This past October, the AVMA was named Animal Health Organization of the Year at the Pet Hero Awards 6th Anniversary Ceremony at Gotham Hall in New York City.
The Pet Philanthropy Circle Pet Hero Awards recognize outstanding contributions to the health and welfare of animals. AVMA President John de Jong accepted the award on behalf of the association.
“Providing much needed regular, affordable care to animals of all species is part of every veterinarian's DNA,” Dr. de Jong said in an AVMA press release. “The AVMA is committed to providing veterinarians with the resources needed to use their skills to save and enhance the quality of animal lives. Organizations such as the Pet Philanthropy Circle and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation's Veterinary Care Charitable Fund help us realize this goal.”
Other 2018 winners included Zoetis Inc. as Corporation of the Year and the surviving family of Steve Irwin, who hosted the television show “The Crocodile Hunter,” as recipients of the inaugural Humanitarian Family of the Year Award.
VBMA SEEKS OUT FORMER MEMBERS
The Veterinary Business Management Association is endeavoring to start an alumni network.
The VBMA is a veterinary student-run organization aimed at educating members on how to get hired, become a successful associate, and own or buy a practice. Students get a crash course in money matters as diverse as Roth IRAs, exchange-traded funds, and loan repayment and consolidation.
The VBMA currently has over 5,000 active members at 35 universities in the U.S. and Caribbean. The association estimates it has 10,000 alumni.
Former members, now graduated, have expressed interest in staying involved. Some are now working with the association to create a VBMA alumni association. Colleagues are encouraged to fill out a form, available at https://jav.ma/VBMAalumni. It asks for contact information along with veterinary college attended and graduation year.
Ricky Walther, 2019 VBMA president, said, “We are in the process of forming a committee of alumni to head this arm of our organization, and details about member benefits and the dues structure will be determined soon. The primary goal of this endeavor is to create a network of like-minded veterinarians who can share ideas and connect with people at similar stages of their careers. We also hope to find ways to connect our alumni to current students for mentorship and advice as we enter our careers.”
V FOUNDATION EXPANDS FUNDING FOR CANINE CANCER STUDIES
The V Foundation announced this past October plans for a grant-making program to accelerate research in the field of canine comparative oncology. The aim is to discover faster and less costly drug therapies for dogs and humans as well as better-informed research designs for both species.
In recent years, the V Foundation has awarded more than $700,000 for canine comparative oncology studies through a collaboration between the North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine and Duke Cancer Institute.
“This program will not only provide benefits to the millions of canine and human patients each year that get cancer, it will make the challenging process of identifying new approaches to cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment more efficient and effective,” said Michael Kastan, MD, executive director of Duke Cancer Institute, in a press release.
The V Foundation is working with advisers from several veterinary colleges and paired cancer centers to evaluate research needs and select the best grant topics.
Antimicrobial sales decline on farms
FDA report shows largest decline among drugs shared with human medicine
By Greg Cima
In 2017, livestock industries bought one-third less of antimicrobials in the same drug classes as those given to people.
The amount, by weight, of those drugs sold for use in livestock dropped 33 percent from 2016, a single-year difference of 6 million pounds, according to a Food and Drug Administration report published in December 2018. Sales of those drugs also dropped 14 percent from 2015 to 2016, for a two-year decline of 43 percent.
Ron Phillips is vice president for legislative and public affairs for the Animal Health Institute, a pharmaceutical trade organization. He said various factors affect sales and use volumes, totals of which can differ. But he said the decline in sales reflects efforts to use those drugs only where needed.
Leah Wilkinson, vice president of public policy and education for the American Feed Industry Association, provided a statement saying that the reductions in drug sales likely were related to the FDA's changes regarding drug approvals in 2016 and to the public's demand for reduced use of antimicrobials in food-producing animals.
In December 2016, FDA officials removed all over-the-counter access to antimicrobials that are both used in human medicine and given to livestock in feed or water. Use of those drugs for production purposes, such as growth promotion, was also eliminated. Those drugs now can be given only with veterinarian approval for disease-related reasons.
FDA officials were unavailable to talk about the report in late December and early January, when federal agencies furloughed workers as a result of the government shutdown.
SALES, USE DIFFER
In December 2013, FDA officials proposed revising hundreds of approved drug applications to end what they saw as improper drug uses that contributed to drug resistance. The affected drug makers agreed under the threat of regulatory proceedings.
The changes affected drugs the agency lists as “medically important” because of their usefulness in human medicine. December's report indicates the decrease in sales of those drugs coincided with a 5 percent drop in sales of agriculture-use antimicrobials that are considered medically unimportant, especially ionophore-class drugs.
FDA officials also announced in 2018 plans to require prescriptions to access the remaining medically important antimicrobials available over the counter, now about 5 percent of all such drugs, and develop recommended treatment times for those drugs for which guidance is absent.
A year ago, AVMA leaders enacted a policy that says veterinarians can preserve effectiveness and availability of antimicrobial drugs through oversight of drug use and responsible decisions. The policy, “Antimicrobial Stewardship Definition and Core Principles,” states that stewardship involves disease prevention and management as well as drug use that is evidence-based, sparing, and completed with evaluating outcomes.
Dr. Michael Costin, assistant director of the AVMA Division of Animal and Public Health, said that, in 2019, the AVMA Committee on Antimicrobials will monitor Federal Register notices related to the FDA's strategy on antimicrobials and prepare positions and responses.
Dr. Michael Apley, a professor of pharmacology at Kansas State University and immediate past president of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, cautioned that many factors could contribute to declines in antimicrobial sales, among them differences in animal health and population sizes. But he also heard from cattle veterinarians that the drug approval changes had led to discussions with clients about when drugs can and should be used, and he had expected to see a decrease in tetracycline sales.
Tetracycline drugs have made up the bulk of medically important antimicrobials sold in agriculture since the FDA began collecting data in 2009. That remained true in 2017 despite a 40 percent drop in sales since 2016, a difference of more than 5 million pounds.
Dr. Apley also said the data provide no indication how changes in antimicrobial use affected animal welfare. If animals are receiving less antimicrobials, he wants to know how that is changing illness and death rates.
Phillips, of AHI, said that, while the sales decrease is evidence of the impact of judicious use, efforts to improve use should continue. He expects an FDA report this year will provide some analysis of drug resistance surveillance, sales data, and use information.
EFFECTS ON RESISTANCE UNKNOWN
Reports from the Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service show drug sales declined even though populations and production were stable across major livestock industries. From 2016–17, NASS data show slight rises in cattle inventories, milk production, milk produced per cow, beef production, swine inventories, pork production, layer hen populations, egg production, broiler chicks hatched, and chicken meat production, while the number of turkeys declined about 0.5 percent and turkey meat production was unchanged.
At the same time, the FDA data show the amounts of medically important antimicrobials sold for use in cattle and swine each dropped 35 percent, the volume sold for use in turkeys dropped 11 percent, and the amount used in chickens dropped 47 percent.
Consumer Reports’ advocacy division, formerly Consumers Union, published a statement that the sales report shows that FDA oversight and market pressures are curbing misuse of critical medications. The organization called on beef and pork industries to further reduce administration and preserve drug effectiveness.
Jean Halloran, director of food policy initiatives for Consumer Reports, said in an interview that the sales declines in the beef and pork industries were better than expected. In the chicken industry, companies had pledged to reduce use and she was pleased the sales data bore out those promises.
She expressed hope the improvements made in the chicken industry will be replicated in the turkey, cattle, and swine industries.
Dr. Suzanne Dougherty, executive vice president of the American Association of Avian Pathologists, said knowing which species received a drug is difficult even without considering extralabel use.
While drug administration likely decreased, she said the amount of reduction and its causes are difficult to attribute. The sales data likely are influenced by sales of meat from birds raised without antibiotics, removal of growth promotion-use antimicrobials, and implementation of veterinary feed directives, she said.
“We are concerned about antimicrobial resistance, and we would like to see data if the reduction of antimicrobial use is improving any of the resistance,” Dr. Dougherty said.
Asked whether changes in health could contribute to the difference in sales, Dr. Dougherty said poultry industries continue improving management of their birds to reduce disease, but she knew of no specific and substantial health or disease changes that would influence the antimicrobial sales. She said poultry veterinarians are cautious to use medically important antimicrobials only when necessary.
Dr. Harry Snelson, communications director of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, said it's always good to see a decline in antimicrobial sales.
“Certainly, as veterinarians, what we're interested in is how these products are actually used on the farm—and are there on-farm use practices that could contribute to increased antimicrobial resistance in the animal or human population?” Dr. Snelson said. “And what we want to know is how to identify those practices and alter those practices to minimize the risk of antimicrobial resistance.”
The AASV supports efforts at the USDA, for example, to examine administration practices on farms, he said.
Dr. Snelson shared others’ caution about extrapolating sales data. But he also said the decrease in sales reflects responses to drug stewardship policies published by AASV and other veterinary groups, as well as the restrictions mandated by the FDA.
“Obviously, if there's fewer products sold, it's likely there's fewer products actually being used,” Dr. Snelson said.
But how a product is used—rather than how much is used—is connected with resistance development and animal health, he said.
“Do you have adequate diagnostics in place to make the appropriate antimicrobial selections, and are those antimicrobials applied in a judicious and responsible use manner?” he said.
LINCOLN MEMORIAL CELEBRATES ACCREDITED STATUS
By Malinda Larkin
Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine was granted accredited status by the AVMA Council on Education during a special meeting this past December. LMU's veterinary college was initially granted provisional accreditation status four years ago by the COE when it was established as the 30th veterinary college in the United States. The COE's decision was effective Jan. 7 and provides accredited status for up to seven years.
Dr. Jason Johnson, vice president and dean of the LMU veterinary college, said in a press release, “This achievement is a testament to the collaborative work of the students, faculty and staff, LMU administration and clinical partners in developing an innovative, high-quality, practical-based and student-centered program that graduates confident, career-ready veterinarians.”
LMU is based in Harrogate, Tennessee, and has a hybrid distributive learning model, which provides students with hands-on experience at over 240 veterinary practices around the country. In addition, students gain clinical experience at the university's DeBusk Veterinary Teaching Center from their first semester onward. Students also have opportunities to collaborate on research projects and one-health initiatives through the Center for Animal and Human Health in Appalachia.
LMU announced in 2011 that it was developing a College of Veterinary Medicine. In 2014, the veterinary college welcomed the members of its inaugural class, who graduated in May 2018.
At the COE meeting in September 2018, council members voted to continue LMU's provisional accreditation status following a comprehensive site visit in March 2018. The council then held a meeting Dec. 20 to address questions raised by LMU, according to Mark Cushing, lobbyist with the Animal Policy Group and a lawyer for the university.
“There was no major issue, just a few unrelated issues or processes questioned by the council,” at the September meeting, Cushing said. LMU addressed these “quickly and decisively,” he said, leading the COE to determine the veterinary college should be granted accredited status.
Gains for animal health in farm bill
Lawmakers fund new animal health program, vaccine bank, other veterinary priorities
By R. Scott Nolen
By Malinda Larkin
Recently passed federal legislation will improve national animal disease detection and response capabilities.
President Donald Trump in late December signed into law an $867 billion farm bill that received strong bipartisan support from Congress.
In a 386–47 vote, the House of Representatives on Dec. 12 approved the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, which the Senate had passed a day earlier in an 87–13 vote. The new law authorizes funding to create a new National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program, enhances resources for the existing National Animal Health Laboratory Network, and establishes the new National Animal Vaccine and Countermeasures Bank with immediate attention on foot-and-mouth disease.
“These programs will provide vital improvements to our national animal disease response capabilities and help protect the livelihoods of ranchers and farmers. This bill is great news for everyone who cares about animal agriculture,” said AVMA President John de Jong.
The five-year spending law provides $120 million in the first four years for animal health and disease preparedness initiatives. At least $20 million of that will go to the National Animal Disease Preparedness Program. Funding is also allotted for the national animal disease vaccine bank and the National Animal Health Laboratory Network.
A U.S.-specific livestock vaccine bank would initially provide the United States with a supply of FMD vaccine that could be used to prevent the spread of an outbreak. The nation's current supply of FMD vaccines, shared with Mexico and Canada, is seen as inadequate by animal scientists, livestock producers, and veterinarians.
The Animal Agriculture Coalition, whose members represent much of the nation's livestock, poultry, and veterinary organizations, including the AVMA, was pleased with the federal support. “Livestock and poultry producers, working together with veterinarians, work hard to ensure the health of the animals they raise,” the coalition said in a statement.
“They play a central role in feeding the nation's families, as well as providing jobs that contribute to economic stability. That's why producers and veterinarians agree that preventing the impact of devastating animal diseases must be a high priority.”
The farm bill also included the Pet and Women Safety Act, which expands existing federal protections for domestic violence victims to include their pets, service animals, and emotional support animals, and horses, and allows the establishment of a federal grant program to assist victims with these animals in finding safe shelter. Now renamed as “Protecting Animals with Shelter,” this will also provide for the coverage of veterinary costs in restitution for domestic violence cases involving abuse against pets and these other animals. Further, the law specifies the applicable criminal penalty—a prison term of up to five years, a fine, or both—for a person who commits such an offense.
Vital funding for USDA research programs was included in the farm bill as well, plus language emphasizing the Veterinary Services Grant Program's priority towards food animal medicine.
Finally, the farm bill legalized the growing and cultivating of industrial hemp under certain conditions. The law defines industrial hemp as all parts of the marijuana plant (Cannabis sativa L.) containing no more than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol. The plant and its derivatives and extracts are now exempt from the Controlled Substances Act, meaning they are no longer considered Schedule 1 controlled substances as long as they fall under the threshold concentration for THC.
Laws regulating the approval process for prospective pharmaceutical products and the criteria to conduct research on such products were not amended, however.
“There are potential implications for a variety of substances that fall into this category, including CBD, but how that space develops will depend on how the (Food and Drug Administration) proceeds and chooses to regulate. The FDA has stated they will take a close look at that in the future, and we'll engage with them in that process,” said Dr. Lauren Stump, assistant director with the AVMA Government Relations Division.
COMMENTS SOUGHT ON PROPOSED SPECIALTY IN NEPHROLOGY AND UROLOGY
Veterinary nephrology and urology have advanced in scope, complexity, and delivery of care, say those who regularly see animals with conditions affecting the urinary system.
These practitioners have now petitioned the AVMA American Board of Veterinary Specialties for recognition of nephrology and urology as a new specialty within the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. In compliance with ABVS procedures, the board is seeking comment from the public and the profession regarding the proposed specialty.
The organizing committee of the proposed specialty submitted a letter of intent to the ABVS in 2017. In December 2018, the committee submitted a request to begin the period of public comment.
According to information provided by the organizing committee, “The diagnosis and treatment of urinary disease can no longer be practiced or developed at its highest levels by veterinary internists and warrants establishment of a unique specialty within ACVIM to steward its ongoing development and provision of care.”
Training requirements for the proposed specialty include completion of a one-year, web-based core curriculum and at least three full-time-equivalent years of focused experience in nephrology and urology. Another feature of the specialty is the establishment of a virtual clinical training program to provide broad training opportunities for candidate diplomates.
All AVMA-recognized specialty organizations and specialties comply with recognition guidelines outlined in the ABVS Policies and Procedures manual, which is available at http://jav.ma/ABVSpolicies. Refer to those guidelines when developing comments regarding the proposed specialty of nephrology and urology.
A link to the information about the proposed specialty can be found on the ABVS website at http://jav.ma/ABVS. Send comments regarding consideration of recognition of nephrology and urology as a veterinary specialty to ABVS@avma.org. Comments must be signed and received no later than March 12.
FDA WANTS LABEL WARNINGS ABOUT ANTIPARASITIC RESISTANCE
Food and Drug Administration officials want labels for anthelmintics used to deworm horses and livestock to include a warning that these drugs can select for resistant parasites.
The proposal is a response to growing resistance to those drugs among parasites. The drug labels also would state that proper dosing is important, animal owners should work with veterinarians to monitor antiparasitic resistance, and dewormers should be considered just one part of a comprehensive parasite control program.
In December 2018, agency officials announced they were asking that drug companies agree to revise in 2019 labels for over-the-counter and prescription anthelmintics given to horses, cattle, sheep, goats, swine, and poultry. They also said new anthelmintics administered to those species should include the same information.
“Although antiparasitic resistance in livestock and horses does not directly affect human health in the U.S., it is a growing animal health threat in this country,” the announcement states.
Helminths that survive anthelmintic treatment can pass resistance to offspring, selecting for resistant populations, the announcement states.
In a letter to veterinarians also published in December, FDA officials wrote that antiparasitic resistance in general—and resistance among nematodes in particular—threatens animal health, animal welfare, and agriculture.
“In the U.S., many veterinarians and livestock producers acknowledge that antiparasitic resistance is a severe problem in small ruminants and a growing problem in horses,” the letter states. “However, awareness of antiparasitic resistance in cattle is relatively low, even while reports of antiparasitic resistance in this species are increasing.”
Relying on antiparasitic drugs alone to control parasites, without also altering management practices, increases the risk that parasites soon will develop widespread resistance to all major families of broad-spectrum anthelmintics.
The FDA wants labels to say that those who are considering administering anthelmintics should assess parasite management history and perform fecal examinations or other diagnostic tests, the letter to veterinarians states. Those who administer the drugs should monitor treatment effectiveness.
Extended-release macrocyclic lactones should have an additional warning that prolonged drug exposure can increase selection pressure for resistance, the letter states.
ZOO VETERINARIAN CLEARED OF MANATEE DEATHS
Officials at ZooTampa at Lowry Park in Tampa, Florida, have determined that the actions of a zoo veterinarian did not cause the deaths of any manatees.
The zoo announced on Dec. 10 that it had completed a review of its manatee care program, which rehabilitates wild manatees, and responded to questions raised by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about manatee treatments. Informed by an independent panel's assessment, the zoo found that actions by lead zoo veterinarian Dr. Ray Ball did not cause the deaths of two manatees in the zoo's care.
Joe Couceiro, the zoo's CEO and president, said Dr. Ball did not cause any manatees to die, nor did he amputate the flipper of an injured manatee in 2015. Dr. Ball returned to work after being on leave during the internal investigation conducted by the independent panel. Going forward, Dr. Ball will treat other animals at the zoo but not manatees.
“Many of the complaints made with respect to Dr. Ball were the results of misunderstandings and misinterpretations,” Couceiro told reporters on a conference call.
ZooTampa is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is one of a handful of U.S. institutions authorized by the USFWS to rescue and rehabilitate West Indian manatees, which are protected under the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The zoo's manatee program has treated more than 400 sick or injured manatees since 1991. The number of wild West Indian manatees is estimated around 13,000 animals, with more than 6,500 in the southeastern United States and Puerto Rico.
The zoo will be making changes to its Animal Welfare Committee, which conducts internal reviews, and its process for examining and following up on complaints. The committee will regularly report to zoo leadership and staff on its activities and the resolution of concerns, according to the zoo.
STUDY OF CARDIOMYOPATHY IN DOBERMANS UNDERWAY
A team of veterinary cardiology specialists is undertaking a first-ever lifetime investigation of the influence of genetic mutations on dilated cardiomyopathy, a potentially fatal disease that affects nearly half of all Doberman pinschers.
The investigative team, which has spent nearly a decade studying the disease in more than a thousand Dobermans, includes Drs. Amara Estrada, professor of cardiology at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine; Ryan Fries, assistant professor of cardiology at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine; and Nancy Morris, a specialist at Mass Veterinary Cardiology Services in Agawam, Massachusetts.
“While much has been learned over this timeline, there are still many unknowns that require long-term investigation, as well as collaboration with scientists here at UF and other institutions across the country,” Dr. Estrada said in a November UF press release.
Although dilated cardiomyopathy affects many breeds of dogs, it strikes Dobermans more than any other breed, according to researchers. The inherited disorder can cause sudden death or can eventually lead to congestive heart failure.
“Important questions have arisen during these evaluations, and we have now launched a prospective clinical trial enrolling 300 Dobermans that have been screened for DCM and followed longitudinally at our respective veterinary practices, national and regional shows,” Dr. Estrada said in the release.
The Doberman Pinscher Club of America is contributing $12,250 to the study, which will cover the costs of genetic testing for participating Dobermans from cheek swab samples submitted to the North Carolina State University Veterinary Cardiac Genetics Lab. Participating dogs will be followed over their lifetime, with screening tests, owner surveys, and outcomes recorded for each dog.
“Although there are two known genetic mutations associated with DCM, dogs without either mutation have developed the disease, and dogs with one or both mutations might not ever develop the disease. We have multiple projects happening simultaneously that are designed to understand why some of these Doberman pinschers develop the disease and others do not,” Estrada said.
Although genetics determine a risk for developing a disease, scientists don't really know much beyond that, according to Dr. Fries.
“If you look at a population and all you know is the genetic status, you can make a statement such as 80 percent of dogs with this mutation will develop the disease,” Dr. Fries explained in the release. “But what is unique about those 20 percent? What factors influence the 80 percent? Maybe our study will shed some light on those factors in addition to providing basic information about the entire population.”
Investigators acknowledge that tracking each dog will require a full complement of collaborators. “We will call on our cardiologist colleagues around the country to help us follow these dogs, as well as provide regular screening at national shows, regional shows, and at our respective institutions,” Dr. Fries added.
WINN ANNOUNCES GRANTS FOR SIX FELINE HEALTH STUDIES
The Winn Feline Foundation announced funding in December for feline health studies on the following topics: the effects of antibiotics on microbiota, the efficacy of novel gastroprotectants, a novel hepadnavirus, identification of genes that cause disease, the effects of brachycephalic conformation on cardiopulmonary health, and evaluation of commercial diets for calcium and phosphorus.
In partnership with the George Sydney and Phyllis Redman Miller Trust, Winn announced grants for the following studies:
• “Metagenomic and metabolomic analysis of the short-term and long term effects of antibiotic therapy on the intestinal microbiota in growing kittens and their relation to the overall health status of these kittens,” Dr. Jan Suchodolski, Texas A&M University, and Dr. Panagiotis Xenoulis, University of Thessaly, $34,800.
• “Evaluating the efficacy of novel gastroprotectants in cats,” Drs. M. Katherine Tolbert and Adesola Odunayo, University of Tennessee, $18,080.
• “Estimating the significance of a novel feline hepadnavirus in hepatitis and liver cancer,” Dr. Patricia Pesavento, University of California-Davis, $34,880.
• “Precision medicine genomics for cats,” Leslie Lyons, PhD, University of Missouri-Columbia, $12,648, with an additional $21,651 from Winn.
• “The effects of brachycephalic conformation on cardiopulmonary health in cats,” Drs. Heidi Phillips and Hadley Gleason, University of Illinois, $31,696.
Winn also announced a $9,103 grant through the Feline Kidney Disease Campaign for the study “Evaluation of commercial feline diets for calcium, phosphorous and the calcium to phosphorous ratio” by Dr. Jonathan Stockman at Colorado State University.
NIOSH GIVES SAFETY GUIDE FOR FLOODED FARMS
By Greg Cima
Floodwaters on and around farms can sicken people with pathogens and chemical contaminants, and they can hide physical dangers.
People working on or near inundated farms can learn how to reduce the risks from manure, pesticides, cleaning agents, downed power lines, and barbed-wire fences, among other hazards, with guidance from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Agriculture. The document, “Interim guidance for protecting workers from livestock and poultry wastewater and sludge during and after floods,” is available as a PDF file at https://jav.ma/Floodpdf.
It describes infectious diseases associated with swine and poultry, symptoms in humans, and potential sources of harmful chemicals, as well as recommendations on immunizations, personal protective equipment, hygiene, work in confined spaces, animal handling, and carcass disposal.
In an Oct. 15 post on the NIOSH Science Blog, Capt. Lisa Delaney, associate director for Emergency Preparedness and Response, wrote that NIOSH already had guidance for storm, flood, and hurricane responses. But the September 2018 deluge from Hurricane Florence in areas with livestock production showed the need to address the unique problems when floodwaters mix with animal wastewater and sludge.
Florence brought the Carolinas 20–30 inches of rainfall and a storm surge of 9–13 feet, with catastrophic flooding, according to the National Weather Service.
CDC spokeswoman Nura Sadeghpour provided a statement that said the agency has no information on how often people are injured or sickened during emergencies on farms, livestock production sites, or processing plants.
NIOSH provides other guidance documents for storm, flood, and hurricane response—such as information for health care workers, animal shelter workers, and those working with hazardous materials—at https://jav.ma/NIOSHresources.
NIOSH TO HELP IMPROVE DRUG SAFETY IN VETERINARY CLINICS
By Greg Cima
Veterinary clinic employees have higher exposure to chemotherapy drugs than counterparts in human medicine because of not taking proper precautions.
Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are studying the risks and developing training and guidance for veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and veterinary students. Deborah V.L. Hirst, PhD, acting deputy chief of the Engineering and Physical Hazards Branch of the CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, said she hopes her project will help bridge a gap between veterinary and human medicine in use of technologies and practices that protect workers against hazardous drug exposure.
“The two are very similar in some respects,” she said. “They're also very different in how they handle the drugs.”
Exposure to oncology drugs can have serious side effects, Dr. Hirst said. Veterinary clinic staff need to know the risks to themselves and how to protect themselves through proper controls—personal protective equipment and ventilated equipment, for example.
The project, “Bridging the gap between human and veterinary medicine: Different patients—same hazardous drugs,” has involved field studies at seven veterinary hospitals throughout the U.S. in 2018. NIOSH researchers documented the practices and equipment used to prevent exposures as well as used surface wipes to sample for drug contamination.
“Our chemical branch also is developing analytical methods for some of these drugs,” Dr. Hirst said. She is also a research environmental engineer.
Dr. Hirst said her team already is developing a training prototype for testing with small groups of veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and veterinary students.
Trudi McCleery, a health communication specialist for NIOSH, said the research is funded through September 2020, and the products of that research likely will become available after the research ends. That will include a free curriculum through which veterinarians can earn continuing education credit and view updated public resources and manuscripts.
“I think we have a lot of good recommendations that are out there now, but they're not packaged in a way that's easily transferable or viewed—or accessible to the audience,” she said.
Dr. Hirst also described the project in December during a CDC Zoonoses and One Health Updates call, during which she said more than 500,000 people work in veterinary medicine and animal care, most of them women of reproductive age.
“Of these workers who are handling—meaning manipulating or administrating—chemotherapeutics, they're exposed to hazardous drug concentrations 15 times higher than a human health care worker,” she said.
Cost, time, convenience, and discomfort are some of the barriers workers described to using safe practices and other exposure controls.
REPORT OUTLINES BARRIERS TO ACCESSING VETERINARY CARE, POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
By Kaitlyn Mattson
One out of four pet owners experiences barriers to obtaining veterinary care, and the primary obstacle for all pet owners seeking any type of care is finances, according to a report from the Access to Veterinary Care Coalition.
“The study results did two things: It confirmed our suspicions, but also, we were able to measure the frequency of some of the other reasons,” said Dr. Michael Blackwell, chair of the coalition and director of the Program for Pet Health Equity at the University of Tennessee College of Social Work. “Access to Veterinary Care: Barriers, Current Practices, and Public Policy,” was released in December 2018 and highlights several areas where pet owners face hurdles in obtaining care for their pets, including lack of transportation, no knowledge of where a veterinary facility is, and no equipment, such as crates or leashes, to move an animal. The AVCC is a group of for-profit and nonprofit veterinary service providers, animal welfare and social service professionals, and educators, working in collaboration with the UT's social work college.
The research is a part of a three-year effort financed by a $2.8 million grant from Maddie's Fund to support research about care access barriers for pet owners and development of a subsidized veterinary care system, AlignCare, designed to improve veterinary care access for underserved families.
The report includes information about attitudes toward pet insurance, animal welfare laws, public health, a model comparison of for-profit and nonprofit veterinary practices, and research on pet owners experiencing housing insecurity. It also confirmed that the majority of responding veterinary providers recognized the severity of the problem, and four out of five respondents indicated they had made efforts to reduce the problem.
“This is a critical report for the future of the veterinary profession and the animals we made an oath to help,” said Dr. Laurie Peek, of the Maddie's Fund executive leadership team, in a press release. “It will truly revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals.”
The study outlined the following five recommendations for stakeholders to consider:
• Improve veterinary care delivery systems to serve all socioeconomic groups.
• Provide incremental care to avoid nontreatment.
• Improve availability of valid and reliable information to educate pet owners.
• Develop public policies that improve access to veterinary care and pet retention.
• Perform further research in other areas to understand the impact of how pets are obtained.
“We are asking that stakeholders really revisit the service delivery model of veterinary medicine-most veterinary medicine provides a service (in the form of a) for-profit, small business with limited bandwidth, and while that model serves the middle class in an excellent way, it fails to meet the (needs) of the lowest-economic families,” said Dr. Blackwell. “We can't take a middle-class, for-profit business model and expect it to reach all socioeconomic groups. … This societal challenge can be addressed, but we do have to do some things differently. … We have to figure it out because these pets are not only in these families but will continue to be.”
Companion animal house call veterinarians see rise in interest as owners seek convenient, stress-free, personalized care
By Kaitlyn Mattson
Dr. Dawn Straily walks into an apartment building in Chicago with a medical bag on her shoulder. She waves to the doorman as she steps into an elevator. “I know a lot of security guards and doormen from doing this job.”
Dr. Straily is a house call veterinarian who provides annual examinations, vaccinations, and support for chronic conditions, among other services, to dogs and cats.
House call veterinary practice may not be new to the profession but has been almost exclusively confined to equine and large animal practice. Today, more small animal veterinarians have seen the benefit of providing at-home care, especially as pet owners seek a stress-free environment for their animals, younger pet owners push for personalized, convenient care, and the growing population of older pet owners explores care alternatives because of mobility issues.
“I started it really not knowing what I was getting into; I just thought it would be fun,” said Dr. Straily. “It's sort of a weird thing when you do house calls. People don't quite know how to treat you. Are you their veterinarian or their guest? … It's a vulnerable thing to let someone into your house, and so it tends to be a different dynamic.”
Dr. Straily finds that people who seek out home care services are proactive about their pet's health. But when she started out, clients were hard to find.
“I didn't know how to market to them, because most people find their veterinarian (based on location) and I didn't have a location,” said Dr. Straily.
Interest in her practice has increased over the years, Dr. Straily said. She points to a few keys to that success: A virtual office location so that her practice is searchable online, the millennial desire for concierge services, and word-of-mouth marketing. Dr. Straily estimates she has about 1,000 clients.
A friend recommended Dr. Straily to Andrew and Megan Lapish. Remy, their 5-month-old Bulldog, has seen Dr. Straily since he was 8 weeks old.
“(She) has seen Remy grow up,” said Megan Lapish. “Remy knows them (Dr. Straily and her assistant, Daisy Miranda) and he's not scared of them,” adding that they feel Remy receives care that is more comfortable and convenient because it is in their home.
A GROWING NICHE
Home-based care potentially benefits cats the most in addition to animals that have had traumatic veterinary experiences and multi-pet households, according to house call veterinarians.
“We find that in a home setting we are able to help a lot of pets that a regular clinic normally can't because we are in a more stress-free situation,” said Dr. Jess Trimble, head of health at Fuzzy Pet Health, which provides in-home veterinary services in San Francisco and New York City. “We (try to) remove the stressors, the smell and the sounds of a veterinary clinic. We don't wear a white coat … we try to wear normal clothing as much as possible, and we find that really helps the pet think that we are just their owner's friends over for a play date.”
In addition to its house call veterinarians, Fuzzy provides telemedicine services. Since 2016, the company has provided services to about 10,000 people's pets virtually and in-home. Fuzzy plans to expand to other cities depending on demand.
According to Ali Shahid, co-founder and COO at Vetted Petcare, the veterinary industry could see a surge in spending if more cats receive care through innovative strategies such as house calls.
He estimates that annual spending on veterinary care could be around $20-$24 billion if more cats received care, compared with the $17.07 billion spent on veterinary care in 2017, according to statistics gathered by the American Pet Products Association.
“I like to think of it as we are capturing those lost patients. … All those pets that otherwise wouldn't be making it into the clinic,” said Dr. Sabrina Meldrum, a Vetted Petcare veterinarian based in Los Angeles.
Vetted is a startup offering in-home veterinary care in five cities. The company employs over 30 veterinarians and more than 30 veterinary technicians.
The popularity of in-home veterinary practice could be seeing a rise also because it naturally allows for transparency within the care process, according to Dr. Trimble.
“We have a lot of people that say: ‘When I go to the regular veterinarian to have my dog's nails trimmed or his blood drawn, they take him to the back—the elusive back. What is that? What happens back there?'” she said.
For the millennial generation, pets are more like children than animals. And so, upcoming generations are expecting a more in-depth experience.
However, younger pet owners are not the only population benefiting from on-demand concierge services, said Dr. Trimble.
“We (also) appeal to an older generation that has pets but has mobility difficulties and to people that don't own a car. Getting your dog into a Lyft or an Uber can be a complete disaster sometimes.”
IS THE PRICE RIGHT?
Veterinary clinics, hospitals, and veterinarians who perform house calls charge, on average, $138 per visit for routine or preventive care for dogs and $109 for cats, according to the 2017–18 edition of the U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook published by the AVMA.
When Dr. Straily gets an initial client call, people are expecting the service to be much more expensive. However, the price for an appointment is at the discretion of the veterinarian or company, some of which include a convenience fee in the bill.
“The price should be appropriate,” said Dr. John de Jong, AVMA president and a companion animal veterinarian who also does house calls. “(House call veterinarians should) charge more than they would for a brick-and-mortar hospital.”
Some startups in the space, including FetchMyVet and Fuzzy, offer a subscription plan.
FetchMyVet, a Florida-based in-home veterinary service provider, has plans based on monthly payments for clients.
Fuzzy uses a membership payment model that covers vaccines, preventive care, and access to a veterinarian and has found that pet owners with fixed incomes appreciate a plan that allows for monthly payments.
“We have been able to help a lot of people that couldn't afford a basic level of care for their pets before,” said Dr. Trimble.
NECESSARY VETERINARY SKILLS
The upfront costs to start a house call practice are less than those associated with starting a clinic, potentially giving veterinarians an opportunity to become owners earlier in their career.
“(House calls) are a good way for veterinarians to make a decent income without massive overhead,” said Dr. de Jong.
On the other hand, although appointment fees may be similar to the prices charged by clinics, house call veterinarians see fewer patients in a day—typically between six and eight.
“Financially, it is cheaper, but it's harder to recoup the money because you have (fewer) appointments,” said Dr. Straily.
House call appointments also tend to last longer. Appointments within a clinic may take about 25 minutes, but a house call appointment can be around 30 minutes to an hour.
“Seeing a pet in its home environment is incredibly useful in managing disease and maintaining wellness. You might notice environmental factors that could influence the pet's health,” said Dr. Carin A. Smith, president of Smith Veterinary Consulting and author of several books including “House Call: The House Call Veterinarian's Manual.”
Individuals interested in house call work should have some clinical experience, according to working house call veterinarians.
The ideal candidate would have solid clinical skills, be comfortable handling different animal personalities, and have a sense of adventure, said Dr. Jeremy Gransky, partner and consultant at MVS Pet Care, a house call veterinary practice. Dr. Gransky also owns a veterinary house call practice in suburban Boston.
“Every day is different, and you really never know what you are walking into. I love that aspect of it. After working in a windowless exam room for so many years, I really love being out on the road,” he said. But “there is some physicality to this style of practice that may be more rigorous than a hospital setting. The environment is a little less controlled—think about someone's whole house versus an exam room.”
MVS Pet Care operates on a franchise model in 31 territories across several states. The company has plans to go nationwide.
There are also outside factors and challenges to consider when taking on this kind of work, such as managing time properly between appointments, handling unexpected weather conditions, dealing with traffic, finding parking, and figuring out where to go to the bathroom.
One of the bigger challenges, said Dr. Straily, is navigating people's homes. “People have varying degrees of clutter, furniture, and space. So that's hard sometimes,” she said.
THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND THE CARE
Some startups have brought their technology into the house call sector, including software for back-office duties and mobile apps.
“We took the medical expertise of our veterinarians and our expertise in building software and technology,” said Ali Shahid of Vetted Petcare. “We have a lot of software that we built to ensure that our veterinarians are safe, and we know where they are at any given point in time. We built our own medical records software because we didn't like (what was) available in the market, so ours was built by us and it works really well for a house call practice.”
Vetted also uses a call center with emergency veterinarians who can triage animals and instruct owners on whether they should take their pet to an emergency clinic.
While the business models behind these companies vary, MVS Petcare is possibly the only veterinary house call company working on a franchise model.
The franchise fee per territory, which includes about 200,000 households, is $25,000, plus $15,000-$20,000 in startup costs, and a weekly royalty fee of 9 percent, said CEO of MVS Pet Care, Todd Giatrellis.
He adds that with this setup, veterinarians have the ability to be their own boss and just have to work a minimum of 20 hours per week. “We want to make it so veterinarians (have) a great quality of life, much less stress,” Giatrellis said.
MVS Pet Care handles all the phone calls, scheduling, and marketing for the franchisees.
BRICK-AND-MORTAR IS STILL ALIVE AND WELL
House call veterinarians may be able to handle a lot inside a home, but some things just can't be done on a kitchen table, said Tarek El Gammel, president of FetchMyVet.
And, in fact, many house call veterinarians partner with clinics to use their space or to send clients to in case such services are required, such as surgeries, X-rays, and specialty cases.
“We work hand in hand with brick-and-mortar practices. I have been doing house calls exclusively for almost 14 years, and there really is a nice back and forth there. I think as there becomes more of an awareness that house call practice is an option, it will continue to build, but it is never going to replace a brick-and-mortar hospital entirely,” said Gransky.
ADVICE FOR STARTING A HOUSE CALL PRACTICE
Dr. John de Jong, AVMA president and past president of the American Association of Housecall Veterinarians, has the following advice for veterinarians considering starting their own house call practice:
• Start small; don't buy too much equipment, just what's needed.
• Build a relationship with a brick-and-mortar practice that can be used for procedures that can't be done at home.
• Get the word out to local media and use social media to market your services.
• Keep track of mileage and vehicle expenses, which can be written off as business expenses on your taxes.
• Think about offering in-home euthanasia.
• Find a place to dispose of sharps appropriately.
• Train the owner, if there isn't a veterinary technician, to restrain the animal, if necessary for things such as blood sample collection. Make sure that proper animal restraint methods are used.
2018 ELECTED AAAS FELLOWS INCLUDE VETERINARY FACULTY
Seven faculty at U.S. veterinary colleges are among 417 fellows chosen this past year by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which is the world's largest scientific society. Election as a fellow is an honor bestowed upon association members by their peers. The association's fellowship program recognizes individuals whose efforts toward advancing science applications are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.
The 2018 fellows will be recognized at a certificate and pinning ceremony on Feb. 16 during the association's annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Jurgen Richt is a veterinary microbiologist who has worked with agents of zoonotic potential, including bovine spongiform encephalopathy, chronic wasting disease, animal influenza viruses, Rift Valley fever virus, Borna disease virus, and other emerging pathogens. Dr. Richt's career, which included a seven-year assignment as lead scientist at the Department of Agriculture's National Animal Disease Center, has been spent developing novel vaccines and testing methods and remedies for a number of animal and zoonotic diseases.
Dr. Richt joined Kansas State University in 2008 as a professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine's Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology. He became the director of the Department of Homeland Security's Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases at KSU in 2010.
Dr. Richt received his veterinary degree in 1985 from the University of Munich and his doctorate in virology in 1988 from the University of Giessen, both in Germany.
Holger Sondermann, PhD, is professor of molecular medicine at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Sondermann's current research involves using molecular approaches to study biofilm formation and membrane biology.
Dr. Sondermann received his doctorate in biochemistry in 2001 from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany. He completed his postdoctoral work at Rockefeller University and the University of California-Berkeley before joining the veterinary faculty at Cornell in 2005, first as an assistant professor and then as an associate professor.
Pejman Rohani, PhD, is a professor with a joint appointment at the University of Georgia in both the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Odum School of Ecology. His laboratory in the veterinary college's Department of Infectious Diseases focuses on population biology, usually of host-natural enemy interactions, with a view to understanding fundamental processes in ecology and evolution. Dr. Rohani uses a combination of mathematical modeling, data analysis, and statistical inference to understand the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases of humans and wildlife, including emerging infectious diseases.
He received his doctorate in biology in 1995 from the University of London. Dr. Rohani joined UGA in 2015 after serving on the faculty of the University of Michigan's departments of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Epidemiology from 2009–15.
Karen J.L. Burg, PhD, is professor and chair of the Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at the UGA veterinary college. She is a bioengineer whose work focuses on absorbable polymers, biofabrication, and tissue engineering. Seven of her inventions have been patented, one of which is the basis of a biomedical company that builds 3D tissue models with a patient's own tumor cells. The 3D tissues are used to test treatment options and identify personalized cancer therapies.
Dr. Burg earned her master's and doctorate in bioengineering from Clemson University. She subsequently completed a postdoctoral fellowship in tissue engineering at Carolinas Medical Center. Prior to joining UGA, Dr. Burg served as vice president for research and a professor of chemical engineering at Kansas State University from 2014–16.
Dr. Philip H. Kass is chair of the Department of Population Health and Reproduction in the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. His research has centered around companion animal epidemiology, studying determinants of health and disease using statistical models. His research also covers many other aspects of companion animal health, such as studying factors affecting relinquishment and adoption at animal shelters, developing statistical approaches to conducting syndromic surveillance using electronic medical records from networked animal hospitals, and conducting epidemiologic research into causes of injection-site sarcomas in cats.
Dr. Kass received a veterinary degree in 1983, a master's of preventive veterinary medicine in 1984, a master's in statistics in 1988, and a doctorate in comparative pathology (epidemiology) in 1990—all from UC-Davis. Following completion of a postdoctoral fellowship in environmental epidemiology from the UCLA School of Public Health in 1990, he joined the UC-Davis faculty and currently holds appointments as a professor of analytic epidemiology in the veterinary and medical schools.
Isaac Pessah, PhD, is associate dean for research and graduate programs as well as professor and researcher for the Department of Molecular Biosciences in the UC-Davis veterinary school.
He received his master's in toxicology in 1981 from the University of Maryland-Baltimore and his doctorate in toxicology in 1983 from the University of Maryland-College Park.
His research focuses on molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating cellular Ca2+ signaling; the structure, function, and pharmacology of ryanodine-sensitive calcium channels of sarcoplasmic and endoplasmic reticulum in striated muscle and mammalian brain; and genetic and environmental factors influencing neurodevelopment, among other topics.
Thomas J. Inzana, PhD, is associate dean for research at Long Island University College of Veterinary Medicine.
Prior to joining LIU in 2018, he was a professor of bacteriology and research integrity in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. He worked at Virginia-Maryland from 1987–2018 and also held the position of section head for the teaching hospital's clinical microbiology laboratory and as the coordinator for the Center for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Diseases.
Dr. Inzana's research interests include the development of improved vaccines for bacterial pathogens and biological warfare agents, host immune response to bacterial pathogens, and the development of improved diagnostic tests for bacteria and biological warfare agents.
He received his masters’ in medical microbiology in 1978 from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine and his doctorate in microbiology from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in 1982.
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF ZOO VETERINARIANS
50th annual conference, Oct. 6–12, Prague
The conference, held in conjunction with the European Association of Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, drew 600 attendees.
Emil Dolensek Award
Dr. Doug Armstrong (Iowa State ‘80), Omaha, Nebraska, won this award, given in honor of exceptional contributions to the conservation, care, and understanding of zoo and free-ranging wildlife. Dr. Armstrong is director of animal health at the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium in Omaha, Nebraska. He also serves as veterinary adviser for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Tiger Species Survival Plan. Dr. Armstrong has mentored graduate students and interns throughout his career.
Murray Fowler Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. Mitchell Bush (California-Davis ‘65), Flagstaff, Arizona, for exceptional commitment and contributions to the American College of Zoological Medicine and a lifetime of contributions that have advanced the discipline of zoological medicine. Dr. Bush is senior veterinarian emeritus at the Smithsonian Institution's National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C., where he worked for more than 40 years. During that time, he established one of the first postgraduate clinical internships in zoological medicine at the park, served as chief of veterinary services at what is now known as the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, and developed clinical and research programs in zoological medicine within the park's Department of Animal Health. Dr. Bush is a charter diplomate of the ACZM and a past president of the AAZV.
Linda Munson Pathology Manuscript Award
Dr. Chloe Steventon, Charles Sturt University, Australia, for “Steroidal saponin toxicity in eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus): A novel clinicopathologic presentation of hepatogenous photosensitization.”
Postgraduate manuscript competition
Dr. Eva Greunz, Copenhagen Zoo, Denmark, won first place for “Intracardiac shunting affects minimal alveolar concentration of isoflurane in the red footed tortoise (Chelonoidis carbonarius),” and Dr. Jennifer Kishbaugh, Smithsonian Institution, won second place for “Evaluation of platelet transport in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) as part of an ongoing study targeting novel EEHV-HD treatment.”
Animal Necessity Graduate Award
Kathryn Perrin, PhD, Copenhagen Zoo, Denmark, for “How insensitive are population-based reference intervals for monitoring hematologic changes in Asian elephants.”
Dr. Lori S.H. Westmoreland, North Carolina State University, for “Altered acrylic acid concentrations in hard and soft corals exposed to deteriorating water conditions.”
Drs. Julie Napier, Omaha, Nebraska, president; Leigh Clayton, Severna Park, Maryland, president-elect; Jessica Siegal-Willott, Alexandria, Virginia, vice president; Michelle Davis, Atlanta, secretary; Lauren Howard, San Diego, treasurer; and Michael J. Adkesson, Brookfield, Illinois, immediate past president
PUERTO RICO VMA
Annual convention, Aug. 24–26, Ponce
The convention was dedicated to Dr. Cesar Gonzalez (Kansas State ‘67), San Juan, recognizing a lifetime of dedication to organized veterinary medicine, animal welfare, and animal control. Dr. Gonzalez has served as director of the Animal Control Center of the city of Carolina for the past 20 years. As director, he has promoted animal welfare and responsible ownership of pets. A past president of the PRVMA, Dr. Gonzalez was a member of the AVMA Council on Veterinary Service from 1992–98 and has served on the Puerto Rico Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.
Drs. Javier Rodríguez, Caguas, president; Frances Piñero, San Juan, president-elect; Juan Luis Ferrer, Guaynabo, secretary; Edgardo Mercado, Arecibo, treasurer; Walter E. Colón Lilley, Caguas, immediate past president; and AVMA delegate and alternate delegate—Drs. Juan Pablo Amieiro, Carolina, and Ricardo Fernández, Bayamon
Annual meeting, Oct. 11–13, Madison
Veterinarian of the Year
Dr. Judith Batker (Wisconsin ‘95), Brooklyn. Dr. Batker is co-founder of Country View Equine Clinic in Oregon. She is active with the Equitarian Initiative, a nonprofit organization providing outreach services to Haiti and South Dakota's Pine Ridge Reservation. Dr. Batker has served on the association's executive board and is a member of the inaugural board of directors of the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Foundation.
Dr. Katrina Geitner (Iowa State ‘91), Mukwonago. Dr. Geitner serves as Trust representative for student services with AVMA Life. She was honored for her service as chair of the association's executive committee in 2018.
Drs. Alan Holter, Dodgeville, president; Ann Sherwood Zieser, Lodi, president-elect; David Jeans, Evansville, treasurer; and Robert Leder, Bear Creek, immediate past president
Obituaries: AVMA MEMBER AVMA HONOR ROLL MEMBER NONMEMBER
RODGER D. ATKINS
Dr. Atkins (Oklahoma State ‘67), 76, Dalton, Georgia, died Aug. 17, 2018. From 1990 until retirement in 2000, he was an instructor in the Department of Agriculture's Meat and Poultry Training Center in College Station, Texas. Following graduation, Dr. Atkins served two years in the Army Veterinary Corps. He then began a career in small animal medicine in Doraville, Georgia. In 1971, Dr. Atkins established a practice in Lilburn, Georgia. He joined the USDA in 1972, serving as a veterinary medical officer in Dardanelle, Arkansas, until 1990.
Dr. Atkins volunteered with the U.S. Forest Service and Boy Scouts of America. His wife, Melanie, and two sisters survive him. Memorials may be made to Boy Scouts of America, 1325 W. Walnut Hill Lane, Irving, TX 75015.
WILLIAM B. BUCK
Dr. Buck (Missouri ‘56), 85, St. Albans, Vermont, died Oct. 18, 2018. A diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology, he retired in 1997 as professor emeritus from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. Following graduation, Dr. Buck joined the Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service. He later worked for the USDA's National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa, focusing on research. Dr. Buck subsequently served on the veterinary faculties of Iowa State University and Mississippi State University before joining the University of Illinois in 1977.
During his tenure at the University of Illinois, he helped establish a strong research and residency program in veterinary toxicology and founded the National Animal Poison Control Center, sponsored since 1996 by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Dr. Buck co-authored the book “Clinical and Diagnostic Veterinary Toxicology.” In 1985, the Society of Toxicology honored him with the Toxicology Education Award.
Dr. Buck is survived by his wife, Louise Marie; three sons and three daughters; 17 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and a brother and a sister. Memorials may be made to CarePartners Adult Day Center, 34 Franklin Park W., St. Albans, VT 05478.
GORDON R. CUNNINGHAM
Dr. Cunningham (Kansas State ‘68), 80, Salem, Oregon, died Nov. 27, 2018. A small animal practitioner, he began his career in California. In 1970, Dr. Cunningham bought Salem Veterinary Clinic, later owning Lancaster Pet Hospital and South Salem Veterinary Clinic. He also helped establish an emergency veterinary clinic in Salem. Dr. Cunningham was a member of the Oregon VMA and received an OVMA Award of Merit in 1991. His wife, Joanne; two sons and a stepson; and a grandchild and two stepgrandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to Salem Friends of Felines, 980 Commercial St. SE, Salem, OR 97302, www.sfof.org.
FREDERICK F. EVERHART
Dr. Everhart (Georgia ‘55), 92, Columbia, Maryland, died Nov. 19, 2018. He was the founder of Everhart Animal Hospital, a mixed animal practice in Baltimore. Dr. Everhart also established what is now known as the Emergency Veterinary Clinic in Catonsville, Maryland. He was a past president of the Maryland VMA. Dr. Everhart served in the Navy during World War II. His wife, Elaine; a son and three daughters; 11 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to Best Friends Animal Society, 5001 Angel Canyon Road, Kanab, Utah 84741, https://bestfriends.org.
WILLIAM J. KELLY
Dr. Kelly (Cornell ‘71), 70, El Cajon, California, died Aug. 22, 2018. He practiced small animal medicine in El Cajon. Dr. Kelly's daughter survives him. Memorials may be made to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, P.O. Box 96929, Washington, DC 20090.
BENJAMIN H. KONISHI
Dr. Konishi (Colorado State ‘50), 92, Alamosa, Colorado, died Oct. 29, 2018. In 1952, he established Konishi Veterinary Clinic in Alamosa, where he practiced mixed animal medicine until retirement in 2016. Earlier, Dr. Konishi worked in Monte Vista, Colorado. He was a member of the Colorado VMA.
In 1997, Dr. Konishi was named San Luis Valley Cattleman of the Year. He received a CVMA 50-Year Service Award in 2000. In 2011, Dr. Konishi was a recipient of the Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network's Asian American Hero of Colorado Award, and that same year, he was inducted into the Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame. Dr. Konishi was active with the 4-H Club.
His wife, Bessie; two sons and a daughter; 11 grandchildren; and four brothers and four sisters survive him. Memorials, toward the Dr. Ben Konishi FFA Veterinarian Scholarship Fund, may be sent to Rogers Family Mortuary, 205 State Ave., Alamosa, CO 81101.
GERALD J. KUGEL
Dr. Kugel (Michigan State ‘58), 85, Berrien Springs, Michigan, died Dec. 6, 2018. Following graduation, he practiced large animal medicine in Benton Harbor, Michigan, before joining the Army Veterinary Corps during the Vietnam War. Dr. Kugel served as a military veterinarian for 26 years, retiring with the rank of colonel. He subsequently worked for the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in California. During his career, Dr. Kugel earned a master's in public health from Tulane University and became a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine. He was a past executive board member of the American Association of Food Hygiene Veterinarians. Dr. Kugel's wife, Joan; and a brother and two sisters survive him. Memorials may be made to Berrien County Youth Fair, P.O. Box 7, Berrien Springs, MI 49103, or St. Gabrielle Catholic Church, 429 Rosehill Road, Berrien Springs, MI 49103.
MATTHEW P. MACKAY-SMITH
Dr. Mackay-Smith (Georgia ‘58), 86, White Post, Virginia, died Dec. 8, 2018. Following graduation, he joined the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, where he served as an intern in equine surgery and medicine, taught, and earned his master's degree in orthopedics and epidemiology. In 1968, Dr. Mackay-Smith co-founded Delaware Equine Center in Glasgow, Delaware. The practice later moved to Cochranville, Pennsylvania.
Known for his expertise in equine medicine, Dr. Mackay-Smith co-developed several surgical, medical, and diagnostic procedures. These included a surgical procedure to treat laryngeal hemiplegia; ideas about the identification of, treatment of, and prognosis for forelimb proximal suspensory desmitis; and pinch grafting. He also helped demonstrate that epistaxis is actually bleeding from the lung, was involved in developing interspinous injections for diagnosis and treatment of dorsal spinous impingement, and was an advocate for taking routine radiographs as part of the pre-purchase examination and the repair of hind limb condylar fractures in a standing horse.
In 1977, Dr. Mackay-Smith became the first medical editor of Equus, a magazine he co-founded, which provided information on equine care and management. He retired from practice in 2001 and from Equus in 2007. Dr. Mackay-Smith was a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, serving on the association's ethics, racetrack, education, pre-purchase, and farrier liaison committees. In 2008, he was designated a Distinguished Alumnus by the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine.
A lifelong equestrian endurance rider, Dr. Mackay-Smith was a past president of the American Endurance Ride Conference and a member of its Hall of Fame. He was also a member of the American Farriers Journal International Veterinarians Hall of Fame. Dr. Mackay-Smith was an avid fox hunter, hunting with Virginia's Blue Ridge Hunt and Pennsylvania's Cheshire Foxhounds for more than 70 years.
He is survived by his wife, Wingate; three daughters; and six grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Blue Ridge Hospice, 333 W. Cork St., Winchester, VA 22601.
MARILYN A. MALTBY
Dr. Maltby (Oklahoma State ‘87), 63, Austin, Texas, died Sept. 23, 2018. She had practiced small animal medicine in Austin since the early 1990s. Earlier, Dr. Maltby worked in Lawton, Oklahoma. Her husband, John, and a brother survive her.
JACQUELINE A. NENNER
Dr. Nenner (Tufts ‘92), 57, Pelham, New York, died Oct. 17, 2018. A small animal veterinarian, she practiced at the East Side Animal Hospital in New York City for more than a decade. In later years, Dr. Nenner scaled back her practice and focused on making house calls. She is survived by her husband, Dr. Patrick E. Hopper (California-Davis ‘83), a small animal veterinarian in Pelham; a son and two stepsons; her mother; and a sister. Memorials, toward the Foster Hospital for Small Animals, may be made to Trustees of Tufts University, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, Office of Development and Alumni Relations, 200 Westboro Road, North Grafton, MA 01536.
ROBIN R. PARKER FLOWERS
Dr. Parker Flowers (Texas A&M ‘84), 59, Navasota, Texas, died Aug. 2, 2018. During her career, she practiced mixed animal medicine in several states, including Texas, Florida, California, and Wyoming. Dr. Parker Flowers is survived by her husband, Kenneth Flowers; a stepdaughter; her mother; and a brother.
WILLIAM A. POTTS
Dr. Potts (Oklahoma State ‘53), 91, Mount Olive, North Carolina, died Aug. 18, 2018. He owned Mount Olive Animal Hospital prior to retirement in 1991. Dr. Potts was a Navy veteran of World War II. His wife, Ann; three daughters; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, 120 E. James St., Mount Olive, NC 28365, or Kitty Askins Hospice Center, 107 Handley Park Court, Goldsboro, NC 27534.
DANIEL W. SCHAMPER
Dr. Schamper (Illinois ‘59), 84, Galena, Illinois, died Nov. 18, 2018. He practiced predominantly large animal medicine in Galena for 54 years. Dr. Schamper was a member of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners and Jo Daviess County Beef Association. Active in his community, he served on the Scales Mound School Board for eight years and was a longtime member of both the Elks Lodge and Knights of Columbus. Dr. Schamper is survived by his wife, Nancy; two sons and a daughter; four grandchildren; and a brother.
KRISTIN J. STRELEC
Dr. Strelec (Illinois ‘03), 40, Grand Prairie, Texas, died July 9, 2018. She had owned Mira Lagos Animal Clinic, a small animal practice in Mansfield, Texas, since 2013. Earlier, Dr. Strelec practiced at I-20 Animal Medical Center in Arlington, Texas, and Angel Animal Hospital in Flower Mound, Texas. Her husband, Justin; a daughter and a son; her parents; and a sister survive her.
WALLACE M. WASS
Dr. Wass (Minnesota ‘53), 88, Scottsdale, Arizona, died Nov. 8, 2018. Following graduation, he joined the Air Force Veterinary Corps, serving two years as base veterinarian with the rank of first lieutenant at Greenham Common Air Force Base in Newbury, England. Dr. Wass then practiced mixed animal medicine in Medford, Wisconsin. From 1958–63, he served on the veterinary faculty of the University of Minnesota as an instructor, assistant professor, and professor in charge of large animal clinics. Dr. Wass then worked a year as staff veterinarian for the medical research section at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York.
He subsequently joined the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, where from 1964–83 he served as a professor and head of the newly established Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences. Dr. Wass then directed the veterinary college's international veterinary programs and continuing education for a year. From 1983–99, he was a professor of production animal medicine at the veterinary college. Dr. Wass went on to serve as an associate dean for clinical education at Ross University. From 2001 until retirement in 2004, he was director of clinical services for the Associated Humane Societies in Newark, New Jersey. In retirement, Dr. Wass served as a relief veterinarian.
During his career, he consulted for the U.S. Agency for International Development and for various educational institutions abroad, including Kasetsart University in Thailand and a veterinary school in Nigeria. Dr. Wass was a charter diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and a past president of the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians.
His wife, Doreen; four children; seven grandchildren; and a sister survive him. Memorials may be made to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower St., Phoenix, AZ 85014.
JOHN L. WILKINS
Dr. Wilkins (Pennsylvania ‘52), 95, Willow Street, Pennsylvania, died Nov. 11, 2018. Following graduation, he practiced mixed animal medicine in Muncy, Pennsylvania, for four years. Dr. Wilkins then moved to Wilmington, Delaware, where he established Circle Veterinary Clinic, a small animal practice. He retired in 1987, when his son, Dr. David Wilkins (Pennsylvania ‘86), took over the practice.
Dr. Wilkins was a past member of the board of directors of the Delaware VMA. He served in the Marine Corps from 1943–46 during World War II. Dr. Wilkins is survived by three sons, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
DOUGLAS R. YOUNG
Dr. Young (Iowa State 71), 71, Snoqualmie, Washington, died Nov. 6, 2018. A mixed animal veterinarian, he owned Rainier Beach Veterinary Hospital in Seattle from 1984 until retirement in 2018. Prior to that, Dr. Young practiced at Twin Valley Veterinary Clinic in Dulap, Iowa, for several years. The Rainier Chamber of Commerce honored him with the Business of the Year Award in 2010 and the John L. O'Brien Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015.
Dr. Young's wife, Deborah; three children; and two grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to Dream Ahead College Investment Plan, specifying April Young College Fund, at P.O. Box 9661, Providence, RI 02940, https://jav.ma/DreamAhead; Friends for Life Guild, specifying children's hospital cancer research, at 1505 SW 15th Place, North Bend, WA 98045, www.friendsguild.org; or Rainier Beach Merchants Association, specifying the student scholarship fund, at 3815 S. Othello St., Suite 100, P.O. Box 188, Seattle, WA 98118, www.rainierbeachmerchants.com.
MARK M. YOUNG
Dr. Young (Washington State ‘60), 83, Fort Morgan, Colorado, died Sept. 25, 2018. He was a mixed animal veterinarian.