Anita Oberbauer, PhD

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 255, 7; 10.2460/javma.255.7.757


Zoetis Inc. researchers plan to develop immunotherapies for livestock in a 3,000-square-foot laboratory at Colorado State University's biological science research complex.

The company plans to hire about 20 livestock research scientists, immunologists, and cell biologists starting this fall for research on livestock immune systems at the Zoetis Incubator Research Laboratory starting in early 2020. The research will take place in existing facilities, and CSU officials plan to finish laboratory renovations to that space by Dec. 1, a university spokesperson said.

Zoetis plans to focus initial work on biotherapeutics for cattle, with potential applications later for use in pigs and poultry, according to a joint announcement from CSU and Zoetis. The work could help Zoetis create alternatives to antimicrobials for use in food-producing animals, it states.

CSU officials expected Zoetis would recruit some of the laboratory's employees from CSU, especially during a career fair in September, the university spokesperson said.

The CSU Research Innovation Center is a 17,000-square-foot biological science research complex with biosafety level 2 laboratory space. It is part of the CSU Foothills Campus in Fort Collins.


The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation announced Aug. 5 that Anita Oberbauer, PhD, is the recipient of the 2019 Asa Mays, DVM Excellence in Canine Health Research Award.

Dr. Oberbauer is a professor of animal science and associate dean in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of California-Davis. Previously, she chaired the Department of Animal Science and was at the forefront of incorporating companion animals into the animal science curriculum.

Her research program emphasizes cellular components regulating skeletal growth and body composition and the genetic basis for health disorders in dogs and cattle. She has trained more than 30 doctoral students, master's students, and visiting scholars. She is a director on the board of the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, provides numerous invited talks on canine genetics, and serves on federal grant review panels and journal editorial boards.


The AVMA Council on Education has scheduled site visits to five schools and colleges of veterinary medicine for the remainder of 2019.

Comprehensive site visits are planned for Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Oct. 13–17; Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, Nov. 3–7; Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, Nov. 17–21; and the University of Montreal Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Dec. 8–12.

A consultative site visit is planned for the University of Cambridge Department of Veterinary Science, Dec. 1–5.

The council welcomes written comments on these plans or the programs to be evaluated. Comments should be addressed to Dr. Karen Martens Brandt, Director, Education and Research Division, AVMA, 1931 N. Meacham Road, Suite 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173. Comments must be signed by the person submitting them to be considered.

Please send comments and story ideas to JAVMANews@avma.org.

FDA searching for possible links between canine diets, heart disease

Diets high in legumes seen in most cases

By Greg Cima


Food and Drug Administration investigators are studying possible links between dog foods and the heart disease dilated cardiomyopathy. Diets high in legumes have been connected with most cases reported to the agency.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 255, 7; 10.2460/javma.255.7.757

Federal investigators continue studying whether dogs eating diets that are high in legumes or free from grain have an increased risk of heart disease.

In August, three Food and Drug Administration officials described the current research into possible links between diet and dilated cardiomyopathy. Much of the presentation reflected updates published by the FDA in late June, when agency officials reported links between canine diets and DCM represent a complex problem that may reflect multiple causes.

“To date, the FDA has not established why certain diets may be associated with the development of DCM in some dogs,” one of those updates states. “In the meantime, and before making diet changes, pet owners should work directly with their veterinarians, who may consult with a board-certified veterinary nutritionist, to determine the most appropriate diet for their pet's specific needs.”

With DCM, the chambers of the heart progressively dilate and become less able to pump blood through the vascular system. Signs include lethargy and weakness, resulting from decreased delivery of oxygenated blood to the tissues, and coughing, high respiratory rate, and abdominal distention, secondary to increased pressure in the veins that carry blood to the heart and congestive heart failure.

Large- to giant-breed dogs and Cocker Spaniels appear to have a genetic risk of developing DCM, FDA information states. But agency officials issued an alert in July 2018 after receiving reports of DCM in breeds that don't typically have the disease, such as Shetland Sheepdogs, Boston Terriers, and French Bulldogs.

Dr. Lee Anne Palmer, who leads the Adverse Event Review Team in the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine Division of Veterinary Product Safety, said during the presentation at AVMA Convention 2019 in Washington, D.C., that 93% of the dog foods identified in DCM reports listed peas, lentils, or both among the first 10 ingredients on labels, and about 91% were grain free.

Agency data published in June indicate at least 16 brands had 10 or more DCM reports connected with their products. Dr. Jennifer Jones, a veterinary medical officer in the FDA CVM Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network program, said during the lecture that the FDA analyzed dog foods from homes and stores and conducted comprehensive nutritional screenings, including analyses of free and total amino acids.

“The bottom line was all except for two products came back normal,” Dr. Jones said.

Agency officials also examined medical records of 202 dogs and six cats, conducted more than 90 interviews on diets and environments, and coordinated follow-up echocardiograms or necropsies, she said. Of the animals with medical records, 60% of dogs and all cats had congestive heart failure.

Agency researchers also found that 9% of dogs had hypothyroidism, which can contribute to DCM, and 8% had a history of tick-borne disease. Lyme disease-associated myocarditis can contribute to the disease, Dr. Jones said. Researchers have asked about exposures to contaminants such as heavy metals and narcotics and have collected DNA samples in case a potential genetic link is discovered.

Some dogs have improved with changes in diet, and the FDA has provided examples in updates posted in February and June. Agency officials are studying follow-up echocardiograms to see which dogs improve in response to a diet change.

Dr. Jones said the agency's testing indicated blood taurine concentrations were not predictors of DCM, as dozens of dogs with DCM had normal or high taurine concentrations.

Authors of a commentary published in the Dec. 1, 2018, issue of JAVMA point out that DCM was one of the most common cardiac diseases in cats prior to the 1987 publication of a study that linked the disease to taurine deficiency, leading to a requirement for more taurine in cat foods and a dwindling number of feline cases of DCM. Since 1995, research has found that some dog breeds may have genetic predispositions to taurine deficiency and DCM and that certain diets may be associated with taurine deficiency.

Dr. Jones said during the lecture in August that the potential connection between diet and DCM could be associated with low bioavailability of taurine or the precursor amino acids dogs use in synthesizing taurine or with increased loss of taurine during digestion or decreased ability to synthesize taurine.

Dr. Lisa M. Freeman, a professor of clinical nutrition at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and one of the authors of the Dec. 1 JAVMA commentary, wrote in July on the Petfoodology site of the school's Clinical Nutrition Service that FDA reports on DCM likely underestimate the actual number of dogs affected. She knows veterinarians who do not report cases to the agency.

One of the FDA's June updates indicates the agency also is studying a spectrum of cardiac disease in animals without DCM to understand whether the damage could be related to DCM development or is associated with diet.


By Katie Burns

Assessing pain in cats is difficult, but a new scoring system that interprets changes in facial expression could help provide practitioners with clinical guidance.

Dr. Paulo Steagall, an associate professor of veterinary anesthesia and analgesia at the University of Montreal, presented the Feline Grimace Scale for the first time in the United States during a session in August at AVMA Convention 2019 in Washington, D.C. He said details about the FGS will be published in Scientific Reports, a journal from Nature Research.

Researchers at the University of Montreal, including doctoral student Dr. Marina Evangelista, categorized and tested five facial action units indicative of pain in cats: ear position, orbital tightening, muzzle tension, whisker position, and head position. A score of 0 means absence of the action unit, 1 is moderate appearance or uncertainty, and 2 is obvious appearance. A total score of 4 or more means the cat is in pain and needs rescue analgesia. The maximum total score is 10.

The scoring of 0, 1, or 2, respectively, for each facial action unit is as follows:

  • • Ear position—Ears facing forward, ears slightly pulled apart, or ears flattened and rotated outward.

  • • Orbital tightening—Eyes opened, eyes partially opened, or eyes squinted.

  • • Muzzle tension—Muzzle relaxed (round), muzzle mildly tense, or muzzle tense (elliptical).

  • • Whisker position—Whiskers loose and curved, whiskers slightly curved or straight, or whiskers straight and moving forward.

  • • Head position—Head above the shoulder line, head aligned with the shoulder line, or head below the shoulder line or tilted.

Dr. Steagall led session attendees through scoring exercises. Among the examples were the following:

  • • Maman, a 1-year-old female cat spayed a week earlier at a shelter, was admitted with inappetence and fever. A post-operative infection and infection with feline immunodeficiency virus were suspected. Before rescue analgesia, she received the maximum FGS score of 10. Afterward, the score decreased to 3.

  • • Suzy Petit, a 7-year-old female cat, was admitted because of vomiting. A foreign body was suspected. Her score was 6 before rescue analgesia and 3 afterward.

  • • Pacane, a 1-year-old female cat with pancreatitis, received a score of 4 before rescue analgesia and a score of 0 afterward.

Dr. Steagall said researchers at the University of Montreal are conducting a series of studies validating the use of the FGS specifically for cats with orofacial pain, such as after tooth extraction procedures.


Images of cats in which pain was absent, moderately present, or markedly present (Courtesy of Dr. Paulo Steagall)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 255, 7; 10.2460/javma.255.7.757


By Katie Burns


The audience met in small groups for discussion during the Aug. 3 panel on “Employment Value: What Candidates and Employers Want From Each Other” at AVMA Convention 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Sara Beugen/ShootMyEvents.com)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 255, 7; 10.2460/javma.255.7.757

An Aug. 3 panel at AVMA Convention 2019 in Washington, D.C., turned into a spirited discussion with the audience about relationships between employers and employees.

Dr. Pat Wohlferth-Bethke, AVMA assistant director of veterinary career services, moderated the two-hour session “Employment Value: What Candidates and Employers Want From Each Other.” To be successful, she said, the employment value proposition must allow everyone to achieve his or her goals. She invited panelists to share thoughts.

Dr. Sandra Faeh, a part owner of four small animal clinics in the Chicago suburbs, said communication is the biggest key. She said employers need to be upfront with what they expect and vice versa.

Dr. Aaron Smiley, chief of staff at two small animal practices in central Indiana, said work is not just business; it's very personal. He said it's important to forge good relationships with healthy boundaries.

It's all about attitude for Dr. Irving McConnell, CEO of a biomedical and health sciences company. He wants employees to bring excitement to the company and become part of the family.

Dr. Maggie Canning, a relief veterinarian in Philadelphia, was raised by two small-business owners, so she understood early on to think about the needs of the business. She also agreed that two-way communication is important.

Dr. Maureen Hall, a relief veterinarian in Illinois, shows up ready to work and tries to practice the highest-quality medicine she can. She said the No. 1 issue for unhappy employees is communication. They don't feel they are heard, or they don't ever get asked, or they don't reach out to the employer.

Peter Ellis, a veterinary student at the University of California-Davis, said there are minimum tangible requirements in any employment situation. A veterinarian has to produce at a level that allows the practice to survive financially. The intangible ways to add value are building relationships with clients and contributing to the practice culture.

Dr. Jeremy Keen, a small animal practitioner in Tennessee, is transitioning into ownership. He believes the worst thing to do is to become complacent in practice.

The panelists and audience discussed issues such as lack of confidence in new graduates, a need for veterinarians to learn about the business side of medicine, work-life balance, utilization of support staff, the importance of feedback, and accommodating differences in communication styles.

Audience members then met in small groups to discuss what employees would like to see from employers and what employers expect from employees.

The discussion between the panelists and audience then resumed, turning to topics such as a desire for career advancement, participation in business planning, various interviewing processes, scoping out employers, the hot job market, salary negotiations, educational debt, teamwork, mentorship, and weathering the next economic downturn.


Story and photo by Katie Burns


Some attendees at AVMA Convention 2019 in Washington, D.C., learn about the use of forensic chemistry to test for drugs such as cannabinoids and opioids during a tour of the Public Health Laboratory in the District of Columbia Department of Forensic Sciences.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 255, 7; 10.2460/javma.255.7.757

Dead mosquitoes large and small, colorful Petri dishes, and fluorescent-green rabies antibody tests were among the sights during two Aug. 1 tours at the District of Columbia Department of Forensic Sciences for some of the attendees at AVMA Convention 2019 in Washington, D.C.

The groups went behind the scenes at the department's Public Health Laboratory. According to a fact sheet, in the department's 2018 fiscal year, “PHL conducted over 4,000 test procedures including influenza subtyping, rabies testing, arbovirus screening, and testing for foodborne outbreaks.”

Kicking off the tour was Tony Tran, PHL director and a doctor of public health, who described some of the laboratory's activities. The PHL does mosquito surveillance for West Nile virus and hoped to start tick surveillance this summer. For rabies testing, the laboratory aims to move to a procedure involving a real-time polymerase chain reaction assay for rapid results.

Other activities range from an air monitoring program for bioterrorism weapons to testing for sexually transmitted diseases, Zika virus, meningitis, and antimicrobial-resistant infections. The laboratory does whole genome sequencing for outbreaks of foodborne disease and for influenza, the latter key because so many people come in and out of Washington, D.C.

The PHL has an area designated biosafety level 3, the second-highest level, to test for agents of bioterrorism. People entering the area must pass an iris scan, a badge scan, and another iris scan.

The PHL also serves as the local drug laboratory. Forensic chemical testing still mostly turns up cannabinoids, legal for recreational and medical use in D.C. Opioid surveillance finds both fentanyl and heroin, with fentanyl being far more potent than heroin.

Another part of the Department of Forensic Sciences is the Forensic Science Laboratory Division. On the way out, tour participants saw displays illustrating the work of the Latent Fingerprint Unit and the Firearms Examination Unit, including a mounted array of firearms.

Dr. Shannon Greeley, medical director for the Scottsdale Animal Clinic in Burbank, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, found the tour to be a very valuable experience. She said, “It was a demonstration of one health in action.”

Dr. Greeley presented a poster at AVMA Convention 2019 titled “Milestones in the History of One Health.” Back home, she is active in the Chicago VMA, which is working on a program for veterinarians to report animal diseases. She said the tour showed the importance of surveillance in human and animal populations.


By R. Scott Nolen

An estimated 218,000 deaths due to prescription opioid overdoses occurred in the U.S. from 1999–2017, representing the epidemic of our time, according to Lee Newman, MD.

Dr. Newman is director of the Center for Health, Work & Environment at the Colorado School of Public Health. During an Aug. 3 session at AVMA Convention 2019 in Washington, D.C., he shared findings from a unique study that asked whether veterinary medicine is contributing to the opioid crisis.

The short answer is yes. To what extent remains a question.

Dr. Newman was a co-author on the study “Prescription Opioid Epidemic: Do Veterinarians Have a Dog in the Fight?” (jav.ma/PHstudy), which was published September 2018 in the American Journal of Public Health and involved a survey of 189 Colorado veterinarians in 2014.

Thirteen percent of surveyed veterinarians indicated they were aware of an animal owner who had intentionally made an animal ill, injured an animal, or made an animal appear to be ill or injured for the purpose of obtaining opioid medications; 44% were aware of opioid abuse or misuse by a client or a veterinary practice staff member; and 12% were aware of opioid abuse and diversion by a veterinary staff member.

Sixty-two percent of the surveyed veterinarians believed they had a role in preventing opioid abuse and misuse. Forty percent were unsure whether opioid abuse or misuse was a problem in their communities.

Seventy-three percent of respondents indicated that training on opioid abuse or misuse in veterinary school was fair, poor, or absent. Additionally, 64% said that, since entering practice, they had not completed continuing education on best practices for prescribing opioids.

Respondents identified three continuing education priorities: opioid abuse prevention (81%), pain management guidelines (55%), and identification of online resources on opioid use and abuse (54%). More than a third (36%) of respondents recommended improving the guidelines for the state's prescription drug monitoring program as well as tutorials to help improve access and use.

Dr. Newman recognizes that the study's small sample size limits the generalizability of the results, and the findings cannot be extrapolated to all practices. “Nonetheless, these data are sufficient to warrant immediate action,” he said.


U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams addressed an audience of veterinary professionals Aug. 3 during the opening session of AVMA Convention 2019 in Washington, D.C. Dr. Adams oversees approximately 6,500 uniformed health officers in the U.S. Public Health Service, of which about 75 are veterinarians.

As the “nation's doctor,” Dr. Adams is responsible for promoting, protecting, and advancing the country's health. “My guiding principle is ‘Better health through better partnerships.’ We can only change our collective futures together. If you stay in your veterinary silo, then all the knowledge you have isn't going to be utilized to maximal impact,” said Dr. Adams, an enthusiastic supporter of the one-health movement.

Dr. Adams has created several initiatives to tackle the nation's most pressing health problems, including the opioid epidemic. He encouraged veterinarians to carry naloxone, a federally approved medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. He also highlighted a digital postcard titled “Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General's Spotlight on Opioids” that calls for a cultural shift in the way Americans think about, talk about, and respond to the opioid crisis. It can be found at jav.ma/SGpostcard.

House of Delegates approves model practice act, other proposals

Members also debated whether to increase requirements for Board candidates

By Katie Burns


Dr. Kate Crumley, alternate delegate for the American Animal Hospital Association, speaks about the pros and cons of an amendment to the AVMA Bylaws that requires more experience for candidates to serve as district representatives on the AVMA Board of Directors. (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 255, 7; 10.2460/javma.255.7.757

The AVMA House of Delegates approved a new version of the Model Veterinary Practice Act and passed proposals regarding AVMA governance and pet health insurance as well as the Council on Research and the judicious therapeutic use of antimicrobials.

The HOD held its regular annual session Aug. 1–2 in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with AVMA Convention 2019.

The AVMA Model Veterinary Practice Act, according to its introduction, “is intended to serve as a set of guiding principles for those who are now, or will be in the future, preparing or revising a practice act under the codes and laws of an individual state.” The HOD approved the first model practice act in 1964.

The latest revision process began in 2016 and has involved many stakeholders. The AVMA Council on Veterinary Service submitted a draft to the AVMA Board of Directors in 2018, and the Board referred the draft to the HOD for consideration during the 2019 regular winter session. The HOD offered suggestions, which were addressed by the COVS in the latest revision, and the HOD approved the new version Aug. 2.

In other actions, the HOD approved an amendment to the AVMA Bylaws that requires more experience for candidates to serve as district representatives on the Board. Candidates must have been voting members of the AVMA for at least seven continuous years immediately prior to election, up from five. The amendment also adds the requirement that candidates must have served in certain volunteer leadership positions with the AVMA or have served as an officer in specified other types of veterinary organizations.

Some delegates spoke in favor of the amendment, and others said the amendment seemed exclusionary. The original proposal was to increase the requirement for AVMA membership from five to 10 years, but the HOD compromised at seven years.

The North Carolina and Indiana VMAs submitted a late resolution requesting that the House Advisory Committee appoint a working group to review the election process for AVMA president-elect and vice president, both elected by the HOD. Some issues include what type of campaigning is appropriate and that the weighted votes for states in the HOD mean that the states with the largest number of AVMA members can determine the election results. Delegates passed the resolution.

The HOD also voted on whether to revise the AVMA policy “Pet Health Insurance” to add that the AVMA encourages veterinary health care teams to proactively educate their clients about the existence of pet health insurance. Some delegates expressed concern about including the word “proactively,” saying it could be construed as a dictate for veterinarians to talk to clients about pet health insurance. Other delegates said they believe sharing information proactively could support pet owners pursuing treatment, rather than economic euthanasia, in the event of an accident or illness affecting their pet as well as provide some peace of mind for owners. Delegates ultimately approved the policy. The AVMA is preparing general information on pet health insurance for veterinary professionals and pet owners, for use in clinics and elsewhere.

Delegates also approved the following:

  • • A bylaws amendment that made several revisions to the charge of the AVMA Council on Research.

  • • Revisions to the AVMA policy “Judicious Therapeutic Use of Antimicrobials” to provide clarity and reflect current thinking on efforts relating to antimicrobial resistance.

  • • Revisions by the American Association of Bovine Practitioners to the policy “AABP-AVMA Judicious Therapeutic Use of Antimicrobials in Cattle.”


In Washington, D.C., the House of Delegates filled vacancies on AVMA councils and the House Advisory Committee. The results are as follows.

Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents

Drs. Kim Cronin, Carlisle, Massachusetts, representing members at large; Ignacio Correas, Kalamazoo, Michigan, representing immunology; and Jonathan Garber, Seymour, Wisconsin, representing private clinical practice, predominantly food animal

Council on Public Health

Drs. Will Sander, Savoy, Illinois, representing members at large; and Karen Ehnert, Los Angeles, representing public health agencies or uniformed services

Council on Research

Drs. Daniel Grooms, Ames, Iowa, and John Middleton, Columbia, Missouri, representing veterinary medical research

Council on Veterinary Service

Dr. Stanley Robertson, Macon, Mississippi, representing academic clinical science; Dr. Brittany Koether, Wilmington, Ohio, representing members at large; Kenichiro Yagi, Ithaca, New York, representing credentialed veterinary technicians; and Dr. Julie Sanders, Clayton, New Jersey, representing recent graduates or emerging leaders

House Advisory Committee

Drs. Jon Pennell, Las Vegas; Amanda Bisol, Skowhegan, Maine; and Libby Todd, Birmingham, Alabama


Four new members joined the AVMA Council on Education beginning with the new Association year in August.

The AVMA Council on Education Selection Committee appointed Dr. Ann Dwyer, Scottsville, New York, representing private equine practice. The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges Council on Education Selection Committee appointed Dr. Johanna Watson, Davis, California, representing large animal clinical science, and Dr. Maria Julia Felippe, Ithaca, New York, representing veterinary medical research. The AAVMC appointed Dr. Lorin Warnick, Ithaca, New York, as its liaison.



The 30th National Veterinary Scholars Symposium featured poster presentations from veterinary students completing summer research projects. (Photo by Shawn Kelly)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 255, 7; 10.2460/javma.255.7.757

Nearly 600 veterinary students from the U.S., Canada, and beyond attended the 30th National Veterinary Scholars Symposium, held July 24–27 at Worcester State University in Worcester, Massachusetts, with some students coming from as far away as France, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University hosted the symposium, which showcases accomplishments by mostly first- and second-year veterinary students completing biomedical research projects for 10 to 12 weeks during the summer. Each veterinary scholar is assigned a mentor and laboratory and conducts a hypothesis-driven research project developed by the scholar and mentor. The students also attend seminars and discussions on careers in science. At the end of the program, scholars present their findings to peers and attending faculty. This year's theme for the symposium was “Engaging Veterinarians to Advance Human and Animal Health.”

Welcoming the students to the symposium were Dr. Alastair Cribb, dean of the veterinary school; Dr. John de Jong, 2018–19 AVMA president and a 1995 graduate of the school; Dr. Andrew Maccabe, CEO of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges; and Everett Hoekstra, president of Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc.

Terence Flotte, MD, dean of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, delivered the keynote address, “Impact of Research Collaborations Between DVMs and MDs.” Dr. Tim Leard of Boehringer Ingelheim gave a plenary address on “Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics: Experiences and Opportunities in Animal Health.” Charles Shoemaker, PhD, of Cummings gave a plenary address on “How Re-engineered Antibodies from Camelids may be the Antibody Therapeutics of the Future.”

The symposium highlighted the ways that veterinary scientists advance basic and applied research to support evidence-based medicine and enabled participants to gain insights into careers in biomedical research. The meeting featured poster presentations from veterinary students. Students and faculty also attended breakout sessions on critical care, antimicrobial resistance, regenerative medicine, cancer biology, infectious diseases, and pathways to research career development.

The symposium included presentations by the four winners of the AVMA Excellence in Research Awards (see page 770) and the five finalists in the Early Stage Investigators Awards. Dr. Heather Gardner, a final-year doctoral student at Tufts, received first prize in the Early Stage Investigators Awards, which are supported by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation. The AVMF also provides stipends for five veterinary students who are conducting a second year of summer research. Boehringer Ingelheim presented its Veterinary Graduate Award to Dr. Amy Stieler Stewart and its Veterinary Research Scholar Award to Mariel Covo, a fourth-year veterinary student. The company also funded a challenge grant supporting $5,000 stipends for half of the veterinary students participating in the Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Scholars Program this past summer, which is matched by the participating universities for the remaining participants, according to a BI press release. The numbers of company-sponsored students and schools participating with the BI program have more than doubled since 2000, from 54 students at eight schools to more than 100 students at 42 schools in 2019. Since its inception, more than 3,500 veterinary students have participated in the annual program.

Ahead of the symposium, the AVMA provided the abstract submission service and compiled the electronic abstract book. This year, 559 student abstracts were submitted, up from 513 last year.


Sydney Bork of Colorado State University was one of five recipients of stipends from the American Veterinary Medical Foundation for veterinary students conducting a second year of summer research. (Photo by Dr. Ed Murphey)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 255, 7; 10.2460/javma.255.7.757


Four veterinarians received the 2019 AVMA Excellence in Research Awards during the National Veterinary Scholars Symposium, held July 24–27 at Worcester State University in Worcester, Massachusetts, and hosted by Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. Following are some key achievements of the award recipients.


This award honors an AVMA member's long-term contribution to the field of canine research.

Dr. Rodney Page

Dr. Page (Colorado State ‘81) is director of the Flint Animal Cancer Center and a chair in oncology at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. Board-certified in internal medicine and oncology, he was a faculty member at North Carolina State University prior to his appointment at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine as founding director of The Sprecher Institute for Comparative Cancer Research. In 2005, Dr. Page was appointed chair of the Department of Clinical Sciences at Cornell's veterinary college. Dr. Page has authored or co-authored about 125 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 30 book chapters, and he co-edited the fifth edition of “Withrow and MacEwen's Small Animal Clinical Oncology” in 2012. His research interests recently have been focused on a one-medicine approach to cancer. He has been involved with the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study since 2008 and has initiated a national effort to bring translational and comparative oncology to a greater audience.


This award recognizes an AVMA member's achievements in patient-oriented research.

Dr. Noah D. Cohen

Dr. Cohen (Pennsylvania ‘83) earned a doctoral degree in epidemiology and board certification in large animal internal medicine before becoming an assistant professor of equine internal medicine at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. He is currently a professor of equine internal medicine and of equine research at the veterinary college and the associate department head for research and graduate studies in the Department of Clinical Sciences. He also serves as director of the Equine Infectious Disease Laboratory at Texas A&M with an emphasis on observational and experimental epidemiological studies, infectious disease epidemiology with an emphasis on enteric and respiratory tract bacterial pathogens, and epidemiological studies of racing injuries and colic in horses. He considers his most important professional accomplishment to be mentoring graduate students to become veterinary clinician-scientists or equine scientists. In addition to being an equine clinician-scientist, Dr. Cohen also owns and rides horses and produces hay at his small farm in Texas.


The American Veterinary Medical Foundation and Winn Feline Foundation established this award to honor a recipient's contribution to advancing feline health through research.

Dr. Jessica M. Quimby

Dr. Quimby (Wisconsin ‘03) is an associate professor of small animal internal medicine at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She earned board certification in small animal internal medicine and a doctoral degree focusing on feline chronic kidney disease at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, where she was on the faculty until 2017. Her research continues to focus on chronic kidney disease in cats. Other current research areas include the study of renal aging, telomere length and cellular senescence, novel treatment strategies, and evidence-based supportive care strategies. She has an interest in clinical trials and feline clinical pharmacology that is aimed at improving supportive care and quality of life in cats with chronic kidney disease.


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

Dr. C. Wayne McIlwraith

Dr. McIlwraith (Massey ‘70) is a professor at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. He practiced in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and he earned a doctoral degree from Purdue University. Since 1979, he has been a faculty member at Colorado State. He is a chair in orthopedics and founding director of the Orthopaedic Research Center. He also has a referral practice in equine orthopedic surgery based in Southern California and is a consultant and surgeon for clients elsewhere in the United States and in Ireland, England, France, and New Zealand. His research interests focus on equine orthopedic surgery and translational research in joint disease, including novel treatments for osteoarthritis and articular cartilage repair, mesenchymal stem cell therapies, and early diagnosis of osteoarthritis and pre-fracture disease through use of imaging and fluid biomarkers. He has authored six textbooks and more than 450 scientific publications and textbook chapters and has presented more than 700 seminars and workshops nationally and internationally to equine practitioners, veterinary specialty groups, and human orthopedic meetings.


Food and Drug Administration authorities are reexamining “zero-day” withdrawal and milk discard times for drugs used in food animals.

Agency officials are seeking comments that could indicate how much time elapses between treatments and when animals are milked or slaughtered. But they noted that they have no indication current drug uses are a food safety concern.

Comments are due Oct. 8. Details are available at regulations.gov under docket number FDA-2019-N-3019.

In the request, FDA officials are asking how long it takes to transport animals from farms or other production facilities to slaughter plants, how often dairy cows are milked, and how veterinarians and others involved in raising livestock interpret drug-label language such as “zero-day withdrawal period” or “zero-day milk discard time.”

In the 1980s, agency officials established the concept of “practical zero” withdrawal or discard times for some drugs after considering how long it took to transport animals to slaughter plants or how often they were milked.

“The FDA recognizes that the animal agriculture industry has undergone significant changes since the 1980s when the current assumptions about transit time to slaughter and milking frequency were formulated,” the announcement states.


Food and Drug Administration authorities are reexamining “zero-day” labels on farm-use drugs. They want to know how long it takes to transport livestock from production facilities to slaughter plants, how often dairy cows are milked, and how veterinarians and farmers interpret drug-label language such as “zero-day withdrawal period” or “zero-day milk discard time.”

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 255, 7; 10.2460/javma.255.7.757

To apply a “zero-day” label to a new drug, studies need to show any residues in meat or milk would have depleted to safe amounts at the “practical zero” withdrawal times or milk discard times.

“Accordingly, we currently assign a zero-day withdrawal period or zero-day milk discard time to new animal drugs if data from scientific studies or other available information confirm that residue concentrations in edible tissues or milk from treated animals are safe for human consumption after 6 hours withdrawn from drug for poultry or after 12 hours withdrawn from drug for cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, and lactating dairy animals (i.e., practical zero withdrawal and practical zero-milk discard time),” the announcement states.

The agency didn't apply the same concept to egg-laying hens, aquatic animals, or bees.

One comment submitted by a dairy farmer indicates most of his cows are milked three times daily, and the time between when a dairy cow is selected for culling and it arrives at a slaughter plant could be as little as 30 minutes. He also said the Federal Register notice introduced him to the idea of a “practical” withdrawal or milk discard time.


By Malinda Larkin

The Department of Transportation says airlines cannot categorically exclude certain breeds of dogs or cats as service animals and cannot ban service animals over a certain weight but can exclude some species, according to its updated statement of enforcement priorities.

The notice came Aug. 8 when the DOT, which regulates the transportation of service and emotional support animals under the Air Carrier Access Act, released its “Final Statement of Enforcement Priorities Regarding Service Animals.” Airlines had 30 days after that to conform their rules with the federal policy.

Concerns expressed in recent years by people with disabilities, airlines, flight attendants, and other stakeholders—including the AVMA—have pushed the department to consider changing its requirements for service animals. These concerns include fraudulent representations of pets as assistance animals—that is, service or emotional support animals—and safety issues posed by animals in the cabin.

Last year, the department gave advanced notice of proposed rule-making under the ACAA and, at the same time, issued an interim statement to give notice of how the DOT would enforce existing requirements surrounding service animals during the rule-making process. Now a final statement has been issued. While this guidance is not legally binding, the priorities announced could serve as a preview for new regulations that the department hopes to enact by next summer.

One of the key changes from the 2018 interim DOT statement of enforcement priorities is that DOT may initiate enforcement actions against airlines if they ban an entire dog or cat breed, such as pit bull-type dogs. Airlines can, however, ban snakes, other reptiles, ferrets, rodents, and spiders. They can also decide on a case-by-case basis whether to allow other types of service animals.

Other major changes are that airlines can require lobby check-in for emotional support and psychiatric support animals and can prohibit service animals that are too young to be trained to behave in public.

Further, airlines can't ban the following: the total number of service animals to be transported in the plane's cabin; service animals over a certain weight, without regard to specific factors; and service animals on flights lasting eight hours or more.

The guidance document states that, if a passenger's disability is not clear, airlines may ask limited questions to determine his or her need for the animal. Also, airlines will be allowed to ask for documentation related to the service animal's vaccinations, training, or behavior, as long as it helps determine whether an animal poses a direct threat to others.

Dr. Gail Golab, AVMA chief veterinary officer, said she was encouraged to see the DOT's consideration of comments the AVMA had submitted. Recognizing this, the AVMA and others in the Service Animal Coalition sent a letter Aug. 9 to express their support and thank the DOT for its efforts to clarify its enforcement priorities.

Regarding emotional support animals, the letter states: “In 2018, over a million passengers on U.S. airlines traveled with ESAs in the cabin, and as a result, both airports and airlines have seen a sharp increase in incidents caused by ESAs. These incidents have ranged from mauling and biting to urinating and defecating—all unacceptable behaviors on an airplane. This misbehavior not only threatens the health and safety of our passengers and crew, but also passengers with disabilities traveling with legitimate service animals.”

The AVMA still has concerns about the DOT's continued classification of service animals as including animals beyond dogs and miniature horses, which is inconsistent with definitions under the Americans With Disabilities Act, as well as the department not distinguishing between emotional support animals and psychiatric service animals.

The Association will continue to work with the DOT and airlines to push for clarification in these areas.

Recently, the AVMA and AVMA PLIT jointly presented continuing education sessions with United, American, Southwest, and Delta airlines during AVMA Convention 2019, held in August in Washington, D.C. These sessions were meant to educate the veterinary team about the process of animal transportation and how to work with clients who are traveling with their pets or with assistance animals. Similar sessions will be presented at upcoming veterinary conferences and will be available online at axon.avma.org in coming months.


Health authorities are warning against buying pig ear pet treats, which are linked to at least 127 cases of salmonellosis in humans.

The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced July 31 that people should stop buying any pig ear treats or giving them to pets. Retailers should stop selling them and wash and sanitize containers or surfaces touched by the products.

The illnesses have occurred in 33 states since 2015, and 26 people have been hospitalized. Exposure to the treats has been linked with infection with four Salmonella enterica serotypes: 14,[5],12:i:-, Infantis, London, and Newport.

“If you have pig ear treats, throw them away in a secure container where animals, including wildlife, cannot access it,” an FDA announcement states. “Wash your hands thoroughly and disinfect any surfaces that have come into contact with potentially contaminated products.”

FDA investigations into some of the treats found they originated in Argentina and Brazil. Pig ears sold in bulk bins can be commingled from multiple sources, which can prevent investigators from distinguishing products.

Two companies issued recalls in July: Pet Supplies Plus, which recalled all pig ear products sold in bulk bins at its retail stores, and Lennox Intl. Inc., which is a supplier to Pet Supplies Plus and an importer of pig ears from Argentina and Brazil.


Wisconsin researchers will use a $3 million federal grant to fund research fellowships for work across health disciplines.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine will use the money from the National Institutes of Health for a five-year effort to bring physicians and veterinarians together in support of human and animal health, according to a university announcement. Starting in fall 2020, the grant will fund two-year research fellowships for veterinarians who have completed a residency. Those fellowships will be available at 15 veterinary colleges.

The grants also will fund research training for early-career veterinary faculty and summits for researchers who are studying similar diseases in human and veterinary medicine. Expected topics include skin allergies, cancer-related pain, osteoarthritis, and epilepsy.

Dr. Lauren Trepanier, principal researcher on the Translational Research Workforce Training Grant, said in the announcement that the program will add veterinary specialists to teams that are researching human diseases and advancing treatments. The grant also will help graduate veterinarians develop into clinician-scientists who can help share knowledge.

“Veterinarians often understand similarities and differences between animal and human diseases because we go to the human medical literature all the time on the clinic floor,” she said in the announcement. “If we're treating a disease in an animal and there's no veterinary study, we look at a human study.

“What we want physicians to do is look to veterinary medicine and see that there may be a disease that's just like the disease in humans.”

Dr. Trepanier also is a professor and assistant dean for clinical and translational research. Through the grant, she will coordinate with UW-Madison's School of Pharmacy and partners at the University of California-Davis, University of Florida, University of Minnesota, and Clinical and Translational Science Award One Health Alliance.


Speakers at AVMA Convention 2019 discuss understanding, prevention, and workplace dilemmas

By Kaitlyn Mattson and Katie Burns

Clients have sent improper gifts and made inappropriate comments suggesting that a veterinary visit could be more than medical to Dr. Lindy O'Neal, but she is assertive when that happens.

Dr. O'Neal said she is pretty confident and bold and tends to shut those types of comments down quickly. She said, “I have experienced sexual harassment from both clients and veterinarians. I would say more so from clients than my colleagues, thank goodness.”


Dr. Cindy Franklin, alternate delegate for South Dakota in the AVMA House of Delegates, discusses a resolution concerning sexual harassment awareness during the regular annual session of the HOD in August in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with AVMA Convention 2019. (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 255, 7; 10.2460/javma.255.7.757

Dr. O'Neal is a small animal veterinarian and owner of Animal Medical Center in Rogers, Arkansas. She has been in practice for 10 years and has worked in veterinary medicine for about 20 years.

“Sexual harassment in the workplace is more common than people believe. Social norms are changing—for the better—and everyone is becoming more and more aware of what behavior is and is not acceptable,” Dr. O'Neal said.

In response to the #MeToo movement, veterinary leaders are moving forward with a strategy to further increase awareness of sexual harassment in the profession and create resources. The AVMA House of Delegates voted unanimously to approve a resolution concerning sexual harassment awareness during its regular annual session in August in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with AVMA Convention 2019. Speakers at the convention also spoke about understanding and preventing sexual harassment and about workplace dilemmas relating to sexual harassment.

The approved resolution recommends that the AVMA Board of Directors charge the AVMA Council on Veterinary Service to collaborate with the Student AVMA and the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America to investigate the current harassment policies that the AVMA provides to its members and develop additional resources.

Tracey Gray-Walker, CEO of the AVMA Trust, said during a reference committee meeting that the conversation is fundamentally about showing respect and common courtesy for one's colleagues.

The original resolution, submitted by nine state VMAs and the American Holistic VMA, proposed that the Board conduct a survey to discover how widespread sexual harassment is in the veterinary profession. However, many HOD representatives suggested that the survey was an unnecessary step and that the information would not change the actions required by the industry.

“I don't think it matters if it (the survey) comes back 10%, 50%, or 70%. That percentage is not going to make us more or less concerned about the problem and what we should do,” said Dr. Cindy Franklin, alternate delegate for South Dakota, during the HOD meeting.

The resolution was amended to remove the portion requesting that the Board conduct a survey. The approved resolution directs the Board to report back to the HOD during the winter 2020 meeting in January regarding its actions related to the topic and the resolution.

Dr. O'Neal, who is the alternate delegate for Arkansas, believes that training programs and increased awareness with videos, for example, that showcase different forms of sexual harassment could be beneficial for staff.

“It would be an eye-opener to show just how frequent, how subtle, but how dangerous this type of behavior can be,” she said. “Even if someone is lucky enough to work in a harassment-free workplace, this type of training will help in other areas of their life.”

She said this is a part of the well-being puzzle that the profession is trying to put together.


Sexual harassment is typically defined as conduct of a sexual or sexist nature that is unwanted and negatively impacts the receiver. The behavior can be further broken down into three categories: visual or nonverbal, such as explicit photos displayed in a work environment; verbal or written, which can be the refusal to use a person's preferred pronouns, for example; and physical, which could be touching someone without permission, explained Michele Laaksonen, PhD, during a session, “Understanding and Preventing Sexual Harassment,” on Aug. 2 at AVMA Convention 2019.

“Some of the more frequent ones (forms of verbal sexual harassment) that we hear is calling a grown woman a girl,” Dr. Laaksonen said. “That can be considered sexual harassment. … Another common example is telling a male that he is doing something like a girl. We hear that a lot in sports analogies like, ‘He throws like a girl.'”

Dr. Laaksonen is a clinical psychologist and executive director of the Southside Center for Violence Prevention in southern Virginia, a nonprofit providing services to those affected by sexual and domestic violence.

She suggests that a person should ask the following questions when considering whether certain behavior can be viewed as sexual harassment:

  • • Is the behavior sexual in nature?

  • • Is the behavior unwanted?

  • • Is the behavior one-sided?

  • • Is the behavior part of a larger pattern or severe?

  • • Does the behavior cause emotional discomfort to the receiver?

  • • Does the behavior interfere with a person's occupational or academic performance?

  • • Does the harasser hold power over the subject?

“There are a lot of behaviors that a lot of us do without thinking about it because we might have people in our lives that we have different boundaries with,” Dr. Laaksonen said. “But when we are in the workplace, those boundaries need to be reconsidered.”

Data are sparse regarding sexual harassment in the veterinary profession, but the behavior can be experienced by anyone, and the perpetrator can be anyone. An online poll from Bovine Veterinarian reports that 82% of female veterinarians say they've experienced sexual harassment or discrimination, and 78% have witnessed a female veterinarian experiencing harassment or discrimination.

A recent Medscape survey gathered information from 3,700 human health physicians and found that, of those surveyed, about one in 10 female physicians have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace at some point in the past three years.

However, research also shows that 85–95% of victims don't report the harassment, according to Dr. Laaksonen. She suggests that practice owners create and enforce a sexual harassment policy and training program, which can change the social norms that lead to lack of reporting. The policy should be written and reviewed by authors of multiple disciplines, she said; it should address how to report sexual harassment whether it is coming from a client or a supervisor and how to document the behavior, and the policy should be reviewed annually.

Dr. Laaksonen also advises conducting a survey to ask questions about the workplace culture and environment. She recommends talking to new hires and staff about the sexual harassment policy and making people aware of the local resources available to them.

Tips for employees who are being sexually harassed include telling the harasser to stop, documenting everything, and using whatever complaint procedure is available, if there is one, according to the JAVMA commentary “Sexual harassment issues in veterinary practice” (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2007;230:1007–1010).


Dr. Charlotte LaCroix of Veterinary Business Advisors Inc. in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, spoke at AVMA Convention 2019 on trending dilemmas in human resources, including dilemmas relating to sexual harassment.

She outlined the following two scenarios:

  • • Two doctors and three paraprofessionals are crammed in a small examination room to evaluate a very interesting-looking oral tumor in a dog. As Dr. Phil takes his turn to evaluate the mouth, he brushes against technician Lisa's chest. Is this harassment? As a manager, how should you handle this situation if Lisa alleges harassment?

  • • Dr. Samantha tells receptionist Margaret that she's lost a lot of weight and must be getting a ton of attention from men because she looks “smoking hot.” Margaret feels uncomfortable and tells the practice manager she was sexually harassed.

Management needs to investigate in both situations, Dr. LaCroix said. She continued, “So much of this is based on our history and where we come from, right? I mean, we see differences in demographics on this. The reality is that managers must all be trained to be sensitized, which includes the owners and the employers, and there are two levels of training. There is training at the management level, and then there is sensitization of all your employees.”

Dr. LaCroix said the employee manual should have a clear policy regarding sexual harassment. The policy should do the following:

  • • Define sexual harassment.

  • • State in no uncertain terms that sexual harassment will not be tolerated.

  • • State that wrongdoers will be disciplined or fired.

  • • Set out a clear procedure for filing sexual harassment complaints.

  • • State that any complaint received will be fully investigated.

  • • State that retaliation against anyone who complains about sexual harassment will not be tolerated.

Dr. LaCroix recommends training employees and training managers and supervisors at least once a year. “These sessions should teach employees what sexual harassment is, explain that employees have a right to a workplace free of sexual harassment, review your complaint procedure, and encourage employees to use it.” Training for managers and supervisors should educate them about sexual harassment and explain how to deal with complaints. For small businesses, training via webinar is more affordable than hiring someone to come into the practice.

In investigating a complaint, Dr. LaCroix said, a manager should interview the person making the complaint, with a focus on quantitative information. The manager also should interview any witnesses confidentially. The manager should put together a report with a conclusion. Then the manager should talk to the person complained against. Actions might include training, suspension, or termination.

A member of the audience asked, “How does this work if a staff member feels harassed by a client?” Dr. LaCroix said a manager needs to have a conversation with that client—and can fire a client who can't behave.


California this year started requiring employers with five or more employees to provide training and education regarding sexual harassment for all employees. The California VMA is offering a webinar to help veterinary practices meet this requirement.

The law requires at least two hours of sexual harassment education for all supervisory employees and at least one hour of sexual harassment education for all nonsupervisory employees by Jan. 1, 2020, and once every two years thereafter. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act previously required employers with 50 or more employees to provide sexual harassment education to all supervisory employees.

The CVMA webinar is open to veterinarians, veterinary technicians, hospital staff, and veterinary students. The first hour of the webinar is for all employees. After a 15-minute break, the second hour of the webinar is for supervisors only.

The CVMA is offering the webinar at noon Pacific time on Wednesday Oct. 16 and at 5 p.m. Pacific time on Wednesday Nov. 6. The cost for nonsupervisors is $20. The cost for supervisors is $35 for CVMA members and $60 for nonmembers. Groups must register for the first webinar by Oct. 6 and for the second by Oct. 26. Individuals must register for the first webinar by Oct. 13 and for the second by Nov. 3.

Details are available at jav.ma/harassment.




Annual conference, July 24–27, Savannah, Georgia


The plenary sessions were “A primer to genome editing” by Dr. Claudia Klein, Calgary, Alberta, and “Metabolic and environmental effects on the embryo epigenome” by Dr. Pablo Ross, Davis, California, both sponsored by the American College of Theriogenologists. Forty scientific abstracts, 23 poster presentations, eight case reports, and six case presentations by veterinary students were provided during various sessions at the conference.


David Bartlett Honorary Address


Dr. Ahmed Tibary

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 255, 7; 10.2460/javma.255.7.757

Dr. Ahmed Tibary, Pullman, Washington, presented the address. A 1980 graduate of the Agronomic and Veterinary Institute Hassan II in Rabat, Morocco, Dr. Tibary serves as a professor of theriogenology at the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He is a diplomate of the ACT and serves as vice president of the SFT. Dr. Tibary was recognized for his devotion to excellence in teaching and conducting research in theriogenology and for his clinical expertise in equine, ruminant, and camelid reproduction.

Dr. John Steiner Award for Excellence in Practice


Dr. Pete Sheerin

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 255, 7; 10.2460/javma.255.7.757

Dr. Pete Sheerin (Florida ‘94), New Freedom, Pennsylvania. Dr. Sheerin practices equine medicine at Nandi Veterinary Associates in New Freedom. He is a diplomate of the ACT. Dr. Sheerin was honored for his clinical expertise in reproduction of horses and for his service to the discipline.

Dr. Jerry Rains Memorial Abstract Competition, sponsored by Merck Animal Health

First place ($1,000)—Carleigh Fedorka, Lexington, Kentucky, for “Fetal and maternal immune response to ascending placentitis”; second place ($750)—Mackenzie Roberts, Corvallis, Oregon, for “Genomic testing does not correlate with performance trait phenotype in crossbred calves”; third place ($500)—Chun Kuen Mak, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for “Reproductive hormones of pregnant mares in early aluteal cycles and reproductive parameters of post-treatment cycles”; and fourth place ($250)—Zachary Turner, Athens, Georgia, for “Cryosurvival of epididymal and ejaculated bovine spermatozoa frozen in liposome- and egg yolk-based extenders”

Veterinary Student Case Presentation Competition

First place ($650)—Breanthony Baker, Texas A&M University, for “Spermatic cord enlargement due to lymphangioma”; second place ($525)—Katelyn Kimble, Texas A&M University, for “Subfertility in a stallion caused by a genetic mutation affecting the acrosome reaction”; third place ($450)—Colleen Kutzler, University of Minnesota, for “Dystocia due to schistosomus reflexus in a Miniature Dachshund”; fourth place ($375)—Nichole Whitfill, Auburn University, for “A case of testicular torsion in a 1.5 year old intact Cane Corso”; fifth place ($300)—Lindsay Hilburger, Cornell University, for “Idiopathic infertility in a Friesian stallion”; and sixth place ($200)—Gabrielle Montone, Auburn University, for “Prolonged estrus in a 17 month old intact Doberman”

Student Chapter of the Year Award

First place ($1,000 and a banner)—Auburn University; and second place ($500)—Lincoln Memorial University

T-shirt Design Contest

First place ($300)—Auburn University; and second place ($100)—Texas A&M University

Student Quiz Bowl, sponsored by Merck Animal Health First place ($300)—Auburn University; and second place ($100)—Texas A&M University


The society amended the bylaws to include licensed veterinary technicians as nonvoting members of the SFT. The society also initiated new programs in education and continued its efforts to support veterinary student initiatives and projects of the Theriogenology Foundation. The foundation announced residencies in companion animal theriogenology at Colorado State University, the University of Missouri, and The Ohio State University, beginning in 2020, and will be continuing its efforts on canine genomics through the Working Dog Project.


Drs. Colin Palmer, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, president; Jack Smith, Starkville, Mississippi, president-elect; Ahmed Tibary, Pullman, Washington, vice president; Candace Lyman, Stillwater, Oklahoma, secretary-treasurer; Robyn Wilborn, Auburn, Alabama, immediate past president; and board members—Drs. Hilari French, Miramar, Florida; Heath King, Mississippi State, Mississippi; and Wendy Vaala, Alma, Wisconsin


Dr. Colin Palmer

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 255, 7; 10.2460/javma.255.7.757


Dr. Jack Smith

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 255, 7; 10.2460/javma.255.7.757



Annual meeting, July 25, Savannah, Georgia


Theriogenologist of the Year, sponsored by Universal Imaging


Dr. Rob Lofstedt

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 255, 7; 10.2460/javma.255.7.757

Dr. Rob Lofstedt, Cornwall, Prince Edward Island. A 1973 veterinary graduate of the University of Pretoria in South Africa, Dr. Lofstedt served as a professor of theriogenology at the University of Prince Edward Island Atlantic Veterinary College prior to retirement. He is a diplomate and emeritus member of the ACT. Dr. Lofstedt was honored for his work in creating the Library of Reproductive Images, a teaching and training resource.

Career Excellence in Theriogenology Award, sponsored by Theriogenology Foundation Dr. Robert Youngquist (Iowa State ‘71), Columbia, Missouri. Dr. Youngquist served as a professor and as acting chairman of the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery and was associate dean of academic affairs at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine prior to retirement. He is a diplomate of the ACT. Dr. Youngquist was recognized for his work as the founding editor and editor of Clinical Theriogenology for its first 10 years.


Dr. Robert Youngquist

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 255, 7; 10.2460/javma.255.7.757


Changes to the bylaws were presented and discussed, including changes to the general information guide. The ACT has initiated efforts to define core competencies in theriogenology for graduating veterinary students. The college expressed appreciation and support for the Theriogenology Foundation's work in offering residencies in companion animal theriogenology in collaboration with the American Kennel Club and AKC Canine Health Foundation. Three additional residencies are in the selection process, bringing to 13 the total number of residents supported since 2014.


Julia Baldrighi, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Pouya Dini, Lexington, Kentucky

Sicilia Grady, Newark, Delaware

Babiche Alida Heil, Scone, Australia

Mohammad Ibrahim, Athens, Georgia

Elena Martinez de Andino, College Station, Texas

Anna Mitchell, Ithaca, New York

Mary Ontiveros, Matamata, New Zealand



Dr. Richard Hopper

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 255, 7; 10.2460/javma.255.7.757


Dr. Dirk Vanderwall

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 255, 7; 10.2460/javma.255.7.757

Drs. Richard Hopper, Auburn, Alabama, president; Dirk Vanderwall, Logan, Utah, president-elect; John Dascanio, Harrogate, Tennessee, vice president; Leonardo Brito, Madison, Wisconsin, treasurer; Kara Kolster, Glen Allen, Virginia, secretary; and Reed Holyoak, Stillwater, Oklahoma, immediate past president


The American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine welcomed 53 new diplomates following its board certification examination that was held July 21 in Bethesda, Maryland. The new diplomates are as follows:

Michael Bellin, Frederick, Maryland

Jennifer Beninson, New York

Michael Bradley, Kalamazoo, Michigan

Lauren Bright, New Brunswick, New Jersey

Rachel Brownlee, Davis, California

Christopher Cheleuitte, New York

Richard Chichester, Mesa, Arizona

Daniel Christensen, Frederick, Maryland

Nicole Compo, Toa Baja, Puerto Rico

Marcus Crim, Columbia, Missouri

Amanda Darbyshire, West Lafayette, Indiana

Carolyn Doerning, Cincinnati

Kathleen Donovan, Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Michael Eichner, Stamford, Connecticut

Kathryn Emmer, Columbus, Ohio

Marian Esvelt, Dallas

Megan Fine, Maplewood, Minnesota

Michael Fink, Centennial, Colorado

Jennifer Frohlich, Berkeley, California

Kristin Gardiner, Philadelphia

Sarah Genzer, Atlanta

Brian Gibson, Houston

Jareca Giles, Cary, North Carolina

Kathryn Guerriero, Lynwood, Washington

Kathleen Heng, Stanford, California

Jessica Johnston, Providence, Rhode Island

Juliane Johnston, Atlanta

Brenda Kick, Bar Harbor, Maine

Casey Kissel, Surf City, New Jersey

Pavlo Kovalenko, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Rebecca LaFleur, Boston

Dana LeMoine, Columbus, Ohio

Maggie Lin, Davis, California

Alexis Mackiewicz, Davis, California

Carolyn Malinowski, Paradise Valley, Arizona

Marnie Metzler, Charlotte, North Carolina

Lynn Miller, Frederick, Maryland

Daniel Montonye, Minneapolis

Erica Moore, College Station, Texas

Lauren Neidig, Seattle

Vanessa Oliver, Calgary, Alberta

Natalie Ragland, Tampa, Florida

Elliot Ramos, Silver Spring, Maryland

Amy Rizzo, Blacksburg, Virginia

Andrew Schrader, Silver Spring, Maryland

Timothy Scott, Boston

Bryan Taylor, Gainesville, Florida

Joshua Taylor, Tulane, Louisiana

Adam Werts, Baltimore

Bridget Willeford, Starkville, Mississippi

Quentin Wilson, Dickerson, Maryland

Caroline Winn, Storrs, Connecticut

Bradley Youngblood, Cambridge, Massachusetts



Dr. Barrington (Iowa State ‘54), 91, Sunrise, Arizona, died June 20, 2019. A small animal veterinarian, he co-founded Muscatine Veterinary Hospital in Muscatine, Iowa. Dr. Barrington was a member of the American Animal Hospital Association and Iowa and Eastern Iowa VMAs. Active in his community, he served as president of the Muscatine Chamber of Commerce in 1981 and was a member of the Rotary and Elks clubs.

Dr. Barrington's wife, Ila Mae; a daughter and a son; and four grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to Grace Lutheran Church, 2107 Cedar St., Muscatine, IA 52761; Banner Hospice, 202 E. Earll Drive, Suite 160, Phoenix, AZ 85012; or Companion Animal Fund, Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, 1809 S. Riverside Drive, Ames, IA 50011.


Dr. Cisco (Auburn ‘67), 78, Summerville, Oregon, died June 26, 2019. He and his wife, Dr. Mary Aiwohi (Washington State ‘84), co-owned Grande Ronde Mobile Veterinary Clinic, a small animal veterinary mobile practice based in Summerville, for 15 years. Following graduation, Dr. Cisco served as an associate veterinarian at Blue Cross Animal Hospital in Las Vegas. In the 1970s, he established Rancho Animal Hospital in Las Vegas. Dr. Cisco went on to own Fairgrounds Animal Hospital in Reno, Nevada, and Animal Care Center in Fernley, Nevada, before founding his mobile practice.

He is survived by his wife; four sons; a grandchild; and a brother and two sisters. Memorials may be made to Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, 1010 Wire Road, Auburn, AL 36849.


Dr. Godbey (Cornell ‘13), 32, Tallahassee, Florida, died June 15, 2019. He practiced at Allied Veterinary Emergency Hospital in Tallahassee, also serving as a relief veterinarian at Novey Animal Hospital in Tallahassee and at other practices in the area. Earlier, Dr. Godbey worked in Las Vegas. He was a past president of the Big Bend VMA. Dr. Godbey's wife, Leah; a daughter; and his parents survive him.


Dr. Scott-Myers (Purdue ‘83), 61, Columbia City, Indiana, died March 15, 2019. She practiced emergency medicine at the Northeast Indiana Veterinary Emergency Specialty Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Prior to that, Dr. Scott-Myers worked at Columbia City Veterinary Hospital. She was a member of the Northeast Indiana VMA. Dr. Scott-Myers' husband, Mike; three sons; and three brothers and three sisters survive her. Memorials may be made to Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, P.O. Box 414238, Boston, MA 02241, or Humane Society of Whitley County, 951 S. Line St., Columbia City, IN 46725.


Dr. Stanley (Kansas State ‘00), 45, Santa Monica, California, died May 29, 2019. Following graduation and after completing a residency and internship in small animal medicine at the Animal Medical Center in New York, he joined Fifth Avenue Veterinary Specialists in New York as a staff internist. Dr. Stanley subsequently headed the internal medicine department and served as medical director of the practice.

In 2010, he joined the veterinary faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, serving as a lecturer at Penn Vet's Ryan Hospital. Dr. Stanley later returned to Fifth Avenue Veterinary Specialists as staff internist and medical director. In 2014, he moved to California, where he continued to practice small animal medicine in Santa Monica and Fountain Valley.

Dr. Stanley was a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. His mother and two brothers survive him. Memorials toward the Skye Stanley Memorial Fund (for animal care) may be sent c/o Boomhower Funeral Home, 145 N. Wichita Ave., Dighton, KS 67839.


Dr. Walser (Minnesota ‘54), 91, Negaunee, Michigan, died July 12, 2019. Following graduation, he moved to Stacyville, Iowa, and began his career in large animal medicine. Dr. Walser served Iowa's Mitchell County and Minnesota's Mower County for almost 40 years, retiring in 1993. He was a veteran of the Navy.

Dr. Walser is survived by four daughters, four grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and a brother. Memorials may be made to Upper Peninsula Home Health and Hospice, 1125 W. Ridge St., Marquette, MI 49855, uphomehealth.org, or Pheasants Forever Inc., an organization dedicated to the conservation of pheasants, quail, and other wildlife, and sent to 1783 Buerkle Circle, St. Paul, MN 55110, pheasantsforever.org/donations.

  • Anita Oberbauer, PhD

  • Food and Drug Administration investigators are studying possible links between dog foods and the heart disease dilated cardiomyopathy. Diets high in legumes have been connected with most cases reported to the agency.

  • Images of cats in which pain was absent, moderately present, or markedly present (Courtesy of Dr. Paulo Steagall)

  • The audience met in small groups for discussion during the Aug. 3 panel on “Employment Value: What Candidates and Employers Want From Each Other” at AVMA Convention 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Sara Beugen/ShootMyEvents.com)

  • Some attendees at AVMA Convention 2019 in Washington, D.C., learn about the use of forensic chemistry to test for drugs such as cannabinoids and opioids during a tour of the Public Health Laboratory in the District of Columbia Department of Forensic Sciences.

  • Dr. Kate Crumley, alternate delegate for the American Animal Hospital Association, speaks about the pros and cons of an amendment to the AVMA Bylaws that requires more experience for candidates to serve as district representatives on the AVMA Board of Directors. (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

  • The 30th National Veterinary Scholars Symposium featured poster presentations from veterinary students completing summer research projects. (Photo by Shawn Kelly)

  • Sydney Bork of Colorado State University was one of five recipients of stipends from the American Veterinary Medical Foundation for veterinary students conducting a second year of summer research. (Photo by Dr. Ed Murphey)

  • Food and Drug Administration authorities are reexamining “zero-day” labels on farm-use drugs. They want to know how long it takes to transport livestock from production facilities to slaughter plants, how often dairy cows are milked, and how veterinarians and farmers interpret drug-label language such as “zero-day withdrawal period” or “zero-day milk discard time.”

  • Dr. Cindy Franklin, alternate delegate for South Dakota in the AVMA House of Delegates, discusses a resolution concerning sexual harassment awareness during the regular annual session of the HOD in August in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with AVMA Convention 2019. (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

  • Dr. Ahmed Tibary

  • Dr. Pete Sheerin

  • Dr. Colin Palmer

  • Dr. Jack Smith

  • Dr. Rob Lofstedt

  • Dr. Robert Youngquist

  • Dr. Richard Hopper

  • Dr. Dirk Vanderwall