Crunching the numbers

Caribbean schools could see impact from federal regulations

Malinda Larkin

Dr. Brendan Bergquist loved practically everything about his time at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts, West Indies. He says he received a great education, experienced a different lifestyle than he would have in the U.S., and met his closest friends. The one thing he didn't enjoy: The fact that he left Ross with more than $300,000 in student debt after graduating in 2012. Currently, he's working as a shelter veterinarian and making less than $70,000. He has since enrolled in an income-based repayment plan.

“When I went to clinics (in my fourth year) and then practice, I felt prepared, so I don't feel shorted in terms of education, but there's definitely that debt load. If I could do it over again, I might have tried to be tighter with my money—I would think about it more in terms of what I took out,” Dr. Bergquist said. “You always have the option to take the full amount per semester. I would have maybe tried to cut down a bit. I tried a little to rein in expenses, but not to the extent I could have.”

New federal regulations, which go into effect July 1, attempt to address concerns about the cost and quality of career education programs, specifically those offered by private for-profit institutions. The goal of the new rules from the Department of Education is to ensure that these institutions improve their outcomes for students—or risk losing access to federal student aid.

The programs that are affected consist of all instructional programs eligible for federal student loan funds, whether degree or nondegree, at U.S. and foreign for-profit institutions; nondegree programs (e.g., certificate and diploma programs) at public and private nonprofit institutions are also included.

That means the veterinary schools at Ross and at St. George's University in Grenada, West Indies, which are both housed at for-profit institutions, must meet the new regulations. At Ross, 97 percent of veterinary students and at St. George's, 87 percent, are U.S. citizens.

Rules and regulations

So, from July on, to qualify for Title IV federal student financial aid programs—the Federal Direct Loan, Federal Family Education Loan, and Perkins Loan programs—for-profit institutions must prepare students for “gainful employment in a recognized occupation.” A program would be considered to lead to gainful employment if the estimated annual loan payment of a typical graduate does not exceed 8 percent of his or her total earnings or 20 percent of his or her discretionary income.

A program would be considered passing if it were below either of these debt-to-earnings rates. A program would be considered failing if its total debt-to-earnings rate were to exceed 12 percent and its discretionary debt-to-earnings rate were to exceed 30 percent. Programs that fell between passing and failing would be in a “zone status.” Failing twice in a three-year period or spending four straight years in zone status would result in the program's loss of federal student loan eligibility. Until that point, the only consequence for programs that failed or were in zone status would be that the year before they could possibly lose eligibility—that is, after one failure or three years in zone status—they would have to provide a warning disclosure to enrolled and prospective students. Official data will not be released until starting in early 2016.

The final regulations were published in the Oct. 31, 2014, Federal Register, giving institutions time to make immediate changes to improve their programs and avoid ineligibility. In addition, the first several years will include a transition period that will take into account any steps by institutions to reduce costs and student debt. For more information or to see the notice, visit http://jav.ma/1E11jBj.

In response, the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities sued the USDE days after the rules were released, calling them arbitrary and arguing that the metrics are “beyond institution control.” The case remains undecided.

Limiting expenses

Assuming the regulations do go into effect, the impact of losing federal loan access could be substantial for these schools.

Federal Stafford Loans, the most popular student loans, for the 2014–2015 academic year had an annual fixed rate of 6.21 percent for direct unsubsidized loans and 7.21 percent for direct graduate PLUS loans. Meanwhile, fixed-rate loans for graduate students from Sallie Mae—the largest private lender—currently range from 5.75 to 8.875 percent, compared with as high as 13 to 15 percent previously. Rates for variable-rate private loans for graduate students now range from 2.25 to 7.5 percent, compared with as high as 10 to 12 percent previously.

Although the difference may not seem substantial, especially since Sallie Mae lowered its rates in 2013, private loans still lack the consumer protections and repayment options that federal loans carry. Those include loan consolidation and income-sensitive repayment plans such as Pay As You Earn, income-based repayment, and income-contingent repayment that cap monthly payments at 10 to 20 percent of discretionary income and extend the repayment period from the standard 10 years up to as much as 25 years, depending on the option selected. Federal loans are also eligible for forgiveness after 10 years of public service; private loans are not.


The front entrance of Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine soon after the campus was built in the mid-1980s. Ross has been owned by DeVry Inc., one of the largest publicly held, international, higher-education organizations in North America, since 2003. Courtesy of Dr. Bobby G. Brown

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 246, 11; 10.2460/javma.246.11.1154

Tellingly, 79 percent of St. George's graduates financed their costs through loans, practically all of which were federal, while 91 percent of Ross graduates received loans to pay for their education, of which 90 percent were federal. Overall, 85 percent of the Ross veterinary school's revenue comes from Title IV loans, just below the required standard of 90 percent or less. St. George's did not disclose this information.


St. George's University established its School of Veterinary Medicine in 1999. The university itself got its start six months after Grenada won its independence from Britain on Feb. 7, 1974. That's when Charles R. Modica, now chancellor, pursued funding for SGU. This past year, St. George's landed a $750 million investment from a group led by Canadian private-equity firm Altas Partners LP and a fund advised by Baring Private Equity Asia, according to news reports. The new investors hold a majority stake in the for-profit college, though the original owners, including Modica, collectively remain the largest single shareholder. Courtesy of SGU

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 246, 11; 10.2460/javma.246.11.1154

About 73 percent of Ross students in the class of 2014 completed the veterinary program in the expected time of 42 months, and 74 percent of St. George's students finished in the usual four years.

Dr. Elaine D. Watson, dean of Ross’ veterinary school, said employment of its graduates is high—only 1 percent reported being unemployed within 10 months after graduation—and attrition is low, at less than 2 percent for the 2013–2014 academic year. In addition, the three-year graduate repayment default rate is 0.3 percent since fiscal year 2011.

“However, we remain sensitive to the cost of student tuition, remaining near the median of U.S. schools’ out-of-state tuition and fees, and continue to take steps to control education costs through further curriculum development, to assist our students in managing their finances, reducing student debt, and planning for their future careers,” she said. “We are confident we can comply with any future USDE metric requirements without affecting our students.”

St. George's dean, Dr. Timothy Ogilvie, declined to comment for this article.

Adding up the costs

As Dr. Watson stated, tuition at Ross—and St. George's, for that matter—isn't out of line with what out-of-state veterinary students pay at U.S. institutions. The median total tuition payment for these students is $185,408, according to the 2014–2015 Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges’ annual data report. Comparatively, total tuition and fees costs are $191,343 at Ross and $173,970 at SGU. However, the cost of living on a Caribbean island greatly contributes to these students’ tendency to borrow more, compared with their counterparts at U.S. institutions. St. George's, according to their fact sheet, http://jav.ma/1B161v7, estimates students’ living and travel expenses range from $13,000 to $21,000 per year.

Dr. Bergquist says a fair amount of what he owes—spread among his 20 federal loans—arose from living and travel expenses, including airfare home, rent, and the cost of buying a car to get around the island.

So it's no wonder the median amount of debt for Ross graduates is $281,851 in federal loans; for St. George's graduates, it's $191,622. That becomes problematic when one considers that the mean starting salary for new veterinarians taking full-time positions prior to graduation and responding to an AVMA employment survey was $66,879 in 2014, according to the new AVMA Report on Veterinary Debt and Income from the AVMA Veterinary Economics Division. Also in the report, the mean debt of all new graduates responding to the survey was $135,283.

According to Ross alumni surveys, 43 percent of respondents from the classes of 2012 and 2013 were making $60,000 to $79,000 a year or so after graduation.

Dr. Bergquist says the only way he's able to make payments on his student loan debt and pay other expenses is that he enrolled in an income-based repayment plan. That keeps his monthly payment to $700, but without the plan, he'd be paying $3,500 a month.

“I just kind of just keep the loans on the back burner. It's doable, but if I had to pay the full amount each month, there's no way I could do it, based off what I make. The (income-based repayment) is manageable, but I'm not making a dent in the total, either. It's very difficult with my salary right now,” he said.

Dr. Bergquist says he's had a hard time saving money and has put big purchases on hold for the time being. He's looked into programs with the government, but the time commitment of 10 years was too long, and the pay was too low.

Someday when he's more settled in his career and personal life, he'd love to own a practice.

“The debt-to-income ratio (for veterinarians) is just ridiculous. … It shouldn't cost that much to go through vet school,” Dr. Bergquist said.

“Certainly, Ross is a wonderful place. Just hopefully it can make some changes—all the schools, really—in terms of the amount of debt we're looking at.”

Foreign school federal loan eligibility requirements changing

The Department of Education is altering how it determines which foreign veterinary schools are eligible for federal student aid, but any potential impact on U.S. students at those schools remains to be seen.

Title IV federal financial aid programs administered by the USDE distribute billions of dollars to U.S. citizens attending colleges around the world, including Federal Direct Loans and Perkins Loans.

For many years, the USDE, via its National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation, determined whether foreign veterinary schools were comparable with those in the U.S. for the purpose of awarding Title IV funds under the Higher Education Act. As a result, U.S. citizens attending the veterinary schools at Ross University and St. George's University, both in the West Indies, were eligible to receive Title IV financial aid prior to the schools’ accreditation by the AVMA Council on Education.

However, effective July 1, the USDE will instead award Title IV funding to U.S. citizens enrolled in foreign veterinary schools only if those schools have been accredited by an accreditor deemed acceptable to the department.

The USDE informed the AVMA Council on Education, which accredits 19 veterinary schools in nine foreign countries (5 in Canada and 14 in other countries), of the regulatory change in a Jan. 9 letter. About 619 U.S. citizens were expected to graduate this year from international member institutions of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, according to the association.

To determine whether an accreditor of foreign veterinary schools is acceptable, the USDE developed a set of guidelines that the COE and any other interested agency must adhere to. Accreditors were asked to give information on and provide evidence of compliance with the following elements:

  • • Structure of the system that the agency uses to authorize the establishment of veterinary schools and subsequent oversight of the quality of the veterinary education program.

  • • Standards and requirements the agency uses to evaluate the quality of veterinary education.

  • • Evaluation process and application of the agency's quality standards, including the qualifications of evaluators, quality controls against conflict of interest, monitoring, and verification of compliance.

The deadline for submission of information was March 15, and the COE submitted its materials prior to then. The COE had not yet heard as of press time whether it had been recognized.

Other agencies that accredit foreign veterinary schools may also be considered acceptable by the USDE. The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, for example, accredits 10 of the 14 foreign veterinary schools outside Canada recognized by the COE. The RCVS confirmed that it, too, has submitted an application with the USDE to be a recognized accreditor. The Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and other Health Professions told JAVMA in early April it has not yet applied for recognition but was giving it some consideration.

There is no word on whether the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council, which accredits five veterinary schools recognized by the COE, or Mexico's Council of Education for Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics, which accredits the veterinary school at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, also accredited by the COE, have submitted applications to the USDE.

While it's not clear whether the change in federal policy will have any effect on U.S. veterinary students studying abroad, what likely won't change is the fact that COE accreditation is required for access to health professions loans under Title VII of the U.S. Public Health Act, which is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services. U.S. citizens attending COE-accredited domestic or foreign veterinary schools are eligible to receive Title VII funds to cover educational expenses above the maximum amount allowed under Title IV federal financial aid programs. That would be $138,000 per student or approximately $1.8 billion each year if all students currently enrolled in veterinary schools requested the maximum amount.

In 2012, the Health Professions Student Loan program distributed about $12 million among approximately 12 percent of veterinary students who are U.S. citizens. Though no changes in the program are anticipated, it remains up in the air whether U.S. citizens will be eligible if they attend foreign schools accredited by other agencies accepted by the USDE.

AVMA Board manages agenda of diverse topics


Dr. Chip Price, AVMA Board of Directors chair, ends deliberations and calls for a vote.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 246, 11; 10.2460/javma.246.11.1154


Dr. Mark Helfat, the District II director on the AVMA Board, explains how an experimental advisory panel will work.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 246, 11; 10.2460/javma.246.11.1154


AVMA President-elect Joe Kinnarney weighs in on policy proposals concerning antimicrobial use in dogs.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 246, 11; 10.2460/javma.246.11.1154


AVMA President Ted Cohn follows the discussion about the AVMA hosting a wellness summit for veterinary professionals. Photos by R. Scott Nolen

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 246, 11; 10.2460/javma.246.11.1154

The April 9–11 meeting of the AVMA Board of Directors at Association headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois, included an agenda of topics ranging from antimicrobial use and human-animal interactions to veterinary economics and board elections.

Dr. Chip Price chaired the meeting where veterinary specialty organizations received AVMA recognition and a policy was adopted that explicitly states the differences between being certified by an AVMA-recognized veterinary specialty organization and earning a certificate.

Board members allocated more than $300,000 for the AVMA Veterinary Economics Division to continue its research on the U.S. veterinary workforce.

The Board supported a measure directing Association leadership and staff to work with the current class of AVMA Future Leaders on a plan for a wellness symposium for veterinary professionals. Additionally, the AVMA will host a summit in 2016 focused on veterinary opportunities for building global animal health capacity and enhancing food security.

The Board adopted policies concerning antimicrobial use in dogs, animal-assisted interventions, electronic voting for district directors, and biomedical research training for veterinarians. Also approved were policies advocating for veterinarians to be given priority for vaccinations against novel influenza strains and encouraging veterinarians to be vaccinated against seasonal strains of the flu virus.

Proposals referred by the board to the AVMA House of Delegates with recommendations for approval are as follows:

  • • “Use of Random-Source Dogs and Cats for Research, Testing and Education”: Proposed revisions to this policy emphasize the importance of ensuring the welfare of random-source dogs and cats used for research, testing, and education; clearly acknowledge that scientific justification is required to support their use; and encourage options for acquisition beyond class B dealers.

  • • “Veterinary Pharmacology Education for Pharmacists”: The proposed new policy addresses the ever-increasing concerns that the AVMA has received from members, and it advocates for three main concepts: (1) encouraging veterinary pharmacology education through professional pharmacy curricula and continuing education, (2) reminding pharmacists to verify the order with the prescribing veterinarian should any questions arise, and to refer the client back to the veterinarian if there are questions about patient care or use of over-the-counter drugs in the patient, and (3) reminding veterinarians to deliver clear prescriptions in line with state rules, to help avoid medication errors.

  • • “AVMA Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics”: Proposed revisions clarify the section on veterinary testimonials and revise the section on the role of the receiving veterinarian.

  • • AVMA Bylaws amendment revising the AVMA Council on Research entity description by expanding the “representing veterinary medical colleges” position to include directors of divisions of comparative medicine and departments of veterinary sciences.

  • • AVMA Bylaws amendment restoring the length of service for members of the Board of Directors from four years to six.

Along with making appointments to AVMA committees and trusts, the Board re-elected Dr. Barbara Schmidt as treasurer, Dr. Ron DeHaven as executive vice president, and Dr. Elizabeth Curry-Galvin as assistant executive vice president. Each was elected to a one-year term.

Accrediting body reinforces firewall with AVMA

The AVMA Council on Education has further distanced itself from the AVMA or, more specifically, the AVMA Board of Directors, in response to feedback from stakeholders.

The Board, which met April 9–11 at AVMA headquarters, approved discontinuing the appointment of a board member as a liaison to the council. The liaison was a nonvoting member of the COE who acted as an observer at council meetings.

The COE created an internal committee at its September 2014 meeting to review its policies on observers, and on the basis of the committee's suggestion, the council submitted its recommendation to the Board to discontinue the liaison position. The council said it believes that not having a representative from the Board present for its meetings would serve to strengthen the existing firewall between the two entities, according to the recommendation's background.

In that same vein, the council will now have its own legal counsel instead of relying on the Association's attorney for advice. The BOD approved funding of about $10,000 this year to cover fees for an outside attorney to provide legal advice to the COE on an as-needed basis. Isham Jones, the AVMA's general counsel, had previously filled this role. Going forward, the COE will determine who will serve as its legal counsel and will seek assistance and advice as necessary.

Several years ago, another boundary was drawn when the Board, on the council's recommendation, officially stopped approving changes to the COE Accreditation Policies and Procedures manual. Then in 2011, a change was made ending Board approval of proposed changes to the COE Standards of Accreditation. The Board and House of Delegates are invited to review proposed changes, along with others, but the COE is under no obligation to make changes on the basis of their comments.

In addition, the process for appointing COE members changed in 2013 when the AVMA and Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges developed separate selection committees. The AVMA COE Selection Committee selects eight practitioners, and the AAVMC COE Selection Committee selects eight academics to serve on the council. The COE continues to elect the three public members of the council, and the Canadian VMA continues to appoint the Canadian representative. Formerly, the AVMA House of Delegates elected 15 of the council's 20 members.

Colleges undergoing accreditation now pay half the direct and indirect annual costs of COE accreditation and all site visit expenses. The AAVMC provides a part-time COE staff position and pays travel expenses for the eight academic members it selects to attend COE meetings. The changes came after stakeholders voiced support for creation of a joint accrediting body similar to the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the accrediting body for medical schools, which is run by the Association of American Medical Colleges and American Medical Association.

Board greenlights funding for economic research

Funding for a number of economic studies aimed at increasing demand for veterinarians and veterinary services has been approved by the AVMA Board of Directors.

The AVMA Veterinary Economics Strategy Committee requested the allocation of nearly $339,000 from the Economics Strategy Fund to support the following research projects, to be managed by AVMA's Veterinary Economics Division:

  • • Evaluation of price and income elasticities: This pilot study will continue research regarding how the price of veterinary services and consumers’ disposable income affect the market demand.

  • • Economic assessment of zoonotic diseases: This study will identify the net benefits of investing in zoonotic disease prevention versus the national economic impact of containing the spread of diseases following an outbreak. The cost-benefit analysis of avian influenza in 2015 will be the start of a long-term research project.

  • • Assessing benefits of animal ownership: This study will quantify the economic impact of the human-animal bond on human health and welfare.

  • • Development and use of risk tools for pet owners to enhance the demand for veterinary services: The first step will be surveying pet owners to yield an understanding of their attitudes toward risk and risk reduction in the demand for veterinary services and pet insurance as well as identify characteristics associated with consumer decisions to purchase pet insurance, wellness plans, and health savings accounts.

  • • Veterinary market analysis and visualization online: This study will build a geographic information system database that will aid in the estimation of potential demand for veterinary services by census tracts. Over time, this will be developed into an AVMA member tool for private clinics to assess the demand for veterinary services.

  • • Food animal workforce analysis: This goal of this research project is to study demand for food animal services as a function of herd size and other factors.


Bridgette Bain, PhD, a statistical data analyst in the AVMA's Veterinary Economics Division, briefs the Board of Directors on research proposals concerning the U.S. veterinary workforce. Photo by R. Scott Nolen

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 246, 11; 10.2460/javma.246.11.1154

The projects are based on an AVMA advisory panel's assessment of the 2013 U.S. Veterinary Workforce Study. The panel made several recommendations, including that the AVMA maintain and add to veterinary workforce and economic databases and the annual collection of data on and analysis of the number of veterinarians entering the U.S. workforce each year.

Preliminary findings from these studies will be presented at the 2015 AVMA Veterinary Economic Summit, Oct. 21.

Veterinary specialty organizations recognized

The AVMA Board of Directors approved the indicated level of AVMA recognition for the following veterinary specialty organizations on the basis of the American Board of Veterinary Specialties’ review and acceptance of each organization's submitted reports.

Continued full recognition on the basis of 2014 five-year in-depth reports: American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine; American College of Veterinary Behaviorists; American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine; and American College of Veterinary Radiology.

Continued full recognition on the basis of 2014 annual reports: American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, American Board of Veterinary Toxicology, American College of Poultry Veterinarians, American College of Theriogenologists, American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia, American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology, American College of Veterinary Dermatology, American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, American College of Veterinary Microbiologists, American College of Veterinary Nutrition, American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists, American College of Veterinary Pathologists, American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, American College of Veterinary Surgeons, American College of Zoological Medicine, and American Veterinary Dental College

Continued provisional recognition on the basis of 2014 interim reports: American College of Animal Welfare and American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Not all certifications are the same

A new AVMA policy explains the differences between being certified by an AVMA-recognized veterinary specialty organization and earning a certificate. The policy reads as follows:

Distinction Between the Process of Board-Certification and Earning a Certificate

The American Veterinary Medical Association only recognizes as specialists, veterinarians who have been certified by a board or college recognized by the AVMA American Board of Veterinary Specialties. All other certificates or like documents are evidence of continuing education, course-work completion or similar initiatives and do not rise to the level of specialization.

The policy proposed by the ABVS and approved by the AVMA Board of Directors aims to show certificate programs are not equivalent to specialty board certification.

In its recommendation to the AVMA Board, the ABVS cites certification in veterinary surgery as an example of how the process encompasses several years spent acquiring a wide array of knowledge and skills in orthopedic and soft-tissue surgery of all body systems, using a variety of surgical techniques and technologies. In contrast, a certificate program might award a certificate to a veterinarian who has attended a several-hour or daylong continuing education program to learn a specific procedure such as repair of cranial cruciate ligament rupture.

Some certificates, the ABVS continued, are assessment-based and awarded to participants who demonstrate suitable attainment of the specific knowledge or skill presented to them. Certificate programs may improve the knowledge or technical proficiency of a veterinarian in a focused area, similar to what might be achieved through attendance at CE meetings.

“However, certificates awarded as described … do not require extensive training requirements for eligibility; do not represent expertise attained through long-term repetition of cases from start to finish under the mentorship of experts; and do not represent an assessment of knowledge and skills by a process independent of the provider of the knowledge and skills, and thus should not be confused with certification as an expert,” the ABVS stated.

Additionally, as defined by the Institute for Credentialing Excellence, certificates differ from certification in that awardees are not given a degree or credentials to be listed with their name.

Given these distinctions, the ABVS requested that the AVMA Board approve the policy statement, which it did, and that the AVMA provide further clarification and guidance with regard to certification.

BOD elections move online

Future elections for seats on the AVMA Board of Directors will be conducted almost entirely electronically.

The AVMA Office of the Executive Vice President proposed switching from paper ballots to online voting after determining that electronic election of AVMA district directors is both feasible and beneficial.

The Board approved the OEVP's recommendation to thus revise the policy “Board of Directors Elections”:


A printed ballot bearing the names of the nominated candidates will be provided to each eligible voter along with a return envelope on the outside of which will be marked a place for signature of the voter. The voter must sign his or her name on the outside of this envelope. Signature on the ballot will not be required. Only official AVMA-produced ballots will be accepted in Board of Directors elections, and photocopies or reproductions of ballots will be considered ineligible.

Utilizing the services of an electronic voting company, an email message and subsequent reminder will be sent to all eligible voters in the respective district. The email will provide directions and a link to a secure voting website. The website will authenticate the members’ identity based on information provided by AVMA, and the voting company will subsequently tabulate the election results.

Paper ballots will be distributed to those AVMA members who do not have email addresses. The returned paper ballots will be included in the electronic tabulation results.

Safeguards will be in place to prohibit multiple voting.

The OEVP expects electronic voting will increase voter participation and save the Association up to $10,000 when holding contested elections.

Policies clarify animal-assisted interventions

New AVMA policies clarify when an animal is most appropriately classified as a service, assistance, or companion animal and describe the veterinarian's duties in relation to animals participating in valid animal-assisted activities.

Written by the AVMA Steering Committee on Human-Animal Interactions, “Animal-Assisted Interventions: Definitions” and “AVMA Guidelines for Animal-Assisted Interventions” expand on and replace current Association policies concerning animal-assisted interventions.

“Definitions” describes the classes of service, assistance, and companion animals that veterinarians may see in practice, thereby assisting veterinarians in addressing each animal's unique health and welfare needs.

Additionally, this new policy provides support for the AVMA, the profession, and individual veterinarians in advocating for clients and their animals and their appropriate access to public areas, services, facilities, and housing according to the function and training of the animal and the needs of the client.

In the recommendation to the Board of Directors, the AVMA steering committee stated its hopes to actively promote the new definitions as the standard for categories of animals used for animal-assisted interventions in the United States, including but not limited to regulatory and business applications.

The other new policy, “Guidelines,” is the result of an 18-month process on the part of the AVMA steering committee to reflect current standards and expectations for animal-assisted intervention programs and participants and to reinforce the important role of veterinarians in the care and management of animals used in such activities.

The steering committee wants to develop products that will help veterinarians better manage the care of animals participating in human health care interventions. This might include model intake questions and a “wellness health care checklist” suitable for the main classes of intervention activities. Such products could facilitate communication between the veterinarian and client as it relates to the care and use of the assistance animal and focus preventive care and monitoring toward the unique needs of these animals.

Other useful materials that could be developed include information for veterinarians about the various classes of service and assistance animals and their legal status as well as questions veterinarians may ask and should not ask in relation to a client with a disability or special need.

Antiparasitic education needed, antimicrobial education given

The AVMA wants veterinarians to stay up to date on parasite control because of the risk antiparasitic resistance poses to pets and livestock.

And Association leaders want to tell members about the availability of guidance on antimicrobial use in treating certain diseases.

The AVMA Board of Directors voted in April to advocate in favor of parasitology education for veterinarians, veterinary students, and animal owners. Drug-resistant heartworms of dogs, barber pole worms (Haemonchus contortus) of small ruminants, brown stomach worms (Ostertagia ostertagi) of cattle, and small strongyles and roundworms of horses are cited as risks in the policy the Board passed on antiparasitic resistance.

The Board also agreed that the AVMA should tell members about the availability of guidelines on antimicrobial use to treat two specific conditions. The documents from the International Society for Companion Animal Infectious Diseases describe diagnosis of, and antimicrobial therapy for, canine superficial bacterial folliculitis as well as antimicrobial use for treating urinary tract disease in dogs and cats.

The AVMA is not endorsing those documents or recommending use of the treatments detailed within. Members of the AVMA House of Delegates voted in January against such endorsements, and some indicated during their debate that they found the guidelines to be too prescriptive for adoption as AVMA policy.

The superficial bacterial folliculitis–related document is available at http://doi.org/10.1111/vde.12118. The urinary-tract disease-related document is available at www.iscaid.org.

AVMA Board makes appointments

The AVMA Board of Directors made the following appointments during its April meeting.

Animal Welfare Committee

Representing the American Animal Hospital Association, primary representative—Dr. Rodney Jouppi, Lively, Ontario; American Association of Bovine Practitioners, primary representative—Dr. Johann Coetzee, Cambridge, Iowa; American Association of Equine Practitioners, primary representative—Dr. Harry Werner, North Granby, Connecticut; American Association of Fish Veterinarians, primary representative—Dr. Leigh Ann Clayton, Severna Park, Maryland; Association of Avian Veterinarians, alternate representative—Dr. Marcy Souza, Knoxville, Tennessee; American Society of Veterinary Medical Association Executives, primary representative—Jack Advent, Powell, Ohio; humane or animal welfare organizations, primary representative—Dr. Marion Garcia, Washington, D.C.; state veterinary medical associations, primary representative—Dr. Patricia Hill, Simpsonville, South Carolina; and state VMAs, alternate representative—Dr. Kevin Lewis, Deerfield, Illinois

Aquatic Veterinary Medicine Committee

Representing corporate or laboratory aquatic veterinary medicine—Dr. James Brackett, Parksville, British Columbia; and nonveterinarian with expertise to enhance aquatic veterinary medicine and fulfill AqVMC objectives—Larry Hanson, Mississippi State, Mississippi

Clinical Practitioners Advisory Committee

Representing the Association of Avian Pathologists, alternate representative—Dr. Chad Malinak, Athens, Georgia

Committee on Disaster and Emergency Issues

Representing federal or state public health agency—Dr. Michael Parker, Gaithersburg, Maryland; and state veterinarian—Dr. Linda Hickam, Thompson, Missouri

Committee on Environmental Issues

Representing government service, federal or state agency dealing with environmental issues—Dr. William Sander, Hyattsville, Maryland; small animal medicine—Dr. Charlene Edinboro, San Carlos, California; small ruminant practice—Dr. Grant Seaman, Canisteo, New York; swine practice—Dr. Peggy Hawkins, Northfield, Minnesota; veterinary ecology—Dr. Terry Kane, Ann Arbor, Michigan; and zoo and wildlife medicine—Dr. James Sikarskie, East Lansing, Michigan

Committee on International Veterinary Affairs

Representing the World Small Animal Veterinary Association—Dr. Laurel Kaddatz, Carmel, New York

Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities

Representing industrial veterinary medicine—Dr. Dale Cooper, Gobles, Michigan; veterinary state boards—Dr. Susan Bull, Candler, North Carolina; and veterinary technicians—Sharon Johnston, Statham, Georgia

Early Career Development Committee

Representing emerging leaders—Dr. Erin Casey, Washington, D.C.; faculty advisers—Dr. Sarah Reuss, Gainesville, Florida; and recent graduates (two positions)—Drs. Jayme Hennenfent, Arlington, Virginia, and Brittany Southern, Houston.

Food Safety Advisory Committee

Representing the American Association of Avian Pathologists, primary representative—Dr. Beth Krushinskie, Millsboro, Delaware; American Association of Bovine Practitioners, primary representative—Dr. William McBeth, Morgantown, Pennsylvania; American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners, primary representative—Dr. Joan Bowen, Wellington, Colorado; and aquatic food animal medicine veterinarian—Dr. Kerry Collins, Brunswick, Maine

Governance Performance Review Committee

Representing AVMA councils—Dr. Paul Cook, Atwater, California

AVMA Group Health & Life Insurance Trust

At-large representative (four positions)—Drs. Joe Howell, Nichols Hills, Oklahoma; David Koncal, Sagamore Hills, Ohio; Martha O'Rourke, Toms River, New Jersey; and Paula Rode, Chelsea, Michigan

Legislative Advisory Committee

Representing the American Association of Avian Pathologists, primary representative—Dr. Suzanne Dougherty, Madison, Alabama; American Association of Equine Practitioners, primary representative—Dr. Miles Hildebrand, Wellington, Florida; AAEP, alternate representative—Dr. James Zeliff, Murrysville, Pennsylvania; American Association of Swine Veterinarians, primary representative—Dr. Max Rodibaugh, Frankfort, Indiana; AASV, alternate representative—Dr. Jason Kelly, Algona, Iowa; American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners, primary representative—Dr. Elizabeth Nunamaker, Gainesville, Florida; and ASLAP, alternate representative—Dr. Donna Clemons, Trevor, Wisconsin

Political Action Committee Board

At-large representative—Dr. Bernadine Cruz, Laguna Niguel, California


At-large representative (two positions)—Drs. Doug Aspros, Pound Ridge, New York, and Noreen Lanza, Mickleton, New Jersey

State Advocacy Committee

Representing Area 1 (Eastern region)—Dr. Arnold Goldman, Canton, Connecticut; and Area 2 (Central states)—Dr. Derine Winning, West Fargo, North Dakota

Steering Committee on Human-Animal Interactions

Expert on the impact on the human (i.e., how human-animal attachment type/strength impacts the well-being of people)—Dr. Aubrey Fine, Claremont, California

Veterinary Economics Strategy Committee

At-large representative (two positions)—Drs. Scott Spaulding, Milton, Wisconsin, and Peter Weinstein, Irvine, California

AVMA liaisons

American Fisheries Society, Fish Health Section—Dr. Myron Kebus, Madison, Wisconsin; and Rabies Compendium Committee of the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians—Dr. Mary Grace Stobierski, East Lansing, Michigan

AVMA to lobby for biomedical training access

AVMA leaders have heard reports that veterinarians have been excluded from participating in some federal physician-scientist training programs, and they want to ensure veterinarians are considered to be eligible.

The AVMA will lobby the National Institutes of Health in support of veterinarians’ inclusion in all the institutes’ postgraduate physician-scientist research fellowships.

Dr. Harry Dickerson, chair of the AVMA Council on Research and a professor and associate dean at the University of Georgia, expects the advocacy will include conversations with NIH staff members and with members of Congress and their staffs about veterinarians’ roles, the benefits veterinarians could receive from postdoctoral biomedical training and research, and the benefits those trainees can provide.

The AVMA Board of Directors approved the effort in a policy passed in April.

A year ago, the NIH published a report that recommended inclusion of veterinarian-scientists in review of, and participation in, research involving vertebrate animals. Other recommendations in the NIH report included promoting the availability of awards for postdoctoral veterinarian-scientist training and creating programs to encourage combined clinical and scientific work by women in veterinary schools and in veterinary medicine.

The Physician-Scientist Workforce (PSW) Report 2014 is available at http://report.nih.gov/workforce.aspx.

Dr. Michael Kotlikoff, a research council member and dean of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, said veterinarians have had difficulty receiving funding for training beyond that provided through comparative medicine programs, even though veterinarians and veterinary colleges are considered to be eligible for funding under a broader range of NIH divisions. That problem relates at least in part to a lack of understanding of veterinarians’ roles in biomedical research, he said.

The AVMA needs to apply institutional pressure toward a uniform policy across the NIH for these programs, Dr. Kotlikoff said.

“Veterinarians are critical members of the biomedical research infrastructure, and we just have a very difficult time accessing the funding for training programs for these individuals,” he said.

Future AVMA convention venues approved

The AVMA Board of Directors has approved a proposal for host cities for the AVMA Annual Convention from 2021–2029.

The venues and dates recommended by the AVMA Convention Management and Program Committee and accepted by the Board are as follows: Minneapolis, June 18–22, 2021; Philadelphia, July 29–Aug. 2, 2022; Denver, July 14–18, 2023; Austin, Texas, June 21–25, 2024; Washington, D.C., Aug. 8–12, 2025; Anaheim, California, Aug. 7–11, 2026; New Orleans, July 16–20, 2027; Boston, July 14–18, 2028; and Honolulu, June 22–26, 2029.

A letter of intent will be signed with each city that will hold space at its convention center during the specified dates, lock in the rental fee for that space, and hold hotel rooms throughout the city at various room rates.

The AVMA has the right to renegotiate any and all aspects of the letter of intent, typically up to two years prior to the convention year.

Disaster planning tool coming soon, brochure updated

A new tool coming soon from the AVMA and American Veterinary Medical Foundation will allow veterinary practices to create a custom plan to prepare for disasters ranging from fires and floods to tornadoes and hurricanes. The AVMA and AVMF also have updated the “Saving the Whole Family” brochure to help animal owners prepare for disasters.

Many veterinary practices do not have a disaster plan. The AVMA Committee on Disaster and Emergency Issues has been developing the disaster planning tool to help practices stay in business and return to work quickly after a disaster.

According to the AVMA brochure “Disaster Preparedness for Veterinary Practices,” a practice's disaster plan should cover the following: emergency relocation of animals, backup of medical records, continuity of operations, security, general emergency planning, fire prevention, and insurance and legal issues.

The CDEI will roll out the disaster planning tool during the AVMA Annual Convention, July 10–14 in Boston. On Saturday, the last two hours of the Disaster Preparedness subsection will provide an introduction to the tool. For a fee of $30, or $80 for veterinarians who are not AVMA members, convention attendees may sign up in advance for a half-day interactive lab on Sunday morning to begin creating their own disaster plan with the tool.

Organizers of the interactive lab would like participants to bring a laptop and, in advance, do some homework on what preparations their practice already has in place. Participants can refer to the “Disaster Preparedness for Veterinary Practices” brochure. Registration for the convention and interactive lab is at www.avmaconvention.org

The AVMA and AVMF have made a number of updates to the “Saving the Whole Family” brochure for animal owners. The brochure now features a section on backyard poultry, notes sections, and a new look.

The brochure covers general disaster preparedness for animal owners, animal identification, animal transportation and housing, veterinary records, proof of ownership, emergency contacts, and evacuation essentials for various species—cats, dogs, equids, livestock, backyard poultry, other birds, reptiles, amphibians, and exotic companion mammals.

“Disaster Preparedness for Veterinary Practices” and “Saving the Whole Family” are available for free download via the AVMA Store at www.avma.org/products under “Disaster Preparedness.” The English and Spanish versions of “Saving the Whole Family” are available to order in print form via the same website or by calling (800) 248-2862, Ext. 6655.

AVMA offers brochure on pet dental care

The AVMA has developed a brochure to educate pet owners about pet dental care. The new resource describes veterinary dentistry, causes and signs of dental problems, use of anesthesia, periodontal disease, and home care.

Members of the AVMA requested the brochure via social media and the AVMA call center. The AVMA Communications Division developed the content, which was reviewed by the AVMA Council on Veterinary Service and the American Veterinary Dental College.

The brochure is available at www.avma.org/products by clicking on “Brochures” and then on “Client Information.” English and Spanish versions are downloadable for free in PDF form. The English version is available to order in print form via the same website or by calling (800) 248-2862, Ext. 6655.

Chicago responds to canine influenza

Dog owners, veterinarians taken aback by outbreak

Katie Burns


Jean Miller of Chicago with Gracie, who recovered from canine influenza

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 246, 11; 10.2460/javma.246.11.1154

Gracie the Boston Terrier bounced around an examination room during a recent visit to Blum Animal Hospital in Chicago. Down the hall, an ailing Cocker Spaniel endured treatment with a nebulizer.

Both dogs were among the victims of an outbreak of canine influenza ongoing as of late April in the Chicago area.

The scope and nature of the outbreak caught dog owners and veterinarians off-guard. By mid-April, the Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control had officially tallied six deaths and more than 1,000 cases of canine infectious respiratory disease in the Chicago area.

Earlier that month, Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison announced that the outbreak had been caused by an influenza A H3N2 virus from Asia not previously detected in North America, rather than the H3N8 strain that has been circulating in the United States since 2004. It is not known if the current vaccine against H3N8 provides any protection against H3N2.


Jean Miller, Gracie's owner, was on a cruise in late March when she got a call on a Thursday toward the end of the trip saying her dog might have canine influenza. Gracie was being boarded at the same facility where she goes for day care. The dog had been coughing and had nose drainage, then stopped eating and became lethargic.

“She went from not so sick to very sick pretty quick,” Miller said. “I was extremely worried.”

On Friday, the staff of the boarding facility took Gracie to her veterinarian, Dr. Natalie Marks, co-owner of Blum Animal Hospital. Dr. Marks reported to Miller that Gracie had developed pneumonia, and the veterinarian wanted to admit the dog. Miller agreed, feeling a partial sense of relief because her relatives all have dogs and wouldn't have been able to take in Gracie.

“I called on Saturday, and they said she was stable,” Miller said. “Then I wasn't able to call on Sunday, so I still worried. But when I called on Monday, before I got on the plane to come back, they said that she was doing much better.”

Miller got home late Monday and took Gracie home on Tuesday with three medications and a lingering cough. The day care had closed because of the outbreak, but staff came to walk Gracie each day.

Blum Animal Hospital

In March, Dr. Marks said, Blum and some of the surrounding hospitals noticed an increase in the number of dogs with a respiratory disease that didn't seem like the usual kennel cough.

Dr. Marks said, “These cases had high fevers. It was a very intense, almost guttural, honking cough. These dogs weren't eating. They were very lethargic.”

The patients all seemed to have frequented communal dog areas such as day care facilities, boarding facilities, dog parks, groomers, or dog beaches. Then Blum learned of a confirmation of canine influenza in the city and went into high alert.

Members of the practice team set up an isolation unit for patients and started using personal protective equipment. Owners of dogs that might have contracted canine influenza waited in cars instead of the reception area. Blum started working with Cornell to submit samples.

From late March through early April, the hospital was seeing five to 15 cases of canine influenza per day.

“We have all been working tirelessly,” Dr. Marks said. “We have been educating our clients and the community and working with other veterinary practices, the university, the government, trying to just help in any way we can.”

By mid-April, the caseload seemed to be slowing slightly at Blum, but cases had been reported in surrounding states. Dr. Marks expressed concern that there are really no borders for interstate dog travel, and she wants other veterinarians not to be caught off-guard.

Cook County

Dr. Donna Alexander, administrator of the Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control, said the county saw an increase in cases of what people were calling kennel cough starting in January. These cases were more severe, though. The county encouraged veterinarians to send in samples for PCR assays, and the cause turned out to be canine influenza.

The county put out questionnaires asking veterinarians to report canine infectious respiratory disease cases. Some veterinarians reported an increase but did not provide specific numbers. By mid-April, the county had identified at least 1,137 cases. The most severe cases were in dogs under 1 year old or over 7 years old and immunocompromised dogs.

The outbreak seemed to have dwindled as of late April, Dr. Alexander said. She credited veterinarians’ efforts and the closing of many communal dog areas. Frank Shuftan, Cook County public information officer, added that the press was extremely cooperative in getting messages out to dog owners.

“We have had outbreaks of different diseases, but nothing as extensive as this one or as unfamiliar to us as this one has been,” Dr. Alexander said. “This particular canine influenza sort of took us aback because we did not know what we were dealing with.”

Across the country

Among the researchers who identified the H3N8 virus in 2004 was Dr. Cynda Crawford of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. The strain arose from horses.

Dr. Crawford said H3N8 infected thousands of racing Greyhounds at several tracks in 2005 and 2006. 2011 was a bad year among pet dogs, with the strain infecting pet dogs in 17 states. Dr. Crawford characterized the 2011 outbreaks as epidemics in six states, particularly Texas. Some veterinary clinics in the six states were seeing 30 or more cases daily. The H3N8 strain now has reached 40 states.

“I think the true number of canine flu cases is very underestimated because the clinical presentation looks like the typical kennel cough initially, and many veterinarians or owners will not elect diagnostic testing to determine what is the cause of the acute-onset respiratory infection,” Dr. Crawford said.


Members of the practice team at Blum Animal Hospital in Chicago treat a Cocker Spaniel for canine influenza.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 246, 11; 10.2460/javma.246.11.1154

She said the Chicago outbreak, albeit the H3N2 strain, is one of the largest U.S. epidemics of canine influenza to date.

Resources on canine influenza are available from the AVMA at www.avma.org/KB/Resources by clicking on “Reference Guides.”

Antifreeze antidote withdrawn

The only commercial antidote for ethylene glycol poisoning is off the market, but poison control experts noted that veterinarians have alternatives.

Paladin Labs had stopped making Antizol-Vet (fomepizole) by Oct. 1, 2014, and the Food and Drug Administration approved in April the company's request to withdraw the drug's approval.

Dr. Ahna Brutlag, associate director of veterinary services for the Pet Poison Helpline, said that prior to the withdrawal, Antizol-Vet had been largely unavailable and little used when it was available. The product was expensive, and veterinary clinics have been responding to suspected poisonings with human-use fomepizole, compounded versions, or ethanol.

Dr. Tina Wismer, medical director for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Animal Poison Control Center, said several pharmacies have been producing compounded versions of the product, and, like Dr. Brutlag, she noted that veterinarians also have been using the more old-fashioned and inexpensive treatment of administering ethanol-containing alternatives such as the rectified spirit Everclear or vodka. She expects veterinarians will be able to treat animals with little trouble.

Both poison control officials said ethylene glycol poisoning numbers have remained level in recent years. For example, Dr. Wismer said the ASPCA hotline received 305 calls about such poisonings in 2014, 328 in 2013, and 325 in 2012.

Jad Isber, director of international and base business for Paladin Labs, said the company requested the withdrawal because low demand made continued production unfeasible. Antizol-Vet was sold only in the U.S., and Paladin does not plan to make it for other markets.

Trust me, I'm a doctor now

Veterinary surgeons in the United Kingdom have been given permission to use the courtesy title “Dr.” following a decision made by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Council on March 5. The common courtesy used by U.K. veterinarians up until this time has been “Prof.”

The decision follows a stakeholder survey in which 81 percent were in favor of the change, 13 percent against, and 6 percent had no preference. Nearly 50 percent of the 11,202 respondents to the survey were veterinary surgeons, 22 percent were veterinary students, 21 percent were animal-owning members of the public, and the rest were veterinary nurses, veterinary nurse students, practice managers, and non–animal-owning members of the public.

The issue had been raised in a bid to align the U.K. with international practice, providing greater clarity for the profession and offering reassurance to clients and the animal-owning public that all veterinary surgeons registered with the RCVS, regardless of where they qualified, have veterinary degrees of an appropriate standard, according to an RCVS press release.

Prof., or rather, Dr. Stuart Reid, RCVS president, said when the survey was sent out, “This is an opportunity to provide, for those U.K. veterinary surgeons who wish it, the legitimate use of a title that offers a level of parity with fellow medical professionals.”

Of the three main clinical degrees in the U.K.—medicine, dentistry, and veterinary medicine—only veterinary surgeons had not used the courtesy title “Dr.,” unlike veterinarians in Australia, Europe, New Zealand, and North America, whose use of the title is tied to recognition and professional standing rather than academic attainment.

“I am delighted that such a strong message came from both the public and the profession on this issue,” said RCVS CEO Nick Stace. “We have a responsibility to maintain confidence in the veterinary profession, and this move will help underline to the public in particular that veterinary surgeons work to very high standards, regardless of where they qualified.”

Use of the title is optional, and guidance has been produced to support the change. For example, veterinary surgeons are encouraged when using “Dr.” to do so in conjunction with their name and either the descriptor “veterinary surgeon” or the designation “MRCVS.”

Idaho VMA, Idaho Humane Society sign accord

The Idaho Humane Society will begin limiting many of its veterinary services for the general public to only lower-income pet owners under the terms of a new agreement with the Idaho VMA that became effective in May.

The IVMA announced the accord in April after nearly two years of discussions and negotiations with the humane society involving local leaders and state legislators, heading off potential legislation. The association had drafted a bill to require that charitable animal groups in Idaho focus veterinary services for the public on low-income families.

Dr. Robert Pierce, IVMA board chair, said the state needs nonprofit animal groups to focus on low-income families rather than duplicating services for the public at large. He said, “Nonprofit animal groups are allowed very generous tax advantages and for excellent reasons: They spay and neuter pets for the general public, take care of strays and shelter animals, and help those lower-income families who cannot easily afford veterinary care.”

The humane society will limit checkups, preventive dentistry, and vaccinations to pets whose owners are below 75 percent of the median income in the county in which the owner resides. The society also will limit orthopedic surgeries to pets whose owners fall in the same income category, unless the surgery is an emergency or a referral. Regardless of the owner's income, the society will continue to treat pets for injuries and illnesses and to provide spay and neuter surgeries and microchipping for pets, among other exceptions.

“What I think this does for the local vet community here is assure them that we're not trying to maintain or develop a clientele of non-low-income folks,” said Dr. Jeff Rosenthal, the humane society's chief executive officer. “Everyone needs to have a regular veterinarian to get the wellness care, the vaccines, and so forth, dental care, and those folks that have the means to do so should be going to other local veterinarians.”

The agreement also requires IVMA and IHS representatives to meet quarterly for the first two years and no less frequently than annually thereafter.

Court favors state regulators on examination requirement

Greg Cima

Appellate judges dismissed a Texas veterinarian's claims that the state violated his rights by prohibiting veterinary consultations by phone or email without physical examinations.

In a unanimous ruling, Circuit Judge Patrick E. Higginbotham wrote that the state had the authority and rational justification for requiring a physical examination to establish a veterinarian-client-patient relationship. He delivered the ruling for a three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Dr. Ronald S. Hines had given veterinary advice to pet owners by phone and email in exchange for fees—which he sometimes waived—starting in 2002, court documents state. In 2012, the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners told him he was violating state law, and he and the board reached a negotiated agreement to one year of probation, a stayed suspension of his license, a $500 fine, and retesting in the jurisprudence portion of the state's veterinarian licensing examination, the documents indicate.

Dr. Hines sued the board in 2013, alleging that the state violated his rights to free speech, work without arbitrary and irrational interference, and equal protection under the law, the last of which he claimed was denied through regulations intended to protect brick-and-mortar veterinary practices from competition, the court documents state.

Texas’ veterinary licensing act allows the practice of veterinary medicine only under a veterinarian-client-patient relationship, established by physical examination of a patient or visits to the premises where the animal is kept, as described in regulations published by the examiners board. Establishing relationships through visits lets veterinarians treat agricultural herds or flocks without examining each animal.

In court documents, Dr. Hines stated that he retired from conventional veterinary practice in 2002 and that he was unable to continue that work because of his age and nerve damage–related disability caused by a 1977 fall from a catwalk onto machinery. He started writing about pet health and care in February 2002, and messages from animal owners persuaded him to provide advice.

His filings describe help given to clients such as a couple who needed care for their cat while living in rural Nigeria and a disabled man in New Hampshire who could not afford care for his dog. He also alleged that other veterinarians, including some on television and radio programs, were giving the same types of veterinary advice he was giving.

The appellate ruling indicates state regulation on practice of a profession may have incidental impact on speech without violating the Constitution, and the requirement for a physical examination is related to a legitimate government interest in reducing the risk of misdiagnosis and improper treatment.

FDA warns of pet illnesses from topical NSAIDs

Three cats died and two more were sickened in the past several years from exposure to owners’ topical NSAIDs, and Food and Drug Administration officials are warning about the risks.

An FDA alert published in April attributes the deaths and illnesses to flurbiprofen, which is used in humans to treat muscle and joint pain. The cats were from two homes, and in both cases, the owners had applied the lotions to their own skin.

“Understand that, although the FDA has not received reports of dogs or other pets becoming sick in relation to the use of topical pain medications containing flurbiprofen, these animals may also be vulnerable to NSAID toxicity after being exposed to these medications,” the alert states.

Necropsies on three of the cats, which all came from one of the homes, revealed gastrointestinal and renal damage indicating NSAID toxicosis, FDA information states. The other two cats recovered following treatment for kidney failure.

The alert states that veterinarians who see clinical signs consistent with NSAID toxicosis should ask clients whether household members use topical pain medications containing flurbiprofen. The alert also tells pet owners to seek veterinary care if their pets have clinical signs such as lethargy, lack of appetite, or vomiting.

Information for clients is available at http://jav.ma/1G7UQUD.

Avian influenza infections could continue in fall, next spring

The highly pathogenic H5 avian influenza viruses now in U.S. poultry flocks could have continued effects during the next year of wild bird migrations.

Nearly 16 million birds were expected to be killed or depopulated so far because of flock infections with an H5N2 influenza virus strain that had spread to at least 13 states as of April 29. Another highly pathogenic avian influenza virus, an H5N8 strain, had spread to a few Western U.S. commercial flocks containing about 250,000 birds.

Dr. John Clifford, chief veterinary officer for the Department of Agriculture, said the H5 avian influenza viruses have become adapted to wild waterfowl and may cause outbreaks in fall 2015 and spring 2016. The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is studying pathways the viruses can use to enter poultry barns and is working with industry to mitigate risk over the summer.

The avian influenza viruses affected a greater number of chickens than turkeys, although far more turkey farms than chicken farms had infections.

APHIS figures indicated that, from December 2014 through April 2015, highly pathogenic H5N2 and H5N8 avian influenza viruses had affected 100 commercial or backyard flocks that together contained 15.8 million birds, about 11.5 million of which were on chicken farms. Affected premises had been quarantined prior to depopulation to prevent spread of the disease, APHIS information states.

Of the 86 commercial flocks with infections, 73 turkey flocks and 10 chicken flocks were affected by H5N2 influenza virus. Only one chicken flock and one turkey flock had H5N8 influenza virus infections.


Highly pathogenic H5 avian influenza virus strains caused infections in 74 commercial turkey flocks, which contained 4.2 million turkeys, by late April. About 3.3 million of those turkeys were in Minnesota, which had 61 confirmed infections.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 246, 11; 10.2460/javma.246.11.1154

Dr. Clifford said the USDA would work with industry and state governments to develop strategies, and that could include expanded vaccine use. He noted that option was only one under consideration.

Asked about potential changes to physical structures on farms, he said he wanted to avoid hurrying into decisions and find out whether any investments into structures would reduce risk.

Dr. Clifford doesn't expect the avian influenza viruses will cause long-term consequences in future generations of chickens and turkeys. But he expressed concern about the uncertainty of how long the highly pathogenic viruses will remain in wild waterfowl and when less-pathogenic strains will again be the more common strains.

More large-volume fluids to arrive from abroad

The Food and Drug Administration announced April 24 that more large-volume polyionic fluids for parenteral administration in large animals would be arriving from abroad.

Because of an ongoing shortage of 3-L to 5-L bags of fluids, the FDA is allowing the distribution of certain foreign products in the United States temporarily. Dechra Veterinary Products will provide products from its Ireland manufacturing facility via distributor Vedco Inc. Baxter Healthcare Pty. Ltd. in Australia will distribute products via Henry Schein Animal Health. Sypharma Pty. Ltd. of Australia will distribute products via Animal Health International Inc.

In addition, within the United States, Zoetis Inc. shipped 5-L bags of Plasma-Lyte in mid-March and mid-April and shipped 5-L bags of lactated Ringer's solution to distributors in mid-April.

The FDA is working closely with manufacturers to meet the needs for large-volume fluids. As products become available, the agency is providing updates at http://jav.ma/1czrV4u. Visitors to the page may sign up for email alerts.

Vector-borne disease center established

A $250,000 gift from diagnostics company Abaxis to the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine has helped establish the new Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases. The center, publicly launched April 8, is an interdisciplinary research center with a mission to combat vector-borne diseases, focusing on pathogenesis, surveillance, and disease prevention.

Roman Ganta, PhD, professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology, is director of the center. “This gift will, in part, allow us to promote the advancement of knowledge on vector-borne diseases of importance to companion and agricultural animals and humans, including the diseases caused by Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, Rickettsia, and Borrelia species,” he said.

The center's goals are to develop programs to prepare future generations of scientists with expertise on vector-borne diseases, offer continuing education workshops, and develop resources, such as a repository to maintain culture stocks of vector-borne pathogens. The center also hopes to establish a tick-rearing facility.

The center plans to develop a network to build research programs that promote collaborations among Kansas State University faculty who have shared interests as well as faculty and researchers at other academic institutions and industry in the U.S. and foreign countries.

“We have followed the excellent work of Dr. Ganta and his group in their pursuit of understanding vector-borne diseases—including the pathogens’ evasion mechanisms and hosts’ response to these infections. His group brings together molecular biology, immunology, animal models, and cell culture systems to pursue its goals,” said Dr. Dennis Bleile, senior director of research and development at Abaxis.

Oregon VMA

Event: Annual meeting, March 6–8, Corvallis

Awards: Animal Welfare Award: Dr. Deborah LaPaugh, Bend, won this award, given in recognition of a veterinarian who has demonstrated outstanding compassion and/or developed programs for the welfare of animals. A 1994 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. LaPaugh owns LaPaw Animal Hospital in Bend. She oversees veterinary services for Project Connect, an annual outreach program that provides care to the homeless and those in need in Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson counties. Through her efforts of recruiting veterinarians and volunteers, raising funds, and soliciting donations of medical supplies, Dr. LaPaugh helps provide a wide variety of veterinary services to animals of indigent owners. Veterinary Service Award: Fences for Fido, an all-volunteer organization, won this award, given to an individual, group, or organization that has promoted the veterinary profession or the well-being of animals. The mission of FFF is to improve the lives of dogs living outdoors by building them a free fenced yard and an insulated doghouse. The organization also provides these dogs with shelter, veterinary care, and spay/neuter services when necessary. Two years ago, FFF spearheaded the Anti-Tethering Law in Oregon that revised the state's standards of care for animals. Practice Manager of the Year: Brandy Kagerer, Sandy. Kagerer is practice manager at Sandy Animal Clinic. She manages all facets of the clinic's operations and assists with patient care as needed. President's Award: Dr. Keith Sides, Redmond. A 1981 graduate of the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Sides practices at Cinder Rock Veterinary Clinic. He was honored for his years of service to organized veterinary medicine and his central Oregon community.

Business: Discussions included recent legislation introduced by the Oregon Veterinary Medical Examining Board to establish licensure of veterinary facilities, including those run by nonprofit groups such as shelters, and the Oregon Board of Pharmacy's intent to establish rules that would include premise inspections of nontraditional pharmacies.

Officials: Drs. Charles Meyer, Grants Pass, president; Jean Hall, Corvallis, president-elect; Jay B. Fineman, Newport, treasurer; and Steve Amsberry, Corvallis, immediate past president


Dr. Deborah LaPaugh

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 246, 11; 10.2460/javma.246.11.1154


Brandy Kagerer

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 246, 11; 10.2460/javma.246.11.1154


Dr. Keith Sides

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 246, 11; 10.2460/javma.246.11.1154


Dr. Charles Meyer

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 246, 11; 10.2460/javma.246.11.1154

Obituaries: AVMA member AVMA honor roll member Nonmember

Edward G. Batte

Dr. Batte (Texas A&M ‘49), 93, Southern Pines, North Carolina, died Nov. 9, 2014. He was professor emeritus of veterinary medicine and a former head of the animal disease section at the North Carolina State University Department of Animal Science. Dr. Batte was known for his expertise in parasitology. His research focused on the development and testing of dewormers in animals, particularly in pigs. Semiretired, Dr. Batte taught at the University of Sydney. He was a former member of the North Carolina VMA and a past secretary of the Raleigh Kiwanis Club. Dr. Batte served as a second lieutenant in the Army during World War II and received a Purple Heart. He is survived by a daughter, two grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.

Joseph F. Coyle

Dr. Coyle (Kansas State ‘57), 81, Gothenburg, Nebraska, died Nov. 8, 2014. He was a veterinary medical officer with the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service from 1991 until retirement in 2010. Earlier in his career, Dr. Coyle served as base veterinarian with the Air Force; owned Coyle Veterinary Clinic, a large animal practice in Broken Bow, Nebraska; served as president of Omaha Vaccine Company in Omaha, Nebraska; and owned Coyle Veterinary Supply. He was a past president of the Nebraska VMA. Dr. Coyle's two daughters, a son, and four grandchildren survive him.

Milton P. Crenshaw Jr.

Dr. Crenshaw (Tuskegee ‘66), 71, St. Paul, Minnesota, died Feb. 14, 2015. A small animal veterinarian, he established the Animal Medical Clinic in St. Paul in 1973. Dr. Crenshaw retired in 2013. Earlier in his career, he worked in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Dr. Crenshaw served on the Minnesota Board of Veterinary Medicine from 1983–1989 and was a member of the Minnesota VMA. He is survived by a son, daughter, and grandson.

Donald R. Davidsen

Dr. Davidsen (Cornell ‘59), 78, Canisteo, New York, died Jan. 10, 2015. From 1995 until retirement in 1999, he served as commissioner of agriculture and markets for the state of New York. Following graduation, Dr. Davidsen joined the Air Force and attained the rank of captain while serving in Alabama and Aviano, Italy. He returned to the United States in 1964 and established a large animal practice in Canisteo, where he practiced until 1987. During that time, Dr. Davidsen served as a Steuben County coroner and was a Steuben County legislator and vice chairman. He was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1986.

Dr. Davidsen was a past president of the Canisteo Rotary Club, served on the Canisteo Central School Board, and was a member of the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency and American Legion. In 2002, he was elected to the Steuben County Hall of Fame. Dr. Davidsen's wife, Valarie; two daughters and a son; seven stepchildren; eight grandchildren; 11 stepgrandchildren; and a step-great-grandchild survive him. His stepson, Dr. Guy R. Hammond (Pennsylvania ‘96), is a mixed animal veterinarian in Bath, New York.

Memorials may be made to the Wimodaughsian Library, 19 West Main St., Canisteo, NY 14823; or Care First, 11751 E. Corning Road, Corning, NY 14830.

Robert H. Dunlop

Dr. Dunlop (Guelph ‘56), 85, Stone Mountain, Georgia, died Dec. 18, 2014. Professor emeritus of clinical and population sciences at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine since 1998, he was dean of the college from 1980–1988. Following graduation and after obtaining his doctorate in veterinary physiology and pharmacology from the University of Minnesota in 1961, Dr. Dunlop worked a year in the United Kingdom and then joined Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine as an associate professor of pharmacology. In 1965, he was appointed professor and the first head of the Department of Physiological Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan's Western College of Veterinary Medicine. From 1971–1973, Dr. Dunlop served as professor and dean of veterinary sciences at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. He then moved to Australia, where he was appointed the founding dean of the School of Veterinary and Life Sciences at Murdoch University in Perth, also serving as a professor of experimental medicine and therapeutics. Dr. Dunlop returned to the United States as dean of the University of Minnesota veterinary college.

A past president of the American Veterinary Medical History Society and a past vice president of the World Association for the History of Veterinary Medicine, he was a member of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists and a fellow of the American Academy of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Dr. Dunlop co-authored the textbooks “Physiology of Small and Large Domestic Animals” and “Veterinary Medicine: An Illustrated History.” He also co-edited a book on pathophysiology. In 1967, Dr. Dunlop won the International Lactic Acid Prize, sponsored by a Danish research organization, for his paper on the nutritional and metabolic effects of lactic acid on ruminants. The University of Guelph granted him an honorary law degree for his contributions to veterinary medicine in 1987.

Dr. Dunlop is survived by his wife, Josephine; three sons and two daughters; and 11 grandchildren. One son, Dr. Hugo Dunlop (Murdoch ‘81), is a large animal veterinarian in Bendigo, Australia.

Guy R. Fairbrother

Dr. Fairbrother (Washington State ‘55), 85, McCall, Idaho, died Nov. 23, 2014. He practiced mixed animal medicine for 45 years in southern Idaho, primarily out of Burley and Bellevue, prior to retirement. Dr. Fairbrother is survived by his wife, Wanda; two sons and two daughters; three stepchildren; seven grandchildren; five stepgrandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. One son, Dr. Steve Fairbrother (Washington State ‘84), is a veterinarian in Hailey, Idaho. Memorials may be made to Our Savior Lutheran Church, 100 N. Mission St., McCall, ID 83638.

Jan E. Gajentaan

Dr. Gajentaan (Utrecht ‘57), 83, Marbella, Spain, died Feb. 25, 2015. A past president of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association, he was a professor of companion animal medicine and surgery in the Department of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals at the Utrecht University Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in the Netherlands prior to retirement in the 1990s.

Following graduation, Dr. Gajentaan joined the small animal practice of his father, the late Dr. Johannes Gajentaan, in Amsterdam. In 1980, after obtaining his doctorate in experimental surgery from the Medical School of the University of Amsterdam, he moved to the United States, where he worked at the Valentine Small Animal Clinic in Eugene, Oregon. Dr. Gajentaan returned to the Netherlands in 1983 to join Utrecht University. During his tenure, he served as department head, developed the surgery curriculum, and promoted the importance of postgraduate education for veterinarians.

Active in organized veterinary medicine, Dr. Gajentaan founded the Voorjaarsdagen Congress, a conference in companion animal medicine and surgery held annually in the Netherlands. He also co-founded the Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations and Federation of Veterinarians of Europe, serving as treasurer of the FECAVA and secretary-general and vice president of the FVE. Dr. Gajentaan was a member of merit of the Royal Netherlands Veterinary Association and an honorary member of the Netherlands Association for Companion Animal Medicine. He received several honors, including the WSAVA International Prize for Service to the Profession in 1988 and the American Animal Hospital Association Waltham Award in 1993. Dr. Gajentaan was a past recipient of the French Companion Animal Veterinary Association Medal of Honor.

He is survived by his wife, Coby; two sons and two daughters; and his grandchildren.

Clinton M. Greenwood

Dr. Greenwood (Cornell ‘58), 90, Billings, New York, died Oct. 17, 2014. A mixed animal veterinarian, he established Billings Animal Hospital in 1958, practicing there until retirement in 1989. Earlier, Dr. Greenwood served in the Army during World War II and was the manager-herdsman at Ralph Connors Dairy Farm in Unionvale, New York. His wife, Ruth, survives him.

Anita “Sunny” L. Hinshaw

Dr. Hinshaw (Oklahoma State ‘75), 64, Tontitown, Arkansas, died Oct. 17, 2014. A small animal veterinarian, she owned Southwest Pet Hospital in Springdale until 2011. Dr. Hinshaw also helped establish the animal shelter in Springdale. She was a member of the Tontitown City Council. Memorials may be made to Tontitown Historical Museum, Box 114, Tontitown, AR 72770; or Washington County Master Gardeners, 2536 N. McConnell Ave., Fayetteville, AR 72704.

Carter T. Jackson

Dr. Jackson (Colorado State ‘51), 91, Glenwood Springs, Colorado, died Jan. 24, 2015. A mixed animal veterinarian, he was the founder of Glenwood Veterinary Clinic, where he practiced until 1982. Dr. Jackson also owned the Lazy H Slash Eleven ranch in Colorado's Garfield County. Early in his career, he worked in Riverton, Wyoming. Dr. Jackson was a past president of the Glenwood Springs Chamber of Commerce, a past director of the Glenwood Springs Rural Fire Protection District, and a member of the Kiwanis for more than 60 years. He also served on the Glenwood City River and Trails Commission and Aspen Valley Land Trust. Dr. Jackson was named Outstanding Friend of the Colorado Mountain College in 1996. In 2004, he and his wife, Louise, were honored by the Glenwood Springs Chamber of Commerce as Citizens of the Year. Dr. Jackson also received the Garfield County Commission Spirit of the West Award in 2010. He was an Army veteran of World War II.

Dr. Jackson is survived by his wife, four daughters, and seven grandchildren. His granddaughter Martha Cook will be studying veterinary medicine with an interest in food animal medicine at the University of Tennessee, beginning in August. Memorials may be made to the Aspen Valley Land Trust, 320 Main St., #204, Carbondale, CO 81623.

Dale E. Kelley

Dr. Kelley (Iowa State ‘51), 87, Sauk City, Wisconsin, died Oct. 1, 2014. Following graduation, he established Sauk Prairie Small Animal Hospital, where he practiced for 60 years, the last 10 years with his son, Dr. Joseph E. Kelley (Wisconsin ‘89). Dr. Kelley also co-founded Cayman Veterinary Service, a practice in the Grand Cayman Islands. He was a past president of the Wisconsin and Dane County VMAs. Dr. Kelley co-established the Sauk Prairie Airport and was a member of Ducks Unlimited. A veteran of the Army Air Force and Navy Air Force, he was also a member of the American Legion. Dr. Kelley's wife, Donna; two sons and two daughters; and six grandchildren survive him.

Sam B. Kelsey

Dr. Kelsey (Texas A&M ‘48), 87, Deport, Texas, died Nov. 29, 2014. He practiced mixed animal medicine in Deport for 55 years prior to retirement. Early in his career, Dr. Kelsey worked a year in Paris, Texas. He was a member of the Texas VMA. Dr. Kelsey served several years as president of the Deport School Board. His wife, Dorothy; a son and a daughter; and two grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to Highland Cemetery Association, c/o Marilyn Glover, 670 Clarksdale, Deport, TX 75435.

Billy J. La Rue

Dr. La Rue (Kansas State ‘56), 82, Chanute, Kansas, died March 8, 2015. A mixed animal veterinarian, he was a partner at Animal Medical Center in Chanute. Dr. La Rue began his career as a first lieutenant in the Army Veterinary Corps, serving at Fort Benning in Georgia, where he was responsible for food inspection and care of the animals. In 1958, he co-established the Animal Medical Center. Dr. La Rue was a life member of the Kansas VMA and served as trustee of the southeast district of the association for several years. In 1998, he was named Kansas Veterinarian of the Year, and, in 2012, he received the KVMA Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2014, Dr. La Rue and his practice partner, Dr. Donald D. McReynolds (Kansas State ‘56), received a proclamation from the Kansas Senate, honoring them for the longest continuous veterinary partnership in Kansas’ history.

Active in civic life, he was a past president of the Chanute Kiwanis Club and was active with the 4-H Club and local Boy Scout program. Dr. La Rue was awarded the Scouter's Key in 1971 and received the Silver Beaver Award from the Quivira Council, Boy Scouts of America, in 1975. He is survived by his wife, Barbara; three sons and a daughter; six grandchildren; and a great-grandchild. Memorials in his name may be made to the Pet Tribute Program, Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, 103 Trotter Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506.

George M. Marugg

Dr. Marugg (Washington State ‘52), 94, Albany, Oregon, died Oct. 27, 2014. He worked for the Department of Agriculture in animal disease control prior to retirement in 1978. During that time, Dr. Marugg was stationed in Mexico, Oregon, Idaho, and Wyoming. Early in his career, he practiced for a year in Oregon. Dr. Marugg was a Navy veteran of World War II. His wife, Joan; three sons and a daughter; 12 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild survive him. Memorials may be made to Samaritan Evergreen Hospice, 1046 Sixth Ave. SW, Albany, OR 97321; or Gideons International, P.O. Box 140800, Nashville, TN 37214.

Louis F. Ohlendorf

Dr. Ohlendorf (Illinois ‘54), 86, Amboy, Illinois, died Oct. 13, 2014. A mixed animal veterinarian, he owned Amboy Veterinary Clinic from 1954 until retirement in 1995. Active in civic life, Dr. Ohlendorf was a past president of the Amboy Hospital Board, served on the Amboy School Board, and was a member of the Amboy Lions Club and Masonic Lodge. A veteran of the Marine Corps, he was also a member of the American Legion.

Dr. Ohlendorf is survived by his wife, Norma; three sons and two daughters; 13 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Granny Rose Animal Shelter, 613 River Lane, Dixon, IL 61021.

James E. Smith

Dr. Smith (Texas A&M ‘74), 72, Winters, Texas, died March 9, 2015. He practiced mixed animal medicine in Winters prior to semiretirement in 2008. After that, Dr. Smith worked part time for other veterinarians in the area and Rescue the Animals in Abilene, Texas. He is survived by his wife, Sherie; two daughters; four stepchildren; five grandchildren; and five stepgrandchildren. Memorials may be made to the Dr. James E. “Jimmy” Smith FFA Scholarship Fund, Attn: Rhonda Neal, Winters High School, 603 N. Heights St., Winters, TX 79567; or Bluff Creek Cowboy Church, 3802b Fm 2405, Winters, TX 79567.

John M. Sparks III

Dr. Sparks (Colorado State ‘62), 79, Paradise Valley, Arizona, died Nov. 9, 2014. He owned an equine practice in Scottsdale, Arizona. Dr. Sparks began his career as a veterinarian with the Air Force in Natick, Massachusetts. He subsequently established the Bar S Animal Clinic, a mixed animal practice in Wickenburg, Arizona. In 1975, Dr. Sparks moved to New Jersey, where he worked at the racetracks. He returned to his practice in Arizona two years later, focusing on equine medicine. Dr. Sparks also owned and showed Arabian horses, winning several national titles.

Active in civic life, he was involved with the 4-H Club, served as a director of the Wickenburg Community Hospital Board, and was a member of the Wickenburg Rotary Club and Wickenburg Planning and Zoning Commission. Dr. Sparks’ wife, Karen; two sons; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to the Arabian Horsemen's Distress Fund, 236 Henry Sanford Road, Bridgewater, CT 06752.

Stanley Steinberg

Dr. Steinberg (Georgia ‘59), 79, Richmond, Virginia, died Dec. 25, 2014. He began his career as a captain in the Air Force, serving as a base veterinarian in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he was responsible for food inspection and the animals. In 1961, Dr. Steinberg moved to Richmond and became a partner at Ambassador Animal Hospital. He later established Deep Run Veterinary Clinic, a small animal practice in Richmond, and co-established the first emergency veterinary hospital in Richmond.

Dr. Steinberg served as a consulting veterinarian to early research programs involving heart transplants at the Medical College of Virginia. He also served on the Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine, helping to coordinate the establishment of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech. Dr. Steinberg is survived by his wife, Eilene; two sons and a daughter; two grandchildren; and three stepgrandchildren.

John C. Treadwell

Dr. Treadwell (Texas A&M ‘69), 73, Austin, Texas, died Dec. 14, 2014. He practiced in Austin for more than 35 years, initially in mixed animal practice, focusing later on small animals. Dr. Treadwell's wife, Peg; four daughters; and 10 grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to the Coastal Conservation Association, 6919 Portwest, Suite 100, Houston, Texas 77024; or Darrell K. Royal Fund for Alzheimer's Research, P.O. Box 5839, Austin, TX 78763.

Donald E. Webster

Dr. Webster (Cornell ‘49), 93, Pine Plains, New York, died Nov. 11, 2014. Following graduation, he joined a practice in Pine Plains, which he subsequently owned. Dr. Webster retired in 1994. He was a member of the New York State VMS. Dr. Webster served on the Pine Plains Board of Education and Library Board, was a charter member of the Pine Plains Lions Club, and was a member of the Masonic Lodge. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II, attaining the rank of first lieutenant. His wife, Dora; three daughters and a son; and seven grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to Hospice Inc., 374 Violet Ave., Poughkeepsie, NY 12601; Church of the Regeneration Endowment Fund, 18 Pine St., Pine Plains, NY 12567; Pine Plains Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 100, Pine Plains, NY 12567; or Pine Plains Veterinary Stray Animal Fund, P.O. Box 654, Pine Plains, NY 12567.

Billy R. Westbrook

Dr. Westbrook (Texas A&M ‘55), 83, Houston, died Feb. 27, 2015. He owned a small animal clinic in the Spring Branch area of Houston. Following graduation, Dr. Westbrook established a practice in Rockdale, Texas. He subsequently worked in brucellosis control for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. In 1957, Dr. Westbrook moved to Houston and served seven years as a veterinarian for the city. He established his small animal practice during this time. Dr. Westbrook was a member of the Texas VMA and was active with Spring Branch schools. His wife, Madeline; two sons; seven grandchildren; and a great-grandchild survive him. Memorials may be made to Unity Church of Christianity, 2929 Unity Drive, Houston, TX 77057.

William J. Winchester

Dr. Winchester (Kansas State ‘46), 91, Dana Point, California, died Jan. 20, 2015. He was assistant dean for continuing veterinary medical education at the University of California-Irvine College of Medicine and assistant dean for the University of California-Davis’ Southern California Continuing Veterinary Medical Education Programs from 1974 until retirement. Dr. Winchester began his career on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin. He subsequently moved to Southern California, where he owned small animal practices at San Gabriel and Monrovia. In 1966, Dr. Winchester joined the Los Angeles County Veterinarian's Office, working with the Division of Comparative Veterinary Medicine. He began consulting with UC-Irvine in 1969, and, in 1971, joined the university full time to develop a veterinary CE program.

A past president of the California Academy of Veterinary Medicine and San Gabriel Valley VMA and a distinguished lifetime member of the California and Southern California VMAs, Dr. Winchester was a member of the American Animal Hospital Association, American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners, and American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, and an honorary member of the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists. He was co-named Veterinary Continuing Educator of the Year at the Veterinary Continuing Education Forum in 1984, and, in 1987, received an Award for Excellence in Continuing Education from the CAVM. In 1991, Dr. Winchester was the recipient of the naugural Kansas State University E.R. Frank Alumni Award for Meritorious Service. He was also the first recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the UC-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1997.

Dr. Winchester was an Army veteran of World War II and served in the Army Veterinary Corps during the Korean War. He is survived by his wife, Betty; two sons and two daughters; and seven grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Kansas State University Veterinary Medicine Class of 1946, Trotter Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506.

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    The front entrance of Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine soon after the campus was built in the mid-1980s. Ross has been owned by DeVry Inc., one of the largest publicly held, international, higher-education organizations in North America, since 2003. Courtesy of Dr. Bobby G. Brown

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    St. George's University established its School of Veterinary Medicine in 1999. The university itself got its start six months after Grenada won its independence from Britain on Feb. 7, 1974. That's when Charles R. Modica, now chancellor, pursued funding for SGU. This past year, St. George's landed a $750 million investment from a group led by Canadian private-equity firm Altas Partners LP and a fund advised by Baring Private Equity Asia, according to news reports. The new investors hold a majority stake in the for-profit college, though the original owners, including Modica, collectively remain the largest single shareholder. Courtesy of SGU

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    Dr. Chip Price, AVMA Board of Directors chair, ends deliberations and calls for a vote.

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    Dr. Mark Helfat, the District II director on the AVMA Board, explains how an experimental advisory panel will work.

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    AVMA President-elect Joe Kinnarney weighs in on policy proposals concerning antimicrobial use in dogs.

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    AVMA President Ted Cohn follows the discussion about the AVMA hosting a wellness summit for veterinary professionals. Photos by R. Scott Nolen

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    Bridgette Bain, PhD, a statistical data analyst in the AVMA's Veterinary Economics Division, briefs the Board of Directors on research proposals concerning the U.S. veterinary workforce. Photo by R. Scott Nolen

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    Jean Miller of Chicago with Gracie, who recovered from canine influenza

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    Members of the practice team at Blum Animal Hospital in Chicago treat a Cocker Spaniel for canine influenza.

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    Highly pathogenic H5 avian influenza virus strains caused infections in 74 commercial turkey flocks, which contained 4.2 million turkeys, by late April. About 3.3 million of those turkeys were in Minnesota, which had 61 confirmed infections.

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    Dr. Deborah LaPaugh

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    Brandy Kagerer

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    Dr. Keith Sides

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    Dr. Charles Meyer