In This Issue•March 15, 2016

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Genome-editing technologies are being used to advance medical research, improve animal welfare, and add disease resistance, with new technologies reducing the cost and difficulty with which this can be done. In other news, the AVMA Council on Education is working to address criticism and continue its federal recognition as a veterinary college accreditor.

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Letters to the Editor

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What Is Your Diagnosis?

See page 609

What Is Your Neurologic Diagnosis?

See page 613

Pathology in Practice

See pages 617, 621


The contribution of biomedical informatics to one health

If the one health approach is to be useful, there must be effective processes to collect and share data, exchange derived information, and transfer and apply the knowledge that is acquired. The field of biomedical informatics has the potential to play a crucial role in advancing these processes.

See page 604

Perspectives in Professional Education

Development of an optional clinical skills laboratory for surgical skills training of veterinary students

Historically, surgical skills in veterinary medicine have been taught through standard didactic lectures combined with laboratory exercises. Implementation of an optional clinical skills laboratory presents a potential method for providing students additional opportunities to build and refine their surgical skills.

See page 624

Perspectives in Professional Education

Effects of an optional clinical skills laboratory on surgical performance of third-year veterinary students

Addition of an optional clinical skills laboratory to the traditional surgery curriculum was associated with faster total surgery and incision closure times when students performed an ovariohysterectomy during their third-year surgery course.

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Book Reviews

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2015 JAVMA Reviewers

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2015 JAVMA Book Reviewers

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Small Animals

Associations between sex, body weight, age, and ultrasonographically determined adrenal gland thickness in dogs with non–adrenal gland illness

Adrenal gland shape and size are routinely assessed during comprehensive abdominal ultrasonographic examinations in dogs. A salient clinical concern, however, is the influence of non–adrenal gland illness on those measurements. In a retrospective cross-sectional study involving 266 dogs with non–adrenal gland illness in which thickness of the caudal pole of the adrenal glands was measured on longitudinal ultrasonographic images, body weight, age, and sex were significantly associated with adrenal gland thickness. Findings indicated that dogs with non–adrenal gland illness that weigh ≤ 12 kg should have an measurement no greater than 0.62 cm, whereas dogs that weigh > 12 kg should have a measurement no greater than 0.72 cm.

See page 652

Primary splenic torsion in dogs

Isolated torsion of the splenic pedicle is a rare condition in dogs and occurs when the spleen rotates around the gastrosplenic and phrenicosplenic ligaments. Although successful splenic derotation and repositioning have been reported, splenectomy is the most common treatment. In a review of medical records of 102 dogs with primary splenic torsion that underwent surgery between August 1992 and May 2014, 93 of the 102 (91.2%) were found to have survived to hospital discharge. Risk factors significantly associated with death included septic peritonitis at initial examination, intraoperative hemorrhage, and postoperative respiratory distress. Histopathologic evidence of splenic neoplasia was not found in any case.

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Abortions in Thoroughbred mares associated with consumption of bulbosus buttercups (Ranunculus bulbosus L)

When unexplained weight loss and emaciation were reported in a herd of Thoroughbred horses grazing spring pastures on a central Kentucky farm, examination of the farm revealed buttercup plants, Ranunculus bulbosus L, in all pastures and paddocks. All horses had mild to severe weight loss. Seven mares on the farm that had been confirmed pregnant between 30 and 45 days of gestation were later found to have aborted. Two 2-year-old fillies developed severe diarrhea, incoordination, recumbency, and paralysis and were euthanized. The surviving horses were moved from the buttercup-infested pastures, and all made an uneventful recovery. Mares that had aborted conceived successfully in the next breeding season.

See page 669

Aquatic Animals

Ophthalmic variables in rehabilitated juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtles

When water temperatures begin to fall in the autumn, juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtles that fail to migrate to warmer waters are at risk of becoming cold-stunned. Cold-stunned turtles that become stranded are taken to rehabilitation centers for treatment. Because ocular disease, although uncommon, can occur in sea turtles, information about the structure of the cornea and anterior chamber in healthy sea turtles would be useful in identifying ocular disease during rehabilitation of these turtles. Examination of central corneal thickness, anterior chamber depth, and intraocular pressure in 25 healthy rehabilitated juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtles provided preliminary reference ranges for these variables.

See page 673

Special Report

Use of veterinary services by Latino dog and cat owners with various degrees of English-language proficiency

A telephone survey of 393 Latino dog and cat owners found that 259 of 330 (78.5%) dog owners and 70 of 115 (60.9%) cat owners had taken their pet to the veterinarian in the past 12 months. Respondents were most satisfied with veterinary care provided, least satisfied with cost, and moderately satisfied with quality of communication. English-language proficiency was not significantly associated with whether owners sought veterinary care. Importantly, a large proportion of respondents who wanted to receive pet health information in Spanish described themselves as speaking English well or very well, indicating that veterinary personnel should ask clients about the language in which they would prefer to receive their pet's health information.

See page 681

Preparedness of small animal veterinary practices to communicate with Spanish-speaking pet owners with limited proficiency in English

A telephone survey of 383 small animal veterinary practices in 10 states found that 340 (89%) had Spanish-speaking clients with limited English-language proficiency and that 200 (52%) saw such clients on a weekly basis. Eight percent of practices had veterinary personnel who were conversant or fluent in spoken Spanish. Veterinarians who depended on clients' friends or family members to translate were significantly less satisfied with client communication than were those who could converse in Spanish with clients directly. Availability of Spanish-speaking staff and offering of Spanish-language resources were associated with an increase in the number of Spanish-speaking clients with limited English-language proficiency seen on a weekly basis.

See page 690

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