Letters to the Editor

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Concerned about Caine Veterinary Teaching Center closing

I am writing on behalf of Herd Health PLLC, a veterinary practice group based in Caldwell, Idaho, regarding the recently announced plan to close the Caine Veterinary Teaching Center.1 Herd Health is a mobile food animal practice established in 1993 that currently employs eight veterinarians serving clients locally, regionally, and in other states. The practice has a long history of working with the CVTC throughout its many years of service to the state of Idaho. Some of us finished our student training there as senior veterinary students, and we have in turn supported the CVTC by working with veterinary students rotating through the center to broaden their experience in the field. The CVTC has helped us host students and associates from across the country, welcomed referrals, and provided supplies and facilities in emergencies. The faculty and staff, current and past, were always professional to us and our clients, addressing concerns and sharing their expertise.

The CVTC has been invaluable to us as a diagnostic and referral facility, adding to the speed and thoroughness of our practice capabilities. We will miss these capabilities and support, as will our colleagues and producers across the state. In addition, we worry that following the closure of the CVTC, our ability to respond quickly to potential large-scale threats to our industry will be compromised. The loss of facilities and staff to support responses to emerging and exotic animal diseases and increasing bioterrorism threats runs counter to current risks.

We hope that as the University of Idaho adapts its teaching programs, it also recognizes the important functions the CVTC has served to many of us personally and to all of us in Idaho.

Robert Dey, dvm

Herd Health PLLC

Caldwell, Idaho

1. Larkin M. Idaho veterinary teaching center closing. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2016; 248: 737739.

Troublesome ad

I was saddened to see a full-page advertisement in the July 1, 2016, issue of JAVMA featuring a Pug with such extreme brachycephaly that the skin fold dorsal to its nose is almost as prominent as the nose itself. In my opinion, the image would be more appropriate appearing on a cautionary poster about the dangers of brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome than as an inducement to purchase pet treats. Veterinarians are—or at least should be—aware of the deleterious effects of breeding for extreme brachycephaly, extreme hock angulation, or extreme loose skin resulting in deep wrinkles. I urge others to speak up and to encourage publishers to reject advertisements containing examples of intentional selection for these types of deleterious traits. Until the public understands that these animals are not healthy, owners will continue to purchase them and breeders will continue to produce them.

Jessica Hekman, dvm, ms

Department of Animal Sciences

University of Illinois

Urbana, Ill

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