How to Start a Discussion

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AVMA’s Online Discussion Forum is set up so all AVMA and SAVMA members can ask colleagues and staff any kind of question, and share any information you think will be interesting to your fellow veterinarians and veterinary students. If you don’t see an ongoing discussion that fits the subject you want to address, you can start a new discussion at any time. Here’s how:

1.    You must already be signed in to the Discussion Forum on If you're not sure how to do that, get sign-in help here.

2.    Look through the discussion groups listed on the Discussion Forum landing page to find the right group for your topic. Be sure to look through all three sections on the page: AVMA Central, The Exam Room, and Outside the Exam Room.

3.    In the left column, click on the blue name of the discussion group that best fits your subject.

4.    Scan the titles of the existing/ongoing discussions in the forum to see if one of them fits the topic you want to discuss.

5.    If none of the existing discussions is on the same topic that you want to discuss, you will want to start a new discussion. To do so, click on the purple Add a New Topic button at the top.

6.    You will be shown a form to use to type in your new discussion.
Type a title for your discussion in the Subject field.

7.    Type your discussion message into the Message field.
!! IMPORTANT NOTE: If you want to copy your message from another program, such as email or Word, copy it first into a text editing program (such as Notepad), then copy it from that program before pasting into the discussion form; otherwise, it might not display in all browsers.

8.    Format Your Post: Use the controls on the gray formatting bar to add formatting and links to your post.

9.    If you are unsure what an icon on the formatting bar means, mouse over it to see a tooltip identifying its function.

10.    Add Links to Your Message: You must use the formatting bar if you want to add links to your message. If you simply paste a link into your message, it will display as unlinked text to those who read the message. To add a link:

A.    Define the message text that you want to hyperlink, and click on the chain (link) icon in the formatting bar:

B.    Type or paste the linking URL into the Link URL box:

C.    Click the dropdown arrow to the right of the Target box and select Open in new window (_blank):

D.    Click the Insert button:

E.    You will be returned to your message screen, where you will see your linked text displayed in blue.

11.    Preview Your Message: If you want to see how your message will look when it is published, you can preview it at any time by clicking the Preview icon on the formatting toolbar.

12.    When you are satisfied that your message is ready, click the Post button to publish it to the Discussion Forum. Check the “Alert me when new reply appears” checkbox to receive an email notification when anyone posts a comment or reply to your message. This will allow you to reply back directly through your email, without opening a browser and coming to each time.