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Weekly News Roundup 7/17 to 7/23

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Veterinary euthanasia course at Cornell wins national award

Ariana Boltax, DVM, an instructor at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, is helping students develop crucial communication skills when it comes to euthanasia. Her course, Small Animal Euthanasia: Clinical Communication and Practice, won the grand prize in the COVID Educational Creations Contest, a national competition run by VetMedAcademy, a nonprofit that creates and curates open-source educational resources. “Winning is an honor—it was important to me to find a way of sharing this course with other veterinary educators,” said Boltax. “Our students have the science down when it comes to euthanasia. But one gap in their instruction overall is ensuring that they’re able to effectively communicate about it with clients.” . . . more

Giving women in veterinary medicine “true role models”

When Dori Borjesson, DVM, PhD, MPVM, walked into Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine as dean last Monday morning, it was a first for women. Until then, no woman had ever led the college in its more than 120-year history. But what is most surprising to the new dean is how much it means to the women around her. “It speaks to the fact that if you don’t see anyone like you or see anyone that has traveled paths similar to yours in leadership positions, it’s hard to believe you can accomplish those goals,” Borjesson said. In a now female-dominated profession, in which women make up more than 70% of veterinary students, Borjesson’s appointment makes her one of just 11 female veterinary deans in the 32 veterinary colleges in the United States. . . . more

“Golden oldies” could unlock secrets of canine cancer

Pinpointing why some dogs get cancer and others do not is the focus of Morris Animal Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. To that end, researchers are seeking healthy “golden oldies”—golden retrievers older than 12 years old—to help determine potential risk factors that may lead to the development of cancers common in the breed. The study’s research team aims to compare the genetics of dogs who died from cancer with the DNA of older golden retrievers who successfully avoided the disease. . . . more

Dentistry training may be required in US veterinary schools

Veterinary students soon could get significantly more hands-on training and experience in tooth extractions and periodontal disease if a proposal to make dental education a requirement of US accreditation is passed. Right now, dentistry courses are electives in most veterinary programs in the country. That would change if the AVMA Council on Education adopts a proposal to add dentistry to its accreditation standard on curriculum. . . . more

New study shows dogs can use Earth’s magnetic field to navigate

Dogs have an enviable sense of direction. Even in a completely unfamiliar place, our pets have an uncanny way of tracking down a shortcut. For the first time, Czech scientists have found evidence that canines can sense and navigate using Earth’s weak magnetic field. Exactly how they do this and to what extent is still unclear, but it appears this hidden sense, known as magnetoreception, really does exist in canines, just as it does in many other animals, including birds, salamanders, and frogs. This hidden talent in our four-legged friends has long been suspected, but never actually tested in such a rigorous way. . . . more