study IDs excess CAPACITY in veterinary workforce; 11 to 14% underutilization projected through 2025

By R. Scott Nolen

approximately 12.5 percent of veterinary services in the United States went unused last year, according to a new AVMA study. The study further projects double-digit underutilization of veterinary labor over the next decade.

The demand for veterinary services in 2012 was sufficient to fully employ just 78,950 of the 90,200 veterinarians currently working in clinical and nonclinical settings, resulting in an underuse of services equal to the labor of 11,250 veterinarians, study results show.

Moreover, the nation's veterinary services capacity is likely to be underutilized by 11 to 14 percent through 2025, or the equivalent of an underemployment of as many as 12,300 veterinarians annually.

The U.S. Veterinary Workforce Study offers a measure of excess capacity in the veterinary profession, a condition in which demand for veterinary services is less than the available supply of those services at prevailing prices. On April 23, the AVMA released its final report on the study, which found excess capacity highest among equine practices, followed by small animal practices, food production practices, and mixed animal practices.

Michael Dicks, PhD, director of the AVMA Veterinary Economics Division and a study consultant, said excess capacity is present in every industry and is necessary to meet surges in demand. “What we don't know is the optimum level of excess capacity for veterinary medicine, that is, meeting the demands of society and the profitability of the practice,” Dr. Dicks said. “Thus, it is difficult to say for certain from the current measure of excess capacity what this means about the health of the veterinary industry.”

A former agricultural economist, Dr. Dicks cautioned against reading too much into the finding that 12.5 percent of veterinary services were unused. “The estimate's not really saying that there are 11,250 veterinarians who can't find work. What it is saying is that a majority of private practitioners don't feel like their capacity to provide services is being fully utilized,” he said.

Veterinarians are largely self-employed and work in an industry with relatively low unemployment, leading researchers to conclude that excess capacity has manifested as underemployment, not out-of-work veterinarians. Identifying the causes of the underutilization of veterinary services was not a goal of the AVMA study.

Additional study findings include a decline in the inflation-adjusted mean income for veterinarians in clinical practice from 2005–2011, most notably in the equine sector. On average, veterinarians employed in clinical practice are working more than 40 hours a week, despite the excess capacity in the workforce generally. Women, who constitute about half the current veterinary labor force, will likely make up 71 percent of the profession by 2030.

Market influences on the veterinary industry have been analyzed periodically since the mid-1980s. Prior to the AVMA study, the most recent study was conducted by the National Research Council, which published its assessment of veterinary workforce needs in 2012, four years later than promised (see JAVMA, July 15, 2012, page 154).

Last year, the AVMA Executive Board commissioned IHS Healthcare & Pharma and the Center for Health Workforce Studies at the State University of New York to conduct an economic analysis of the current and future supply of and demand for veterinarians and veterinary services in the United States. It was part of a broad initiative by the AVMA to support the veterinary workforce.

“When we say there's 12.5 percent excess capacity in the system, we can take that as a reliable finding. What we don't know is what that means from a practical point of view for the various sectors of the profession,” AVMA President Douglas G. Aspros said, adding that the Association is committed to studying the issue further.

“As a veterinarian, I would hope policymakers across the profession, including those responsible for existing veterinary colleges and those planning future educational programs, closely study the report and carefully consider its implications,” Dr. Aspros said.

The AVMA describes its workforce study as the beginning of a long-term process to better understand the U.S. market for veterinary labor and services—no easy task, given the broad range of veterinary disciplines and a general lack of reliable employment data for the profession. Notably, the NRC research committee cited the latter for the delay in the release of its study.


Mean annual earnings of veterinarians in clinical practice (2012 dollars) (Source: IHS analysis of the AVMA Biennial Economic Survey. The year-to-year comparison does not control for changes in demographic variables that could impact mean annual earnings.)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 242, 11; 10.2460/javma.242.11.1444

For the AVMA study, researchers conducted literature reviews, data and survey analyses, and interviews with stakeholders and subject experts. Educated assumptions were made when information wasn't available. The researchers accounted for such variables as entrants to the veterinary workforce, retirement patterns, work hours, and geographic distribution of veterinary services.

A survey of veterinarians employed in clinical practice was conducted in conjunction with the study and found nearly half the respondents thought their local market was inundated by veterinarians and veterinary practices. A similar percentage reported a perception of just the right numbers of both veterinarians and veterinary practices. Just over half perceived their practices were not working at full capacity.

A key component of the workforce study was the development of a computer simulation model that could be used to estimate current and future excess capacity in the veterinary workforce. The AVMA Veterinary Economics Division will refine and update the model as research gaps related to the market for veterinary labor and services are identified and filled.

Dr. Link Welborn chairs the AVMA Workforce Advisory Group created to supervise the research process. The Veterinary Workforce Study is a starting point, he explained, and the estimates and projections will be revised as new data become available.

“The excess capacity estimates are indeed that: estimates based on the best available data. Accordingly, one could argue that the estimates are a little high or a little low, but the Workforce Advisory Group has a high level of confidence that substantial excess capacity does exist within certain employment sectors and geographic regions,” Dr. Welborn said.

The study estimates that at the beginning of 2012, the total supply of U.S. veterinary labor was 90,200 (measured as full-time equivalent veterinarians) while demand equaled the services of 78,950 veterinarians, creating an excess capacity of 12.5 percent, or the equivalent of 11,250 veterinarians. Demand for veterinary services would have had to increase 14 percent to fully employ the entire veterinary workforce last year.

The study goes on to project 11 percent growth in both areas over the coming years, reaching a veterinary labor supply totaling 100,400 and service demand equal to 88,100 veterinarians by 2025. As a result, excess capacity in veterinary services is expected to range from 11 percent to 14 percent each year between 2012 and 2025.

Researchers explain they modeled the sensitivity of the supply projections to changes in underlying assumptions regarding the number of veterinarians trained, work patterns, and retirement patterns. Under every scenario, they saw the supply projections exceed demand through 2025.

“Given the high debt load of new students and stagnating incomes seen in recent years among veterinarians, it is unlikely that veterinarians will reduce average hours worked or retire earlier than current and historical patterns,” the study states. “Consequently, there is greater potential for the supply projections to exceed the baseline estimates rather than fall short of the baseline estimates.”

In addition to the workforce study report, the AVMA released a report from the Workforce Advisory Group regarding the study's implications for the veterinary profession. In it were 11 recommendations for actions the Association and the veterinary profession could undertake in response to the study report, including identifying ways to boost the demand for veterinary services, researching the relationship between the demand for veterinary services and the U.S. economy as a whole, and evaluating the effects of price sensitivity and changes in consumers' disposable income on demand.


Dr. Link Welborn, chair of the AVMA Veterinary Economics Strategy Committee and Workforce Advisory Group, briefs the AVMA House of Delegates last August about Association efforts supporting the U.S. veterinary workforce. (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 242, 11; 10.2460/javma.242.11.1444

In the meantime, veterinarians can act now to boost productivity in their practices, according to Dr. Welborn. “One of the best opportunities for all veterinarians is to focus on increasing the demand for veterinary services by educating consumers of those services about the true importance and value of veterinary care,” he said. “While the Partners for Healthy Pets initiative only applies to small animal practice, it is an excellent example of tools that can be utilized to enhance consumer awareness.”

The 2013 U.S. Veterinary Workforce Study is available at www.avma.org. An executive summary of the study and the AVMA Workforce Advisory Group report are published in this issue of JAVMA (see pages 1507 and 1516).


Alternative supply scenarios vs. baseline supply and demand projections, 2012–2025 (Source: U.S. Veterinary Workforce Study)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 242, 11; 10.2460/javma.242.11.1444

stakeholders respond to AVMA workforce study

AAHA, AAVMC, AAEP, AABP, AASV, SAVMA comment on excess capacity finding

By R. Scott Nolen

american Animal Hospital Association Executive Director Michael Cavanaugh says the U.S. Veterinary Workforce Study confirms what many in the veterinary profession suspected: There is no shortage of veterinarians.

The AVMA report estimates demand for veterinary services in 2012 was sufficient to fully employ 78,950 of the 90,200 veterinarians, creating an excess capacity of 12.5 percent, or the equivalent of 11,250 veterinarians.

“The study results are concerning and should end any arguments relating to a shortage of veterinarians,” Dr. Cavanaugh said.

The AAHA was one of several veterinary stakeholders that responded to the AVMA report, released April 23. If current conditions remain unchanged, the study projects U.S. veterinary service capacity will be underutilized by 11 to 14 percent through 2025, which equates to an underemployment of up to 12,300 veterinarians each year.

“Those in veterinary medicine need to stop and take a hard look at the causes of the current situation and reassess whether an increasing number of veterinarians in a market where supply far outpaces demand is in the best interests of students, the public, and our profession,” Dr. Cavanaugh said.

The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges describes the AVMA workforce study as “an important step among many taken in recent years to help the veterinary medical profession achieve a more appropriate state of economic equilibrium.”

Several U.S. veterinary schools expanded class sizes at a time of stagnating veterinary incomes and decreased productivity, fueling complaints the institutions were contributing to the overcapacity in the workforce.

AAVMC Executive Director Andrew Maccabe says schools were responding to a perceived public need, however. During the past decade, veterinary services in certain sectors were expected to fall alarmingly low. Efforts at increasing service capacity included expanding veterinary student enrollment, offering student loan repayment programs in exchange for working in underserviced areas, and expanding public health and biomedical research programs at veterinary schools through federal legislation, Dr. Maccabe explained.

There is no governing authority dictating U.S. veterinary school closures or class sizes, Dr. Maccabe noted. “Colleges of veterinary medicine make individual decisions regarding class size based upon their mission and the population they serve,” he said.

“Enrollment patterns are not coordinated or mediated by any agency or organization.”

For AAVMC President Deborah Kochevar, the AVMA workforce study raises an important question: How should veterinary schools and colleges respond?

“We view academic veterinary medicine and the nation's practice environment as fully integrated, constantly interacting, and co-dependent systems. As such, we shoulder the burdens—and the triumphs—of this profession together,” said Dr. Kochevar, dean of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.

In the coming months, AAVMC members will consider the report and its implications, association officials said, with an expectation of developing programs addressing the economic well-being of the profession and working with veterinary stakeholders to effect positive changes.

Increasing the demand for veterinary services is a key component of solving the problem of excess capacity, according to the AAVMC. “Broader public understanding of the importance of preventive health care for companion animal care should expand markets,” Dr. Kochevar said, citing the importance of the Partners for Healthy Pets initiative and similar programs.

The AVMA's veterinary workforce study found excess capacity highest among equine practices. “The horse industry has contracted in the last five years, so the findings regarding equine practice are not surprising,” American Association of Equine Practitioners President Ann Dwyer said.

“Through our long-range strategic planning process, the AAEP is focused on providing modern veterinary service models that expand the capacity of member practices while strengthening the relationship that horse owners have with their veterinarian,” Dr. Dwyer added.

Excess capacity in the food animal sector was estimated at 15 percent—lower than the equine (23 percent) and small animal (18 percent) sectors.

The American Association of Bovine Practitioners has been studying supply and demand in food animal and mixed animal practices for the past three years. “The finding that there will be double-digit underutilization of veterinary services over the next decade supports what the AABP ad hoc rural veterinary practice committee discovered, which is that there is no longer a shortage of food animal veterinarians but a problem of distribution and practice viability in certain underserved geographical areas,” said Dr. David Welch, project leader for the AABP Committee on Veterinary Practice Sustainability.

AABP President Nigel Cook says veterinary services need to adapt to maintain the profession's presence on the farm. “There are many examples of successful practice models which expand veterinary services beyond traditional roles into consulting and facilitatory services, and the current concerns over pharmaceutical use and antimicrobial resistance, alongside animal welfare concerns, may ultimately create new opportunities not factored into this report,” Dr. Cook said.

The AABP's practice sustainability committee is searching out nontraditional business plans that will serve livestock owners' veterinary needs better than the historic norm. Dr. Welch noted that the use of veterinary technicians to help in the provision of veterinary care is but one of several tactics being examined by the AABP and other veterinary organizations.

With the exception of the “magnitude” of the veterinary services surplus, the workforce study findings aren't surprising, according to Dr. Harry Snelson, communications director for the American Association of Swine Veterinarians.

It makes sense, Dr. Snelson said, for veterinarians to congregate in regions where local economies are robust enough to sustain practices and families, as the study shows. But, he added, the rising cost of veterinary education is exacerbating the differential in the geographic distribution of veterinary services.

“The debt load of the average veterinary graduate has far outpaced the accepted cost of veterinary services in many areas and particularly in historically underserved geographic regions,” Dr. Snelson said. “While (AASV) supports efforts to ease graduate debt through programs such as the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program, it is unlikely to solve the problem if the local underserved economy cannot sustain veterinary services.”

Nevertheless, Dr. Snelson believes a sizable population of food and companion animals in underserved areas would benefit from veterinary services. “The veterinary profession, regulators, and clients have to be willing to explore innovative approaches to effectively address the animal health and public health concerns that can no longer be met by traditional veterinary practice,” he said.

Next year, Student AVMA President Elise Ackley graduates from Louisiana State University into the veterinary workforce. The AVMA study findings are concerning, Ackley said, but she appreciates that they shed light on why so many veterinarians are struggling.

Despite the poor economic forecast for veterinary medicine, Ackley says she doesn't regret her career choice. “I have never once second-guessed my decision to enter veterinary school, and I think you will hear that from a good majority of veterinary students,” she explained.

“This is the perfect opportunity for our profession to step up and make smart decisions about better utilizing veterinarians that are, and will be, entering the workforce,” Ackley said.

“We the students,” she continued, “are looking to our parent organization, the AVMA, for strong leadership to refocus the profession to explore and recruit in the nontraditional areas of veterinary medicine, such as research, public health, and academia.”

AVMA pilots new mentoring program

Organizers seek to match recent graduates with mentors, state by state

By Katie Burns

Dr. Rachel Cumberbatch has been a veterinarian for two years, working as an associate at a Connecticut practice, and she is not sure yet where her career will take her.

In recent months, however, she has found a mentor in Dr. Eva Ceranowicz, an associate at another Connecticut practice. They email and meet regularly to discuss everything from cases to career paths.

What brought the two together was the Compass Mentoring Program, a new initiative from the AVMA. The AVMA introduced the program in Connecticut late last year, with plans to expand to other states this year.

Dr. Christopher Gargamelli, a program leader, said organizers have been thrilled with the response to date from collaborators and participants.


The AVMA's new Compass Mentoring Program kicked off Oct. 24, 2012, with an event in Connecticut for recent graduates and potential mentors. Roundtable discussions covered student debt, work-life balance, and career paths. (Photo by Dr. Kevin Dajka)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 242, 11; 10.2460/javma.242.11.1444

Developing a program

Dr. Gargamelli, an associate at Animal Emergency Hospital of Central Connecticut in Rocky Hill, was a member of the 2011–2012 class of the AVMA Future Leaders Program. The class surveyed recent veterinary graduates about their needs, and mentorship turned out to be high on the list.

Dr. Gargamelli's group within the class proposed a mentoring program. The group studied the AVMA's past online mentoring program and programs through other professional organizations and corporations.

“We found that mentoring works best when it's local, when people travel to see each other, when they can get together over a cup of coffee or a drink,” Dr. Gargamelli said. “Another key aspect that we found is that there needed to be ongoing support to the mentoring program.”

The AVMA launched a pilot version of the Compass Mentoring Program in Dr. Gargamelli's home state of Connecticut in partnership with the Connecticut VMA and with additional funding from the CVMA and Zoetis. The project kicked off last fall, pairing 17 recent graduates in practice with mentors at other practices.

Along with other ongoing support, Compass organizers send a newsletter to participants with items ranging from communication tips to discussion topics. Dr. Gargamelli said the recent graduates feel freer discussing certain issues with a mentor who is not their employer.

“On a professional skills level, sometimes you don't want to let on that there are certain things you're not very good at to your boss,” he said. “If it comes to economics: ‘Is this practice the right fit for me, both kind of in terms of personality, in terms of financially; is there room for growth?”’

Compass organizers surveyed participants in the pilot project at one month and continue following up with surveys every three months. The goal was for pairs to be in communication about once a month; some are communicating more often, some less.

Developing a career

Dr. Cumberbatch has found mentors within her own practice, Connecticut Veterinary Center in West Hartford, but she saw value in connecting with an outside mentor through the Compass Mentoring Program.

The 2011 graduate of Purdue University sought someone involved in organized veterinary medicine and particularly in governmental relations. Her match, Dr. Ceranowicz, is a 1990 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an associate at Bloomfield Animal Hospital in Bloomfield, and a leader within the CVMA.

Dr. Cumberbatch aspires to a multidimensional career. She is looking at options outside practice to improve human and animal health on a broad scale.

“As a young professional, there is not a lack of general advice,” she said. “The Compass program gives mentors an opportunity to listen and share their advice on concerns specific to the graduate.”

Dr. Cumberbatch is going on to a fellowship through the American Association for the Advancement of Science to work with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Most of the conversations between Drs. Cumberbatch and Ceranowicz surround practice, legislation, and nontraditional careers. The two communicate primarily by email, but they also meet at restaurants.

Dr. Ceranowicz said the Compass Mentoring Program is a great idea. “You think about young veterinarians: You're getting out of school, you don't necessarily—especially depending on what your first job is—you may not have the guidance or someone to look to, to say, ‘What are your thoughts on this, what are your ideas?”’

She continued, “I think it's a nice opportunity for me, too, to talk to this young veterinarian who is just out of school and get her perspective on things.”

Expanding the program

Compass organizers have arranged a get-together for Connecticut participants in late June that also will serve to introduce the program to new graduates in the state.

Organizers will hold a Compass kickoff event in Alabama in late June. Other states have expressed an interest in the program.


Dr. Rachel Cumberbatch, a participant in the Compass Mentoring Program, examines Bella with assistance from veterinary technician Jose De La Espriella at Connecticut Veterinary Center in West Hartford.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 242, 11; 10.2460/javma.242.11.1444

“I am excited for the future of Compass,” said Dr. Carrie Javorka, assistant director for recent graduate initiatives within the AVMA Membership and Field Services Division.

“It's great to see the ideas of our volunteer leaders come to fruition through all their hard work and collaboration. As we continue to focus more on recent graduates, we are looking to provide additional benefits and services in the areas of mentorship, membership, and financial resources.”

AVMA endorses program of free dental exams for service dogs

The AVMA has endorsed a program by the American Veterinary Dental College that provides free dental examinations for service dogs.

“I'm enthusiastic about this program, because it helps keep service animals healthy so they can do the important work that helps so many people,” said Dr. Douglas G. Aspros, AVMA president. “From helping the sight impaired to finding a lost child during a disaster or detecting explosives at airports, service dogs are tops in their field.”

The AVDC program is in its second year. During June, AVDC diplomates will provide complimentary oral examinations for service dogs. Owners and handlers will learn about the benefits of preventive oral health care.

On finding abnormalities, the specialist will discuss a treatment plan. The program also will offer grants to cover some of the expenses of the dental care these service animals might need.

“This program is a wonderful opportunity for AVDC veterinarians to offer service dogs a necessary and potentially life-saving service,” says Dr. Jan Bellows, AVDC president. “The American Veterinary Dental College is proud to be the organizer of this fine event. Many of those service dogs that are in need of dental care can get it and continue to serve the public pain free.”

To qualify for a free oral examination, a service dog must have certification from a formal training program or be an enrollee in a training program. Owners and handlers of service dogs can register for the event through June 15 at www.avdc.org.

Veterinary video game released

The AVMA recently launched AVMA Animal Hospital, an online time-management game in which players work as veterinarians to diagnose conditions and treat animals as they arrive. As players navigate the game, they learn about ailments, diagnostics, and treatments.

AVMA Animal Hospital, aimed at middle-school children and educators, is available to everyone and is free to play.

The Association worked with developers at Game Gurus to create the video game, which was funded through a grant provided by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation.

The game was released in May and is available through the AVMA website, www.avma.org; the Apple App Store; and the Android Market.

A veterinary conversation about animal welfare

An intraprofessional summit on animal welfare titled “Can You Hear Me Now? The Conversation” is set for Nov. 14–15 at the Westin O'Hare in Rosemont, Ill. This AVMA event, featuring 11 continuing education credit hours of lectures and roundtable discussions, will be limited to 150 AVMA or Student AVMA members, chosen to provide broad representation. A working group selected from among the participants will meet Nov. 16 and use discussions from The Conversation to develop a strategy for ongoing dialogue within the profession.

Nominations and self-nominations to attend the summit must be submitted by July 1. Visit www.avma.org/theconversation for more details, or contact OfficeEVP@avma.org.

Teacher, reasearcher, and inventor

Dr. Heinrich J. Detmers, 1833–1906


Dr. Heinrich J. Detmers investigated livestock diseases, helped build veterinary education in the U.S., and invented a new type of syringe. (Saddle & Sirloin Club Portrait Collection, Louisville, Ky.)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 242, 11; 10.2460/javma.242.11.1444

Greg Cima

Dr. Heinrich J. Detmers helped build veterinary education in the U.S., particularly as the first veterinarian on the faculty at The Ohio State University.

He also identified and described conditions that help spread deadly livestock diseases and developed a high-capacity syringe that could be use for vaccination of animals.

Dr. Detmers, 1833–1906, also known as Dr. Henry J. Detmers, studied veterinary medicine in his native Germany at the Royal Veterinary colleges in Hanover and Berlin and established his first practice in Germany, but he spent most of his career in the U.S., in private clinical practice, with the Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Animal Industry, and at Midwestern universities. He immigrated to the U.S. shortly after the end of the Civil War in 1865 and established a veterinary practice in Dixon, Ill., according to “A Century of Excellence,” a 2005 book about the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Howard H. Erickson, one of the book's authors and an emeritus professor of physiology and history of veterinary medicine for the KSU College of Veterinary Medicine, said Dr. Detmers was “certainly one of the pioneers, along with James Law at Cornell and others around the country” in U.S. veterinary medical education. He was ahead of his time in developing the veterinary curriculum, Dr. Erickson said.

Understanding disease

Dr. Detmers helped to fight diseases even when he and others of his era misunderstood those diseases' true nature.

In the Bureau of Animal Industry report for 1884, Dr. Detmers observed that Southern cattle fever, or Texas cattle fever, tended to have a long incubation period in Northern cattle when they grazed in a pasture immediately after Southern cattle, yet the disease developed quickly if the Northern cattle grazed in a pasture a few weeks after Southern cattle. He explained that cattle will seek out the same prime grazing areas, but they will move on to different pastures when grass in the prime locations has not had time to grow back.

“As it is well known that the length of the period of incubation depends, to a certain extent at least, upon the quantity and intensity of the infectious principle taken up by the animal organism, no further explanation will be necessary,” he wrote.

In his BAI report “Investigation of Southern Cattle Fever,” Dr. Detmers said his investigation was intended to “discover the true cause of that apparently mysterious disease,” which he was convinced was transmitted through saliva and indirectly influenced or aided by decaying flora, particularly that of Southern states. His report dismissed transmission through ticks, later determined to be the actual route of transmission for the vector-borne disease. But his efforts detailed the times of year, climate conditions, and animal travels most favorable to spread of the disease.

Before his work on Southern cattle fever, Dr. Detmers, along with Drs. James Law and Daniel E. Salmon, was commissioned by the USDA in 1878 to study hog cholera, Ray Thompson wrote in his 1986 book “The Good Doctors.” In that research, Dr. Detmers named the disease “swine plague” and, in 1878, reported identifying a new bacterial order, Bacillus suis, the book states.

Later research would prove that hog cholera was caused by a viral disease.

But, in 1900—five years after he left academia—Dr. Detmers developed a smoothly operating, large-capacity hypodermic syringe that would be used to vaccinate against hog cholera and could be sterilized without damaging the plunger, according to Dr. J. Fred Smithcors' 1963 book, “The American Veterinary Profession.”

Dr. Fritz Volkmar wrote in a biographic article about Dr. Detmers that it mattered little that he erred in his investigations because of the shortcomings of methods available at the time, as his research method was sound. That article, published in the April 1933 issue of JAVMA, described Dr. Detmers as a man of integrity, with a sense of duty, indefatigable industry, an unconquerable will, idealism, a wealth of inspiration, independence, and impulsiveness.

“Legends in U.S. veterinary medicine”

In honor of the AVMA's 150th anniversary this year, JAVMA News is profiling 12 individuals who have made substantial contributions to the American veterinary profession.

Improving education

Before and after his research for the BAI, Dr. Detmers helped teach college students about animal biology and veterinary medicine in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Ohio.

Most notably, as the founding instructor for the School of Veterinary Medicine—later renamed as the College of Veterinary Medicine—at The Ohio State University, Dr. Detmers helped build the institution from a newborn program with no facilities in 1885 to a college with its own hospital by the time he left in 1895.

“He was a man committed to quality veterinary education and he had strong convictions about what constituted quality,” according to “A Legacy for Tomorrow,” a 1985 book on the 100-year history of The Ohio State veterinary college.

The school's first building—a 20-by-20 dissection shed—was built in 1886, and Dr. Mark Francis became the first graduate in 1887, according to the OSU centennial book. Dr. Francis' graduation thesis identified the bacteria responsible for foot rot, and his later work at Texas A&M University would have a prominent role in fighting Texas fever and revitalizing the state's cattle industry.

The school's animal hospital was completed in 1891, and the number of veterinary students increased from 12 in 1890 to 21 in 1891.

Dr. Detmers initially started the veterinary program as a four-year course, but within a year, abandoned the plan in favor of a three-year course, according to the OSU history book. A 1960 issue of “The Speculum,” a quarterly publication by the OSU CVM, noted that the four-year course was the first of its length and magnitude, and no students enrolled that year.

But Dr. Detmers' training under renowned instructors in Germany and his two decades of veterinary service helped him lay the foundation for a model veterinary college that would become a “leader of veterinary thought in North America” and would produce educated and skilled leaders in veterinary medicine, Dr. Volkmar wrote in his 1933 JAVMA article.

Another veterinarian, Dr. Paul Fischer, wrote in the March 1919 edition of The Veterinary Alumni Quarterly from the OSU CVM alumni association that Dr. Detmers had worked until “the final call” to develop the veterinary profession, and no sacrifice had been too great to help his former students. Dr. Fischer graduated from the school during Dr. Detmers' tenure.

“It was due to Dr. Detmers' foresight that we can today point with so much pride to the College of Veterinary Medicine of The Ohio State University,” Dr. Fischer wrote. “To his efforts was due, also, the enactment of our first Veterinary Practice Act and, inadequate as the final draft of this statute turned out to be, and little as it resembled its original, the spirit of Dr. Detmers animates it today and this spirit will persist until final triumph marks its goal.”

Those standards influenced by Dr. Detmers and passed by Ohio's legislature in 1894 even preceded by three years the passage of such a law governing human medicine. The Ohio VMA's 1970 publication “A History of the Veterinary Profession in Ohio” cited a statement at the time from an unidentified newspaper that, in Ohio, “not every man can treat a jackass but any jackass can treat a man.”

Dr. Detmers also served as the first secretary of Ohio's veterinary medical licensing board.

During breaks as a professor in Ohio, Dr. Detmers would spend summers in Germany and return to the college to apply the latest ideas and views, Dr. Volkmar wrote. Fellow faculty considered him to be both visionary and impractical, although greatly respected. He imbued in his students enthusiasm for research and a desire for exactness, neatness, and detail.

“Whatever work he undertook, he discharged his duties with such distinction that he challenged the respect of all those whose good opinion was worth having,” Dr. Volkmar wrote.

The new landscape of health insurance

Provisions of Affordable Care Act will impact veterinarians in 2014

By Katie Burns

Veterinarians will feel the impact as individuals and as practice owners when provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that will transform the landscape of health insurance take effect next year.

Many of the details of implementation are still up in the air. Yet, veterinarians can begin educating themselves now about the basics and looking to advisers for assistance, according to experts on health insurance in the veterinary community.

Small businesses

“Healthcare Reform: Are You Prepared?” was the title of a talk at the March conference of the American Animal Hospital Association by Marcus Newman, executive broker with Veterinary Employee Insurance Services. He covered some of the ramifications of the Affordable Care Act for veterinary practices as small businesses.

One noteworthy change relates to how employers will report employee wages to the Internal Revenue Service. The W-2 form has two new boxes for information collection: a box for how much the employer paid toward group health insurance and a box for how much the employee paid toward group health insurance.

Newman outlined three new fees that insurance companies must pay to the federal government. The fees add up to 5.5 percent to 6 percent in costs, he said, and companies probably will pass along the increase to policyholders.

Starting in October, individuals and small businesses will be able to purchase health insurance for 2014 through new public exchanges. Employers need to notify employees about the availability of the public exchanges, but the Department of Labor had not finalized the relevant regulations as of press time.

As of 2014, employers with more than 50 full-time-equivalent employees must offer affordable health insurance to employees who work 30 hours a week or more—or face fines. Newman said businesses with 50 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees that currently offer a group plan might want to explore the option of getting out of the insurance business by giving a stipend to employees to purchase health insurance independently.

“We have health insurance because we're taking care of people,” he said. “You can't just be in a vacuum on this issue. It's impossible. It affects your business at its core, your people.”

Newman suggested that practice owners should consider consulting with an insurance broker about how to proceed in the coming year.

What's next under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Oct. 1, 2013

Individuals and small businesses can purchase health insurance for 2014 through new public exchanges.

Jan. 1, 2014

Insurance companies can no longer refuse coverage on the basis of an individual's pre-existing conditions. In the individual and small group market, companies cannot charge higher rates on the basis of gender or health status.

Businesses with more than 50 full-time-equivalent employees must offer affordable health insurance to employees who work 30 hours a week or more—or face fines. Two years of tax credits are available to certain businesses with fewer than 25 full-time-equivalent employees that purchase coverage through a public exchange.

Unless individuals have health insurance through their employer, they must purchase an individual plan or pay a penalty. Tax credits are available for people with income up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level who purchase coverage through a public exchange.

He said, “If we can determine a strategy that makes sense now without you having to do anything, then when we get all the other information, it's a simple matter of plugging it in to find out if we're going to execute or go back to the drawing board. Being ready is paramount.”

Individual market

Libby Wallace, chief executive officer of the AVMA Group Health & Life Insurance Trust, suggests veterinarians in the individual insurance market also should consider consulting an insurance agent about the coming year.

The shifting landscape led to the GHLIT losing underwriting for health insurance as of 2014. The Trust will discontinue offering its current major medical plans for AVMA and Student AVMA members after Dec. 31, 2013.

Wallace said one key provision of the Affordable Care Act is that, starting next year, insurance companies will no longer be able to refuse coverage on the basis of an individual's pre-existing conditions. In the individual and small group market, companies will be able to vary rates only on the basis of age, within certain parameters, and smoking status, but not gender or health status.

Also starting next year, Wallace noted, most individuals must purchase health insurance or pay a penalty.

Depending on the state, the new public insurance exchanges will be through the state or federal government or through a partnership between the two. Tax credits are available for people with income up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level, or $94,200 for a family of four in 2013, who purchase coverage through a public exchange.

“Essentially, an exchange is an online tool to help review available insurance in your state,” Wallace said. The states also will provide navigators who can answer questions.

Private exchanges provide another avenue to purchase health insurance. The GHLIT is building a private exchange to help current policyholders and other AVMA and SAVMA members find appropriate major medical plans.

“A member can input their demographic information, their zip code, number of dependents and their ages, and the exchange will give them the medical plan options that are available in their geographic area,” Wallace said. Policyholders with GHLIT also can turn to their agent for assistance.

Wallace said the landscape of health insurance continues to shift as federal regulators finalize regulations. Sources of information include the Department of Health and Human Services at www.healthcare.gov and the Kaiser Family Foundation at http://healthreform.kff.org.

The GHLIT private health insurance exchange

March 2013

The exchange becomes available for AVMA members who will be 65 or older by year's end to help them sort through Medicare options.

June 2013

The exchange becomes available to all other AVMA members and Student AVMA members to provide information about health insurance available from various companies.

October 2013

Members may enroll in a health insurance plan for 2014 through the exchange.

A tax on medical devices

A 2.3 percent federal excise tax on medical devices, effective this year, is among the lesser-known provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The tax does not apply to devices specific to veterinary medicine, but it does apply to devices in use in both human and veterinary medicine.

“I don't think Congress wanted to or intended to have veterinary medicine subsidize human health care,” said Dr. Mark Lutschaunig, director of the AVMA Governmental Relations Division. “I just think that they couldn't come up with the right legislative language that would limit or negate the impact on veterinary medicine.”

Whether the tax affects the cost of veterinary care depends on whether device manufacturers decide to maintain prices or pass along the tax, Dr. Lutschaunig said.

A Senate bill and a House bill to repeal the tax have bipartisan backing, he said, but replacing the revenue would be tricky.

Bill would loosen drug transport, use rules

By Greg Cima

A bill introduced in April would let veterinarians transport and dispense controlled substances beyond the addresses they have registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Officials with the DEA have said such practices currently are illegal.

Reps. Kurt Schrader of Oregon and Ted. S. Yoho, both veterinarians, are sponsoring H.R. 1528, the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act of 2013. Dr. Schrader introduced the bill April 12, and Dr. Yoho is a co-sponsor.

The AVMA worked with the offices of both legislators in drafting the legislation and is advocating for its passage.

Officials with the DEA have said that the Controlled Substances Act as passed by Congress requires that health care providers administer and store controlled substances only at the addresses listed on those providers' registrations with the DEA. For example, a veterinarian could administer a controlled substance within a registered clinic, but, in most cases, would be breaking the law when transporting the drug or administering it off-site.

Dr. Schrader's bill would amend the federal Controlled Substances Act to let veterinarians transport and dispense controlled substances “in the usual course of veterinary practice” outside their places of business registered with the DEA, provided that the veterinarians are dispensing the drugs within states where they are licensed to practice veterinary medicine.

Dr. Douglas G. Aspros, AVMA president, said the ability to transport controlled substances from registered addresses to patients is critical for veterinary practice. While the DEA has not historically enforced the prohibition against this practice, federal law does not let the agency promulgate rules that would let veterinarians transport such drugs.

“As a practitioner, it is always surprising to find that, when laws are passed, rules are made, regulations are promulgated, veterinary practice has not been taken into account,” Dr. Aspros said. “As a leader at AVMA, it reinforces my belief that, as an organization that gives voice to veterinary issues, AVMA is critical to the profession.”

In 2012, the California VMA had indicated that officials with a DEA office in Sacramento contacted veterinarians whose registrations listed their homes as their places of business and told them that a separate registration was needed for each place where controlled substances are manufactured, distributed, imported, exported, or dispensed.

Dr. Grant Miller, director of regulatory affairs for the California VMA, said in April 2013 that DEA officials have continued telling ambulatory practitioners in his state that it is unlawful to carry controlled substances. But he has not heard of any enforcement beyond those statements.

Dr. Miller said the California VMA was, in April, writing letters to members of Congress from the state to encourage them to co-sponsor, or at least support, the bill introduced by Dr. Schrader.

Dr. Schrader said he does not expect difficulty in passing the bill he introduced, but he also didn't expect to need legislation. He said that need was upsetting.

“I thought a few calls to DEA and a letter about the preposterousness of their position would get them to change the rule for ambulatory veterinarians that practiced for a century and a half in this way,” he said.

Officials with the DEA have said that the Controlled Substances Act, as written, would not allow them to alter regulations in a way that would let health care providers transport and dispense controlled substances beyond registered locations. Such a change would require legislation.

Dr. Schrader disagrees. He said disallowing veterinarians to carry controlled substances in their vehicles would cause the livestock and equine industries to crumble. He also said those drugs are needed to provide humane treatment.

“There's no way you can practice medicine —whether it's doing surgery in the field, whether it's doing difficult procedures—without being able to have access to controlled substances,” he said.

FDA will be able to seize unsafe drugs

Federal employees will be able to seize and hold adulterated or misbranded pharmaceuticals once pending regulations are enacted, the Food and Drug Administration recently announced.

Legislation passed in July 2012 gives the agency authority to detain such unsafe drugs, as it already can do with similarly unsafe foods for human or animal consumption, medical devices, or tobacco products, according to an April 9, 2013, Federal Register notice and other agency announcements.

FDA spokeswoman Siobhan DeLancey said the authority described in the April 9 notice will be particularly useful for investigations involving human-use drugs, such as those sold as dietary supplements, but also will apply to veterinary drugs. Counterfeiting human drugs and marketing pharmaceutical-containing foods as supplements are both big businesses, she said.

If FDA inspectors suspect drugs are adulterated or misbranded, they will be able to order detention of those products. If they confirm those suspicions, the agency can issue warning letters, seize products, seek injunctions, and prosecute people according to the severity of the violation, the likelihood of harm, and the record of previous violations, DeLancey said.

The need for the new authority had been described in congressional testimony.

In September 2011, Deborah M. Autor, deputy commissioner for global regulatory operations and policy for the FDA, testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions that new regulatory authorities could help ensure the security and integrity of pharmaceutical supply chains and quality control systems. In a written statement, which is available at www.fda.gov/newsevents/testimony, she said the FDA had authority to administratively detain illegal foods and medical devices in U.S. commerce, but no similar authority for drugs.

“Currently, we cannot immediately detain dangerous drug products when we find them,” Autor said. “Absent this immediate tool, consumers can be exposed to unnecessary risks.”

The April 9 FDA Federal Register notice is available at www.regulations.gov under docket number FDA-2013-N-0365.

Alabama accepts AAHA accreditation in lieu of inspection

Alabama is the first state to accept accreditation by the American Animal Hospital Association in place of a state inspection.

Veterinary practices in Alabama may now skip an inspection by the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners if they already have passed an evaluation by AAHA. The ASBVME approved the change in December 2012.

Dr. Robert E. Pitman, ASBVME president, said, “The Alabama Practice Act allows the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners to issue a premise permit to any premise which is accredited by a recognized organization whose standards meet or exceed minimum board standards as established by the administrative code. Clearly, AAHA standards exceed those minimum standards.”

Dr. Kate Knutson, AAHA president, said, “I am so pleased that Alabama recognizes the rigorous nature and the standard of medical excellence required to meet the AAHA accreditation standards. The 900-plus standards of AAHA go above and beyond any states' mandated regulations. We applaud Alabama and would encourage any other states to follow their lead.”

Vetsulin back on the market

Merck Animal Health announced in late April that Vetsulin is available again in the United States.

Vetsulin is the only insulin product that has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of diabetes mellitus in dogs and cats.

In 2009, the FDA announced concerns about Vetsulin's stability and recommended that veterinarians transition diabetic dogs and cats receiving Vetsulin to other insulin products.

Manufacturer Merck Animal Health, then under the name of Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, initiated the Vetsulin Critical-Need Program for dogs and cats with diabetes difficult to manage with other insulin products. The manufacturer later discontinued the program after tests indicated that bacterial contamination might have compromised a batch of the product.

Merck stated that it has addressed the manufacturing issue that affected the stability of Vetsulin and requalified the product for sale.

Crisis communication

Horse industry working on better response to disease outbreaks

By Malinda Larkin

Horse industry leaders and public health officials are developing a proactive and coordinated approach to handle future equine disease outbreaks. The aim is to mitigate the health, welfare, and economic implications of these events for U.S. horses and the industry as a whole.

Prevalence of outbreaks

Disease outbreaks have cost the horse industry millions of dollars for the care of horses, for implementation of biosecurity, and in lost revenue in the form of canceled or restricted equine events, according an open letter to the horse industry from the American Horse Council and American Association of Equine Practitioners.

A few major outbreaks in recent years include the following:

  • • In late 2008 and early 2009, the highly transmissible contagious equine metritis affected potentially 1,005 horses in all but two states.

  • • In late April 2011, horses attending an equine event in Ogden, Utah, were exposed to equine herpesvirus-1. In three months time, more than 2,000 horses had been exposed before the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant and Health Inspection Service declared the outbreak contained. Of those horses, 90 tested positive for the neurologic form, equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy. Horse exposure occurred at 242 premises in 19 states that stretched from Oklahoma to California.

  • • In January 2012, 17 cases of EHV-1 were confirmed in California.

As of early April of this year, according to Merial's Outbreak Alert website, www.outbreak-alert.com, incidents of EHV-1 were occurring in California, Montana, Utah, Colorado, Florida, Tennessee, Illinois, Michigan, and New Jersey; Eastern equine encephalitis in 19 states; influenza in two horses in Oregon and Florida; and West Nile virus in every state except Alaska, Hawaii, and West Virginia. Moreover, since the beginning of 2013, outbreaks of equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy have occurred in New Jersey, Utah, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Tennessee, California, and Quebec.

“The horse community is always just one step from a calamity and that calamity is a disease outbreak of such proportion as to widely imperil the health of our horses and threaten the economic viability of our industry,” according to the letter by Jay Hickey, executive director of the AHC, and Dr. Nathaniel A. White II, an AAEP past president. “The ever-present risk is due to the equine industry's reliance on the timely movement of healthy horses for sales, breeding, racing, showing, work, and recreation. In this environment an infectious disease outbreak can result in federal or state restrictions on horse movement to stop the spread of the disease.”

Plan for success

The AHC and AAEP, along with members of the National Assembly of State Animal Health Officials and USDA APHIS Veterinary Services, are preparing a National Equine Health Plan that will outline the issues surrounding the prevention, diagnosis, and control of diseases and the responsibilities and roles of federal and state authorities and the industry. Envisioned as part of the plan is an industry-sponsored Equine Disease Communication Center to help coordinate and disseminate accurate information about equine diseases throughout North America.

This will be accomplished by creating a network of practicing veterinarians and federal and state animal health officials who can relay time-sensitive information through a central communication system. That way, reliable and updated information would be available to all segments of the horse industry in real time.

“In the current draft of the communication center proposal, veterinarians will not be asked to do anything different when reporting diseases. The goal is to have them report disease outbreak information to the EDCC for verification, and when the information is proved to be reliable, it will be distributed to the equine community,” Dr. White said.

Going forward

The idea for the national plan first came about when the USDA and AHC held a workshop at the 2010 AHC National Issues Forum. Participants discussed how best to address, respond to, and control emerging and infectious equine diseases in the U.S. Afterward, federal and state animal health officials, the AHC, and the AAEP drafted an outline of the National Equine Health Plan.

Then, following the 2011 outbreak of equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy in Utah, Dr. White, then AAEP immediate past president, chaired an AAEP task force that worked on the communication module and biosecurity aspects of the national plan.

Recommendations from the task force were approved by the AAEP board of directors in 2012 and subsequently by the AHC board of trustees. They are as follows:

  • • Adopt the decision tree as the industry's resource for the flow of communications during a contagious disease outbreak.

  • • All states be consistent by adopting the same list of reportable diseases.

  • • Establish an Equine Disease Communication Center shared by the AAEP and AHC

  • • Obtain industry funding that would be ongoing for on-call personnel to staff the center seven days a week.

  • • Develop a triage system for incoming communications and methods of reporting contagious diseases.

  • • Create an equine disease website for posting of information collected and triaged at the Equine Disease Communication Center.

  • • Collect information about equine contagious disease and biosecurity, with recommendations to be placed on websites of equine organizations.

  • • Create links to state and USDA APHIS Veterinary Services websites that have information.

  • • Develop a system at the Equine Disease Communication Center to advise all state animal health officials of confirmed infectious disease outbreaks.

  • • Develop a protocol and identify spokespersons.

Next steps will be gaining acceptance by stakeholders, presenting a plan to state veterinarians, developing a budget for creating the Equine Disease Communication Center, and seeking funding from the industry. Another key component was hiring Dr. Rory Carolan as an equine specialist with the USDA APHIS VS to help to coordinate the role of the USDA in the National Equine Health Plan.

The priorities for the national plan and communication center will be presented at the AHC National Issues Forum, June 16–19, and attendees plan to discuss the creation of a working model of the center. Once a detailed plan is in place, Dr. White said they will need support and participation from all parts of the equine industry to make both a reality.

Treating illness with milk from modified goats


James D. Murray, PhD, is shown with goats genetically modified to produce milk that contains human lysozyme. The milk someday could be used to combat illness in children. (Photo by Joe Proudman/UC-Davis)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 242, 11; 10.2460/javma.242.11.1444

Goat's milk containing human lysozyme someday could be used to combat diarrheal illnesses among children in impoverished areas, according to researchers at the University of California-Davis.

Those researchers administered such milk to young, sick pigs in a recent study, reducing the duration and harm from a bacterial infection.

The study involved infecting young pigs with a strain of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli and treating them with milk from the university's Artemis line of genetically modified goats, which were developed in 1999 to carry a gene for producing human lysozyme in their milk, according to a university announcement and a scientific article published March 13, 2013, in PLoS ONE. The pigs that received the transgenic goat's milk recovered more quickly from illness and experienced less dehydration and less damage to their intestines than did pigs fed milk from nontransgenic goats, the article states.

The researchers used young pigs for the study because of the similarities between gastrointestinal physiology in pigs and humans.

James D. Murray, PhD, a professor in the UC-Davis departments of Animal Science and Population Health and Reproduction, said lysozyme naturally produced in goat's milk is similar to the human-type lysozyme produced by the university's transgenic goats, but the latter tends to act more strongly as an antimicrobial. He is involved in further study to find out whether consuming milk from the modified goats is consistently effective at combating diarrheal disease.

In April, Dr. Murray was among researchers analyzing data from a study on use of the milk as a preventive measure against E coli–related disease in pigs as well as conducting experiments that used malnourished pigs as models. He noted that malnourished children are more prone to disease, which can increase the difficulty of absorbing nutrients in a spiral of declining health.

More than 1 million children die each year of diarrheal diseases, and pathogenic E coli are among the main causative agents, the article states, citing figures from a reference group of the World Health Organization and UNICEF.

“Persistent diarrhea in children that results in malnutrition can be particularly detrimental to development, leaving children with mental and growth deficiencies that can last a lifetime,” the article states.

The milk could be particularly beneficial in areas such as northern Brazil, where Dr. Murray expects the milk to eventually be used in human trials. The university is working to establish a herd of the transgenic goats in Brazil.

“The long-term goal is to move forward in Brazil, and if it works there, then hopefully the world would see that this is something useful,” he said.

The milk also could have veterinary applications, particularly for high-value animals, Dr. Murray said.

The article, “Consuming transgenic goats' milk containing the antimicrobial protein lysozyme helps resolve diarrhea in young pigs,” is available at www.plosone.org.

Bill goes after horse law loopholes

Newly proposed legislation is meant to address loopholes in the Horse Protection Act and to improve protections for horses by amending the law.

The Prevent All Soring Tactics Act (H.R. 1518) was introduced in the House of Representatives on April 11 by Reps. Ed Whitfield of Kentucky and Steve Cohen of Tennessee. The bill, which had five co-sponsors as of mid-April, seeks to eliminate the abusive act of soring horses by improving the Department of Agriculture's enforcement capabilities and strengthening penalties against violators, among other provisions. It was referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Soring is the intentional infliction of pain in Tennessee Walking Horses, Spotted Saddle Horses, and Racking Horses to produce a high-stepping, unnatural gait. Despite soring being illegal for more than 40 years, insufficient funding and lack of resources needed for enforcement at the federal level have contributed to the continuation of this illegal practice by some at shows and auctions in certain pockets of the country, particularly Tennessee.

The AVMA and the American Association of Equine Practitioners have urged passage of H.R. 1518, which includes the following provisions, among others:

  • • Makes illegal the actual act of soring, or directing another person to cause a horse to become sore, whereas the original Horse Protection Act banned only showing, transporting, or auctioning a horse that was sore, not the actual practice.

  • • Prohibits the use of action devices (e.g., boots, collars, chains, rollers, or other devices that are put on the lower extremity of the leg of a horse) on any limb of gaited horses at horse shows, exhibitions, sales, or auctions, and bans weighted shoes, pads, wedges, hoof bands, or other devices that are not used for protective or therapeutic purposes.

  • • Increases civil and criminal penalties for violations, and creates a penalty structure that requires horses to be disqualified for increasing amounts of time on the basis of the number of violations.

  • • Allows for permanent disqualification from the show ring after three or more violations.

  • • Requires the USDA—rather than the current structure of horse industry self-regulation—to license, train, assign, and oversee inspectors to enforce the HPA.

As the federal bill is debated, the Tennessee legislature passed a bill in mid-April requiring anyone who photographs or videotapes animal abuse to give a copy to police within 48 hours. Failure to do so is punishable by a $50 fine. The Humane Society of the United States had launched an ad campaign against the state measure, hoping to prevent Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam from signing the bill. The organization thinks it will stifle secret-camera investigations such as the one that led Tennessee Walking Horse trainer Jackie McConnell to plead guilty to violating the federal Horse Protection Act (see JAVMA, July 1, 2012, page 28).

LSU holds annual exhibition of animals in art


Jeanette Martone's “Searching” won the Best of Show award at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine's 26th International Exhibition on Animals in Art. (Photo by Christine Russell)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 242, 11; 10.2460/javma.242.11.1444

Artwork depicting common creatures ranging from a squirrel to a dog to a pelican won awards during the 26th International Exhibition on Animals in Art at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine.

Jeanette Martone of Deer Park, N.Y., won the $1,000 Best of Show award for “Searching, “a depiction of a squirrel in pencil and ink on paper.

“I tried to capture in a moment of time the vulnerability as well as the charm of the squirrel, bringing to attention an aspect of life so common that it sometimes is not noticed,” Martone said. “The simplicity and purity of pencil and paper lend an immediacy and intimacy to the work—and reveal the simplicity and beauty of the everyday.”

Seventy-five pieces of art depicting animals were on display during the show March 23-April 21 in the veterinary school's library. A total of 179 artists from 35 states and Canada submitted 426 entries for the show.

The judge and juror was Samuel Joseph Corso, owner of Dufour-Corso Studios in Baton Rouge, La. Corso selected the works that appeared during the exhibition and most of the award winners.

Dr. Kurt J. Matushek, AVMA editor-in-chief, chose an oil painting of a dog “On Alert” by Margaret Rice of Baton Rouge to appear on the cover of this issue of the JAVMA.

“This year's show was truly spectacular, with works spanning a wide range of subjects, themes, and methods,” Dr. Matushek said.

“But Margaret Rice's painting immediately attracted me, both because of her flawless technique and because of the striking character of the dog it portrays.”

The People's Choice Award went to Anni Crouter of Flint, Mich., for “Preen,” an acrylic painting of a preening pelican.

The veterinary school benefits from a portion of the art sales from the exhibition.


American Humane Association

The American Humane Association has named Dr. S. Kwane Stewart (COL ′97) as its chief veterinary officer and national director of the organization's Humane Hollywood division and the No Animals Were Harmed program. His appointment is part of an effort by the AHA to expand the No Animals Were Harmed program to include the protection of animal actors off the set as well as on.


Dr. S. Kwane Stewart

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 242, 11; 10.2460/javma.242.11.1444

Dr. Stewart spent the early part of his career as an associate and emergency veterinarian in small animal practice. In 2004, he became chief medical officer of Vetco Hospitals Inc., a network of nearly 50 vaccination clinics and veterinary hospitals in the western United States. After five years, he became veterinarian for Stanislaus County, Calif. In that position, he developed the state's first public-private spay-neuter clinic.

Phi Zeta

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


Dr. Kathleen Ivester

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 242, 11; 10.2460/javma.242.11.1444

Each award consists of an engraved plaque and a check in the amount of $1,000. Phi Zeta has chapters at the 28 U.S. veterinary colleges and at St. George's University in Grenada, West Indies.

Dr. Josephine S. Gnanandarajah, King of Prussia, Pa., won the 2013 Phi Zeta Research Award in the Basic Sciences category. The Kappa chapter at Minnesota submitted her winning manuscript, “Comparative faecal microbiota of dogs with and without cacium oxalate stones” (J Appl Microbiol 2012;113:745–756).

Dr. Gnanandarajah earned her BVSc degree from the University of Peradeniya Veterinary School in Sri Lanka in 2003. As a research assistant in Dr. Michael P. Murtaugh's laboratory at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, she studied the serum proteomic profile of pigs infected with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus to elucidate novel host response molecules. Her doctoral research was on the role of gut microbiota in the incidence of oxalate urinary stones in dogs.

Dr. Kathleen Ivester (MO ′02), West Lafayette, Ind., was presented with the 2013 Phi Zeta Research Award in the Clinical Sciences category. The Omicron chapter at Purdue submitted her winning manuscript, “Variability in particulate concentrations in a horse training barn over time” (Equine Vet J 2012;44 suppl. 43:51–56).

Dr. Ivester completed a large animal surgery residency at Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2006 and a year later became board-certified in veterinary surgery by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. She is pursuing her doctorate at Purdue under Dr. Laurent L. Couetil.

Crufts Dog Show

Elaine Ostrander, PhD, and Dr. Gustavo Aguirre (UP ′68) received recognition during the Crufts Dog Show, March 7–10 in the United Kingdom, for their work in canine health.

Dr. Ostrander won the Lifetime Achievement Award. She is chief of the Cancer Genetics Branch at the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health. Her research over two decades includes work to map the dog genome and development of a host of other important tools for research in canine genomics.


Elaine Ostrander, PhD

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 242, 11; 10.2460/javma.242.11.1444


Dr. Gustavo Aguirre

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 242, 11; 10.2460/javma.242.11.1444

Dr. Aguirre received the International Prize in Canine Health. He is a professor of medical genetics and ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. He has worked on mapping the dog genome and on the characterization and treatment of eye diseases in dogs. He has identified more than 14 genes that cause blindness in more than 59 breeds of dogs.

Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame

Dr. Paul Nicoletti (MO ′56), professor emeritus of infectious diseases at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, was honored Feb. 12 by the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame's “for his invaluable contributions to Florida agriculture.”


Dr. Paul Nicoletti

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 242, 11; 10.2460/javma.242.11.1444

An international authority on brucellosis, Dr. Nicoletti began his career with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Missouri, followed by Wisconsin, New York, Mississippi, and Florida. His field studies on brucellosis led to modifications in use of brucellosis vaccine, which saved the Florida cattle industry millions of dollars and led to the eradication of the disease from the state.

At the UF veterinary college, he taught infectious diseases, epidemiology, public health, and food safety for 28 years. Dr. Nicoletti influenced many veterinary students to consider careers in agriculture and public health, and endowed a need-based scholarship for students interested in public health. After retiring in 2003, he endowed another scholarship for students interested in food animal medicine. He recently donated $1 million to enable UF students from low-income backgrounds to follow his career path.

Dr. Nicoletti served from 1968–1972 as an epizootiologist in Tehran, Iran, with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. He is a past president of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Florida and Alachua County VMAs, and Animal Disease Research Workers in the Southern States.

American College of Veterinary Microbiologists

The American College of Veterinary Microbiologists certified 13 new diplomates following the board certification examination it held Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 2012, in Chicago.

The new diplomates are as follows:


David Giovanardi, Verona, Italy

Neil Pople, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Anil Thachil, Falcon Heights, Minn.


Alex Rodriguez-Palacios, Wooster, Ohio

Sudha Somarajan, Houston

Jan Suchodolski, College Station, Texas


Jelena Palic, Munchen, Germany


Faizal Abdul-Careem, Calgary, Alberta

Dharani Ajidoss, College Station, Texas

Yugendar R. Bommineni, Harrisonburg, Va.

Satyender Valipe, Willimantic, Conn.

Samuel Yingst, Bangkok

Dr. Dustin Loy, Lincoln, Neb., was certified in bacteriology/mycology, immunology, and virology.

Louisiana VMA


Dr. Dale Peyroux

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 242, 11; 10.2460/javma.242.11.1444

Event: Annual meeting, Jan. 25–27, New Orleans

Awards: Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Mike Strain, Covington. A 1983 graduate of Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Strain serves as commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry. He also co-owns Claiborne Hill Veterinary Hospital with his wife, Dr. Susan Strain (LSU ′84). Dr. Strain is a past president of the LVMA. Dr. Everett D. Besch Distinguished Service Award: Dr. Doug Brandon, Leesville. A 1971 graduate of Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Brandon owns Brandon Veterinary Clinic, a small animal practice in Leesville. He also volunteers with local veterinary organizations. Pet of the Year: Sendy, a German Shepherd Dog belonging to the Louisiana State University Police Department, won this award. Trained to detect explosives, Sendy has worked with her handler for four years and has assisted with sweeping numerous events, including LSU home football games at Tiger Stadium. Support Person of the Year: Katie Hoolan, Ruston. A veterinary assistant at Ruston Animal Clinic, Hoolan has been instrumental in the running of the practice. Sales Person of the Year: Missy Gribble, Hallsville, Texas. A sales representative for Zoetis, formerly Pfizer Animal Health, Gribble is known for her pleasant demeanor and willingness to accommodate her clients.

Officials: Drs. Dale Peyroux, Hammond, president; Sue Olivier, Marrero, president-elect; Kirk Ryan, Baton Rouge, vice president; Amy Grayson, Prairieville, treasurer; and Brad Everson, Shreveport, immediate past president

Obituaries: AVMA member AVMA honor roll member Nonmember

William D. Allen

Dr. Allen (GA ′57), 80, St. Simons Island, Ga., died March 24, 2013. A small animal practitioner, he was the founder of Pleasant Hill Animal Hospital and Medlock Bridge Animal Hospital in Georgia's Gwinnett County. Early in his career, Dr. Allen worked in Oakridge, Tenn., and founded Doraville Animal Hospital in Duluth, Ga. His wife, Christina; two daughters; and a son survive him. Memorials may be made to the Cornerstone Club of the United Methodist Church Children's Home, 500 S. Columbia Drive, Decatur, GA 30030; or Hospice of the Golden Isles, 1692 Glynco Parkway, Brunswick, GA 31525.

Harry H. Berrier Jr.

Dr. Berrier (KSU ′45), 95, Columbia, Mo., died March 10, 2013. He was associate professor emeritus of veterinary pathology and clinical toxicology at the University of Missouri-Columbia College of Veterinary Medicine since 1982.

Following graduation, Dr. Berrier joined the Army. During his military career, he served initially as a food inspector, later conducting biological and chemical research at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. After serving in the Army, Dr. Berrier practiced in Odesso, Mo., for two years before joining the veterinary faculty at Missouri-Columbia in 1948. During his tenure, he earned his master's in veterinary pathology (1960) from the university. In later years, Dr. Berrier transferred from the Army Reserve to the Air Force, retiring from the military as a colonel in 1977. In the mid-1970s, he also began producing barbecue sauce, establishing the brand Show-Me BBQ Sauce. He continued the business in retirement.

Dr. Berrier was a founder and a past president of the American Society of Veterinary Clinical Pathology, a fellow of the American College of Veterinary Toxicologists, and a member of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians and Missouri VMA. He authored the book “Diagnostic Aids in the Practice of Medicine.” In 2004, Kansas State University honored Dr. Berrier with the Veterinary Medical Alumni Association Recognition Award. He was the recipient of the Honorary Membership Award of the Missouri Academy of Veterinary Practice in 2009.

In civic life, Dr. Berrier was a 16-year board member of the Missouri Symphony Society and was active with the Little Dixie Kiwanis Club for 30 years. He and his wife, Lina, were honored by the Missouri Department of Conservation as Conservationists of the Year in 2006 and were named members of the Light Brigade by the Salvation Army in 2011.

Dr. Berrier is survived by his wife. Memorials may be made to the Missouri Department of Conservation, Berrier Trust Fund, P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102; First Baptist Church, 1112 E. Broadway, Columbia, MO 65201; Student Scholarship Fund, University of Missouri-Columbia College of Veterinary Medicine, c/o Director of Advancement, W210 Veterinary Medical Building, Columbia, MO 65211; or Missouri Symphony Society, 203 S. 9th St., Columbia, MO 65201.

Robert D. Bluntzer

Dr. Bluntzer (TEX ′59), 83, Corpus Christi, Texas, died Feb. 6, 2013. He owned Bluntzer Animal Hospital, a small animal practice in Corpus Christi. Dr. Bluntzer was a veteran of the Army. He is survived by his wife, Josephine; two daughters; and a son. Memorials may be made to Sisters of the Incarnate Word, 2930 S. Alameda, Corpus Christi, TX 78404; Bluntzer Spirit Center, 2930 S. Alameda St., Corpus Christi, TX 78404; or PALS Animal Shelter, 1101 Navigation Blvd., Corpus Christi, TX 78407.

Paul Brown

Dr. Brown (UP ′44), 92, West Hazleton, Pa., died April 4, 2013. He practiced mixed animal medicine at West Hazleton Small Animal Clinic for 40 years. Dr. Brown was an Army veteran of World War II. He is survived by two sons. Memorials may be made to United Children's Homes Inc., 107 Madison Ave., West Hazleton, PA 18201.

Ann Schola Clark

Dr. Clark (OSU ′64), 73, Palatine, Ill., died March 24, 2013.

The 20th woman to graduate from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Clark received the Distinguished Service Award from the Association for Women Veterinarians in 1998 for her contributions to advancing the status of women in the veterinary profession. Her career began in private practice with the Horres Animal Hospital in Charleston, S.C., and then Ross Veterinary Hospital in Washington, D.C. In 1974, she became a drug reviewer for the Food and Drug Administration's Bureau of Veterinary Medicine in the Division of New Animal Drugs.

In 1976, Dr. Clark joined the AVMA staff as an assistant editor in the Publications Division, progressing to associate editor. She played a key role in initiating and directing the JAVMA feature “Career Pathways in Veterinary Medicine.” She provided staff support for the former AVMA Committee on the Human-Animal Bond. In 1989, she was named the first director of the new AVMA Career Development Center. Dr. Clark, who held a master's in business administration, also started the Placement Service within the career center. Her final position at retirement was as a trust representative for the AVMA Group Health & Life Insurance Trust in Chicago.

Dr. Clark received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from The Ohio State University in 1992 and was inducted as a Distinguished Practitioner of the National Academies of Practice in 1997. Her last several years were spent rescuing English Bulldogs, her passion. She is survived by a son.

Memorial contributions in Dr. Clark's memory may be directed to The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Equine Support Fund, 1900 Coffey Road, VMAB 125L, Columbus, OH 43210.

John J. Drives

Dr. Drives (MSU ′60), 82, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., died Jan. 27, 2013. He had owned a practice in Sheboygan, Wis., where he practiced for more than 30 years, beginning with mixed animal medicine and later focusing on small animals. Dr. Drives was a past president of the Sheboygan County Humane Society and Lions Club. He was also a member of the Elks Club. Dr. Drives was a veteran of the Army. His wife, Shari, and three children survive him. Memorials may be made to the K-9 Unit, Mohave County Sheriff Department, 600 W. Beale St., Kingman, AZ 86404; or Mount Olive Lutheran Church, 2170 Havasupai Blvd., Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403.

Richard E. Forrest

Dr. Forrest (COR ′61), 79, Dalton Gardens, Idaho, died April 6, 2013. He owned Essex Veterinary Clinic, a small animal practice in Essex, Vt., from 1984 until retirement in 1997. Dr. Forrest began his career as a mixed animal practitioner at Shrewsbury Animal Hospital in Shrewsbury, Mass. From 1965–1970, he owned Holly Hill Animal Hospital in Holly Hill, Fla. He then was a partner in the Community Animal Hospital in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Dr. Forrest served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War. He is survived by his wife, June; two daughters; and a son. Memorials may be made to Hospice of North Idaho, 9493 N. Government Way, Hayden, ID 83835.

James D. Gandy

Dr. Gandy (TEX ′51), 92, Brownwood, Texas, died March 6, 2013. He served as a federal veterinarian for 15 years after retiring from his mixed animal practice in Brownwood in 1995. Early in his career, Dr. Gandy worked in Killeen, Texas, for 10 years. He was a past president of the American Association of Veterinary State Boards. Dr. Gandy served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He received the American Theater ribbon and Asiatic Pacific Theater with three Bronze Star ribbon, Philippine Liberation and Good Conduct medals, and Air Medal with one Bronze Cluster and two Overseas Bars. Dr. Gandy was a past member of the Brownwood School Board and a member of the Masonic Lodge. His wife, Maisie, and two sons survive him. Dr. Gandy's nephew, Dr. Scott Briers (TEX ′96), is a mixed animal veterinarian in Conroe, Texas.

Richard F. Hansen

Dr. Hansen (MSU ′53), 89, Safety Harbor, Fla., died Jan. 17, 2013. A mixed animal practitioner, he was a partner at Lynwood Animal Hospital in Lowell, Mass. Early in his career, he worked in Vermont. Dr. Hansen served in the Army during World War II. He was a member of the Lions Club and Masonic Lodge. Dr. Hansen is survived by his wife, Dorothy Ann, and a son. Memorials may be made to Blood Donor Lab, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis St., Boston, MA 02155; or Suncoast Hospice House, Palm Harbor, FL 34684.

Donald M. Henness

Dr. Henness (COL ′57), 89, Evansville, Ind., died Jan. 29, 2013. He retired in 1986 as associate director of clinical studies at Mead Johnson in Indiana. Dr. Henness began his career practicing mixed animal medicine in Saratoga, Wyo., serving as deputy state veterinarian at the same time. He later worked as a veterinary pathologist in Fresno, Calif., and served as a research veterinarian and headed the Department of Veterinary Research at Wm. S. Merrell Chemical Company in Ashland, Ohio. In 1966, Dr. Henness joined E.R. Squibb & Sons as director of veterinary research at the Squibb Institute for Medical Research in New Brunswick, N.J. He went on to serve as principal investigator in the Department of Toxicology at Mead Johnson in Evansville, later serving as vivarium director and senior clinical investigator.

Dr. Henness was a Marine Corps veteran of World War II. He is survived by his wife, Nora, and a daughter. Memorials may be made to Salvation Army, 1040 N. Fulton Ave., Evansville, IN 47724.

Joe B. Jolliffe

Dr. Jolliffe (OKL ′58), 84, Kingwood, W. Va., died March 25, 2013. He practiced large animal medicine in West Virginia's Preston County for 54 years and served as veterinarian for the Preston County Buckwheat Festival. For the past 25 years, Dr. Jolliffe also operated Jolliffe Nursery (plants) in Knob Fork, W. Va. He was a past member of the West Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine and a past president of the West Virginia VMA. Dr. Jolliffe's wife, Ann, and three daughters survive him. Memorials may be made to the Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Stillwater, OK 74078; or Best Friends Animal Society, 5001 Angel Canyon Road, Kanab, UT 84741, www.bestfriends.org

John M. Key

Dr. Key (AUB ′66), 83, Smyrna, Tenn., died April 9, 2013. A small animal practitioner, he founded Smyrna Animal Clinic in 1976. Earlier in his career, Dr. Key worked for the state of Tennessee as a meat inspector and did relief work in Tennessee at Nashville and Knoxville. His son and daughter survive him. Memorials may be made to Beesley Foundation, 2215 Keeneland Commercial Blvd., Murfreesboro, TN 37127; or New Vision Baptist Church, Dominican Republic October Missions Trip, 1750 N. Thompson Lane, Murfreesboro, TN 37129.

Terry W. Lee

Dr. Lee (TEX ′70), 65, College Station, Texas, died Jan. 30, 2013. A small animal practitioner, he owned Custer Parkway Animal Hospital in Plano, Texas, and was a founder of Emergency Animal Clinic of Collin County. Dr. Lee is survived by his wife, Georgianne; a son; and a daughter.

William O. May Jr.

Dr. May (GA ′63), 74, Moultrie, Ga., died Jan. 6, 2013. He joined the Air Force after graduation, retiring in 1993 as chairman of the Department of Military Public Health and Occupational Medicine at the Brooks AFB School of Aerospace Medicine in San Antonio. During his military service, Dr. May earned a master's in public health from the University of Missouri (1970) and served on the Norton AFB Inspector General Hospital Team, providing guidance and assistance to Air Force facilities worldwide. He attained the rank of colonel.

Dr. May was a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine. His wife, Rosemary; a son; and a daughter survive him.

Wesley V. Metzler

Dr. Metzler (COL ′72), 73, Colorado Springs, Colo., died Jan. 12, 2013. Prior to retirement in 2010, he was president and chief executive officer of the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region in Colorado Springs. Following graduation, Dr. Metzler practiced mixed animal medicine in Estes Park, Colo. During that time, he also established a boarding kennel in the area. From 1990–1993, Dr. Metzler worked at the Homer Brown Veterinary Hospital in Colorado Springs. He then joined the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region as executive director. Dr. Metzler served on the Animal Care and Use Committee for the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver from 2003–2005. He was a member of the Colorado VMA and Colorado Springs Area VMS. Dr. Metzler received several honors, including the Larimer County Humanitarian Award in 1977 and the Denver Dumb Friends League's Sheilagh R. Malo Humanitarian Award in 2009. In 2010, the on-site surgery center of the Pikes Peak humane society was named after him.

Active in civic life, Dr. Metzler was a past president of the Estes Park School Board and Estes Rotary Club. He was also a member of the Broadmoor Rotary Club and Colorado Springs Executives Association. Dr. Metzler is survived by his wife, Sharol; a son; and three stepsons. Memorials toward the Wesley V. Metzler, DVM Fund may be made to Pikes Peak Community Foundation, 730 N. Nevada Ave., Colorado Springs, CO 80903.

Frank H. Olvey

Dr. Olvey (COL ′36), 100, Wickenburg, Ariz., died Oct. 28, 2012. He began his career with what was known as the Bureau of Animal Industry in the Department of Agriculture, first as a junior veterinarian in Missouri and later as a meat inspector in Chicago. Dr. Olvey then joined the veterinary faculty of the University of Missouri-Columbia as an instructor. In 1939, he moved to Phoenix, where he practiced large animal medicine before joining the Army Veterinary Corps in 1940. During his service, Dr. Olvey served as station veterinarian in Arizona; was command veterinarian in Egypt, Libya, and Iran; and worked in meat inspection in New Jersey. He ended his military career in 1946 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Dr. Olvey went on to practice large animal medicine in Iowa before accepting a position in Phoenix in 1947, taking care of cattle for a feedlot company for almost 10 years. He then joined the International Cooperation Administration in Washington, D.C., and was assigned to Ecuador. Dr. Olvey went on to work for the U.S. Agency for International Development in Iran and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Lebanon. In the early 1970s, he practiced large animal medicine in Phoenix for a few years, later serving as a veterinarian at the Turf Paradise racetrack in Phoenix. Dr. Olvey then worked for USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, stationed in Mali. Following his resignation from the USDA in the early 1980s, he practiced large animal medicine in Wickenburg until retirement.

Dr. Olvey was a life member and a past president of the Arizona VMA and a member of the Arizona Academy of Practice and Central Arizona VMA. In 2012, Dr. Olvey was honored with the AzVMA Distinguished Member Award. He is survived by three sons and two daughters.

Max A. Pachar Sr.

Dr. Pachar (TEX ′49), 90, Orange, Texas, died March 3, 2013. A small animal practitioner, he owned Pachar Veterinary Hospital in Orange for 50 years prior to retirement in 1999. Dr. Pachar served on the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners for six years in the 1960s. He was a member of the Texas and Southeast Texas VMAs. Dr. Pachar's former practice, which still bears his name, recently earned the TVMA Heritage Practice Award. He was an Army Air Corps veteran of World War II, serving in the European theater. Dr. Pachar attained the rank of 1st lieutenant. His wife, Justine; three sons; and two daughters survive him. Memorials may be made to First Christian Church, 611 N. 9th, Orange, TX 77630; or SETX Hospice, 912 W. Cherry, Orange, TX 77630.

Robert P. Raemsch

Dr. Raemsch (COR ′50), 89, Boscawen, N.H., died Jan. 25, 2013. He practiced in Syracuse, N.Y., prior to retirement in 1985. Earlier in his career, Dr. Raemsch worked in Albion, N.Y. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. Dr. Raemsch is survived by two sons and two daughters.

William S. Rokus

Dr. Rokus (UP ′65), 83, Leesburg, Va., died Feb. 3, 2013. He owned a mixed animal practice in Leesburg from 1965–2003. Dr. Rokus was an Army veteran of the Korean War. His two daughters survive him. Memorials may be made to Friends of the Thomas Balch Library, P.O. Box 2184, Leesburg, VA 20177; or University of Pennsylvania Raker-Tulleners Endowed Fund for Veterinary Research, New Bolton Center, 382 W. Street Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348.

Wallace L. Vermeer

Dr. Vermeer (ISU ′56), 84, Orange City, Iowa, died March 19, 2013. He owned a large animal practice in Orange City. Dr. Vermeer is survived by three sons and a daughter.

Thomas E. White Jr.

Dr. White (TEX ′64), 74, Natchitoches, La., died March 8, 2013. He owned Natchitoches Animal Hospital, a mixed animal practice, for 49 years. Dr. White also owned a broodmare practice in Coushatta, La. He was a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners and Louisiana VMA and was active with the Natchitoches Humane Society and Hope for Paws. Dr. White is survived by his wife, Linda; two sons; and two daughters. Memorials may be made to Hope for Paws, P.O. Box 2525, Natchitoches, LA 71457; or Women's Resource Center, 107 North St., Natchitoches, LA 71457.

Kathryn L. Wilkinson

Dr. Wilkinson (LSU ′96), 43, Denham Springs, La., died Jan. 8, 2013. During her 17-year career, she practiced mixed animal medicine at Jones Creek Animal Hospital in Baton Rouge, La., and Live Oak Animal Hospital in Denham Springs. Dr. Wilkinson is survived by her husband, Ricky; three sons; and two daughters.

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    Mean annual earnings of veterinarians in clinical practice (2012 dollars) (Source: IHS analysis of the AVMA Biennial Economic Survey. The year-to-year comparison does not control for changes in demographic variables that could impact mean annual earnings.)

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    Dr. Link Welborn, chair of the AVMA Veterinary Economics Strategy Committee and Workforce Advisory Group, briefs the AVMA House of Delegates last August about Association efforts supporting the U.S. veterinary workforce. (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

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    Alternative supply scenarios vs. baseline supply and demand projections, 2012–2025 (Source: U.S. Veterinary Workforce Study)

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    The AVMA's new Compass Mentoring Program kicked off Oct. 24, 2012, with an event in Connecticut for recent graduates and potential mentors. Roundtable discussions covered student debt, work-life balance, and career paths. (Photo by Dr. Kevin Dajka)

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    Dr. Rachel Cumberbatch, a participant in the Compass Mentoring Program, examines Bella with assistance from veterinary technician Jose De La Espriella at Connecticut Veterinary Center in West Hartford.

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    Dr. Heinrich J. Detmers investigated livestock diseases, helped build veterinary education in the U.S., and invented a new type of syringe. (Saddle & Sirloin Club Portrait Collection, Louisville, Ky.)

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    James D. Murray, PhD, is shown with goats genetically modified to produce milk that contains human lysozyme. The milk someday could be used to combat illness in children. (Photo by Joe Proudman/UC-Davis)

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    Jeanette Martone's “Searching” won the Best of Show award at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine's 26th International Exhibition on Animals in Art. (Photo by Christine Russell)

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    Dr. S. Kwane Stewart

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    Dr. Kathleen Ivester

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    Elaine Ostrander, PhD

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    Dr. Gustavo Aguirre

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    Dr. Paul Nicoletti

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    Dr. Dale Peyroux