This decade was a time of relatively high caseloads, allowing for continued accumulation of case experience. Although prospective studies were relatively uncommon, JAVMA published many retrospective case series, most notably for horses, and these provided important observational data for clinicians. Articles included the outcome of check ligament desmotomy in Standardbreds; treatment of dorsal displacement of the soft palate with sternothyrohyoideus myectomy and staphylectomy, a procedure now largely replaced by the laryngeal tie-forward procedure; and the outcome of epiglottic augmentation. Other case series contributed to the methods used currently to manage orthopedic injuries in horses. Among these were reports describing arthroscopic findings in the carpal joints of lame horses without radiographic abnormalities and reports of treatment of axial osteochondral fragments of the proximal phalanx, condylar fractures, and horses with noncomminuted midsagittal proximal phalanx fractures. In 2000, two papers by Dr. William Saville and co-workers reported results of a large epidemiologic study of horses with equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, a disease first described in 1993. The authors identified several risk factors, including young age. Sports medicine and performance evaluation were the subjects of a number of articles, including a retrospective study by Dr. Benson Martin Jr. et al reporting results of comprehensive performance evaluations of 348 horses and a study by Dr. John Stick et al comparing results of presale endoscopic examination with subsequent racing performance in Thoroughbred yearlings. Similarly, in small animal patients, articles published in this decade reflected increased application of a variety of progressively sophisticated treatments and modalities.
Anesthesia and perioperative care were the focus of many articles in JAVMA throughout this decade. Such advances were integral to the increasingly advanced care of patients being provided by surgeons and other specialists. In 1996, Drs. John Hubbell and William Muir reported results of a survey of 200 diplomates of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine that found that opioids were the most frequently selected agents used to induce analgesia in animals used in biomedical research. A survey published in 2000 by Drs. Ann Wagner and Peter Hellyer evaluated anesthesia techniques and concerns of clinicians in private small animal practice in Colorado, with a 2003 article by the same authors presenting myths and misconceptions related to the practice of small animal anesthesia. In 2002, Dr. Eileen Sullivan and co-authors published the first report describing the use of a pool raft system at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine’s New Bolton Center for 393 horses recovering from general anesthesia.
Appreciating the impact of animal companionship on the health and well-being of humans creates a new dimension for veterinarians in public health. Veterinarians’ responsibilities have expanded to include the mental health and well-being of their clients. ... Respect for the client’s perspective and interests and recognition of the role the animal plays in the life of the client are incorporated into all aspects of care.
“What can veterinarians learn from studies of physician-patient communication about veterinarian-client-patient communication?” in the March 1, 2004, issue
This era also saw reports on laparoscopic procedures, as the use of minimally invasive surgery began to emerge and become more common in veterinary medicine. In 2000, Dr. Troy Trumble et al reported successful laparoscopic intra-abdominal ligation of the testicular artery in a stallion with post-castration hemorrhage; other articles included prospective evaluation of the usefulness and outcome of laparoscopic gastropexy in 25 large-breed, client-owned dogs prone to gastric dilatation volvulus in 2002 and an evaluation of the feasibility of laparoscopic-assisted jejunostomy tube placement in dogs in 2004. In 1996, Dr. David Anderson et al described the laparoscopic anatomy and three laparoscopic approaches to the abdomen in adult llamas, with laparoscopic ovariectomy in two llamas described in 1998 and crytorchidectomy in two alpacas reported in 2002. Food animal reports were also common throughout this decade. Examples included a 1995 report of facilitated ankylosis for treatment of septic arthritis of the distal interphalangeal joint in cattle and the outcome of unilateral castration in breeding bulls in 2002.
Emphasizing the human aspects of veterinary medicine, Dr. Cindy Adams et al in a study published in 2000 evaluated predictors of grief and client needs relating to death of a pet. In 2004, two articles by Dr. Jane Shaw et al explored aspects of veterinarian-client-patient communication, including the application of knowledge from research in physician-patient communication to the veterinary profession and evaluation of the usefulness of a quantitative communication tool in companion animal practice, in an effort to explore how outcomes for patients might be improved. Another study evaluated nontechnical competencies that contribute to career success. Together, these articles emphasized that the practice of veterinary medicine is not limited to acquisition and refinement of diagnostic and clinical skills, and JAVMA served as an important venue for communication in the profession, underscoring the essential role of veterinarians in society and the value of the human-animal bond.