Recently updated guidelines seek to improve pain management in small animals

By Rashmi Shivni

The Buzeks’ dogs, Wrigley and George, often roughhouse and roam free in the family's large, open yard.

The two have been friends since they were puppies. Wrigley, a 10-year-old Golden Retriever, is calm and collected. George, a 9-year-old Weimaraner, is a hefty 90-pounder who is always ready to play.

One evening, Karen Buzek found Wrigley hobbling up the stairs on three legs. She presumed George must have played too hard with Wrigley.

Because Wrigley continued to limp, the family sought veterinary attention. And that is when they learned from their regular veterinarian that Wrigley had torn his cranial cruciate ligament and would need surgery.

Wrigley was soon scheduled to undergo a tibial plateau leveling osteotomy at the Veterinary Specialty Center in Buffalo Grove, Illinois.

With surgery—as with any illness or injury—managing pain should be an essential conversation between pet owners and their veterinarian. Earlier this year, the American Animal Hospital Association and American Association of Feline Practitioners, working together, released new guidelines regarding pain management in small animals. The World Small Animal Veterinary Association released its own guidelines last year. These two documents aim to create consistency and advance animal welfare by promoting effective pain management for small animals.


The ethics of animal treatment and veterinary care have changed dramatically over the past several decades. Managing pain and preserving quality of life in small animals are now considered just as important as healing illnesses and injuries.

“The tide is changing, but we desperately need to enthuse and train the next generation of clinical scientists who will dedicate their careers to understanding how to measure and alleviate pain in companion animals,” said Dr. B. Duncan Lascelles, one of seven co-authors of the updated WSAVA Guidelines for Recognition, Assessment, and Treatment of Pain. He is a professor of surgery and pain management at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, where he heads the Comparative Pain Research Program.

Quality of life is diminished when pain impedes everyday life and function.

“Pain may not kill you, but it can kill your personality. It kills our pets’ personalities,” Dr. Lascelles said. “It's essentially why owners present their pets to veterinarians.”

The American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia, an organization deeply focused on pain and pain management, has defined pain as “a complex phenomenon involving pathophysiological and psychological components that are frequently difficult to recognize and interpret in animals.” Pain is categorized as acute or chronic. Each has distinct characteristics, although acute pain can occasionally turn into chronic pain if it is not recognized and treated appropriately.

Dr. Lascelles said the biggest reasons for underrecognizing both types of pain, especially chronic, are lack of understanding of how to measure pain, the limited amount of clinical research—and, therefore, evidence-based guidelines—on pain management in small animals, and failure to prioritize pain in treatment plans.


Dog and cat owners tend to have difficulties determining whether their pets are in pain or are uncomfortable. For this reason, both the AAHA/AAFP Pain Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats and the WSAVA guidelines suggest that veterinarians discuss with owners how the pets are feeling and whether they have observed any signs of acute or chronic pain.

Chronic pain in dogs and cats can manifest as changes in any of the following characteristics
  • Mobility and energy level.

  • Play behavior.

  • Temperament and mood (e.g., dull, alert, or anxious).

  • Eating and drinking.

  • Rest and comfort level.

  • Time spent grooming (especially in cats).

  • Social activity.


Wrigley Buzek before his tibial plateau leveling osteotomy at the Veterinary Specialty Center in Buffalo Grove, Illinois

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 247, 9; 10.2460/javma.247.9.978

According to the AAHA/AAFP guidelines, acute pain has nociceptive and inflammatory components. In small animals, pain from illness, injury, and even surgery manifests as changes in behavior.

Dr. Karen Faunt, the vice president of medical quality advancement for Banfield Pet Hospital, said one effective evaluation method available to Banfield employees is pain scales. Banfield's revised 2010 anesthesia book includes discussion of incorporating pain management into treatment plans. Dr. Faunt said putting the emphasis on determining pain levels on the basis of the animal's stance and reactions to caregivers has been an effective teaching tool for veterinarians and veterinary technicians to use with clients.

Several scoring systems have been developed to help veterinarians assess the severity of acute pain in dogs and cats by examining posture, movement, social interactions, and response to palpation, including the Glasgow Composite Measure Pain Scale for dogs and the Multidimensional Composite Pain Scale for postoperative pain in cats. Assigning a numerical score or description to pain severity helps not only in the recognition of pain but also in the assessment of changes in pain over time or in response to treatment.

As with acute pain, chronic pain—also known as maladaptive pain—can be accompanied by characteristic physical signs. But determining the underlying cause of chronic pain and identifying changes over time can be much more difficult. Still, there are scoring systems for evaluating chronic pain, such as the Canine Brief Pain Inventory, developed by the University of Pennsylvania. This owner-completed questionnaire is designed to measure the severity of chronic pain in dogs.

Veterinarians and pet owners play an important role in behavior assessment, said Dr. Ilona Rodan, another co-author of the updated AAHA/AAFP guidelines and, until recently, the owner of the Cat Care Clinic in Madison, Wisconsin, where she continues to practice. Changes from normal behavior can be indicators of chronic pain, making patient history critical.

“We want owners to report changes in behavior, even if they are subtle,” Dr. Rodan said. “For example, if a cat was outgoing with the family, but now it's often hiding in the closet, that's a sign, and we need to emphasize to cat owners that these changes often signify pain, and a veterinary appointment is essential to diagnose and treat the underlying problem.”

Dr. Rodan suggests owners keep journals and photos to indicate what their pet enjoyed at peak health.

“When you're looking at your pet day to day, it's hard to recognize signs,” she said. “I recommend a picture a year, or at least every few years, because you're going to pick things up that would otherwise not be noticeable. It can be an important evaluation tool over the long term.”

A recurring topic in the updated AAHA/AAFP and WSAVA pain management guidelines is pain associated with degenerative joint disease in small animals. Dr. Lascelles said most of the clinical research on DJD has been in dogs.

“You might call that low-hanging fruit,” he said, referring to the research into arthritis pain in dogs. “It's one of the easiest aspects of pain measurement in one of the easier species to measure in, but it's a great place to start.” However, NC State has pioneered research into understanding chronic pain in cats and has recently produced the first assessment tool for it.


The Colorado State University feline and canine pain scales are used to attribute certain body language to various levels of acute pain. Numerical scores and descriptions are provided.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 247, 9; 10.2460/javma.247.9.978

Courtesy of the 2015 AAHA/AAFP Pain Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats and Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

Dr. Rodan said she helped initiate the conversation on including a discussion of DJD in the AAHA/AAFP guidelines to educate veterinarians and owners that it is a common issue for both cats and dogs.

“It's been only in the past five or six years that you find journal articles about DJD in cats,” Dr. Rodan said. “We knew some cats had arthritis in the past, but the increase in studies on feline DJD and awareness of the high incidence of the condition in cats has really come to a head now.”


In clinical practice, recognizing and treating pain in small animals should not be considered solely a task for the practice veterinarians but a team effort. Planning is essential to helping mitigate the degree of pain.

The AAHA/AAFP guidelines suggest using the PLATTER approach—PLan, Anticipate, TreaT, Evaluate, Return (see chart on this page)—for pain management.

Adopting this approach during routine visits as well as appointments focused on a specific illness or injury is recommended to aid in the recognition of both acute and chronic pain.

Dr. Alicia Karas, a veterinary anesthesiologist at the Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University in North Grafton, Massachusetts, said the guidelines are particularly helpful in providing multiple solutions to the problem of acute and chronic pain.

“The guidelines aren't a prescribed way of doing things; they are suggestions, and they give options,” she said. “There's not one way to do any of the pain management. That's what is so exciting about having the guidelines.”

For treatment in her practice, Dr. Karas said she often combines drug therapies with nondrug therapies to provide long-duration relief, and she makes sure to create plans that engage her clients in managing and treating pain in their pets.


Opioids and local anesthetics are commonly used to treat pain in animals during the preoperative and intraoperative periods. The WSAVA guidelines state it is important the two be used together in an aggressive, pre-emptive way to alleviate pain and minimize the use of medications after surgery.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are also useful in the perioperative period but may occasionally result in complications when combined with other drugs in small animals, according to the WSAVA guidelines. They are excellent, however, for mild-to-moderate acute and postsurgical pain.

Courtesy of the 2015 AAHA/AAFP Pain Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats

Dr. Rodan said many veterinarians are hesitant to use NSAIDs long term in cats because of the potential for gastrointestinal and renal adverse effects, but the AAHA/AAFP guidelines provide important information on how to use these drugs safely.

She said, “These guidelines and studies are increasing the awareness that NSAIDs are the mainstay of treatment of DJD in both cats and dogs.”

Preoperatively, the guidelines suggest using alpha-2 adrenoceptor agonists such as dexmedetomidine as effective sedative options.

Dr. Faunt said, “Premeds for surgery serve many purposes, and that's why you usually have a sedative along with the pain drug as well.”

Adjunctive drugs such as ketamine, amantadine, or gabapentin can also be incorporated into pain management protocols to offer additional relief for maladaptive pain, according to the WSAVA guidelines.

Dr. Lascelles said there might be more that veterinarians can do with these types of adjunctive medications, but further clinical research needs to be done.

For instance, ketamine is known to be an effective analgesic, can be used in conjunction with opioids and NSAIDs in the perioperative period, and can improve appetite and result in lower pain scores. The potential for humans to abuse ketamine, however, means that the drug is less available for animals in need.

“We began to realize (ketamine) had an amazing beneficial effect not just in pain but to modify disease states,” Dr. Karas said. The American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia, the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management, and other groups have challenged the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs not to restrict the availability of ketamine by reclassifying it under the International Convention of Psychotropic Substances. Under the U.S. system, ketamine is classified as a schedule III drug.

In addition to drug therapies, a variety of nondrug therapies have been advocated for management of pain in small animals. According to Dr. Lascelles, good alternatives to drug therapies would be to focus on preventive as well as postoperative care.

“Unfortunately, in many parts of the world, our companion animals are looking more like ourselves and acting more like ourselves,” he said. “They're becoming bigger, fatter, and doing less exercise. It's important to manage the pain associated with painful diseases such as osteoarthritis but also to limit the disease through nutrition, exercise, and so on.”

Multimodal therapy allows reduction in doses of each medication, which leads to less chance of adverse effects and offers more opportunities for alternative therapies. Alternatives such as rehabilitation and cryotherapy have also been shown to be effective in some instances, and modifying the animal's environment by providing pet steps or ramps allows the animal to perform its normal routines.

Dr. Rodan advises her clients to not only work on the health of the animal but also to create a safe environment.


Dr. Jusmeen Sarkar, a veterinary anesthesiologist, uses a nerve locator to isolate and temporarily desensitize the sciatic nerve in an anesthetized dog. (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 247, 9; 10.2460/javma.247.9.978


Veterinary assistant Kathryn Erbach holds Wrigley, while Kelsey Martin, a veterinary technician, administers an injection as part of the anesthetic propofol. (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 247, 9; 10.2460/javma.247.9.978

“The home environment becomes even more important with chronic pain,” she said. “For example, if the cat sleeps on the bed with the owner, put in a ramp or steps. If the cat cannot sit comfortably to eat, raise food and water dishes a few inches so that the cat can eat comfortably. These measures ensure that cats can continue to be important family members and perform normal cat behaviors, despite their condition.”


In Wrigley's case, a lot of preparation was needed to soothe the pain associated with his CCL tear and subsequent tibial plateau leveling osteotomy.

Dr. Jusmeen Sarkar, Wrigley's anesthesiologist at the Veterinary Specialty Center, said her plan for Wrigley would be multimodal, with consistent follow-ups for reassessment and substantial home rehabilitation.

Buzek said, “He's supposed to have a gradual return to full activity by nine or 10 weeks. … (The rehab handouts) tell me to move his back legs in a bicycle motion in slow repetitions, go on slow leash walks, and massage him a couple of times a day.”

Wrigley's regular veterinarian would perform routine follow-up examinations to see how he was recovering and whether his personality and normal behavior were returning. The specialty center follows the PLATTER method of assessment, Dr. Sarkar said, and many other clinics are beginning to follow it as well.

It is an extensive, thoughtful process, Dr. Sarkar said. “But when patients wake up more comfortable, they require a shorter amount of time on medications. They heal faster, they want to move more. The goal is to have them return to normal function as soon as possible.”

Rashmi Shivni is a fourth-year journalism major at Columbia College in Chicago and was the 2015 summer intern with JAVMA News.

Pain management plan for Wrigley's tibial plateau leveling osteotomy
  • Hydromorphone (opioid).

  • Dexmedetomidine (adrenoceptor agonist).

  • Propofol (induction of anesthesia).

  • Midazolam (sedation and amnesia).

  • Epidural of preservative-free morphine (opiate-type pain reliever) and preservative-free bupivacaine (local anesthetic).

  • Isoflurane (maintenance of anesthesia).

Postoperative (in hospital for 24 to 36 hours)
  • Hydromorphone intravenously every six to eight hours.

  • Ice packs.

Postoperative (at home)
  • Ice packs.

  • Rehabilitation (range-of-motion exercises).

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and oral hydromorphone for up to five days.

  • Gabapentin if needed for chronic pain in conjunction with other pain relievers.

Summit to explore student debt–related issues, solutions


Dr. Rena Carlson-Lammers, AVMA Board of Directors District XI representative, listens during the Sept. 10–12 Board meeting at AVMA headquarters. (Photo by R. Scott Noten)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 247, 9; 10.2460/javma.247.9.978

AVMA, AAVMC, Michigan State picking up where NAVMEC left off

By Malinda Larkin

Two meetings taking place this fall and next spring will focus on assessing the impact of student debt on the veterinary profession and what can be done to help those affected. The AVMA, Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, and Michigan State University have agreed to partner in hosting the events.

First, a working group of up to 25 people will develop recommendations on how to better address educational economic issues. This will take place Nov. 9–10 at AVMA headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois. The goals of this initial gathering include the following:

  • Understand and define the issues and problems around the costs of veterinary education for students.

  • Determine what resources are needed.

  • Begin to prioritize the problems.

  • Strategize on crafting definable, concrete, and accountable action plans.

  • Determine a course of action, next summits and objectives, and finances needed.

The second meeting, a summit to be held in April 2016 at Michigan State, will involve up to 200 people who will respond to the recommendations. When finalized, the recommendations will be directed to the veterinary colleges, the AVMA, and other organizations to address.

“What we're talking about is student education economic issues, which goes beyond debt. These meetings will discuss all relevant factors, from starting salaries to the cost of education to the debt students incur and how they service it,” said AVMA CEO Ron DeHaven at the AVMA Board of Directors’ meeting, Sept. 10–12.

High student debt loads have been giving veterinary students and newly minted veterinarians headaches for some time now, and with good reason.

The mean educational debt for recent veterinary graduates has grown by approximately $6,854 annually over the past 10 years and stood at an estimated $135,000 in 2014, more than twice the mean starting annual income for new private-practice veterinarians, according to the AVMA 2015 Report on Veterinary Debt and Income, published this past May.

That's not surprising, considering the mean tuition at U.S. veterinary colleges continues to increase, albeit at a slower pace in recent years, according to the 2014–2015 AAVMC annual data report. Resident tuition grew 21.3 percent from 2006–2010, compared with 12.3 percent from 2010–2015; the mean for 2015 was $22,448. Nonresident tuition, which includes private universities’ rates, increased 10.3 percent from 2006–2010, compared with 5.6 percent from 2010–2015; the mean for 2015 was $46,352.

The full impact on the profession may not be felt yet, but veterinary colleges are already starting to see some harm. Dr. John Baker, dean of the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine, wrote a white paper on the topic earlier this year. He cited concerns about the ratio of student debt to graduate starting salary increasing to a point where it may impact the numbers and quality of applicants. In fact, this is already becoming a reality as the national applicant-to-seat ratio hit an all-time low of 1.5:1 in 2012 and currently sits at 1.6:1. For the past few decades, that figured hovered in the 2:1 to 2.8:1 range, according to AAVMC data.

Dr. Baker also noted strategic goals from the North American Veterinary Medical Education Consortium convened by the AAVMC in 2008 as motivation to take action. One of the five goals was “Ensure that an economically viable system for veterinary medical education is sustained.” As part of that, NAVMEC called for the AAVMC and AVMA to “convene workshops for educators and employers to look for new ways to address the issue of the ratio of student debt to graduate starting salary.”

That idea finally bore fruit when leaders from Michigan State, AAVMC, and AVMA met in March at the AAVMC Annual Conference and again in June at an AAVMC-AVMA joint meeting to discuss the goal of promoting and providing an economically viable education system for both veterinary colleges and veterinary students. Talks led to the idea of hosting a student debt summit.

Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe, executive director of the AAVMC, said, “We already know a great deal about this issue, and a lot of information will be presented at the AVMA Economic Summit in October. We want to focus on solutions and action items at the summit in April.”

Dr. DeHaven told the Board he anticipates a funding request at the April Board meeting, and in the meantime, the AVMA will also look for corporate sponsors.

AVMA panel to scrutinize telemedicine

By Malinda Larkin

The controversial topic of telemedicine in the veterinary profession was brought into the national spotlight in early 2015, when a Texas veterinarian was disciplined for violating the state practice act and subsequently filed a lawsuit against the state board. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found that Dr. Ronald S. Hines’ rights were not violated by the Texas state board's requirement that a physical examination of the animal or premises must occur for a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship to exist. Dr. Hines had been giving veterinary advice to pet owners by phone and email as far back as 2002.

The practice of telemedicine remains an unresolved issue in veterinary medicine. In fact, the practice of exchanging medical information via electronic communications to improve patients’ health status will only become more prevalent, according to Dr. Mark P. Helfat, AVMA Board of Directors vice chair and District II representative. He pointed to apps that are entering the market such as Vet On Demand and PetCoach, the latter of which offers “direct advice from verified vets, trainers and other pet experts.”

Dr. Helfat spoke about telemedicine during the Sept. 10–12 AVMA Board meeting at AVMA headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois. The Board ultimately recommended that telemedicine be among the topics covered by the new AVMA Practice Advisory Panel.

It is one of two panels—the other is the Regulatory Advisory Panel—that are part of a pilot program designed to address difficulties in filling vacancies on councils and committees, prevent overlap or confusion of purpose among councils and committees, and cut down the amount of time it takes to develop policy.

“It's an experiment for a potentially better way to do our governance,” said Dr. Helfat, who is the Board liaison to the panels along with Dr. Lori Teller, District VIII representative on the Board.

The advisory panels are charged with protecting, promoting, and advancing the veterinary profession by strategically identifying, prioritizing, and processing important veterinary issues and making recommendations to the Board. The Practice Advisory Panel will focus on clinical practice and small business issues, while the Regulatory Advisory Panel will focus on veterinary regulatory–oriented matters that are germane to the panel's delineated areas of expertise. Panel members have been selected to achieve a balanced range of experience in subject matter and with diverse animal species. Both panels have the authority to convene working groups.

The panels’ first meetings took place Oct. 2–3.

As part of the panel's evaluation of telemedicine, the Board asked that members include input from the AVMA Group Health & Life Insurance Trust and AVMA PLIT as well as the AVMA House of Delegates. The hope is for the panel to have recommendations for the Board to consider in the near future.

“It is important to get out in front of this and have the panel make recommendations. I think there's a lot of parties at the AVMA involved in this topic, such as the Judicial Council and Legislative Advisory Committee, as well as the (American Association of Veterinary State Boards) and (Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges),” Dr. Helfat said, adding that the Board and House could work together to adopt an official policy.

The AVMA doesn't have an official stance on telemedicine, but included in the AVMA Model Veterinary Practice Act is this sentence in the section outlining the veterinarian-client-patient relationship: “A veterinarian-client-patient relationship cannot be established solely by telephonic or other electronic means.”

Another model practice act, this one from the AAVSB, reads: “It shall be unlawful for any Person who is not licensed in this state to provide veterinary medical services from any state to a Client or patient in this state through telephonic, electronic or other means.” It goes on to say, “With the advent of technological advancements leading to increased mobility of Veterinarians, Veterinary Technicians and practice itself, it may be prudent to anticipate and address practice by Persons not physically located within the state. Rather than attempting to define ‘telepractice’ or create a limited license to address sporadic practice, it is recommended that legislatures address these technologically driven practice issues through a temporary practice approach. This temporary practice language is intended to address sporadic practice within the state irrespective of whether it is electronically rendered or rendered in Person.”


Dr. Gary Brown, AVMA Board of Directors District V representative, at the most recent Board meeting, held Sept. 10–12 in Schaumburg, Illinois (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 247, 9; 10.2460/javma.247.9.978

Some of the first states to adopt laws pertaining to veterinary telemedicine were Oklahoma in 1999 and Idaho in 2001. They included telemedicine in their definition of the practice of veterinary medicine. Iowa, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah have provisions that specify that a VCPR cannot be established solely through telephonic or electronic means. Colorado adopted language restricting telephone or electronic means in its definition of “indirect supervision” of nonveterinarians. Other states have VCPR provisions without specific mention of telephone or electronic communications, while a handful of states have not formally adopted VCPR language in their practice acts or regulations.


Engaging in Board deliberations: (photo at left) Drs. Chet Rawson, District VI, and George Bishop, District X, and (photo at right) Drs. Tom Meyer, president-elect, and Timothy Montgomery, House Advisory Committee chair (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 247, 9; 10.2460/javma.247.9.978


AVMA Board of Directors Chair John de Jong presides over the Sept. 10–12 meeting, which included the Board approving a veterinary wellness roundtable to take place in early 2016. (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 247, 9; 10.2460/javma.247.9.978

Veterinary wellness roundtable happening next year

By Malinda Larkin

A veterinary wellness roundtable scheduled for early 2016 at AVMA headquarters got the go-ahead from the AVMA Board of Directors during its Sept. 10–12 meeting.

The purpose is to explore the value and effectiveness of wellness programs within the veterinary profession. The 20 or so invited attendees will report conclusions and recommendations to the AVMA membership.

Specifically, organizers anticipate the roundtable will tackle the following:

  • Causes for poor wellness among veterinarians.

  • Strategies to promote wellness and what is working currently.

  • Gaps and barriers to improving veterinarian wellness.

  • Initial plans to support and promote wellness for the profession.

“Lots of organizations are doing something, but there's no coordinated effort. In fact, there are competing events,” AVMA CEO Ron DeHaven said. “The idea was ‘Let's bring in everyone involved or interested in wellness, and take an inventory so we're not competing, and let's have the AVMA be a clearinghouse and also identify gaps so we can fill those.'”

The AVMA Future Leaders 2014–2015 class concentrated its efforts on wellness and provided resources on topics such as stress, finances, and work-life balance in an effort to reduce rates of depression and suicide in veterinary medicine. These include a self-assessment tool, podcasts, videos, and links to additional resources.

The AVMA Future Leaders 2015–2016 class will take up the same topic but with a focus on developing a guide to wellness in the workplace. Additionally, the AVMA is hoping to leverage the power of its two trusts—the AVMA Group Health & Life Insurance Trust and AVMA PLIT—to support veterinarians’ wellness by way of outcomes from the roundtable or otherwise. This year's Future Leaders also plan to host a half-day symposium at the 2016 AVMA Annual Convention in August focusing on wellness.

In addition, AVMA staff are working on a Hot Topics Session for the convention that will give an overview of recommendations from the roundtable, relay progress made with regard to implementation of short-term recommendations where applicable, and facilitate a discussion on potential next steps. That's according to background materials submitted by the AVMA Executive Leadership Team to the Board.

Dr. Lynne White-Shim, AVMA staff consultant to the Future Leaders, says not only Future Leaders will attend the wellness roundtable but also experts in wellness, representatives of allied organizations and industry, employers of veterinarians, and AVMA leaders.

The topic of wellness in the profession has gained traction in recent years. The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges is hosting in November its third wellness symposium, which focuses on related issues and programs at veterinary colleges. Also, a study that appeared in the Oct. 15 issue of JAVMA suggests, compared with the general population, U.S. veterinarians “have a higher prevalence of depression and suicidal ideation and perceive greater stigma for mental illness. Additionally, veterinarians frequently experience health-threatening stress related to the demands of practicing veterinary medicine” (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2015;247:945–955).

The study goes on to say that further studies are needed to elucidate potential causes of suicidal behaviors among veterinarians as well as studies “to evaluate measures aimed at reducing barriers veterinarians face when seeking mental health treatment, decreasing perceived stigma among veterinarians associated with mental illness, and lessening stressors associated with veterinary practice.”

Convention committee appointments made

The AVMA Board of Directors, meeting Sept. 10–12 at AVMA headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois, named the following individuals to the Convention Education Program Committee: Drs. Molly McAllister, Washougal, Washington, chair; Christine O'Rourke, Bozeman, Montana, chair-elect; and John Sanders, Kearneysville, West Virginia, Professional Development Section manager.

AVMA supports surgeon general's call to action on walking

The AVMA is supporting U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and his office in efforts to promote walking and walkable communities as a way to engage more people in the benefits of regular exercise and enhance human health.

“We couldn't be happier that Surgeon General Murthy has recognized in this initiative the benefits of pet ownership and how regularly walking the family dog is great for both the pet and the pet owner,” Dr. Joe Kinnarney, AVMA president, said. “By including pets in the Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities, Surgeon General Murthy also recognizes the critical role our nation's veterinarians play in maintaining both animal and human health. Healthy animals equal healthy people, and we are proud to say that veterinarians contribute enormously to the health and well-being of both.”

The call to action presents goals and strategies to support walking and walkability in the United States, all with the objective of making it easier and safer for people to walk and be physically active in other ways.

“The AVMA is fully supportive of the surgeon general's goals, especially those of making walking a national priority and designing communities that make it safe and easy to walk for people of all ages and abilities,” Dr. Kinnarney said. “We need more sidewalks and more walkable destinations for both our people and their pets because when people and pets can enjoy the outdoors and come together socially with other pets and their owners, it's a better world for all of us.”

Association seeks volunteers to lead profession

The AVMA seeks candidates for president-elect and a seat on the AVMA Board of Directors and also invites nominations or applications for numerous council, committee, trust, and liaison positions.

“Volunteering with the AVMA is a rewarding experience. We are a member-service and member-driven organization, and any individual can help make a difference in our profession,” Dr. Joe Kinnarney, AVMA president, said. “Nothing is more rewarding than knowing that you made a difference.”


The AVMA seeks candidates to run for president-elect for the July 2017-July 2018 Association year. While the Association will accept applications through spring 2017, candidates who submit materials by April 1, 2016, will be able to participate in the Candidates’ Introductory Breakfast at the 2016 AVMA Annual Convention.

Candidates will then have a full year to campaign. Election by the AVMA House of Delegates will take place at the 2017 convention. The president-elect will go on to serve as president from July 2018-August 2019.

Board of Directors

The Association is distributing a letter to AVMA voting members in District I to invite nominations for a representative to serve on the Board of Directors for a six-year term starting in July 2016. District I comprises Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

The AVMA will accept nominations from a state VMA in the district or by petition of 50 AVMA voting members in the district.

Feb. 1, 2016, is the deadline for receipt of nominations. If a district has more than one nominee, the Association will distribute a ballot to each AVMA voting member in the district.

Councils, committees, trusts, liaisons

The House of Delegates will elect council members in August during its regular annual session at the 2016 AVMA Annual Convention. The vacancies are on the Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents, Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine, Council on Research, Council on Veterinary Service, and Judicial Council.

The Association will accept nominations for council positions from organizations in the House of Delegates or by petition of 10 AVMA voting members.

The Board of Directors will fill a number of committee, trust, and liaison positions in April 2016. The vacancies include positions on the two AVMA insurance trusts and on committees addressing subjects ranging from animal welfare to veterinary economics.

For many of these vacancies, AVMA members can apply on their own behalf or make a nomination on another member's behalf. For other vacancies, nominations must be made by the group to be represented by the nominee.

The AVMA must receive applications or nominations for committee, trust, and liaison positions by Feb. 22, 2016, and nominations for council positions by April 1, 2016.

Information and forms are at www.avma.org/Members/Volunteer under “How Do I Become a Volunteer?” Details about the position of president-elect are under “Officers,” details about the seat on the Board of Directors will be available in mid-December under “Board of Directors,” and details about council, committee, trust, and liaison positions are under “Vacancies.” Information and forms also are available by emailing OfficeEVP@avma.org or calling (800) 248-2862, ext. 6688.

Nominations open for Excellence in Veterinary Medicine Awards

The AVMA and American Veterinary Medical Foundation are accepting nominations for the following Excellence in Veterinary Medicine Awards, beginning Nov. 1. The awards program recognizes contributions to the veterinary profession.

The AVMA Award

The Association's pre-eminent award recognizes an AVMA member who has contributed to the advancement of veterinary medicine in its organizational aspects.

AVMA Meritorious Service Award

This award recognizes a veterinarian who has brought honor and distinction to the veterinary profession through personal, professional, or community service activities outside organized veterinary medicine and research.

AVMA Advocacy Award

This award recognizes an individual for advancing the AVMA legislative agenda and advocating on behalf of the veterinary profession.

AVMA Animal Welfare Award

This award recognizes an AVMA member for accomplishments in the field of animal welfare in leadership, public service, research, education, or advocacy.

AVMA Clinical Research Award

This award recognizes a veterinarian's achievements in patient-oriented research.

AVMA Humane Award

This award recognizes a nonveterinarian for accomplishments in the field of animal welfare in leadership, public service, research, education, or advocacy.

AVMA Lifetime Excellence in Research Award

This award recognizes a veterinarian for lifetime achievements in basic, applied, or clinical research.

AVMA Public Service Award

This award recognizes an AVMA member for outstanding public service while an employee of a government agency or for education of veterinarians in public service activities.

AVMA XIIth International Veterinary Congress Prize

This award recognizes an AVMA member who has contributed to international understanding of veterinary medicine.

AVMF/AKC Career Achievement Award in Canine Research

The AVMF and American Kennel Club established this award for an AVMA member who has contributed to canine research.

AVMF/Winn Excellence in Feline Research Award

The AVMF and Winn Feline Foundation established this award for a Winn grant recipient who has contributed to feline research.


The deadline is Feb. 1, 2016, for award nominations. Award information and nomination forms are available by visiting www.avma.org/awards, emailing avma-awards@avma.org, or calling 800-248-2862, ext. 6709.

U.S. could use hyperthermia, asphyxia to fight bird flu

By Greg Cima

Federal agriculture authorities may elect to kill some bird flocks through combined hyperthermia and asphyxia in their efforts to save other flocks during highly infectious disease outbreaks.

Citing delays in depopulating flocks in response to this year's highly pathogenic avian influenza virus outbreak, Department of Agriculture officials indicated they will consider whether to shut barn doors and vents to depopulate flocks more quickly than they can through other methods.

Dr. T.J. Myers, associate deputy administrator for Veterinary Services in the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said selective use of that depopulation method—known as ventilation shutdown—could prevent disease spread because of its speed. It could replace the days long work of immersing batches of birds in carbon dioxide or water-based foam by depopulating an entire barn population in less than 24 hours.

Dr. Karen Burns Grogan, who spoke to JAVMA on behalf of the American Association of Avian Pathologists and is executive vice president of the American College of Poultry Veterinarians, said the method would be used only during an animal health emergency with potential for disastrous consequences. And it could save the lives of millions of birds.

“If our traditional depopulation methods are not applicable or useful or available, then we want to have alternative methods available to effectively depopulate diseased populations,” she said. “We're not talking about healthy birds. These are birds that have tested positive, and we are trying to eliminate the spread of a very deadly virus and to prevent the pain and suffering of potentially millions of other birds.”

AAAP information indicates ventilation shutdown combines rises in heat and carbon dioxide levels, which causes birds to become lethargic, lose consciousness, and die.

During this past spring's outbreak of a highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza virus, APHIS worked with farmers and contractors to depopulate sometimes millions of chickens per egg farm and hundreds of thousands of birds per turkey farm. The virus resulted in the death of about 50 million birds, including more than 40 million chickens.

Delays in depopulating infected birds aided the rapid spread of the virus, and APHIS since has set a goal of depopulation within 24 hours of presumptive positive identification of a highly pathogenic avian influenza virus infection, according to a USDA policy statement published in September.

“There is strong evidence that a delay in depopulation results in an exponential increase in the total amount of HPAI virus shed into the environment by infected poultry, highlighting the imperative for rapid depopulation to control and contain an outbreak,” according to the statement.

Carbon dioxide and foam remain the primary tools for depopulation, but ventilation shutdown is among the adjunct methods usable if the primary tools are insufficient. It should be used only after concluding that no other methods could give timely assurance that the virus would not spread, according to APHIS.

Dr. Burns Grogan said that, in addition to sealing the barns during ventilation shutdown, those conducting the depopulation may also turn on heaters within the houses. The time needed between shutdown and death will vary depending on the poultry house population and design, but death of the entire flock likely would occur within several hours.

She also expects that ventilation shutdown would be used only under veterinarian supervision and with USDA guidance.

Chad Gregory, CEO of the United Egg Producers, provided a statement that rapid depopulation is the most humane and responsible response to an avian influenza outbreak, and the organization welcomes guidance from the USDA and others who are researching options for delivering humane deaths.

“Egg farmers understand that hard decisions must be made during this time of rapid disease spread, but there is widespread agreement that acting to depopulate within the first 24 hours is the most effective strategy to mitigate the spread of AI,” he said.

The AVMA published in May 2015 a statement that, because the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus was spreading faster than could be controlled through conventional means, exceeding capacities of regulators to depopulate using preferred methods, “the use of less ideal methods that result in a quick death for birds and support disease containment may be necessary.” But that statement implored use of such a method only on a case-by-case basis and after “extreme care” to ensure it was a justified last resort.

The AVMA expresses support only for foam-based methods of depopulating poultry birds, but an AVMA panel is studying depopulation methods in an effort to produce guidance similar to what the Association provides on euthanasia.

The Humane Society of the United States opposes the use of ventilation shutdown, likening the method to “mass baking of live chickens.” Dr. Michael Blackwell, chief veterinary officer for the HSUS, said in a statement that the method is a “miserable and protracted” means of killing birds.

Dr. Blackwell said in an interview that he thinks the influenza virus can be contained when found within a facility, providing time to start using other depopulation methods while most birds remain healthy.

“There should be, under conditions of containment, sufficient time to use reasonably humane methods for this terrible task,” he said.

But Dr. Blackwell also said ventilation shutdown could be warranted under extreme circumstances, and he has asked that the USDA define its conditions for use.

Dr. Myers noted that the H5N2 virus could persist in wild dabbling ducks. And APHIS, with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey, has increased surveillance for highly pathogenic avian influenzas in an effort to provide warning when the viruses are present.

APHIS officials hope to collect 30,000 to 40,000 samples from wild birds by summer 2016.

The Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative also plans to test live and dead wild birds across the country for the presence of avian influenza. The testing is on behalf of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Dr. Myers also thinks farms are better prepared in case of another incursion from the H5N2 or another highly pathogenic avian influenza virus.

Disease controls set up before the 2015 outbreak had been intended to stop pathogens at farm borders, but migrating birds spread the virus to the ground just outside barns, Dr. Myers said. He thinks the outbreak showed a need for a change in the biosecurity concept, focused on keeping environmental pathogens out of barns rather than from crossing borders.

But addressing the spread of viruses among multiple barns on a single farm—such as those connected by a single egg collection belt—is a substantial long-term challenge that will require structural changes, Dr. Myers said.

Model law: Pharmacies should keep a reference on veterinary drugs

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy recently amended the NABP Model State Pharmacy Act to require pharmacies that dispense veterinary drugs to have ready access to at least one current reference on veterinary drugs, such as Plumb's Veterinary Drug Handbook.

The change results from an NABP resolution that calls for pharmacists dispensing medications for veterinary patients to possess the competence and have access to the resources necessary to appropriately dispense and provide patient care.

The NABP also adopted a resolution to encourage the development and availability of veterinary pharmacology education at schools and colleges of pharmacy in collaboration with schools of veterinary medicine.

The intent of the NABP Model State Pharmacy Act is to provide state boards of pharmacy with model language for developing state laws or board rules for the purpose of protecting public health.


Sheep in Eritrea, which is among the countries where peste des petits ruminants is present, according to information from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (Courtesy of the OIE)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 247, 9; 10.2460/javma.247.9.978

Eradicating goat plague

OIE, FAO hope to eradicate peste des petits ruminants by 2030

By Greg Cima

Following success in eradicating the cattle plague, world animal health advocates hope to use similar methods to eradicate a related “goat plague.”

Peste des petits ruminants, a viral disease devastating to sheep and goat populations, has spread at an alarming rate in the prior 15 years, according to information from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). The disease is present in 70 countries of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, together home to more than 80 percent of global sheep and goat populations.

Yet, Dr. Bernard Vallat, OIE director general, said in a column from the OIE that the disease could be wiped out in another 15 years, an “ambitious yet realistic target” of eradication by 2030.

The OIE is working with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations on the campaign, which will follow the model used to control and eradicate rinderpest, or cattle plague.

The OIE declared in 2011 that rinderpest had been eradicated, becoming the second disease behind smallpox to be eliminated through human intervention. Rinderpest could wipe out entire herds of cattle and buffalo, causing famines through millions of cattle deaths.

Dr. Vallat's column notes that peste des petits ruminants can infect 90 percent of a sheep or goat flock and kill up to 70 percent of those infected. Economic losses induced by PPR “strike at the heart of vulnerable rural populations,” ruining production at national and regional levels.

Dr. Berhe Tekola, director of animal production and health for the FAO, said in September that, since the global campaign started in March, the FAO and OIE had overseen regional planning as countries began taking ownership of implementing the campaign. Governments will formulate vaccination strategies following the assessments in the first portion of the FAO and OIE campaign, he said. How the organizations will work with those governments in later stages of the campaigns remains to be seen.

Development of a thermostable PPR vaccine, as was done in the development of the rinderpest vaccine, was ongoing, he said. In the meantime, keeping existing vaccines refrigerated is of crucial importance.

The eradication campaign also includes bolstering veterinary systems, which Dr. Tekola notes has been a decades-long project of the FAO. The global strategy for eradicating PPR includes strengthening veterinary systems through an OIE program intended to create sustainable improvements to national veterinary services.

A joint report from the FAO and OIE, “Global control and eradication of peste des petits ruminants: Investing in veterinary systems, food security and poverty alleviation,” includes an estimate that a 15-year campaign could cost upward of $9 billion, and PPR eradication would prevent annual financial losses of about $1.8 billion.

“The investment will be recovered within the first five years after eradicating the disease,” the report states.

The report indicates efforts to control the disease are working, citing the lack of any new outbreaks in Somalia since vaccination campaigns started in the country in 2012. But it also indicates absence of similar efforts in neighboring countries threatens Somalia's gains.

In addition, national PPR control programs have had inadequate resources and coordination, and they could benefit from a concerted, well-funded effort.

Both rinderpest and PPR have efficacious, safe, and inexpensive vaccines that provide years of immunity against the target viruses with a single inoculation. They also lack reservoir species outside the infected populations. And diagnostic tests, surveillance protocols, and control and eradication programs exist for both.

The founding of the world's first veterinary school in 1761 in France and the OIE in 1924 both were related to efforts to fight rinderpest.

In 1956, Dr. Walter Plowright began field use of an attenuated live-virus rinderpest vaccine. Such vaccination made rinderpest eradication a practical objective, according to the World Food Prize Foundation, which awarded the British veterinarian the World Food Prize in 1999.

Peste des petits ruminants virus was identified in West Africa in the early 1940s. It was first thought to be a rinderpest virus variant adapted to small ruminants, according to the 2006 book “Rinderpest and Peste des Petits Ruminants.”

FDA to require more illness prevention from food makers

Federal rules will make food manufacturers analyze risks and implement controls for possible food safety problems, whether from their own facilities or from suppliers.

They also will have to work to minimize harm where problems could occur, correct shortcomings, and watch for problems through measures including environmental and product testing.

The Food and Drug Administration described the rules being applied to human and animal foods, as well as including comments on the process and background information, in a pair of Federal Register notices published Sept. 17. The rules take effect Nov. 16, and the FDA will allow one year for most businesses to comply and up to three years for the smallest businesses to comply.

The rules are the first two of seven planned in implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act, which was signed in January 2011. In describing the need for the rules, an agency announcement cites foodborne illnesses from contaminated spinach and peanuts as well as a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 48 million Americans are sickened by foodborne diseases each year.

The Federal Register notice also indicates the rules under the 2011 legislation will help the agency focus on prevention rather than reaction.

“FSMA enables us to focus more on preventing food safety problems rather than relying primarily on reacting to problems after they occur,” the Federal Register notice states. “The law also provides new enforcement authorities to help achieve higher rates of compliance with risk-based, prevention-oriented safety standards and to better respond to and contain problems when they do occur.”

The rules published in September will make food producers evaluate “reasonably foreseeable” hazards for each type of animal food manufactured, processed, packed or held, according to the FDA notice. And the preventive controls should provide assurance that such hazards are minimized or eliminated.

Many of the activities covered in the rules must be performed or overseen by someone who has completed training on risk-based preventive measures or has the experience needed to develop a food safety system, according to the FDA.

In the announcement, Dr. Stephen Ostroff, acting FDA commissioner, said the rules put the U.S. “on the path to a modern food safety system that will prevent illnesses and continue to build confidence in the safety of the food served to our families every day.”

LSU seeks entries for annual art exhibition

The Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine is seeking entries for its International Exhibition on Animals in Art.

The show features works of art depicting animals in various media. The 2016 exhibition will run from March 11-April 8. The deadline for entries is Jan. 8, 2016

The awards will include $1,000 for best of show. One work of art will appear on a cover of the JAVMA.

For the 2014 exhibition, some 160 artists from 32 states and Canada submitted 383 entries—73 of which appeared in the show. LSU did not hold the exhibition in 2015.

The exhibition is open to artists 18 years of age or older. Works may be in any medium with the exception of video, installation, and audio works. Artists must price all work for sale, and the veterinary school will retain a 20 percent commission on sales.


“A Kodiak Moment,” a bronze by Andrea Wilkinson of Kingwood, Texas, won the Paul Sackman Marx Memorial Award at the International Exhibition on Animals in Art in 2014 at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine. (Courtesy of Andrea Wilkinson)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 247, 9; 10.2460/javma.247.9.978

Entry information is available by visiting www.lsu.edu/vetmed/events and clicking on “International Exhibition on Animals in Art.” The fee is $20 for the first entry and $15 for each additional entry, up to a maximum of three entries.

Additional details are available from Ginger Guttner at ginger@lsu.edu or 225-578-9922.

KSU alumni honored

Dr. Vern Otte and the late Dr. Billy Joe La Rue were selected by the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine's Alumni Association to receive the 2015 Alumni Recognition Award.

The awards were given during the annual Central Veterinary Conference Aug. 29 in Kansas City, Missouri. Brian La Rue accepted the honor on behalf of his deceased father. Awardees are chosen for being exemplary role models for future KSU CVM alumni in their professional careers and community setting.

Dr. Otte of Leawood, Kansas, received his DVM degree in 1975. He is a practitioner, is a former practice owner, and for eight years was a trail veterinarian for the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. Dr. Otte spent 36 years as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve. When he retired from the USAR in 2003, he was serving as reserve chief of the Veterinary Corps Mobilization and Reserve.

Dr. Otte has been an active member of the AVMA, serving on its Political Action Committee Board for eight years, including one year as chair. He has been a delegate or alternate delegate from Kansas in the AVMA House of Delegates from 2000 to the present and is a member of the AVMA Legislative Advisory Committee.


Dr. Vern Otte

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 247, 9; 10.2460/javma.247.9.978


Dr. Billy Joe La Rue

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 247, 9; 10.2460/javma.247.9.978

Dr. La Rue of Chanute, Kansas, received his DVM degree in 1956. While at KSU, Dr. La Rue was a member of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps and was commissioned as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps.

In 1958, Dr. La Rue returned to Chanute, where he and classmate Dr. Don McReynolds opened Animal Medical Center. They practiced there until Dr. La Rue's death March 8, 2015. The Kansas Senate issued a proclamation in 2014 honoring them for the longest continuous veterinary partnership in Kansas’ history.

Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians

Event: Annual meeting, Sept. 1, San Antonio

Program: The meeting, held in conjunction with the Association of Avian Veterinarians and Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians, drew 650 attendees. The immediate past president of the AEMV, Dr. Dan Johnson, presided over the meeting.


Dr. Brendan Carmel

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 247, 9; 10.2460/javma.247.9.978


Dr. Micah Kohles

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 247, 9; 10.2460/javma.247.9.978


Dr. Byron de la Navarre

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 247, 9; 10.2460/javma.247.9.978

Awards: Oxbow Exotic Mammal Health Award, in conjunction with the AEMV: Dr. Brendan Carmel, Warranwood, Australia, won this award, given in recognition of excellence and innovation in the field of exotic mammal health. A 1987 graduate of the University of Melbourne, Dr. Carmel owns and serves as senior veterinarian at Warranwood Veterinary Centre. He also serves as a lecturer in wildlife and exotic pet medicine at the University of Melbourne Faculty of Veterinary Science and James Cook University. Dr. Carmel is a past president of the Unusual Pet & Avian Veterinarians special interest group and a founding member of the AEMV and ARAV. AEMV Research Grant ($4,475): Dr. Joanne Paul-Murphy, Davis, California, for “Evaluation of deslorelin implants on fibroadenoma recurrence in rats (Rattus norvegicus).” Benjamin and Bella Rabbit Research Grant ($2,500 each): Joanna Corey (Tufts ‘16), for “Rabbit sex cord stromal tumors: A retrospective study to determine prevalence, treatment recommendations and prognosis”; and Dr. Molly Gleeson, Davis, California, for “Venous lactate levels in rabbits presenting for gastrointestinal stasis.” Poster Award: Drs. Andrew Bean and Peter Fisher, Virginia Beach, Virginia, for “Hypercalcemia of malignancy in the ferret: Four cases”; and Sarah Ozawa (Wisconsin ‘16), for “Measurement of body temperature in Chinchillas (Chinchilla lanigera). President's Award: Dr. Chris Griffin, Kannapolis, North Carolina. Dr. Griffin was honored for his years of service to the association, including his roles as president from 2012–2014 and as past chair of the association's conference planning committee.

Business: It was noted that the AEMV currently has 731 members representing 34 countries. Dr. Dan Johnson shared the treasurer's report, announced the addition of two members-at-large to the AEMV board of directors, and provided information on an update to the association's bylaws. The update will act as a template for association organization and management going forward. The president of the AEMV, Dr. Micah Kohles, emphasized the need for member participation with regard to positions available on the conference, marketing, membership outreach, and financial committees. Dr. Charly Pignon, representing the European AEMV, spoke on the International Conference on Avian, Herpetological, and Exotic Mammal Medicine, held in April 2015 in Paris. The AEMV will hold its 2016 conference in Portland, Oregon, in conjunction with the AAV and ARAV.

Officials: Drs. Micah Kohles, Gretna, Nebraska, president; Byron de la Navarre, Chicago, president-elect; Laurel M. Harris, Wasatch, Utah, secretary; Melissa Kling, Macon, Georgia, treasurer; and Dan Johnson, Raleigh, North Carolina, immediate past president

American College of Veterinary Nutrition

The American College of Veterinary Nutrition certified three new diplomates following the certification examination it held June 1–2 in Indianapolis. The new diplomates are as follows:

Tammy J. Owens, Davis, California

Lily N. Johnson, Boston

Jackie Parr, Hamilton, Ontario

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Obituaries: AVMA member AVMA honor roll member Nonmember

Dawn M. Aberwald

Dr. Aberwald (Texas A&M ‘90), 50, West Palm Beach, Florida, died July 25, 2015. She practiced small animal medicine in West Palm Beach for 22 years. Earlier, Dr. Aberwald worked in Corpus Christi, Texas. Active with the Florida Marlins Community Foundation, she was named its Rose Hicks Volunteer of the Year in 2003. Memorials may be made to Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League, 3200 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach, FL 33409, www.peggyadams.org.

George C. Alexander II

Dr. Alexander (Ohio State ‘59), 83, Thornville, Ohio, died April 29, 2015. He worked for the Indiana State Board of Animal Health for 15 years prior to retirement in 1991. Earlier, Dr. Alexander practiced large animal medicine in Shirley, Indiana. He was a past president of the Indiana Ropers and Doggers Association and a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Dr. Alexander was also a member of the Rushville Elks Lodge.

His two sons and two daughters, eight grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund, 101 Pro Rodeo Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80919, or Foundation for Hospice of Central Ohio, P.O. Box 430, Newark, OH 43058.

Tamara D. Bogan

Dr. Bogan (Louisiana State ‘90), 63, Prairie Grove, Arkansas, died June 6, 2015. She served as a supervisory veterinary medical officer with the Department of Agriculture. Dr. Bogan received several performance awards during her career, including recognition for her work with the humane handling of animals. Her husband, Tim, survives her.

John C. Breithaupt

Dr. Breithaupt (Kansas State ‘59), 81, Baldwin City, Kansas, died July 30, 2015. From 1962 until retirement in 1997, he practiced mixed animal medicine in Baldwin City, establishing Hilltop Animal Health Center in 1983. Earlier in his career, Dr. Breithaupt worked in WaKeeney, Kansas; served in the Air Force, attaining the rank of captain; and practiced in Hiawatha, Kansas. He was a member of the Kansas and Douglas County VMAs.

Dr. Breithaupt served on the Baldwin City Planning Commission for seven years. His wife, Carolyn; a son; and two grandchildren survive him. Memorials toward the Vinland Fair Association or Douglas County 4-H Club may be made c/o Lamb-Roberts Funeral Home, P.O. Box 64, Baldwin City, KS 66006.

David W. Conway

Dr. Conway (Michigan State ‘51), 95, Sun City Center, Florida, died July 28, 2015. A small animal veterinarian, he owned Conway Animal Hospital in Southgate, Michigan, for 20 years prior to retirement. Before that, Dr. Conway co-owned a practice in Wyandotte, Michigan, for 10 years. He was a member of the Michigan and Southeastern Michigan VMAs. Dr. Conway served in the Navy during World War II. His wife, Portia; a son; five grandchildren; and a great-grandchild survive him.

Robyn L. Dolliver

Dr. Dolliver (Ross ‘99), 45, Windham, New Hampshire, died July 4, 2015. She was the founder of Dolliver's Veterinary Mobile Service, providing veterinary care throughout northern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. Dr. Dolliver was active with the Animal Rescue Network of New England and served as a foster care facilitator for several local shelters. Her husband, Jim, and two daughters survive her. Memorials may be made to Camp Sunshine, 35 Acadia Road, Caso, ME 04015, www.campsunshine.org.

Charles M. Early

Dr. Early (Kansas State ‘54), 91, Harlan, Iowa, died Aug. 7, 2015. He practiced mixed animal medicine in Harlan prior to retirement. Dr. Early served as a Harlan city councilman and was a member of the Shelby County Board of Supervisors and Shelby County Fair Board. He served in the Navy during World War II. Dr. Early's wife, Janet; three sons and two daughters; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, P.O. Box 96929, Washington, DC 20090, www.aspca.org/donate.

Don R. Goodwin

Dr. Goodwin (Auburn ‘45), 94, El Dorado, Arkansas, died July 1, 2015. He was the founder of Goodwin Animal Clinic in El Dorado, where he practiced mixed animal medicine until retirement in 1983. Dr. Goodwin was a member of the Arkansas VMA. He served as a captain in the Army Veterinary Corps during World War II.

Dr. Goodwin is survived by three daughters and a son, 12 grandchildren, and 27 great-grandchildren. His son-in-law Dr. Charles Jackson (Louisiana State ‘81) is a mixed animal veterinarian who took over the practice from Dr. Goodwin. Memorials may be made to the John R. Williamson Hospice House, 2301 Champagnolle Road, El Dorado, AR 71730.

Jay S. Kumaran

Dr. Kumaran (Mhow ‘64), 75, Fort Wayne, Indiana, died March 28, 2015. Following his graduation in 1964 from what was known as the Madhya Pradesh College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry in India and after earning his master's in microbiology from the National Dairy Research Institute in India in 1966, he moved to the United States as an exchange research scientist and staff veterinarian at Tulane University in New Orleans and Tulane National Primate Research Center. In 1968, Dr. Kumaran began practicing at Broadmoor Veterinary Clinic in New Orleans. He later moved to Indiana, where he worked initially in Hammond and Valparaiso. From 1972 until retirement in 2009, Dr. Kumaran owned Allpet Hospital and Laser Surgery Center, a small animal practice in Fort Wayne. In later years, he served as an associate at Dupont Veterinary Clinic in Fort Wayne. He volunteered with spay-neuter organizations in the Republic of Panama.

A past president of the Northeast Indiana VMA, he was a charter member and board member of the Association of Indian Veterinarians in America. He was a member of the Indiana VMA and received its Guardian Award in 2011 for his volunteer work with the Black Pine Animal Sanctuary in Albion, Indiana. Active in civic life, he was a past president of the Kiwanis Club of Fort Wayne and a past lieutenant governor for the Indiana District of Kiwanis.

Dr. Kumaran is survived by his wife, Patrice; three daughters and a stepdaughter; and a grandchild. Memorials, designated to the Skylight Project, may be made to Black Pine Animal Sanctuary, P.O. Box 02, Albion, IN 46701, www.blackpine.org.

Martin D. Kvitle

Dr. Kvitle (Kansas State ‘55), 84, Lincoln, Illinois, died May 22, 2015. A mixed animal veterinarian, he owned Wes-Lyn Animal Clinic in Lincoln from the early 1960s until retirement in 1999. Dr. Kvitle also served as a rabies inspector for Logan County and was the veterinarian for the Logan County Fair for several years. Earlier, he worked as a meat and food inspector in the Army with the rank of 1st lieutenant. Dr. Kvitle was a life member of the Illinois State VMA. He served on the Logan County Health Board and West Lincoln School Board.

Dr. Kvitle's wife, Janet; five daughters and two sons; and 16 grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to Jefferson Street Christian Church, 1700 N. Jefferson St., Lincoln, IL 62656.

James W. Mundy

Dr. Mundy (Colorado State ‘69), 70, Chama, New Mexico, died April 22, 2015. He was the founder of Ark Veterinary Clinic, a mixed animal practice in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In the 1980s, Dr. Mundy moved the practice to Chama, where he eventually retired. His two sons and two grandchildren survive him.

Jennifer E. Noll

Dr. Noll (Virginia-Maryland ‘04), 43, Exeter, New Hampshire, died July 7, 2015. A small animal veterinarian, she practiced at Rockingham Emergency Veterinary Hospital in Windham, New Hampshire, since 2011. Before that, Dr. Noll was with Small Animal Veterinary Emergency Services in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

Early in her career, Dr. Noll worked as an emergency veterinarian for the Intown Veterinary Group, practicing at Essex County Veterinary Referral Hospital in North Andover, Massachusetts, and Port City Veterinary Referral Hospital in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Keith H. Orts

Dr. Orts (Cornell ‘59), 81, Wernersville, Pennsylvania, died June 30, 2015. He owned a small animal practice in Lansing, Ohio, for 40 years. Dr. Orts also helped establish the Animal Urgent Care Center in Wheeling, West Virginia, and served on the adjunct biology faculty at Wheeling Jesuit University for 15 years. Active in civic life, he was instrumental in the founding of the Tri-County Board of Recovery and Mental Health Services in Troy, Ohio, serving as its first president. Dr. Orts also served on the Martins Ferry School Board.

His wife, Carol; two sons and two daughters; and 10 grandchildren survive him. Memorials toward the Keith Orts Scholarship may be made to the First Unitarian Universalist Church, 416 Franklin St., Reading, PA 19602.

Donald G. Reeder

Dr. Reeder (Illinois ‘60), 83, Galesburg, Illinois, died Aug. 2, 2015. Following graduation, he moved to Galesburg, where he established Knox Veterinary Clinic, a mixed animal practice. Dr. Reeder later farmed, raised livestock, and owned a hog operation. Active in civic life, he served on the board of directors of the Galesburg Rescue Mission, was a past president of the Galesburg Kiwanis Club, volunteered with the Knox County Habitat for Humanity, and led construction and medical mission teams to Central America, South America, and Mexico.

Dr. Reeder served in the military during the Korean War. He is survived by a daughter and a son, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, 120 N. Kellogg St., Galesburg, IL 61401; Knox County Habitat for Humanity, 156 N. Seminary St., Galesburg, IL 61401; or Galesburg Rescue Mission, 435 E. 3rd St., Galesburg, IL 61401.

David L. Ruehle

Dr. Ruehle (Georgia ‘69), 70, Thomson, Georgia, died Aug. 7, 2015. He owned McDuffie Animal Hospital in Thomson, where he practiced small animal medicine for several years. Dr. Ruehle served on the McDuffie County Board of Education for eight years. He was an Air Force veteran of the Vietnam War.

Dr. Ruehle is survived by his wife, Wynelle; a son and a daughter; and two grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the Ruehle Grandchildren College Fund, c/o First Citizen's Bank, 235 Main St., Thomson, GA 30824.

Raymond Russo

Dr. Russo (Brandeis Middlesex ‘44), 93, Kingston, Massachusetts, died July 2, 2015. He was the founder of Kingston Animal Hospital, where he practiced small animal medicine for 68 years prior to retirement. Dr. Russo was a past president of the Massachusetts VMA. His wife, Milly; three sons; and four grandchildren survive him. One son, Dr. Mark E. Russo (Pennsylvania ‘73), practices at Kingston Animal Hospital.

George N. Schatzle

Dr. Schatzle (Cornell ‘59), 80, Rockland, Maine, died April 18, 2015. Prior to retirement in 1989, he owned Rumney Animal Hospital, a small animal practice in Rumney, New Hampshire. Dr. Schatzle is survived by his wife, Gail; two sons; and four grandchildren. Memorials may be made to The Sussman House, c/o Kno-Wal-Lin, 170 Pleasant St., Rockland, ME 04841.

John P. Smith Jr.

Dr. Smith (Texas A&M ‘58), 92, Bryan, Texas, died July 26, 2015. He was an associate professor in the former Department of Veterinary Parasitology at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences prior to retirement in 1988. Earlier, Dr. Smith owned a mixed animal practice in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, and served as veterinarian-in-charge of livestock auction markets for the Livestock Sanitary Commission in Maryland. For several years during his career, he also veterinary meat inspectors with the Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Dr. Smith is survived by his wife, Bernice; a son and two daughters; and four grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the Hospice Brazos Valley, 502 W. 26th St., Bryan, TX 77803.

Lyle E. Trout

Dr. Trout (Michigan State ‘51), 93, Lamberton, Minnesota, died July 10, 2015. He practiced mostly large animal medicine in Lamberton for more than 35 years. Dr. Trout was a member of the Minnesota VMA. He was a founding member of the Lamberton Lions Club and was active with the 4-H Club and National FFA Organization. Dr. Trout served in the Navy during World War II and was a member of the American Legion.

His wife, Bernice; three daughters; nine grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren survive him. Dr. Trout's son-in-law, Dr. Davis J. Kirkpatrick (Minnesota ‘72), and grandson, Dr. Nathan J. Kirkpatrick (Minnesota ‘11), practice small animal medicine in Cokato, Minnesota. His granddaughter, Janna M. Sorg, is a second-year veterinary student at the University of Minnesota. Memorials may be made to American Legion Post #41, Lamberton, MN 56152.

Bradley K. Williams

Dr. Williams (Oklahoma State ‘86), 54, Moscow, Idaho, died May 23, 2015. He served as campus veterinarian at the University of Idaho from 1993–2014. Following graduation, Dr. Williams practiced mixed animal medicine at Ardmore Veterinary Clinic in Ardmore, Oklahoma. In 1987, he moved to Moscow, where he worked in the University of Idaho's Department of Biological Sciences. Dr. Williams subsequently worked in the intensive care unit of the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine and served as an associate veterinarian at Southway Animal Clinic in Lewiston, Idaho. During his tenure as campus veterinarian at the University of Idaho, he also taught courses on animal diseases and herd health management, served as the university's research compliance officer, and was a systems administrator and network support specialist.

Dr. Williams was a past president and a past liaison officer of the Idaho Board of Veterinary Medicine and a past president of the North Idaho VMA. He also served on the American Association of Veterinary State Boards Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence from 2001–2005 and was a member of the Idaho artificial insemination examination board from 1993–2000.

Dr. Williams is survived by his wife, Janet, and a son and a daughter. Memorials may be made to Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 1036 West “A” St., Moscow, ID 83843.

Byron K. Winter

Dr. Winter (Iowa State ‘60), 87, Seward, Nebraska, died June 21, 2015. He owned Winter Animal Clinic, a mixed animal practice in Seward, for 54 years. Dr. Winter served on the Seward City Council for 12 years, was a member of the Seward Area Chamber of Commerce, and served on the Seward Board of Education for 24 years. He was also a founding member of the Seward Kiwanis and was active with the Seward County 4-H program. Dr. Winter was inducted into the Seward County Agricultural Hall of Achievement.

He served in the Army from 1946–1948 and again from 1950–1951 during the Korean War. Dr. Winter's daughter and three sons; nine grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren survive him.

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    Wrigley Buzek before his tibial plateau leveling osteotomy at the Veterinary Specialty Center in Buffalo Grove, Illinois

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    The Colorado State University feline and canine pain scales are used to attribute certain body language to various levels of acute pain. Numerical scores and descriptions are provided.

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    Dr. Jusmeen Sarkar, a veterinary anesthesiologist, uses a nerve locator to isolate and temporarily desensitize the sciatic nerve in an anesthetized dog. (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

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    Veterinary assistant Kathryn Erbach holds Wrigley, while Kelsey Martin, a veterinary technician, administers an injection as part of the anesthetic propofol. (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

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    Dr. Rena Carlson-Lammers, AVMA Board of Directors District XI representative, listens during the Sept. 10–12 Board meeting at AVMA headquarters. (Photo by R. Scott Noten)

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    Dr. Gary Brown, AVMA Board of Directors District V representative, at the most recent Board meeting, held Sept. 10–12 in Schaumburg, Illinois (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

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    Engaging in Board deliberations: (photo at left) Drs. Chet Rawson, District VI, and George Bishop, District X, and (photo at right) Drs. Tom Meyer, president-elect, and Timothy Montgomery, House Advisory Committee chair (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

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    AVMA Board of Directors Chair John de Jong presides over the Sept. 10–12 meeting, which included the Board approving a veterinary wellness roundtable to take place in early 2016. (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

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    Sheep in Eritrea, which is among the countries where peste des petits ruminants is present, according to information from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (Courtesy of the OIE)

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    “A Kodiak Moment,” a bronze by Andrea Wilkinson of Kingwood, Texas, won the Paul Sackman Marx Memorial Award at the International Exhibition on Animals in Art in 2014 at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine. (Courtesy of Andrea Wilkinson)

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    Dr. Vern Otte

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    Dr. Billy Joe La Rue

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    Dr. Brendan Carmel

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    Dr. Micah Kohles

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    Dr. Byron de la Navarre