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Partners for Healthy Pets Update- Winter, 2013

An Unprecedented Effort

The second year of Partners for Healthy Pets saw many accomplishments. First and foremost among them was the continuing growth and support for what has become a coalition of professional associations and animal health industry partners that is truly unprecedented in the history of the profession. We enter 2013 with all 20 founding members renewing their commitment of financial and other resources, and pledging their ongoing support for increasing the preventive healthcare services delivered to the nation’s pets.

Just as impressively, 45 Associate Members, including 34 state veterinary associations, have pledged support for the mission and vision of the organization and have committed to providing in-kind contributions. Based on requests from other sectors, Associate Member categories have been established for Colleges of Veterinary Medicine, International Associations, and the media.

We are truly and uniquely positioned to make a positive and significant impact on pet health

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Honorable Mention, Life as a Vet Student
Jacquelyn Horner, Georgia

For this edition's "Life as a Vet Student" category, The Vet Gazette asked readers, "Well, it’s almost 2013, proving the Mayans wrong about the end of the world. As we begin another year, what resolutions are you making, and how successful do you think you’ll be at keeping them?" Here is how one student answered:

During my travels to Chichen Itza over Thanksgiving 2012, I had the opportunity to discuss our rumored impending doom with the native Mayan descendents of the area. They quite confidently explained to me that the end of the Mayan calendar was never intended to represent the end of the world, only the end of our world as we know it. December 21, 2012 marked the end of an era and the beginning of another: a new time of human spirituality and self-discovery.           

As a tribute to the Mayan beliefs, I decided not to make any unrealistic resolutions regarding my daily activities or physical health such as: “I will go to the gym 5 days per week;” or “I will get up on the first alarm every morning;” or “I will execute portion control when I eat out.” No, I resolve to change my inner being and how I think of myself. You see, I am a people pleaser. I constantly put myself, my thoughts, and my wishes on the backburner in order to avoid confrontation. I am always concerned with what people think of me and how I can maintain interpersonal relationships with minimal friction. I’m sure that many of those reading are guilty of this.

Well, the year 2013 has arrived and it’s time for a change.

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A memorable emergency clinic phone call

Honorable Mention, Foot in Mouth Disease
Sara Waltz, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine

During my breaks, I work as a veterinary nurse at an emergency hospital in Raleigh, NC. We field a lot of after-hours calls of course and some have a level of comedy associated with them so I write them down. This one has become a favorite of mine.  A man called me very concerned about his dog. This is how the conversation went. Please keep in mind, he had a very deep southern accent.

Me: “(emergency hospital), this is Sara. How can I help you?”

Gentlemen: “Well’r, I’m calling ‘bout my dog. She’s been ‘backed up’ I reckon for the last couple’r days.”

Me: “Sir, just so I understand, you believe she’s constipated, is that right? Has she been straining to defecate?”

Gentlemen: “Yes ma’am that’s correct. Well let me tell ya, I took her to the vet yesterday and that doctor said she couldn’t find anything so she sent me home with them an-ti-biotics. Well, she’s been on them now since yesterday and she’s still just not right. So I went ahead and stuck my fingr up ther--- I ain’t above it.

 Well, don’t you know, I pulled me out a little turdball. So I went ahead and stuck it up ther again to see what I could get. Now, this time I felt me something in ther. Then I remembered- I done gave that dog a chicken bone a few days ago and don’t you know that’s what I felt up ther in her butthole. So now, ma’am, what should I do….?”


Prehydration Requirements of Working Dogs

Honorable Mention, Abstracts
Shannon Palermo, University of Pennsylvania

Prehydration Requirements of Working Dogs


Detection dogs work in adverse environments. In the field, dog handlers have used subcutaneous fluids and oral electrolyte solutions in addition to water to prevent dehydration; however, the efficacy of these strategies has not been studied. Our study aimed to determine the effects of 3 prehydration strategies on body weight, blood electrolytes and search performance in police canines working in hot environments.  This field study tested 3 prehydration strategies in each of 3 police detection canines using a cross over design. Each dog was randomly assigned to 10 ml/kg of water (W), subcutaneous balanced electrolyte solution (SQ), or chicken flavored oral electrolyte solution (OES) at the beginning of each work day. All dogs were offered water every thirty minutes; however, OES dogs were offered 10 ml/kg OES if they drank <3 ml/kg of water. At the beginning, middle, and end of each day, we measured body weight, serum electrolytes, lactate, and vital signs. A timed standardized search at the beginning and end of each day was conducted. Dogs in the W (n=3) and SQ (n=3) groups drank a combined mean of 5.0 ml/kg/hr, while the OES dogs (n=3) drank 18.6 ml/kg/hr. Only dogs in the OES group developed isosthenuria and gained weight. Hematocrit decreased by the end of the work day for dogs in the OES and SQ group. Regardless of the hydration strategy all dogs had a small but significant decrease in potassium, no hydration strategy resulted in a significant change in electrolyte values throughout the day. Only dogs in the OES group maintained blood bicarbonate concentrations and had significantly faster afternoon search times compared to the morning. In this study, police dogs performing light to moderate work in hot environments were able to maintain hydration. In addition to maintaining hydration, by then end of the work day dogs in the OES group had improved search times, a significantly decreased hematocrit, and were able to maintain a consistent level of bicarbonate.



On Resolutions

Honorable Mention, Life as a Vet Student
Christopher Reeves, Auburn

For this edition's "Life as a Vet Student" category, The Vet Gazette asked readers, "As we begin another year, what resolutions are you making, and how successful do you think you’ll be at keeping them?" Here is how one student answered:

New Year’s resolutions in the past for me have had abysmal results at best.  Last year I figured I would trick myself by making an, “I won’t keep my New Year’s resolution” resolution, and that was probably the best one kept in my life!  But this year I believe will be different.  Not because I feel like I have more self-control, will-power, or bullheadedness, but because I discovered a new tool over the summer break that made my impact on my school the best yet last semester: LISTS!

I rediscovered regular old “To Do” lists, but this time with a new age twist.  I’ve tried these in the past with limited success.  For short term (day or two) projects they work wonderfully to keep me on track and keep my mind organized.  However for long term goals and projects, I just ended up losing them!  What is the point of a list if you can’t find it or you lose it?  So what is different this time? Computer desktop post-it notes!

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