December 15, 2011

Veterinary practices in the United States currently span a spectrum of sizes, but the number of veterinarians per practice has increased noticeably in recent years. For all private practices combined, the mean number of full-time—equivalent veterinarians per practice increased from 2.08 in 1999 to 2.44 in 2009, according to the AVMA Biennial Economic Survey. For companion animal–exclusive practices specifically, solo practices are now less common than practices with more than three veterinarians.


The AVMA further established its stake in global veterinary affairs at a handful of recent international meetings. Association leaders attended the 30th World Veterinary Congress, held Oct. 10-14 in Cape Town, South Africa. There, they voiced the AVMA's position on antimicrobial use, gave educational lectures, and participated in the closing ceremony of World Veterinary Year. A few leaders also were at the International Veterinary Officers Council and World Small Animal Veterinary Association meetings held that same month in South Africa and Korea, respectively.


Next year, everyone but licensed veterinary professionals will be forbidden from using dental scalers to clean pets' teeth in California. The regulatory amendment adopted by the California Veterinary Medical Board provides the agency with greater enforcement powers over pet groomers and other laypersons who had been using scalers legally in the past.


Taliban insurgents drove a truck bomb into the Afghanistan Veterinary Association office building in the southern city of Kandahar this past October as part of an assault on a nearby United Nations facility. Several people were killed in the attack, including an AVA security guard.