Javma News

Click on author name to view affiliation information

Pet health insurance gains ground in North America


Health insurance for companion animals can be almost as confusing as human health insurance, but it also can come in handy—particularly for an animal owner whose companion develops a major medical condition.

In the United States, only a small percentage of pet owners carry health insurance for their animals. Pet insurance is the topic of many articles in the popular press, though, and insurers are selling more policies as pet owners become aware of the option.

The AVMA supports the concept of companion animal health insurance. In part, the AVMA guidelines on pet health insurance state: “The Association recognizes that a viable companion animal health insurance program will be important to the future of the veterinary profession's ability to continue to provide high quality and up-to-date veterinary service.”

article image

article image

article image

The National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues just recently launched a new benchmarking tool regarding pet health insurance: “Do your clients know how to cushion a fall?” The tool asks veterinarians about the ways that they recommend insurance to clients, whether they have concerns about insurance, and how the financial constraints of their clients affect treatment.

At the same time, companies continue vying to offer the most viable pet health insurance program in a perplexing but promising market.

By the numbers

Only 3 percent of U.S. pet owners had insurance for their animals in 2004, according to a survey by the American Animal Hospital Association. Pet owners living in Canada insured 2 percent of cats and 9 percent of dogs in 2001, according to a survey by Ipsos Reid market research.

Pet health insurance is taking hold in North America, though.

The two largest companies together have more than half a million policies. Veterinary Pet Insurance of Brea, Calif., had about 392,000 policies in the United States in 2005—up from about 195,000 policies in 2001. Pethealth Inc. of Oakville, Ontario, had about 153,000 policies in the United States and Canada in 2005—up from about 22,000 policies in 2001.

Pet health insurance already has taken hold in parts of Europe. Pet owners living in the United Kingdom insured about 12 percent of cats and 18 percent of dogs in 2005, according to a report by Datamonitor.

How it works

Dr. Carol McConnell, VPI director of veterinary education, said pet insurance is still a difficult business. Veterinarians are very independent in nature, she said, and most pet owners continue to pay for veterinary care from discretionary income. Insurance also is subject to many regulations, which vary from state to state.

Some insurers have survived in the market, though, and some veterinarians embraced the idea of insurance years ago. Dr. McConnell said veterinarians founded VPI with the goal of ending “economic euthanasia.”

“They could see that the quality of the medicine they could practice was limited by people's finances,” Dr. McConnell said.

While many animal owners also have embraced insurance for their companions, Dr. McConnell said not everyone realizes that pet health insurance is usually more like property insurance than human health insurance.

With property insurance, the policy-holder makes a claim only if the property suffers damage. Pet health insurance similarly covers accidents, injuries, and illness unless the policyholder pays for a rider to cover routine care.

The billing process also differs between most pet health insurance and human health insurance. Pet owners usually submit claims to insurers after paying veterinarians. Physicians, however, have to handle much of the paperwork of billing insurers.

Pet insurance is becoming more like human health insurance in at least one way. Dr. McConnell said some large companies offer pet insurance as an employee benefit.

“People love their critters,” she said. “People have embraced these animals as family members. These family members have their affiliated medical expenses.”

Professional opinions

Both the AVMA and the Canadian VMA support pet health insurance in general. The Canadian VMA once exclusively endorsed PetCare insurance, through Pethealth, though the association has since chosen not to endorse a particular plan.

The AVMA Council on Veterinary Service oversees the AVMA's guidelines on pet health insurance, which the Executive Board established in 1994 and revised in 2003. Dr. Laurel Kaddatz represents private practice, exclusively small animal, on the council. He said the AVMA guidelines are a reference point for veterinarians who want to evaluate insurance programs.

Dr. Kaddatz also has accumulated personal experience with pet health insurance as the owner of Pound Ridge Veterinary Center in Pound Ridge, N.Y.

“The 5 to 10 percent of my clients that have it seem to be happy,” Dr. Kaddatz said. “They seem to be pretty satisfied.”

He said he doesn't have to handle too much paperwork. His staff fills out insurance forms for clients, and he adds his signature. They once released a medical chart to a company to answer questions about a claim, and he has written medical summaries.

Dr. Kaddatz said his clients are fairly well-to-do, but almost everyone worries about money, and they might agree to treatment more easily if they have insurance.

“I feel that if a client has some help financially, it will help them feel more comfortable in pursuing treatment for their pet,” he said.

Dr. Kaddatz said veterinarians are more actively making clients aware that insurance is an option. His clinic includes information about insurance in each folder for new patients.

Insurance companies

The companies that provide pet health insurance in the United States operate through a number of names, products, and affiliations.

This year, VPI enters its 25th year of selling policies. The company offers a standard plan and a superior plan, as well as riders for routine care and for additional cancer coverage. Iams pet foods owns a portion of VPI, and VPI also has an affiliation with the Veterinary Centers of America.

Pethealth began selling insurance policies in Canada in 1999. It came to the United States in 2001 and now has distribution partnerships with Petco animal supplies and MetLife insurance. The Pethealth insurance plans include PetCare and ShelterCare. The company also offers several other products, such as the 24PetWatch microchip identification network.

The Hartville Group Inc. has provided health insurance plans for dogs and cats for about a decade. The group offers the Petshealth Care Plan and Healthy Bark & Purr.

Hartville and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals announced in fall 2006 that they are expanding a previous partnership and offering ASPCA Pet Health Insurance. Some plans will cover spaying and neutering—but all exclude tail docking, ear cropping, and declawing.

The new company Fetch Inc. brought the Petplan insurance brand, popular in England and Canada, to the United States last year. Pet Plan Ltd. in the United Kingdom entered the market in 1976, and it now insures more British pets than any other provider. The Petplan brand arrived in Canada in 1989.

The companies that offer pet health insurance continue to change as they test business models and as the market grows. For example, the founder of VPI started another company after retiring. Pets Best offers policies that pay about 80 percent of veterinary costs—with the coverage, deductible, and limits varying by plan.

Client finances

The potential benefits of pet health insurance to both practices and clients is the focus of the new NCVEI benchmarking tool.

According to early results, almost all veterinarians have encountered clients with serious financial constraints. About 97 percent of respondents said they have been forced to recommend a less effective medical solution because the client could not afford the most effective solution. About 90 percent have euthanized a pet because the owner could not afford treatment.

About 59 percent of respondents said they think that advising new pet owners about the potential costs of routine pet care as well as unexpected expenses is a responsibility of the practice. Just over half offer low-interest, extended-credit care plans to clients to assist in the payment of unexpected, large veterinary fees.

Howard Rubin, NCVEI chief executive officer, urged veterinarians to visit www.ncvei.org to add their information to the benchmarking tool.


Managed care for companion animals

Proponents, opponents discuss development of a new pet health network

Managed health care for pets could be coming soon.

Managed care for people, according to an American Medical Association policy, is “those processes or techniques used by any entity that delivers, administers, and/ or assumes risk for health care services in order to control or influence the quality, accessibility, utilization, or costs and prices or outcomes of such services provided to a defined enrollee population.”

Managed care in human medicine is generally part of a health insurance program. Now managed care in veterinary medicine appears to be taking its own shape.

Pethealth Inc., provider of PetCare insurance, and USA Managed Care Organization Inc., a preferred provider organization for people, have announced plans to offer a form of managed care for cats and dogs by creating the USA Pet Health Network.

Mark Warren, Pethealth president and chief executive officer, said pet owners would participate by paying for an annual membership card. Then, network veterinarians would charge cardholders for services according to network rates.

“I think that it will benefit everyone. Let's face it, veterinarians do spend money trying to attract new customers.” Warren said. He said network veterinarians might also receive more revenue from cardholders, who are less likely to go price shopping.

Warren noted that the USA Pet Health Network will not be an insurance program and will not handle payments. It will simply be a network to negotiate rates, he said, though it might evolve over time.

While no AVMA policy mentions managed care for animals, the AVMA has established guidelines on pet health insurance and other third-party animal health plans. According to the AVMA guidelines, animal health plans should allow each veterinary facility to establish its own fee structure.

“As a general rule, the AVMA does not advocate that veterinarians discount the fees they charge for services,” said Dr. Bruce W. Little, AVMA executive vice president.

“The charge for a specific service can vary greatly from one geographic area to another or even from one animal hospital to another in the same area. There is no standard rate from hospital to hospital for most of these services. Therefore, it might be difficult to establish a standard discount across a wide number of animal hospitals for any specific service.”

Both proponents and opponents of managed care will be following the evolution of the USA Pet Health Network.

The plan

The USA Managed Care Organization, which has offices in Texas and Arizona, is developing the network of veterinarians. Pethealth, which has headquarters in Oakville, Ontario, will direct pet owners into the network through certain other company programs. Specifically, Warren said, Pethealth will market the network to pet owners who adopt animals from shelters participating in the company's 24PetWatch microchip identification program.

Warren said USA MCO and Pethealth believe some pet owners do not wish to purchase pet health insurance to protect against accidents or illness—but do want to be part of a network that negotiates service rates. He said the USA Pet Health Network will provide managed care for the pets of such owners in select states with market potential, starting in Texas. The rates for veterinary services likely will vary regionally, such as from urban to rural areas.

The network will not operate in Canada because that country doesn't allow managed care for pets or people.

Warren said the network will not be so dissimilar from other animal health plans to control costs. Groups of animal hospitals—such as Banfield, The Pet Hospital, and Veterinary Centers of America—attract clients through sale pricing and prepaid health care packages. Outside of corporations, individual veterinary clinics can participate in savings programs and discount networks for clients. The Pet Assure program, for example, offers a 25 percent savings on veterinary services.

Some of Pethealth's competitors in the insurance market also attempt to influence fees through benefit schedules, Warren said. A benefit schedule determines how much an insurance company reimburses a client for veterinary services, while the USA Pet Health Network's service rates would determine how much the veterinarian charges the client.

“We're not really doing anything that's different,” Warren said. “We just believe we have a better model.”

Warren added that Pethealth will not launch the network in any state before meeting with the state veterinary medical association.

Elbert C. Hutchins, EdD, director of the Texas VMA, already has spoken with Warren about the pet health network. They discussed the business model and veterinarians' concern about discounting services.

“My sense is that his company is reputable,” Dr. Hutchins said.

He added that he expects the network will see some success in Texas.

The issue

The implications of managed health care for pets worry some insurers as well as private practitioners, however.

Dr. Kent Kruse, director of provider development at Veterinary Pet Insurance, said managed care in human medicine has been an attempt to handle skyrocketing fees.

“Bringing managed care to somehow manage veterinary fees is a solution for a problem that doesn't exist,” he said.

Dr. Kruse believes that fees continue to be too low in veterinary medicine.

“The margins on many veterinary procedures are so slight that it might well be impossible to discount those procedures and still maintain a profit,” Dr. Little agreed.

Dr. Kruse added that managed care, when part of an insurance program, sometimes imposes a cost limit for treatment of a condition.

“That's when the quality of care starts to suffer, and I think we've seen plenty of evidence of that in human medicine,” he said.

Veterinarians might agree to join a network despite drawbacks, Dr. Kruse said, because they fear that they will lose clients to network veterinarians otherwise.

According to the AVMA guidelines, an animal health plan should allow pet owners freedom to select a veterinarian of their choice. The USA Pet Health Network would allow pet owners to select any veterinarian, but veterinarians outside the network would not charge network rates.

The debate about managed care continues in the veterinary community. At the same time, Warren expects that the USA Pet Health Network will be ready to go in the second quarter of this year.


USDA proposes to allow more beef imports from Canada

The Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has proposed expanding the list of allowable beef imports from countries that present a minimal risk of introducing bovine spongiform encephalopathy into the United States.

Currently, Canada is the only minimal-risk country.

The proposal expands on a rule that APHIS published in January 2005 to allow the importation of certain live ruminants and ruminant products, including cattle under 30 months of age for delivery to a slaughterhouse or feedlot, from minimal-risk countries (see JAVMA, Feb. 15, 2005, page 504).

In the new rule, APHIS is proposing to allow the importation of the following:

  • • Live cattle and other bovine species (for any use) born on or after March 1, 1999, which APHIS has determined to be the date of effective enforcement of the ruminant-toruminant feed ban in Canada

  • • Blood and blood products from bovine species, under certain conditions

  • • Casings and part of the small intestine from bovine species

The January 2005 final rule addressed meat and meat products from animals of any age, after the removal of specified risk materials. In March 2005, APHIS delayed applicability of certain provisions of that rule (see JAVMA, April 15, 2005, page 1282). This delay affected only meat and meat products from animals 30 months of age or older. Lifting the delay and allowing the importation of these products would be consistent if the new rule becomes final.

As part of the proposal, APHIS conducted a thorough risk assessment following guidelines from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and found that the risk from all these commodities is minimal. The assessment evaluated the entire risk pathway, including mitigations in place both in Canada and the United States. The assessment evaluated the likelihood of introduction of BSE via imports, the likelihood of animal exposure in such a situation, and the possible consequences.

The proposal appeared in the Jan. 9 issue of the Federal Register, available online at www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/. Additional information is available on the APHIS Web site at www.aphis.usda.gov.

The deadline for comments is March 12. Parties can submit comments by mailing an original and three copies to Docket No. APHIS-2006-0041, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Parties also can visit www.regulations.gov, select Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service from the agency drop-down menu, and look for Docket No. APHIS-2006-0041.

Increased research to follow in Barbaro's wake

Barbaro was far more to veterinary medicine than a magnificent animal battling a life-threatening injury. His case highlighted the modern capabilities of the veterinary profession and, at the same time, stressed the need for more research, particularly in the field of laminitis.

Winner of the 2006 Kentucky Derby, Barbaro sustained a hind limb fracture during the Preakness Stakes, May 20. His strides toward recovery captured the adoration of many racing fans and horse lovers, and stirred positive media attention for the veterinary profession (see JAVMA, July 15, 2006, page 185).

But in the months to follow, Barbaro was beset by a series of complications—primarily related to laminitis—that proved to be too much for the horse, even though the fracture was healing. In the end, those who cared for Barbaro most made the decision to euthanize him on the morning of Jan. 29.

From the beginning, the veterinary staff at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center, where Barbaro was cared for since the incident at the Preakness Stakes, and owners Gretchen and Roy Jackson stressed that they would continue to treat the colt aggressively as long as he remained bright, alert, and eating.

Dr. Dean W. Richardson, chief of surgery at the center's George D. Widener Hospital and the surgeon who repaired Barbaro's fractured limb, said in a press conference that the colt did not have a good last night.

Barbaro's passing was a tremendous loss, but he left in his wake a gift to all horses—increased public notice of and interest in laminitis research.

On behalf of the AAEP Foundation Inc., Dr. Rustin M. Moore authored an informative paper on how Barbaro's injury highlighted the need for laminitis research funding. Released last August, the paper is available at www.aaep.org/laminitisresearchfunding. Dr. Moore is chair of the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

“My hope is that the events over the last few months, and in particular Barbaro's unfortunate passing, have raised the public's awareness of the frustrating and devastating effects of laminitis and will catapult efforts to raise substantial research funding that can be used to advance our knowledge and understanding of this horrible disease through unified, collaborative research efforts,” Dr. Moore said.

Ed Bowen, president of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, agreed that Barbaro will create additional interest in laminitis research. He noted that laminitis has been a priority in research for many years but, given the finite dollars available for equine research, laminitis has had to compete with other research priorities for funding.

Grayson-Jockey is one of the nation's leading private sources of funding for equine research. The foundation was one of several chosen to receive funds raised by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's Barbaro Memorial Fund, which was announced Feb. 1.

“The NTRA's recently established fund-raising effort will not only keep laminitis in the forefront of our thoughts, but will create new sources of revenue to follow up on those interests,” Bowen said. “That might be seen as a silver lining, but I'd much rather that wonderful horse was still with us, and exactly like he was on Kentucky Derby day.”

In addition to the NTRA fund, the New Bolton Center's Widener Hospital launched the Barbaro Fund in May after receiving a generous gift from an anonymous donor. In January, Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino, a Thoroughbred racetrack in Hallandale Beach, Fla., established the Barbaro Foundation, which will oversee an annual scholarship program for future veterinarians.

“Barbaro has given veterinary medicine an update on how important it is to know how much you don't,” said Dr. T. Douglas Byars, an independent equine medical consultant for Byars Equine Advisory LLC. “Barbaro has had the largest impact for research by any animal of any species. That is his legacy.”


“The national attention this champion garnered will have far-reaching, positive effects on the public image and development of the veterinary profession.”


British Columbia VMA faces discrimination allegations

The British Columbia VMA is in mediation to resolve lawsuits arising from allegations that it discriminated against a group of veterinarians from India.

The Indo-Canadian veterinarians practice in British Columbia at low-cost community clinics. The BCVMA, unlike a state VMA, serves as the licensing agency and disciplinary body for veterinarians in the province.

Together, the Indo-Canadian veterinarians filed a number of their complaints with the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, a quasi-judicial body responsible for mediating and adjudicating issues of human rights.

The Indo-Canadian veterinarians alleged that the BCVMA has attempted to limit operation of their clinics by imposing stringent English-language proficiency standards to block licensing of prospective practitioners from India. Canada's other provincial veterinary associations do not maintain language requirements for foreign veterinarians, according to the complaints, aside from the ability to pass practical and qualifying veterinary examinations.

Furthermore, the Indo-Canadian veterinarians alleged, the BCVMA has investigated client complaints against them more vigorously than client complaints against other practitioners. The veterinarians alleged that they have suffered discrimination and retaliation by the BCVMA partially because they are practicing at low-cost clinics.

The Indo-Canadian veterinarians also have filed lawsuits against the BCVMA in the British Columbia Supreme Court. On Aug. 28, 2006, the BCVMA prescribed a levy on members in respect of legal costs. The levy was $350 Canadian (about $315 U.S. at the time of the notice) for private practitioners.

Valerie Osborne, BCVMA registrar, said the organization cannot offer comment during mediation.

“The British Columbia case is a good cause for state VMAs to review their liability coverage,” said Gregory Dennis, JD, a past president of the American Veterinary Medical Law Association. “Review your insurance policy to make sure it has the appropriate coverage for what you need.”

Dennis said discrimination claims in the United States tend not to be successful because the claimant must show that a substantial motivating factor in the adverse decision was race, sex, age, religion, national origin, disability, or, in some jurisdictions, sexual orientation.

State VMAs and veterinary licensing boards may face lawsuits alleging that they prevented veterinarians from practicing, Dennis said. Conspiracy claims against VMAs and antitrust actions against veterinary boards usually are not successful, though. One of the reasons, for the veterinary boards, is that antitrust laws generally do not apply to decisions by a state agency in connection with normal governmental functions.

Dennis said liability insurance for a VMA should cover not only board members but also members of committees that could be subject to legal claims.

Douglas Jack, LLB, a Canadian lawyer and AVMLA past president, said he can't see the BCVMA going bankrupt—no matter how high the legal costs of the case.

“The likelihood of the province— the provincial government—permitting that to occur is entirely remote,” he said. “This clearly would not be the first time that a provincial regulatory body has been on the wrong end of a lawsuit, and they still seem to be up and going.”

The BCVMA is autonomous to allow self-regulation of the profession, Jack said, and the organization and the provincial government share the objective of serving the public interest.


FDA approves first canine diet drug

Pill may help owners help dogs shed extra pounds

A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips. It turns out that adage applies to dogs as well as people.

That humans aren't the only species experiencing an obesity epidemic was underscored in 2003 when the National Academies' National Research Council declared that one of every four dogs and cats in the Western world is overweight.

Soon, however, veterinarians and dog owners will have a new weapon in the fight against canine obesity: Slentrol. Pfizer Animal Health in early January announced that the medication had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and the drug would be available through veterinarians by prescription starting this spring.

As the only government-sanctioned weight management drug for dogs, Slentrol is being heralded by Pfizer as a “significant milestone” in the treatment of canine obesity. Data indicate that as many as 17 million dogs in the United States are overweight or obese. Overweight dogs are susceptible to a number of health problems, especially joint ailments and respiratory tract disease.

Slentrol, administered orally once a day, decreases appetite, thereby reducing food intake and making it easier for dog owners to develop healthier feeding behaviors and attitudes, according to Pfizer. The company points out that Slentrol should not be used alone but as part of an overall weight-loss regimen.

“Veterinarians will now have the additional option of using Slentrol in conjunction with diet and exercise,” said Dr. S. Kristina Wahlstrom of Pfizer.

While it isn't yet clear which patients will benefit most from Slentrol and under what circumstances, some veterinarians see potential in a fat-fighting drug. “We can do better in treating obesity in dogs, and having more tools is a good thing,” said Dr. C. A. Tony Buffington, a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition and professor at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Primary beneficiaries of Slentrol may include over-weight dogs unable to exercise as a result of injury or other health problems. Elderly or disabled persons who can't sufficiently walk and play with their dogs could also see their pets benefit from the medication.

In many cases, overweight patients are helped by dropping just a few extra pounds. “When we're talking about weight loss, we're talking about reducing 10 to 15 percent of body weight,” Dr. Buffington explained. “We're not talking about turning a hundred-pound animal into a 50-pound animal; we're talking about taking it to an 85-pound animal. Often, that's all that's necessary.”

article image

Canine obesity, similar to human obesity, generally has less to do with genetics than eating too much high-calorie food and a sedentary lifestyle, Dr. Buffington added.

It isn't all that surprising that a pet will pack on extra pounds if its owner has a hectic schedule, poor eating habits, and doesn't exercise. Moreover, the perks that come with being man's best friend include access to table scraps, heaping portions of food, and even the occasional fast-food treat.

“We do, indeed, consider our companion animals as part of the family, so we basically treat them the way we treat ourselves,” observed Dr. Richard P. Timmons, director of the Center for Animals in Society at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. “If we don't demand that we take care of ourselves physically in terms of exercise and watching what we eat, we're going to do the same thing with our pets.”

Dr. Timmons sees definite benefits of a weight-control drug like Slentrol, but he worries clients may think of the medication as a panacea that will magically cure obesity without the owner having to make necessary changes, such as feeding the dog less and providing it with more exercise. This lack of interaction between the dog and its owner, ultimately, weakens the human-animal bond, he said.

“If people do look at this as a shortcut to weight loss, it could actually undermine that relationship they have with their pet, which is nourished by the interaction they will get when they're exercising with them,” Dr. Timmons said.

Managing a pet's weight can be a sensitive subject for pet owners, and veterinarians often tread lightly when talking to clients with obese pets—especially if the client is also overweight. Further complicating the matter, food is often seen as a form of love, so telling a client that treating a canine companion to a McDonald's cheeseburger once a week isn't good for the pet may not be well received.

“We tell owners there are other ways you can enjoy your dog's company, like taking it for a walk, instead of feeding it,” Dr. Buffington said. “And you might feel better, too, by getting your mind off your life and enjoying your animal.”

Dr. Timmons suggested addressing the client in terms of the pet's well-being. Don't say fat is bad, he said, but focus instead on the potential problems the pet may experience if its weight isn't brought under control. “As long as you focus on the well-being of the pet, clients are, in general, perfectly willing to pay attention,” he said.

Veterinarians also need to remind clients that the dietary needs of dogs and people are fundamentally different; many people don't realize that the caloric requirements for dogs vary. Giving half a fast-food hamburger to a small dog might provide the animal with enough calories to last up to five days, Dr. Timmons said.

“One of the biggest challenges to a veterinary family practitioner today is to be able to educate pet owners about what the real needs are of this companion animal that is sharing their lives,” Dr. Timmons said. “You have to let the people know their needs are different.”

Both Drs. Buffington and Timmons stressed the need for veterinarians to communicate clearly about how Slentrol figures into a pet's overall weight management. This goes for possible adverse side effects, too. Pfizer states that, while Slentrol is well-tolerated, the most common adverse effect is vomiting. Dogs may also experience diarrhea, lethargy, or anorexia.

The ultimate therapy for obesity is prevention, according to Dr. Buffington, and the way to prevent obesity is to educate clients with young, growing dogs. Owners should be taught that their pet needs to be fed in accordance with a body condition score, the same way that people judge their own food intake, he said.

Owners should also understand that dogs are there to be enjoyed, so even if it's taking them for a walk or playing fetch, the point is to stay active. “You don't need to go out and get sweaty; you just need to get out,” Dr. Buffington said. “As a profession, we can do an even better job than what we're doing at getting that message across.”


call out

AAFP seeks feline sarcoma research proposals

The American Association of Feline Practitioners will award a grant in 2007 for meaningful research in vaccine-associated sarcoma in cats. The grant is being funded through the American Veterinary Medical Foundation.

Visit the AAFP Web site, www.aafponline.org, to complete an application. Applications and 10 copies of the proposal must be received in the AAFP office by May 15. Grant selection will be completed by July 1.

ASPCA campaign aims at creating nation of ‘humane communities’

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is partnering with animal welfare organizations in select cities as part of ASPCA Mission: Orange, an initiative launched in January to create a country of “humane communities.”

The ASPCA and its partners will identify the needs of each target city and implement programs that will bring about change for the animals in these communities, especially shelter animals.

Programs may include financial assistance and grants, strategic planning, community grassroots activities, humane education, and a variety of training opportunities. Cities chosen for the initial phase of the campaign are Austin, Texas; Gulfport-Biloxi, Miss.; Philadelphia; and Tampa, Fla.

The ASPCA has made a three-year commitment to each of the communities it will partner with in the 2007 phase of ASPCA Mission: Orange. This year, the organization will invest up to $200,000 in each community for capacity-building and animal welfare efforts.

As work in these cities progresses and they move toward a sustainable model, the ASPCA will begin assessing other communities in 2008 and beyond.

“In the more than 30 years that I have been involved in animal welfare, I have seen, time and time again, that we, as an industry, are most effective in saving animals when we put our differences aside and pool our strengths to achieve what is, after all, a shared goal—the elevation and continued welfare of animals in our society,” said ASPCA President and CEO Ed Sayres.

“This is the driving force behind ASPCA Mission: Orange—the desire to bring about immediate, measurable, and sustainable change for the animals we are honor-bound to protect and provide for.”

Eli Lilly enters pet health market, endows lectureship

Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Company will launch a new business group focusing on companion animal health.

The company's scientists have been evaluating its proprietary molecules for use in companion animals over the past seven years. The new business group will produce medicines for dogs and cats under the Lilly brand name.

Lilly made the announcement during the North American Veterinary Conference. The company, which has headquarters in Indianapolis, also announced a $250,000 endowment to the nearby Center for the Human-Animal Bond at the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine. The gift will fund a series of annual lectures at Purdue and at national veterinary conferences to support veterinarians' understanding of physiologic, psychologic, and sociologic aspects of the human-pet bond.

“Veterinarians are essential allies to the millions of us who experience the human-animal bond,” said anthropologist Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, who gave the inaugural Lilly Lectureship address at the NAVC.

Eric Graves, Lilly director of companion animal health, said the company expects to introduce the first products for companion animals within the year—pending approval from the Food and Drug Administration. He said the medicines will address serious conditions that negatively affect both pet health and the human-pet bond.

Lilly's division for food animals, Elanco Animal Health, has existed since 1954.

ASPCA dispels common misconceptions related to poisons

In preparation for the annual National Poison Prevention Week, to be held March 18-24, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reminds veterinarians and pet owners of the more common misconceptions related to poisons.

article image

The ASPCA reported the following:

False: If eaten, poinsettias are deadly.

Poinsettia ingestions typically induce only mild to moderate irritation in the gastrointestinal tract of pets. Keeping the plant out of reach to avoid stomach upset is a good idea, but pet owners don't need to banish poinsettias from their homes for fear of a fatal exposure.

False: Swiffer WetJets contain an ingredient similar to antifreeze, and causes liver failure in dogs. When used according to label directions, the ingredients in Swiffer WetJets are safe around pets and will not cause liver damage at product concentrations. Despite a similar-sounding name, the propylene glycol n-butyl ether or propylene glycol n-propyl ether found in Swiffer differs substantially from ethylene glycol, the potentially toxic ingredient present in most antifreeze products, which can cause kidney, not liver, failure.

False: Salt can be used to induce vomiting. It was once believed that giving pets a spoonful of salt was an effective means of making them regurgitate potentially harmful substances. However, salt is not a reliable emetic and could actually lead to a sodium ion poisoning if too much were ingested.

True: Macadamia nuts cause dogs to lose the use of their hind limbs. Dogs that consume roughly one gram of macadamia nuts or more per pound of body weight can develop lethargy, vomit, or suffer from an increased body temperature, progressing to loss of coordination, tremors, and profound weakness primarily in the hind limbs. So far, dogs are the only species known to experience these effects. Usually these clinical effects resolve completely in 24 to 48 hours with minimal management.

False: Greenies pet treats are deadly to dogs, causing intestinal blockage when swallowed. Although the safety of Greenies remains controversial, the ASPCA reported that Greenies do not pose a higher risk for gastrointestinal tract obstruction compared with other edible chew products.

True: Pennies are poisonous if ingested. United States pennies minted after 1982 contain 99.2 percent zinc (and 0.8 percent copper) by weight. Although an essential trace nutrient, zinc is a concern because ingestions of substantial amounts can cause damage to the kidneys, liver, red blood cells, and gastrointestinal tract. As a result of the high zinc content, pennies minted after 1982 are considered to be potentially toxic if swallowed.

To learn more, visit the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center online at www.aspca.org/apcc.

It's back—Congress, again, takes up horse slaughter

Less than two weeks after the 110th Congress convened, a bipartisan group of legislators in the House and Senate introduced a measure banning horse slaughter for human consumption.

article image

Last year, the House passed similar legislation by a wide margin, but the Senate adjourned before the bill could be considered, effectively killing it.

Then on Jan. 17, Sens. Mary Landrieu and John Ensign introduced the Virgie S. Arden American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (S. 311) along with 11 cosponsors. That same day, Reps. Janice Schakowsky, Ed Whitfield, John Spratt, and Nick Rahall introduced a companion bill (H.R. 503) with 61 co-sponsors.

Both bills would amend the Horse Protection Act to prohibit the shipping, transporting, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing, purchasing, selling, or donating of any horse or other equine to be slaughtered for human consumption.

“The slaughter of horses is both cruel and inhumane, and it is our responsibility to ensure that it no longer occurs,” Sen. Landrieu said. “I was proud to co-sponsor legislation to ban horse slaughter in the 109th Congress, and I am proud to be the lead sponsor of the legislation in the 110th.”

Three horse processing facilities operate in the United States: two in Texas and one in Illinois. For years, the United States has exported horse meat to France, Japan, and other countries where horse flesh is considered a delicacy. In 2005, U.S. horse meat exports were estimated at 18,000 tons with a value of $61 million.

The AVMA, along with the American Association of Equine Practitioners and American Quarter Horse Association, are among some 200 groups in a coalition opposed to the legislation because, among other things, it fails to address the welfare of thousands of unwanted horses that would be affected by the bill.

Horse processing is the most regulated animal slaughter industry, according to the coalition. If the horse processing plants in Texas and Illinois were to close, as many as 100,000 unwanted horses would be vulnerable to abandonment and neglect annually. The coalition warns that processing plants in Canada and Mexico would likely take over the business without the scrutiny and supervision of U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors.

“The AVMA Governmental Relations Division will continue to work with our coalition partners to educate members of Congress about our concerns with this legislation and the negative impact on horse welfare,” said Dr. Mark Lutschaunig, director of the AVMA GRD in Washington, D.C.

Additionally, the AVMA Executive Board has directed the GRD to help draft legislation addressing the welfare needs of the nation's unwanted horse population as an alternative to the slaughter bill.


Court says horse slaughter illegal in Texas

On Jan. 19, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled that slaughtering horses for human consumption is illegal in Texas, where two of the country's three horse processing facilities are located.

A three-judge panel overturned a lower court's ruling that a 1949 Texas law banning horse slaughter for human consumption was invalid because it had been repealed by a later statute and pre-empted by federal law. The law stood on its own merits and was still enforceable, the panel determined.

Commenting on the judges' ruling, David Broiles, the attorney representing the two Texas horse processing facilities—Dallas Crown Inc. and Beltex Corp.—said, “It's a very erroneous decision. They've made a serious error.”

At press time in early January, Broiles was preparing an appeal asking that all 16 judges on the court review the decision. In the meantime, the facilities continue to process horses for pet food and meat for U.S. zoos but not to export for human consumption.

Gear up for the 144th AVMA Annual Convention

The 144th AVMA Annual Convention will take place July 14–18 in Washington, D.C. What events will be unique to this year's convention?


David Little, director of the AVMA Convention and Meeting Planning Division, responds:

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 230, 5; 10.2460/javma.230.5.634

The Opening Session will take place Saturday morning at convention. Julie L. Gerberding, MD, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, will be the keynote speaker. Her talk will be especially interesting because of the increased awareness of zoonotic diseases such as avian influenza.

We have moved AVMA Family Night this year from Monday to Sunday because of the weekday traffic in the D.C. metro area. The alumni receptions will take place on Monday night.

The Smithsonian National Zoological Park will be the site of this year's Family Night. One of the top attractions at the zoo is the giant panda habitat, which features indoor and outdoor exhibits and a research center. Also, we have arranged with the veterinary staff at the zoo for a behind-the-scenes tour of the veterinary clinic and laboratory for attendees.

Also unique to this year's convention are the tours we will host to the AVMA Governmental Relations Division office. More information will soon be available on the convention Web site (http://avmaconvention.org).

What can members do now to prepare for the convention?

I encourage members who are interested in attending to register for convention and sign up for housing as early as possible. Housing in Washington, D.C., will go fast. Hotel rates are notoriously more expensive there when compared with other U.S. cities, especially in the summer months when tourism is high. The AVMA has negotiated deep discounts within our housing block for convention registrants, so it is important for attendees to get their housing while rooms are still available.

Many of the interactive labs and computer learning classes are already starting to fill up. Those who plan to attend these continuing education opportunities, along with any of the special events, need to sign up now, before they sell out.

Also, attendees interested in touring the White House should make their reservations soon. It's an involved process, and the tours are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis approximately one month in advance of the requested date. Further tour information is available on the convention Web site or by visiting the White House Web site (www.whitehouse.gov/history/life).


Upgraded OIE animal health database available

The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has launched the World Animal Health Information Database, available at www.oie.int/wahid. The database provides access to all data within the OIE's World Animal Health Information System. It replaces and substantially extends the former online interface named Handistatus II System, which compiled data from 1996–2004.

The WAHID is a milestone in the organization's efforts to improve the transparency, efficiency, and speed with which animal health information is disseminated around the world.

“(The) WAHID is designed to provide high-quality animal diseases information to all stakeholders, including veterinary services, international organizations, trading partners, academics, the media, and public,” said Dr. Karim Ben Jebara, head of the OIE Animal Health Information Department. “All can access and monitor with (OIE) the evolution of animal diseases in one or several countries or regions of the world.”

The database provides information from sources such as immediate notifications and follow-up reports submitted by OIE member countries in response to exceptional disease events, six-month reports describing the OIE-listed disease situations in each country, and annual reports providing further background information on animal health, and laboratory and vaccine production facilities.

Study finds prion proteins in milk

A study has identified the presence of normal prion proteins in milk from humans, cows, sheep, and goats.

“Prion Protein in Milk” appeared in the December issue of PLoS One, an online journal from the Public Library of Science, available at www.plosone.org.

Infectious prion proteins cause transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in many species, including scrapie in sheep. In view of a recent study showing evidence of prion replication in the mammary gland of sheep with scrapie and mastitis, the authors of the new study conclude that the presence of normal prions in milk implies a possibility that milk from animals with TSEs serves as a source of infectious prions.

The study found that the absolute amount of normal prion proteins in milk differed among species, with sheep milk containing more than human milk. The study also identified prions in homogenized and pasteurized off-the-shelf milk. Even ultrahigh temperature treatment only partially diminished the concentration.

The authors note that scientific groups, risk assessment agencies, and public health organizations have debated the TSE risk for milk and milk products throughout the past decade. Epidemiologic and bioassay data have not provided evidence that milk harbors prion infectivity. Bioassays of the milk, colostrum, or udder of cows with BSE have not as yet detected infectious prions.

Pfizer acquires Embrex, re-entering poultry market

Pfizer Animal Health has acquired Embrex Inc., a biotechnology company in the poultry industry that created an in-ovo system for vaccine delivery, for $155 million.

Embrex, which has headquarters in Durham, N.C., reported revenues of $52.5 million in 2005. More than 80 percent of the poultry in North America receive vaccination against Marek's disease through the company's in-ovo system. Embrex also is active in developing new poultry vaccines and vaccine-delivery technologies.

Pfizer Animal Health of New York, N.Y., reported sales of $2.2 billion for 2005. The company develops and markets medicines and vaccines for beef and dairy cattle, swine, cats, dogs, and horses. Pfizer has not served the poultry market since selling off its feed-additive business in 2000.

AAVMC examines education of food systems veterinarians

“Veterinary Medical Education for Modern Food Systems” is appearing in the winter 2006 edition of the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education.

The paper summarizes a recent workshop by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. The full proceedings also appear in the journal.

The workshop focused on the changing nature of food production and the evolving role of veterinarians in modern food systems. Specific recommendations from the workshop include the following:

  • • Organized veterinary medicine must articulate a clear vision of the future role of veterinary medicine in all aspects of modern food systems.

  • • Veterinarians must become more actively engaged in ensuring the safety and security of food systems.

  • • Veterinary medical colleges must work with all elements of modern food systems to better anticipate the needs, roles, and skills of food systems veterinarians of the future.

  • • The education and preparation of food systems veterinarians must reflect their changing roles and must continue throughout their careers.

  • • Veterinary medical colleges must aggressively recruit students with a high probability of success in food systems and encourage them throughout their educational experience.

  • • Academic veterinary medicine must play a central role in providing the new knowledge our profession needs to serve our society.

Heider to retire from AAVMC

Dr. Lawrence E. Heider has announced his retirement from the role of executive director of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, effective Aug. 31.

Dr. Heider noted the AAVMC has come a long way in the past five years that he has been a part of it. But a new leader with different attributes is needed, he said, to take the association to the next level of effectiveness.

“I believe that for an association like the AAVMC, it's good to have a change of leadership from time to time,” Dr. Heider said. He noted that his successor would need a strong background in legislative and governmental affairs, and the ability to develop effective relationships that lead to more financial sponsorships of AAVMC programs.


Dr. Lawrence E. Heider

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 230, 5; 10.2460/javma.230.5.634

Among his many accomplishments at AAVMC, Dr. Heider oversaw the introduction of the Veterinary Workforce Expansion Act that was introduced in the 109th Congress. The bill is expected to be reintroduced in the 110th Congress. The legislation would authorize a competitive grants program for veterinary colleges to increase enrollment to meet critical national shortages in public health practice and other areas of the profession.

Dr. Heider facilitated the development of DiVersity Matters, a national program to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in veterinary medicine.

In addition, Dr. Heider initiated a foresight analysis project to determine a future direction for academic veterinary medicine that would prepare veterinarians for the opportunities and possibilities that may emerge within the next 25 years.

Dr. Heider also commissioned a comprehensive study of the current and future veterinary medical workforce needs to come from the National Research Council at the National Academies. The council is in the process of convening an expert committee for the study.

“Dr. Heider is a visionary leader who has taken the AAVMC to a new level of prominence,” said Dr. Lance Perryman, AAVMC president and dean of the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. “His leadership, especially in workforce development and diversity, will benefit the entire profession for years to come.”

The AAVMC board of directors initiated a search for the next executive director in February, and anticipates Dr. Heider's successor will assume the duties of the position on Sept. 1, 2007.

Dr. Heider has served in the veterinary profession for 43 years, graduating in 1964 from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He operated an international consulting firm in Canada for three years before joining the AAVMC in 2002. He served at the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada as dean of the Atlantic Veterinary College from 1991-1998 and as interim president of the university from 1998-1999. Much of his career was spent at OSU, where he held roles such as director of the veterinary teaching hospital and chair of the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.

While Dr. Heider said he immensely enjoys working at the AAVMC, he is looking forward to spending more time with his family, including three young grandsons who live just a few miles from his home in Ohio. As for organized veterinary medicine, he plans to look into volunteer opportunities at several veterinary organizations.


new diplomates

American Board of Veterinary Practitioners

The American Board of Veterinary Practitioners certified 46 diplomates in 2006.

Avian Practice—Drs. Cyndi Brown, Colts Neck, N.J.; Patricia S. Chen, Houston; Ricardo De Matos, Ithaca, N.Y.; Martine de Wit, St. Petersburg, Fla.; Orlando Diaz-Figueroa, Maitland, Fla.; Scott Ford, Oakley, Calif.; Attila Molnar, Canoga Park, Calif.; and Elisabeth Simone-Freilicher, Huntington, N.Y. Beef Cattle Practice—Dr. Carl Meyer Jr., Oskaloosa, Kan. Canine/Feline Practice—Drs. Lara E. Bartl, Alexandria, Va.; Merrijean Becker, Tulsa, Okla.; Bradley P. Book, San Antonio; Timothy Cavenagh, Arlington, Wash.; Gregory E. Erdman, Wyckoff, N.J.; Richard S. Goldstein, New Rochelle, N.Y.; Paul Groshek, West Hartford, Conn.; Renee N. Herrera, Costa Mesa, Calif.; J. Veronika Kiklevich, Boerne, Texas; Craig D. Maloney, Boise, Idaho; Katharine M. Monnet, Los Angeles; George Moseley, Memphis, Tenn.; Nicholas Nelson, Kent, Wash.; William Penn, Tempe, Ariz.; Manuel Pepen, Indian Harbor Beach, Fla.; Stephen Pittenger, Houston; D. Jeff Pollard, Escondido, Calif.; Ralph W. Pope, Memphis, Tenn.; Bronya Redden, Denver, N.C.; Jennifer Renshaw, Phoenix; Lauré K. Ross, Riverside, Calif.; Tara Scales, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Jeffrey Steen, Aurora, Colo.; and Mumtaz Vora, Morrisville, N.C. Dairy Practice—Drs. Michael Maroney, Mount Horeb, Wis.; Wayne Shewfelt, Tavistock, Ontario, Canada; and Mark Thomas, Carthage, N.Y. Equine Practice—Drs. Brian S. Burks, Delmont, Pa.; Lais Costa, Upton, Mass.; Lynn M. Facemire, Jefferson, Md.; Racquel Rodeheaver, LaPorte, Colo.; and Thomas Schell, Jonesville, N.C. Feline Practice—Drs. Janine Badylak, Lafayette, Ind.; Craig Datz, Columbia, Mo.; Suvi Pohjola-Stenroos, Lohja, Finland; and Emil Visnjaric. Food Animal Practice—Dr. John N. Gilliam, Stillwater, Okla.

Multiple learning formats round out North American conference


Members of the 2007 NAVC board of directors: Front row—Dr. Doug Mader; Dr. Earl Rippie, secretary-treasurer; Dr. Colin Burrows, executive director; Dr. Jorge Guerrero, president; Lynne Johnson; Dr. Ron Bright; Dr. Aine McCarthy; and Dr. Ralph Barrett. Back row—Dr. Gatz Riddell Jr.; Dr. Rick DeBowes; Dr. Earl Gaughan, vice president; Dr. Philippe Moreau, immediate past president; Dr. Don Harris, president-elect; Dr. Laurel Kaddatz; and Dr. David Senior.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 230, 5; 10.2460/javma.230.5.634

The North American Veterinary Conference—held Jan. 13–17 in Orlando, Fla.—provided a variety of learning formats and entertainment for the nearly 15,000 attendees.

“This year's conference continued our tradition of excellence and, on behalf of the board of directors, I can honestly say it was one of the best we've ever had,” said Dr. Phillipe Moreau, immediate past president of NAVC.

Of the nearly 15,000 attendees, there were 5,742 veterinarians, 1,723 veterinary technicians, 726 practice managers, 675 students, and 3,204 exhibitors. Recent efforts to boost international attendance paid off as 1,178 international attendees registered.

The 2007 educational program featured more than 400 speakers and instructors, providing 1,400-plus hours of continuing education.

One example of the learning formats was the NAVC Case Challenges, where experts challenged each other with unknown cases in a “What's your diagnosis?” format. Topics ranged from upper airway crisis in dogs and cats to infectious disease cases.

Another learning format was the NAVC Next Level series, which featured interactive group discussions that challenged participants to think more deeply about specific medical or surgical problems. Most sessions were in the form of case presentations stressing pathophysiology and the pharmacologic basis of therapy.

Dr. Mark Spire gave the 2007 James A. Jarrett Memorial Lecture, titled “Being a Cow Doctor: Then, Now, and Tomorrow.” Established in 2006, the lecture is a tribute to Dr. Jarrett, a production medicine pioneer and former NAVC president.

At the Morris Animal Foundation keynote luncheon, Dr. Michael Cranfield of the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project discussed the project's mission to provide veterinary care to the highly endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

During an evening session, Dr. Genny Dumonceaux from Busch Gardens discussed her adventures in Nepal. Other state-of-the-art lectures covered topics such as advancements in the management of liver disease, advances in diabetes management, molecular diagnosis, and enteric and gastric bacteria.

Also of note, the Mark L. Morris Sr. Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dr. Stephen J. Withrow (see opposite page).

As for entertainment, attendees could check out a performance by the rock band Styx, comedian Sinbad, and the Neville Brothers. Newly elected officers for 2007–2008 are Drs. Jorge Guerrero, Pennington, N.J., president; Don Harris, Miami, president-elect; Philippe Moreau, France, immediate past president; and Earl Gaughan, Auburn, Ala., vice president. Dr. Earl Rippie, Pennsauken, N.J., was re-elected as secretary-treasurer.

In 2008, the NAVC will celebrate its 25th anniversary. The conference will be held Jan. 19–23 in Orlando, Fla. For information, visit www.tnavc.org.



Dr. Stephen J. Withrow was presented the 2007 Mark L. Morris Sr. Lifetime Achievement Award by Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc. The annual award is presented to a veterinarian who has made a lifetime commitment to improving the health and well-being of companion animals. Dr. Withrow received the award at the North American Veterinary Conference, Jan. 13.


Dr. Stephen J. Withrow

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 230, 5; 10.2460/javma.230.5.634

Dr. Withrow joined the faculty of Colorado State University in 1978 and since 2001 has served as director of the CSU Animal Cancer Center, holding the Stuart Chair in Oncology. In 2004, he was named a university distinguished professor. Dr. Withrow graduated in 1972 from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine and is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Among his many contributions to cancer research and treatment, Dr. Withrow developed a limb-sparing technique to treat canine osteosarcoma. This technique revolutionized treatment of this disease in dogs and has been widely adopted at human cancer centers, substantially increasing the likelihood that children with osteosarcoma will be cured. In recognition of his lifetime of service, Hill's Pet Nutrition will donate $20,000 to the Morris Animal Foundation in Dr. Withrow's name. The foundation is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of companion animals and wildlife by funding humane health studies and disseminating information about these studies.


Dr. Philip Bushby (IL '72) is the first Marcia Lane Endowed Professor in Humane Ethics and Animal Welfare at the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Bushby also serves as service chief of primary care at the college's Animal Health Center and as president of the Columbus-Lowndes County Humane Society. He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.


The National Cattlemen's Beef Association has chosen Dr. Elizabeth Parker (TEX '93) to be its chief veterinarian in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Parker will take on the duties of the previous NCBA executive director of regulatory affairs.

“Growing up on a family farm in Abilene, Texas, Elizabeth knows firsthand the challenges our members face every day on their operations,” said Jay Truitt, the NCBA's vice president of government affairs. “I'm confident she will prove to be an excellent resource for our members on animal health-related issues and a strong advocate of their priorities in Washington, D.C.”

Dr. Parker's focus will be on issues relating to animal health, animal welfare, and food safety and security—especially issues under debate within government agencies and in Congress. She will assist with the efforts of the U.S. beef industry toward normalizing trade in the foreign marketplace.

Previously, Dr. Parker has been an international consultant for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and a professional staff member with the majority staff of the House Agriculture Committee. Dr. Parker worked with the minority staff of the House Agriculture Committee as the AVMA's 1999–2000 Congressional Science Fellow. She also has spent time in practice.


Eight veterinarians joined the interdisciplinary National Academies of Practice as active members in 2006.

Dr. Bonnie Buntain (COL '77) is assistant dean for government and international relations at the University of Calgary's new Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. Previously, Dr. Buntain was chief public health veterinarian with the Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners and the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.

Dr. Michael B. Cates (TEX '80) serves as chief of the Army Veterinary Corps. The brigadier general previously served as commander of the 100th Medical Detachment, 30th Medical Brigade, V Corps in Heidelberg, Germany. He also has held veterinary commands out of Fort Campbell, Ky., and Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.

Dr. Elizabeth Curry-Galvin (IL '88) serves as director of the AVMA Scientific Activities Division. She is staff consultant to both the AVMA Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents and to the AVMA Clinical Practitioners Advisory Committee. Previously, Dr. Curry-Galvin has worked in industrial veterinary medicine and in small animal practice.

Dr. W. Ron DeHaven (PUR '75) is administrator of the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. He also has served with APHIS as deputy administrator of Veterinary Services, acting associate administrator, and deputy administrator for the Animal Care unit. He spent four years in the Army Veterinary Corps before joining APHIS in 1979.

Dr. Joan C. Hendricks (UP '79) is dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Hendricks has been a faculty member at the school for more than 20 years, serving as a professor of small animal medicine and as the section chief of critical care in the Department of Clinical Studies.

She is the founding director of the Veterinary Clinical Research Center.

Dr. Jon Klingborg (CAL '92) is in private practice at Valley Animal Hospital in Merced, Calif. He worked previously at Atwater-Merced Veterinary Clinics Inc. and Ferndale Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Klingborg also is a guest faculty member at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and a past president of the California VMA.

Dr. John D. Melcher (ISU '50) is an AVMA consultant in the nation's capital. The former congressman represented Montana in the Senate for two terms and in the House of Representatives for four terms. He held office in the Montana legislature and the city government of Forsyth, where he had established a veterinary clinic. Dr. Melcher also served in the Army during World War II.

Dr. Donald L. Noah (OSU '85) is liaison from the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Air Force lieutenant colonel also has held positions with the Pentagon, Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, and CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service. He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.

The new chair of the NAP Veterinary Medicine Academy is Dr. H. Michael Chaddock (MSU '73). Dr. Chaddock is associate executive director of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. He also has served as director of the AVMA Governmental Relations Division and Michigan's state veterinarian. Previously, he spent time in private practice.

Dr. David Goolsby (AUB '82) recently became co-chair of the NAP Veterinary Medicine Academy. He is region health director with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

The NAP has addressed problems in health care since 1981. The group's goals include advising government and serving as a forum for discussions of public policy, education, research, and inquiry. The 2006 meeting focused on access to care.


Joint pathology meetings

Event: American College of Veterinary Pathologists, American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology, joint annual meetings, Dec. 2–6, 2006, Tucson

Program: The ACVP program included pre- and-post-meeting symposia, an emerging disease focus seminar, a joint plenary session, and specialty group sessions. The ASVCP held a premeeting workshop, an education symposium, and clinical pathology scientific sessions.

American College of Veterinary Pathologists Awards: Young Investigator Award, category of diagnostic pathology, First place: T.P. LaBranche, University of Georgia, for “Polycystic liver and kidney disease in two related Beagles: A proposed pathogenesis;” Second place: I.M. Langohr, Purdue University, for “Vascular-associated lymphoid tissue (valt) in swine;” Third place: K. Maratea, Purdue University, for “Testicular interstitial cell tumor and gynecomastia in a rabbit.” Category of toxicologic pathology, First place: J. Lucas, Purdue University, for “Comparison of the mammary gland effects in the female rat of four selective estrogen receptor modulators and dihydrotestosterone;” Second place: S. Clark, Purdue University, “Chronic sublethal microcystin exposure results in proliferation and changes in mitotic gene expression in homozygous p53 knockout mice;” Third place: C. Nam, University of Tokyo, for “Apoptosis in the brain of mouse fetuses by etoposide administration.” Category of natural disease, First place: A.R. Pandiri, USDA ARS Avian Disease and Oncology Laboratory, Michigan State University, for “Pathogenesis and characterization of subgroup J avian leukosis virus-induced histiocytic sarcomas in meat-type chickens;” Second place: I.D. Pardo, Purdue University, for “Correlation of pituitary histologic findings with adrenocorticotrophic hormone response to domperidone diagnosis of equine pituitary parts intermedia dysfunction;” Third place: W. Sprague, Colorado State University, for “Susceptibility of dendritic cells to feline immunodeficiency virus infection.” Category of experimental disease, First place: K.N. Gibson-Corley, Iowa State University, for “The role of B cells in the cell-mediated immune response to Leishmania amazonensis;” Second place: M. Ravi, University of Saskatchewan, for “4 role of Aida-I Adhesin in pathogenesis of E Coli induced diarrhea in pigs;” Third place: D. Garcia-Tapia, University of Missouri-Columbia, for “West Nile encephalitis: Sequential histopathological and immunological events in a murine model of infection.”Christopher T. Starost Memorial Oncology Scholarship, First place: B. Zimmerman, The Ohio State University, for “Development of a xenograft mouse model of human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 associated adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma for use in preclinical efficacy and therapeutic studies;” Second place: M.V.P. Nadella, The Ohio State University, for “NF-kappa B and BCL-3 cooperatively transactivate the parathyroid hormone-related protein promoter in adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma.” Student Poster Awards: Natural disease: L.K. Schutt, University of Guelph, for “Investigating genetic polymorphisms in canine hepatic cyto-chrome P450 enzymes; Experimental disease: B. Chaffee, National Institutes of Health, for “Analysis of skin defects associated with an ENU-induced mutation in the p53 binding protein p53bp1.” Harold W. Casey Memorial Scholarship: Dr. Jennifer Yearley, Harvard Medical School. Distinguished and honorary members: The ACVP elected Dr. Roger Panciera, Oklahoma State University, as a distinguished member, and Dr. Murray Gardner, University of California-Davis, as an honorary member.

New diplomates: The ACVP recognized 70 new diplomates upon successful completion of the certifying examination in Ames, Iowa, Sept. 20-21, 2006. Certified as veterinary anatomic pathologists were Drs. Timothy W. Affolter, San Diego; Derron A. Alves, Greenbelt, Md.; Anibal G.A. Medianero, Roseville, Minn.; Shelley Beazley, Mattawan, Mich.; Marie-Odile Benoit-Biancamano, Quebec, Canada; Melanie A. Buote, Bryan, Texas; Jennifer A. Chilton, Madison, Wis.; Phaedra I. Cole, Bloomingdale, Mich.; Cheryl A. Cross, Knoxville, Tenn.; Joshua H. Decker, Peoria, Ill.; Taryn A. Donovan, San Diego; Julie B. Engiles, Unionville, Pa.; Mihai I. Gagea, Blacksburg, Va.; Michael Goedken, Mansfield Center, Conn.; Branka Grubor, Manilus, N.Y.; Julius A. Haruna, Pullman, Wash.; Guenther Hoffmann, Madison, Wis.; Shelley P. Honnold, Laurel, Md.; Stuart A. Hunter, Raleigh, N.C.; Binod Jacob, Southborough, Mass.; Anoop M. Kavirayani, Jamaica Plain, Mass.; Laura A. Kennedy, Amarillo, Texas; Robert Klopfleisch, Griefswald, Germany; Jennifer A. Landolfi, Oak Park, Ill.; Karin Y. Lemberger, Country Club Hills, Ill.; Tanya LeRoith, Blacksburg, Va.; Kimberly A. Maratea, West Lafayette, Ind.; Philip L. Martin, Potomac, Md.; Emily K. Meseck, Mooers, N.Y.; Venee I. Morthole, Silver Spring, Md.; Aleksija Neimanis, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada; Kimberly Newkirk, Columbus, Ohio; Susan M. Noh, Pullman, Wash.; Jairo E.D.S. Nunes, Bryan, Texas; Jenee S. Odani, Highland, Calif.; Jon T. Painter, Wake Forest, N.C.; Tracey L. Papenfuss, Columbus, Ohio; Marilene Paquet. Quebec, Canada; Ingrid D.R. Pardo, West Lafayette, Ind.; Lucy Phillips, Wilmington, Del.; Joshua Powe, Gainesville, Fla.; Srinivas S. Rao, Bethesda, Md.; David A. Rehagen, Portage, Mich.; Amera K. Remick, Raleigh, N.C.; Barry H. Rickman, East Cambridge, Mass.; Michael Rozmanec, Mona Vale, New South Wales, Australia; Steven D. Rushton, Raleigh, N.C.; Melissa M. Schutten, Madison, Wis.; Manu M. Sebastian, Tifton, Ga.; Mark A. Smith, Germantown, Md.; Deidre E. Stoffregen, Frederick, Md.; Francisco A. Uzal, San Bernardino, Calif.; Heather Walz, Auburn, Ala.; Amy L. Warren, Ithaca, N.Y.; Kimberly A. Whitten, Joppa, Md.; and Tanja S. Zabka, San Diego.

Certified as veterinary clinical pathologists were Drs. Ryan M. Dickinson, Madison, Wis.; Cornelia V. Gilroy, Crapaud, Prince Edward Island, Canada; Maria E. Gorman, Corvallis, Ore.; Kathryn Kewish, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Elizabeth K. Little, Yardley, Pa.; Jonathan Meyer, Hamilton, New Zealand; Mary B. Nabity, College Station, Texas; Valarie A. Pallatto, Sanford, N.C.; Penny K. Patten, Stillwater, Okla.; Heidi G.R. Peta, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada; Deanna M.W. Schaefer, Columbus, Ohio; Balazs Szladovits, London, England; and Heather C. Workman, Davis, Calif. Dr. Linda M. Berent, Columbia, Mo., already a diplomate of veterinary clinical pathology, received certification in veterinary anatomic pathology.

Officials: Drs. Mary A. Thrall, Fort Collins, Colo., president; John C. Cullen, Raleigh, N.C., vice president/president-elect; Derek Mosier, Manhattan, Kan., secretary-treasurer; and Paul C. Stromberg, Columbus, Ohio, immediate past president

American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology

Awards: Young Investigator Award: Lisa Pohlman, Auburn University, for “Classification of 50 cases of feline gastrointestinal lymphoma.”

Officials: Drs. Christine S. Olver, Fort Collins, Colo., president; Holly L. Jordan, Research Triangle Park, N.C., president-elect; Karen E. Russell, Bryan, Texas, secretary; Sonjia M. Shelly, West Sacramento, Calif., treasurer; and M. Judith Radin, Columbus, Ohio, immediate past president

Delaware VMA

Event: Annual meeting, Dec. 13, Dover

Awards: H. Wesley Towers Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Jeffrey E. Bowersox, Wilmington. A 1994 graduate of The Ohio State University, Dr. Bowersox practices at Veterinary Specialty Center of Delaware. He serves as president of the Delaware VMA.


Dr. Jeffrey Bowersox

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 230, 5; 10.2460/javma.230.5.634

Officials: Drs. Jeffrey Bowersox, Wilmington, president; Kimberly Chappell, Lewes, president-elect; Morgan Dawkins, Wilmington, vice president; Kimberly Gaines, Dover, secretary-treasurer; and Michele Egli, Dover, immediate past president

obituaries: Shelton Pinkerton 1926–2007

article image

Dr. Shelton Pinkerton, a proponent of planned change as AVMA president and a statesman for the profession on the world scene, died Jan. 16. Dr. Pinkerton, of Pensacola, Fla., was 80. He was a 1954 graduate of Auburn University and a World War II veteran.

Dr. Pinkerton chaired the AVMA Executive Board from 1988-1989, the final year of his term representing District III. His election as president-elect followed that year, and in 1990, he became the AVMA's 112th president.

Of his presidency, Dr. Pinkerton said one of the most gratifying accomplishments was the purchase of a larger headquarters facility. The Executive Board approved his recommendation to support that task force's suggestion and to expand the Washington, D.C., office. The AVMA moved into its new headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill., in 1991 and purchased the Governmental Relations Division's first home in 2004.

Another proud achievement was setting the strategic planning process in motion. Dr. Pinkerton was involved in the AVMA's initial strategic planning to develop both a plan and a mechanism for change.

To address the information needs identified by the Strategic Planning Task Force, the board approved Dr. Pinkerton's recommendation to commission “an aggressive survey” on the outside influences and internal factors that affect the profession.

To provide long-range leadership for the profession's political future, he called for creation of a Council on Government Affairs, and the 1991 House of Delegates approved a bylaws amendment creating (the now sunset) Council on Governmental Affairs. His recommendation had resolved concerns that beset a similar proposal.

Dr. Pinkerton's idea of appealing to constituent associations and allied groups to collectively support a second AVMA Congressional Fellowship each year was also successful. The AVMA began awarding two fellowships in 1991. He chaired the committee which, in 1988, selected the first AVMA fellow.

His departure from the AVMA presidency in 1991 was followed with his election by the World Veterinary Association to a four-year term as North American vice president. The WVA was in a time of transition. As former AVMA president Dr. Sherbyn Ostrich said, “The AVMA Executive Board sent him as an emissary to try and straighten out things we saw as unfair. When he stood, people listened. He was a gentleman and understood how to talk to adversaries as well as friends.”

Dr. Pinkerton's priorities were to strengthen the WVA infrastructure, enhance credibility, and establish a clear direction. At issue, he had said, was not only how the AVMA's involvement benefits North American veterinarians but also those in third-world countries and the profession as a whole. He chaired the WVA Policy Committee.

Current WVA president Dr. Leon H. Russell said, “Dr. Pinkerton was very instrumental and a key leader in the successful reorganization of the World Veterinary Association, which was fully implemented by 1999.”

In 1995, Dr. Pinkerton reported to the AVMA on their progress and future prospects for continued improvement. Although the WVA re-elected him to a second term, he resigned when the Executive Board discontinued AVMA membership in the WVA in 1997. Although the HOD later dissented on that action, it stood.

Although it was not until 1999 that the AVMA rejoined the WVA, Dr. Ostrich said, “I credit Shelton with turning things around, and it is especially important today that we're involved in the WVA because of global concerns such as avian influenza.”

In 1996, Dr. Pinkerton was elected an honorary member, a distinction conferred on only a few. His contributions to the advancement of veterinary medical organizations won him the AVMA Award—the Association's highest recognition—in 1997. An honor roll member, he kept a room at home devoted to his AVMA career, which also included the presidency of the American Veterinary Medical Foundation and service on the Council on Veterinary Service. He chaired a task force that helped create a new AVMA convention format in 1988.

Dr. Pinkerton's first professional venture was a mixed practice in Troy, Ala. Moving to Florida in 1959, he practiced for many years in Pensacola and Gulf Breeze. In 1974, Dr. Pinkerton was recognized as Florida Veterinarian of the Year. He was involved in establishment of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida. He served as president of the Florida VMA and Northwest Florida VMA (three terms), and on the board of the Southern Veterinary Medical Federation.

Dr. Apostolos Rantsios of Greece, WVA president from 1995-1999, came to know Dr. Pinkerton well, serving on the WVA Finance Committee when Dr. Pinkerton led it. Dr. Rantsios said, “His commanding personality significantly influenced the decisions, and his positive approach in the decision-making process gained for him widely acknowledged respect.

“In these ways, he made a major contribution in shaping the WVA as we know it today, guaranteeing in the process a distinguished position in the WVA history.”

Dr. Pinkerton is survived by his wife, Dorothy; daughter, Sharon; son, Drew; and granddaughter, Lauren. His family has requested that memorial contributions be made to a favorite charity.

AVMA Honor Roll Member, AVMA Member, Nonmember

Walter B. Crowl

Dr. Crowl (WSU '43), 89, Twentynine Palms, Calif., died Dec. 14, 2006. Prior to retirement in 1989, he owned a practice in Borrego Springs, Calif. In 1954, Dr. Crowl established the High Desert Animal Hospital in Twentynine Palms, practicing there until 1975. Earlier in his career, he practiced in Hollywood, Calif., and worked at the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in San Gabriel. Dr. Crowl served in the Army Veterinary Corps from 1943-1946, retiring as a major in the Reserve. He was a member of the American Legion. Dr. Crowl served as president of the Twentynine Palms Chamber of Commerce from 1955–1956. He is survived by two sons. Dr. Crowl's cousin, Dr. James L. Bittle (CAL '53), is a veterinarian in San Diego.

Howard D. Eikenberry

Dr. Eikenberry (COL '67), 67, Denver, died Nov. 21, 2006. Prior to retirement, he co-owned Belcaro Animal Hospital in Denver for 37 years. Dr. Eikenberry's wife, Linda; a son; and a daughter survive him. Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society, 2255 S. Oneida St., Denver, CO 80224; or Trout Unlimited, 1320 Pearl St., Suite 320, Boulder, CO 80302. Edward O. Franklin Dr. Franklin (AUB '61), 68, Southaven, Miss., died July 2, 2006. Prior to retirement in 2003, he owned DeSoto County Animal Clinic in Southaven. Earlier, Dr. Franklin owned Raines Road Animal Clinic in Whitehaven, Miss. During his career, he also established several businesses, including the Vapors Supper Club in Memphis; cared for animals at Elvis Presley's Graceland; and starred in the 1990s television show “Elvis, the Early Years.”

Dr. Franklin served in the Army from 1962-1964, attaining the rank of captain. He was a member of the American Legion. Dr. Franklin served on the Mississippi Healthcare Trust Fund Commission, Memphis and Shelby County Port Commission, and Tennessee Public Service Council. He is survived by his wife, Jackie; four sons; and three daughters.

Linda H. Grayson

Dr. Grayson (COL '95), 44, Bayfield, Colo., died July 11, 2006. A member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, she founded Village Veterinary Service, a large animal mobile veterinary practice. During her career, Dr. Grayson also worked at Thoroughbred racetracks in New England. Her husband, Paul, and two daughters survive her. Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society, 3801 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301.

Morris M. Himmelstein

Dr. Himmelstein (MSU '40), 88, West Orange, N.J., died July 2, 2006.

David S. Kronfeld

Dr. Kronfeld (QLD '52), 78, Pembroke, Va., died Dec. 17, 2006. He was the Paul Mellon Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Agriculture and former professor of veterinary medicine at the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Prior to his career at Virginia Tech, Dr. Kronfeld was the Elizabeth and William Whitney Clark Professor Emeritus of Nutrition at the University of Pennsylvania.

A charter diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and the American College of Veterinary Nutrition, he served as president of the American Association of Veterinary Nutritionists from 1973–1975. Dr. Kronfeld authored more than 700 publications, several of them in refereed journals. His wife, Dr. Susan Donoghue (UP '76), survives him. Memorials may be made to the David S. Kronfeld Endowment for Graduate Student Support, MARE Center, 5527 Sullivans Mill Road, Middleburg, VA 20117.

William K. Metzger

Dr. Metzger (COL '75), 62, Gordon, Neb., died Nov. 16, 2006. He owned a small animal practice in Spearfish, S.D., from 1995-2005. Earlier in his career, Dr. Metzger was in mixed practice in Gordon, Neb. He was a member of the South Dakota VMA. Dr. Metzger's wife, Carol; two sons; and four daughters survive him. His son-in-law, Dr. James R. Sasse (KSU '93), is a veterinarian in Gordon. Memorials may be made to the W.K. Metzger DVM Veterinary Scholarship, Bank of the West, P.O. Box 250, Gordon, NE 69343.

Eugene W. Meyer

Dr. Meyer (MSU '73), 62, Bay City, Mich., died Nov. 22, 2006. He owned Euclid Veterinary Hospital in Bay City for 33 years. Dr. Meyer is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and two daughters. Memorials may be made to Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, East Lansing, MI 48824.

Francis J. Mulhern

Dr. Mulhern (AUB '45), 87, Laguna Hills, Calif., died July 6, 2006. From 1971-1980, he served as the first administrator of the Department of Agriculture's Animal Plant Health and Inspection Service. During his tenure, Dr. Mulhern led eradication efforts for sheep scabies, Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis, velogenic viscerotropic Newcastle disease in poultry, and screwworms. In 1980, he became the director of animal health for the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, where he focused on the prevention, control, and eradication of diseases and pests within the Western Hemisphere. Under Dr. Mulhern's directorship, agreements were signed to implement programs to eradicate screwworms and African swine fever from Central America and Haiti.

Early in his 35-year career with the USDA, he served as a field veterinarian, directed the meat and poultry inspection program, and led efforts to eradicate foot-and-mouth disease from Mexico and Canada. Dr. Mulhern was a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.

He received several honors, including the National Pork Producers Council's Meritorious Service Award in 1994, the 1982 XIIth International Veterinary Congress Prize from the AVMA, and the 1977 Public Service Award from the AVMA. Dr. Mulhern was also the recipient of the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine Distinguished Alumnus Award, the USDA Superior and Distinguished Service awards, the Animal Welfare Institute's Albert Schweitzer Medal, and the National Civil Service League's Career Service Award.

His two sons and a daughter survive him.

R. Dean Scoggins

Dr. Scoggins (MSU '60), 71, Villa Grove, Ill., died Dec. 29, 2006. From 1977 until retirement in 2004, he was an equine and sheep extension veterinarian at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. Earlier in his career, Dr. Scoggins practiced large animal medicine in Hudson, Mich.; served as resident veterinarian at Al-Marah Arabians in Barnesville, Md.; and owned an equine practice in Pennsylvania's Washington County.

He bred, trained, and showed Arabian, Morgan, and Quarter horses. A member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, Dr. Scoggins served on its board of directors from 2002-2005, and was past chair of its Ad Hoc Dentistry Committee. He was a founding member of the Horsemen's Council of Illinois and was appointed to the Illinois Department of Agriculture's Advisory Board of Livestock Commissioners. Dr. Scoggins was also active with the International Arabian and National Reining Horse associations. In 2006, the Land of Lincoln Purebred Livestock Breeders Association inducted him into its 2007 Hall of Fame.

Dr. Scoggins is survived by his wife, Constance; two sons; and a daughter. One son, Dr. Gregg A. Scoggins (IL '90), is a veterinarian in Ashland, Va. Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 102454, Atlanta, GA 30368; or the Countryside United Methodist Church, 990 County Road 1800 E., Urbana, IL 61802.

William J. Zontine

Dr. Zontine (COL '42), 86, Vista, Calif., died Jan. 4, 2007. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Radiology, he practiced in Huntington Beach, Calif., from 1977 until retirement in 1989. Following graduation, Dr. Zontine served in the Army. From 1946-1971, he practiced in Lancaster, Calif. Dr. Zontine next served as an assistant clinical professor at the University of California-Los Angeles School of Medicine for four years. From 1971-1974, he worked at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, first as a research associate and, then, as a lecturer.

Later in his career, Dr. Zontine served as staff radiologist at the Animal Medical Center in New York, was a research associate professor of radiology at New York University, and worked as an associate clinical professor of radiology at the University of California-Irvine College of Medicine. He was a member of the California Veterinary Medical Board from 1955–1959.

Dr. Zontine helped found the Antelope Valley VMA, was a life member of the Southern California VMA, and was a member of the Sierra VMA, North American Radiological Society, and the International Veterinary Radiology Association. Past president of the California VMA and the American Veterinary Radiology Society, Dr. Zontine served on the former AVMA Continuing Education Advisory Committee, representing what is now called the American Board of Veterinary Specialties, from 1969–1979. From 1978–1984, Dr. Zontine represented small animal practice on the AVMA Council on Education. He was elected to the National Academies of Practice in 1986.

Dr. Zontine received several honors, including the CVMA Award of Merit in 1972, the American Animal Hospital Association's Region 5 Veterinary Practitioner of the Year Award for 1978, and the AAHA Charles E. Bild Practitioner of the Year Award in 1979. For his service in the Army during World War II, he was awarded the Bronze Star and the Soldier's Medal. Dr. Zontine attained the rank of captain in the Army. He also served in the Air Force Reserve, retiring as lieutenant colonel in 1968.

Dr. Zontine's four sons survive him.

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 203 0 0
Full Text Views 694 622 136
PDF Downloads 130 98 11