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With luck, the littlest of kittens and the most caring of cat owners live into old age together. Feline geriatrics and pain management were topics of the American Association of Feline Practitioners' fall conference in Toronto. At the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, the new Tender Loving Care program offers veterinary care and a home with a caretaker for pets that do outlive their owners.

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Veterinarians see gains in '06 elections

Voters send veterinarians back to the Senate, governorship, and state houses

This past November, voters elected veterinarians to represent their interests in Congress, one governor's house, and several state legislatures.

Twenty-three veterinarians competed in the midterm elections Nov. 7. Veterinarians won 19 of those races, of whom 16 were incumbents and three were newcomers.

In total, including veterinarians not on the ballot this past November, veterinarians hold two seats in the U.S. Senate, a governorship, and 23 spots in state legislatures throughout the nation.

“The increase in the number of veterinarians running for office and getting elected is a very positive development,” said Adrian Hochstadt, assistant director of the State Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Department of the AVMA Communications Division. “They serve as role models for those who will run in the future and show that veterinarians can make a difference by getting involved in public policy.

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“These veterinarian legislators will help shape the important issues of our day while increasing the profession's visibility.”

Drs. John Ensign and Sonny Perdue bucked voter frustration with Republicans and easily won re-election to the Senate representing Nevada and the Georgia governorship, respectively.

Dr. Ensign gained a second term by beating out Democrat Jack Carter, son of former President Jimmy Carter, and two independents. A 1985 graduate of Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Dr. Ensign was elected to the Senate in 2000.

Dr. Perdue continued to make history by defeating Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor to become the first Republican governor re-elected in Georgia and since Reconstruction. Dr. Perdue received his DVM degree from the University of Georgia in 1971 and was elected governor of Georgia in 2002.

In state races, the following veterinarians successfully defended their seats: Drs. Steve Johnson (CO-Senate, District 15, Rep.), Eugene Maddox (GA-House, District 172, Rep.), Joe Seng (IA-Senate, District 43, Dem.), Steve Dille (MN-Senate, District 18, Rep.), James Rausch (NH-House, District 5, Rep.), Roger Wells (NH-House, District 8, Dem.), Lee Denney (OK-House, District 33, Rep.), Phil Richardson (OK-House, District 56, Rep.), Kurt Schrader (OR-Senate, District 20, Dem.), Bob Bastian (PA-House, District 69, Rep.), Charles “Doc” Anderson (TX-House, District 56, Rep.), Kathy Haigh (WA-House, District 45, Dem.), Jake Hines (WI-Assembly, District 42, Rep.), and John Mathis (UT-House, District 55, Rep.).

Three veterinarians were elected to state office for the first time: Drs. Cap Dierks (NE-Senate, Ind.), J.D. Aycock (TX-House, District 54, Rep.), and Louis Pinkerton (ND-House, District 5, Dem.).

Not every veterinarian was successful in their election efforts, however. Incumbent Charles Dake (MO-House, District 132, Dem.) was unseated, and Drs. Chip Beckett and Don Woerner came up short in their bids to win Senate seats in Connecticut and Montana, respectively.

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Dr. John Ensign, Nevada senator

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 229, 12; 10.2460/javma.229.12.1861

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Dr. Sonny Perdue, Georgia governor

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 229, 12; 10.2460/javma.229.12.1861

At press time in November, the race between Dr. Krayton Kerns (MT-House, District 58, Rep.) and the incumbent had not been decided, with a possibility it will end in a tie.

Referendum on gestation and veal calf stalls

Also of note on Election Day, the Arizona ballot initiative banning intensive confinement of gestating pigs and calves raised for veal passed with 62 percent of the vote.

The Humane Treatment of Farm Animals Act will take effect Dec. 31, 2012. The provision requires that the animals have sufficient space to turn around, lie down, and fully extend their limbs when tethered or confined in stalls, cages, or other enclosures. There is an exception for treatment and other veterinary purposes, however.

Arizona is the first state in the nation to ban veal calf stalls and the second state to ban gestation stalls for pregnant sows. Florida outlawed the stalls in 2002 through a citizen initiative. There are concerns that similar measures could be introduced in other states as well as in Congress.

The Animal Agriculture Alliance said the voters' rejection of scientifically proven practices shows a clear misunderstanding of agriculture, one that will be a long-term deterrent to Arizona's farmers and ranchers.

“(The) vote indicates that America's farmers and ranchers need to continuously communicate their commitment on critical issues, including animal welfare, and their dedication to providing the safest, highest quality food supply in history,” said Kay Johnson, AAA executive vice president.

—R. SCOTT NOLEN

AVMA avian influenza FAQ updated

The AVMA has released an extensive, updated version of frequently asked questions about avian influenza, available at www.avma.org/public_health/influenza/avian_faq.asp. The document was last updated in April.

The questions are broken into five categories: General Information about Avian Influenza, FAQ about AI and People, FAQ about AI and Companion Animals, FAQ of Special Interest to Veterinarians, and FAQ of Special Interest to Our Physician Colleagues.

Additional information and resources are provided via links to a number of Web sites.

The updated document is the most current product resulting from ongoing discussions by a working group on avian influenza and companion animals. The group got together during a workshop held at AVMA headquarters this past spring. Along with the AVMA, representatives from the following organizations and agencies attended the workshop: American Association of Feline Practitioners, American Animal Hospital Association, Association of Avian Veterinarians, American Association of Avian Pathologists, National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Review of the related science and policy is continuing and future updates to the document will be posted as they become available.

Dog dies of avian influenza

Fatal avian influenza in a dog is the subject of a dispatch from Thailand appearing in the November issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

In October 2004, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Kasetsart University received the body of a dog for necropsy. The owner said the dog had eaten duck carcasses from an area with reports of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 infections in ducks. The dog developed high fever, panting, and lethargy about five days after eating the ducks and died the following day.

Case reports and research have provided evidence that H5N1 avian influenza can cross species barriers to infect cats as well as humans. Domestic cats and tigers have contracted the H5N1 virus after eating poultry harboring HPAI. Earlier this year, Germany reported fatal avian influenza in domestic cats (see JAVMA, April 15, 2006, page 1165). In Asia, large cats in captivity have died of the disease.

Genetic comparison indicated that the dog isolate of the H5N1 virus was similar to the viruses that researchers recovered from a tiger in Thailand during a mid-2004 outbreak.

The authors conclude that, like cats, dogs are at risk for H5N1 infection. They add that the possibility of humans acquiring the H5N1 virus from contact with cats or dogs is a cause for concern and highlights the need to monitor domestic animals during future outbreaks of H5N1 avian influenza.

news update: U.K. to enact animal welfare bill

In the United Kingdom, the Animal Welfare Act received royal assent and will come into effect April 6, 2007, according to the Department for Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs. Based in London, DEFRA published the bill in October 2005 (see JAVMA, Dec. 1, 2005, page 1726).

Highlights from the act, which brings together more than 20 pieces of animal welfare legislation relating to farmed and nonfarmed animals, include the following:

  • • introduction of a duty of care on people to meet the needs of any animal for which they are responsible

  • • creation of an offense for those who fail to provide for the needs of an animal in their care

  • • reduction of animal suffering by enabling preventive action to be taken

“The government believes that by extending the duty of care to non-farmed animals, it will reduce animal suffering in this country,” said Ben Bradshaw, a DEFRA minister. “This is the culmination of several years work during which the government has worked closely with stakeholders. The result is legislation of which we can all be rightly proud.”

The British Veterinary Association played a key role in the development of the bill. From the beginning of the process, the association ensured that the government had the veterinary viewpoint on what should be included in the bill, said Dr. Freda Scott-Park, immediate past president of the BVA. “We all welcomed (the bill) because it's a huge change from the 1911 (Protection of) Animals Act,” Dr. Scott-Park said.

For more information on the Animal Welfare Act, visit www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/welfare/bill.

Congress strengthens animal enterprise terrorism law

One of the last remaining acts of the 109th Congress was passing the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, which makes it a federal crime to harass and commit violence against companies or persons associated with animal enterprises, such as laboratories, circuses, and pet stores.

Following the Senate's lead, the House of Representatives passed the legislation with bipartisan support Nov. 13, and, as of press time in November, President Bush was expected to sign it into law.

The new law closes loopholes in the current Animal Enterprise Protection Act that were exploited by animal rights extremists, according to the National Association for Biomedical Research, which championed the bill supported by the AVMA.

One such loophole is tertiary targeting, or third-party targeting, which happens when property damage, violence, or threats of violence are committed against businesses or individuals having a relationship with an animal enterprise. Animal rights extremists have adopted this tactic as a means of putting a particular research laboratory out of business.

Violators of the law would face prison, restitution, and fines. Several members of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty USA Inc. were recently sentenced to federal prison on convictions stemming from a campaign of harassment and intimidation against individuals and organizations in the associated with Huntingdon Life Sciences (see JAVMA, Nov. 1, 2006, page 1358).

Huntingdon is an international research company based in the United Kingdom, with a laboratory in New Jersey.

The U.S. attorney who prosecuted the case had to use various laws to get a successful conviction. The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act gives law enforcement and prosecutors the tools to investigate and successfully prosecute national campaigns against animal enterprises and those associated with them.

The Humane Society of the United States, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and American Civil Liberties Union have criticized the bill as being overly broad and criminalizing First Amendment activities, such as demonstrations, leafleting, and undercover investigations.

AVMA GHLIT marks 50 years of service to veterinarians

Insurance designed for veterinarians changes with the times

The AVMA Group Health & Life Insurance Trust reaches a milestone this year, celebrating a half century of service to the veterinary profession.

The AVMA Group Insurance Trust was chartered Dec. 1, 1956, and began providing coverage to participants the following year. To differentiate the Group Trust from the AVMA Professional Liability Insurance Trust, now called the AVMA PLIT, the name was changed to the AVMA Group Health & Life Insurance Trust in 1986. Mutual of New York was the original underwriter and served the Trust until Nov. 1, 1991, when New York Life Insurance Company took over that role.

The Trust provides some unique advantages to its participants. First, as a self-rated participating program, premiums are based on the claims experience of participants and their families—no outside groups. Because there is no profit motive in the Trust, excess funds are returned to participants in the form of lower costs or improved coverage.

Second, the Trust is supervised by a board of trustees, all of whom are veterinarians and AVMA members. The trustees serve as a review board to represent participants' interests. They work with insurance professionals to design and manage plans that meet the needs of veterinarians and their families.

Former AVMA GHLIT Chair George Pickens devoted almost 25 years of service to AVMA members as a trustee of the AVMA GHLIT and AVMA PLIT. He's also been an AVMA member since 1959.

“We're unique in that the trustees are veterinarians serving veterinarians,” Dr. Pickens said. “We're members of the same family, looking after the needs of our colleagues.”

Originally designed to offer health, life, and disability insurance, GHLIT added new kinds of coverage through the years to meet the changing needs of participants. Some of the more recent changes include the introduction of the first medical preferred provider organization plans in 2001; 10- and 20-year-level term life insurance in 2004; and medical Health Savings Account qualified plans in 2004. Beginning in 2004, the Trust also arranged programs for dental and long-term care insurance for participants and their families. To respond to the changing demographics of the profession, GHLIT has made changes to its medical plans, including an optional maternity benefit and premiums based on gender.

The changing demographics of the profession are also reflected in the composition of the GHLIT board of trustees—four of the 10 current trustees are women.

One of the newer trustees, Dr. Carolynn MacAllister, has worked in a university setting for 24 years, which has provided her with a front row view of the profession's evolution.

“Within the next year, 50 percent of practicing veterinarians will be women,” she pointed out. “The GHLIT is trying to be proactive to enhance our products for women. Here's what I'll be thinking of and working on: What can we do to enhance wellness for women?”

In particular, Dr. MacAllister views osteoporosis, skin cancer, and depression as high on the list of women's health issues.

Another new trustee, Dr. Blair Jones, agreed that the profession is “evolving in a direction that requires the Trust to evolve with it.”

“I think the Trust has done a great job,” Dr. Jones said. “My personal goal is to help steer the GHLIT in a direction that better suits the people it serves. I feel the Trust is obligated to constantly re-evaluate members and their needs, and be sure that New York Life is providing for those needs.”

Dr. Pickens said, “The Trust has always tried to respond to issues members have brought forward—life insurance, for example, or disability, which is the best buy on the market in my opinion. The health plan is a good buy—the richness of the health insurance program is unsurpassed by any other carrier. I would encourage young practitioners to get as much protection as they can.”

Dr. Thomas Freeman agreed. He's carried the insurance for 50 years. A 1949 graduate of The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, he initially purchased AVMA GHLIT health insurance for himself and his wife. Their three children were born under the coverage.

“The insurance has been excellent as far as we're concerned,” Dr. Freeman said. “It's helped a great deal. What I would tell young graduates is, ‘Health insurance is one of the most important things to get.’ You can't practice like you should when you're worrying about hospital bills or what you'll do when the next baby is born. You need to put your mind at ease so you can do your job.”

Another former and longtime trustee, Dr. Jack Dinsmore, devoted much of his effort as a trustee to meeting and talking with graduating students.

“We worked to get the program in front of the students,” he recalled. “I was in every veterinary school every year, along with my colleague David McConnell, making presentations about group health and professional liability insurance.

“The most rewarding aspect was representing the member veterinarians and their needs. Our ability to be part of the decision making is satisfying.”

As Dr. Dinsmore reflected on his career, the 1941 graduate of The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine was gratified by the amount of respect the profession has gained.

“Veterinarians are more compared now to the field of (human) medicine,” he said. Dr. Dinsmore believes that the professional needs of veterinarians have also grown.

“Veterinarians today need all those things—a bank, insurance broker, financial adviser. The AVMA GHLIT has been very strong in providing a worthwhile service to members.”

Dr. Pickens concurred that the business of veterinary practice is an important topic, and one that is now getting long-overdue attention. Veterinary schools and colleges have begun to offer instruction in that area. The AVMA GHLIT has also made the business of veterinary practice one of its priorities.

“In the last year of my term,” Dr. Pickens said, “I saw trustees Dr. Jody Johnson and Dr. Ted Trimmer heavily involved in a mentoring program with a lot of the schools, emphasizing the business aspects of veterinary practice.”

To help new veterinarians get started on a sound footing, AVMA GHLIT makes an outstanding offer to Student AVMA members at graduation: guaranteed issue of vital coverage, including health, disability, life, and accidental death and dismemberment, regardless of pre-existing conditions. Eligible dependents are guaranteed health and life insurance coverage.

The AVMA GHLIT is a key sponsor of the annual AVMA Veterinary Leadership Experience, a multiday curriculum designed to encourage a positive personal transformation among the participants from all 34 U.S., Canadian, and Caribbean veterinary schools and colleges. The program stresses the importance and relevance of balancing medical and surgical competencies with important life skills such as leadership, relationship building, collaboration, and work/life balance.

“The VLE program dovetails nicely with our commitment to wellness, prevention, and health education,” Dr. Pickens said. “We consider the Trust to be a source of wellness information for our members, and we've also designed benefits to encourage members to take a proactive interest in their health.”

The Trust also shows its commitment to wellness through its annual sponsorship of health screenings at the AVMA Annual Convention. Every year, hundreds of veterinarians and spouses take advantage of screenings, including blood chemistry profiles, lipid tests, hemoglobin tests, prostate-specific antigen tests, and rabies titers tests.

The health screenings are just one of the ways the AVMA GHLIT continually serves its participants. Dr. Jody Johnson, GHLIT director of member services, was a trustee for nearly 12 years and served as GHLIT chair for two terms.

“Our success has come about because the Trust has focused through the years on ensuring we met the ever-evolving needs of our members,” Dr. Johnson said. “We plan to build on this success by continuing to ensure that we are enhancing our members'; personal and professional lives by offering valued programs and services. Because of the Trust's ability to maintain its focus and relevance, we look forward to the GHLIT celebrating its 100th anniversary.”

As stated, AVMA GHLIT insurance is underwritten by New York Life Insurance Company (New York, NY 10010), one of the industry's most respected names. Coverage lines include Medical Plans; Hospital Indemnity Plan; Short and Long-Term Disability Income Insurance; Life and Accidental Death & Dismemberment; Professional Overhead Expense Plans; a Basic Protection Package, which includes a rabies prophylaxis benefit; and Student Plans, which include medical, life, and disability. For more information, call your agent, or call the Trust office at (800) 621-6360.

—PREPARED BY THE AVMA GROUP HEALTH & LIFE INSURANCE TRUST

Bilingual version of AVMA children's book available

To help veterinarians who serve Spanish-speaking clients or visit schools in bilingual communities, the AVMA has created an English-Spanish version of its popular children's coloring and activity book as an option to the English-only version.

Targeted to young children, the book features 20 pages of activities and coloring pages about animals and the various roles of veterinarians in society.

Members can order 50 copies at a cost of $25 plus shipping. For more information, see the AVMA products listed online at www.avma.org/products or call the AVMA Communications Division at (847) 285-6655.

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AAFP COVERAGE: Feline practitioners reach out

Fall conference focuses on association initiatives as well as continuing education

Feline health is the primary concern of feline practitioners, so their association is increasing outreach to cat owners and to all veterinarians who care for cats.

The American Association of Feline Practitioners, established 35 years ago, still advances cat care through continuing education and research funding. The AAFP also is more proactively promoting feline health beyond its membership through new veterinary guidelines and public awareness campaigns.

The AAFP 2006 Fall Conference featured updates on association initiatives along with CE sessions on the theme of geriatrics and pain management. About 500 attendees and exhibitors gathered from Oct. 21–24 in Toronto to share information, ideas, and ideals regarding feline health.

“My dream is to unite the people who care for, and about, cats around the world,” said Dr. Margie Scherk, incoming president, during the business meeting.

The AAFP has a big presence in North America, she said, but its membership and impact could be much greater—even within North America.

Dr. Scherk said some view the AAFP as a group of cat-only practitioners with no interest in expanding the scope of its membership. But she thinks the association should recruit from among the thousands of small animal practitioners on the continent and partner with groups across the globe.

Initiatives

Dr. Jane Brunt, outgoing president, detailed AAFP accomplishments and plans when she spoke at the business meeting.

A new “Feline Vaccine Advisory Panel Report” appeared in the Nov. 1 issue of the JAVMA. The AAFP is working with the American Animal Hospital Association to develop guidelines on pain management.

The AAFP awarded its $15,000 research grant for 2006 to Dr. Sakhila Banu of Texas A&M University for the project “Prostaglandin E2 signaling in the feline mammary cancer: a potential target for chemotherapy.”

This year, the association added new subscription categories for veterinary technicians and practice managers. One objective of the 2006–2009 strategic plan is to increase active membership from 2,000 in 2006 to 2,500 in 2009. The strategic plan includes other objectives for improving finances, self-evaluation, standards of practice, and awareness of the AAFP.

Next year, the association plans to launch a new Web site for cat owners and veterinarians at www.catvets.com —a more memorable address than the current www.aafponline.org. This year, the AAFP and Fort Dodge Animal Health reached members of the cat-owning public by beginning the Healthy Cats for Life campaign, online at www.catwellness.org. The campaign promotes twice-a-year veterinary visits and teaches cat owners that behavior changes can be signs of illness.

Another new resource for cat owners is the Cornell Feline Health Center's collection of instructional videos at www.felinevideos.vet.cornell.edu, which illustrate cat care activities such as how to administer medication.

“Educating the public about the need for care is going to raise the health, the welfare, and the wellbeing of our patients,” Dr. Brunt said.

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A cat belonging to Dr. Margie Scherk, incoming president of the American Association of Feline Practitioners, studies a computer among notes and books at home in Vancouver, British Columbia. Dr. Scherk and hundreds of other feline practitioners traveled to Toronto for the AAFP 2006 Fall Conference.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 229, 12; 10.2460/javma.229.12.1861

Dr. James Richards of the Cornell Feline Health Center, an AAFP past president, tied the Healthy Cats for Life campaign into his talk about the scope of senior cat care.

Dr. Richards described two scenarios. The 18-year-old cat in the first scenario misses the litter box, cries all night, and won't eat. The owners attribute the cat's behavior to old age rather than a potentially solvable problem, and they decide on euthanasia before taking the cat to the veterinarian. In the second scenario, the owner of an 18-year-old cat wants the veterinarian to prolong the cat's life even at the expense of quality of life.

“We're talking about client communication,” Dr. Richards said. “It's all communication. It's all information.”

Dr. Richards said veterinarians should discuss quality of life with cat owners before the end is near—and counsel clients about feline behavior throughout the years. Optimal care for senior cats must begin long before they become senior cats, he said, with education and wellness programs.

The Healthy Cats for Life campaign offers materials for veterinarians, too, including the AAFP Feline Behavior Guidelines that form the basis of the program.

Sessions

Geriatrics and pain management were the intertwining topics of most CE sessions at the AAFP conference—and the subject of the Barbara Stein Memorial Lecture through sponsor Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc.

The speaker for the lecture was Bernard E. Rollin, PhD, a philosophy professor at Colorado State University. His talk was on “Ethical issues in geriatric feline medicine.”

In the rural society of the past, Dr. Rollin said, animals usually lived as long as they were functional. In today's urban society, geriatrics and pain management are important because of the increasing attachment to companion animals and the advancement of medicine.

Dr. Rollins said some pet owners still want to euthanize sick pets for convenience, while other owners want to go too far with treatment. Animals themselves can't weigh future benefits of medical treatment against present pain, though.

“Animals are moral objects because they can suffer,” Dr. Rollin said. “We are morally obligated to ensure that as long as they live, they are not suffering.”

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Dr. Rollin said veterinarians need to learn much more about pain management. From the beginning of treatment, they should enlist clients to define quality of life for each animal, one of the points that Dr. Richards echoed.

Quality of life at another level was the topic of Dr. Cynthia Bowlin of Cats Only Veterinary Clinic in Columbus, Ohio.

Dr. Bowlin spoke about “The American (Cat) at Midlife—Overfed, Under-Exercised, and on Prozac.” Dr. Bowlin said she has been in feline practice for 20 years, and kittens have grown to old age with their owners following all her advice. Yet these indoor cats are not the picture of health.

Dr. Bowlin said the reason might be feline nature. Cats domesticated themselves, she suggested, for a food supply. They are naturally nocturnal, predatory, territorial, solitary, and maternal.

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Dr. Bowlin said captive cats are sedentary, overfed, stressed, bored, and neutered. Owners complain about their cats' aggression, clawing, climbing, escaping, territorial marking, inappropriate elimination, love biting, wailing in the night, and waking up early in the morning.

“These are not behavioral problems,” she said. “These are lifestyle issues.”

Dr. Bowlin said she appreciates the idea of responsible pet ownership, but she is looking for a way that cats can live their lives and also be companions. She suggested that one approach is enriching the environment, perhaps by building outdoor enclosures.

Other sessions at the AAFP conference addressed a breadth of subjects falling under the theme of geriatrics and pain management.

Officials

Dr. Paul Boutet, president of the Canadian VMA, and Dr. Roger Mahr, AVMA president, spoke to AAFP members during the business meeting. Drs. Boutet and Mahr recognized the contributions of the AAFP to feline medicine and to organized medicine.

“The American Association of Feline Practitioners is a very important constituent allied association of our AVMA,” Dr. Mahr said. “And I want to express thanks and commend you on the involvement of various members of the AAFP in helping and working with the AVMA on many significant issues.”

Dr. Mahr mentioned the role of the AAFP in developing veterinary guidelines and in advising the AVMA on issues such as feline welfare.

After his remarks, Dr. Mahr administered the oath of office to the AAFP leaders for 2007. The officers are Drs. Margie Scherk, Vancouver, British Columbia, president; Valerie Creighton, Thousand Oaks, Calif., president-elect; Elizabeth Colleran, Chico, Calif., secretary-treasurer; and Jane Brunt, Baltimore, immediate past president.

—KATIE BURNS

AAFP president thinks globally

Scherk hopes to form alliances, share resources

Dr. Margie Scherk has never had a dog, but she currently keeps 11 cats between her home and practice—Cats Only Veterinary Clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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Dr. Margie Scherk, incoming president of the American Association of Feline Practitioners, communes with one of her cats.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 229, 12; 10.2460/javma.229.12.1861

The incoming president of the American Association of Feline Practitioners wants the organization to help unite cat owners and veterinarians around the world in improving the care of their feline friends.

Dr. Scherk didn't set out to be a cat veterinarian, though.

The veterinarian

As a child in Toronto, she wanted to study the behavior of primates or large cats. Then she spent summers working with horses. She planned to be an equine practitioner when she entered Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph, and she wanted to work in dairy when she graduated in 1982.

Dr. Scherk actually entered mixed practice in British Columbia.

“I found that I enjoyed the small animals, but also the interaction with clients—which surprised me because I was going into it for the animals, not the people,” she said.

Dr. Scherk later took a job as a staff veterinarian for the Vancouver Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. In the shelter, she noticed how uncomfortable cats were in an environment full of barking dogs.

“I thought they were getting the short end of the deal,” Dr. Scherk said. “I'd never heard of a cat practice at that point in time, so I started doing some house calls while this idea was gelling—along with relief work.”

She opened her cat clinic 20 years ago, and she hasn't looked back.

Dr. Scherk became active in the AAFP in 1989. She has served as a member of the program committee and the guidelines committee, and she was the newsletter editor for a number of years. She is the founding editor of the Feline Internal Medicine Folder on the Veterinary Information Network, and she is the North American editor for the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.

Dr. Scherk became a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners with the first group in the feline category in 1995. She has written questions for the certifying examination and the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination. She also helps organize courses in feline medicine for the North American Veterinary Conference summer institutes.

Dr. Scherk spends three days a week in her practice and four days a week outside the office—but still working within the veterinary profession. She devotes time to teaching, surgery, and research as well as organized medicine. She is most proud of helping introduce the transdermal fentanyl patch to veterinary medicine.

The association

As AAFP president in 2007, Dr. Scherk plans to broaden outreach.

“One of our five key goals is growth, so we can get our messages out to more practitioners—to help more practitioners improve the health and well-being of cats,” Dr. Scherk said.

Dr. Scherk will encourage small animal practitioners to become AAFP members or to participate in AAFP events. The AAFP also will be monitoring member renewals and whether student members become practitioner members. The association has 35 student chapters—with student benefits that include free access to the electronic journal, electronic newsletter, and AAFP rounds on VIN.

Dr. Scherk also wants to broaden the association's international outreach.

“Sharing our wonderful guidelines and some of the ways we do things, as well as learning from other cultures and other organizations, will benefit everyone,” she said.

Dr. Scherk said the AAFP can form stronger relationships with organizations around the world, such as the European Society of Feline Medicine. Dr. Scherk hopes to strengthen AAFP offerings for continuing education, too. Feline practitioners founded the AAFP more than three decades ago because of the lack of CE and a network structure in the field at that time. Now the AAFP isn't the only organization on the continent to offer CE in feline medicine.

Dr. Scherk added that AAFP members realize they often preach to the choir and that the association can share resources for improving cat care beyond the membership. The AAFP is trying to reach nonmembers with veterinary guidelines, for example, and to reach cat owners and veterinarians alike by building a new Web site.

“I'm hoping it will be ‘the’ cat information source,” Dr. Scherk said.

The AAFP also has partnered with industry to distribute information to a wider audience than in the past. The association is working with Fort Dodge Animal Health on the Healthy Cats for Life public awareness campaign.

Dr. Scherk said the AAFP is partnering with other organizations to look at issues in animal welfare, such as the issue of feral cats.

“I'm all about alliances,” Dr. Scherk said.

—KATIE BURNS

AABP COVERAGE: New pastures in production medicine

Ruminant practitioners describe alternative approaches

The goal of the program committee for the American Association of Bovine Practitioners' 2006 annual conference, Sept. 21–23 in Saint Paul, Minn., was to arrange a lineup that would give attendees at least one good idea to implement in their practice.

Summarized here are two of the many presentations with practical take-home messages.

Novel approaches to parasite control

The emergence of multiple-drug-resistant gastrointestinal nematode parasites in sheep and goats underscores the need to move away from control through frequent administration of anthelmintic drugs. Another dynamic that is driving producer interest in reducing use of anthelmintics is the rapidly growing area of organic production, including wool.

Two speakers at a near-capacity joint session of the AABP and American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners discussed aspects of “smart drenching,” the new approach to parasite control that emphasizes maximizing the effectiveness of treatments while decreasing the development of drug resistance.

Dr. Joe Snyder—a practitioner and sheep rancher in Myrtle Point, Ore., and AASRP incoming president—said grazing management is the most important factor in reducing the need for anthelmintics.

Management must address the increased susceptibility to parasites that results from raising species that are inappropriate for the climate or terrain. Goats and sheep that originated from central Asia are raised on flat, lowland pastures in the United States, and llamas and alpacas that live above the timberline in a high-altitude desert in native lands are raised in lush, lowland U.S. pastures.

Utilizing alternate-species grazing programs with access to “safe pasture” is probably the best tool for limiting parasite exposure, Dr. Snyder said.

The traditional “treat and move strategy” of turning animals into a “clean” pasture has to be abandoned, he said. Only parasites resistant to treatment remain in these animals, which colonize the next pasture exclusively. He said, “Now we believe it's best to turn out on a pasture with a small population of internal parasites that haven't been constantly hammered with anthelmintics so that we slow the development of resistance.”

Veterinarians must advise clients to test and quarantine new animals to avoid introducing resistant parasites into the flock or herd, Dr. Snyder said.

Turning to the nematode life cycle, Dr. Snyder said, “Our traditional focus has been on attacking adult parasites in the animal with medications. We need to expand our thinking to the larval stages in the environment.” Understanding the details of life cycles enables people to plan effective pasture management schemes to limit parasite exposure.

He noted that heat and desiccation are useful, because infective larvae barely survive 24 hours at high heat and low humidity. Freezing is helpful but less so.

“Nothing is going to affect parasites like ivermectin once did,” Dr. Snyder acknowledged, “(but) some things might reduce your parasite load 20 percent to 50 percent— (if) you start adding those things up, you could make a significant dent in parasite load.”

Dr. Snyder described some parasite-inhibiting plants and other agents. Over time and as part of integrated management, these can reduce shedding significantly, he said. Plants include the legumes Serecia lespedeza, Lotus corniculatus (birdsfoot tre-foil), and Hedysarum coronarium (Sulla), and the herb Plantago (plantain).

Well-nourished animals are more resistant to and resilient against parasite infestation. Protein depletion resulting from parasites needs to be replenished. Of minerals, selenium is the most important in parasite control. Chronic parasite infestation could be exacerbated by copper deficiency. To test a flock or herd for copper concentrations, Dr. Snyder recommended saving the livers of several dead or stillborn animals and submitting them. Administration of copper oxide wire particles by a veterinarian provides at least a month of protection for lambs against Haemonchus contortus—the most problematic parasite—without creating toxic concentrations in the liver, he said, and should also work in goats.

Despite some anecdotal success stories, there are no controlled studies documenting the efficacy of diatomaceous earth in inhibiting parasites.

“Parasites have predators,” Dr. Snyder said—nematophagous fungi, which attack and kill larval nematodes. It may be possible to grow them for use in parasite control.

“I like to think of this as biological star wars,” he said.

Dr. Ray Kaplan, associate professor in the Department of Infectious Diseases, University of Georgia, said anthelmintic resistance has become a worldwide phenomenon. “We're at risk of having no effective anthelmintics in the near future.”

New drug classes were introduced every decade from the 1950s through the 1980s, he said, but no new drug classes have become available since then, except for cyclodepsipeptide (emodepside), which Bayer introduced in 2005 for cats (but not yet in the United States). It is not clear whether an emodepside product will be developed for livestock.

Resistance is likely to outpace the introduction of new anthelmintics, and frequent application of dewormers is no longer a viable approach, Dr. Kaplan said. He cited a study published by his research group in JAVMA Aug. 15, 2003, that concluded that the high prevalence of resistance to multiple anthelmintics in gastrointestinal nematodes of goats in the southern United States emphasizes the need to reexamine control practices.

The Southern Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control, at www.scsrpc.org, was formed in response to the critical state of the small ruminant industry associated with the emergence of anthelmintic-resistant worms.

Dr. Kaplan said few anthelmintics are approved for use in goats, but most are approved for sheep. In reviewing specific drugs, he said that moxidectin is the treatment of choice for severely ill sheep and goats on farms where it is known to still be highly effective.

Explaining why testing the efficacy of the drug is so important, Dr. Kaplan said that killing some worms will result in clinical improvement, making it appear that treatment was effective. In practical terms, that means when resistance is present in moderate degrees, parasite control will be inadequate, but it will not be noticed clinically. Without testing, resistance will not be observed until it reaches a high degree, resulting in severe production loss and death of some animals. Rotating anthelmintics on a schedule also can mask resistance and not slow the progression. “Resistance develops slowly to all drugs simultaneously; one effective drug will ‘cover’ for another,” he said.

To treat infestation with H contortus, Dr. Kaplan recommends integrating FAMACHA into the parasite control program. FAMACHA is the new on-farm system that classifies an animal into a category based on its degree of anemia. This information, which can be found at www.scsrpc.org, is then used to determine whether the animal requires anthelmintic treatment.

Fetal sexing and sex-sorting semen

In an AABP beef session, Dr. Brad Stroud of Stroud Veterinary Embryo Services Inc., Weatherford, Texas, presented guidelines for ultrasound fetal sexing in cow-calf operations and strategies for sex-sorting semen to be inseminated in breeding stock.

Both technologies enable selection for offspring of the desired sex. After an ultrasound determines fetal sex, breeders of purebred beef cattle are likely to keep the undesired males for themselves and elect to sell females carrying female fetuses in consignment or production sales, because the female fetus makes the sale bring upward of $500 or more than their counterpart males.

Breeders often don't know that the technology exists to do ultrasound fetal sexing. Dr. Stroud conjectures it's because most bovine practitioners, not having the skill, don't offer the service. As reproductive technologies become more commercialized, the demand for this skill is growing, and it can be a practice builder.

Despite a steep learning curve, any veterinarian can learn the skill, Dr. Stroud said. The learning curve depends not only on factors such as palpation and ultrasound experience but commitment. “You've got to be a bulldog,” he said.

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Dr. Brad Stroud scans an embryo donor cow for corpora lutea on collection day, using a console ultrasound unit. This helps accurately predict the number of embryos that should be recovered from the flush.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 229, 12; 10.2460/javma.229.12.1861

A veterinarian must become proficient at obtaining an image with a transducer in the cow's rectum. This can be learned in one's practice or at an interactive lab. Dr. Stroud said the most common mistake is moving the transducer too quickly.

The window of opportunity for fetal sexing normally ranges from 60 to 90 days of gestation but can extend from 58 to 120 days, in some cases. Fetal sexing may not be possible when the fetus is carried too deeply or the fetus can't be reached with the ultrasound probe. In beef cattle, fetal sex can't be determined in about 1 of 40 cows because of these factors.

Before offering this service, veterinarians should achieve a field accuracy rate of at least 97 percent, Dr. Stroud said. The cost to a producer is volume-dependent and can run from $10 to $50 per cow.

“Fetal sexing is really an inefficient way to go about this,” Dr. Stroud said. The newer technology of sex-sorting semen does not waste the eggs of ovulating cows, he said. Virgin heifers are inseminated during estrus with semen from sires that have high artificial insemination rates.

This leading-edge technology uses flow cytometry to sort X-bearing sperm from Y-bearing sperm. This is possible because a sperm bearing an × chromosome carries four percent more total DNA than a sperm carrying a Y chromosome.

The sorting speed is slow—5,000 sperm per second, with 90 percent accuracy. “If you look at the number (of sperm) you need to inseminate a cow, that's why it's costly,” Dr. Stroud said. Also, conception rates are lower with sex-sorted sperm than traditional sperm, and there are other important differences.

Dr. Stroud underscored the need for veterinarians to advise clients on genetic, nutritional, and reproductive management before recommending use of sex-sorted semen, along with proper techniques for storage, handling, and insemination.

—SUSAN C. KAHLER

Genetics research aids scrapie eradication

Scientists with the Agriculture Department's Agricultural Research Service have developed genetic tests to more accurately diagnose scrapie in sheep. Their goal is to eventually eradicate scrapie by selectively breeding sheep less susceptible to the deadly neurodegenerative disease.

According to the ARS, government researchers have amassed a detailed body of knowledge allowing them to test sheep for scrapie susceptibility with great accuracy. With that information, breeders can select lesssusceptible sheep and breed more scrapie-resistant flocks.

Scrapie costs U.S. sheep producers an estimated $20 million annually, and its eradication is the industry's top priority.

Genetic predisposition to scrapie is related to variations in amino acid sequences coded within each sheep's DNA. Selective breeding for resistance could one day reduce the genetic risk of developing scrapie and may eventually eradicate it, according to the ARS.

Drawing from a diverse group of U.S. sheep, researchers have resequenced the prion gene, identifying a new genetic variation. This achievement, the ARS states, has improved commercially available genotyping tests and enhanced the government's National Scrapie Eradication Program.

Essentially, this research is improving the speed, cost, and quality of antiscrapie breeding methods.

The scientists have identified and stored DNA from 15 common sheep breeds. This information is freely available to researchers and testing laboratories to facilitate diagnosis and eventual scrapie eradication.

Call out: Applications for student research program being accepted

Morris Animal Foundation has issued a call for applications for its 2007 Veterinary Student Scholars program. The program provides veterinary students an opportunity to become involved in veterinary research targeted at enhancing the health and well-being of companion animals and wildlife. Awards are open to all firstthrough third-year veterinary students from an AVMA or other agency accredited college or school of veterinary medicine in their country.

The Veterinary Student Scholars program will award approximately 25 students with $4,000 stipends in 2007. Applicants must devote a minimum of 50 percent of their time to the project for the equivalent of a 10- to 12-week period. Funding for the program comes from donor-restricted gifts.

Award recipients will be invited to attend the MAF's annual meeting in Colorado during June 2008 to present their work in the form of a poster session. Airfare, hotel, and meals will be paid by MAF. The top companion animal and top wildlife poster presentation will receive an additional cash award of $5,000 each. This award will be provided from the Joe Ballard Estate in honor of Joe Ballard, Jr., a former trustee of MAF.

Applications for the Veterinary Student Scholars program are due Feb. 6 to Tobie McPhail, scientific programs and advancement manager, Morris Animal Foundation, 45 Inverness Drive East, Englewood, Colo. 80112-5480. More information on the program can be found online at www.morrisanimalfoun dation.org.

UC-Davis cares for pets that outlive owners

Tender Loving Care offered for cats, dogs, exotic pets, horses

Pets who outlive their owners can be adequately cared for through the Tender Loving Care program at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

The program offers pets a lifetime of veterinary care at the teaching hospital and a home with an approved caretaker. Cats, dogs, small exotic pets, and horses are accepted.

“A number of friends and donors of the (veterinary school) have asked in the past if the school would help find a home for their pets, should they die before the pet,” said Dr. Richard Timmins, director of the Center for Animals in Society at the veterinary school and manager of the TLC program.

“A couple years ago, we discovered that there were a number of informal agreements between individual donors and members of the (Office of Development) and some faculty members,” Dr. Timmins said. “The problem with these informal agreements was that there was no assurance that the pet owners' needs would really be met, and there was no formal structure for carrying out the agreement.

“After examining programs at a few other schools and receiving input from clients, donors, attorneys, and faculty here at (UC-Davis), we built the TLC program, which is an explicit legal document—but one that can be flexible according to the needs of the owners and the pets.”

Along with UC-Davis, at least one other veterinary school or college offers a program for pets who outlive their owners—the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine. Established in 1993, the Stevenson Companion Animal LifeCare Center at TAMU meets the needs of pets when the owners are no longer able to provide that care, whether it's because they've entered a retirement home, are hospitalized for an extended period, or have died.

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As part of the enrollment process at UC-Davis, a veterinarian meets with the owner and pet to assess the animal's needs and match it with the most suitable caretaker. Caretakers are selected from members of the school's veterinary community. New caretaker homes are prescreened by a program official to determine the appropriate species, age, size, and number of pets that can be adequately cared for in each prospective home.

The TLC program is funded through estate gifts from owners who enroll their pets. A contribution of $30,000 to the TLC program helps provide lifetime care for each enrolled pet. Dr. Timmins said all health care, including wellness examinations, medicines, surgeries, and hospitalization, is provided at the teaching hospital at no charge to the new caretaker.

In addition to the estate gift, the enrollment fee for each animal is $1,000, which covers initial costs, such as legal documents, evaluation of the pet, and care of the pet after the owner dies but before the estate is settled.

Dr. Timmins offered several recommendations for veterinary schools or colleges that are looking to implement a similar program.

“Make sure that there is a legal document clearly stating what is expected of the school and of the pet owner,” he suggested. “Examine the pet and its environment before enrolling the pet to determine what sort of home will work best for the pet—and make sure that the pet is adoptable.”

If the pet is not adoptable, he said, consider recommending that the animal be brought to a no-kill organization.

When looking to implement a program, he also suggested establishing a phone line and delegating a person to respond to inquiries, because there will be a lot of them.

The program has an oversight committee, called the TLC for Pets Committee, of select faculty, staff members, and knowledgeable pet owners to oversee the health management of the pets. Once the pets are in the care of the school, the committee reviews health records, behavior, and requirements for placement.

Log on to the program's Web site at www.tlcforpets.org to learn more.

—ALLISON REZENDES

State policing institute plans for animals in disasters

The Illinois Regional Institute for Community Policing will develop and implement programs that ensure coordination of preparedness, response, and recovery efforts for individuals, communities, and agencies effecting the well-being and safety of animals during a disaster. The emergency response plan will serve as a model for national use.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will partner with RICP on the project, called Animal Rescue and Restore.

The project was made possible through a $1,516,040 grant to the RICP from the Department of Homeland Security.

“If disaster planning does not take into account the unique bond between people and the animals they consider family, then planning falls tragically short,” said Patricia Rushing, interim director of the RICP. “It is time to expand collaboration, communication, and cooperation for more successful all-hazard planning and response.”

Ed Sayres, president of the ASPCA, said, “Recognizing the need for emergency planning at the personal, community, state, and national level is the first step in the creation of evacuation protocols involving animals. We are very excited about the opportunity to assist the RICP in the creation of these protocols, (which) will elevate our communities as humane entities.”

Highlights from the three-year program will include training community teams to develop and maintain emergency operation plans and developing procedures to inform and educate the public of the need to be prepared to care for their animals during disasters. Another highlight will be the assembling of a Project Advisory Committee made up of emergency response professionals, members of the veterinary community, animal welfare groups, the media, and content experts.

Based in Springfield, Ill., RICP is part of a national network of 26 institutes across the country and is supported by the Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. In Illinois, the RICP is part of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Institute of Government and Public Affairs, and is a collaborative partnership between the Illinois State Police, Illinois Violence Prevention Authority, and Illinois Center for Violence Prevention, Chicago.

UT launches agriculture, food security preparedness center

The University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine has established the Center for Agriculture and Food Security and Preparedness. The center will assist the United States in its efforts to protect agriculture and the food supply from terrorist threats.

The center will house the college's national training program that is being developed for the Department of Homeland Security on agriculture and food vulnerability assessment. Development of the training program is being funded by a $2 million grant the college received from DHS in September 2005. The college was one of 15 organizations to receive the highly competitive training grants.

The training program will provide industry and state, county, and local government officials across the country with tools to prevent and deter terrorist acts that target the agricultural and food sector. The training program became available at no cost to communities this fall.

“The center will provide a readily accessible Web portal for information on the DHS training program as well as showcase other college homeland security-related activities,” said Dr. Sharon Thompson, project director for the DHS grant and other homeland security-related grants at the college.

“We plan to develop online and additional in-person training programs,” Dr. Thompson said. The center will organize and host the second Foreign Animal and Emerging Diseases Training Course, which will be held in Knoxville, Tenn., in summer 2007.

Dr. Michael Blackwell, dean of the veterinary college, said, “The work that will come out of this center has the potential to affect each and every American, anyone who consumes food.”

To learn more about the center, log on to www.vet.utk.edu/cafsp.

new diplomates: American College of Zoological Medicine

Five new diplomates were welcomed into the American College of Zoological Medicine after successful completion of the certification examination on Oct. 23–24, 2006. Each candidate selected one of five categories to be tested for on the second part of the certifying examination—general zoological, wildlife, aquatic, avian, or herptile medicine.

The new diplomates are Drs. Sara E. Childs-Sanford, Ithaca, N.Y.; Christine V. Fiorello, Kissimmee, Fla.; Christopher S. Hanley, Toledo, Ohio; Eric A. Klaphake, Bozeman, Mont.; and David S. Miller, Fort Collins, Colo.

assemblies: American Association of Zoo Veterinarians

Event: Annual conference, Sept. 21–25, Tampa, Fla., hosted by Lowry Park Zoo and Busch Gardens

Program: There were 546 registered participants, including 129 students, representing 25 countries.

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Dr. Michael Cranfield

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 229, 12; 10.2460/javma.229.12.1861

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Dr. Edward Ramsay

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 229, 12; 10.2460/javma.229.12.1861

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Dr. Mary Denver

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 229, 12; 10.2460/javma.229.12.1861

Awards: Emil P. Dolensek Award: Dr. Michael Cranfield, Baltimore, for exceptional contributions to the conservation, care, and understanding of zoo and free-ranging wildlife. A 1977 graduate of Ontario Veterinary College, Dr. Cranfield is the director of animal management, research, and conservation at the Baltimore Zoo. He also serves as project director of Morris Animal Foundation's Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project and is a member of the comparative medicine faculty at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Cranfield's research focuses on clinically applicable problems in captive and free-ranging wildlife, including malaria in penguins, diagnosis and treatment of cryptosporidiosis and amoebiasis in reptiles, and conservation/preventive medicine in mountain gorillas. Duane E. Ullrey Achievement Award: Bill L. Lasley, PhD, Davis, Calif., for exceptional achievements in the science of captive wild animal care in an allied field critical to the AAZV. Professor emeritus at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Lasley serves as associate director of the Center for Health and the Environment at the UC-Davis John Muir Institute for the Environment. He also serves as chief of the Division of Reproductive Biology in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the UC-Davis School of Medicine. Dr. Lasley's research interests include the study of reproductive hormones, and reproduction and contraception in various species. AAZV/Morris Animal Foundation Graduate Student Manuscript Competition: First place—Dr. John Sykes (COR '02), for “Evaluation of an osmotic pump for delivery of fentanyl in domestic cats (felis domesticus): A model for non-domestic felids”; and second place—Dr. Jessica Siegal-Willot (COR '02), for “Clinical evaluation of distal limb radiography and growth plate closure in the juvenile Asian elephant (Elephas maximus).” Safe-Capture International Inc. Poster Competition: First place—Dr. Cora Singleton, Davis, Calif., for “Use of oral hypoglycemic drugs for the management of diabetes mellitus in prosimians”; and second place—Dr. Julio Mercado, Davis, Calif., for “Comparative serum glucose levels in sedated suidae and tayassuidae.” Officials: Drs. Edward Ramsay, Knoxville, Tenn., president; Mary Denver, Baltimore, president-elect; Thomas Meehan, Chicago, vice president; Jan Ramer, Indianapolis, secretary; Victoria Clyde, Milwaukee, treasurer; and Michele Miller, Orlando, Fla., immediate past president

American College of Veterinary Surgeons

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Dr. C. Wayne McIlwraith

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 229, 12; 10.2460/javma.229.12.1861

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Dr. Martin P. DeAngelis

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 229, 12; 10.2460/javma.229.12.1861

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Dr. Michael M. Pavletic

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 229, 12; 10.2460/javma.229.12.1861

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Dr. Larry M. Bramlage

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 229, 12; 10.2460/javma.229.12.1861

Event: Annual symposium, Oct. 5–7, Washington, D.C.

Program: The symposium attracted nearly 1,600 participants, including veterinary surgeons, veterinary practitioners, and other professionals. The Mark Allam lecture was presented by Dr. B. Tucker Woodson, who is director of the Froedtert Hospital/Medical College of Wisconsin Sleep Disorders Program.

Awards: Founders' Award for Career Achievement: Dr. C. Wayne McIlwraith, Fort Collins, Colo., for outstanding contributions to the art and science of veterinary surgery. A past president and past chair of the board of regents of the ACVS, Dr. McIlwraith is a professor of surgery and director of orthopedic research at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Known for his expertise in equine surgery, he has served as president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

Dr. McIlwraith is the primary author or co-author of 10 textbooks. Merit Award: Awarded posthumously to Dr. Barclay Slocum, who died April 14, 2001, for contributions to the conduct of veterinary surgery through the development of methods, techniques, devices, and educational aspects of veterinary surgery. Dr. Slocum was the founder of Slocum Clinic in Eugene, Ore. He developed and taught several techniques used today in orthopedic patients. Legend Award: Dr. Martin P. DeAngelis, Ardsley, N.Y., won this award (given in recognition of surgical procedures that have proved their value by becoming the treatment of choice for a specific condition) for his publication “A lateral retinacular technique for the surgical correction of the anterior cruciate ligament rupture in the dog.” This paper was the basis for the extracapsular surgical technique widely used today in the repair of cranial cruciate ligament ruptures. Dr. DeAngelis practices at the Village Animal Clinic in Ardsley.

Officials: Drs. Michael M. Pavletic, Boston, president; Larry M. Bramlage, Lexington, Ky., presidentelect; Alan J. Lipowitz, Peterson, Minn., executive secretary; and Robert A. Taylor, Denver, treasurer

college news: Teaching, research awards conferred

Following are winners of the 2006 Carl J. Norden-Pfizer Distinguished Teaching Award and the Pfizer Animal Health Award for Research Excellence at 29 and 27 veterinary schools, respectively. The Norden award is given to educators in recognition of their character and leadership qualities as well as their outstanding teaching abilities. The Pfizer award recognizes researchers whose innovative studies have advanced the scientific standing of veterinary medicine.

Carl J. Norden-Pfizer Distinguished Teaching Award

Michael Tillson, DVM, Auburn University Walter M. Boyce, DVM, PhD, University of California-Davis

L. Ray Whalen, DVM, PhD, Colorado State University

Thomas Divers, DVM, Cornell University

Steeve Giguere, DVM, PhD, University of Florida

Karen K. Cornell, DVM, PhD, University of Georgia

Thomas K. Graves, DVM, PhD, University of Illinois

Steven B. Reimer, DVM, Iowa State University

Thomas Schermerhorn, DVM, Kansas State University

Amy M. Grooters, DVM, Louisiana State University

P.S. Mohankumar, PhD, Michigan State University

Leslie Sharkey, DVM, PhD, University of Minnesota

Andrew Macklin, DVSc, PhD, Mississippi State University

James L. Cook, DVM, PhD, University of Missouri-Columbia

Karyn A. Harrell, DVM, North Carolina State University

Maxey Wellman, DVM, PhD, The Ohio State University

Sandra E. Morgan, DVM, Oklahoma State University

Brady Bergin, DVM, Oregon State University Patricia Sertich, VMD, University of Pennsylvania

Kevin M. Hannon, PhD, Purdue University Michael Smith, MS, Ross University

Ulrike Zieger, DVM, St. George's University

Robert B. Reed Jr., DVM, PhD, University of Tennessee

Claudia L. Barton, DVM, Texas A&M University

Jean M. Mukherjee, DVM, PhD, Tufts University

Otto Lanz, DVM, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine

Patricia A. Talcott, DVM, PhD, Washington State University

Joseph Rutllant-Labeaga, DVM, PhD, Western University of Health Sciences

Lisa J. Forrest, VMD, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Pfizer Animal Health Award for Research Excellence

Valery Petrenko, DVM, Auburn University

Alan Conley, PhD, and Reen Wu, PhD, University of California-Davis

Brian Foy, PhD, Colorado State University

Alexander Travis, VMD, PhD, Cornell University

Cynda Crawford, DVM, PhD, University of Florida

Julie M. Moore, PhD, University of Georgia Eric Vimr, PhD, University of Illinois

Bruce Schultz, PhD, Kansas State University

Joseph Francis, DVM, PhD, Louisiana State University

Katheryn D. Meek, DVM, Michigan State University

Mitchell Abrahamsen, PhD, University of Minnesota

Shane Burgess, BVSc, PhD, Mississippi State University

Derek B. Fox, DVM, PhD, University of Missouri-Columbia

Anthony T. Blikslager, DVM, PhD, North Carolina State University

Thomas E. Wittum, PhD, The Ohio State University

Richard Eberle, DVM, Oklahoma State University

Beth Valentine, DVM, PhD, Oregon State University

Margret L. Casal, DVM, PhD, University of Pennsylvania

Chang H. Kim, PhD, Purdue University

Darryl L. Millis, DVM, University of Tennessee

George Lees, DVM, Texas A&M University

John E. Rush, DVM, Tufts University

Levent Dirikolu, DVM, PhD, Tuskegee University

Sharon G. Witonsky, DVM, PhD, Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine

Henk Granzier, PhD, Washington State University

Peggy Barr, DVM, PhD, Western University of Health Sciences

Christopher Murphy, DVM, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison

accolades: Associations

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association has presented awards to Drs. Dale E. Bjorling (IL '78), Colin F. Burrows (LON '69), and D.L. Millis (COR '87). Dr. Bjorling was the recipient of the WSAVA Waltham International Award for Scientific Achievement. He is chairman of the Department of Surgical Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. His research focuses on diseases of the urinary tract. Dr. Bjorling serves on the Board of Regents of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Dr. Burrows was the recipient of the WSAVA International Award for Service to the Profession. He is chairman of the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. He is also executive director of the North American Veterinary Conference. He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Dr. Millis received the WSAVA Iams Paatsama Award in recognition of his clinical and scientific achievements elevating the profile of orthopedic surgery and patient rehabilitation. He is chief of surgery at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, where he also works with the college's certificate program in canine rehabilitation. He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Academia

Drs. James Brandt (OKL '64), Edwin Fisher (OKL '63), and Robert Fulton (OKL '66) recently received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Association.

Dr. Brandt practiced small animal medicine at the Brandt Veterinary Clinic in Nokomis, Fla., and at Venice Pines Veterinary Clinic in Venice, Fla. He is a past president of the AVMA, Florida VMA, and Southwest Florida VMA. Dr. Brandt also has been active with the Sarasota County Animal Welfare Committee, American Animal Hospital Association, and numerous civic organizations.

Dr. Fisher practices veterinary medicine in Winfield, Kan., where he has worked since he became a partner in a mixed practice in 1965. He is active with the Cowley County Livestock Association and community groups. He is a member of the Dean's Development Associates at the Oklahoma State veterinary college, and he served as the first president of the alumni association.

Dr. Fulton is a professor in the Department of Pathobiology at the Oklahoma State veterinary college. His research focuses on bovine viruses, particularly bovine viral diarrhea virus. Previously, he was a professor at Louisiana State University. He also served as a captain in the Veterinary Corps of the U.S. Air Force. Dr. Fulton is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists.

obituaries

AVMA Honor Roll Member, AVMA Member, Nonmember

Robert G. Carlson

Dr. Carlson (MSU '52), 84, Kalamazoo, Mich., died July 4, 2006. Prior to retirement in 1988, he headed the pathology department at Upjohn Company in Kalamazoo. During his career with Upjohn, Dr. Carlson traveled to Japan, where he helped establish a laboratory. He was a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists, and a member of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine and the Society of Toxicology. A Navy veteran of World War II, Dr. Carlson served as a B-26 pilot, attaining the rank of captain. His wife, Margaret, and two daughters survive him.

Sam H. Dorfman

Dr. Dorfman (AUB '39), 89, Bronx, N.Y., died Sept. 1, 2006. Prior to retirement in the late 1980s, he owned a practice in Bronx. Early in his career, Dr. Dorfman practiced large animal medicine in Kentucky. He was a past president of the VMA of New York City, a charter member of the Bronx County VA, and representative of the VMA of NYC on the executive board of the New York State VMS for eight years.

A veteran of World War II, Dr. Dorfman served as a meat inspector in the Army. He is survived by a son and a daughter.

Thomas S. Gerald III

Dr. Gerald (TEX '71), 59, Amarillo, Texas, died July 5, 2006. He owned Acoma Pine Animal and Bird Clinic in Amarillo since 1973. A member of the Texas VMA, Dr. Gerald served on its board of directors from 1997–2002. He was also a member of the Amarillo VMA and Texas Academy of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Gerald was vice president/president-elect of Amarillo Rotary West. His wife, Debra; three sons; and two daughters survive him.

Memorials may be made to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 800 W. Third Ave., Amarillo, TX 79101; The Humane Society, 3501 S. Osage St., Amarillo, TX 79103; or Animal Rescue Shelter of Amarillo, 12500 S. Washington St., Amarillo, TX 79118.

Eugene R. Hussey

Dr. Hussey (MSU '52), 85, Conway, N.H., died Aug. 21, 2006. Retired for two years, he founded Hussey's Veterinary Hospital in North Conway in 1952. Dr. Hussey also established the Eastern Slope Farm in 1965 and a practice in Gorham, N.H., in 1967, and showed Percheron horses.

He was an Army veteran of World War II, attaining the rank of captain. A past president of the North Conway Rotary Club, Dr. Hussey served on the Conway Planning Board. In 2003, he was the 42nd recipient of the New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation's annual Profile Award, for distinguished service to agriculture and rural life. Dr. Hussey's wife, Elizabeth, and a son survive him. Memorials may be made to the First Church of Christ Congregational, P.O. Box 401, North Conway, NH 03860.

Ted L. James

Dr. James (GA '57), 74, Salisbury, N.C., died April 15, 2006. Prior to retirement in 2005, he owned James Animal Hospital in Salisbury. A past president of the North Carolina VMA, Dr. James helped establish North Carolina State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Active with the Lions Club, he had served as president of the Salisbury Club and as a district governor. The Salisbury Club named Dr. James its Lion of the Year in 1982, and Community Man of the Year in 1989.

His wife, Nancy; two sons; two daughters; a stepson; and a stepdaughter survive him. Memorials may be made to the Touching Tomorrow Today Fund, First Baptist Church, 223 N. Fulton St., Salisbury, NC 28144; North Carolina Lions Foundation, Camp Dogwood Drive, P.O. Box 39, Sherrills Ford, NC 28673; or the Humane Society of Rowan County, P.O. Box 295, Salisbury, NC 28145.

Charles V. Lang Jr.

Dr. Lang (AUB '50), 85, Biloxi, Miss., died April 17, 2006. He was the founder of Coast Animal Clinic in Biloxi, practicing there until recently. A past president of the Mississippi VMA, Dr. Lang served as Mississippi's delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates from 1982–1995.

He was an Air Force veteran of World War II and the Vietnam War. Dr. Lang received the Purple Heart, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and two air medals. His two sons and a daughter survive him. Memorials may be made to the Charles and Margie Lang Scholarship Fund, Cottage Hill Christian Academy, 7355 Creekwood Drive, Mobile, AL 36695.

Robert W. McNabb

Dr. McNabb (KSU '51), 86, Hemet, Calif., died Aug. 25, 2006. From 1972 until retirement in 1986, he served as a federal meat inspector. Earlier in his career, Dr. McNabb practiced in Superior, Neb. He was a life member of the Nebraska VMA. Dr. McNabb was also a member of the American Legion, having served in the Army as a meat and dairy inspector from 1942–1946. He attained the rank of sergeant. Dr. McNabb's wife, Marie, and a son survive him.

Clarence W. Meeusen

Dr. Meeusen (ISU '42), 89, Cedar Grove, Wis., died Aug. 23, 2006. He founded Cedar Grove Veterinary Clinic in the mid-1970s, practicing there until retirement in 1981. Earlier in his career, Dr. Meeusen had a home-based practice in Cedar Grove. He was a member of the Wisconsin VMA.

An Army veteran, Dr. Meeusen served in the China-Burma-India Theatre from 1943–1945. He was a member of the American Legion. Dr. Meeusen was past village president in Cedar Grove, and a member of the Cedar Grove School Board and Kiwanis Club. His three sons and a daughter survive him. Dr. Meeusen's son-in-law, Dr. Ronald D. Hinze (ISU '76), operates Cedar Grove Veterinary Clinic. Memorials may be made to First Reformed Church, 237 S. Main St., Cedar Grove, WI 53013.

Charles I. Peckenpaugh

Dr. Peckenpaugh (WSU '50), 82, University Place, Wash., died July 17, 2006. He owned Button Veterinary Hospital in Tacoma, Wash., from 1950–1984. Dr. Peckenpaugh was a Navy veteran of World War II. His wife, Dorothy; a daughter; and two sons survive him.

Tedmar D. Rossing

Dr. Rossing (ISU '43), 86, Livermore, Iowa, died Aug. 26, 2006. He established a large animal practice in Livermore in 1947. During his career, Dr. Rossing also worked for the Department of Agriculture in Iowa and Nebraska. He was a member of the Iowa VMA. Dr. Rossing served in the Army Veterinary Corps during World War II, attaining the rank of captain. He was a member of the American Legion, Livermore City Council, and Livermore Fire Department.

Dr. Rossing is survived by his wife, Ella, and two daughters. Memorials may be made to Mayo Clinic (toward melanoma cancer research), 200 1st St. S.W., Rochester, MN 55905; Hospice of Humboldt County, 1000 15th St. N., Humboldt, IA 50548; or St. Olaf Lutheran Church (toward the elevator fund), 307 Rossing Ave., Bode, IA 50519.

Terryl K. Schmitt

Dr. Schmitt (KSU '69), 62, Great Bend, Kan., died Aug. 17, 2006. A partner at the Ark Valley Veterinary Hospital in Great Bend, he practiced there for 28 years. Earlier, Dr. Schmitt practiced at Hoisington Veterinary Hospital in Hoisington, Kan., for nine years. He was a member of the Kansas VMA, 4-H Club, and National FFA Organization. Dr. Schmitt served as a judge for the Pony of America Association.

His wife, Jeanne, and two sons survive him. Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church Organ Fund, 467 W. 3rd St., Hoisington, KS 67544; or Great Bend Health and Rehabilitation Center, 1560 K-96 Highway, Great Bend, KS 67530.

Robert E. Schmoll

Dr. Schmoll (MO '57), 79, Branson, Mo., died Oct. 6, 2006. He practiced in Branson from 1959–1989. Dr. Schmoll's wife, Barbara, and a daughter survive him.

Ernest A. Siegel

Dr. Siegel (KSU '42), 86, San Mateo, Calif., died June 22, 2006. Prior to retirement, he owned Avenues Pet Hospital in San Francisco. During his career, Dr. Siegel also practiced at the San Francisco Humane Society; Skyline Pet Hospital in Daly City, Calif.; and Westborough Pet Hospital in San Francisco. He was a member of the California VMA. Dr. Siegel served in the Army Veterinary Corps during World War II, attaining the rank of 1st lieutenant. His wife, Norma, and two daughters survive him.

Paul E. Steffen

Dr. Steffen (OSU '54), 83, Carmel, Ind., died June 17, 2006. From 1955 until retirement in 1990, he owned Westfield Animal Clinic in Westfield, Ind. Dr. Steffen also owned DRS Morgan Horse Farm. He was a member of the Indiana and Central Indiana VMAs, and a charter member of the Westfield Indiana Chamber of Commerce. A World War II veteran, Dr. Steffen served in the Army. He is survived by his wife, Julia; two sons; and two daughters. Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, 9135 N. Meridian St. Suite B-4, Indianapolis, IN 46209.

Jack T. Tumlin

Dr. Tumlin (GA '53), 88, Cocoa, Fla., died Sept. 14, 2006. He was an expert in poultry medicine. From 1987 until retirement in 1991, Dr. Tumlin was director of technical services at Vineland Laboratories in Vineland, N.J. Following graduation, he worked for Merck & Company as a sales veterinarian in Rahway, N.J., for two years. Dr. Tumlin then served as an instructor of veterinary bacteriology and public health at the University of Minnesota School of Veterinary Medicine. From 1958–1959, he headed the poultry diagnostic laboratory at the University of Georgia School of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Tumlin next served as manager of veterinary research and service, and veterinary service field operations, for Central Soya Company in Decatur, Ind., from 1959–1965. He then joined the faculty of the University of Georgia, heading the section of avian medicine in the Department of Medicine and Surgery for seven years. Dr. Tumlin began his career with Vineland Laboratories in 1972, and after working for Anitox Corporation in Buford, Ga, and directing the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Diagnostic Laboratory in Springdale, Ark., returned to Vineland in 1987.

He was a past member of the board of directors of the American Association of Avian Pathologists. Dr. Tumlin's other memberships included the Georgia VMA, Poultry Science Association, United States Animal Health Association, Society of American Bacteriologists, American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, World Poultry Veterinary Association, Southeastern Poultry and Egg Association, and Georgia and Arkansas poultry federations.

In 1988, he received the AAAP's first C.A. Bottorff Award, for contributions to poultry health programs in North America. Dr. Tumlin was a Navy veteran of World War II. His wife, Dolores; three daughters; a stepdaughter; and a stepson survive him. Memorials may be made to His Mansion, P.O. Box 40, Hillsborough, NH 03244; or Be His Witness, 10708 Forest Run Drive, Bradenton, FL 34211.

Floyd C. Votaw

Dr. Votaw (PHI '40), 98, La Habra Heights, Calif., died Aug. 4, 2006. He served as Los Angeles County veterinarian from 1966–1973. Following graduation, Dr. Votaw worked as a veterinary meat inspector for the state of California in Tulare County. From 1942–1962, he served in the Army, attaining the rank of lieutenant colonel. Dr. Votaw then returned to Tulare County as state veterinarian until 1966.

In later years, he volunteered with World Concern, the Christian Veterinary Mission, Institute of Cultural Affairs, and Heifer Project International, traveling to several countries, including Korea, Haiti, the Philippines, Nepal, Cuba, and Brazil. Dr. Votaw is survived by his wife, Jean; two sons; and a daughter. Memorials may be made to CRISTA, Christian Veterinary Mission, 19303 Fremont Ave. N., P.O. Box 330303, Seattle, WA 98133.

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