross-sectional survey.

Sample Population

Extension veterinarians in the United States.

Procedure

2 surveys were designed and mailed to extension veterinarians listed by the USDA and the American Association of Extension Veterinarians.

Results

34 states had ≥ 1 extension veterinarian. The majority (> 60%) of extension veterinarians did not commit time to resident education and were not involved in research activities. Paradoxically, 23% of responding extension veterinarians did not report extension work. Programs for food animal producers, horse owners, and companion animal owners were provided by 100, 63, and 37% of states, respectively. Continuing education (CE) programs were provided for food animal veterinarians, equine veterinarians, and companion animal veterinarians by 96, 63, and 52% of states, respectively. Challenges facing veterinary extension included limited recognition of veterinary extension activities by universities, lack of university personnel to support CE programs, and decreased support for companion animal extension programs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

Extension veterinarians need to identify and clearly articulate the mission of veterinary extension, develop more collaborative programs across regions, and continue to serve as catalysts to bring diverse constituents together. Extension veterinarians must distinguish their mission not solely as information transfer, which can be accomplished in a variety of ways outside of extension, but as a coherent and consistent program of education and policy developed on a national level and distributed locally. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1999;215:1439–1443)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To describe the number and types of veterinary professional degree and certificate programs providing education in the area of public practice to veterinarians and determine the availability of these programs via distance learning.

Procedures—Web-based internet searches were performed for programs for veterinary public practice or public health, population medicine, or Master's degree in Epidemiology. The information reviewed was derived from individual school and program Web sites and from personal e-mail correspondence with school administrators.

Results—17 professional degree and 4 certificate programs were available to provide education and training in the areas of public practice and population medicine to veterinarians. Twelve of these programs have begun since 1998. Of the 17 professional degree programs, 7 are located in the United States and 10 are located in other countries. Nine of the professional degree programs provide education through traditional teaching methods, and 8 provide education and training through distance learning.

Conclusions—During the preceding 5 years, the number of programs available to educate and train veterinarians in the areas of public practice and population medicine has increased. Distance learning is being used to increase capacity and reach a broader audience of veterinarians. With the increase in programs has come an increase in capacity to educate and train veterinarians in the fields of population medicine and public practice. The impact and sustainability of this increased capacity have not been evaluated.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine factors associated with implementation and use of an on-farm system for bacteriologic culture of milk from cows with lowgrade mastitis, including information on how producers used the on-farm bacteriologic culture system to guide antimicrobial selection practices and the resulting impact on patterns of antimicrobial use.

Design—Retrospective cohort study.

Sample Population—Producers of 81 dairy farms.

Procedure—Farms that used an on-farm system for bacteriologic culture of milk from January 2001 to July 2003 were surveyed.

Results—Over half of those producers continuing to use the on-farm culture delayed antimicrobial treatment pending results of bacteriologic culture. Most other producers initiated empirical antimicrobial treatment while bacteriologic culture results were pending. Several barriers to the use of an on-farm system were identified. Significant reductions in rates of antimicrobial use were detected when comparing antimicrobial use rates before and during use of the on-farm system. Most producers chose to treat cows with mastitis caused by gram-positive pathogens with antimicrobials, whereas treatment choices for cows with mastitis caused by gram-negative bacteria and in cases in which no growth was detected varied.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Readily available results permit antimicrobial selections to be made on the basis of the causative agent of mastitis. Adoption of an on-farm system for bacteriologic culture of milk may result in significant reductions in the percentage of cows treated with antimicrobials. Decreasing antimicrobial use may have several benefits including preventing unnecessary discarding of milk, decreasing the potential for drug residues in milk, and improving treatment outcomes as a result of targeted treatments.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

A retrospective study of the results of 12,549 agar gel immunodiffusion tests for bovine leukemia virus, conducted on 1,296 dairy bulls over an 8-year period, was performed to estimate the sensitivity and specificity of the test. The number of tests performed on each bull ranged from 5 to 35, with a mean of 9.7 tests per bull.

Bulls were categorized by their agar gel immunodiffusion test responses; 1,069 (82.5%) were non-infected and 227 (17.5%) were infected. Eighteen false-positive results were reported from the noninfected bulls. Test specificity was estimated to be 99.8%. Thirty-one false-negative results were reported from the infected bulls. Test sensitivity was estimated to be 98.5%.

Fifty-six bulls had 1 or more positive responses when < 6 months old. In 26 (46%), these results were thought to be attributable to colostral immunity.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

Lack of a standardized information technology management strategy has resulted in state and federal information systems evolving separately, rather than in tandem. Absence of an information management strategy will eventually affect regulatory program management, epidemiologic research, and domestic and international livestock trade. Producers will ultimately pay the price for the lack of regulatory coordination of US animal health and disease information. The longer the development of state and federal information technology management strategies is postponed, the more cost-, labor-, and time-intensive correcting the deficiency will be. Development of a national information resources management environment is the first step in constructing state and federal information technology strategies.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association