News

Click on author name to view affiliation information

Texas, an 11-year-old German Shepherd-Siberian Husky mix, is among the numerous senior pets veterinarians are seeing more often. National studies have revealed that the percentage of owned dogs age 11 or older increased from 14.6 percent in 1987 to 15.5 percent in 2001, while the percentage of owned cats age 11 or older increased from 10.6 percent in 1987 to 16.8 percent in 2001. In response, the veterinary profession has adopted a variety of measures to care for the aging pet population.

article image

the Geriatric Issue

America’s pets, like its people, are aging

Veterinarians are seeing more and more senior pets.

The percentage of cats and dogs 6 years of age or older jumped between 1987 and 2001, according to U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics sourcebooks. The sourcebooks draw on data from national studies performed by the AVMA, the next of which is due to be conducted in 2007.

The studies revealed that the percentage of owned dogs age 11 or older increased from 14.6 percent in 1987 to 15.5 percent in 2001. The percentage of owned cats age 11 or older increased from 10.6 percent in 1987 to 16.8 percent in 2001. During that same period, the percentage of dogs age 6 to 10 rose from 27.1 percent to 31.2 percent whereas cats age 6 to 10 rose from 17.9 percent to 25.7 percent.

Veterinary medicine has responded to the aging of the pet population with a variety of measures. A large amount of recent veterinary research has focused on geriatric conditions such as cognitive dysfunction, glaucoma, and osteoarthritis (see page 482). Veterinary associations have released guidelines on senior care for dogs and cats (see page 483).

The veterinary community will continue to confront end-of-life issues, both for older pets and for older pet owners. Similar to human hospices, pet hospices have become more common (see page 484). Other owners are establishing estate plans for the care of their pets. Some pets live out their later years in retirement homes after the death of their owners (see page 486).

On the basis of comments from veterinarians, the trend toward older pets is likely to continue. Many veterinarians attribute the longer, healthier life of the typical pet to care provided by owners as well as medical advances. And the lives of cats and dogs might become even longer and healthier within the next few years.

Research targets conditions of older cats and dogs

Studies investigate cognitive dysfunction, glaucoma, osteoarthritis

The medical conditions that afflict aging cats and dogs have been a focus of much research in recent years—and are the subject of many current studies.

Reasons for the research include the increasing longevity of pets, the willingness of owners to address chronic illness in their pets, and the implications for modeling human disease.

Some studies have examined issues that commonly affect older pets such as diabetes, heart disease, and pain management. Other studies have delved into conditions more specific to geriatric animals—cognitive dysfunction, glaucoma, and osteoarthritis.

Cognitive dysfunction

Dr. Gary Landsberg, president of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, closely follows research on cognitive dysfunction.

He said behavioral changes in senior pets can indicate a number of welfare issues or disease conditions, from pain to brain aging, before any medical signs appear. So guidelines on senior care now advise pet owners and veterinarians alike to watch for behavioral changes.

Dr. Landsberg, who is a partner at Doncaster Animal Clinic in Thornhill, Ontario, said old-age medical conditions, such as cognitive dysfunction, might never have had a chance to appear when animals were living shorter lives.

“We did not identify a specific brain-aging component,” he said.

He said studies conducted about 15 years ago were the first to find that aging dogs could develop brain changes similar to those of humans with Alzheimer's disease, primarily ß-amyloid deposits. Tests were developed in the 1990s to detect deficits in learning and memory of dogs in the laboratory setting, allowing researchers a more accurate way to evaluate treatments for slowing or stopping cognitive dysfunction.

Drugs such as selegiline hydrochloride, as well as the specially formulated diet Canine b/d, are now available for the management of cognitive dysfunction in dogs. Studies also are examining other compounds, such as drugs that enhance the cholinergic system and phosphatidylserine. Antioxidants show promise for protecting against memory loss. Researchers have begun to test learning and memory in young dogs rather than focusing only on senility. Research on learning, memory, and cognitive dysfunction in cats also is under way.

Dr. Landsberg said the next stage will be to look into the genetics of why some animals develop cognitive dysfunction.

article image

Glaucoma

Dr. Ellison Bentley, a clinical associate professor of comparative ophthalmology at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, said glaucoma has long been a frustrating problem for veterinarians. She said advances in drugs and surgical treatments have stimulated new research about this disease that can affect the optic nerve.

“Studies of prophylactic medical therapy are the greatest advance we have made in this field in the last few years,” Dr. Bentley said.

Researchers have found medical treatments that can delay the onset of glaucoma in the other eye, she said. Better imaging techniques help with early diagnosis, while a better understanding of physiology has led to therapeutic drugs—with the most dramatic being latanaprost, which takes advantage of alternative pathways for fluid outflow to reduce intraocular pressure.

Dr. Robert Peiffer, a senior investigator at Merck & Co. and director of Bucks County Animal Ophthalmology in Pennsylvania, said glaucoma in domestic animals has major modeling implications for humans—although the diseases greatly differ between domestic animals and humans.

“Also, it is potentially blinding and without a doubt the most significant therapeutic challenge that the veterinary ophthalmologist faces,” he said.

He said the basic mechanisms of glaucoma remain speculative, and treatments lack comparative efficacy data. The placement of silicone drainage tubes, or gonioshunts, into an affected eye can relieve intraocular pressure—but problems include tubal obstruction and fibrous encapsulation. Freezing and laser ablation of secretory cells are unpredictable, and many surgeons prefer to combine the techniques.

In human medicine, Dr. Peiffer said, glaucoma therapies involving prostanoids are the most important recent advance. These compounds work well in dogs but are not as efficacious in cats. He added that pharmacologic neuroprotection of the retinal ganglion cells is another emerging science, along with novel delivery methods to enable the drugs to reach the back of the eye.

Osteoarthritis

Dr. Denis Marcellin-Little, associate professor of orthopedics at North Carolina State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, said the relationship between osteoarthritis and mobility has been the subject of a number of recent studies.

Dr. Marcellin-Little said lack of mobility, particularly for large dogs, is a common reason for euthanasia. The first studies of arthritis in dogs date to the '50s, but veterinarians didn't actually treat dogs for arthritis at that time. Research in succeeding decades described hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and several other joint diseases.

Now, veterinarians have many methods for managing arthritis, including drug and nondrug treatments.

“This is an area where we are not too far behind human medicine in understanding that you attack the problems from as many angles as you can,” Dr. Marcellin-Little said.

Researchers are examining a variety of new drugs, as well as nutritional supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids, for the treatment and management of arthritis. Other researchers have been investigating new techniques for screening, surgery, and physical therapy. The emphasis is primarily on quality of life, with the introduction of functional scoring—which is scoring how the pet functions in the home environment.

Dr. Marcellin-Little said studies also are being conducted to identify markers that will help researchers develop a better understanding of the relationship between osteoarthritis and mobility.

The new generation of studies has delved into the molecular basis of hip dysplasia in dogs, too, while arthritis in cats is becoming an important research topic.

—KATIE BURNS

Veterinary associations offer guidelines on senior care

With cats and dogs living longer, veterinarians spend more time on senior care—and associations are giving advice on how to prolong and improve pets' golden years.

The American Animal Hospital Association released Senior Care Guidelines for Dogs and Cats in 2005, and the American Association of Feline Practitioners has plans to update the Panel Report on Feline Senior Care in 2007.

The AAHA also offers client brochures on “Aging Pets” and “Senior Moments: Understanding Behavior Changes in Aging Pets,” and the theme of the AAFP fall 2006 conference in Toronto will be geriatrics and pain management.

The AAHA guidelines provide advice on the approach for healthy senior pets, approach for unhealthy senior pets, conditions important in senior pets, laboratory tests, anesthesia and surgery, pain and distress, end-is-near issues, and end-of-life issues.

“They are not hard-and-fast rules on what needs to be done in every circumstance,” said Dr. Michael Andrews, AAHA president and owner of Woodcrest Veterinary Clinic in Riverside, Calif.

He said veterinarians should individualize care for each senior pet. The guidelines promote frequent examinations as animals age.

“It's been shown from human medicine that promulgation of guidelines increases compliance with the recommendations that the professionals make to people,” Dr. Andrews said.

He said pets are living longer for the same reasons as people. Technology has provided prevention or treatments for many medical conditions. Pet owners also want animals to live longer, and they're willing to spend more money to maintain quality of life for aging animals—both for dogs and for cats.

The 1998 AAFP report on feline senior care includes sections on the physiology and pharmacology of aging, health care programs for senior cats, disease considerations, behavior problems, pain management, anesthesia, nutritional considerations, feeding considerations, dental care, and euthanasia.

“The most important message that we wanted to provide at the point that we wrote these guidelines is that age is not a disease,” said Dr. Ilona Rodan, co-chair of the report and owner of the Cat Care Clinic in Madison, Wis. “We see a lot of cats in the realm of 12 to 18 years of age where they are apparently healthy or they have chronic conditions that are well-maintained.”

Dr. Rodan said revisions to the report will incorporate new research. The next version also will probably address hospice care.

She said many of her clients will do whatever they can to maintain the quality of life of their senior cats.

“I see a well-bonded relationship,” Dr. Rodan said. “People are connected to these cats. They have lived with them through the good and the bad. They are willing to do whatever it takes.”

She said treating senior cats with multiple medical conditions requires a balancing act on the part of veterinarians. But veterinarians also bond with these senior cats that they see more frequently—and with the cats' owners.

The AAHA guidelines on senior care are available at www.aahanet.org/About_aaha/Senior_Care_final.pdf. The AAFP guidelines on senior care are atz www.aafponline.org/resources/guidelines/senior_care.pdf.

—KATIE BURNS

More veterinarians offer hospice care for pets

From pet hospice clinics to student-run programs, the veterinary profession continues to develop ways to care for terminally ill pets

article image

Considering the rising popularity of the human-animal bond, it seems only natural that veterinarians are increasingly offering clients hospice care for their terminally ill pets.

While many veterinarians may already provide end-of-life care for pets, some veterinarians have taken steps to market hospice care to pet owners as a specific, comprehensive service. Some veterinarians have even established clinics devoted to hospice care.

The Pet Hospice and Education Center in Columbus, Ohio, serves as one example of the type of hospice care available to pet owners. Dr. Tami S. Shearer founded the center in 2003 after years of traveling to clients' homes to provide the service. The 1,200-square-foot facility sits adjacent to her companion animal hospital, Shearer Pet Hospital.

“I have offered pet hospice services probably for about 20 years and really didn't think of it as ‘hospice care,’” Dr. Shearer said. “I thought of it just as doing my job and just offering creative options for people.”

The center is not used to house terminally ill pets. Instead, Dr. Shearer and her hospice team of two registered veterinary technicians and two veterinary assistants use the facility for consultation services and to teach clients to care for their pets while at home. Clients may also bring their pets into the facility for treatment.

Dr. Shearer developed a five-step hospice protocol to improve her ability to share information with pet owners and to teach other veterinarians expanded care ideas for terminally ill pets. The five-step strategy is as follows: evaluation of the pet owner's needs, beliefs, and goals for the pet; education about the disease process, aging, and pain management; development of a personalized plan for the pet and pet owner; application of hospice care techniques; and emotional support during and after the process. An offsite psychologist and volunteer social workers help Dr. Shearer with the last step.

“As a profession, we need to offer these types of services because I think that the pet owners are looking for it,” Dr. Shearer said.

The center became a nonprofit organization in 2004. Dr. Shearer said she would like to offer clients the option of hospice care even when they can't afford it.

“My long-term vision was, and still is, that no one should have to euthanize their pet because they can't afford palliative care,” she said.

Pawspice: An End-of-Life Care Clinic, based at the Crossroads Animal and Referral Center in Norwalk, Calif., also offers hospice care for terminally ill pets. Dr. Alice E. Villalobos established the clinic in June. The clinic focuses on teaching pet owners how to care for their terminally pets at home. For certain procedures, however, Dr. Villalobos said she has patients brought to the clinic where medical equipment is readily available.

“We decided to open the Pawspice clinic because we wanted to establish this as a real service to pet owners,” said Dr. Villalobos, who also serves as the 2005–2006 president of the American Association of Human-Animal Bond Veterinarians.

“People love their animals, and when their pet is diagnosed with a terminal illness, they're not ready to immediately euthanize that pet,” she said. “They want to say goodbye, they want to take their time, and they're demanding we give them that time—with quality.”

Dr. Villalobos said that Pawspice does not suggest that pet owners should not euthanize their pets, but rather, educates and prepares family members for a peaceful, painless death for their pets. She developed a scale for pet owners and veterinarians to help them determine the quality of life of terminally ill pets. If the pet owners and the veterinary staff can meet the basic desires at a satisfactory level, she said, there is justification for preserving the lives of the pets. The basic desires rated on the scale are hurt, hunger, hydration, hygiene, happiness, mobility, and more good days than bad days.

“Between the time of diagnosis and death, we can stretch that out many times with a wonderful quality of life if we give the pet pain management that is really going to be effective to help (it) feel good—not better, but good,” Dr. Villalobos said. She encouraged veterinarians to recruit attending colleagues who will target medical support, palliation, and pain management that can create and sustain a good quality of life for terminally ill pets.

In addition to veterinarians, a group of about 30 veterinary students at the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences offers hospice care for pets through a program called CSU Pet Hospice. The students voluntarily participate in the program and travel to the homes of terminally ill pets to provide care and offer support for the grieving pet owners. The program was established in 2003 and is associated with the Argus Institute for Families and Veterinary Medicine.

“The goal of CSU Pet Hospice is to provide a positive end-of-life experience in a comfortable setting,” said Kelly Carlsten, a second-year student who serves as co-manager of the program.

All animals involved with the CSU program have a relationship with a CSU veterinarian, or a referring veterinarian in the community, and have been given a diagnosis of a terminal condition. The relationship with the referring veterinarian ensures that the animal receives adequate veterinary care, and the student volunteers can serve as a liaison between the client and veterinarian. Carlsten said the updates make it easier for veterinarians to monitor their terminally ill patients without numerous stressful visits to a veterinary clinic. A counselor at the Argus Institute and a faculty veterinarian train the student volunteers on dealing with client grief.

Overall, the program has provided care to 26 pets, including 12 so far in 2006.

“The majority of the patients we are involved with are cancer patients because of the location of the Cancer Center at CSU,” Carlsten said. “Our services have always been free, but recently we have created an animal care fund for Pet Hospice clients who are financially unable to provide endof-life care for their animal.”

The program gives veterinary students a unique opportunity to become more comfortable with caring for terminally ill pets and working with pet owners.

“The experience is more intimate and has enhanced my understanding of the depth of the human-animal bond,” Carlsten said. “It has helped me realize that as companion animals continue to play a more significant role in people's lives, veterinary care must become more compassionate and personalized.”

d1786814e328

Loopie, a 17-year-old cat, rests in a comfortable room at the Pet Hospice and Education Center in Columbus, Ohio.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 229, 4; 10.2460/javma.229.4.479

While the popularity of veterinary hospice care grows, a nonprofit organization called the Nikki Hospice Foundation for Pets has worked since 1998 to promote the service to pet owners and veterinarians.

Based in Vallejo, Calif., the foundation's activities include assisting pet owners in locating veterinarians who already offer hospice care, disseminating information on hospice care to the veterinary profession, and developing standards for veterinary hospice care and effective pharmacologic protocols for end-of-life signs, as well as many other activities.

Kathryn D. Marocchino, president and founder of the foundation, said the veterinary hospice care movement is primarily driven by the public's demand. So far, the foundation has received favorable responses from pet owners who opted for the service.

“Those who have taken the journey and gone through this experience with their animals,” she said, “really provide us with absolutely glowing testimonials of how important it was for both them and the animal and what a tremendously rewarding experience they felt it was.”

To help educate veterinarians about hospice care, the Nikki Hospice Foundation plans to host the first international symposium on veterinary hospice care in 2007. Meanwhile, veterinarians can learn more about the concept by calling the foundation at (707) 557-8595 or visiting www.pethospice.org.

In addition, information for veterinarians is available in the AVMA Guidelines for Veterinary Hospice Care, which were established in 2001. To order a copy of the guidelines, contact the AVMA at (800) 248-2862, Ext. 6655.

While recognizing that many veterinarians are only beginning to hear about hospice care for pets, Marocchino remains confident the concept will continue to grow in popularity. “What we would like to see—and I think that this will happen—is veterinary hospice care to become a household word,” she said. “Just like the human hospice care program, it's going to become very much the norm.”

—ALLISON REZENDES

Bonds that last a lifetime

Planning for your pet's future without you

One indicator of how a society values animals is its laws. In the United States, where at least one pet can be found in an estimated 63 percent of all households, the bond between people and animals is strong. In fact, data suggest that more and more people are making provisions for their pets even when they aren't around for the entire life of the animal. Estimates suggest that 12 percent to 27 percent of pet owners include pets in their wills.

For years, the U.S. legal system had prohibited pet owners from establishing trusts for their pets because, among other reasons, an animal cannot act as a beneficiary with standing to enforce a trust.

The ban eased in 1990 when the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws recommended that states adopt a law allowing enforceable trusts for the care of domestic and pet animals. Ten years later, commissioners approved pet trusts during an owner's lifetime and beyond, ending with the animal's death.

Estate planning for pets is one of the fastest growing areas of animal law and, arguably, one of the most important. Pets are considered personal property, similar to a car or jewelry, and when a person dies, the person's pets pass to his or her heirs or beneficiaries. It might be that one's heirs aren't interested in looking after a new pet, however.

In addition, people often assume they will survive their pets or that friends or family members who have promised to look after the pet are still interested in doing so. This is not always the case, according to Robert Blizard, director of Donor Marketing and Outreach for the Humane Society of the United States.

“Sometimes, their current circumstances prevent them from fulfilling that promise,” Blizard said. “Meanwhile, employees of local animal shelters frequently see the unintended consequences of people's failure to appropriately provide for their pets in their wills or adequately ascertain that friends, relatives, or neighbors truly want new companion animals in their homes.”

A pet trust helps to ensure that a person's wishes for his or her pet are carried out. According to Gerry W. Beyer, a professor at Texas Tech University School of Law, there are two main types of pet trusts. The first type is a traditional pet trust that is recognized in every state. In this case, the owner instructs the trustee—the person in charge of dispensing the funds—to cover the expenses of keeping the pet, which will be provided by a caregiver after the owner's death.

Many pet owners will prefer the traditional trust because of the control it provides, Beyer said. “You may specify who manages the property, the pet's caregiver, what type of expenses relating to the pet the trustee will pay, the type of care the animal will receive, what happens if the beneficiary can no longer care for the animal, and the disposition of the pet after it dies,” he explained.

article image

The next type of trust is a statutory pet trust, which many but not all states allow. This is a simpler plan in which the owner isn't required to make as many decisions about the terms of the pet trust and can be as basic as a provision in one's will stating, “I leave $1,000 in a trust for the care of my dog, Spot.”

A pet trust can be established while the owner's alive—a living trust—or by including the trust provisions in one's will—a testamentary trust, explained Beyer. The living trust immediately takes effect when the owner dies or becomes incapacitated. This option often comes with additional start-up costs and administration fees because funds must be transferred to the trust while the owner's still living.

article image

Although cheaper, testamentary trusts don't take effect until a court declares the will valid, according to Beyer. Moreover, if the owner were to become disabled, the trust wouldn't provide for the pet. Many states have developed their own particular statutes concerning pet trusts, Beyer noted.

Beyer recommends that pet owners carry a pet card in their wallet or purse. The card should include information about the pet, such as its name, type of animal, location, and special care instructions, along with contact information of the person who has access to the pet in case of an emergency.

Owners should keep a document containing that same information with the will. This is an added way of seeing to it that the owner's wishes are respected, according to Beyer. Additionally, signs stating that pets are on the owner's property are to be posted in clearly visible areas.

Organizations providing long-term care for pets of the deceased or disabled are an alternative to pet trusts. The Stevenson Companion Animal Life-Care Center at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine is one such program. The privately funded center was created in 1993 to meet the needs of pets whose owners are no longer able to provide that care. Clients of the center include pet owners who now reside in retirement homes, are hospitalized, or have died.

Other organizations, such as the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, will place a pet with a loving family and provide lifetime monitoring and health care for various fees.

Navigating estate law isn't for the faint of heart, especially for the layperson who only wants to guarantee that his or her pet is taken care of. Fortunately, resources are available. The HSUS offers a free kit, “Providing for your pet's future without you,” complete with a six-page fact sheet, pet card, emergency decals for windows and doors, and caregiver information forms. The fact sheet is available online at www.hsus.org/petsinwills.

—R. SCOTT NOLEN

Coalition becomes part of American Horse Council

The Unwanted Horse Coalition was folded into the American Horse Council in June.

The coalition started at the Unwanted Horse Summit in April 2005. The summit was developed by the American Association of Equine Practitioners as part of the AHC National Issues Forum in Washington, D.C.

The summit was organized to bring key stakeholders together to start a dialog on the plight of unwanted horses in North America. The purpose is to develop consensus on the most effective way to work together to improve the quality of life for tens of thousands of unwanted horses and to reduce their number. The AVMA participated in the summit.

During the past 18 months, the Unwanted Horse Coalition developed a mission statement and began identifying long-term solutions for improving the quality of life for unwanted horses. It considered an operating plan that ultimately led to the suggestion that the AHC provide a permanent administrative home for the coalition's work, according to the AHC.

“The need for a more formal structure, funding, and staff to accomplish the coalition's mission prompted many of the members of the coalition to suggest that it be affiliated with the AHC,” said Dr. Tom Lenz, an AAEP past president who served as chairman of the coalition.

The AHC reported that the coalition will be hiring a staff person to run the day-to-day activities of the coalition, and a Web site will be launched to provide horse owners with resources about caring for the animals and finding new homes for them.

Protecting against avian influenza

Private practice veterinarians could be first line of defense

The most recent outbreak of avian influenza in the United States, which occurred in 2004, was quickly contained and eradicated, thanks to the immediate and coordinated response of the government, industry, and veterinary leaders. Preparing for future outbreaks will also require a cooperative effort, and the role of veterinarians will be wide-ranging. From serving in an official capacity as state veterinary officials to responding to pet owner concerns as private practitioners, veterinarians will serve in a variety of ways to help educate and protect staff members, clients, and animal patients.

Dr. Leon H. Russell, president of the World Veterinary Association and a worldrenowned expert on avian influenza, urges all veterinarians to take seriously the possibility that they could be the first line of defense against an outbreak in this country.

Because 95 percent of the chickens produced in the United States are raised under secure conditions, Dr. Russell believes poultry producers already are wellprepared against an outbreak. Where private practice veterinarians could make a real difference is with small hobby flocks and pet birds.

“Pet birds are sometimes smuggled into this country and show up at pet shops or at swap meets,” Dr. Russell said. “Thousands of birds come into the country every day—and there are only 120 inspectors. If the virus should come to Latin America, it won't be long before we see it here in the United States in pet birds.”

Dr. Russell pointed out that the 1971 outbreak of exotic Newcastle disease was first recognized by a private practitioner. The West Nile virus was first identified by a zoo veterinarian. An outbreak of monkeypox was identified by a Wisconsin veterinarian.

What are the odds of a veterinarian encountering a case of avian influenza in practice?

Dr. Y.M. Saif, a professor at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine and head of the Food Animal Health Research Program at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, said it is impossible to calculate such odds.

“I am very confident, should the virus ever get to the U.S., a prompt diagnosis will be made. The best-case scenario is to control the virus at the point where it first appears. We have a strong diagnostic lab system, wellequipped and staffed by veterinarians who can make that first diagnosis and supervise the control.”

It is important to differentiate between the many subtypes of influenza viruses. Influenza viruses are classified on the basis of the relative numbers of hemagglutinin and neuraminidase antigens they have on their surfaces. Avian influenza is further defined by whether it is of high pathogenicity or low pathogenicity.

Low-pathogenic avian influenza has no effect or a mild effect on poultry and other birds. It is the highly pathogenic version that is of concern. The virus that has been making the news recently is a highly pathogenic version—the H5N1 strain. This is the virus affecting birds in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. To date, there have been no cases of the H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza identified in the United States.

The chances of a U.S. veterinarian encountering a case of H5N1 or another highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza most likely will remain low. However, veterinarians should be prepared to advise clients as well as to take proper occupational safety precautions to protect themselves, co-workers, clients, and animal patients in case circumstances change.

Circumstances have changed in parts of Asia, Africa, and Europe, where the H5N1 virus has infected wild birds, as well as domestic poultry, pets, and farm animals. Eating the raw carcass of an infected bird poses a risk to animals and is the likely cause of the documented death earlier this year of a domestic cat in Germany.

In areas where a highly pathogenic strain of the avian influenza has been diagnosed or suspected in wild birds or poultry flocks, veterinarians should advise their clients of the small risk to their pets. Cats should be kept indoors. Dogs should be leashed when outdoors. Domestic birds must be kept away from wild birds, especially waterfowl. Animal owners should not allow their pets to have any access to wild or stray animals or the feces of those animals.

Dr. Saif reminds veterinarians that there is no evidence the virus moves from one pet to another. Dr. Russell confirmed that the H5N1 virus is different from the human influenza virus in that the avian influenza virus attaches deep in the lungs, making it harder to transmit.

As a precaution, however, Dr. Saif recommends that if a pet should contract a flulike illness, the causative agent should be confined. Typical precautions followed by veterinarians and staff members to prevent transmission of diseases from pet to pet, or pet to people, are also effective in preventing the spread of the avian influenza virus.

Frequent hand washing and disinfecting of examination tables and instruments will greatly reduce the risk of spreading the disease. The virus is inactivated by heat and by drying, and it is also sensitive to most disinfectants and detergents. It is critical to remove any organic material to allow proper decontamination of the area.

The WHO provides guidelines for veterinarians and laboratory animal workers who handle specimens suspected of containing avian influenza virus. Among its recommendations are the use of eye protection, disposable gowns, and gloves. The WHO cautions that procedures that could form aerosols or droplets should be avoided, and physical containment devices should be used for any manipulations that may cause splashes, droplets, or aerosols of infectious materials. Daily decontamination of work surfaces and equipment is also advised.

Veterinarians who handle sick or dead birds need to take similar precautions. In a bulletin published by the National Wildlife Health Center, individuals are cautioned to work in well-ventilated areas when indoors and to work upwind of animals outdoors to minimize the risk of inhaling dust, feathers, or dander. Recommended protective gear includes rubber or latex gloves, protective eye gear or face shields, coveralls, and rubber boots. Protective gear should be disposed of, disinfected, or both. Hands should be washed frequently, and work surfaces and instruments should be disinfected often.

“The virus can persist for a long time on surfaces,” Dr. Russell said. “It can survive up to six weeks in chicken feces. The danger of dried feces is that it can become aerosolized.”

The potential for infection through food or water sources is greatly mitigated in the United States. Thorough cooking of poultry and eggs kills the virus. Chlorination takes care of any potential spread of the virus from waterfowl into surface water—a large source of U.S. drinking water.

Veterinarians working in an area where a highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza has been detected, and who come into contact with diseased animals, need to monitor their own health carefully for clinical signs of influenza. A fever, flulike symptoms, or conjunctivitis should be immediately brought to the attention of a health care provider, who also needs to be told of the potential exposure to avian influenza.

Dr. Nina Marano, branch chief in the Geographic Medicine and Health Promotion Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that no national veterinary guidelines for infection control exist. The good news is a consortium of public and private health care leaders have been working on such guidelines.

“There is a lot of debate on what type of personal protective equipment is necessary,” Dr. Marano said. “The current guidelines are interim and continuously being updated.”

At a minimum, Dr. Marano would recommend gloves and a face shield in the event a veterinarian was dealing with a suspicious case. She advises veterinarians to be alert to anything unusual and to pay attention to news coming from the media. She also urges all veterinarians to know who to call to report an incident.

“Call your state veterinarian,” she advised. “And in 46 states, we also have a state public health veterinarian, who is assigned to the state health department. This individual, in addition to their veterinary training, has advanced training in public health, and will be able to help think through the human health issues.”

Because of the safeguards being taken on a national level, the likelihood of an outbreak of avian infl uenza among U.S. birds or other animals has been greatly minimized. But staying aware of any breaking news and being prepared on the local level to protect staff and respond to pet owners is a task all veterinarians can undertake as part of their service.

“Brush up on your background of avian infl uenza,” Dr. Saif said. “Keep current on the situation.”

“Our poultry veterinarians are, of course, very alert,” Dr. Russell added. “But I want to give private practitioners credit—they'll be out there as the fi rst line of defense.”

—PREPARED BY THE AVMA GROUP HEALTH & LIFE INSURANCE TRUST

The importance of coalitions

Why should the AVMA participate in coalitions?

d1786814e535

Dr. Henry E. Childers, AVMA immediate past president, responds:

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 229, 4; 10.2460/javma.229.4.479

The AVMA is all about veterinary medicine. How can we serve the needs of our members? How can we serve the needs of our nation, our public, and animals? One way is by proposing legislation that will be consistent with AVMA policy and positions on federal legislation and regulatory issues that influence animal and human health and advance the veterinary profession.

The Executive Board of the AVMA has set an aggressive federal legislative agenda for the Association. This proactive agenda was developed by working within the AVMA governance system. The Legislative Advisory Committee assists the Executive Board in formulating policies and positions on federal legislative and regulatory issues. The AVMA Governmental Relations Division staff works cooperatively with AVMA staff in Schaumburg to develop and implement strategy to advance the AVMA legislative agenda.

Examples of the aforementioned legislation include the National Veterinary Medical Service Act. This act authorizes the secretary of agriculture to enter into agreements with recent graduates to practice in underserved areas in exchange for forgiving a portion of their educational loans. The underserved areas include agriculture and inner-city areas.

Another extremely important legislative initiative is the Small Business Health Fairness Act. As health care costs continue to rise, veterinary small business owners find it difficult to provide health care coverage to their employees. Under current law, not all AVMA members are eligible to purchase health insurance from the AVMA Group Health & Life Insurance Trust. Passage of this act will allow veterinary small business owners in all 50 states to purchase affordable health insurance for themselves, their employees, and their families.

We are a small profession. There are only approximately 86,000 veterinarians in the United States. Although 87 percent of all veterinarians are members of the AVMA, the highest percentage of any health profession, we are small in number. We need the support of other professions, organizations, and associations to maximize our legislative successes.

d1786814e556

Dr. Henry E. Childers (left) speaks with David Wiebers, MD, and Wayne Pacelle, board chair and president, respectively, of the Humane Society of the United States, during a recent meeting at AVMA headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 229, 4; 10.2460/javma.229.4.479

What coalitions is the AVMA part of?

Six, including the Animal Agriculture Coalition, Association Health Plan Coalition, and the National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research. The AVMA is also in ongoing discussions with the American Kennel Club and Humane Society of the United States about common interests.

What legislative successes has the AVMA had working through coalitions?

Our successes are many. Working through the MUMS coalition, we helped pass the Minor Use and Minor Species Animal Health Act; through the Coalition for Animal Health, the Animal Drug User Fee Act; through the Coalition for APHIS-Animal Care Appropriations, increased funds for Animal Welfare Act inspections; and through the Animal Agriculture Coalition, appropriations for the National Veterinary Medical Service Act.

How do you respond to criticisms that the AVMA should not be a part of any coalition in which one or more members are ideologically opposed to an organization in the coalition?

Coalitions allow for small organizations to have a stronger political voice collectively, either for or against legislation and regulations. Members of a coalition may not have the same views on other issues; however, they can “agree to disagree” on those matters and continue the collegial relations to achieve the coalition's goals.

—INTERVIEW BY R. SCOTT NOLEN

Army Veterinary Corps celebrates 90th anniversary

article image

The U.S. Army Veterinary Corps observed its 90th anniversary June 2 at the Army Medical Department Museum of Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. The event was hosted by the chief of the Army Veterinary Corps, Brig. Gen. Michael Cates, and included presentations by seven former Veterinary Corps chiefs, an unveiling of a commemorative print, and a reception.

The former Veterinary Corps chiefs were Brig. Gen. (Retired) Charles Elia, Brig. Gen. (Retired) Robert Jorgensen, Brig. Gen. (Retired) Thomas Murnane, Brig. Gen. (Retired) Frank Ramsey, Col. (Retired) Paul Barrows, Col. (Retired) Clifford Johnson, and Col. John Fournier.

The Veterinary Corps was formally established by an act of Congress June 3, 1916. However, recognition of the need for veterinary expertise had been evolving since 1776 when Gen. Washington directed that a “regiment of horses with a farrier” be raised. Farriers were not veterinarians but often treated horses for many ailments.

During the Civil War, War Department general orders provided each cavalry regiment with a veterinary surgeon with the rank of regimental sergeant-major and pay of $75 a month. Further recognition of the need for veterinarians evolved after the war concluded. In 1875, Congress authorized medicines and dressings for horses used in the artillery but did not authorize veterinarians, in contrast with their cavalry counterparts. Congress passed a resolution in 1879 requiring that all applicants for veterinary positions with the cavalry be graduates of a recognized veterinary college.

In the 1890s, veterinarians were being sought to inspect meat, poultry, and dairy products destined for frontier posts. A strong academic background in microbiology, epidemiology, pathology, and public health has always made veterinarians ideally suited for a role in ensuring wholesomeness of food.

The Spanish-American War was pivotal in the evolutionary pathway leading to establishment of the Veterinary Corps. The Army had inadequately prepared for its role in maintaining the health of its animals and its soldiers prior to the war. The infamous “embalmed beef” scandal, when claims were made that some beef had such a foul odor that it was thought to be embalmed, incorrectly absorbed blame for the loss of numerous American lives. In actuality, there was a lack of adequate quality assurance factors that led directly to the loss of thousands of American lives and rendered even greater numbers of soldiers ineffective. The country began demanding that something be done to preclude such catastrophes in the future.

The AVMA and numerous individuals began actively supporting legislation directed toward establishment of an Army Veterinary Corps. Finally, as a result of passage of the National Defense Act of June 3, 1916, commissioning of veterinary officers became a reality and the Army surgeon general began the work of organizing this new corps within the Regular Army. When war was declared in April 1917, there were 57 veterinarians working for the Army, primarily in the area of equine surgery and medicine. Within 18 months, the newly established corps grew to 2,313 officers.

Participation of the Veterinary Corps in all of this nation's conflicts since World War I has been an essential element in the maintenance of the health and well-being of animals and soldiers. The highly technical education obtained by veterinarians has continued to prepare them for their changing mission requirements for the past 90 years.

article image

Following the establishment of the Air Force Veterinary Corps in 1949, the Army shared military veterinary responsibilities with its sister service. In 1979, however, Congress directed changes to the Department of Defense veterinary missions. Effective March 31, 1980, the Air Force Veterinary Corps was disestablished, and the Army became the executive agent for all DoD veterinary services.

The U.S. Army Veterinary Corps continues to substantially impact current armed forces operations. Veterinary unit commanders and their personnel are critical in effecting remarkably low rates of foodborne illness. This is in great measure a result of veterinary inspection of subsistence in the United States and the approval of safe food sources around the world. Army Veterinary Corps veterinarians ensure the health of military working dogs and assist with host nation-related animal emergencies. They are also woven into the fabric of homeland security, filling key roles regarding issues in chemical and biological defense.

At home, military veterinary supervision of operational ration assembly plants, supply and distribution points, ports of debarkation, and other types of subsistence operations are critical to ensuring safe, wholesome food for U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and their family members. The large segment of Veterinary Corps members involved in medical research and development missions contributes immeasurably to the overall military effort. Vaccine, antitoxin, and antidote development, directed toward the protection of military personnel, continues to be heavily reliant on military veterinary expertise.

Today, the Army Veterinary Corps, composed of more than 700 veterinarians in the active and Army Reserve, concludes 90 years of historic achievements about which it can be tremendously proud. Accomplishing its broad functions of food safety and defense, animal care, veterinary public health, and research and development will continue to be essential as long as the need for military forces remains.

—COL. JOHN POPPE, DEPUTY CHIEF OF THE U.S. ARMY VETERINARY CORPS

Casey leads Biomedical Sciences Corps

d1786814e646

Col. Theresa M. Casey

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 229, 4; 10.2460/javma.229.4.479

Colonel Theresa M. Casey has been appointed to brigadier general and will become the first general in the Air Force to represent the Biomedical Sciences Corps. She will serve as director of medical modernization and chief information officer at Air Force headquarters in Falls Church, Va. Previously, she served as the Air Combat Command deputy command surgeon at the Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.

“This is great for the profession of veterinary medicine, the public health career field, and certainly BSC,” Col. Casey said. She graduated from the Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1982, the same year she entered the Air Force as a captain.

The BSC is the third largest branch of the Air Force Medical Service, with more than 2,400 personnel and up to 17 specialties, including physical therapy, optometry, and entomology.

In 1983, the Air Force Veterinary Corps was eliminated from the Air Force, and the remaining veterinarians entered the BSC.

“Although we lost the clinical practice when we went from veterinary to public health, we gained a much broader perspective and horizon,” Col. Casey said.

Colonel Casey is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.

Phi Zeta presents annual research awards

Phi Zeta, the international honor society of veterinary medicine, recently presented two awards for research manuscripts.

Dr. Charlie C. Hsu received the 2006 Phi Zeta Research Award in the Basic Sciences category. The Pi Chapter at the University of Missouri-Columbia submitted Dr. Hsu's manuscript “Development of a microsphere-based serologic multiplexed fluorescent immunoassay and a reverse transcriptase PCR assay to detect murine norovirus 1 infection in mice.”

Dr. Natalie A. Carrillo received the 2006 Phi Zeta Research Award in the Clinical Sciences Category. The Upsilon Chapter at the University of Florida submitted Dr. Carrillo's manuscript “Disposition of orally administered cefpodoxime proxetil in foals and adult horses and minimum inhibitory concentration of the drug against common bacterial pathogens of horses.”

The awards include a plaque and a check in the amount of $750.

Phi Zeta has chapters at 28 U.S. veterinary colleges and at St. George's University in Grenada. Each chapter conducts a local competition and then submits the winning manuscript to the Phi Zeta Research Awards Committee. The senior author of the manuscript need not be a Phi Zeta member but must be a veterinarian who has participated in a graduate or residency training program within the past two years.

college news: Author gives $1 million to Cornell hospital

Cornell University Hospital for Animals has dedicated The Patricia Cornwell Intensive Care Unit for Companion Animals in honor of a $1 million donation from the best-selling author and former crime reporter.

Cornwell pledged a gift to Cornell after she brought her English Bulldog Booboo to the Cornell Companion Animal Hospital. She returned with another English Bulldog, Okey, a rescued animal that was blind in one eye and totally deaf because of neglect. Cornwell's $1 million donation allowed Cornell to install a wireless server that enables clinicians to send MRI and CT scans, ultrasonographic images, and radiographs throughout the Companion Animal Hospital.

The hospital treats more than 17,000 animals every year.

assemblies: American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine

Event: Annual ACVIM Forum, May 31-June 3, Louisville, Ky.

Program: There were 2,965 registered participants, including 2,543 veterinarians, 293 technicians, and 129 veterinary students. Of the attendees, 447 came from countries other than the United States.

Awards: Robert W. Kirk Award for Professional Excellence: Dr. Alfred Legendre, Knoxville, Tenn., for meritorious contributions to the veterinary profession. A board-certified specialist in oncology, Dr. Legendre is a professor in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at the University of Tennessee. He founded and served as the first editor of the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Distinguished Service Award: Dr. R. Lee Pyle, Blacksburg, Va., for outstanding and dedicated service to the college, in a volunteer capacity. A charter diplomate in cardiology, Dr. Pyle is a professor at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. He and his wife, Inge, are known to many as “Mr. and Mrs. ACVIM,” as they ran the college from a spare bedroom in their home until the central office was moved to Colorado in 1994. Resident Research Award: Cardiology—Drs. Steven Cole, University of Pennsylvania, for “Use of real-time three-dimensional echocardiography in the characterization of congenital and acquired cardiac disease”; and R.A. Sanders, Purdue University, for “Efficacy of transesophageal and transgastric cardiac pacing in the dog”; Endocrinology—Drs. Catharina Broemel, University of California-Davis, for “Serum inhibin immunoreactivity in neutered dogs with adrenal dysfunction”; and Jenifer Gold, Cornell University, for “ACTH, cortisol and vasopressin levels of septic (survivors and nonsurvivors) in comparison to normal foals”; Hematology—Dr. Dawn Martin, Ontario Veterinary College, for “The effect of acepromazine and propofol on hemostasis in healthy dogs”; Immunology—Dr. Jennifer Johnson, University of Minnesota, for “The effect of feeding heattreated colostrum on serum immunoglobulin concentrations in dairy calves”; Infectious disease—Drs. Beth Hanselman, Ontario Veterinary College, for “Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus colonization in veterinary professionals”; Marion Haber, North Carolina State University, for “Prevalence of Cytauxzoon felis DNA in blood of cats with suspected hemoplasmosis”; Stephanie Bell, University of California-Davis, for “Temporal detection of equine herpesvirus infections of a cohort of mares and their foals”; and Maureen Anderson, Ontario Veterinary College, for “Validation of a real-time polymerase chain reaction assay for rapid identification of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus directly from nasal swabs in horses”; Neurology—Drs. Diccon Westworth, University of California-Davis, for “Clinicopathological features of choroid plexus tumors in dogs: 44 cases”; and Edwin Darrin, University of Pennsylvania, for “Retrospective study of 22 cases of cerebellar infarction in dogs: Neurologic and clinicopathologic findings”; Pharmacology—Dr. Derek Foster, North Carolina State University, for “Evaluation of two colostrum replacer products in dairy calves.”

New diplomates: One hundred sixteen veterinarians completed the requirements for board certification in the ACVIM in 2006. The new diplomates are: Cardiology—Drs. Dewey H. Carpenter, Coral Springs, Fla.; Nathaniel K. Fenollosa, Longmeadow, Mass.; Shianne L. Koplitz, Waukesha, Wis.; John M. MacGregor, Durham, N.H.; Sarah J. Miller, Manhattan Beach, Calif.; Romain Pariaut, Huilly Sur Seille, France; Ashley B. Saunders, College Station, Texas; Merrilee T. Small, Norfolk, Va.; Gerhard Wess, Germering, Germany; and Regan M. Williams, Toronto; Neurology—Drs. Heidi L. B. Heller, Aurora, Ill.; Peter J. Brofman, Charlotte, N.C.; Jason M. Evans, Phoenix; Andrew M. Isaacs, Highland, Mich.; Stephanie A. Kube, Buzzards Bay, Mass.; Jonathan M. Levine, Bryan, Texas; Tracy N. Prouty, Clackamas, Ore.; Scott J. Schatzberg, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Jessica M. Snyder, Lynnwood, Wash.; Tammy L. Stevenson, San Diego; and Chadwick L. West, New York; Oncology—Drs. Jeffrey N. Bryan, Columbia, Mo.; Louis-Philippe de Lorimier, Urbana, Ill.; Joseph A. Impellizeri, Hopewell Junction, N.Y.; Dudley L. McCaw, Columbia, Mo.; Claudia U. McFadden, Charlotte, N.C.; Marie N. Mullins, Rochester, Mich.; Charles A. Novosad, Dallas; D. Elizabeth Overley, Philadelphia; Katherine A. Skorupski, Philadelphia; Melinda L. Upton, Tulsa, Okla.; Suzanne S. Waltman, Litchfield Park, Ariz.; and Amy L. Wiedemann, Romeoville, Ill.; Large animal internal medicine—Drs. Sameeh M. Abutarbush, Okotoks, Alberta, Canada; Ashley L. Alward, Phoenix; Keith E. Baptiste, Frederiksberg, Denmark; Amy I. Bentz, Chadds Ford, Pa.; Benjamin R. Buchanan, Navasota, Texas; Natalie A. Carrillo, Gainesville, Fla.; Anna M. Chapman, Baton Rouge, La.; Christopher R. Clark, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada; Stuart C. Clark-Price, Whitesburrough, Texas; Ann H. Davidson, Carencro, La.; Maisie E. Dawes, Columbia, Mo.; Bettina M. Dunkel, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom; Darien J. Feary, Davis, Calif.; Rachel B. Gardner, Flemington, N.J.; Erin S. Groover, Pullman, Wash.; Peter Heidmann, Belgrade, Mont.; Meera C. Heller, Davis, Calif.; Anna M. Johansson, Helsingborg, Sweden; Robin Knight, Meridian, Idaho; Sabine M. Ladd, Herndon, Va.; Mathilde Leclere, Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada; Fernando J. Marques, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada; Amanda M. Martabano, Dacula, Ga.; Siobhan B. McAuliffe, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Flavia R. G. Monteiro, Blacksburg, Va.; Jamie E. Murphy, Summit, N.J.; Kirsten M. Neil, Congupna, Australia; Gary J. Nie, Springfield, Mo.; Rose D. NolenWalston, Grafton, Mass.; Lucas G. Pantaleon, Webster, N.Y.; Alessandra Pellegrini-Masini, Auburn, Ala.; Ase I. Risberg, Oslo, Norway; Jerry R. Roberson, Knoxville, Tenn.; Ron Vin, Millbrook, N.Y.; Philip A. Wentz, APO; Claire E. Whitehead, Columbus, Ohio; and Ellen B. Wiedner, Athens, Ga.; Small animal internal medicine—Drs. Sophia Avgeris, Auburn, Ala.; Jonathan F. Bach, North Grafton, Mass.; Noemi Benitah, Tinton Falls, N.J.; Cory D. Brown, Columbus, Ohio; Jill D. Brunker, Stillwater, Okla.; Lisa M. Cellio, Overland Park, Kan.; Lilian Cornejo, North Grafton, Mass.; John M. Crandell, Stow, Ohio; Michael Estrin, St. Paul, Minn.; Michelle D. Evason, Barrington, N.H.; Jonathan E. Fogle, Raleigh, N.C.; Wendy K. Foster, Unionville, Ontario, Canada; Seth N. Ghantous, Wadsworth, Ill.; Kristi L. Graham, Carmel, Ind.; Elizabeth A. Herman, Seattle; Sean M. Hillock, Sayville, N.Y.; Gaby Hoffmann, Utrecht, The Netherlands; Juliene L. Hsu, Columbia, Mo.; Daniel Z. Hume Philadelphia; Elissa E. Kadar, Lindfield, Australia; Natalie B. Langer, Clayfield, Australia; Nicole B. Luckschander, Bern, Switzerland; Ivan Martinez-Ruzafa, East Lansing, Mich.; Jennifer M. McClellan, Falls Church, Va.; Jeannette S. Messer, Powell, Ohio; Lisa Moses, Hyde Park, Mass.; Derek D. Nestor, West Des Moines, Iowa; Therese E. O'Toole, North Grafton, Mass.; Erika H. Pickens, Dallas; Jason Pintar, Felmington, N.J.; Michelle A. Pressel, Shell Beach, Calif.; Matthew P. Reeves, Everton Park, Australia; Laura G. Ridge, Greenville, S.C.; C. Alan Schreiner, Issaquah, Wash.; Kathleen A. Sennello, Blacksburg, Va.; Shannon T. Stroup, Greensboro, N.C.; Sandra P. Tou, Los Angeles; Tara K. Trotman, Philadelphia; Karin A. Wagner, Madison, Wis.; Kevin P. Wallace, Oswego, N.Y.; Kelli E. Weaver, Redington Shores, Fla.; Jinelle A. Webb, Guelph, Ontario, Canada; Monique Wenger, Basel, Switzerland; Jacqueline C. Whittemore, Fort Collins, Colo.; James E. Woods, Irvine, Calif.; and Sean K. Yoshimoto, Los Angeles

Officials: Drs. Marilyn Stiff, Charlotte, N.C., chair, Board of Regents; Wendy Ware, Ames, Iowa, president; Phil Bergman, New York, presidentelect; Richard LeCouteur, Davis, Calif., vice president; Rebecca Stepien, Madison, Wis., Specialty of Cardiology president; William B. Thomas, Knoxville, Tenn., Specialty of Neurology president; Glenna Mauldin, Baton Rouge, La., Specialty of Oncology president; Jane Armstrong, St. Paul, Minn., Specialty of Small Animal Internal Medicine president; and Bradford P. Smith, Davis, Calif., Specialty of Large Animal Internal Medicine president

Utah VMA

d1786814e766

Dr. Vaughn R. Park

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 229, 4; 10.2460/javma.229.4.479

d1786814e774

Dr. Drew L. Allen

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 229, 4; 10.2460/javma.229.4.479

Event: Annual meeting, June 8–10, Moab

Awards: Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Vaughn R. Park, Provo. A 1980 graduate of Colorado State University, Dr. Park owns Alpine Animal Hospital in Provo. He is a past president of the Utah VMA and current chair of its Legislative Committee, helping to rewrite the Veterinary Practice Act and the UVMA Constitution. Special Service Award: Dr. Drew L. Allen, Grantsville. A 1996 graduate of Colorado State University, Dr. Allen owns Brickyard Animal Hospital in Salt Lake City.

Officials: Drs. Bruce L. King, Axtell, president; Drew L. Allen, Grantsville, president-elect; Jon O. Hunter, Spanish Fork, treasurer; and Harold J. Davis, Springville, executive secretary

Obituaries: AVMA Honor Roll Member, AVMA Member AVMA Nonmember

Lloyd A. Erickson

Dr. Erickson (WSU '64), 77, Butte, Mont., died Jan. 13, 2006. Following graduation and until retirement in 1992, he owned a small animal practice in Butte. During retirement, Dr. Erickson taught anatomy and physiology at Montana Tech. He also volunteered his services as a leader for guide dogs. Dr. Erickson was a member of the Montana VMA. He served in the Army from 19511953. Dr. Erickson's wife, Jean; two sons; and a daughter survive him. Memorials may be made to Leader Dog for the Blind, 1039 S. Rochester Road, Rochester, MI 48307.

Richard C. Guise

Dr. Guise (UP '44), 92, Elizabethtown, Pa., died June 5, 2006. Prior to retirement in 1984, he owned Lockwillow Avenue Animal Clinic in Harrisburg, Pa., a practice he established in 1945. Following graduation, Dr. Guise worked briefly for the Department of Agriculture in meat inspection. From 1945–1961, he practiced at his Harrisburg clinic. Dr. Guise then joined the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture as chief of the brucellosis and tuberculosis divisions of the Bureau of Animal Industry. During his service, Pennsylvania qualified as a brucellosis-free state. Dr. Guise retired from the state department of agriculture and resumed his practice in Harrisburg in 1974. During his career, he also served as show veterinarian with the Pennsylvania National Horse Show for 35 years.

A past president of the Capital City and Pennsylvania VMAs, Dr. Guise was Pennsylvania's delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates from 1962–1979. In 1968, he was elected to the AVMA House Advisory Committee, chairing it three times during his nine-year service. Dr. Guise also served on the AVMA Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine from 1974–1978. He was a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners and the United States Animal Health Association.

In 1980, Dr. Guise received the PVMA Distinguished Veterinarian Award. A past president and board member of the Harrisburg Kiwanis Club, he was the recipient of the Kiwanis International Tablet of Honor, the highest award bestowed by the club. Dr. Guise is survived by two sons and a daughter. His son, Dr. Mark B. Guise (UP '82), has owned Lockwillow Avenue Animal Clinic since 1984. Memorials may be made to the Veterinary Student Scholarship Fund, University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine, 3800 Spruce St., Philadelphia, PA 19104.

Richard B. Jogodnik

Dr. Jogodnik (COR '60), 70, New Rochelle, N.Y., died Feb. 19, 2006. He owned Stamen Animal Hospital in New Rochelle since 1963. Dr. Jogodnik also served as veterinarian for the New Rochelle Canine Unit. His wife, Victoria; two daughters; and a son survive him. Memorials may be made to New Rochelle Humane Society, 70 Portman Ave., New Rochelle, NY 10801.

Vernon E. Johnson

Dr. Johnson (COL '51), 86, Mesa, Ariz., died Feb. 24, 2006. Prior to retirement, he owned a practice in Gordon, Neb., also serving the Pine Ridge area of South Dakota. Early in his career, Dr. Johnson practiced in Julesburg, Colo. He was a veteran of the Army, serving in the European and Pacific theatres. Dr. Johnson attained the rank of 1st lieutenant. His wife, Marge; a daughter; and a son survive him. Memorials may be made to Hospice of the Valley, Arbor Rose Home, 6063 E. Arbor Ave., Mesa, AZ 85201.

Wilbur C. Maker

Dr. Maker (COR '44), 84, Hartland Four Corners, Vt., died May 29, 2006. Prior to retirement in the early 1990s, he was a partner at Shrewsbury Animal Hospital in Shrewsbury, Mass. During his career, Dr. Maker also conducted research on embryo transfer in cattle at the Worcester Foundation for Applied Experimental Biology of Shrewsbury and Edenton, N.C.

He served as president of the Massachusetts VMA in 1971. As a member of the Shrewsbury Board of Health, Dr. Maker helped bring fluoridation to the town's water system. His wife, Sylvia; three sons; and a daughter survive him. Memorials may be made to the Veterinary Scholarship Trust of New England, P.O. Box 3221, North Attleboro, MA 02761.

Edward K. Nakagawa

Dr. Nakagawa (MSU '56), 81, Kaneohe, Hawaii, died Dec. 20, 2005. Prior to retirement, he owned Windward Veterinary Service in Kaneohe for more than 40 years. Dr. Nakagawa was a past president of the Hawaii VMA. A veteran of World War II, he served in the Military Intelligence Service. After Dr. Nakagawa's death, the Hawaii House of Representatives recognized his professional and personal contributions to the state via proclamation. Dr. Nakagawa's wife, Elinor; a son; and two daughters survive him.

Jordon J. Rexroat

Dr. Rexroat (KSU '51), 81, Poplar Bluff, Mo., died March 18, 2006. Before retiring in 1992, he worked for the Missouri Department of Agriculture. Following graduation, Dr. Rexroat established Hillcrest Animal Clinic in Poplar Bluff. From 1963–1990, he worked as an area supervisor for the Department of Agriculture.

Dr. Rexroat was a member of the Southeast Missouri VMA and the National Association of Federal Veterinarians. An Army veteran of World War II, he attained the rank of staff sergeant. Dr. Rexroat is survived by his wife, Marilyn; a son; and a daughter. His nephew, Dr. Gayle D. AraSmith (KSU '71), is a veterinarian in Alton, Mo. Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, 500 N. Main, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901; or Three Rivers Community College, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901.

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 134 0 0
Full Text Views 799 779 89
PDF Downloads 75 56 9
Advertisement