CANNABIS RESEARCH FOR VETERINARY PATIENTS ADVANCING, CAUTIOUSLY
Hemp provision in 2014 Farm Bill seen as opening the way for research
By R. Scott Nolen
More than half the country has legalized marijuana use in one form or another.
The decriminalization movement that started with California in 1996, when it was the first to establish a medical marijuana program, has given birth to a legally ambiguous cannabis market with a projected value of $25 billion by 2025.
Despite the dramatic shift in public opinion and state policies over the past two decades, little conclusive evidence exists concerning the short and long-term health effects of a drug that, according to one nationwide survey, was used by 22.2 million Americans during a 30-day period in 2014.
One explanation for the lack of cannabis research is the federal classification of cannabis as a schedule I controlled substance. The most restrictive of the Controlled Substances Act categories, schedule I applies to drugs with no known medical benefits and a high potential for abuse, such as heroin and LSD.
The farm bill passed by Congress in 2014 included a provision that legalized the growing and cultivating of industrial hemp for research purposes under certain conditions. The law defined industrial hemp as all parts of the marijuana plant (Cannabis sativa L.) containing less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is one of 104 cannabinoids identified in the marijuana plant and the substance responsible for the psychotropic experience in human users.
Laws regulating the approval process for prospective pharmaceutical products and the criteria to conduct research on such products were not amended, however. Neither did any change occur in the Controlled Substances Act itself, which governs the manufacture, distribution, and dispensing of controlled drug products.
Those wishing to study the effects of cannabis or cannabinoids must navigate a challenging process that may involve the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Food and Drug Administration, Drug Enforcement Administration, offices or departments in their state's government, state boards, their home institution, and potential funders.
Some researchers have viewed the process as sufficiently onerous that it dissuades them from proceeding, while others have negotiated it successfully. In late June, the FDA approved Epidiolex, the nation's first drug derived from marijuana, for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy in humans.
Still other researchers are studying cannabis in animal patients without explicit FDA and DEA approval, but in a manner they contend complies with federal and state law.
Dr. Stephanie McGrath, a neurologist and assistant professor at Colorado State University's College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, has completed two clinical studies since 2016 on the effects of cannabidiol in dogs with osteoarthritis or epilepsy. Cannabidiol is a nonpsychotropic cannabinoid that is thought to have positive effects in alleviating chronic pain and aiding in the treatment of autoimmune diseases.
Dr. McGrath says she wasn't interested in cannabis as a therapy until 2012, after Colorado legalized the recreational use of marijuana. That's when the calls from referring veterinarians and pet owners started pouring in. “People were starting to use marijuana—or they had friends or family who used it—for medicinal purposes, and they called CSU a lot asking if we were doing any research, if we knew it was safe, and where to buy it,” she said. “We could see this is a much-needed area of research, and whether it shows CBD helps or not, it's still very important since people are giving it to their pets.”
Applied Basic Science Corp. provided Dr. McGrath with the CBD as well as funding for the canine osteoarthritis and epilepsy studies. The company manufactures and sells a hemp-hybrid plant oil extract for relief of signs of various medical conditions in pet animals.
Dr. McGrath contacted ABSC CEO David Moche about studying his company's product. “I told (Moche) how, as a scientist and skeptic, I have no interest in using your product unless you want to do this correctly,” she recalled. “We're going to make sure it's safe, I want to know exactly what's in it, and I want to do clinical trials. I wasn't just going to administer this product to my patients and watch what happens. Fortunately, he was open to it.”
An initial investigation involving 30 healthy research animals found that CBD was tolerated and resulted in measurable blood concentrations. Dr. McGrath expects results of that study will be published this year. Data from the other studies are being analyzed, but preliminary results of the epilepsy investigation were promising enough that, in January, Dr. McGrath began a three-year crossover study of CBD for epilepsy in dogs with a $350,000 grant from the American Kennel Club.
Dr. Dawn Boothe, director of clinical pharmacology at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, is studying cannabidiol as a treatment for epilepsy in dogs and is also developing an assay to measure cannabinoid toxicity and efficacy.
This past April, the AVMA responded to an FDA Federal Register request regarding the science behind reputed therapeutic benefits and risks of medicinal cannabis products. In addition, the AVMA, through its Division of Animal and Public Health and with input from the Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents and its Clinical Practitioners Advisory Committee, has developed educational resources on the topic for veterinarians and their clients. The report “Cannabis: What Veterinarians Need to Know” is available at http://jav.ma/cannabispets.
As Dr. McGrath's experience shows, veterinarians are routinely questioned about the use of cannabis products, their side effects, and their therapeutic efficacy. To date, 29 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana for people, yet veterinarians are prohibited from administering, prescribing, dispensing, or recommending cannabis for their patients.
Legislation has been proposed in New York and California that would allow veterinarians to legally discuss the use of these products with their clients. Dr. Gary Richter, owner of Holistic Veterinary Care in Oakland, California, is a leading proponent of a California measure, AB 2215, that would require the California Veterinary Medical Board to establish guidelines for licensed veterinarians to discuss with clients the use of cannabis in their patients and to protect veterinarians from disciplinary action for doing so. While the California VMA supports the bill, the California Veterinary Medical Board does not.
“Should this pass and get signed by the governor, that would lift the restrictions on the vet community in California and let us provide the direct medical guidance we should be providing as veterinarians,” Dr. Richter said.
Eight years ago, Dr. Richter opened his practice because he saw a need for additional medical options for pets. That desire—and client interest—are what drove Dr. Richter to learn about cannabis as a possible veterinary treatment. “I'm always looking for other options that are safe and effective that can be used for patients,” he said. “So many people routinely come into my office saying, ‘I've really benefited from medical cannabis; is this something I can use for my pet?’”
While it is not currently legal for Dr. Richter to discuss cannabis with his clients or recommend it for their pets, he directs them to resources that inform them about using cannabis safely in their pets. In June, he spoke about the topic for a Humane Society VMA webinar with more than 500 viewers.
DATABASE LISTS CLINICAL STUDIES ON CANNABIS, CANCER, MORE
By Katie Burns
Cannabis is just one focus of current clinical trials involving animals, with others focusing on treatments such as stem cells and monoclonal antibodies.
“Veterinary clinical studies conducted to investigate novel therapies or to collect samples or information to gain further understanding of a disease provide the best scientific evidence to guide the clinical care of animals, and oftentimes, people too,” according to the AVMA Animal Health Studies Database site.
The AVMA launched the web-based database two years ago for researchers seeking animals to participate in clinical studies and for veterinarians and animal owners exploring options for treatment. As of July 2, the database listed 371 studies for dogs, cats, horses, agricultural animals, and rabbits in 17 fields of veterinary medicine—including a trial on cannabis use at Colorado State University. The site has about 2,000 searches per month.
Ahead of the launch, the Veterinary Cancer Society had transferred all the studies from its Veterinary Cancer Trials website into the AVMA database. The top nine search terms on the AVMA site relate to cancer, either a type of cancer or a cancer treatment. “Diabetes” rounds out the top 10 search terms.
“The database is humming along,” said Dr. Ed Murphey, an assistant director of the AVMA Education and Research Division.
He said the AVMA has been making a variety of revisions to increase user friendliness for researchers who list studies and for curators of the site. The AVMA also is looking at how to increase public awareness of the database, ranging from marketing efforts to optimization for search engines.
Dr. Sue VandeWoude is a member of the AVMA Council on Research and associate dean for research at the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. She has been providing input on the database and trying to help get the word out about the resource to research centers, private practitioners, and the general public.
The way to move the needle forward in medical research is to engage in a clinical trial, Dr. VandeWoude said. She has seen an improvement in the sophistication of veterinary clinical trials over the past decade, alongside a growing appreciation of the idea of using research in animals to improve human health.
Dr. VandeWoude continued, “We see clients, and a lot of times they'll understand their animal has a terminal disease, and this is not necessarily going to cure them, but it is going to provide information for the next generation of dogs and cats that may benefit from what's learned in the clinical trials.”
AVMA names Somerville director of Animal and Public Health Division
This past June, Dr. Bruce Somerville joined the AVMA as director of the Division of Animal and Public Health.
The DAPH is one of two divisions within AVMA's Public Policy Strategic Business Unit, the other being the Animal Welfare Division. Dr. Somerville's role as director is to provide the vision, expertise, and leadership required to plan, develop, implement, and manage Association activities supported by the DAPH.
Dr. Somerville most recently was director of research and development for pharmaceutical clinical development at Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica. Prior to that, he was the global head of pharmaceutical project management for Merial.
“My professional career has fortunately included both the hands-on opportunities and experiences of a veterinary practitioner to improve the lives of animals and the R&D research initiatives leading to the development and provision of new pharmaceuticals across veterinary species,” said Dr. Somerville, a 1985 graduate of the University of Montreal Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (large animal).
“The ever-increasing activities, projects, and programs within the Division of Animal and Public Health will require strategic focus and prioritization to maintain alignment with the AVMA's overarching strategy and the expectations of AVMA members,” Dr. Somerville said.
“I look forward to leading and supporting the DAPH staff in working effectively with volunteer entities and other AVMA leadership, divisions within the Public Policy Strategic Business Unit and across the rest of the organization, and other key stakeholders to achieve these challenging goals,” he added.
Aug. 15 is Check the Chip Day
Lost or stolen pets have a much greater chance of being reunited with their families if they have been microchipped and the registration information is up to date.
So the AVMA and the American Animal Hospital Association team up each year to co-sponsor national Check the Chip Day on Aug. 15, to remind pet owners about having their pets microchipped and keeping current their registration.
To help veterinarians promote the upcoming event, the AVMA and AAHA developed resources with support from microchip manufacturer HomeAgain. The resources are available at www.avma.org/checkthechip.
One resource is a flyer that a veterinarian can print and fill in to provide a record of a pet's microchip information for the client. The flyer also lists the websites of microchip manufacturers that participate in the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool at www.petmicrochiplookup.org. The tool helps pet owners who do not know where a pet's microchip is registered.
Another resource is an infographic on microchipping, for embedding on blogs or other websites or for sharing via social media. According to the infographic, “Microchips don't replace a tag and collar, but they can make all the difference when it comes to getting your pet back.”
Members of the AVMA also have access to a toolkit for Check the Chip Day. The toolkit offers resources on stress-free ways to observe the event, posts and images for social media, a newsletter article, a sample proclamation for a mayor or governor, and a sample press release.
Unusual pet diets may be linked to heart disease
By Greg Cima
Some specialty diets may be causing heart disease in dogs, and researchers are trying to identify the connection.
Dr. Lisa M. Freeman, a nutritionist and professor at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, wrote June 4 on the university's Petfoodology blog about a 4-year-old Beagle-Labrador mixed-breed dog saved from life-threatening dilated cardiomyopathy with treatment and a change of diet. Before treatment, the dog had been eating grain-free pet food containing kangaroo meat and chickpeas.
“It appears that diet may be increasing dogs’ risk for heart disease because owners have fallen victim to the many myths and misperceptions about pet food,” she wrote. “If diet proves to be the cause, this truly is heart-breaking to me.”
Anne Norris, a spokeswoman for the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine, said the agency is studying a possible connection and will share more information when possible. Dr. Freeman had noted that the FDA and cardiologists are investigating a possible link between diet and dilated cardiomyopathy.
A dog or cat with dilated cardiomyopathy has an enlarged, weak heart, which can cause abnormal rhythms, congestive heart failure, and death.
Cats and at least some dogs can develop dilated cardiomyopathy if their diets contain too little taurine, an amino acid found in meat and milk. It is a neurotransmitter and cell membrane stabilizer, among other functions, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Despite the known link between dilated cardiomyopathy and taurine deficiency, most dogs that develop the disease have taurine concentrations within reference limits. The cause of cardiomyopathy in those dogs is typically unknown, but Dr. Freeman wrote that she has seen a consistent connection with boutique diets.
The Cummings Veterinary Medical Center also is warning people that they should tell a veterinary cardiologist if their pets have heart disease and eat foods that are homemade, raw, or vegetarian or that are made by small companies.
Information from the Morris Animal Foundation, which is funding research on dilated cardiomyopathy at the University of California-Davis, indicates the number of dogs with the disease may have increased recently among Golden Retrievers. Dr. Josh Stern, a cardiologist, is studying potential genetic links between Golden Retrievers and the disease.
“I suspect that Golden Retrievers might have something in their genetic makeup that makes them less efficient at making taurine,” Dr. Stern said in an article from the foundation. “Couple that with certain diets, and you've given them a double hit. If you feed them a diet that has fewer building blocks for taurine or a food component that inhibits this synthesis, they pop up with DCM.”
Dr. Freeman recommends that owners submit a report to the FDA when their dogs are determined to have dilated cardiomyopathy. The Department of Health and Human Services accepts reports to the FDA at www.safetyreporting.hhs.gov.
USDA exempts more exhibitors, owners from licensing
People who breed and sell only a few, nondangerous animals or who seldom exhibit such animals are exempt from federal licensing requirements.
Since June 4, rules enacted by the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service have expanded whom the agency considers to be conducting minimal activity under the Animal Welfare Act. The agency made the changes to implement legislation enacted in 2013 and 2014.
Before the change, people could keep four or fewer breeding female dogs, cats, or nondangerous small wild animals or a combination of such animals without licensing, if they met certain conditions. They could sell only offspring from those females, and those offspring had to be raised on their own property as pets or exhibition animals.
The recent regulations expand the exemption to apply to owners of a variety of rodents, such as guinea pigs and chinchillas, and farm animals, such as cattle and goats.
The agency also created a new licensing exemption for people who exhibit up to a total of eight nondangerous pets, rodents, farm animals, and wild animals for up to 30 days each year and receive little pay for those exhibitions. For people without licenses, exhibitions should not be a primary source of income, the agency said in a June 4 Federal Register notice.
Becoming licensed under the AWA requires an initial inspection, compliance with rules on animal treatment and housing, and availability for unannounced inspections. The AWA and related APHIS regulations set standards for humane treatment of most species of warmblooded animals if they are to be used in research, education, or exhibition or kept as pets. Exceptions include birds and some rat and mouse breeds used in research, horses not used in research, and farm animals.
The Food and Drug Administration on May 24 announced its approval of Semintra—telmisartan oral solution—the first FDA-approved animal drug to control systemic hypertension in cats.
Semintra, which has been available in Europe since 2013, was originally developed by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica to help reduce the amount of protein lost in feline urine.
Systemic hypertension occurs most commonly in cats with chronic kidney disease but can also develop in cats with no identifiable underlying cause, or along with other chronic disease conditions. When left untreated, hypertension can cause damage to the eyes, kidneys, heart, brain, and CNS.
Telmisartan, the active ingredient in Semintra, blocks angiotensin II receptors.
Semintra is an oral solution administered either directly into a cat's mouth or on top of a small amount of food. Semintra is initially given twice a day for the first 14 days at 1.5 mg/kg (0.7 mg/lb) and then decreased to once a day at 2.0 mg/kg (0.9 mg/lb).
The FDA advises prescribing veterinarians to monitor the cat's blood pressure regularly and adjust the dose as needed to maintain the blood pressure at the optimal level for the feline patient. Cats that have chronic kidney disease should be monitored early in treatment for potential changes in kidney values.
The agency also recommends that when starting treatment, cats should be monitored for the development of anemia and changes in appetite and for adverse effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, or weight loss.
Semintra is a prescription product because veterinary expertise is necessary to diagnose and treat hypertension and monitor the effects of treatment.
Pregnant women should avoid any contact with Semintra because similar drugs have been found to harm the fetus, according to the FDA.
Mars buys hospitals in Europe
The world's largest operator of veterinary hospitals is expanding into Europe by buying two veterinary care groups.
Mars Inc. officials announced in June plans to buy the Linnaeus Group Ltd., which has clinics and hospitals in 82 locations in the United Kingdom, and AniCura Holding AB animal hospital group, which has 200 hospitals in Austria, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland.
“Our veterinary business until now has been in the United States and Canada,” Poul Weihrauch, president of Mars Petcare, said in one announcement. “Europe is the second-largest region in the world for pet care, and European pet care is expected to grow significantly over the coming years.”
Mars is the world's largest veterinary health care provider. The company has almost 1,000 Banfield hospitals in the U.S. as well as hospitals under the Blue Pearl, Pet Partners, and VCA brands. Mars already employed about 10,000 veterinarians, among 50,000 veterinary professionals, before the sale.
Maureen Pratt, senior director of Mars Global Petcare, provided a statement that Mars Petcare is using the company's size for the good of pets, communities, and the veterinary profession.
Mars plans to buy Linnaeus from Sovereign Capital Partners and AniCura from Nordic Capital, Fidelio Capital, and other shareholders. The companies did not publish the prices in either sale.
$6M given to study farm animal genomes
Researchers at three universities will receive $6 million to study the functions of genes and gene combinations in farm animals.
The Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture is giving $2.5 million to the University of California-Davis to study and describe gene function in cattle, $2.5 million to Iowa State University researchers for similar gene studies in pigs, and $1 million to Western University of Health Sciences researchers for similar gene studies in chickens.
NIFA information indicates the studies will provide resources, available to all, on how parts of an animal's genetic makeup influence factors such as disease resistance, growth, and reproductive capability. The results could be used to aid gene editing, breeding selection, and biomedical modeling.
Christopher K. Tuggle, PhD, an animal science professor at Iowa State, said in a university statement that the research on the pig genome will show the genetic influences on traits profitable for pork companies.
“We've sequenced the pig's genome, but we don't necessarily have all the information we need to make the best use of that data,” he said. “We're going to find out exactly what many of those genes are doing and what controls them.”
He expects the findings will influence farm practices, including decisions on nutrition, disease treatment, and breeding.
“This could allow pork producers to breed for better disease resistance, for example, or for better muscle growth or a range of other desirable traits,” he said.
Billy Hooper, veterinary academic leader, dies at 86
Dr. Billy E. Hooper, a veterinarian who was nationally recognized for his leadership in academic veterinary medicine, died June 6. He was 86.
Dr. Hooper had a particular passion for expanding diversity in veterinary colleges. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served in the Korean War, Dr. Hooper earned his DVM degree at the University of Missouri in 1961 before pursuing graduate studies at Purdue University. He earned his master's and doctorate in veterinary pathology at Purdue in 1963 and 1965, respectively, and became board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. He went on to join Purdue's College of Veterinary Medicine faculty and served as associate dean for academic affairs from 1973–86. His career also included faculty appointments at the University of Missouri, University of Georgia, Oklahoma State University, and Western University of Health Sciences.
In 1986, Dr. Hooper assumed a national leadership role, serving as the first executive director of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges until 1992. He also served on the AVMA's Council on Education, Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities, and National Board Examination Committee.
A champion for the cause of expanding diversity in the veterinary profession, Dr. Hooper was instrumental in supporting the Iverson Bell Symposium, which was first held at Purdue University in 1972. It is the oldest and longest-running symposium in veterinary medicine devoted to exploring issues of diversity.
In fact, Dr. Hooper received the Iverson Bell Award for his contributions to advancing diversity in veterinary medicine. And in 2016, on the occasion of its 50th anniversary, the AAVMC honored Dr. Hooper by renaming the annual AAVMC Recognition Lecture as the Billy E. Hooper Lecture Award for Distinguished Service to Veterinary Medical Education, in recognition of the founding role Dr. Hooper played as the AAVMC's first executive director and as a former editor of the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education.
On retirement, Dr. Hooper and his wife, Janice, returned to the Lafayette, Indiana, area, where Dr. Hooper volunteered often, serving as president of the Lafayette Citizens Band and chairing the Youth Services Committee of the Lafayette Kiwanis Club.
Dr. Willie Reed, dean of Purdue's veterinary college, described Dr. Hooper as an accomplished and beloved educator and leader in the veterinary medical profession.
“It is hard to put into words the sense of loss associated with the passing of this gentle, caring, capable, and accomplished veterinarian, educator, and humanitarian. I am forever grateful for his kindness, encouragement, and mentorship,” Dean Reed said in a June 8 Purdue press release. “Anyone who met Dr. Hooper certainly remembers his amiable disposition, disarming smile, and great intellect. Because of his talent, expertise and leadership skills, he was sought after as an educator and administrator and traveled far and wide during his professional career. He will be dearly missed not only by the Purdue Veterinary Medicine family, but by the entire veterinary medical profession.”
Dr. Hooper is survived by his wife, Janice; one son; one daughter; and three grandchildren.
Memorials may be made to the Purdue Foundation, 403 W. Wood St., West Lafayette, IN 47906, toward scholarships for veterinary medical and veterinary technology/nursing students.
AVMA member AVMA honor roll member Nonmember
John D. Berthelsen
Dr. Berthelsen (Iowa State ‘58), 86, Newton, Iowa, died Feb. 22, 2018. He began his career working as an associate veterinarian in Coon Rapids, Iowa. From 1960–69, Dr. Berthelsen co-owned a mixed animal practice in Albion, Nebraska. He then went back to Iowa State, where he earned his master's in microbiology and preventive medicine in 1971. Dr. Berthelsen subsequently worked for the university as the swine extension veterinarian. From 1974–76, he served as manager and resident veterinarian for a hog confinement unit in Clear Lake, Iowa, working later as a product specialist in Manson, Iowa. In 1980, Dr. Berthelsen joined GlaxoSmithKline as technical services veterinarian for the central United States, retiring in 1991.
A past president of what is now known as the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, Dr. Berthelsen was a member of the American Association of Industry Veterinarians, Veterinary Medical Alumni Association at Iowa State University, and Nebraska and Iowa VMAs. In 1987, he served as an ambassador for the Christian Veterinary Mission in Bolivia. Active in his community, Dr. Berthelsen was a member of the Kiwanis and the Lions Club, volunteered with Meals on Wheels and Habitat for Humanity, and was a census taker. He served in the Army during the Korean War with the rank of second lieutenant.
Dr. Berthelsen is survived by his wife, Marilyn; two daughters and three sons; 13 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. One son, Dr. Mark Berthelsen (Iowa State ‘84), is a mixed animal veterinarian in Baker City, Oregon, and one daughter, Dr. Karen Koch (Iowa State ‘88), is a retired small animal veterinarian in Des Moines, Iowa. A niece of Dr. Berthelsen's, Dr. Mary Kaufman (Kansas State ‘91), is a small animal practitioner in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and a niece-in-law, Dr. Kathy Calvert (Iowa State ‘90), is a small animal practitioner in Omaha, Nebraska.
Memorials may be made to Leader Dogs for the Blind, 1039 S. Rochester Road, Rochester Hills, MI 48307.
Francis W. Copeland
Dr. Copeland (Iowa State ‘58), 95, Bettendorf, Iowa, died Dec. 17, 2017. He owned a practice in Prophetstown, Illinois, prior to retirement in 1987. Dr. Copeland was an Army Air Corps veteran of World War II. His son, daughter, two grandchildren, and a great-grandchild survive him.
Calvin M. Davis
Dr. Davis (Georgia ‘50), 94, Bonaire, Georgia, died Feb. 6, 2018. He began his career as a professor of large animal medicine at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. In 1951, Dr. Davis established Davis Animal Hospital, a mixed animal practice in Warner Robins, Georgia. The practice eventually expanded to become Warner Robins Animal Hospital. Dr. Davis retired in 1990. He was a member of the Georgia VMA and served in the Navy during World War II.
Dr. Davis' wife, Harriette; four daughters; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren survive him. His son-in-law, Dr. Kenneth Dorough (Georgia ‘85), practices at Warner Robins Animal Hospital. Memorials may be made to Central Baptist Church, 1120 Lake Joy Road, Warner Robins, GA 31088.
Lois E. Harmon
Dr. Harmon (Minnesota ‘97), 63, Becker, Minnesota, died Feb. 17, 2018. She was the veterinarian for Tri-County Humane Society in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Dr. Harmon is survived by her brother and her two sisters.
Larry L. Herbold
Dr. Herbold (Iowa State ‘58), 84, West Des Moines, Iowa, died April 23, 2018. Following graduation, he practiced food animal medicine at Red Oak Veterinary Clinic in Red Oak, Iowa, for 31 years. During that time, Dr. Herbold also owned a cowcalf operation. In 1989, Dr. Herbold moved to Ames, Iowa, where he worked for the state as a supervisor in meat and poultry inspection until retirement. Active in his community, he was a past mayor of Stanton, Iowa, and a past president of the Ames Golden K Kiwanis Club.
Dr. Herbold is survived by his wife, Jane; a son and a daughter; four grandchildren; a great-grandchild; and a brother. Memorials may be made to Edgewater's Good Samaritan Fund, 9225 Cascade Ave., West Des Moines, IA 50266; Iowa State University Foundation, Veterinary Medicine Scholarship Fund, 2522 Veterinary Medicine, Ames, IA 50011; or Montgomery County Memorial Hospital Foundation, 2301 Eastern Ave., Red Oak, IA 51566.
James W. Hutto
Dr. Hutto (Georgia ‘55), 87, Holly Hill, South Carolina, died May 7, 2018. He owned a practice in Holly Hill, where he practiced for 57 years, initially focusing on large animal medicine, switching later to primarily small animals. Dr. Hutto was also the veterinarian for Hutto Stock Yard Inc. From 1956–59, he served in the Air Force. Dr. Hutto's two daughters, three grandchildren, and a brother survive him. Memorials may be made to Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, 1317 King St., Alexandria, VA 22314.
George F. Mercier
Dr. Mercier (Guelph ‘57), 90, Auburn, New Hampshire, died April 26, 2018. He was the founder of Queen City Animal Hospital in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he initially practiced mixed animal medicine, focusing later on small animals. Dr. Mercier retired in 1995. He was a past chair of the New Hampshire Board of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Mercier was active with the Boy Scouts of America. He served in the Navy from 1946–48.
Dr. Mercier's wife, Suzanne; six daughters and two sons; 17 grandchildren; a great-grandchild; and a sister survive him. Memorials may be made to Spina Bifida Association of Greater New England, 219 E. Main St., Suite 100B, Milford, MA 01757, or New Hampshire Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 104 Portsmouth Ave., Stratham, NH 03885.
Dr. Seligman (Brandeis Middlesex ‘44), 97, Albuquerque, New Mexico, died May 18, 2018. He practiced small animal medicine in the Chicago area prior to retirement. Earlier in his career, Dr. Seligman was in large animal practice in Louisiana and Arkansas. His son, two daughters, three grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren survive him.
Memorials may be made to West Suburban Temple Har Zion, 1040 N. Harlem, River Forest, IL 60305, or Congregation B'Nai Israel, 4401 Indian School Road NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110.
Thomas R. Thedford
Dr. Thedford (Texas A&M ‘59), 82, Stillwater, Oklahoma, died April 19, 2018. Following graduation, he served as a ranch veterinarian in Waco, Texas. Dr. Thedford subsequently established a mixed animal practice in Floydada, Texas. In 1965, he joined the veterinary faculty at Oklahoma State University, where he worked until 1974, when he moved to Kenya as part of a U.S. Agency for International Development program at the University of Nairobi. Dr. Thedford returned to Oklahoma State in 1976, serving as extension veterinarian and working in the ambulatory clinic. He later went back to Africa, working this time in Botswana for the Botswana Agricultural Research Service. From 1990 until retirement in 1998, Dr. Thedford served at Oklahoma State as assistant dean for outreach, director of veterinary extension and continuing education, and coordinator of student, college, and alumni affairs.
Known for his expertise in small ruminant medicine, Dr. Thedford authored Winrock International's goat and sheep health handbooks. He also consulted on goat health in Haiti. Dr. Thedford was a past president of the American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners, a past member of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Committee on Foreign Animal and Poultry Diseases, and a member of the American Association of Extension Veterinarians and Oklahoma VMA. He received what is now known as the Zoetis Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award in 1980, was named AAEV Extension Veterinarian of the Year in 1990, and was honored with the OVMA Distinguished Service Award in 1999. Dr. Thedford's wife, Libby; a daughter; two grandchildren; his stepmother; and three sisters survive him. Memorials toward scholarships may be made to Meridian Technology Foundation, 1312 S. Sangre Road, Stillwater, OK 74074.
Gerald J. Thouvenelle
Dr. Thouvenelle (Kansas State ‘79), 67, Russell, Kansas, died April 29, 2018. He began his career practicing mixed animal medicine in Kansas’ Russell County. In 1984, Dr. Thouvenelle established Russell Veterinary Service and Reproduction Lab. He incorporated acupuncture treatments into his practice and held acupuncture clinics for patients in the Kansas City area for several years. Dr. Thouvenelle also served on the adjunct faculty of Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas, and was the regulatory veterinarian for the Russell Livestock Commission for 14 years. Dr. Thouvenelle was a member of the Society for Theriogenology, American Association of Equine Practitioners, Academy of Veterinary Consultants, and Kansas VMA.
His mother and two sisters survive him. Memorials may be made to Canine Assistance Rehabilitation Education & Services Inc., P.O. Box 314, Concordia, KS 66901.