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Learning UNDER THE INFLUENCE

Vet schools developing ethics policies to avoid conflicts of interest

By Malinda Larkin

Step onto any veterinary school or college campus, and if you pay attention, you'll notice a subtle presence throughout. It could be the fliers announcing a nutrition talk by a speaker who mentions only a certain pet food company's products. Or it could be a faculty member who also happens to be a paid consultant for a pharmaceutical company.

But that may be changing. A few veterinary schools and colleges have implemented policies that emphasize transparency and eliminate corporate giveaways and free lunches for students and faculty. Other institutions are considering similar moves.

The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges has given further momentum to these changes with its recent approval of an ethics document that provides guiding principles for schools looking to develop their own policies.

Changes in policy

The University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine is one of those institutions that has recently adopted a more stringent ethics policies. The school altered its Health Care Vendor Relations policy in 2010 to reflect more general University of California policies regarding pharmaceutical, medical supply, and pet food companies.

Health care vendors, for example, may not directly provide food or any other gifts to faculty, staff, or students; however, small items may be provided to those who visit a booth at a university event or who attend a presentation made by the vendor, according to the policy.

In lieu of gifts or food, companies can make a donation to the school, with the funds deposited into a university account. Two accounts have been established, one for unrestricted gifts and one for gifts limited to funding educational activities of the students. Both are managed by the SVM Office of Student Programs.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine developed similar guidelines after a university-led effort caused the school to re-evaluate its policies related to conflicts of interest and industry involvement.

The UW-Madison Health Sciences Council, comprising the schools of medicine and public health, pharmacy, nursing, and veterinary medicine, convened a task force this past year to clarify and strengthen policies governing relationships with the health care industry. Associate deans and student representatives from each of the schools formed the working group, which arrived at the final policy statement and gave its approval in April.

It recommended, among other things, the following:

  • • Faculty and staff disclosing in their syllabuses any relationships with commercial entities that could constitute a conflict of interest.

  • • Faculty, staff, and students being barred from accepting any personal gifts or promotional items from industry.

  • • Discouragement of industry sponsorship for student organization events.

  • • Not allowing presentations that focus on or promote a commercial entity's product, device, or service.

  • • Barring companies from distributing samples of medicines or other products to students.

“It evolved on the basis of concern that has been noted all around the country that the educational process—not just for professional degrees but also continuing education—be developed by faculty, based on the best scientific knowledge at the time without any real biases,” said Dr. Daryl D. Buss, dean of the UW-Madison veterinary school.

“It's also to avoid unintentional bias, which is much more likely to be an issue.”

When talking with companies, Dean Buss said, their concern has been that all companies be treated the same, “and that's our interest, too; otherwise, we set up our own conflict of interest.”

He continued, “We have found that companies that we've worked with are very conscientious and want to operate within the policy, and we want that to happen as well.”

Other institutions with ethics policies include the University of Florida, whose faculty developed its own guidelines in October 2008.

AAVMC guidelines

For veterinary schools and colleges that do not have guidelines for interactions with companies, the AAVMC adopted an ethics document at its July 17 meeting. The purpose is not to provide rules but to provide guiding principles for schools as they develop their own policies, said Dr. H. Michael Chaddock, deputy executive director of the AAVMC. The principles pertain not only to industry but also to any external influence that could introduce bias.

Areas the guidelines touch on range from continuing education to use of generic versus brand names in student instruction to maintaining intellectual independence of individuals and the institution.

According to the document, available soon at www.aavmc.org: “Schools and colleges of veterinary medicine hold a public trust, with the expectation that educational, clinical, research and outreach programs will be based on the best, current and unbiased scientific knowledge. That information must be free of biases or inappropriate influences that may result from interactions with external entities, especially with companies that provide goods and services of value within veterinary medicine. … The institution and the school/college share a responsibility of managing that support in a manner that ensures the integrity and independence of all of its academic programs.”

The Colorado State University Professional Veterinary Medical Program, led by associate dean Dr. Peter Hellyer, is developing ethical standards specific to the program, governing corporate gift giving, that will be consistent with the AAVMC guidelines. Dr. Chaddock said he hopes others will follow.

Dean Buss said it's time for veterinary schools to recognize that things such as freebies have been shown to influence behavior and preferences. Plus, the AAVMC believed it was important for schools to be proactive, not because of any big issues or problems, but to ensure that concerns don't arise in the first place.

Activities in human medicine

Data remain scarce on the veterinary side, but research on how industry gifts and representatives influence doctors on the human medicine side can provide some helpful insights.

It has been documented that doctors tend to prescribe drugs that pharmaceutical companies promote to them, and patients may end up paying more but not always getting the most suitable medications. That's according to an analysis of 58 studies that was published in the October 2010 issue of the journal PLoS Medicine.

“Interactions with pharmaceutical representatives increase the likelihood of physicians making formulary requests for drugs with no clear advantage over existing ones, prescribing nonrationally, prescribing costlier drugs, and prescribing fewer generic drugs. All of this, yet, physicians often deny the influence of pharmaceutical promotion,” according to the PLoS study.

A national survey specifically looking at medical students revealed that they, too, are just as influenced by drug makers, whether they admit it or not (JAMA 2005;294(9):1034–1042). The study provides information about student experiences and attitudes related to drug company interactions. It showed that most students perceive that they are entitled to gifts. Many also think that sponsored educational events are likely to be biased but are helpful. In addition, most think that their prescribing habits will not likely to be influenced by these interactions, but that their colleagues will be more likely to be influenced.

According to the study's authors, this combination of perceptions, along with the high exposure to these interactions, suggests that as a group, medical students are at risk for unrecognized influence by marketing efforts.

The American Medical Association and the American Medical Student Association developed guidelines or recommendations about drug company–physician interactions and drug company–student interactions years ago to prevent such influence. AMA guidelines state that gifts to physicians must be primarily for patients' benefit and of insubstantial value, with no conditions attached. AMSA recommendations urge physicians and students to not accept gifts from drug companies and urge hospitals and residency programs to discontinue drug company–funded lectures and lunches. In addition, the AMA guidelines oppose the granting of continuing medical education credits for attending drug company–sponsored events.

The AMSA's PharmFree Campaign takes the issue of reducing corporate influence one step further. It's a national movement that aims to reduce conflicts of interest at medical schools by educating and training medical students to interact professionally and ethically with the pharmaceutical industry. The PharmFree Scorecard ranks U.S. medical schools on the basis of the extent to which their policies limit the access and influence of pharmaceutical companies and their representatives at schools.

The AMSA itself has banned pharmaceutical advertising and sponsorships at regional and national conferences; in the AMSA's magazine, The New Physician; and on the organization's website, www.amsa.org.

Veterinary students speak

The Student AVMA decided to weigh in this past summer after chapter presidents asked the organization to do something about the matter. SAVMA House of Delegates members voted July 18 to create a Task Force on Corporate Funding. It will seek to address the extent and appropriateness of corporate funding at veterinary schools and colleges. Then, task force members will develop recommendations for the SAVMA HOD.

SAVMA President Joseph M. Esch said sometimes decisions get made at academic institutions without student input. He's hoping whatever guidelines or recommendations come from the task force will be considered by individual schools or, at the very least, that schools will solicit student input when creating their own policies.

From his own conversations with fellow classmates, Esch said students see value in maintaining interactions with companies one way or another as preparation for their transition to veterinarians.

“This is not human medicine where you have a purchasing department. Here you often have veterinarians deciding on what products to purchase and from which company. You're going to have people coming from companies to make a pitch about a product in practice. … Interacting with (company representatives) in school is a way to learn how to properly interact with these representatives. If (students) can't do that in school, they'll be at a disadvantage out in practice,” Esch said. This way, he said, students can learn how to critically evaluate a product, its efficacy, and the research behind it.

In addition, industry supports a lot of important initiatives at veterinary schools and colleges, from student clubs and organizations to white coat ceremonies to informational lectures supplementing weaker points in the curriculum, he said.

Michelle Dally, JD, views the relationship between students and industry more skeptically. She penned a commentary earlier this year questioning the prevalence of freebies at Colorado State University, where she is a third-year veterinary student (see JAVMA, June 15, 2011, page 1551).

She admits the article hasn't made her the most popular person amidst her classmates, as she'll be congratulated and teased alternately on her way to class. The reaction she's received outside Colorado has skewed far more positive with many emails—some from as far away as Australia—commending her for bringing the issue up for discussion.

On the one hand, she acknowledges the difficulty in not accepting things such as free or discounted pet food, particularly when veterinary students tend to have more pets or large student loans. On the other hand, her research solidly convinced her of the strong influence that these offerings from companies can have.

Dally saw proof of this phenomenon while writing about politics for more than a decade. She said the constant question in that field is “Whose side are you on?”

“I get to vet school and see gifts, and immediately I think, ‘Whose side are you on?’ You're supposed to be on the animal's side, only thinking about the pet in front of you and the owner, but if there's corporate influence involved, that can change whose side you're on,” she said.

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Companies often hand out freebies to veterinary students at information fairs, sponsored lunches, and the like throughout students' time in veterinary school. (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 239, 9; 10.2460/javma.239.9.1150

Industry involvement

So, what do the companies think about these policies?

Dr. Christine Jenkins, director of Hill's Pet Nutrition's Academic Affairs, said her company appreciates the intent and importance of the AAVMC's new guidelines. The policy, specifically its definition of ethical practices and avoiding conflicts of interest, is consistent with Hill's own code of conduct and business practices.

Hill's, Iams, and Purina may be best known on veterinary school and college campuses for their college feeding programs. These pet food companies donate their products for fundraising purposes to veterinary schools and student chapters. Proceeds from the sale of these products are meant to pay for educational initiatives, including scholarship programs, tutoring services, and student activities. Dr. Jenkins said the Hill's program “aligns with our mission to help enrich and lengthen the special relationship between people and their pets.”

Pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer and Bayer spend millions annually not only on programs that support educational symposia, veterinary teaching hospitals, and research but also on continuing education, scholarships, and tools for veterinary student education.

Dr. Cristiano von Simson, director of veterinary technical services for Bayer, said the company is on veterinary campuses for many reasons.

“A lot of important scientific information is being generated and shared by the researchers at veterinary schools. Also, some of the best experts are in veterinary schools, and we get involved because we believe we should do our part to help the future veterinarians get the best education possible that will ensure their success in the profession,” Dr. von Simson said.

The company doesn't believe any new ethics guidelines would present new challenges or further constrain Bayer from how it already operates.

“The AAVMC guidelines are welcome and will be useful if they can help veterinary schools harmonize their guidelines,” he added.

Dr. Michael McFarland, group director of veterinary medical services at Pfizer, said his company has been working with the schools for a number of months as they develop their own codes of conduct to ensure that the company's policies and procedures fit accordingly.

Pfizer and other companies have adapted in a number of ways, from no longer funding student representatives or scholarships at the schools to not donating products such as heartworm medication during heartworm prevention days held on campus.

Ethics reform makes its way to research field

The National Institutes of Health released on Aug. 23 its final conflict-of-interest reporting rule for researchers who receive grants from the agency. Federal officials said the new policy would build public trust in the integrity of biomedical research by strengthening transparency and oversight.

The NIH first proposed the rule in response to concerns expressed by Congress and others that some researchers receiving grant money from the NIH don't disclose the full extent of their financial connections to private companies, such as drug and device manufacturers.

Under the new rule, researchers who receive grants from the NIH will first be required to report to their universities not just about how their financial interests in a company or other entity might affect a particular federal project or grant but also how it might affect all their “institutional responsibilities.”

These include NIH-funded research, consulting, and membership on university committees. Excluded from reporting requirements are payments from universities and governments for lectures or other forms of teaching as well as payments from academic teaching hospitals and research institutes affiliated with universities.

Under the old rule, investigators decided which conflicts to report to the university, rather than reporting every potential conflict. The new rule also lowers the dollar threshold—from $10,000 to $5,000—at which researchers must report conflicts of interest to their academic institutions. Plus, universities must now develop plans for managing or reducing such financial conflicts, providing highlights of the plan to the NIH.

The last time the rule was changed was in 1995.

“At this point, it seems fairly clear that there won't be a consistent or certainly not an identical set of guidelines across all 28 schools in the U.S. This will require some level of customization for each school,” Dr. McFarland said. “What we are committed to is working with integrity, and we feel our existing programs do exactly that. It's not an effort to unduly influence. By and large, our efforts are designed to educate.”

A tribute to all the heroes of 9/11

Detection dog teams, veterinarians honored at anniversary ceremony

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New York/New Jersey Port Authority Police Lt. David Lim and members of the AVMA Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams participated in a ceremony to honor detection dog teams and veterinary professionals who responded to the 9/11 attacks. Lim's dog Sirius was the only police dog killed during the attacks.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 239, 9; 10.2460/javma.239.9.1150

By R. Scott Nolen

The canine and human members of the detection dog teams that responded to the 9/11 attacks and the veterinary professionals who cared for the dogs were honored on the 10th anniversary of that tragic day.

Hundreds of people gathered at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J., for the ceremony, just across the bay from where the World Trade Center once stood.

In attendance were detection dog teams from around the country as well as veterinarians and veterinary technicians who treated the dogs at that time. Among those represented were the AVMA Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams and the Suffolk County (N.Y.) Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The nonprofit Finding One Another organized the anniversary tribute. The organization estimates at least 950 detection dog teams participated in the 9/11 emergency response, assisting in search-and-rescue and recovery efforts and providing security.

New Jersey Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg was at the ceremony, and, after observing a moment of silence, he noted the heroism of the canine search-and-rescue teams, calling them an indispensible asset to the country.

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Jofa is the surviving partner of Army Sgt. Zainah C. Creamer, the first female military dog handler killed in any U.S. war.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 239, 9; 10.2460/javma.239.9.1150

AVMA President René A. Carlson praised the 51 VMAT members who risked their physical and emotional well-being to ensure the search-and-rescue dogs were healthy enough to continue their important work. The VMATs provided more than 900 medical treatments to some 300 dogs at ground zero, Dr. Carlson observed.

“Serving others at whatever cost is what the VMAT teams did 10 years ago at ground zero,” she said. “They did what they do best: They took care of the animals. And, in their own way, they took care of the dog handlers—giving them the peace of mind that came with knowing the finest emergency veterinary services were immediately available should their dogs get sick or injured.”

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Dr. Cindy M. Otto receives a painting of Sirius, the only police dog killed on 9/11, from handler Lt. David Lim of the New York/New Jersey Port Authority Police Department. Dr. Otto is director of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center and national co-chair of the Finding One Another tribute. (Photos by Dr. Heather Case)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 239, 9; 10.2460/javma.239.9.1150

During the ceremony, two military dog handlers killed in combat were the first recipients of the Sirius Courage Award. Sirius was a bomb-detection K-9 with the New York/New Jersey Port Authority Police Department. The dog was kenneled in the second tower of the World Trade Center when the building collapsed. Sirius is the only police dog killed during the 9/11 attacks. Sirius' handler, Lt. David Lim, presented the awards in honor of Army Sgt. Zainah C. Creamer and Navy Petty Officer 1st Class John Douangdara.

Creamer died of wounds caused by an improvised explosive device Jan. 12 in Afghanistan and is the first female war-dog handler killed in any U.S. war. Her dog Jofa survived the IED attack and was honored at the ceremony. Douangdara and his canine partner Bart were killed when the CH-47 Chinook helicopter they were riding in was shot down over Afghanistan Aug. 6.

Special recognition was paid to Penny Sullivan, a pioneer in canine detection who has deployed to numerous disaster zones and participated in countless missing persons searches. Sullivan was a member of the government subcommittee that developed search-and-rescue dog criteria for disaster response and is co-founder of Ramapo Rescue Dog Association, one of the oldest K-9 SAR units in the country.

At the ceremony's end, the American Kennel Club, working dog clubs, and other canine organizations signed a pledge to cooperate with the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies to “develop programs designed to provide the ready supply of American working dogs'’ for use in protecting America.

Veterinary editors added to AVMA publications staff

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Dr. Christopher R. Byron

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 239, 9; 10.2460/javma.239.9.1150

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Dr. Roxanne B. Pillars

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 239, 9; 10.2460/javma.239.9.1150

Drs. Christopher R. Byron and Roxanne B. Pillars joined the AVMA Publications Division staff in September as assistant editors for the JAVMA and AJVR.

Dr. Byron is a 1998 graduate of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. After completing an internship at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., he went on to a combined equine surgery residency and master's degree program at Michigan State University.

A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, Dr. Byron spent six years as an assistant professor at the University of Illinois and, most recently, was working at a private equine referral center in New York state.

Dr. Byron has authored and co-authored research articles in several peer-reviewed publications, including the JAVMA and AJVR.

“I am looking forward to my new role as an assistant editor with the AVMA and feel it will be a natural complement to my experiences as a surgeon, researcher, and veterinary educator,” Dr. Byron said. “The dissemination of veterinary knowledge is of critical importance to advancement of the profession, and I am excited to be involved in that process.”

Dr. Pillars comes to the AVMA from the University of Idaho's Caine Veterinary Teaching Center. There, she taught students from Washington State University and performed research related to dairy production medicine.

Additionally, Dr. Pillars worked for the Michigan State University Extension Service and College of Veterinary Medicine and has held positions in various private practices focusing on mixed animal and dairy medicine.

Dr. Pillars is a 1996 graduate of the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, where she also earned her master's and doctoral degrees.

“I am excited about starting the next phase of my career in the AVMA Publications Division,” Dr. Pillars said. “Being a long-time reader of both AVMA journals, I am looking forward to the challenge of being an assistant editor.”

AVMA Congressional Science Fellows named

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Dr. Matthew Doyle

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 239, 9; 10.2460/javma.239.9.1150

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Dr. Reid Harvey

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 239, 9; 10.2460/javma.239.9.1150

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Dr. Richard Smilie

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 239, 9; 10.2460/javma.239.9.1150

In late August, the AVMA announced that Drs. Matthew Doyle of Plymouth, Mich.; Reid Harvey of Gaithersburg, Md.; and Richard Smilie of Stayton, Ore., were selected as the 2011–2012 AVMA Congressional Science Fellows.

AVMA fellows work alongside congressional staff members and provide science-based expertise on veterinary- and public health–related issues to members of Congress. The one-year fellowship program also offers veterinarians the opportunity to learn how federal public policy is made.

“The fellowships are great opportunities for veterinarians to share their knowledge and expertise with members of Congress and their staffs as they craft national legislation and policy that impacts veterinary medicine,” said Dr. Mark Lutschaunig, director of the AVMA Governmental Relations Division. “It is rewarding to the members of Congress as well as for the fellows and our profession as a whole.”

Dr. Doyle is a 2008 graduate of the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. The former AVMA GRD student extern also earned a master's in public health from the University of Minnesota. For the past three years, Dr. Doyle has practiced in a three-doctor small animal practice with a focus on preventive medicine and nutrition.

“Over the next year in D.C., I hope to learn more about how policies affecting a broad range of issues related to veterinary medicine are created and implemented, as well as represent the profession on Capitol Hill and demonstrate what veterinarians can offer in the public service arena,” he said.

Dr. Harvey completed his veterinary training at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010, when he was also awarded a master's in public health. In addition to working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and Department of Agriculture, Dr. Harvey recently completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery in Gaithersburg, Md.

“It is my honor to represent the profession during what will undoubtedly prove to be a challenging year for all on Capitol Hill,” Dr. Harvey commented. “In that regard, I hope to apply the fundamental skill I have developed as a veterinarian—problem solving—to make a difference and embrace compromise as many difficult decisions are being made, regardless as to whether I am working on issues surrounding agriculture, public health, or even energy and natural resources.”

After graduating from the University of Illinois-Champaign College of Veterinary Medicine in 1989, Dr. Smilie completed a food animal medicine and surgery residency at The Ohio State University, where he also earned a master's degree. He has spent the ensuing years as a relief veterinarian, business owner, and practitioner, most recently working at a mixed practice in Oregon.

“My special professional interest in veterinary public health, combined with my specialty training in food animal (medicine), and my experience owning three different veterinary practices gives me perspective and scope that I can use as a force for good,” Dr. Smilie said. “I look forward to, and understand the importance of, serving our nation and representing our profession in increasingly meaningful ways.”

For more information about the AVMA Congressional Science Fellowship and the requirements, or to apply, contact Dotty Gray, associate director in the AVMA Governmental Relations Division, at (800) 321-1473, Ext. 3209, or at fellowship@avma.org. The application deadline for the 2012–2013 fellowships is Feb. 12, 2012.

Rate decreases for liability insurance premiums planned for 2012

Some veterinarians could save hundreds of dollars on their professional liability insurance premiums next year.

In August, the AVMA PLIT announced that annual premium rates for the PLIT-sponsored Professional Liability Insurance Program primary and excess malpractice limits will decrease 15 percent for classes I (equine) and II (food animal) and 5 percent for classes III (mixed practice) and IV (small animal) for the 2012 policy year, subject to state approval.

The potential cost savings can total up to $417, depending on the veterinarian's professional activity and primary limit, according to PLIT. The primary limit rate decrease will be slightly larger in California, which will result in uniform rates nationwide.

The annual premiums for veterinary license defense and professional extension coverages will remain unchanged.

Additionally, a new higher limit option of $50,000 will be available for veterinary license defense endorsement to cover legal fees incurred defending actions against a veterinary license.

Equine dentistry could become international veterinary specialty

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A veterinarian performs equine dentistry using power equipment. (Courtesy of the Texas VMA)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 239, 9; 10.2460/javma.239.9.1150

By R. Scott Nolen

An international effort is under way to make equine dentistry a recognized specialty in North America and Europe and establish an equine dentistry specialty college.

The American Veterinary Dental College, European Veterinary Dental College, and Academy of Veterinary Dentistry announced the initiative this September. Veterinarians were contacted over the summer to gauge interest in the proposal and request nominations to the proposed college's organizing committee.

Veterinary dentistry is recognized by the AVMA's American Board of Veterinary Specialties and by the European Board of Veterinary Specialties and Australian College of Veterinary Scientists. Certification in equine veterinary dentistry is offered by the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry and other organizations. However, these certification programs are not accredited by the ABVS, and certificate holders are not considered specialists in equine dentistry.

Supporters of the proposed specialty college believe its time has come, considering the importance of dental health to horse welfare and the discipline's evolution into a highly technical field. “What in many people's minds is limited to ‘floating’ of teeth by equine dental technicians is now known to be much more complex, with effects on the well-being and performance of the horse,” said AVDC Executive Director Colin E. Harvey.

“Procedures originally developed by human dentists, and that have since been adapted by small animal veterinary dentists, such as endodontics treatment, are now being performed on horses,” Harvey continued. “Periodontal disease—the most common disease in companion animals—also affects horses.”

Many horses are now living 30 years and longer, and geriatric dental problems are more common, Harvey noted.

Additionally, an equine veterinary dental college would be an authoritative voice in the debate on whether to allow nonveterinarians to perform equine dental procedures, he added.

Currently, the ABVS recognizes 21 veterinary specialty organizations comprising 40 specialties. More than 10,000 veterinarians have been awarded diplomate status in one or more of these specialty organizations.

Numbers are important when trying to form a new specialty college. The ABVS and EBVS require that the pool of initial and potential diplomates for any proposed college be large enough to ensure the specialty's viability. Harvey expects that the number of veterinarians with the training and experience necessary for recognition as equine dental specialists will be limited at first. One possible solution that has been proposed is to establish a “supracontinental level” college to satisfy membership numbers

In this scenario, the ACVD and ECVD would submit a unified petition to the American and European veterinary specialty boards seeking approval for the international college. If the number of suitably qualified veterinarians identified during the preliminary stages is sufficient, separate petitions will be submitted to ABVS under the AVDC umbrella and to EBVS under the EVDC umbrella.

Harvey says the two colleges may also petition the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists for formation of an equine dental fellowship program as part of ANZCVSc.

“The bottom line is that under any scenario, there would be an ABVS-recognized college and an EBVS-recognized college, with the expectation that there would be diplomates in Europe and North America,” he said. “That I am aware of, there is no reason why it could not be the same college, provided, of course, that it continues to meet the ABVS and EBVS reporting requirements to maintain its recognition by both recognition entities.”

Harvey says it would “seem natural” for an intercontinental equine veterinary dental college to accept admission applications from veterinarians from other parts of the world.

At present, the three organizations are working on identifying veterinarians who meet ABVS and EBVS standards for membership in a specialty organizing committee and as potential charter diplomates. Once the committee members have been agreed on, work on a formal petition justifying the specialty will commence.

Sutureless procedure can rejoin blood vessels

A team of researchers has developed a new sutureless procedure to rejoin blood vessels.

In animal studies, researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine used a polaxamer gel and surgical glue rather than a needle and thread to rejoin blood vessels. Results of the research appeared online Aug. 28 in the journal Nature Medicine.

The gel in the sutureless procedure is solid and elastic above body temperature but dissolves harmlessly into the bloodstream below body temperature. Researchers heated both ends of a severed blood vessel with a lamp and injected the gel to distend the openings. They then used Dermabond to rejoin the two ends of the blood vessel.

The team found that the technique was five times as fast as the traditional method and could work on extremely narrow blood vessels.

The study authors wrote that other sutureless methods that use microclips, staples, or magnets are traumatic to blood vessels—leading to failure rates similar to those seen with suturing.

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Courtesy of Michael Galvez/Stanford University School of Medicine

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 239, 9; 10.2460/javma.239.9.1150

After losing weight, nearly half of dogs regain the pounds

A small study found that about half of all dogs eventually regain wieght after a period of weight loss, but that long-term use of a weight management diet can limit regain in the follow-up period.

In an article appearing online May 12 in the Veterinary Journal, researchers at the University of Liverpool in England reported on a study of 33 obese dogs that lost weight and were then put on a maintenance regimen. Median duration of follow-up was 640 days.

Fourteen dogs maintained their weight during the follow-up period, three dogs lost more than 5 percent in additional weight, and 16 dogs gained more than 5 percent in weight. Dogs on a weight loss diet regained less weight than did dogs on a standard maintenance diet.

FDA outlines goals, strategy

Improving animal models to consider the influence of disease progression, increasing the efficiency of clinical trials, and increasing access to government-collected clinical data are among the dozens of goals described in a strategy plan published by the Food and Drug Administration.

The agency published in August its Strategic Plan for Regulatory Science, which is intended to direct agency actions to improve the drug and medical device approval processes, increase food safety, and give health care providers increased access to information. The plan indicates that available resources will be used both within the FDA and to work with private and public partners to achieve the plan's goals.

Vicki Seyfert-Margolis, PhD, senior adviser for science innovation and policy for the FDA Commissioner's Office, said in an agency podcast that the FDA plan is intended to improve the process from basic research to delivery of new medical products. The changes should help patients through development of the next generation of medical products, she said.

Such products include innovations arising from research on the human genome, products developed through the use of nanotechnology, and increasingly complex biologics, she said.

The FDA plan also calls for the agency to encourage innovation in personalized medicine and to help people and professionals in health care make informed decisions about regulated products.

The plan is available at www.fda.gov/ScienceResearch/SpecialTopics/RegulatoryScience/.

AAEP releases report on BLM's wild horses

Report: “Adoption program has evolved into a welfare program”

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A helicopter drives wild horses into a trap in Oregon. (Courtesy of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 239, 9; 10.2460/javma.239.9.1150

By Malinda Larkin

The Bureau of Land Management has enlisted veterinarians and scientists to help guide how to proceed with its Wild Horse and Burro Management Program.

The agency takes inventory of the animals on public ranges and can remove excess animals on overpopulated ranges and relocate them to holding facilities, where some might be sold or put up for adoption.

Horse activists have steadfastly opposed the government roundups as cruel and sometimes deadly. More recently, they have taken the agency to court for perceived abuses to the horses.

In August, a federal judge sided with the Wild Horse Freedom Federation by finding that a government helicopter came “dangerously or unreasonably close” to a horse during a Nevada roundup.

Another group, the Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, sued the BLM this summer for its plans to corral as many as possible of the 1,000 or so horses in western Wyoming's White Mountain and Little Colorado herd management areas, then gelding or spaying the 300 or so that would be returned to the range. The BLM eventually decided neither to spay nor geld but to use the PZP vaccine, a fertility control drug. The roundup began Aug. 21 and ended a week later.

“Appropriate” care

To obtain an objective analysis of its program, the BLM requested external reviews by the American Association of Equine Practitioners and the National Research Council (see following page).

The AAEP BLM Task Force completed its review at the end of August after sending a task force of 10 member veterinarians from private practice, universities, and industry to observe BLM gathers; most had no experience with the BLM program.

Teams of three to four members observed three gathers in southwest Wyoming, west-central Nevada, and northeast Nevada. The trips to observe the gathers also included visits to four short-term holding facilities in Wyoming, Nevada, and Utah. Two long-term holding pastures were visited in Oklahoma. All this was done during a six-month period between October 2010 and March 2011.

The task force concluded that the BLM maintained “appropriate” care, handling, and management practices for its population of horses that generally support the safety, health status, and welfare of the animals.

“(BLM employees) have real strong feeling for these herds of horses and manage them as if they're their own. They take a lot of pride in their herd and caring for them,” said Dr. John S. Mitchell, chair of the task force and AAEP president-elect.

Room for improvement

At the same time, the task force noted in its 35-page report a handful of areas that could use improvement.

The AAEP found fault with the BLM for having too many horses to manage, because more remain in captivity than run wild on the range. In 2011, the BLM managed about 33,014 horses and 5,483 burros on the range. Meanwhile, the number of horses reported in BLM short-term holding facilities was 10,607 and the number in long-term holding facilities was 29,341, for a total of 39,948. A related concern noted by the task force: Many wild horses now live out their lives at government-supported long-term holding facilities.

The task force also pointed out that, while a substantial number of wild horses have found homes through the BLM's innovative adoption and placement programs, statistics show a marked decline in the past five years. From 2006–2010, the number of horses adopted decreased by 55 percent, from 6,644 to 2,960.

A decade ago, the adoption program seemed viable, with a substantial number of horses being captured and adopted, Dr. Mitchell said. Current components include regional BLM-supported adoption events, Extreme Mustang Makeover training programs and competitions sponsored by the Mustang Heritage Foundation, and state prison projects.

Another entity tasked with analyzing BLM program

The National Academy of Sciences' National Research Council has formed a committee to review the Bureau of Land Management's Wild Horse and Burro Management Program, and it is ready to go to work.

The provisional, 14-member committee includes Dr. Guy H. Palmer, director of Washington State University's School for Global Animal Health and chair of the committee, and Dr. David S. Thain, an assistant professor and state extension veterinarian in the Department of Agriculture, Nutrition, and Veterinary Science at the University of Nevada-Reno.

The committee's first meeting was Oct. 27–28 in Reno.

The NRC is to conduct an independent, technical evaluation of the scientific, methodologic, and technical decision-making approaches of the program.

Members hope to address some of the following key scientific challenges and questions:

  • • Given available information and methods, how accurately can herd populations in the West be estimated?

  • • What are the best methods to estimate herd numbers, and what is the margin of error for those methods?

  • • What are the strengths and limitations of the WinEquus population model currently used by the BLM for predicting impacts on wild horse populations?

  • • What does information available on the herds' genetic diversity indicate about long-term herd health, from a biological and genetic perspective?

  • • What are the best estimates of the annual rates of increase in herds, and what factors affect the accuracy of and uncertainty related to those estimates?

  • • What scientific factors should be considered when making population control decisions, and how should effectiveness of control approaches, herd health, genetic diversity, social behavior, and animal well-being be taken into account?

  • • What information related to the effectiveness of immunocontraception in preventing pregnancies and reducing herd populations is available?

  • • When developing nonreproducing populations, which tools should be considered (e.g., castration, spaying, vasectomy, or use of chemical sterilants)?

  • • Is there credible evidence to indicate that the presence of vasectomized stallions in a herd would be effective in decreasing annual population growth rates, or are there other methods the BLM should consider for managing stallions in a herd that would be effective in tangibly suppressing population growth?

  • • What is the optimal approach to establishing or adjusting appropriate management levels?

  • • What are some options available to the BLM to address the widely divergent and conflicting perspectives about wild horse and burro management and to consider stakeholder concerns while using the best available science to protect land and animal health?

A report is expected to be issued by mid-2013.

The BLM spends a substantial amount of its budget on these programs. Between 2004 and 2010, spending on the program went from $36.7 million to $66.1 million.

Yet, the reality is today that adoptions have plummeted because of the inability of more potential horse owners to afford horse care and a competing glut of unwanted healthy, domestic horses available for adoption, according to the report.

Meanwhile, the wild horse populations have no natural predators, and if allowed to proliferate on their own, could double in size every four to five years. “When weather extremes come, whether hot or cold, you're going to have higher numbers of suffering and death in herds if they overpopulate and don't have enough food and water,” Dr. Mitchell said. “We thought having proper census control and the fact there needs to be population control over horses per range was an important part of managing horses.”

Future strategy

A central issue for all discussions involving the care and management of the wild horse population is controlling their reproductive rate on the range, according to the report. The AAEP encourages the BLM to prioritize research into and application of effective fertility control methods to reduce the foaling rate in wild herds.

The BLM's existing method for managing herd number is to keep a smaller ratio of females. The bureau also works with the PZP injectable birth control vaccine.

Dr. Mitchell said research on reproductive control methods is an area where the AAEP can provide expertise. This could be through the agency consulting with association members who are equine reproduction specialists. Or, the association could develop methods to control the foaling rate in herds without having to capture horses so often, which reduces stress on horses, eliminates danger for employees, and saves the BLM money, he said.

The other criticisms from the task force had more to do with isolated incidents members observed that could have been handled better with more consistent rules and expectations. Examples would be a pilot who flew a little too close for comfort or a veterinarian who could have better adhered to basic anesthetic medical protocols.

“Any time a large organization like this deals with a lot of private contractors, it's important for there to be templates, protocols, standards of care so that it's being done consistently for the entire operation,” Dr. Mitchell said.

The BLM said in a statement that it appreciates the thorough, objective report prepared by the AAEP and will review its recommendations. Much of the AAEP's findings mirror the BLM's “Proposed Strategy: Details of the BLM's Proposed Strategy for Future Management of America's Wild Horses and Burros,” which it sent out last year for comment.

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Burros are corralled into holding pens at a BLM facility in California. (Courtesy of Dr. John S. Mitchell/AAEP)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 239, 9; 10.2460/javma.239.9.1150

Under the proposed new strategy, the BLM would place greater emphasis on using fertility control, including “catch, treat, and release” gathers; boosting adoptions; and establishing a comprehensive animal welfare program. The agency will likely wait, however, to make any changes until the NRC committee completes its work in mid-2013.

In the meantime, the BLM just finished the process of seeking nominations for its Scientific Advisory Board on the Wild Horse and Burro Management Program.

Horse racing eyes changes to stay relevant

New drug penalties, security, medication guidelines up for debate

By Malinda Larkin

The horse racing industry has some very real problems to contend with these days as statistics show the sport has been in decline for the past few years.

The North American auction market for yearlings has fallen by almost half, from $561 million in 2007 to $302 million in 2010. Since 2007, when $14.7 billion was wagered on U.S. races, betting totals have dropped year after year, falling to $11.4 billion in 2010.

And The Jockey Club projects a 2012 North American registered Thoroughbred foal crop of 24,700, a decline of 8.5 percent from the estimate of 27,000 registered foals for 2011. The 2012 foal crop projection, announced Aug. 13, is expected to be the smallest foal crop since 1971, when 24,301 foals were registered. The number has been declining every year since 2005.

“As veterinarians, our ability to treat horses depends critically on having horses to treat. If we have fewer horses to treat, our income's going to go down. You can't just raise prices to make up the loss. It's not possible. It's not ethical. So we are taking a beating, and we will continue to do so for a few years, at least until the foal numbers go up,” said Dr. Scott E. Palmer, American Association of Equine Practitioners Racing Committee chairman. “What it will take to improve the numbers is a healthy industry. So that's why everybody feels the compelling nature of the task ahead of us.”

Medication issues

Some of the industry's woes have been tied to drug issues and, in particular, fans' antipathy toward the use of drugs in the sport. Currently, medications such as furosemide used to treat exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage in Thoroughbred racehorses are the only medications allowed on race day in North America.

Earlier this year, the Horseplayers Association of North America conducted a poll of its members: 74.5 percent supported the phaseout of race-day use of furosemide within the next five years.

Veterinarians are trying to find solutions to fans' concerns while also maintaining practices that they believe are best for the horses.

The AAEP called a summit in June in conjunction with the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (see JAVMA, June 15, 2011, page 1543). In all, 72 representatives from the sponsoring groups and regulators and participants from 16 international racing jurisdictions formed nine groups to address race-day medications at the summit, covering topics such as how such drugs should be used, stable-area security, penalties, and the need for more studies on EIPH, just to name a few.

The summit was meant to redefine the discussion, so that instead of talking about whether one agreed with the use of furosemide, individuals would focus on understanding EIPH, reviewing treatment options and best practices for treating the condition, and determining how to best regulate that process in a way that is acceptable to most, Dr. Palmer said.

“What came out of that were a number of areas of broad interest, such as education, security, means of administration, and the possibility of phasing out race-day medication and seeing what happens,” he said.

The RMTC board of directors held its own meeting at the end of the summit. It decided more information was necessary before making any recommendations or adopting model rules for how horse racing should move forward in North America. The consortium created four committees to study these areas of interest—penalty guidelines for medication violations, race-day security procedures, methods for administration of furosemide and adjunct medications, and a potential phaseout of race-day medications in 2-year-old horses within the next two years.

New reforms

The RMTC board of directors reconvened Aug. 4 after a full day discussing the committee reports. It voted to approve a handful of recommendations. Among them was a requirement that furosemide be administered on race day only by regulatory veterinarians. Only the New York State Racing & Wagering Board does this so far. New York found its racetracks had fewer problems with medication issues, and the approach turned out to be cheaper for the tracks, said Dr. Rick M. Arthur, RMTC officer and equine medical director for the California Horse Racing Board.

The RMTC board also gave approval for the elimination of adjunct EIPH medications, as recommended by the committee studying that topic. As is, only 11 of 36 racing jurisdictions allow the use of adjunct medications, which have not been shown to be efficacious in the same manner as furosemide. Enhanced security measures at racetracks and a more severe penalty structure for medication violations were the other recommendations given RMTC approval.

The consortium wants to emulate practices adopted by international jurisdictions that better differentiate between doping and medication errors. Dr. Arthur explained that most violations are medication errors, such as a trainer administering a drug with veterinary instruction but doing so incorrectly.

“Some may try to see how close to the limit they can get, but usually people aren't trying to dope horses in that sense. They're simply using medications inappropriately,” he said, so doping should be made more onerous and medication errors less so.

This would seem to make sense, particularly after looking at the findings from a recently released report, “Drugs in Racing 2010—The Facts.” Compiled by the Association of Racing Commissioners International, it found that of the more than 320,000 samples tested in 2010, 99.5 percent did not, on the basis of existing testing protocols, contain any foreign or prohibited substances. The report also noted that the number of violative furosemide residues dropped 33 percent from 2001–2010.

The RMTC also hopes to take a page from global horse racing authorities by setting up drug detection limits, which will help the consortium establish a uniform policy for all 36 racing jurisdictions. So, for example, all jurisdictions would test for an innocuous drug such as methocarbamol at the same concentration. Veterinarians would know when they need to stop administering it and not incur a violation, Dr. Arthur said.

“The real stumbling block—as it is for any change in horse racing—is to have all states do it at the same time. That's been almost a nonstarter for racing and any attempts for uniformity,” he said.

Medication phaseout?

Still unresolved is the issue of whether to completely eliminate race-day medications. The RMTC did not approve a phaseout of furosemide for 2-year-olds at its August meeting, but a committee is still studying the possibility.

Other groups have already started to move on the issue. Breeders' Cup officials announced in July that the use of race-day medications will be prohibited in World Championship races for 2-year-olds in 2012 and for all horses in 2013.

A recently completed study commissioned by The Jockey Club meant to analyze the current state and prospective future of Thoroughbred racing and breeding in North America seemed to support the Breeders' Cup decision.

The study, “Driving Sustainable Growth for Thoroughbred Racing and Breeding,” found concerns over animal safety and welfare and drug use were consistent themes in consumer and stakeholder research as a detriment to the sport.

Dr. Arthur agreed, saying if horse racing wants to expand its market or reach out to people who are not currently race fans, the industry will have to address the drug issue.

“The fact of the matter is whether veterinarians like it or not, the public does not believe drugs should be used for competition in any sport. We'll have to deal with it one way or another if we want to expand the market and attract new fans. I think anyone who seriously looks at the economics of horse racing will see without new fans, the sport will wither away,” Dr. Arthur said.

Dr. Palmer interprets the study's findings differently. He said it also identified a handful of other areas where racing could do work to improve. These included the lack of television exposure, poor scheduling of races, and the large number of races that overlap.

“The Mikensy group (which conducted the study) put the medication issue in its proper perspective. That's not to say medications aren't important, because they are. They did a good job looking at a wide range of issues in racing that must be addressed to make it healthy again,” Dr. Palmer said.

He continued, “We know from a scientific and a medical perspective that furosemide is good for horses that race, but is it good for the business of racing? That paradox is one we've made an enormous effort to try to resolve. Fundamentally, we believe that what's good for the horse has to be good for racing.”

The Jockey Club's study ultimately outlined nine recommendations, including increased television coverage; scheduling fewer, better races to increase field size and showcase the best horses; racing integrity reforms; and dissemination of best practices around the country.

The Jockey Club's president and chief operating officer, James L. Gagliano, announced that the organization's board of stewards has committed funding over the next five years to implement many of the wide-ranging recommendations contained in this major industry study.

USDA APHIS bans double-deck trailers

By Malinda Larkin

The Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service finalized its rule Sept. 7 that bans the use of double-deck trailers when horses bound for slaughter are delivered first to an assembly point, feedlot, or stockyard.

The AVMA and American Association of Equine Practitioners applauded the final rule, which became effective Oct. 7, as important for improving the humane transport of horses being shipped to slaughter facilities in Canada and Mexico.

The amended regulation makes horses delivered to intermediate points en route to slaughter subject to the same regulations as are horses moved directly to slaughter facilities, thus closing a gaping loophole that allowed buyers to use double-deck trailers to transport horses simply by making a stop between the auction block and the slaughter plant.

The USDA APHIS stated in the Federal Register: “We believe that most transporters to and from intermediate points are already in compliance with most or all of the rule's requirements on a voluntary basis. However, we also need regulatory options to address the owner/shippers who have chosen not to transport them humanely.”

Studies have shown double-deck trailers cause significantly more injuries to horses during transport than do single-deck trailers. Double-deck trailers do not provide adequate head room for adult horses, which may acquire cuts and scrapes on the tops of their heads. Because horses cannot stand in a normal position with their heads raised, they cannot maintain balance as easily and may suffer injuries from falling. In addition, ramps used to load animals onto double-deck trailers are at a relatively steep angle. While other species of animal, such as sheep, can maneuver the ramps without incident, horses frequently sustain injuries from being forced up and down the steep incline, according to APHIS.

Recent reports from the Government Accountability Office (see JAVMA, Aug. 15, 2011, page 414) and the USDA Office of the Inspector General (see JAVMA, Jan. 15, 2011, page 143) also recommended closing the loophole that allowed shippers who do not transport horses directly to a slaughter facility to escape USDA oversight and use double-deck trailers.

Concern for horses in transit to slaughter came to light as early as the mid-1980s. Humane groups produced educational materials for the public then in an effort to focus on the need for humane care of horses in transit to and at slaughter plants (JAVMA 2000;216:1231–1262).

In 1993, a number of horse support groups, led by the American Horse Council, the American Horse Protection Association, and the American Humane Association, and joined by the AAEP, the AVMA, and others, began working to develop a federal bill addressing this issue. The Safe Commercial Transportation of Horses to Slaughter Act was passed as part of the Farm Bill in the spring of 1996.

Transporting horses directly to slaughter establishments via double-deck trailers has been banned under the law since Dec. 7, 2006.

In 2007, APHIS published the proposed—and now final—rule that extends the protections afforded by the regulations to horses delivered first to an assembly point, feedlot, or stockyard.

The proposed rule was introduced just under two weeks after a double-deck semitrailer carrying 59 horses overturned in northern Illinois. The Oct. 27, 2007, incident left 18 of 59 horses dead and dozens more injured.

The AAEP and AVMA support the new final rule.

“We are very encouraged by the USDA issuing this final rule. It is key in ensuring the proper welfare of horses being shipped long distances for the purpose of slaughter,” said Dr. Mark Lutschaunig, director of the AVMA's Governmental Relations Division. “The AVMA also believes that this ban should be in effect for transportation of horses for any reason and is actively pursuing this on the federal level.”

Pushing for better welfare, pathology

Dr. Aline Schunemann de Aluja credited with improving animal and human lives in Mexico

By Greg Cima

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Dr. Aline Schunemann de Aluja (Photos courtesy of UNAM Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 239, 9; 10.2460/javma.239.9.1150

Dr. Aline Schunemann de Aluja has fought to improve conditions for animals in Mexico's slaughterhouses and animal markets since she was a veterinary student in the 1940s.

She has worked recently to gain funding for changes at animal markets. She thinks attaching exit ramps to vehicles arriving at the markets could prevent broken legs among pigs and cattle, and providing chutes from those vehicles to corrals could prevent chaos and beatings. She is also working to give municipal slaughterhouse workers training and equipment needed to stun animals rather than cut conscious animals' throats.

Dr. Aluja, who is an emeritus professor of pathology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico said many of the people she has educated simply had not considered animal welfare or weren't told the animals don't need to suffer. She is seeing progress in animal treatment but stresses that national and international trends, rather than her own work, are behind that progress.

“It used to be considered that an animal is something that doesn't feel, that doesn't realize its surroundings, and now we have become aware through scientific results and through research that animals are very much aware of their surroundings—that animals have a capacity of consciously remembering what has formerly happened to them and what is going to happen to them,” she said. “They have the capacity of being afraid.”

However, Dr. Rubén Danilo Méndez Medina credits Dr. Aluja with creating the regulations that—at least officially—require the use of approved stunning methods during slaughter and set minimum standards for animal care, transportation, and housing.

Dr. Méndez, a pathologist focused on welfare in slaughterhouses, also noted that Dr. Aluja has worked to provide free care for donkeys and horses in rural areas, train animal protection organizations on use of stun guns on livestock, and develop pathology programs for the federal government and UNAM.

Dr. Francisco J. Trigo Tavera, dean of UNAM's veterinary school, similarly said Dr. Aluja is renowned in Mexico and Latin America for work that has developed and strengthened pathology education and animal welfare.

Without her, “Certainly, the degree of advancement of veterinary pathology in Mexico wouldn't be the same, and the developments in improving legislation toward animal welfare in Mexico wouldn't be at the level they are now,” Dr. Trigo said.

Affection for animals

Dr. Aluja said she has always had a special affection for animals, which led her to study veterinary medicine. After earning her veterinary degree at UNAM, Dr. Aluja joined most of Mexico's veterinarians in working to control foot-and-mouth disease.

She would briefly study at the University of Zurich and The Royal Veterinary College at the University of London, then return to UNAM's veterinary school and assist the professor in charge of the school's histology and pathology education. She again briefly left the university for further studies, earning a master's in pathology at the University of Pennsylvania in 1962. Returning to Mexico City, she helped modernize UNAM's pathology program, creating new collections of case studies and slides to teach gross pathology.

Dr. Aluja was given the title of emeritus professor in 1985. She received national awards for teaching and welfare in 1989 and 1993, respectively, and helped restructure the veterinary and animal production curriculums three times from 1974–2004. She has also provided expertise to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America.

“She has been and is my role model,” Dr. Méndez said, citing Dr. Aluja's discipline, hard work, honesty, and long career filled with exemplary work.

Developing pathology in laboratories and fields

Dr. Aluja chaired the pathology department for about 20 years, starting in 1971, and continues teaching pathology courses today.

Dr. Trigo met Dr. Aluja in 1971, when he was a third-year student at UNAM and she was the lecturer for his first class on pathology.

“You could say that I became a pathologist thanks to the initial impact of her lectures on me,” he said.

She is the founder of veterinary pathology in Mexico, Dr. Méndez said, noting that Dr. Aluja trained personnel from the National Laboratory of Diagnostics and developed the UNAM veterinary school's first postgraduate pathology courses.

When Dr. Trigo was a student, those who completed Dr. Aluja's general pathology and systemic pathology classes were commonly invited to become assistants in the Pathology Department, where they would aid students in pathology in addition to completing their own class work. He and others who met her exacting demands gained deep understanding of pathology through lectures and slide examinations in the necropsy room.

As the Pathology Department grew, Dr. Aluja added clinical pathology courses and wrote a book on necropsy procedures. The school's necropsy facilities were built while she was head of the department.

She also encouraged students to continue their education by pursuing postgraduate degrees, and Dr. Trigo said young veterinarians followed her example by traveling to universities in the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain.

Dr. Aluja organized student apprenticeships in rural provinces lacking the facilities available in the university. There, students needed increased knowledge to develop accurate diagnoses.

“Pathology, in a country like Mexico, is something that you have to learn to work in the field, and not only in a fancy necropsy room,” Dr. Aluja said.

Dr. Aluja also developed and strengthened the school's veterinary pathology museum, which contains many of the samples and historical documents collected while she led the department.

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Dr. Aline Schunemann de Aluja sits in front of faculty members and students of UNAM's veterinary school Pathology Department in this undated photo from the early 1970s.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 239, 9; 10.2460/javma.239.9.1150

Welfare work spans decades

During her veterinary courses in the 1970s, Dr. Aluja promoted improved treatment of livestock, particularly those killed without being properly stunned, Dr. Trigo said. Outside the classroom, she pushed for legislation on proper care for animals.

“She would talk to us of the need in Mexico in many slaughterhouses to improve the processing of animals,” Dr. Trigo said. “The killing process was not well-done in many respects.”

Dr. Francisco Aurelio Galindo Maldonado, a professor of ethology and animal welfare at UNAM, said Dr. Aluja has had an important role in enhancing animal welfare policies in Mexico. She has pushed for the scientific community to participate in committees that advise the federal government and helped draft key pieces of legislation.

Dr. Galindo noted that Dr. Aluja organized Mexico's first veterinary animal welfare courses 30 years ago, and, in 1990, she invited academics from Europe and the U.S. to train Mexican lecturers on welfare.

In the late 1980s, Dr. Aluja encouraged veterinarians to pursue postgraduate training abroad on animal welfare. By the early 1990s, those returning after receiving this additional training were working with the faculty to establish an animal welfare department in the veterinary school. She stressed that veterinary students need to learn about anatomy, physiology, endocrinology, and neurology in animal welfare instruction.

She is not yet satisfied with her work to improve animals' lives, but she expressed happiness that animal welfare is increasingly taken seriously.

“I feel confident that I have sensitized my colleagues that this is what we have to do,” she said.

Although she thinks too few personnel are assigned to enforce rules on transportation and slaughter, she thinks animal welfare has become an increasingly important issue in Mexico because of the desire to export meat and live animals. The concern is particularly important for meeting demands from some European countries with stricter standards on animal handling.

Obligation to help poor

Dr. Aluja spent 20 years working to provide free care and educate owners on animal feeding and care as Mexico's representative for the International Donkey Protection Trust. The organization is a sister charity to Donkey Sanctuary, and used to perform the international work now carried out under Donkey Sanctuary, according to Rob Nichols, head of international administration for Donkey Sanctuary in the U.K.

Nichols said Dr. Aluja founded the project in Mexico about 25 years ago and retired from an active role five years ago. The U.K.-based organization continues funding work in Mexico.

“We tried to teach people how to handle and how to treat their donkeys so that their donkeys could help them more,” Dr. Aluja said. “Because in Mexico, if you have a donkey of 10, 12 years, the poor animal is sort of finished, and a donkey can live and work up to 20 years easily.

“But all this depends how you treat it, how you feed it, and how you take care of it.”

Dr. Aluja continues research on cysticercosis and efforts to vaccinate free-roaming pigs in three southern states of Mexico. The tapeworms responsible for the disease have infected pigs and people in rural areas.

Her research with partners in England and UNAM's Institute of Biomedical Research has led to development of a swine-use cysticercosis vaccine.

She said she and fellow veterinarians in Mexico need to help the nation's poor learn how to improve their lives. Dr. Galindo praised Dr. Aluja as a tireless advocate and aide to impoverished communities.

“She is a person that has transformed institutions and ways of thinking, always caring for people and all living creatures,” he said.

Veterinary research fellowships awarded

In September, it was announced that Drs. Siddra Arielle Hines and Shawn M. Zimmerman had been awarded Pfizer Animal Health–Morris Animal Foundation Veterinary Fellowships for Advanced Study.

Dr. Hines' fellowship will be conducted at Washington State University where she will investigate why a particular tick-borne parasite is resistant to treatment in horses. Dr. Zimmerman will work with three mentors at the University of Georgia on understanding the role of Mycobacterium species in animal disease.

Pfizer Animal Health–Morris Animal Foundation Veterinary Fellowships for Advanced Study are intended to address a critical shortage of veterinary scientists. Fellows are provided with mentored research activities focusing on basic or applied research benefiting companion animals, horses, or wildlife.

Each fellow receives $60,000 annually for four years—provided equally by Morris Animal Foundation, Pfizer Animal Health, and the student's academic institution—to cover living expenses and tuition. Graduates must commit to staying in animal health research for at least four years to help fill a much-needed gap in the veterinary research field.

Learn more about the fellowship program by going to www.morrisanimalfoundation.org and entering “Pfizer fellows'’ in the search field.

St. George's accredited by COE

By Malinda Larkin

A crowd of about 500 students, faculty, and staff at the St. George's University School of Veterinary Medicine gathered Sept. 19 to hear some greatly anticipated words—the school was granted full accreditation status by the AVMA Council on Education.

The school, located in Grenada, West Indies, received the notification during the COE's meeting Sept. 18–20 at AVMA headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill. The decision is retroactive to the date of the council's comprehensive site visit; that is, all students graduating after April 21 are considered graduates of a COE-accredited institution.

The new accreditation status means SGU graduates will now be able to sit for licensure to practice veterinary medicine in the United States or Canada without first completing a foreign graduate examination. The pass rate for SGU students taking the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination in 2010 was 96 percent.

Dean Raymond F. Sis said he was very happy about the decision and has received plenty of congratulations from colleagues and former students across the globe.

Currently, about 500 DVM-degree students are enrolled, distributed over the four years of the veterinary curriculum. Eighty-five percent, approximately, are from the United States, with the remaining 15 percent coming from other countries, including Canada. Over the past decade, SGU students have come from 22 countries.

Students in the four-year DVM-degree program study basic veterinary medical sciences during the first two years. Third-year students go on to the introductory stages of their clinical work. The fourth year consists of 48 weeks of off-site clinical training at another veterinary school or college divided into 18 weeks of instruction in six core subjects and 30 weeks of electives. St. George's is affiliated with 23 U.S. veterinary schools and colleges, two schools in the United Kingdom, and schools in Canada, Ireland, and Australia.

SGU's veterinary school starts two new classes each year—in August and January. Generally, 80 to 90 students arrive in the fall term and between 50 and 60 in the spring term. Dean Sis said he doesn't anticipate the number of students admitted to grow, but does expect a larger applicant pool now that the school has been accredited by the COE.

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St. George's University students cheer during the announcement made by Chancellor Charles R. Modica that the veterinary school had received full accreditation status from the AVMA Council on Education. (Courtesy of SGU)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 239, 9; 10.2460/javma.239.9.1150

The school, founded in 1999, submitted a self-study report to the COE in 2006, and the council conducted a consultative site visit Feb. 18–22, 2007. A council site team paid a comprehensive site visit to the island April 17–21, 2011.

St. George's is the second Caribbean school to become fully accredited this year; Ross University earned that distinction this past spring. SGU is the 17th foreign institution accredited by the council, including five in Canada. The 28 U.S. veterinary schools and colleges are also COE-accredited.

The COE grants accreditation status to foreign schools and colleges of veterinary medicine on the basis of compliance with the 11 standards of accreditation.

Foreign colleges are required to undergo a preliminary or consultative site visit to determine their preparedness for a comprehensive site visit and are required to correct all deficiencies identified by the consultative site team before requesting a comprehensive site visit. That visit is the final step before the council makes an accreditation decision.

Dean Sis said the COE process for accreditation was very thorough and that all of the council's policies and procedures were followed.

Wisconsin's second veterinary dean to retire

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Dr. Daryl D. Buss

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 239, 9; 10.2460/javma.239.9.1150

Dr. Daryl D. Buss will step down as dean of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine after three decades of academic leadership.

He plans to retire from both his administrative and faculty appointments in June 2012.

Dean Buss has served as dean since 1994, when he left the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine after 15 years as chair of the physiological sciences department.

He is just the second dean in the Wisconsin veterinary school's history.

In a university press release, Dean Buss said he counts among his successes the considerable growth in research expenditures at the veterinary school and increased caseload at the veterinary teaching hospital. The 2006 return of the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory to campus after more than 40 years away was another important milestone for Dean Buss, as was the establishment of the UW Center for Global Health in 2005.

With the conclusion of a contentious budget battle, the imminent retirement of a sizeable number of faculty, and the veterinary school's re-accreditation scheduled for 2015, now is the time to step down, Dean Buss said in the release.

Dean Buss received his DVM degree from the University of Minnesota in 1968 and both his master's and doctoral degrees from UW-Madison in 1975.

An authority on the circulation of blood to the heart, Dean Buss will teach his final cardiovascular physiology course this year.

He has held volunteer positions with the AVMA, including chair of the Council on Research; the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges; and the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues.

Winn calls for feline research proposals

The Winn Feline Foundation has issued a call for 2012 research grant proposals.

The foundations seeks to enhance the relationship between cats and humans by fostering improvements in feline health through research and education. In 2011, the foundation funded eight grants totaling $140,324 in areas such as stem cells, feline infectious peritonitis, diarrhea, oral cancer, feline genetics, and drug therapies.

The application deadline is Dec. 12. Applicants may be faculty veterinarians, postdoctoral fellows, practicing veterinarians, or veterinary students. The maximum grant amount is $25,000; projects should have achievable goals within that limit. Multiyear proposals totaling more than $25,000 will not be considered. Additional funds may be available for breed-related studies.

Studies applicable to all cats are encouraged, although Winn is particularly interested in projects addressing issues in nutrition and behavior. The foundation also has dedicated funds for research in feline infectious peritonitis and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Continuation of grants awarded in 2011 will be considered.

To apply for a Winn Feline Foundation grant, submit an electronic proposal as a single complete Microsoft Word document to grants@winnfelinehealth.com by Dec. 12. Proposals submitted in separate pieces will not be reviewed. Awards will be announced in February 2012.

Go to www.winnfelinehealth.org for more information.

American College of Veterinary Dermatology

The American College of Veterinary Dermatology certified eight new diplomates following the certification examination it held Aug. 4–5 in Raleigh, N.C. The new diplomates are as follows:

Sarah Bartlett, Orange Park, Fla.

Cindy B. Darby, Greenville, S.C.

Megan Frazier, Campbell, Calif.

Melissa Hall, Pasadena, Calif.

Kerstin Henneveld, Wiesbaden, Germany

Andrea Lam, New Castle, Del.

Ursula Oberkirchner, Gainesville, Fla.

Mary Sakai, Campbell, Calif.

Correction

The article “Dutch veterinarian credited with Brucella abortus discovery” in the Oct. 1, 2011, issue of JAVMA News incorrectly identified Dr. Bernhard Bang as Dutch (a native of the Netherlands). He is Danish (a native of Denmark).

Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians

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Dr. Joerg Mayer

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 239, 9; 10.2460/javma.239.9.1150

Event: Annual meeting, Aug. 8, Seattle

Program: The meeting drew 50 attendees. The president of the AEMV, Dr. Joerg Mayer, presided over the meeting.

Awards: Research Grant ($5,000): Dr. Sathya K. Chinnadurai, Raleigh, N.C., is the first recipient of this grant, for his project, “Sex differences in meloxicam pharmacokinetics in ferrets after single subcutaneous and oral administration.” President's Award: Kathy Barnes, Hopkington, N.H. Barnes was recognized for her work in redesigning and maintaining the new AEMV website.

Business: The AEMV board of directors voted to create an executive director position, which was filled by Melissa Kling, immediate past secretary of the association. Kling presented members with a prototype of the newly designed logo and membership plaques that will soon be available for workplace display. Planned developments for 2012 include the creation of an association Facebook page, formation of a list of member practices offering veterinary student externship opportunities, and an enlarged AEMV presence in the Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine. The AEMV plans to join the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians and the American Association of Zoological Veterinarians in Oakland, Calif, for their annual scientific program and conference in October 2012.

Officials: Drs. Joerg Mayer, Athens, Ga., president; Vittorio Capello, Milano, Italy, president-elect; Dan Johnson, Raleigh, N.C., treasurer; Cathy Johnson-Delaney, Kirkland, Wash., immediate past president; and Melissa Kling, Macon, Ga., executive director

Iowa VMA

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Dr. Alan Beyer

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 239, 9; 10.2460/javma.239.9.1150

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Dr. James Hoffmann

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 239, 9; 10.2460/javma.239.9.1150

Event: Annual meeting, Sept. 15–16, Ames

Awards: Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Alan Beyer, West Branch. A 1975 graduate of Kansas State University, Dr. Beyer is a partner in a mixed animal practice in West Branch. He is a member of the local animal control commission and has served as county fair veterinarian for Cedar and Johnson counties for several years. Meritorious Service Award: Dr. James Hoffmann, Walnut. A 1982 graduate of Iowa State University, Dr. Hoffman practices at Avoca Veterinary Clinic in Avoca. He is serving his fifth two-year term on the IVMA Executive Board and is a member of the IVMA Legislative Committee. President's Award: James Carney, JD, Des Moines. Carney was honored for his more than 30 years of service as a lobbyist and legal counsel for the IVMA.

Business: The association is hosting the Heartland Veterinary Conference in 2012 and has challenged the other 12 participating state VMAs to compete to collect the most food for local food pantries. Within the Iowa VMA, each of the 20 districts is competing against each other in this challenge.

Officials: Drs. William J. Williams, Ames, president; Jodie Pettit, Audubon, president-elect; Hans Koehnk, Jewell, vice president; Teresa Carmichael, Oskaloosa, immediate past president; Danelle Bickett-Weddle, Ames, AVMA delegate; and Charles Lemme, Cedar Rapids, AVMA alternate delegate

Community Obituaries: Member Honor roll member Nonmember

Stanley E. Blinkhorn

Dr. Blinkhorn (COL ′59), 78, Eugene, Ore., died April 20, 2011. He was in small animal practice in Eugene for more than 40 years. Earlier in his career, Dr. Blinkhorn practiced briefly in Portland, Ore. He served in the Army Veterinary Corps from 1959–1961, attaining the rank of captain. Dr. Blinkhorn was a past president of the Oregon and Lane County VMAs. He served on the Oregon Veterinary Medical Examining Board from 1989–1997 and was a past chairman of the board. In 2002, Dr. Blinkhorn received the OVMA Meritorious Service Award. Active in civic life, he was a longtime member of the Eugene Delta Rotary Club. Dr. Blinkhorn's wife, Joan; three daughters; and a son survive him. Memorials may be made to Sacred Heart Hospice, 677 E. 12th Ave. # N110, Eugene, OR 97401; or toward the building fund at Grace Community Fellowship, 989 Country Club Road, Eugene, OR 97401.

William M. Busey

Dr. Busey (OSU ′58), 79, Vienna, Va., died Aug. 6, 2011. Retired since 2004, he co-founded Experimental Pathology Laboratories Inc. in Herndon, Va., in 1971. Dr. Busey was instrumental in designing and developing a pathology peer review system for verifying the pathology data generated by the National Cancer Institute's National Toxicology Program. Recognizing the value of preserving and maintaining biomaterials and related scientific data, he also co-founded EPL Pathology Archives in 1978.

Following graduation, Dr. Busey practiced large animal medicine in Franklin, Ky.; ran the North Carolina state herd health program; and headed a swine research laboratory in Edenton, N.C. In 1961, he was awarded a four-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to attend Colorado State University, where he obtained a master's degree and a doctorate in veterinary pathology. Dr. Busey began his veterinary pathology career in 1965 at Hazleton Laboratories in Vienna. In 2005, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Society honored him with the Alumni Recognition Award. Dr. Busey is survived by his wife, Betty; a daughter; and a son. Memorials may be made to The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, 1900 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH 43210; or Grear Memorial Garden, Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 1125 Savile Lane, McLean, VA 22101.

Hugh C. Butler

Dr. Butler (WSU ′54), 86, Austin, Texas, died July 23, 2011. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, he was a professor of small animal surgery at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine from 1968 until retirement in 1986. Dr. Butler was among the first veterinary surgeons in the United States to adopt an advanced Swiss system of using plates and screws for fracture repair in dogs. He was also known for his research and work in kidney transplantation.

Dr. Butler began his career as assistant state veterinarian for the Montana Livestock Sanitary Board. From 1955–1964, he served as a professor of animal surgery and physiology at the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Butler then moved to New York, where he was a small animal surgeon at the Animal Medical Center. He also conducted research at the Sloane-Kettering Institute in Manhattan, where he developed surgical techniques to advance the science of artificial joint replacement.

Dr. Butler received several honors, including the WSU-CVM McCoy Memorial Award in 1974 for his work in clinical veterinary medicine and the E.R. Frank Award from the KSU-CVM in 2000 for meritorious service to the college and the veterinary profession. He was an Army veteran of World War II, attaining the rank of 2nd lieutenant. Dr. Butler's two sons survive him. Memorials may be made to Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, The Duke Ellington Building, 2121 Ward Court. N.W., 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20037.

Gerald B. Conger

Dr. Conger (COL ′57), 82, Caldwell, Idaho, died June 27, 2011. He founded Conger Small Animal Hospital in Caldwell in 1958, practicing there for 29 years. Dr. Conger then served as a relief veterinarian until 1995. Early in his career, he practiced mixed animal medicine in Bozeman, Mont. Dr. Conger was a past president of the Idaho VMA and a founder and charter member of the Idaho Academy of Veterinary Medicine. He was also a past president of the Southwest Idaho VMA, served on the Idaho Board of Veterinary Medicine, and was a past Region 6 director for the American Animal Hospital Association. Dr. Conger was named Idaho Veterinarian of the Year in 1983 and received the IVMA Presidential Citation Award in 2008. Active in civic life, he was a past president of the Caldwell Rotary Club and was named 1998 Rotarian of the Year. Dr. Conger was also active with The Elks and Boy Scouts of America. His wife, Shirley; three sons; and a daughter survive him. Memorials may be made to the Caldwell Rotary Foundation, P.O. Box 24, Caldwell, ID 83606.

Nicholas S. Dzubay

Dr. Dzubay (MIN ′53), 84, Barron, Wis., died July 17, 2011. Prior to retirement in 1995, he worked for the United States Department of Agriculture in meat inspection. During that time, Dr. Dzubay was assigned to what was known as Jerome Foods in Wisconsin as inspector-in-charge for 24 years. Following graduation, he practiced large animal medicine in Cameron, Wis., for 11 years, while also working for Abbott's Dairy. In 1964, Dr. Dzubay returned to the University of Minnesota, where he earned a doctorate in public health and then moved back to Cameron to join the USDA. He was an Army Air Corps veteran of World War II. Dr. Dzubay's wife, Shirley; two daughters; and a son survive him. Memorials may be made to Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, 523 First St., Clayton, WI 54004.

James C. Hathaway

Dr. Hathaway (COL ′90), 49, Livermore, Colo., died Aug. 14, 2011. He owned Granite Canyon Surgical Services, a home-based practice covering Colorado and Wyoming that focused on orthopedic surgery. Dr. Hathaway is survived by his wife, Sandra; two daughters; and a son.

Ivin M. Jackson

Dr. Jackson (COL ′38), 99, Kimberly, Idaho, died March 14, 2011. A small animal veterinarian, he practiced at Twin Falls Veterinary Hospital in Twin Falls, Idaho, with his brother, Dr. Delwyn A. Jackson (now deceased), for 40 years. Dr. Jackson served in the Army Veterinary Corps during World War II, attaining the rank of major. His two sons and two daughters survive him.

Lowell M. Jones

Dr. Jones (OSU ′41), 95, Bowling Green, Ohio, died June 24, 2011. A mixed animal veterinarian, he established a practice in Bowling Green in 1946, working there until retirement in 1997. During that time, Dr. Jones was joined in practice by his brother, Dr. Kenneth Jones (now deceased), from 1951–1972, and his son, Dr. John A. Jones (VMR ′93), from 1993. Earlier in his career, Dr. Jones practiced briefly in Murray, Ky., and served in the Army Veterinary Corps, attaining the rank of major. Active in civic life, he was a longtime member and a past president of the Bowling Green Rotary Club. Dr. Jones is survived by five daughters and his son. Memorials may be made to the Lowell Jones Scholarship Fund, Bowling Green Rotary Club, c/o Carl A. Lipp, Treasurer, 1047 Charles St., Bowling Green, OH 43402.

Robert A. Kainer

Dr. Kainer (COL ′49), 88, Fort Collins, Colo., died Aug. 20, 2011. After earning a master's degree in anatomy from Washington State University in 1952, Dr. Kainer moved to Idaho Springs, Colo., where he taught science at Idaho Springs High School and operated a practice. In 1961, he joined the veterinary faculty of Colorado State University, teaching anatomy for the next 30 years. Dr. Kainer retired in 1991 as professor emeritus. He later accepted a teaching position at Ross University in St. Kitts, West Indies, where he taught histology. Dr. Kainer retired for the second time in 2008. He was named Top Professor in 1965 by Colorado State University and received the Ross University/DeVry Institute Pride Award for outstanding service in teaching in 2006. Dr. Kainer was an Army veteran of World War II. He is survived by his son. Memorials may be made to the Larimer County Humane Society, c/o Vessey Funeral Service, 2649 E. Mulberry St. A-1, Fort Collins, CO 80524.

Herbert C. Lloyd Sr.

Dr. Lloyd (AUB ′64), 82, Arcadia, Fla., died July 6, 2011. A mixed animal veterinarian, he practiced in Florida for more than 45 years. During that time, Dr. Lloyd served as the resident veterinarian for Big B Ranch in South Bay; owned Everglades Animal Hospital in Belle Glade; owned Clewiston Animal Clinic in Clewiston; established Arcadia Animal Clinic; and practiced in Immokale. Prior to establishing Arcadia Animal Clinic, he left Florida briefly to work as a technical field specialist for Diamond Labs in Des Moines, Iowa. Dr. Lloyd also volunteered with the Peace Corps in Morocco and with the Christian Veterinary Mission in Honduras, Asia, Africa, Mongolia, and South America.

He was a past president of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, a past treasurer of the Florida VMA, a past president of the Palm Beach County Veterinary Society, and a charter member of the Academy of Veterinary Consultants. Dr. Lloyd was also a member of the Arcadia Rotary Club. He served as a lieutenant in the Army during the Korean War. Dr. Lloyd's wife, Jeanne; two sons; and two daughters survive him. Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, 1006 N. Brevard Ave., Arcadia, FL 34266; or Christian Veterinary Mission, 19303 Fremont Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98133.

Harold V. Miller

Dr. Miller (OKL ′60), 78, Shawnee, Okla., died July 12, 2011. A diplomate of the American College of Theriogenologists, he was a consultant in dairy herd management since the mid-1980s. Early in his career, Dr. Miller practiced mixed animal medicine at Shawnee Animal Hospital for 16 years and served as a professor at the Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine for two years. He was a member of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners and the Oklahoma VMA. Dr. Miller was the 1993 OVMA Food Practitioner of the Year and Veterinarian of the Year in 2000. He was active with the 4-H Club and Future Farmers of America and was a past board member of the Shawnee Conservation District. Dr. Miller is survived by his wife, Jean; a son; and three daughters. Memorials may be made to the Oklahoma State University Foundation (with the memo line of the check notated The Harold V. Miller Fund #28-90500), P.O. Box 1749, Stillwater, OK 74076.

Bruce W. Mueller

Dr. Mueller (ORS ′86), 49, Sheridan, Ore., died Aug. 19, 2011. He was a field veterinarian with the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Dr. Mueller's responsibilities included overseeing the Johne's and Avian Influenza Control programs. Earlier in his career, he worked with the Peace Corps and Heifer International in Mafia, Tanzania, improving milk production and with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in Linguere, Senegal, improving herd health and animal production. Dr. Mueller's wife, Kathryn, and four children survive him.

Thomas W. Ohlson

Dr. Ohlson (WSU ′51), 88, Danville, Calif., died July 14, 2011. He practiced mixed animal medicine in California's San Ramon Valley. Dr. Ohlson also helped establish an emergency animal clinic in the county. Dr. Ohlson was a Navy veteran of World War II. Active in civic life, he was a past president of the Danville Chamber of Commerce and a member of the San Ramon Valley School Board. Dr. Ohlson was also a past president of the Danville Rotary Club, receiving a Paul Harris Fellow Award in 1976 and a Lifetime Service Award in 2010. He is survived by his wife, Gloria, and six children. Memorials may be made to The Rotary Foundation, P.O. Box 224, Danville, CA 94526.

Jimmy R. Peacock

Dr. Peacock (AUB ′58), 82, Clermont, Fla., died Aug. 27, 2011. Prior to retirement in 1980, he worked for the Florida Department of Agriculture, testing show horses. Dr. Peacock began his career in Winter Garden, Fla., where he was in dairy practice. In 1966, he established South Lake Animal Hospital, a mixed animal practice in Clermont. Dr. Peacock sold the practice ten years later and joined the Florida Department of Agriculture. He was a past president of the Central Florida VMA and a past chair of the Lake Sumter Community College Board of Trustees. Dr. Peacock was also a past president of the South Lake Rotary Club. His wife, Margaret; a son; and a daughter survive him. Memorials may be made to the Auburn University Library, Auburn, AL 36849.

Jack D. Rux Jr.

Dr. Rux (TEX ′73), 63, Olney, Texas, died June 18, 2011. He practiced mixed animal medicine at Olney Veterinary Hospital for 30 years. Dr. Rux served as a captain in the Army from 1972–1976 and was a member of the American Legion. He was a recipient of the Olney Chamber of Commerce Pioneer Award for his 30 years of dedicated and loyal service to the community. Dr. Rux's wife, Jerry; two daughters; and two stepdaughters survive him. Memorials may be made to Hospice of Wichita Falls, P.O. Box 4804, Wichita Falls, TX 76308.

Carl L. Schenholm

Dr. Schenholm (COR ′46), 88, Sedona, Ariz., died Aug. 5, 2011. During his 58-year career, he practiced in Westport, N.Y.; established Schenholm Veterinary Hospital, a mixed animal practice in Flemington, N.J.; and founded Schenholm Veterinary Clinic, a small animal practice in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. When Dr. Schenholm retired in 2004, he was honored by the city of Oakland Park, Fla., for his contributions to the city. He was a member of the Broward County VMA and the Rotary Club. Dr. Schenholm was a veteran of the Army. He is survived by his wife, Sandi, and a daughter. Memorials may be made to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Box 39, Ithaca, NY 14853; or Hummingbird Society, 6560 Highway 179, Suite 204, Sedona, AZ 86351.

Amos W. Stults

Dr. Stults (UP ′35), 100, Hopewell, N.J., died March 26, 2011. A mixed animal veterinarian, he established a practice in Hopewell in 1935, retiring after 70 years of practice. Dr. Stults was a past president of the New Jersey VMA. He received the association's Distinguished Service Award in 1979. In 2000, Dr. Stults was a recipient of the Centennial Award from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. He was named Central New Jersey VMA Veterinarian of the Year in 2002. Active in civic life, Dr. Stults was a past president of the Hopewell Board of Education. He is survived by a son and a daughter. Dr. Stults' son, Dr. Amos Stults Jr. (UP ′73), is a veterinarian in Ringoes, N.J. Memorials in his name may be made to the Scholarship Fund, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, 3800 Spruce St., Philadelphia, PA 19104.

Patrick R. Walker

Dr. Walker (AUB ′79), 62, Loudon, Tenn., died May 3, 2011. A mixed animal practitioner, he was the founder of Loudon County Animal Hospital. Dr. Walker helped establish an animal shelter in Loudon County and was active with the Loudon County Humane Society. He served in the Army during the Vietnam War, earning a Bronze Star. Active in civic life, Dr. Walker was a longtime member of the Loudon Lions Club. He is survived by two sons. Memorials may be made to the Loudon County Humane Society, P.O. Box 602, Lenoir City, TN 37771; or Smile Train, P.O. Box 96231, Washington, DC 20090.

Richard A. Weaver

Dr. Weaver (OSU ′65), 76, Canton, Ohio, died July 28, 2011. A small animal practitioner, he owned Veterinary Wellness Center of North Canton, focusing on providing affordable veterinary services. During his 48-year career, Dr. Weaver spent a year on the Oglala Sioux Reservation in South Dakota as a representative of the Outreach Program of the Ohio VMA, treating animals and working with high-risk youth. He also volunteered with the Christian Veterinary Mission, traveling to Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala, Romania, Mexico, and Peru. Dr. Weaver was a member of the Ohio and Stark County VMAs. His wife, Virginia; two sons; two daughters; and four stepsons survive him. One son, Dr. T. Wayne Watkins (OSU ′85), is a veterinarian in McCook, Neb. Memorials may be made to Christian Veterinary Mission, 19303 Fremont Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98133.

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