A Bayesian approach (BA) is well-used in veterinary medicine as it has been used for inductive reasoning regarding interventions, treatments and diagnoses. The objectives of the current article were (1) to examine the state of BA used for inductive reasoning in veterinary medical problems and (2) to illustrate how veterinarians update states of knowledge (prior clinical experience) to a new state of knowledge (posterior clinical experience). When veterinarians are managing patients, they start with their inference from history and a clinical sign to an underlying cause using inductive reasoning. In updating from a prior clinical experience to a posterior clinical experience, the strength of evidence plays an important role. Nevertheless, if an experienced veterinarian uses his/her previous experience of a current patient’s clinical signs, he/she may not move from the prior clinical experience to a posterior clinical experience and is less likely to change his/her treatment decisions. In comparison, for a novice veterinarian who would have less prior clinical experiences with given clinical signs, his/her prior clinical experience would easily be changed to a posterior clinical experience after taking history and physical examination. In brief, the more prior clinical experience a veterinarian has, the more rapid a diagnosis is made. The stronger the evidence, the more precise inference will be.
Key words: Bayesian, inference, reasoning, inductive, veterinarian.
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