From the AVMA; Research Results; Funding Announced; The Veterinary Community

Council on Education updates schools' statuses

At its most recent meeting this past fall, the AVMA Council on Education evaluated two U.S. veterinary colleges and allowed two foreign colleges to come one step closer to accreditation.

The University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine was granted limited accreditation for two years. Meanwhile, Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences was granted full accreditation for seven years. The two colleges were fully accredited prior to the evaluations. Their last reviews were in 2001.

A college may be granted full accreditation for up to seven years if it is in full compliance with all 11 accreditation standards or is in substantial compliance with only one or two standards. Substantial compliance indicates student outcomes are only minimally affected by the specific deficiencies identified. A college may be placed on limited accreditation when deficiencies are identified in one or more of the standards that affect student outcomes or safety. Schools placed on limited accreditation have 30 days to appeal after being notified of the council's decision.

In other COE news, members received the biannual report of the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. Recognizing admittance of its first class in September 2008, the faculty was granted provisional accreditation for a five-year period and will move forward with a required comprehensive site visit this fall. The faculty already had been granted a letter of reasonable assurance by the COE earlier this year, which signifies the council is likely to accredit the veterinary college if it continues to demonstrate that its plans will meet or exceed the council's “Standard Requirements for an Accredited or Approved College of Veterinary Medicine.”

In addition, the council granted a request from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia for a comprehensive site visit in 2009 to the Mexico City campus, which is one more step in the accreditation process. In spring 2006, the COE made a consultative visit.

At present, 42 colleges are in various stages of accreditation by the COE. Of the 28 U.S. colleges, 25 are on full accreditation, and three are on limited accreditation. Four Canadian colleges are on full accreditation, and one is on provisional accreditation, and nine foreign colleges are on full accreditation.

Disaster preparedness grant awardees named

Animal disaster preparedness throughout the United States will continue to receive support from the American Veterinary Medical Foundation this year in its mission to promote animal well-being.

For 2009, the AVMF has selected nine state entities to benefit from $129,000 in grants. States are chosen by the AVMF Grants and Awards Committee, which reviews each application for merit and scores it on the basis of various sets of criteria.

The grants were made possible through the AVMF Animal Disaster Relief and Response Fund, which was established Sept. 1, 2005, to provide funding for disaster relief efforts in connection with Hurricane Katrina and future disasters.

The organizations awarded 2009 grants were the Indiana Horse Council Foundation ($5,000), the Utah Emergency Animal Response Coalition ($20,000), the Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation ($20,000), the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Foundation ($20,000), the Tennessee VMA ($5,000), the Minnesota Animal Disaster Coalition ($5,000), the Kansas State Animal Response Team ($20,000), the Colorado Veterinary Medical Foundation ($20,000), and the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Foundation ($14,000).

For more information, visit; call (800) 248-2862, Ext. 6689; or send checks for the Animal Disaster Relief and Response Fund to AVMF, Dept. 20-1122, P.O. Box 5940, Carol Stream, IL 60197.

Genetic mutation causes bladder stones in Dalmatians

Researchers have identified a genetic mutation that causes high concentrations of uric acid in all Dalmatians and bladder stones in some Dalmatians.

The researchers, from the University of California-Davis and Purdue University veterinary schools, published the results Nov. 7 in the online journal PLoS Genetics.

Dr. Danika Bannasch, the study's lead author, said reports of the defect in Dalmatians date back nearly a century. The identification of the responsible gene will help breeders remove the defect from Dalmatians by crossbreeding with Dalmatian-Pointer crosses.

The same gene also appears to be important in regulating uric acid in humans. High concentrations of uric acid in humans can cause kidney stones, hypertension, and gout.

USDA grants $98,000 for study on fish oil's effects on fertility

The Department of Agriculture is granting about $98,000 to a University of Northern Colorado biologist for research on the effects of fatty acids from fish oil on fertility in cows.

A statement from the university indicates assistant professor Patrick Burns, PhD, was awarded the money for a two-year study on the effects of omega-3 fatty acids in blocking prosta-glandin. Release of the hormone has to be blocked between the 16th and 24th days after mating for pregnancy to occur, according to information from the university.

Dr. Burns expressed hope that the research could lead to use of fish oil in connection with human repro-duction; treatment of arthritis, heart disease, or stroke; and improved infant and child development.

ACVO awards Vision grants

The Vision for Animals Foundation of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists announced the re-cipients of five grants totaling $24,111 during the ACVO Annual Conference in Boston this past October.

Recipients of the 2009 grants are Drs. Allyson Groth ($4,611) for “Mechanism of action against feline herpesvirus type-1 of famciclovir, penciclovir and BRL 42359”; Nathan Kice ($5,000) for “Experimental reac-tivation of latent canine herpesvirus-1 ocular infection during administration of topical ophthalmic prednisolone acetate”; Laura Barnes ($5,000) for “Cellular localization of Visudyne® as a function of time after intralesional (local) injection for photodynamic ther-apy; a preliminary investigation into the mechanism of tumor cell death”; Amanda Parton ($5,000) for “Effect of intravitreal ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) on structure, function and gene expression of normal canine reti-nas”; and Josh Broadwater ($4,500) for “The effects of matrix metalloproteinases on ciliary zonular degradation in feline lens luxation.”

The ACVO Vision for Animals Foundation is working to become a self-funding granting institution so that it can fund additional grants each year. For more information, contact (208) 466-7624, or

New Bolton Center breaks ground for critical care center

Progress has begun on the James M. Moran, Jr., Critical Care Center at Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine's New Bolton Center cam-pus in Kennett Square, just west of Philadelphia.

The groundbreaking ceremony took place Oct. 17, 2008. The building is named in memory of Elizabeth R. Moran's son, James, who died in April 2008. He was a Thoroughbred owner and breeder, businessman, and philanthropist.

Major funding for the center was provided by Moran's mother and the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The center will be part of the George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals and will serve high-risk patients. It will have two wings, one with antecham-bers dedicated to patients in isolation and one for patients with colic. The 18,540-square-foot facility will be the largest clinical addition to the hospital since the completion of the C. Mahlon Kline Orthopedic Center in 1972. The center will be located in a biosecure area and is expected to be completed this year.

Research awards conferred

Following are winners of the 2008 Pfizer Animal Health Award for Research Excellence at 26 veterinary schools. The Pfizer award recognizes researchers whose innovative studies have advanced the scientific standing of veterinary medicine.

Mary K. Boudreaux, DVM, PhD, Auburn University

Stephen W. Barthold, DVM, PhD, University of California-Davis

Elaine Carnevale, DVM, PhD, Colorado State University

Robert S. Weiss, PhD, Cornell University

Don Bolser, PhD, University of Florida

Ray Kaplan, DVM, PhD, University of Georgia

Lois Hoyer, PhD, University of Illinois

Annette O'Connor, DVSc, Iowa State University

Steve Dritz, DVM, PhD, Kansas State University

Fang-Ting Liang, PhD, Louisiana State University

N. Bari Olivier, DVM, PhD, Michigan State University

Michael Murtaugh, PhD, University of Minnesota

Matthew K. Ross, PhD, Mississippi State University

Dennis O'Brien, DVM, PhD, University of Missouri-Columbia

Mark Papich, DVM, North Carolina State University

Jeffrey T. LeJeune, DVM, PhD, The Ohio State University

Robert Fulton, DVM, PhD, Oklahoma State University

Kathy R. Magnusson, DVM, PhD, Oregon State University

Louise L. Southwood-Parente, PhD, University of Pennsylvania

Riyi Shi, PhD, Purdue University

George Stoica, PhD, Texas A&M University

Lisa Freeman, DVM, PhD, Tufts University

Daniel R. Perez, PhD, Virginia-Mary-land Regional College of Veteri nary Medicine

Kathryn Meurs, DVM, PhD, Washington State University

Teresa Morishita, DVM, PhD, Western University of Health Sciences

LaurenTrepanier, DVM, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison