1965 - 1975

Published on September 30, 2015
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The period of 1965-1975 could be characterized as a time when part of the foundation for the present-day one-health initiative was laid, as new possibilities and opportunities in animal health were explored.

Although the first JAVMA report on antimicrobial resistance was published in 1955 (“Antibiotic-resistant micrococci in sub-clinical mastitis”), it wasn't until the late 1960s that reports began to emerge on the concept of multidrug resistance, the potential for transfer of resistance among bacteria, and the implications of antimicrobial resistance and use in veterinary species for public health. This attention was contemporary with the 1969 release of the U.K. government’s Swann Report, which recommended that antibiotics used to treat humans and other animals not be incorporated in animal feeds.

As veterinarians, we are still obligated, as members of the nation’s health team, to do our part in helping to protect the public from drug-resistant bacteria and from drug residues.”

Dr. Arthur Freeman, former JAVMA editor-in-chief, in a 1970 editorial

In a 1970 JAVMA editorial on the report, Dr. Arthur Freeman, then editor-in-chief, wrote, “Right now the Swann Committee Report will not change anything veterinarians are doing in this country. As veterinarians, we are still obligated, as members of the nation’s health team, to do our part in helping to protect the public from drug-resistant bacteria and from drug residues.” He went on to say, “We can learn from the Swann Committee Report and from the comments made about it that the public health significance of both transferable drug resistance and persistence of drug residues is not fully understood. The differences between the phenomena and the problems are yet to be determined.”

The notion of wildlife as sentinels for environmental health also began to garner attention during this period, as did the health implications of environmental contamination on humans and other animals.

Dr. Allen W. Hahn (center) was researching the “development of a power cell or battery that
will be able to power electrical devices like a cardiac pacemaker or telemeter within the body
for long periods of time,” according to a July 1, 1970, JAVMA article.

With respect to infectious diseases, readers in 1966 saw a flare-up of reports that existing inactivated canine distemper vaccines might be ineffective, and researchers investigated whether the human measles vaccine might prevent distemper in dogs. In addition, the first widespread U.S. outbreak of velogenic viscerotropic Newcastle disease was reported in Southern California, a situation that prompted declaration of a national emergency and depopulation of more than 11 million birds, most of which were commercial layer hens. Infected birds that escaped from an exotic aviary were identified as the probable source, prompting discussion of the need for regulation of imported birds and the adoption in 1974 of quarantine measures by the Department of Agriculture.

Also important during this period was hog cholera, which was devastating the swine industry at the time. An eradication campaign was reflected in the increase in reports of new diagnostic tests and combinations of test results to confirm the disease and contributed to the United States being declared cholera free in 1978.

Other topics that received new or increased research attention included the influence of diet on health and disease in everything from pet birds and monkeys to iguanas and foxes as well as dental treatment and diagnostic techniques for cats and dogs. Boris Levinson, PhD, introduced readers in 1970 to the concept of pets as therapy for people in his often-cited study titled “Pets, child development, and mental illness.”

Reports on diseases of, diagnostic techniques for, and treatments for reptiles and marine mammals, particularly dolphins, secured a regular spot among the journals’ pages during this period, and researchers sought to answer the question “Do dolphins drink water?” (They do.)

Researchers sought to answer the question “Do dolphins drink water?” in this
Sept. 1, 1970, study that appeared in the Journal. They do, it turns out.

Technological advances received attention as reports on clinical use of encephalography in veterinary species began to appear in 1966, electroretinography in 1967, and electrocardiography by radiotelemetry in 1968. The first report of a pacemaker used to treat heart disease in a horse appeared in 1967 and in a dog in 1968.

Finally, the number of clinical reports and original studies involving cats published from 1965-1975 was more than twice that of all prior years combined, coinciding with foundation of the American Association of Feline Practitioners in 1970.