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Creating the cat-friendly practice

Campaign promotes simple steps to make feline veterinary visits less stressful

The concept of the cat-friendly practice is so compelling to some veterinarians that they convinced an expert on the subject to begin her consulting business months before she had planned.

Cats are the most popular pets in the country, but they lag behind dogs in veterinary care, and the number of feline veterinary visits has been declining. In response to the situation, the CATalyst Council and the American Association of Feline Practitioners recently introduced initiatives to create cat-friendly practices.

The idea behind the initiatives is that small animal practices can take simple steps to change the clinic's environment and improve feline handling techniques to make veterinary visits less stressful for cats—and for cat owners. The campaign also encourages veterinarians to educate cat owners about how to keep cats calm during a trip to the clinic.

Dr. Ilona Rodan, the cat-friendly consultant, has been traveling the country to advise clinics on specific changes they can make to increase the comfort of cats. CATalyst and the AAFP will be providing a variety of other resources to help practices become more cat-friendly, including continuing education.

Cat-friendly consultant

Dr. Rodan is the owner of the Cat Care Clinic in Madison, Wis., as well as an AAFP past president and a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in feline practice. She has given presentations on cat-friendly practices at conferences in the past, and she plans to give more next year.

Dr. Rodan also planned to begin her consulting business next year, but she had too much interest to wait. Her business does not have a name yet, but she already has consulted with small animal practices and even feline-only practices in several states.

“If the dog-and-cat hospitals focus on making improvements for cat populations in the hospital, they can do a fantastic job,” Dr. Rodan said. “But I think everybody can improve.”

Usually, Dr. Rodan starts a visit by surveying the facility and observing the personnel. She has a checklist to help her assess the clinic as a cat might—relying on the senses of hearing, vision, smell, and touch. Do team members speak in quiet and soft tones at all times? Are cats massaged or gently handled around the head and neck, but not scruffed?

Simple improvements to the facility can increase cats’ comfort, Dr. Rodan said, particularly reconfiguring the space to help keep cats away from dogs and even other cats. The clinic can create separate waiting areas for cats and dogs by turning sofas back to back and adding tall plants. The clinic can place small scales inside examination rooms, so cats don't have to leave the room for a weigh-in.

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Dr. Ilona Rodan, a consultant on the subject of cat-friendly practices, prefers to examine the cat wherever It Is most comfortable to decrease arousal and anxiety. (Courtesy of Dr. Ilona Rodan

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

Improving feline handling techniques is key to creating a cat-friendly practice. Dr. Rodan advocates a basic change in the way many veterinarians examine cats, for example.

“We've all been taught to examine cats on exam tables, but I don't feel like that has to be done. So in my hospital, what I do is I examine the cat where the cat wants to be,” Dr. Rodan said. “A lot of times, I will examine the cat in the carrier, preferably in the bottom half of a carrier which allows the top half to be removed.”

Along with the clinic's environment and feline handling techniques, Dr. Rodan looks at how the practice educates cat owners about reducing the stress of veterinary visits. One suggestion is for cat owners to familiarize the cat with the carrier and the car. Are clients educated to bring something that is familiar and smells like home to the veterinary hospital with their cat?

At each practice, Dr. Rodan gives a presentation on cat-friendly practices and answers questions. She said veterinarians and other personnel always ask about feline behavior. In the future, she plans to adapt her lectures to include more information on improving the cat's home environment to help prevent behavior problems.

Dr. Rodan's writes up her recommendations at the end of her visit, and practices can call her for two months as part of her consulting fee. She said the practices have been happy with her recommendations—and happy to have the suggestions coming from an outside consultant with authority on the subject of cat-friendly practices.

“It is hard to make changes in practice, and having the support to make those changes makes a huge difference,” she said.

CATalyst, AAFP resources

The national campaign to promote cat-friendly practices has been coming together in recent months.

The CATalyst Council announced its initiative and presented a session on cat-friendly practices in early August at the AVMA Annual Convention in Atlanta.

“There are ways to understand and work with cats, to make your practice cat-friendly—not thinking of them as little dogs,” said Dr. Jane E. Brunt, CATalyst executive director. “They're their own animals, and they have their own needs, and we can be sensitive to those.”

Dr. Brunt said the foundational pieces of the U.S. campaign on cat-friendly practices came from the Feline Advisory Bureau of the United Kingdom. The bureau's publications on “Creating a cat friendly practice” and “Cat friendly practice 2” are available at www.fabcats.org/publications.

CATalyst developed a presentation on cat-friendly practices, available at www.catalystcouncil.org/resources. The council invites veterinarians to use any portion of the presentation, inside or outside their practice. CATalyst is shooting videos that will illustrate elements of the cat-friendly practice, too, such as how to examine a cat in a carrier.

Also available on the CATalyst website are more general resources on feline health and welfare, including a cat owner's guide and a list of resources for the veterinary team.

The council is exploring the possibility of a certification program for cat-friendly practices.

The AAFP initiative started with a pilot program of stand-alone seminars on how to create a cat-friendly practice. Dr. Elizabeth J. Colleran, AAFP president, said the seminars allow small animal practitioners to get concerns and concepts on the table.

“Along with our industry partners who share our concern about the care of cats, we are opening a dialogue and creating a forum for strategies to unfold in individual practices,” Dr. Colleran said. “There are ways that don't cost a lot of money, that don't take tons of time or renovations, to create an environment in a small animal practice that is much more accommodating for cats.”

Dr. Colleran said the goal is to roll the pilot seminars into a national program. Eventually, she said, the AAFP hopes to organize weekend-long events on cat-friendly practices. Practitioners could meet with experts on topics such as cat handling, feline behavior, and client communications.

In relevant efforts, the AAFP just released principles for transport of cats and plans to release guidelines on cat handling next year. The association's guidelines are available at www.catvets.com/professionals/guidelines.

Dr. Colleran said the AAFP also is collaborating with the International Society of Feline Medicine, the veterinary division of the United Kingdom's Feline Advisory Bureau, on a major forthcoming project to promote cat-friendly practices.

—Katie Burns

AAFP COVERAGE

AAFP reaches out with feline health information

Association offering CE at other conferences, creating and disseminating resources

Cat-friendly practices, use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in cats, and feline neurology and ophthalmology are just a few of the topics that the American Association of Feline Practitioners has tackled recently.

In the coming months, the AAFP and CATalyst Council will be working to help small animal practices become more cat-friendly in an effort to reverse a decline in feline veterinary visits (see story, page 992). Guidelines on the long-term use of NSAIDS in cats are the first product of a partnership between the AAFP and International Society of Feline Medicine.

The AAFP's fall conference, Sept. 10-13 in New Orleans, attracted 325 attendees. The meeting focused on the examination and treatment of cats with neurologic and ophthalmologic diseases.

While the AAFP is not very large—at a little over 1,900 members—it has been producing a wealth of continuing education, guidelines, and other resources on feline health.

AAFP resources

Dr. Elizabeth J. Colleran, AAFP president, said the association seeks to increase its membership while establishing itself as the nation's leader in feline health. The AAFP is recruiting all veterinarians who treat cats, not just feline-only practitioners.

Dr. Colleran said the AAFP's unofficial mantra is: “If you see one cat a year, you're a feline practitioner.” Currently, she said, more than 60 percent of AAFP members work in general small animal practice.

The AAFP also is extending its reach by collaborating with other organizations. Dr. Colleran said the new partnership with the ISFM is important for providing resources on feline health. The ISFM, formerly the European Society of Feline Medicine, is the veterinary division of the United Kingdom's Feline Advisory Bureau, which pioneered the concept of the cat-friendly practice.

The AAFP and ISFM collaborated to create consensus guidelines on the long-term use of NSAIDs in cats. The guidelines appeared in the July issue of the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, the journal of both organizations. The special report provides a comprehensive review and panel recommendations on use of NSAIDs in cats. A client handout accompanies the report.

Dr. Andrew H. Sparkes, chair of the Feline Advisory Bureau, delivered a presentation and webcast about the new guidelines during the AAFP's fall conference.

The AAFP plans to offer more webcasts, Dr. Colleran said. “We keep asking ourselves: ‘How do we become more effective at disseminating information on feline issues to the veterinary world at large?’”

One answer is the AAFP's new approach of holding one meeting a year rather than two, starting in 2011, so the association can offer more CE at other conferences.

In addition to CE, the AAFP has been producing a number of resources on feline health. The AAFP and American Animal Hospital Association released the “AAFP-AAHA Feline Life Stage Guidelines” early this year. Now the AAFP is developing guidelines on “Feline Handling Techniques: Methods to Reduce Stress on Cats While in the Veterinary Practice.”

The AAFP released position statements on a variety of topics during the past year, many containing recommendations and a great deal of background information. The most recent statement addresses “Transport of Cats” by providing principles on containment methods, adjusting the cat to the carrier, and general welfare considerations for transport. In the works is a position statement regarding indoor environmental enhancement.

Looking to the next generation of members, the AAFP also is maintaining its outreach program for veterinary students.

“It's really about elevating the attention that's paid to feline health issues in the mind of new veterinarians,” Dr. Colleran said.

Fall conference

The AAFP's fall conference focused on neurologic and ophthalmologic issues at the request of attendees at past meetings, said Dr. Roberta K. Lillich, chair of the AAFP program committee.

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At the fall conference of the American Association of Feline Practitioners, the AAFP and American Board of Veterinary Practitioners presented a joint seminar on challenging feline cases. (Courtesy of the AAFP

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

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Dr. Elizabeth J. Colleran

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

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Dr. Donna Stephens Manly

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

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Dr. Lorraine K. Jarboe

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

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Dr. Roy B. Smith

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

“It's an area of practice where many people feel like their skills can be improved,” Dr. Lillich said. “The cases themselves can be confusing to work through from a diagnostic standpoint.”

Dr. Chantal J. Mullins was the subcommittee chair for the fall conference. Sessions on neurology addressed neurologic examination of the cat, diseases that affect the cat's brain, examination of the cat's gait, and diseases that affect the cat's gait. Sessions on ophthalmology addressed ocular examination, ocular diseases, and systemic diseases that affect the eye as well as ophthalmic surgery and ocular emergencies.

Dr. Larry M. Kornegay, AVMA president, installed the new officers during the AAFP's fall conference. Joining Dr. Colleran as AAFP officers are Drs. Donna Stephens Manly, Chapel Hill, N.C., president-elect; Roy B. Smith, Round Rock, Texas, secretary-treasurer; and Lorraine K. Jarboe, Fort Walton Beach, Fla., immediate past president.

Dr. Kornegay also provided an update on AVMA activities during the conference. He wrote afterward, “This was another near ‘purrfect’ meeting for the AAFP, with some exceptional speakers and continuing education.”

Next fall, Dr. Lillich said, the AAFP will hold a joint meeting in Boston with the ISFM and Feline Advisory Bureau. The CE at the conference will focus on cardiovascular disease.

Early next year, the AAFP will again offer a track at the North American Veterinary Conference. In 2012, the AAFP will begin offering a track at the AAHA meeting.

“Our goal is to have AAFP program committee members involved in coordinating those tracks so that the caliber of the CE and the information that the veterinarians are getting is directly impacted by AAFP—since we are known for being the resource for all things related to feline medicine and surgery,” Dr. Lillich said.

Information about the AAFP, including practice guidelines, is available at www.catvets.com.

—Katie Burns

Colleran is new AAFP president

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Dr. Elizabeth J. Colleran and Baker (Courtesy of Hollis Elliott)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

Dr. Elizabeth J. Colleran didn't set out to be a feline-only practitioner, but she currently owns two cat hospitals and is the new president of the American Association of Feline Practitioners.

After graduating from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1990, Dr. Colleran completed an internship in internal medicine and worked in a general small animal practice for several years. She earned a master's degree in animals and public policy from Tufts in 1996, then spent another couple of years in a small animal practice.

Along the way, Dr. Colleran fell in love with the uniqueness of feline medicine and surgery.

“I think that cat medicine is very, very different than other small animal disciplines,” Dr. Colleran said. “I think the cat is, in a general way, underserved in terms of understanding how they think and how they behave.”

Dr. Colleran joined the AAFP in 1996 because of its reputation for superior continuing education, to help hone her skills in feline medicine. She bought land in Chico, Calif., and built a hospital for cats. The Chico Hospital for Cats opened in 1998.

The hospital's design helps keep cats separate and includes an air filtration system to eliminate odors, among other features to reduce distractions and maintain calm.

“Everything is intended to be quiet,” Dr. Colleran said. “All of our assistants and technicians are trained to understand how cats think, and so they handle the cats differently. Nobody talks in loud voices.”

After opening her cat hospital in Chico, Dr. Colleran learned while bicycling in Oregon that Portland did not have a full-service feline practice. Soon she adapted a warehouse to create the Cat Hospital of Portland, which opened in 2004. She practices in Portland once a month.

Dr. Colleran noted that, while she wound up in a feline-only practice, she believes that all small animal practices can be cat-friendly practices and that any practitioner who treats cats should be an AAFP member. She said potential members can start by visiting the association's website at www.catvets.com.

When Dr. Colleran became an AAFP member, she started volunteering for committees almost immediately. She became a board member in 2001. She served as secretary-treasurer for three years before becoming president-elect and then president.

“Taking leadership of AAFP right now is so energizing because there's so much we're doing that is exciting,” she said.

Dr. Colleran said she is a big proponent of the work of AAFP committees that are developing guidelines and other resources on feline health. She also noted the importance of AAFP partnerships with other organizations, such as the International Society of Feline Medicine, and the plan to offer more continuing education at veterinary conferences other than AAFP meetings.

“These collaborations are just crucial to making sure that we increase the influence of the information that we create,” Dr. Colleran said.

—Katie Burns

Calling all CATalystas

Are you a CATalysta? Attendees at a CATalyst Council reception Aug. 1 at the AVMA Annual Convention were asked that question by the council's executive director. Dr. Jane Brunt said CATalystas are individuals who champion and celebrate cats, acting as catalysts to improve their lives.

The CATalyst Council is a coalition of the veterinary community, academia, nonprofits, industry, and animal welfare organizations. The permanently seated board members are representatives from the American Association of Feline Practitioners, the AVMA, the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators, and the American Animal Hospital Association.

Dr. Brunt said that organizations, corporations, and individuals who care about providing for and promoting “more cats finding forever homes and receiving better care” are welcome to join as colleagues, contributors, supporters, and partners. Merial is CATalyst's 2010 corporate partner, and Pfizer Animal Health continues to be a supporter since sponsoring the initial CATalyst Summit in 2008.

The council's purpose is to champion the feline species. CATalyst Council Chair Diane Eigner said she's a true CATalysta who adores working with cats. She said she is acutely aware that America's most populous pets, cats, lag behind dogs in receiving veterinary care.

Dr. Eigner said she and the AAFP are helping spread the word about AAFP/CATalyst Council resources and are working toward even more collaborative efforts.

Dr. Eigner said clients should be a springboard to help veterinarians embrace CATalyst's newest initiative—developing cat-friendly practices (see page 992).

“We want to try to convince (clients) that they can get their cat in a carrier, they can get them in the door, and that once they're there, that everything will work very well,” Dr. Eigner said.

Dr. Alexis Nahama, CATalyst executive secretary, offered some good news—the same percentage of cat owners do senior wellness testing as do dog owners.

AVMA CEO W. Ron DeHaven offered remarks during the CATalyst reception.

“We think this is a perfect partnership between AVMA and CATalyst and the other partners here, so we applaud what's being done,” Dr. DeHaven said.

Dr. DeHaven said the AVMA has found that practice profitability is one of the largest concerns currently in the profession, and increasing veterinary care for cats is an area of potential economic growth.

Referring to Dr. DeHaven's comments that working together is good for veterinarians, industry partners, and cats, Bob Rohde, president of the Denver Dumb Friends League, added, “It's also good for those of us who work in animal shelters. … With cats, it's sheer numbers, and the more we work together, everybody's going to benefit.”

Dr. Christine Jenkins, CATalyst board member from Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc., a corporate sponsor, said, “My vision is that we will not as cat owners have the anxiety associated with taking our cats in for proper health care. The other vision I have is … that we will help eliminate the overpopulation.”

In closing, Dr. Brunt said that the American Humane Association already has started enhancing the relationship between veterinarians and shelters.

Veterinarians and their health care teams can learn how to become cat-friendly practices involved in spreading the CATalyst message that “It's all about the cat! “ by visiting www.catalystcouncil.org.

—Susan C. Kahler

Company issues warning about meloxicam in cats

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica is adding a boxed warning about use of Metacam in cats to the product's labeling. Metacam is the company's brand-name version of meloxicam, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug.

The boxed warning reads as follows: “Repeated use of meloxicam in cats has been associated with acute renal failure and death. Do not administer additional doses of injectable or oral meloxicam to cats. See Contraindications, Warnings and Precautions for detailed information.”

On Sept. 17, Boehringer Ingelheim sent a “dear doctor” letter alerting veterinarians to the boxed warning appearing on package inserts for Metacam solution for injection and Metacam oral suspension.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of Metacam solution for injection in dogs and cats and has approved the use of Metacam oral suspension in dogs, but not cats. According to Boehringer Ingelheim, reports from the past five years indicate adverse events occurring in cats following use of Metacam oral suspension.

Boehringer Ingelheim and the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine agreed that the company would provide new information regarding feline safety on Metacam product labeling.

The “dear doctor” letter states that the new warning does not affect one-time use of Metacam solution for injection in cats prior to surgeries such as orthopedic procedures, ovariohysterectomy, or castration.

Along with the boxed warning, Boehringer Ingelheim has provided additional information regarding feline safety on Metacam package inserts.

Veterinarians can call Boehringer Ingelheim's Veterinary Technical Services at (866) 638-2226 with questions.

Behaviorists provide speakers plus $250 grants

The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior is offering speakers for educational sessions along with $250 grants to offset the cost of presentations.

The AVSAB formed its Speakers’ Bureau in 2008 to serve as a source of knowledgeable speakers on the prevention and treatment of behavior problems, said Dr. Elise N. Gingrich, an organizer of the bureau.

The bureau's speakers can address topics ranging from dog training and socialization to environmental enrichment for cats, Dr. Gingrich said. Most speakers focus on canine and feline behavior, but some speakers have expertise in equine behavior or the behavior of zoo and exotic animals.

The AVSAB student chapters, which receive $350 grants toward presentations, have availed themselves the most of the speakers’ bureau.

Dr. Valarie V. Tynes, a speaker for the bureau, said one of the bureau's goals is to counter misinformation about how to handle behavior issues in companion animals. Any behavior topic is a potential presentation, however. Dr. Tynes spoke to the AVSAB student chapter at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences about stereotypic behaviors in zoo and exotic animals, for example.

The North San Joaquin VMA in California is among the veterinary organizations that has arranged for a speaker through the AVSAB bureau. Dr. Cathy Wallace, past president of the VMA, said the AVSAB provided a speaker and a $250 grant for a standalone session on feline aggression. Dr. Wallace said her association appreciated the opportunity to offer quality continuing education at a low cost.

Information about the AVSAB Speakers’ Bureau is available at www.avsabonline.org.

Canine influenza spreads easily, often damages lungs

A recent study found that canine influenza virus spreads easily among dogs and can cause lung damage in many cases.

The study appeared Aug. 26 in the journal Veterinary Microbiology. The study was conducted by researchers at Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, which makes the only vaccine for canine influenza.

The researchers infected four dogs with canine influenza virus and, after a day, co-mingled the dogs with a group of eight CIV-negative dogs. All four of the experimentally infected dogs and six of the eight contact-exposed dogs excreted virus in nasal secretions. Nasal swabs from contact-exposed dogs were first CIV-positive as early as day 4 to as late as day 14.

The study found that virus excretion precedes the onset of peak clinical signs in CIV-positive dogs. This finding indicates that clinically normal dogs can infect other dogs in shelters, kennels, clinics, and other settings.

The experimentally infected dogs and five contact-exposed dogs were euthanized on day 10, and the remaining three dogs were euthanized on day 21. All four experimentally infected dogs had one or more lung lobes with 50 percent consolidation. Two of the five contact-exposed dogs euthanized on day 10 had 50 percent consolidation in one or more lung lobes, while two had mild lung consolidation. All three of the contact-exposed dogs euthanized on day 21 had 50 percent consolidation in one or more lung lobes.

Four Auxiliary leaders, employees resign

AVMA staff temporarily helping with operations

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Members of the Auxiliary to the AVMA host events in conjunction with the AVMA Annual Convention, including the organization's Marketplace of States.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

Two members of the Auxiliary to the AVMA's Executive Board and both of the organization's paid employees have resigned since the group's Aug. 2 meeting in Atlanta.

Mitzi Brown, Auxiliary president, said the women all gave their resignations shortly after the Auxiliary's House of Delegates meeting, which was held in conjunction with the AVMA Annual Convention. She said the Auxiliary's office in Iola, Kan., has closed, and all Auxiliary property has been moved to AVMA headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill. AVMA staff members are temporarily handling Auxiliary operations.

The women who resigned were Dorothy Reed and Carolyn Rule, who had served as vice presidents and members of the Auxiliary board; treasurer Jan Knewtson, a former Auxiliary president who was a paid employee appointed by the board; and Diana Turner, also a former Auxiliary president, who recently served as a paid Auxiliary employee, chaired the group's Marketplace of States, and worked with the Student Loan Fund.

Knewtson declined to comment on why she resigned, and she referred questions to her attorney. Turner resigned in August. Brown said AVMA staff members are carrying out both employees’ duties under the direction of the Auxiliary board.

Rule, of Steamboat Springs, Colo., said disagreements on several issues led her to feel that she could not, “in good conscience,” continue working with the Auxiliary Executive Board, but she declined to elaborate on what led to her discomfort with the board. She resigned as vice president of publications following the Auxiliary HOD meeting.

Reed, who was to become this year's vice president of the Student Loan Fund and vice president of student auxiliaries, could not be reached for comment.

Brown said there was no indication of impropriety within the organization, but the resignations followed what she described as a period of lax supervision of the Auxiliary's finances by the organization's leadership and her efforts to implement a system of checks and balances. She had pressed for more information on the organization's finances early this year, when she was preparing for her presidency, and she thinks the two employees took the inquiries personally. She did not know why the two board members resigned.

Brown expected to have more information on the Auxiliary's operations and its finances following an Auxiliary board meeting Oct. 17-18 at AVMA headquarters.

Rule said she remains a devoted member of the Auxiliary, which she joined when her husband graduated from veterinary college in 1970. But she thinks the Auxiliary will soon dissolve, and she cited membership declines in recent years as evidence.

About 440 of the Auxiliary's 1,100 members are required to pay dues to the organization, and the rest are lifetime members whose dues are waived because they have belonged to the organization for at least 40 years. However, Brown said many lifetime members continue to pay dues or make donations. Auxiliary leaders have previously reported that participation in the organization peaked in 1983 at about 8,000 members.

Rule said that, if the Auxiliary dissolves, the remaining executive board and Auxiliary members will need to decide how to disseminate money in the Student Loan Fund. Brown said the fund contains about $2 million, but that amount does not include outstanding loans.

Rule said it is difficult to deal with the possible dissolution of the Auxiliary, particularly because she and her fellow board members have worked so hard to keep the organization going.

“I'm sad about everything, but you can't keep beating yourself over something that's not working,” she said.

Brown retains hope that the Auxiliary can continue operating, despite losing about 10 percent of its membership annually in recent years.

“The face of veterinary medicine is changing, and I think the face of the Auxiliary has to change along with it if we're to exist,” Brown said. “We do have a modernization committee that is giving us recommendations as far as what they think the Auxiliary needs to do to be more effective in today's world versus when we first started.”

—Greg Cima

25 scholarships handed out by AVMF

Veterinary students from across the country have won scholarships from the American Veterinary Medical Foundation through its 2010 Veterinary Student Scholarship Program. Twenty-three students each won $1,000 scholarships, some of which are being funding by the Mildred Sylvester Fund.

The recipients and their career interests are as follows:

  • • Elisha Adkins (ORS ‘13), food animal medicine.

  • • Talia Agone (COL ‘12), shelter medicine.

  • • Matt Brewer (ISU ‘13), research/production animal medicine.

  • • Kayla Cochran (COL ‘13), mixed animal medicine.

  • • Brett Darrow (WIS ‘12), mixed animal medicine.

  • • Halyna Deihl (NCU ‘12), shelter medicine/disaster preparedness.

  • • Harrison Dudley (NCU ‘12), large animal medicine.

  • • Melissa Fleishman (NCU ‘12), aquatic medicine.

  • • Jennafer Glaesemann (ISU ‘12), production animal medicine.

  • • Michele James (MSU ‘12), equine medicine/underserved communities.

  • • Olivia Carmen Kilian (MIN ‘11), small animal veterinary dentistry.

  • • Jacqueline Koehne (ORS ‘13), shelter medicine.

  • • Cheryl Kolus (COL ‘12), mixed animal medicine/animal behavior.

  • • Jason Lott (COL ‘13), food animal medicine.

  • • Christine McPherson Long (NCU ‘11), large animal medicine.

  • • Jane Na (MSU ‘12), laboratory animal medicine.

  • • Kelly Patyk (COL ‘13), public health.

  • • Cassandra Peterson (IL ‘13), food animal medicine.

  • • Rochelle Reddig (KSU ‘13), mixed animal medicine.

  • • Shanna Rietmann (ORS ‘13), large animal medicine.

  • • Stephanie Sabshin (FL ‘ 12), shelter medicine/disaster preparedness.

  • • Jessica Sherrill (AUB ‘12), mixed animal medicine.

  • • Kimberly Unger (ISU ‘12), public health.

Two other students also received Foundation-affiliated scholarships this fall.

Joseph Esch, a third-year student at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, was awarded the American Kennel Club/AVMF Award. Esch was recognized for his commitment to the study of veterinary medicine, specifically in the research of purebred dogs. The scholarship, in the amount of $6,000, is intended for use for tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment.

The Winn Feline Foundation-AVMF Excellence in Feline Research Award and Student Scholarship for 2010 went to Adam Breiteneicher. He is a third-year student at Auburn University School of Veterinary Medicine. Breiteneicher received $2,500 as part of the scholarship.

AVMA PAC introduces newsletter

The AVMA Political Action Committee is launching a quarterly electronic newsletter, Access PAC. The publication reports on legislative issues of interest to the veterinary profession, political candidates the PAC supports, how well individual members of Congress are addressing issues of importance to veterinarians and small-business owners, and other information that can help make AVMA members more effective advocates for the profession.

AVMA members are invited to opt in for the newsletter by going to the AVMA Member E-Mail Subscription Center at www.avma.org/newsletters. Federal election law prevents the AVMA from making the PAC newsletter available to student members of the AVMA.

High prevalence of EEE in Michigan

Unvaccinated horses, weather were factors in outbreaks

The prolonged hot and wet summer in some Midwestern and Southeastern states this year created conditions favorable for outbreaks of eastern equine encephalitis. As of late September, the Department of Agriculture's National Animal Health Surveillance System reported 180 laboratory-confirmed cases of EEE in horses.

Though the national total may come in below the typical number of cases seen each year—the mean number of equine EEE cases seen annually from 2003-2009 is 283—some states have been harder hit than others.

In all, Michigan has had 45 confirmed equine cases of EEE. The southwest portion of the state has long been an area associated with cases of arbovirus infection, particularly a nine-county area that accounted for about 90 percent of the EEE cases in Michigan this year. The area has a lot of surface water and a soil type that provides a favorable pH for mosquitoes.

Dr. Steven L. Halstead, Michigan state veterinarian, said he's been shocked by the number of cases the state has seen, noting that all reported cases have involved animals that had not been vaccinated or had only recently been vaccinated.

“The issue is people are making discretionary choices about how they're spending limited income, and sometimes the livestock—in this case, the horses—don't get first option of that money,” Dr. Halstead said. “Alternatively, it's going to pay the mortgage or tuition bills or more basic things. You know, putting food on the table. We have great concerns about the unintended lower level of care the horses are getting in Michigan in general.”

That cost cutting couldn't come at a worse time.

“An early start (to the vector season), warm temperatures, increasing mosquito activity, shortening of the incubation period for mosquito eggs and larva(e), increasing the number of reproductive cycles out there, combined with ample resources in the form of surface water for mosquito breeding … and then you throw the birds in,” which act as a reservoir for the virus that causes EEE, he said.

For the past few years, cases of arbovirus infection have decreased, but Dr. Halstead speculates that there has been a natural reduction in native immunity in birds. He said those out there this year have diminished antibody titers either because they haven't been exposed to the viruses in the past few years or because they have hatched since the last time the state had a substantial outbreak. That leads to a large pool of susceptible birds to amplify the virus, he said.

The situation has been exacerbated not only by less spending by horse owners on vaccines but also by states having less money for prevention efforts.

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Despite hundreds of cases seen each year throughout the United States, some horse owners decline to vaccinate their horses against eastern equine encephalitis.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

In previous years when the Michigan state government had more money, there was more mosquito surveillance. Local health departments and mosquito abatement districts would trap and test mosquito pools in every county. Little of this is done any more, something Dr. Halstead calls unfortunate.

“It would give us the advantage of being able to say, ‘It's out there, … horse owners, vaccinate your horses now if you haven't already.’ We just don't have the money to put that effort together anymore,” Dr. Halstead said. “If we had been able to say back in maybe June or July that this is happening out there, we might have been able to get more horses vaccinated and possibly save some lives.”

Michigan isn't the only state struggling with an uptick in the number of EEE cases or earlier reports of infection. Florida averages 73 reported cases of equine EEE each year. In years when conditions favor the spread of EEE, the number of reported equine cases can exceed 200; however, this year the state is only slightly above average, with 90 confirmed cases.

Dr. Michael A. Short, the equine programs manager for the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services’ Division of Animal Industry, estimates the actual number of horses affected is usually double the amount reported.

“The ones we see in Florida, a vast majority—maybe 90 percent, haven't been vaccinated in the past year. … We tell people, but they are busy or doing things or are not educated, and they have other priorities. They just don't get (their horses) vaccinated for whatever reason,” Dr. Short said.

Other states reporting more than one equine EEE case this year are Mississippi (18), Alabama (8), Georgia (7), Massachusetts (4), New York (2), and North Carolina (2).

Horses rarely survive once infected. The only means of control is through preventive vaccination.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners has core vaccination guidelines posted on its website at www.aaep.org/corevaccinationslitm.

—Malinda Larkin

Europe adopts new animal testing regulations

Legislation passed by the European Parliament this September will prohibit member states from using great apes in nearly all research starting in 2013. The mandate also requires a reduction in the number of animals used in research and establishes a central laboratory responsible for coordinating and promoting the development and use of alternatives to animal testing.

The new law follows two years of contentious debate over how best to balance the interests of animals with the needs of society. Janez Potonik, the European Environment commissioner, says the vote concluded a long negotiation process that illustrated the importance of and sensitivities surrounding animal research.

“The European Union will soon have the highest standards of experimental-animal welfare in the world,” he said.

Under the law, great apes such as chimpanzees and orangutans can be used in research only in instances in which the survival of the species itself is at stake or unexpected disease outbreaks threaten human life.

Researchers wanting to conduct research involving animals will first have to conduct ethical evaluations to receive approval and will have to provide the animals better housing and care than they have in the past. Facilities wanting to breed, supply, or use animals for education, training, and basic research will have to receive authorization.

Additionally, staff working with research animals must not only be adequately trained but also demonstrate their competence before working with the animals unsupervised.

The new law replaces the nearly 25-year-old European Union directive regulating the more than 12 million animals used in EU laboratories annually.

Hope abounds, and runs, too

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Photos courtesy of Topeka Zoo

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

The baby giraffe born July 11 at the Topeka Zoo was off to a bad start. She was born with severe hyperextension of her rear fetlock joints—the same congenital abnormality that resulted in the euthanasia of her disabled sibling a few years earlier. This birth defect reportedly is not unusual among captive giraffe births. It soon became clear the animal was in trouble: both of the giraffe's fetlocks were bent at 90 degree angles and dislocated.

Dr. Joseph P. Kamer, a local small animal practitioner who's been providing veterinary care at the zoo for the past year, was on hand for the delivery, and he sprang into action. He straightened the baby giraffe's joints and had her rear hooves and legs in hard casts (bottom inset) within two hours of her birth.

Initially, Dr. Kamer put her odds of survival around 25 percent. Admiring the baby giraffe's pluck, the Topeka community rallied around her, and the animal was named Hope. After consulting with large animal and zoo veterinarians, Dr. Kamer, who had never performed podiatric work on a giraffe, decided to go the nonsurgical route and instead try a corrective shoe entirely of his own design for the cloven-hoofed animal.

After two weeks of working on a pair of wooden, extended-heel shoes, Dr. Kamer glued them to Hope's hooves using methylmethacrylate cement and polyethylene mesh reinforcement. For added support, he crafted artificial tendons out of nylon rope to mimic the flexor tendons, attached them to the shoe, and ran them along the leg in plastic tubing. The casts and shoes were changed as the baby giraffe grew. By late September, Hope was out of the casts, and her left rear leg no longer needed support.

How has Hope responded? “This animal can run—full bore—with these shoes on,” Dr. Kamer said. Dr. Kamer is now guardedly optimistic about Hope's chances of survival. “As long as I can keep shoes on this animal for the next several months, then I think that's key,” he said, adding that his hope is these techniques will help other giraffes suffering from similar congenital deformities.

—R. Scott Nolen

Deadly pneumonia traced to domestic sheep

Study shows domestics can infect bighorn sheep with bacteria

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Courtesy of Dr. Peregrine Wolff

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

New research claims to settle the controversial and long-running debate over whether domestic sheep can infect bighorn sheep with the bacteria that cause fatal respiratory pneumonia.

A research team led by Dr. Sri Srikumaran at the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine tagged Mannheimia hae-molytica isolated from domestic sheep to show that domestic sheep could transmit the deadly bacteria to bighorn sheep when they were in contact with each other.

The four bighorn sheep in the study all died from pneumonia traced back to bacteria originating in the domestic sheep.

The bighorns showed no signs of illness while they were kept 10 meters (32.8 feet) away from the domestics during the first phase of the study. It was only after the animals were allowed to commingle that the bighorns became visibly ill and eventually died.

“There can't be any other source from which the bighorn sheep could have obtained these organisms other than the domestic sheep,” explained Dr. Srikumaran, who holds the Rocky Crate-Wild Sheep Foundation endowed chair at WSU.

Kevin Hurley, the bighorn sheep coordinator for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, called the findings compelling and unsurprising. “I don't know how anyone can disagree with the conclusions,” he said.

Dr. Srikumaran's research, which appeared in the July issue of the Journal of Wildlife Diseases, follows on the heels of an unprecedented high number of pneumonia outbreaks among bighorn sheep in several Western states (see JAVMA, May 1, 2010, page 936).

Bighorn sheep are particularly susceptible to pneumonia. It's long been suspected that a leading cause of infection is contact with domestic sheep, which harbor the bacteria yet aren't sickened by it. Wool farmers have mostly rejected such theories, however, and worry that, if proved, they'll lose access to publicly owned grazing lands that are home to the bighorns.

“There can't be any other source from which the bighorn sheep could have obtained these organisms other than the domestic sheep.”

dr. sri srikumaran, the rocky crate-wild sheep foundation endowed chair, washington state university

Dr. Peregrine Wolff, the Nevada state wildlife veterinarian, says Dr. Srikumaran's research “proves unequivocally what the sheep have been telling us for years”: When bighorn sheep have contact with domestic sheep, the results can be catastrophic.

“Why many have refused to accept that animals of the same genus that have evolved on different continents or environments can have drastically different responses to the same pathogens has always puzzled me,” she added.

Previous studies have shown that bighorn sheep die off when they are commingled with domestic sheep. What distinguishes Dr. Srikumaran's research is compelling evidence that bacteria that killed the bighorns in his study originated in domestics.

A plasmid containing a green fluorescent protein gene along with an antibiotic-resistance gene was used to tag M haemolytica isolated from four domestic sheep. M haemolytica tagged with both markers were then returned to the test domestic sheep.

The bighorn and domestic sheep were kept apart by a span of 10 meters for one month. Next, researchers allowed the animals to have minimal contact through a chain-link fence for two months. In that time, tests showed three of the bighorns had acquired the tagged organisms, according to Dr. Srikumaran.

Toward the end of the two-month period, one of the bighorns was coughing, but the animal and its companions were otherwise fine.

Finally, the sheep were allowed to mix. “Two days after they commingled, one of the bighorns died. Five days later, another two animals died, and on the ninth day, we had to euthanize the last remaining bighorn because it was very sick with pneumonia,” Dr. Srikumaran said.

The tagged organisms were recovered from the bighorn sheep at necropsy, and additional testing showed that they were indeed the same pathogens that originated in the domestic sheep. “How do we know these are the same organisms that came from domestic sheep?” Dr. Srikumaran asked. “Because they're genetically modified organisms not found in nature.”

Dr. Srikumaran reasons the bighorns were infected when they were allowed fence-line contact with the domestics. “I feel that if we'd allowed them to stay with the fence-line contact beyond two months, (the bighorns) would've died,” he said.

For Dr. Srikumaran, the study provides “irrefutable” evidence domestic sheep can infect bighorns with the fatal respiratory bacteria. The long-term goal of his laboratory is developing control measures against pneumonia infections.

Dr. Wolff, for whom the pneumonia-related bighorn die-off in Nevada has been a pressing concern, hopes this latest study will result in renewed support for best management practices aimed at preventing nose-to-nose contact between domestic and bighorn sheep.

—R. Scott Nolen

news updates

Senate passes World Veterinary Year resolution

The Senate passed a resolution Sept. 23 marking the upcoming 250th anniversary of veterinary medicine by proclaiming 2011 as World Veterinary Year.

Dr. John Ensign of Nevada introduced the Senate resolution, which acknowledges the important role veterinarians have played in society since the world's first veterinary school was established in Lyon, France, in 1761.

“From taking care of our beloved pets to ensuring the safety of the food we eat and working with our Armed Forces to help countries establish healthy productive agricultural systems, American veterinarians here and abroad serve the American public,” said AVMA President Larry R. Kornegay. “I would like to thank the United States Senate for recognizing this important link and passing this resolution.”

A similar measure has been proposed in the House of Representatives by another veterinarian, Dr. Kurt Schrader of Oregon.

The slogan for World Veterinary Year is “Vet for health, Vet for food, Vet for the Planet!” suggested by Dr. Jacques Bruhlet of the General Council of Food, Agriculture and Rural Areas within the French Ministry of Agriculture and Fishing.

The AVMA is working with foreign colleagues on plans to commemorate the anniversary. Veterinary organizations in 78 countries are expected to observe the 2011 milestone with special events throughout the year.

To learn more about Vet2011, visit www.avma.org/Vet2011/default.asp and wwwvet2011.org/index.plip.

USDA accreditation remains valid for now

Veterinarians accredited through the older model of the National Veterinary Accreditation Program can continue to perform duties allowed under that system, even if they haven't signed up for the revised NVAP

The Department of Agriculture announced in a Sept. 28 Federal Register notice that about 50,000 veterinarians had sent applications to participate in the revised program, but that “logistical obstacles” had prevented department employees from processing those applications in a timely manner. The department expects to process all the applications by March 2011 and, when that is closer to completion, will publish another Federal Register notice with a new date by which veterinarians will have to elect whether to participate in the NVAP

“Accredited veterinarians provide valuable regulatory services to their communities, allowing agricultural commerce to continue and ensuring that travelers can meet regulatory requirements for pets,” the USDA announced. “It is important that those services continue to be provided.”

The USDA expects to receive about 10,000 additional applications from veterinarians seeking accreditation under the new program.

The USDA is replacing the lifetime accreditation system with one that requires renewals every three years, continuing education, and tiered accreditation categories. The program will also include specializations for some disease control activities.

The USDA previously announced that veterinarians who did not elect to participate in the revised NVAP by Aug. 2 would lose their accreditation. But the September announcement states that processing of applications for the revised program requires verification, clarification, and proofreading, and sometimes requires contact with state boards, USDA area offices, and the applicants.

“As a result, we have not yet been able to review all of the forms submitted by accredited veterinarians to elect to continue to participate, ensure that the forms accurately reflect the veterinarians’ intent and situation, and provide notice to the veterinarians of their first renewal date,” the USDA announcement states.

The USDA also indicated more time is needed to contact some veterinarians who routinely perform duties that require accreditation and may not be aware of the changes.

More information on the NVAP is available at www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/vet_accreditation.

LEGISLATION AT A GLANCE

The AVMA opposes passage of the Healthy Families Act, which would require employers with 15 or more employees to provide up to seven days of annual paid sick leave for full-and part-time workers to take care of themselves, family members, or anyone else whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship. Employers who fail to do so could face civil actions. H.R. 2460 is being considered by several committees; S. 1152 is under review by the Senate Health, Labor, Education, and Pensions Committee. Contact Gina Luke, AVMA Governmental Relations Division assistant director, at (800) 321-1473, Ext. 3204 or gluke@avma.org for more information.

FDA considering approval of genetically engineered salmon

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Both of these Atlantic salmon are 18 months old. The larger fish is an AquAdvantage salmon, which has been genetically modified to grow more quickly than conventionally spawned Atlantic salmon. (Courtesy of AquaBounty Technologies)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

Veterinarians, consumer advocates raise concerns over data

Some veterinarians and consumer advocates have recommended that the Food and Drug Administration require more data before deciding whether to allow a company to sell genetically engineered salmon in the U.S.

Several veterinarians who serve on the FDA Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee, which is examining the issue, said in late September they found information gaps and flaws in some studies of the fish, but some expect and hope the salmon eventually will be sold in grocery stores. The FDA intends to regulate genetic modifications in food animals as drugs, because they are intended to alter the structure or function of the genetically altered animals.

AquaBounty Technologies produces the modified Atlantic salmon, also known as AquAdvantage salmon, by incorporating an rDNA construct with gene-coding sequences from ocean pout and Chinook salmon. The construct causes the modified fish to grow more rapidly, and company information states that the fish potentially grow to market weight in half the time of naturally spawned farmed salmon.

The company also asserts that the fish have about 10 percent improved feed conversion rates over other farmed salmon.

AquaBounty intends to breed the fish in a facility on Prince Edward Island in Canada and send fertilized eggs to a production facility in Panama, FDA information states. The broodstock in Canada and fish grown to market weight in Panama would be held in landlocked tanks.

The FDA has been considering public comments and suggestions from the VMAC, and the agency had no deadline for deciding whether to approve the product, spokeswoman Laura Alvey said. Prior to making its decision, the FDA also needs to determine whether to prepare an environmental impact statement or issue a finding of no significant impact.

The FDA is accepting public comments through Nov. 22 on label requirements for the salmon, should they be approved for sale, and on the safety and effectiveness of the rDNA construct.

Veterinarians see mix of flaws and potential

The agency asked VMAC members to assess whether the rDNA construct is safe for the salmon, whether eating the genetically modified salmon could harm humans, whether the modified salmon grow more quickly than their conventional counterparts, and whether the potential environmental impacts of production are mitigated by the conditions of use.

Dr. James D. McKean, a professor and extension swine veterinarian at Iowa State University and member of the VMAC, said the committee members indicated to the FDA that they received good preliminary data but that more information is probably needed. He saw problems with sample sizes and culling connected with some of the briefing materials supplied, and he noted that committee members raised concerns about whether studies performed at a Prince Edward Island hatchery can provide a robust evaluation of commercial production conditions in Panama or other locations.

But Dr. McKean is confident that the fish are substantially the same as other Atlantic salmon, and he hopes they will be approved for sale.

“To the extent that FDA can show that these products are equivalent, then there will be a substantial part of the public that will accept that,” Dr. McKean said. He noted that U.S. grocery stores already sell food from genetically modified plants, and he expects the public will gradually accept genetically modified animal products.

Dr. McKean also hopes the approval process for AquAdvantage salmon will help the FDA improve determinations of data required and the approval process for future applications involving genetically modified animals.

Dr. Paul C. Stromberg, a committee member and a professor of veterinary pathology at The Ohio State University, also saw some flaws in data given to the committee, yet he saw reasonable evidence that the rDNA construct is safe for human consumption. But he expressed concern about some health problems, such as oral ulcers, seen in the salmon.

Dr. Craig Altier, a member of the committee and an associate professor at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, indicated flaws in some studies leave doubt about whether the constructs are safe for the fish. An important study of gross pathology, for instance, included only three to six fish per group examined, leaving doubt about the study's conclusion that the construct is safe.

A small number of abnormal fish were also culled prior to the start of two other studies, Dr. Altier said. While the FDA performed histologic analysis on most of the culled fish and found only small inflammatory changes that were regarded as normal and typical for Atlantic salmon, the fish did not have a chance to grow to the age of others in the study and possibly develop lesions seen on other fish, and their removal for abnormalities introduces additional uncertainty.

The AVMA Policy “Creation and Use of Genetically Modified Animals” indicates AVMA leaders have not seen a need to restrict genetic research or modification as long as the integrity of the environment and the modified animals’ health and well-being remains preferential to human values and needs. Having DNA sequences for animals presents “a remarkable opportunity as well as a profound responsibility to utilize this knowledge and technology in a fashion that will preserve, if not improve, the health and well being of animals, while at the same time enhancing their appeal and value to humans.”

Consumer advocate: data don't show safety

Michael Hansen, PhD, senior scientist for Consumers Union, thinks numerous information gaps and flaws in AquaBounty's studies of its salmon mean that the data are insufficient to show whether the salmon are safe for human consumption. He was among people who spoke during a comment period before the VMAC, and he recounted some of his concerns in a subsequent interview with JAVMA.

Dr. Hansen said study problems included use of tests of growth hormone concentrations that were too insensitive to detect the hormone, an insufficient range of allergenicity tests, an absence of data on fish raised under the actual husbandry conditions the company proposes to use, analyses of fish at well below market weights, and insufficiently sensitive tests for amino acid sequences connected with allergies. He does not think the data meet the standard for a new animal drug application.

For example, Dr. Hansen thinks AquaBounty also should have used mass spectrometry rather than western blot tests to discover subtle changes in the salmon that could cause allergic reactions. He cited as evidence a study by Australian and U.S. scientists involving transgenic peas that contained a bean alpha-amylase inhibitor and caused allergic reactions in mice that ate the modified peas, even though the mice didn't develop such reactions when fed conventional beans or peas. Western blot analysis did not show differences in the inhibitor, but mass spectrometry did, he said.

Dr. Hansen also pointed to an allergenic potency study involving the AquAdvantage fish which, even with a sample size of only six fish per group, showed a significant increase in allergenic potency among engineered diploids. He thinks the lack of a significant increase in potency among engineered triploids could have been due to the small sample size.

Dr. Stromberg noted that members of the public had also expressed concerns over growth hormone concentrations in AquaBounty's Atlantic salmon, but he thinks those concerns are misplaced.

“Whatever growth hormone there is in the fish, there is scientific evidence that indicates that the growth hormone would be digested and denatured in the stomach and wouldn't be absorbed as growth hormone,” he said. “And if it were, the fish growth hormone is so significantly structurally different than mammalian growth hormone that the mammalian receptor wouldn't bind it.”

Escape risks

Margaret Mellon, PhD, JD, senior scientist and director of the Food and Environment program for the Union of Concerned Scientists, does not think the FDA is adequately assessing potential environmental issues. She said that, while two faciliites are being considered by the FDA in connection with AquaBounty's application, she expects AquaBounty will eventually sell transgenic eggs to facilities around the world. She believes a more realistic view of environmental risk would have considered the likelihood of release from facilities not as well contained as the two controlled by AquaBounty.

Only remnants of the world's wild Atlantic salmon population remain, and competition could further endanger those fish, Dr. Mellon said.

The FDA concluded that the fish are extremely unlikely to escape the physical containment measures at either facility. The agency also noted that eggs and young salmon would be unlikely to survive the high salinity and low temperatures of waters off Prince Edward Island, and young and adult salmon would be unlikely to survive the high temperatures in the lower reaches of the watershed near the Panama facility.

While FDA documents state that up to five percent of a given batch of eggs sold for grow-out could be fertile (i.e., nontriploid) fish, the company expects that, on average, more than 99 percent of the eggs will be sterile female triploids with greatly reduced fertility in comparison with female diploids. Dr. Altier said that, short of a catastrophic failure at one of the facilities, it was unlikely that a large number of fish would escape. But he stressed that rigorous security would be needed to guard the valuable, fertile broodstock fish at the Prince Edward Island facility.

Dr. Stromberg expects that, provided AquaBounty can supply the additional studies requested, approval of the AquAdvantage salmon will set a precedent for genetically modified food animals.

“We have built our society on technology; we are an adventurous, forward-looking people; and we are risk-takers,” Dr. Stromberg said. “And given the perceived risks, harms, and hazards and given the potential positive benefit from this, will we ultimately take this risk and do this?”

—Greg Cima

NAVMEC transitions from planning to action

Draft recommendations to be vetted by stakeholders

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NAVMEC board member Dr. Janver D. Krehbiel (foreground) listens along with other participants at the first consortium meeting in Las Vegas. (R. Scott Nolen)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

Even though the last of its three planned meetings was completed several months ago, work continues for the North American Veterinary Medical Education Consortium.

The consortium's nine-member board recently compiled and refined draft recommendations developed on the basis of discussions among NAVMEC participants.

This draft document was to be submitted to the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges board of directors, which is meeting Oct. 31-Nov. 1.

The AAVMC will distribute copies of the draft report and give presentations to the many co-sponsor and stakeholder groups involved in NAVMEC throughout the winter. After receiving input from these presentations, the NAVMEC board anticipates compiling a final report for AAVMC board approval, perhaps as early as this spring, leading the way for implementation by the 28 U.S. veterinary schools and colleges and their educational partners.

A successful collaboration

Much of the groundwork has already been laid for the NAVMEC board.

The first gathering this past February in Las Vegas analyzed factors driving changes in society and what these mean for graduating veterinarians. In particular, participants discussed the core competencies new graduates should possess to meet societal needs, irrespective of the professional discipline they intend to pursue. All but one of the nine core competencies agreed on—multispecies clinical experience—pertain to nonclinical skills, such as business acumen, cultural competence, and communication.

The second meeting, which was held in Kansas City, Mo., this past April, examined how to create more effective, efficient, and cost-conscious methods of delivering veterinary education. Many solutions centered on colleges collaborating more through direct interactions or online sharing of resources, including distance learning.

The third meeting this past July, once again in Las Vegas, focused on how the areas of veterinary education, college accreditation, and licensure could work together most effectively to support the delivery of the core competencies that graduating veterinarians should possess to meet societal needs.

NAVMEC board members and the AAVMC leadership say they are pleased with the work of the consortium to date. Approximately 400 individuals from 150 groups participated in the NAVMEC meetings.

Dr. Bennie I. Osburn, NAVMEC board chair, said, “The meetings brought together veterinarians from all walks of life, and we received very important input from all of them. It was of major value because we were able to gain a better understanding of what they felt was needed in their various disciplines. Now we need to take some of those critical competencies they saw as being important for the profession to address … and determine how we can create future graduates who will be successful.”

“What we've heard from the second meeting, in particular, was that many of the faculty who attended NAVMEC went back and are already using what they learned in terms of best practices shared in this open environment … to move their programs ahead.”

dr. marguerite pappaioanou, executive director, association of american veterinary medical colleges

Looking into the crystal ball

So, what recommendations will the board make?

That remains unclear; however, Dr. Marguerite Pappaioanou, AAVMC executive director, said the board learned a lesson from the Foresight Report. The long-range planning study for academic veterinary medicine released in 2007 had no fewer than 45 recommendations. The board is aiming for a smaller number this time to maximize their recommendations’ impact.

And board members have made it clear that the core competencies will be at the heart of many of them.

“I think all of the veterinary colleges do an excellent job in providing a good medical knowledge base. What we heard from our stakeholders is that there are competencies which will make members of the profession, in the future, leaders in their communities and allow them to address issues like animal welfare and food safety and environmental health,” Dr. Osburn said.

For example, the board is considering a request to the AVMA Council on Education to give higher visibility to the core competencies in the existing accreditation standards by rephrasing some of the current language.

“I think the accreditation process, as it is outlined, has a great deal of flexibility built in so changes can be orchestrated at each of the colleges and still be consistent with the accreditation standards as they exist,” said Dr. Janver D. Krehbiel, a NAVMEC board member and an AVMA Executive Board member.

Additionally, Dr. Pappaioanou said, testing and licensure agencies could be asked to modify the tests to somehow evaluate a graduating student's proficiency in the core competencies.

Just as NAVMEC board members have focused on the outcomes participants would like to see, they also have been attuned to what not to include in their recommendations.

Dr. Krehbiel noted in meeting discussions there appeared to be little enthusiasm for limited licensure or a less-than-four-year veterinary program.

“If we are to move to a shorter period of education, we probably will look at the preveterinary requirements. This might be more appropriate, because it could be standardized across all U.S. veterinary colleges and allow us to focus on more specificity in our course work, and maybe reduce the time frame in preprofessional education,” Dr. Krehbiel said.

He said NAVMEC is not attempting to propose a core curriculum for all colleges to adopt, but instead, the consortium aims to provide recommendations that allow colleges the flexibility to incorporate their own ideas into a broad framework.

Hit the ground running

NAVMEC, it seems, couldn't have happened at a better time. As Dr. Pappaioanou explained, this initiative is happening when movements are already under way to change veterinary education.

A number of veterinary schools and colleges have been undertaking major reforms in their courses, curriculums, and education models for the past few years. They've started to incorporate nonclinical skills instruction into the curriculum, increase the students’ clinical experience, and explore new teaching delivery methods. NAVMEC has inspired them to incorporate even more innovation.

“What we've heard from the second meeting, in particular, was that many of the faculty who attended NAVMEC went back and are already using what they learned in terms of best practices shared in this open environment … to move their programs ahead,” Dr. Pappaioanou said.

It's not just the U.S. schools, either. Some Caribbean school representatives at NAVMEC heard about the distance education offerings and have since engaged their mainland counterparts to work together on certain courses, she said.

NAVMEC's role is to help accelerate these changes by finding platforms for colleges to try or continue these new ideas and methods, Dr. Pappaioanou said, and to facilitate sharing best practices—work that will continue for some time.

“Certainly the board has discussed whether it would be helpful to look at progress made by colleges, using a system-wide assessment every three years or so. We could bring people together and talk about whether there are important societal changes that should be addressed or how well the colleges and graduates are meeting societal needs,” she said.

What happens next

The draft recommendations are hitting the road, so to speak. Co-sponsor and stakeholder groups that will have a chance to add their input in the coming months include the American Association of Veterinary State Boards, the AVMA Executive Board, the North American and Western veterinary conferences, and species and other key groups.

“We want to share this (draft report) with more of our colleagues in the profession and make them aware of what transpired and get feedback and incorporate that information into the final report,” Dr. Krehbiel said.

The finalized version is expected to be completed in time for consideration and final approval by the AAVMC board of directors at the association's annual meeting March 10-14, 2011, in Alexandria, Va.

“Members of the NAVMEC board have agreed to continue to be engaged with the project until around the first of April next year,” Dr. Osburn said. “The 2011 AAVMC meeting provides an opportunity for all veterinary colleges to come together for some final discussions on what the NAVMEC recommendations should be, and then it's up to the AAVMC board to move forward with some continuing implementation plans.”

NAVMEC began with a budget of $520,554 to cover planning, logistics, and assorted other expenses. Thus far, $418,098, or 80 percent, has been spent. The total amount donated by the NAVMEC co-sponsors, including $60,000 from the AAVMC, comes to $535,675.

Money still needs to be allocated for the distribution and presentation of the draft report to NAVMEC co-sponsors and stakeholders as well as development of the final report and activities to promote it.

In addition, the AAVMC is preparing a budget and additional fundraising possibilities for several implementation initiatives that will be developed as the report is reviewed and then acted on by the AAVMC board.

Dr. Pappaioanou said the AAVMC understands that, in terms of where the focus will likely be on making changes, it will largely rest with the colleges and the AAVMC, “but we'll have to see the final product and what kinds of resources we'll need to make sure this will work at our member institutions.”

Yet, no one should expect NAVMEC to be the final word on veterinary education reform, she said, because society continues to change and evolve. So too, then, she hopes the profession will do the same.

Malinda Larkin

State diagnostic lab opens at Cornell

Cornell University officially launched the state-of-the-art New York State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Oct. 1.

University officials say the diagnostic laboratory is a key state asset for maintaining the health of animals, protecting the food supply, ensuring public health, and sustaining the economic vitality of several industries, including the dairy industry, that support the state's financial health.

“The New York State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory will inspire 21st century discovery, strengthen our ability to successfully respond to emergencies, and protect the animals and citizens of New York state,” said Dr. Michael Kotlikoff, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Ground was broken in 2008 for the $70 million, 125,000-square-foot facility, built with a $50 million state allocation through the Department of Agriculture & Markets, along with $20 million from Cornell and other sources.

The New York State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory is the only full-service, multidisciplinary animal disease diagnostic facility in the Northeast. Each year, the facility receives more than 300,000 samples and conducts more than a million tests.

accolades

American Association of Bovine Practitioners

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Dr. Joseph J. Klopfenstein

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

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Dr. Dale A. Moore

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

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Dr. Stephen D. Lewis

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

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Dr. Jerome M. Gaska

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

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Dr. Mark F. Spire

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

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Dr. Kenneth E. Leslie

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

The American Association of Bovine Practitioners honored the 2010 recipients of seven awards at the organization's 43rd annual conference Aug. 18-21 in Albuquerque, N.M.

Dr. Joseph J. Klopfenstein (PUR ‘83) of Vergennes, Vt., received the Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Bovine Practitioner of the Year Award.

Dr. Dale A. Moore (CAL ‘83) of Moscow, Idaho, received the Alpharma AABP Award of Excellence.

Dr. Stephen D. Lewis (TEX ‘79) of Umbarger, Texas, received the Merial Excellence in Preventive Medicine—Beef Award.

Dr. Jerome M. Gaska (WIS ‘89) of Columbus, Wis., received the Merial Excellence in Preventive Medicine-Dairy Award.

Dr. Mark F. Spire (TEX ‘74) of Manhattan, Kan., received the Pfizer Animal Health AABP Distinguished Service Award.

Dr. Kenneth E. Leslie (ONT ‘74) of Guelph, Ontario, received the AABP and Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health Mentor of the Year Award.

Dr. Joe C. Gillespie (TEX ‘95) of McCook, Neb., received the Dairy Quality Center 2010 Quality Veterinarian of the Year Award.

Organization

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Robin Ganzert, PhD

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

The American Humane Association named Robin Ganzert, PhD, as president and CEO, effective Oct. 1. Dr. Ganzert formerly served as deputy director of philanthropic services at the Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Ganzert replaced interim president and CEO George C. Casey, who guided the organization since the departure of CEO Marie Belew Wheatley in January.

Academia

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Dr. Peter Eyre

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

The University of Edinburgh Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies awarded its highest honor to Dr. Peter Eyre (EDN ‘60) during a graduation ceremony Dr. Peter Eyre held in Edinburgh, Scotland, in July.

The professor and dean emeritus of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine received a degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery—honoris causa, for his contributions to veterinary medicine.

As a biomedical researcher, Dr. Eyre has authored more than 350 scientific publications.

He served as dean of the Virginia-Maryland veterinary college from 1985-2003 and is credited with leading a series of initiatives that consolidated the operating partnership between Virginia and Maryland, fortified the college's political and economic foundations, and developed its programs.

The University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and its alumni association presented five Dr. Erwin Small Distinguished Alumni Awards and a Special Service Award on Sept. 9.

Dr. Karen M. Becker (IL ‘87) of Rockville, Md., is senior animal health adviser for the Africa Bureau in the Office of Sustainable Development for the U.S. Agency for International Development. She was recognized for her leadership in the areas of veterinary public health, national policy, and international infectious disease epidemiology.

Dr. Becker once held an AVMA Congressional Science Fellowship, working in the Senate for the late Edward Kennedy and Barbara Mikulski on health-care policy. Dr. Becker joined the federal government in 1998 and moved to her current role at USAID in 2006.

Dr. Joseph T. Bielitzki (IL ‘76) of Winter Garden, Fla., is the attending veterinarian at the Sanford-Burnham Biomedical Research Institute in Orlando, and research manager of the Human Research Protection Program in the Office of Research and Commercialization at the University of Central Florida.

He was acknowledged for his contributions in the areas of ethics and animals, and globalization of nonhuman primate and zoo animal use and care.

Dr. Bielitzki's career has included serving as program manager for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and as chief veterinary officer for NASA. Most recently, Dr. Bielitzki helped to transport gorillas from a sanctuary in Rwanda to a sanctuary in the Congo.

Dr. Michael D. Kastello (IL ‘70) of Bridgewater, N.J., is vice president of global laboratory animal science and welfare at Sanofi-Aventis Pharmaceuticals.

He is being honored for his nearly 40 years of experience in biomedical research, laboratory systems management, and animal care and use in industry as well as in government programs.

The subjects of Dr. Kastello's research have ranged from pathogenesis of high-hazard microorganisms to preclinical safety assessment of potential antiviral and antineoplastic agents.

Dr. Donald P. Knowles (IL ‘82) of Pullman, Wash., is a professor in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology at Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Previously, he was a research scientist at the Agricultural Research Service of the Department of Agriculture. There, Dr. Knowles conducted research on gammaherpes viruses, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, ovine progressive pneumonia and caprine arthritis encephalitis viruses, prion diseases, and the diseases resulting from interactions of bighorn sheep and domestic sheep.

Dr. Michael M. Pavletic (IL ‘74) of Hopkinton, Mass., is director of surgical services at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston.

He is being honored for his long teaching career, which includes 20 years at two universities—Louisiana State and Tufts—where he trained veterinary students, interns, and residents in soft tissue surgery.

Dr. Pavletic has been recognized as a leading authority in small animal wound management and reconstructive surgery, and he has developed more than 50 original surgical techniques.

B. Joseph White, PhD, and his wife, Mary, were presented with a Special Service Award.

Dr. White, former president of the University of Illinois, helped raise awareness of college programs by speaking at the 2007 One Health Summit and the 2009 grand opening of the Chicago Center for Veterinary Medicine. In addition, this year the Whites, supporters of the human-animal bond, attended the college's annual Oskee Bow Wow fundraising event, at which their dog, Webster, served as the official greeter.

The National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense at Texas A&M University has named a new director.

Dr. Tammy R. Beckham (AUB ‘98) has served as the center's interim director since March and will continue to serve as director at the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory. She also will serve as director of the Institute for Countermeasures against Agricultural Bioterrorism, a collaboration of Texas-based research entities.

Before joining the diagnostics laboratory in 2008, Dr. Beckham worked as director of the Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, a part of the Department of Agriculture's Plum Island Animal Disease Center in New York.

Dr. Beckham is vice chair of the Foreign and Emerging Disease Committee for the U.S. Animal Health Association. She also serves as an adjunct professor in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology at Texas A&M's College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.

Government

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Col. Peter J. Schultheiss

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

Col. Peter J. Schultheiss (MIN ‘85), an Army Veterinary Corps officer with 24 years of service, assumed command of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., on July 16.

The institute is the Defense Department's primary laboratory for conducting medical chemical defense research. Col. Schultheiss is the fourth Veterinary Corps officer to assume command of the USAMRICD.

For the past two years, Col. Schultheiss has served as USAMRICD's deputy commander for administration.

Following a year of mixed animal practice, he entered the Army as a first lieutenant in the Veterinary Corps.

A member of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, Col. Schultheiss has held numerous positions, including a stint as special assistant for veterinary medicine to the Navy Surgeon General.

Dr. J.P. Dubey (MPC ‘60) has been inducted into the Agricultural Research Service Science Hall of Fame for his efforts to help control parasite-caused diseases of people, livestock, and pets.

The Department of Agriculture's ARS established its Science Hall of Fame to recognize agency researchers for lifelong achievements in agricultural sciences and technology.

Dr. Dubey is credited with advancing the understanding of toxoplasmosis, neosporosis, and equine protozoal myeloencephalitis. “His findings have improved human health, have helped farmers and ranchers worldwide, and have benefited a veritable Noah's Ark of farm and companion animals, including cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens, horses, and dogs,” said ARS Administrator Edward B. Knipling.

Dr. Dubey joined the ARS in 1982 and currently works at the agency's Animal Parasitic Diseases Research Unit at Beltsville, Md.

assemblies

American College of Theriogenologists

Event: American College of Theriogenologists business meeting, Sept. 1, Seattle

Awards: The Theriogenologist of the Year Award, sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc., was presented to Dr. Margaret “Peggy” Root Kustritz, St. Paul, Minn., for excellence in promoting the discipline of theriogenology. Dr. Root Kustritz was recognized for her research on infertility in dogs and cats. She served as an editor for three textbooks in small animal theriogenology, won three awards from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine for excellence in teaching, and has provided numerous seminars to professional and lay audiences. Dr. Jimmy Alexander, Yazoo City, Miss., was presented the Dr. John Steiner Award for Excellence in Practice. Dr. Alexander was recognized for his expertise in bovine theriogenology. Business: The journal Clinical Theriogenology, a joint effort of the ACT and Society for Theriogenology, has completed its first year of publication and continues to provide valuable information about theriogenology to its readers. The ACT board of directors approved a set of general information guidelines submitted by the ACT Credentialing Committee for the review of residency and training programs; the board also instructed that committee to develop a set of guidelines for recertification of new diplomates, with implementation in 2013. The Theriogenology Foundation, another joint effort between the ACT and SFT, reorganized its board and assets and developed a mission statement.

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Dr. Margaret “Peggy’ Root Kustritz

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

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Dr. Jimmy Alexander

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

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Dr. Augustine Peter

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

New diplomates: The college welcomed 11 new diplomates following successful completion of the certification examination. The new diplomates are as follows:

Ghislaine Dujovne Hazon, Auburn, Ala.

Ryan Ferris, Fort Collins, Colo. Heath King, Crawford, Miss. Cindy Maenhoudt, Keerbergen, Belgium

Hernan Montilla, Corvallis, Ore. Cynthia O'Connor, Plymouth, Mass. Swanand Sathe, Urbana, Ill. Simon Robinson, Congupna, Victoria, Australia

Jacobo Rodriguez, Palouse, Wash. Valeria Tanco, Calgary, Alberta Semira Mancill, Weatherford, Texas

Officials: Drs. Augustine Peter, West Lafayette, Ind., president; Steve Brinsko, College Station, Texas, president-elect; Claire Card, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, vice president; Stuart Meyers, Davis, Calif., treasurer; R. Bruce Hollett, Athens, Ga., secretary; and Charles Estill, Corvallis, Ore., immediate past president. Dr. Ram Kasimanickam, Pullman, Wash., was elected to the board of directors. Contact: Dr. Charles Franz, Executive Director, American College of Theriogenologists, PO. Box 3065, Montgomery, AL 36109; phone, (334) 395-4666; fax, (334) 270-3399; e-mail, charles@franzmgt.com; www.theriogenology.org.

Society for Theriogenology

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Dr. Robert Carson

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

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Dr. Richard Hopper

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

Event: Society for Theriogenology annual conference, Aug. 31-Sept. 5, Seattle

Program: Plenary sessions featured “Reproductive applications for acupuncture” by Dr. Tim Holt and “Emerging diagnostic approaches for evaluation of fetal and pregnancy well-being in the mare” by Dr. Peter Ryan. The conference provided information on reproduction in horses, ruminants, camelids, and small animals. Thirty-eight scientific abstracts and eight veterinary student case presentations were given during various sessions at the conference. In addition, a poster session comprised four scientific abstracts and three student case presentations.

Awards: Dr. Robert Carson, Auburn, Ala., presented the David Bartlett Honorary Address. Dr. Carson was recognized for his research on infertility in bulls. Winners of the Dr. Jerry Rains Memorial Abstract Competition, sponsored by Intervet Schering-Plough Animal Health, were Dr. Natali Krekeler, Werribee, Victoria, Australia, “Differences in uterine canine ß-defensin 1 expression during different stages of the estrous cycle,” first place ($1,000); Dr. Chelly Goncalves Pinto, Columbus, Ohio, “The use of a simplified hormone protocol for nonovulating embryo recipient mares,” second place ($750); Dr. Jose A. Len, Baton Rouge, La., “Low dose prostaglandin F for luteal regression in the bitch,” third place ($500); and Dr. Sarah Eaton, Williams Lake, British Columbia, “Tolllike receptor-2 mRNA expression in the endometrium of mares resistant and susceptible to endometritis,” fourth place ($250). Winners of the veterinary student case presentation competition, sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health, were John Brinkerhoff, Texas A&M University, “Recovery of a stallion with a chronic scrotal hydro/pyocele and azoospermia,” first place ($650); Heather Austin, Oklahoma State University, “Surgical correction of priapism in an 18-year-old Quarter Horse gelding,” second place ($525); Kathryn Bray and Erica Himmelreich, University of Tennessee, “Diagnosis of pyometra in a male horned pygmy goat,” third place ($450); Shawn Thomas, Iowa State University, “Prostatitis with abscessation in a castrated dog,” fourth place ($375); Cindy Ast, North Carolina State University, “Monochorionic twin pregnancy reduction via trans-abdominal ultrasound-guided cardiac puncture in a mare,” fifth place ($300); and Holly Kana, Texas A&M University, “Retrograde ejaculation in a stallion associated with tail-head trauma,” sixth place ($200).

Business: The journal Clinical Theriogenology, a joint effort of the SFT and American College of Theriogenologists, has entered its second year of publication and continues to provide valuable theriogenology information to its readers. The Theriogenology Foundation, another joint effort between the SFT and ACT, reorganized its board and assets and developed a mission statement. The Theriogenology Foundation also disbursed funds to support the veterinary student case presentation competition ($400 to each of eight student presenters) and the ACT Educators Forum. Another successful auction helped raise funds for the foundation.

Officials: Drs. Richard Hopper, Mississippi State, Miss., president; Gary Warner, Elgin, Texas, presidentelect; Scott Pretzer, Abilene, Kan., vice president; Herris Maxwell, Auburn, Ala., secretary-treasurer; and Thomas Riddle, Lexington, Ky., immediate past president. Newly elected members of the board of directors are Drs. David Christiansen, Mississippi State, Miss.; Melissa Goodman, Philadelphia; and Brian Whitlock, Knoxville, Tenn. Contact: Dr. Charles Franz, Executive Director, Society for Theriogenology, SFT Association Office, P.O. Box 3007, Montgomery, AL 36109; phone, (334) 395-4666; fax, (334) 270-3399; e-mail, charles@franzmgt.com; www.therio.org.

Maryland VMA

Event: Annual meeting, June 26-29, Ocean City

Awards: Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award: Dr. John P. O'Mara, Ellicott City, for dedicated and outstanding service to the MVMA, including service as the first “president's mentor,” and his continued involvement with, and leadership of, the Legislative and Technicians committees. A 1970 graduate of the University of Georgia, Dr. O'Mara is the founder of Dunloggin Veterinary Hospital in Ellicott City and a founder of the Emergency Veterinary Clinic in Elkridge. He is a past president of the Maryland State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners and the Maryland VMA. Maryland Distinguished Veterinarian: Dr. Chris H. Runde, Charlotte Hall, for outstanding leadership, dedication, and continued commitment to the veterinary profession. A 1985 graduate of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Runde practices mixed animal medicine at Tidewater Veterinary Hospital in Charlotte Hall. He is a past president of the Maryland State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. Good Doctor Award: Dr. Zaun D. Kligge, Edgewater, in recognition of distinguished service, outstanding leadership, dedicated veterinary care, and years of providing compassion and kindness toward clients, patients, and the community. A 2003 graduate of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Kligge practices small animal medicine at South Arundel Veterinary Hospital in Edgewater. Officials: Drs. John A. Kable, Westminster, president; Thomas Armitage, Mount Airy, president-elect; Thomas J. Bauk, Middletown, vice president; Carvel G. Tiekert, Bel Air, secretary-treasurer; and James B. Reed, Annapolis, immediate past president

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Dr. John P. O'Mara

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

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Dr. Chris H. Runde

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

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Dr. Zaun D. Kligge

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

South Dakota VMA

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Dr. Russell F. Daly

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

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Dr. Bill Baus

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237, 9; 10.2460/javma.237.9.992

Event: Annual meeting, Aug. 8-11, Sioux Falls

Awards: Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Russell F. Daly, Brookings. A 1990 graduate of Iowa State University and a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Dr. Daly serves as extension veterinarian at South Dakota State University. Earlier in his career, he was a partner at the Montrose/Dell Rapids Veterinary Clinic in Montrose. Dr. Daly is president-elect of the American Association of Extension Veterinarians and chairs the SDVMA Continuing Education Committee.

Officials: Drs. Bill Baus, Redfield, president; Penny Dye, Rapid City, president-elect; Cindy Franklin, Yankton, vice president; Tom Rentschler, Tea, secretary-treasurer; Dick Rogen, Sioux Falls, immediate past president; and AVMA delegate and alternate delegate—Drs. George Twitero, Rapid City, and Jim Bain, Frederick

Utah VMA

Event: Canyonlands Veterinary Conference, June 17-19, Moab

Program: The conference drew 172 veterinarians from the United States and Canada.

Awards: Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. John G. Mathis, Vernal. A 1981 graduate of Colorado State University, Dr. Mathis owns Ashley Valley Veterinary Hospital in Vernal. He is a member of the Utah House of Representatives and serves as vice chair of the Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee.

Officials: Drs. Neil Moss, Kaysville, president; Doug Murphy, Vernal, president-elect; Harold Davis, Springville, executive secretary; Carl Pew, Orem, treasurer; and Drew Allen, Salt Lake City, immediate past president.

new diplomates

American College of Veterinary Dermatology

The American College of Veterinary Dermatology certified 21 new diplomates following the certification examination it held Aug. 5-6 in Raleigh, N.C.

The new diplomates are as follows:

Jennifer Aniya, Tustin, Calif.

Michaela Austel, Athens, Ga.

Petra Bizikova, Raleigh, N.C.

Christine Cain, Philadelphia

Sandra Diaz, Blacksburg, Va.

Alison Diesel, Madison, Wis.

Kristen Fulham, Metairie, La.

Candice Goldman, Auburn Hills, Mich.

Joya Griffin, Louisville, Ky.

Danielle James, San Diego

Laura Kelley, Charlotte, N.C.

Kenneth Keppel, Jupiter, Fla.

Sarah O'Neill, Knoxville, Tenn.

Noel Radwanski, Philadelphia

Domenico Santoro, Urbana, Ill.

Judy Seltzer, West Islip, N.Y.

Laura Sickafoose, Menlo Park, Calif.

Elizabeth Toops, Pittsburgh

Michelle Tranchina, Ithaca, N.Y.

Rebekah Westermeyer, Fairfax, Va.

Laura Wilson, Waukesha, Wis.

Obituaries: AVMA Honor Roll Member AVMA Member Nonmember

Lawrence W. Cottle Jr.

Dr. Cottle (AUB ‘44), 88, Mobile, Ala., died June 8, 2010. Prior to retirement in 1999, he practiced small animal medicine in Mobile for more than 50 years, focusing on ophthalmology for 25 years. Dr. Cottle was a past president of the Alabama VMA, Mobile/Baldwin VMA, and Alabama Academy of Veterinary Practice. He was named Alabama Veterinarian of the Year in 1966 and received the ALVMA Distinguished Service Award in 1992. Dr. Cottle served as a captain in the Air Force Veterinary Corps during the Korean War. His son and two daughters survive him.

George G. Freier

Dr. Freier (MSU ‘43), 89, Columbus, N.C., died Aug. 21, 2010. Retired since 1985, he founded Freier Animal Hospital and Hawthorne Animal Clinic in Benton Harbor, Mich. Early in his career, Dr. Freier served as a second lieutenant in the Army Reserve, during which time he practiced large animal medicine in Unionville, Mich. Dr. Freier was a past president of the Michigan and Michiana VMAs and a past chair of the Michigan Board of Veterinary Medicine. He was also a past president of the Rotary Club of Tryon and volunteered with the Hospice of the Carolina Foothills for more than 20 years. In 1992, Dr. Freier was awarded the State of North Carolina Certificate of Appreciation for his dedication and devotion in providing volunteer services to the people of North Carolina. He is survived by his wife, Patricia; a daughter; and a son. Memorials may be made to Hospice of the Carolina Foothills, 130 Forest Glen Drive, Columbus, NC 28722; Tryon Rotary Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 122, Tryon, NC 28782; or The Tryon Presbyterian Church, 432 Harmon Field Road, Tryon, NC 28782.

Charles B. Hill

Dr. Hill (AUB ‘53), 83, Amory, Miss., died Aug. 27, 2010. Prior to retirement in 1990, he owned Amory Animal Hospital, a mixed animal practice. Dr. Hill was a past president of the American Association of Veterinary State Boards and Mississippi Board of Veterinary Medicine and was a past member of the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners and the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates. He was also a past executive board member of the Mississippi VMA and served on its Veterinary Technician Committee. In 1990, Dr. Hill was named Mississippi Veterinarian of the Year. He was active with the Boy Scouts of America and was a member of the Kiwanis Club. Dr. Hill is survived by his wife, Edna; a daughter; and a son. Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 147, Amory, MS 38821.

James F. Hyssong

Dr. Hyssong (UP ‘71), 63, Conyngham, Pa., died March 14, 2010. A mixed animal practitioner, he owned Brook Hill Animal Hospital in Conyngham for 35 years. Dr. Hyssong was a member of the Pennsylvania VMA. His son survives him.

Donald E. Jasper

Dr. Jasper (WSU ‘42), 91, Davis, Calif., died July 25, 2010. Retired since 1989, he served as dean of the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine from 1954-1962. During his tenure at the university, Dr. Jasper also served as a professor of veterinary clinical pathology, chaired the Department of Clinical Pathology, and was assistant director of the Agricultural Experiment Station. Known for his expertise in mycoplasmal mastitis, Dr. Jasper was past chair of the National Mastitis Council's Research Committee. In 1984, he was appointed to the first National Commission of the International Dairy Federation Group of Experts on bovine mastitis.

Dr. Jasper received several honors, including the AVMA Borden Award in 1967, in recognition of his research contributions to dairy cattle disease control. In 1974, he was the recipient of the NMC Distinguished Service Award. That same year, Dr. Jasper was honored by the Araqua VMA of Venezuela for his work in mastitis control in South America. In 1980, he was named WSU Distinguished Alumnus. Dr. Jasper was honored by the American Dairy Science Association in 1987 for his research on milk quality as affected by control of mastitis, management of milking, and practices in production of milk.

He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; a son; and a daughter. Memorials toward the Dr. Donald E. Jasper Scholarship at the UC-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine (with checks payable to UC Regents), may be made to the UC-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616.

F.J. McCann

Dr. McCann (ISU ‘47), 95, Leawood, Kan., died Sept. 1, 2010. Prior to retirement in 1985, he practiced large animal medicine in California, Mo. Earlier in his career, Dr. McCann practiced in Kirksville, Mo. He was a Navy veteran of World War II. Dr. McCann's son and three daughters survive him. Memorials may be made to The Fatima Crusader, 17000 State Route 30, Constable, NY 12926; or The Christian Foundation for Children and Aging, 1 Elmwood Ave., Kansas City, KS 66103.

Charles L. Roberts

Dr. Roberts (MSU ‘45), 86, Battle Creek, Mich., died Aug. 23, 2010. A mixed animal practitioner for more than 40 years, he was the founder of Lakeview Veterinary Clinic in Battle Creek. Dr. Roberts served as a captain in the Army during the Korean War. Active in civic life, he was a past president of the Lakeview School District Board and the Battle Creek Kiwanis Club. Dr. Roberts is survived by his wife, Sally; a son; two daughters; two stepsons; and a stepdaughter. Memorials may be made to the Chapel Hill United Methodist Church Building Fund, 157 Chapel Hill Drive, Battle Creek, MI 49015.

William J. Roenigk

Dr. Roenigk (OSU ‘54), 81, College Station, Texas, died Aug. 25, 2010. A diplomate and past president of the American College of Veterinary Radiology, he retired in 1991 from the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine as a professor of veterinary radiology. Earlier in his career, Dr. Roenigk served as a professor of veterinary radiology at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine and was an associate professor of radiology and associate professor of laboratory animal medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. A veteran of the Army Veterinary Corps and an Army Reserve colonel, he also consulted in radiology for the Department of Defense Military Working Dog Veterinary Service. Dr. Roenigk was a past president of the Ohio VMA and a member of the Texas VMA. His wife, Jean; a son; and three daughters survive him. Memorials may be made to The Ohio State University Foundation, Class of 1954 Veterinary College Scholarship Fund, 1480 W. Lane Ave., Columbus, OH 43221.

Richard J. Schwabe

Dr. Schwabe (ISU ‘66), 76, Breda, Iowa, died March 19, 2010. Prior to retirement in 2003, he practiced part time at Breda-Lake View Veterinary Clinic, a mixed animal practice where he was a partner earlier in his career. Dr. Schwabe was a member of the Iowa VMA, American Association of Swine Veterinarians, and American Association of Bovine Practitioners. Active in civic life, he served as a Breda City Council member for 22 years and was a past president of the Breda Business Club. In 2003, Dr. Schwabe received the Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award from the Carroll County Farm Bureau. He is survived by his wife, Margaret; a son; and three daughters.

Merlin E. Shuck

Dr. Shuck (PUR ‘64), 78, Morristown, Tenn., died Aug. 15, 2010. Retired since 2008, he practiced mixed animal medicine in Morristown. Dr. Shuck served on the board of directors of the Morristown-Hamblen Humane Society. He was a member of the Morristown Lions Club. Dr. Shuck's wife, Betty; a son; and three daughters survive him. Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church of Morristown, 504 W. Main St., Morristown, TN 37814; or Morristown Humane Society, 300 Dice St., Morristown, TN 37814.

Isidor Yasgur

Dr. Yasgur (COR ‘49), 84, Polk City, Fla., died Aug. 3, 2010. From 1960 until retirement in 1987, he owned a small animal practice in Mamaroneck, N.Y. Dr. Yasgur also took care of the cattle at his brother Max Yasgur's dairy farm in Bethel, N.Y., the site of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair held in August 1969. Earlier in his career, Dr. Yasgur practiced mixed animal medicine in New York at Bethel and Jeffersonville. His wife, Eileen; three sons; and a daughter survive him.

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