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Year Three of This Journal: Bringing Future Developments in Veterinary Medicine Closer to Reality

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      Philip H. Kass, BS, DVM, MPVM, MS, PhD, Editor
      As any astute editor will tell you, there are often vast chasms between the transmission of discovery and the perturbation of empirical practice and standard of care. Auspicious developments in research may fail the test of time, and those with the most promise may still be years away from entering medical curricula, much less becoming available for widespread use.
      The philosophy of this journal is to bring the future closer to reality and create a sense of anticipation among readers about not only what soon lies ahead, but also what is sufficiently ready to alter our standards of practice and questions the dogma of our engrained knowledge and belief. Scarcely an easy feat, it is accomplished by receiving exciting, new contributions solicited from a distinguished cadre of scientific experts from all over the world. The time between receipt of the initial drafts of these articles and the publication date is less than one year, guaranteeing that this new knowledge is truly cutting-edge veterinary medicine. And far from being opinion pieces, these review articles are extensively documented to ensure that they adhere to the highest scientific standards.
      This issue’s Section I begins with a topic that has particular relevance during the COVID-19 pandemic: cat and dog behavior. A consequence of sheltering in place and remote work is that it not only profoundly affected the relationship between worker and workplace, but also has redefined the human-animal bond in an unexpected way. As people began to develop home or hybrid work environments, they sought pet companions, which in some regions led to a shortfall of adoptable pets from traditional sources, such as animal shelters. As the pandemic inevitably evolves into a state of endemicity, it remains to be seen if these relationships similarly endure. Understanding behavior, and the challenges it can bring, may become even more vitally important than in past times if we are to avoid a relinquishment backlash as people begin to return to more traditional workplaces.
      Section II provides three articles on new advances on the imaging of the heart, pancreas, brain, and spine. What once were diagnostic tools restricted to only the most advanced tertiary care facilities are now becoming far more accessible and affordable, meaningfully raising the standards of veterinary medical practice as they already have in human health.
      Section III returns to a familiar yet urgently important topic to every veterinarian: gastroenterology. Understanding the relationships between gut microflora, food, and systemic health is still in the early stages, but the two articles examining these topics bring such understanding far closer. Diagnostic gastroenterology is a long-standing area for growth, whether differentiating between chronic inflammation and neoplasia, or between the different causes of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis and diarrhea, and the two new articles bring readers up-to-date on these ubiquitous medical challenges.
      Section IV of this issue introduces readers to emerging knowledge about two important small animal infectious diseases: feline immunodeficiency virus infection, as well as the widespread zoonotic disease leptospirosis. It also provides an important roadmap for the diagnosis of infectious diseases of the respiratory tract, allowing more precise medical interventions than the broad-spectrum approaches of earlier times.
      Finally, the issue ends in Section V with two articles that will be of interest and vital importance to any small animal practitioner: nutritional management of acute pancreatitis, and developing a functional weight loss program that owners will adhere to and achieve success with.
      As this journal continues to flourish, it remains essential that we provide the most up-to-date and topical resources for practitioners that bridge the gap between peer-reviewed scientific journals, publishing the discovery of new knowledge, and the textbooks that can be years in the making. I value your feedback about the contents of this issue and welcome suggestions for future issues if the topics can fortuitously fall into this exciting opportunistic publication niche.