Letters to the Editor: July 2016 Issue

From the July 2016 issue of Veterinary Practice News.

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Don’t discount what’s learned in practice 

The JAVMA editor’s one sentence tells you all you need to know about his bias: “As scientists, Brinster et al. surely know that expert opinion is the very lowest tier of the evidence pyramid.” [“JAVMA editor-in-chief responds,” Viewpoint, June 2016]

After 42 years of private practice without a single malpractice claim or complaint I can say that I learned far more veterinary medicine from my patients, colleagues and clients than I ever learned in school. Even after 40 years in equine practice I was amazed at what I was continuing to learn from at least one or two new cases almost every week.

Veterinarians who spend their lives in academia have a very hard time learning the art of veterinary medicine. Certainly, some expert opinions are more valid than others, but weighing that is where the art of medicine is essential.

Most every medical decision I made was based on the evidence in front of my eyes. Rarely did I give much weight to the statistical difference in a double-blind trial with 24 healthy ponies. One gram of bute is an overdose to any healthy pony.

— David Frederick, DVM, Landrum, S.C. 

Dr. Becker, stick to veterinary medicine 

The entertainment value of Viewpoint keeps getting better.

I read Veterinary Practice News for its excellent practical CE and product updates. Like my Canadian colleague and classmate Dr. K.L. Thomas, I do not want to hear Dr. Marty Becker talk about his religious beliefs. I don’t care if he believes in Santa or the Easter Bunny either.

Leave your “In the Middle” column to veterinary-relevant topics, Marty. I recall decades ago reading your articles in Veterinary Economics that detailed methods to squeeze every nickel we could from clients to max out profitability. I don’t recall you including the Almighty in the equation.

For those religious veterinarians feeling oppressed, don’t be. Expound all you want, just not in a critter-fixing magazine.

To truly see oppressed individuals, watch the movie “Spotlight.” Religion can have a nasty side.

— P. Francis, DVM, Kilworth, Ontario, Canada 

Abuse cases may be hard to prosecute 

When animal cruelty is obvious, check your state and local laws regarding what is and what is not regarded as cruelty [“A cry for help,” April 2016]. Local humane groups and law enforcement can become involved.

However, unless your local prosecuting attorney is on board, it will be difficult to nearly impossible to do anything legally to the perpetrators. Have a meeting with the local prosecutor, and hopefully when these situations arise you may be able to enforce the current laws.

— G.L. Hoeppner, DVM, Salem, Mo. 

Just tell the truth 

I have a simple response to Dr. Alan Garett’s recommendation [“Another price strategy,” April 2016]: Do not lie. Ever.

— Raymond J. Schuerger, DVM, Pittsburgh 

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