In This Issue—July 15, 2015

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JAVMA News

Intelligent, inquisitive, and cunning, the octopus is unique among species treated by aquatic animal veterinarians. In other news, federal rules that take effect Oct. 1 are intended to provide an easier process for distributing medicated livestock feeds that require veterinarian oversight.

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Letters to the Editor

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What Is Your Diagnosis?

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Theriogenology Question of the Month

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Animal Behavior Case of the Month

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Pathology in Practice

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commentary

The Healthy Pets Healthy Families initiative as an example of one health in action

Real-world applications incorporating one health strategies are needed to illustrate how the one health concept can be translated into practical programs. One such application is the 2020 Healthy Pets Healthy Families initiative developed by the Veterinary Public Health Program in the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

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Signalment, clinical features, echocardiographic findings, and outcome of dogs and cats with ventricular septal defects

Data from large populations of dogs and cats with ventricular septal defects are lacking, and survival times and prognostic factors are unknown. In a review of medical records for 56 dogs and 53 cats with VSDs, 53 of the 109 (48.6%) animals had solitary defects. Most (82/109) VSDs were membranous or perimembranous. Most isolated VSDs were subclinical (43/53) and had a pulmonary-to-systemic flow ratio < 1.5 (24/32). Both VSD diameter and VSD-to-aortic diameter ratio were significantly correlated with pulmonary-to-systemic flow ratio. Of the 37 animals with isolated VSDs for which data were available, no subclinically affected animals developed signs after initial diagnosis, and median age at death from all causes was 12 years.

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Putative precipitating factors for hepatic encephalopathy in dogs

Ammonia is believed to have a central role in the pathogenesis of hepatic encephalopathy, but a review of medical records for 118 dogs with hepatic encephalopathy indicated that severity of hepatic encephalopathy at hospital admission, graded on a 5-point scale, was not significantly correlated with plasma ammonia concentration. Dogs treated for hepatic encephalopathy prior to hospital admission were less likely to have clinical signs of the disease at hospital admission, compared with dogs that were not treated for the disease (OR, 0.36). None of the putative precipitating factors for hepatic encephalopathy were significantly associated with the presence of clinical signs of the disease at hospital admission.

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Surgically planned versus histologically measured lateral tumor margins for resection of cutaneous and subcutaneous mast cell tumors in dogs

In dogs with cutaneous and subcutaneous mast cell tumors, wide resection is recommended to obtain tumor-free margins. Studies of human patients have found substantial shrinkage of skin tissue samples associated with excision and fixation, potentially complicating assessments of tumor margins. In a review of medical records for 46 dogs (51 MCTs) that underwent curative-intent surgical resection, surgically mapped lateral margins differed significantly from histologically reported margins, with histologic margins being 35% to 42% smaller than the surgical margins for the combined 51 specimens. Body condition score was not significantly associated with the magnitude of the decrease in lateral margins measured histologically.

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Clinical disease associated with epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus in cattle in Illinois

Epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus had not been associated with an outbreak among cattle herds in the United States until the fall of 2013, when cattle in 23 herds in northwestern Illinois were found to be infected with EHDV. In a survey of managers of 13 affected beef and 5 affected dairy herds containing approximately 1,400 cattle, of which 61 were infected with EHDV and 16 died, most affected cattle were adults. However, 1 herd had 6 calves with clinical signs, and EHDV was identified in 1 of those calves. Clinical signs most commonly observed were oral ulcerations or erosions, anorexia, weight loss, and lameness that typically lasted > 7 days. The EHDV outbreak in cattle coincided with an EHDV outbreak in deer in the region.

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Financial expectations of first-year veterinary students

Starting salaries for new veterinary graduates have increased over the years, but these increases have not kept up with inflation, let alone with the increase in educational debt. Yet, the number of applicants to veterinary colleges remains more than double the number of seats available. In an effort to determine whether first-year veterinary students are misinformed about the financial consequences of pursuing a career in veterinary medicine, a survey was distributed to the incoming first-year class at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. Results indicated that students were aware of the financial costs of their veterinary education and had realistic expectations for future salaries.

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