Click on author name to view affiliation information



The Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service reported Jan. 16 on progress the agency is making to implement programs funded by the 2018 Farm Bill.

APHIS awarded $5.2 million to the National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program. NADPRP-funded projects will advance the capabilities, capacity, and readiness of the nation's disaster responders in the animal agriculture sector through training and exercises, including in all major livestock industries. The projects will be led by state animal health authorities and land-grant universities in 25 states.

The National Animal Health Laboratory Network received $5 million in funding. NAHLN-funded projects will be led by network laboratories in 19 states. Collectively, the projects address test method development and validation, improving electronic transmission of data, increasing biosafety and biosecurity in laboratories, and enhancing emergency preparedness.

The agency is also moving forward with developing the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank. The first priority is to increase the U.S. stockpile of vaccines against foot-and-mouth disease, according to a USDA press release. Recently, APHIS issued a request for proposals, and the agency plans to have the initial FMD vaccine contracts in place by the end of June. APHIS’ target goal is to invest up to $30 million in FMD vaccines by the end of 2020.

More information about these programs is available at aphis.usda.gov/aphis/resources/farmbill.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture is making it easier for diagnostic laboratories to understand the requirements for conducting vital livestock disease testing on the department's behalf.

The USDA announced in January regulations switching to a single, user-friendly process for laboratories not within the National Animal Health Laboratory Network or National Poultry Improvement Plan to be approved and remain approved to conduct a variety of tests for the USDA.

The final rule defines the NAHLN as being primarily composed of federal, state, and university-associated animal health laboratories. The USDA thought the new rule necessary because the network uses private laboratories on a case-by-case basis when their capabilities are needed.

Existing approved laboratories would begin using the new process at the time of their next renewal. The USDA began implementing the new process for newly requested approvals on Feb. 24.


Hill's Pet Nutrition and the startup Embark Veterinary Inc. have designed a collaborative study to identify genetic risk factors for dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs and potentially develop methods for early detection of the condition.

Embark, which operates in partnership with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, currently offers both breed identification testing and testing for genetic disorders. Together with Hill's, Embark has created a study that has the potential to improve understanding of the possible link between genetics and the risk of DCM in dogs. The results could lead to early diagnostic tests and the potential for improved nutritional interventions, according to Hill's.

The study started early this year with a goal of including 1,000 dogs with DCM. Once enough dogs have been enrolled in the study, researchers at Embark and Hill's will analyze the genomes of the dogs and look for possible commonalities.

Embark and Hill's are offering free DNA kits to the first 1,000 dogs that have been determined to have DCM and are eligible to participate. Qualifying dog owners who submit a valid DNA sample from their dog will receive a comprehensive Embark profile that includes their dog's breed breakdown. Dog owners interested in participating should review the eligibility criteria and fill out a survey about their dog at hills.us/embark.

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

Q&A: Board chair embraces veterinary family ties

Carlson discusses the power in working together, looking ahead


Dr. Rena Carlson, 2019-20 AVMA Board of Directors chair (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 256, 6; 10.2460/javma.256.6.617

Interview by Malinda Larkin

Dr. Rena Carlson was elected to a one-year term as chair of the AVMA Board of Directors last July in Washington, D.C. She has held leadership roles since early in her veterinary career and has no intentions of stopping now.

A 1989 graduate of the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Carlson was co-owner for 27 years of Alpine Animal Hospital in Pocatello, Idaho, a mixed animal practice that currently employs six doctors. She has served in numerous leadership positions within the Idaho VMA, including president and board chair, and represented Idaho in the AVMA House of Delegates from 2005 until 2014. In 2014, she became the District IX representative to the AVMA Board, representing AVMA members in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

Recently, Dr. Carlson spoke to JAVMA News about her priorities and how she wants the Board to position the AVMA to support veterinarians for years into the future.

The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.


A. My focus and the Board's focus is ensuring members receive the most value possible from their AVMA membership. Over the past few years, we focused on early-career veterinarians, equipping them with the tools and resources they need to start careers that are professionally, personally, and financially rewarding. We launched myveterinarylife.org to provide tools related to early-career development, well-being, and financial health.

Now we are expanding that focus to our midcareer folks and independent practitioners, providing tools that can ensure practice profitability and career growth. We recently launched AVMA Direct Connect, a free benefit for members that saves not only time, by reducing the number of hours practices spend ordering, but also a lot of money, through enhanced loyalty rewards. We built this program because we know practices want and need tools to help improve their profitability.

We are also about to celebrate the one-year anniversary of AVMA Axon, our new digital continuing education platform. Already, hundreds of courses have been completed, and we are constantly developing new content.

Lastly, we're working closely with the AVMA family, including the AVMA Trust, to bring members association health plans and insurance products designed specifically for veterinarians and veterinary practices, and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, which provides resources such as the Veterinary Care Charitable Fund. This fund is a simple and effective way to offer charitable veterinary services to clients facing personal hardships. Working together on behalf of members, veterinarians, the profession, and the animals we serve is the primary focus of the AVMA family as a whole.

We are focused this year on enhancing the public visibility of the profession, which is something our members tell us is important to them. Last year, we worked with regional and national media outlets and generated close to 15,000 news stories focused on the AVMA and veterinary-related stories. We also used our social media channels to spread the word about the great work AVMA members do each day.

Another priority is making sure the Board is equipped to lead the AVMA in the most effective and efficient way on behalf of our 95,000-plus members. This includes leading the organization's strategic and financial planning processes so that we are investing in the right programming to help our members succeed well into the future.


A. Our main role as a veterinary association is to support the veterinary community as a whole. Fully leveraging technicians is a win-win for all involved—it's good for practice efficiency and economics, but it's also essential for the well-being of veterinarians, veterinary technicians, clinic staff, clients, and the animals we treat (see story, page 632). Simply put, it's how we can deliver the highest-quality medicine in a very cost-effective manner and reach as many clients and patients as possible. We provide association management services to NAVTA (the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America) and care passionately about veterinary technicians. It is essential that veterinary technicians are at the table when addressing the key issues we are all facing, so we are very committed to NAVTA.


A. Our greatest strength is our members. This is a great profession, and three out of four veterinarians are AVMA members. Standing together, we are able to address key issues with a clear and deliberate voice, protecting the profession in terms of advocacy, policy development, and key issues. We are truly powered by our members, and because of our members, we are able to make meaningful contributions to the profession as well as provide valuable tools to every individual member.

We also have passionate and dedicated volunteers, and the collaboration between volunteer leadership and staff working together to deliver member value is truly remarkable. Thanks to our structure of volunteer leadership, everyone has a voice, from our leaders on the Board, each of whom represents a district from across the U.S.; to our House of Delegates, made up of representatives from state and allied organizations; to our councils and committees, composed of volunteers from across the country. This ensures we work on issues in a collaborative way that ultimately builds consensus and a unified perspective.

Lastly, we are the trusted convener. We work with organizations across the profession and beyond to make sure the veterinary perspective is prioritized. Policy development and legislative advocacy are some of the important things we do to protect the profession—from our Ambassador Program to legislative fly-ins to maintaining important relationships on Capitol Hill. We have lots of outreach to ensure the veterinary perspective is included.


A. This is a good example of the AVMA family working together to help those in need.

The Board approved a $25,000 donation from the AVMA along with a $50,000 matching donation from the American Veterinary Medical Foundation to the Australian Veterinary Association's Benevolent Fund. Members and the public were incredibly responsive and generous, and we raised funds to provide a total of over $125,000 to the AVA. (Update: The AVMA has since announced a second matching donation from VCA Charities of $50,000 to the AVMF, also to benefit the AVA's Benevolent Fund.)

I think the reason so many people want to help is that it goes down to the individual animal level. You see veterinarians and groups of people finding animals in need and figuring out how we can relieve their suffering or treat them. Additionally, you see the environmental impacts of the fires, not only for the animals but also for the people involved, and you also see the human impact of the disaster. It's really a one-health problem, which has always been an important focus for the AVMA. Disasters such as these really illustrate how people and animals and the environment are all impacted in negative ways and how we can positively support recovery.


A. I see telemedicine as an incredible tool and opportunity that we can use to improve patient care and strengthen our relationship with our clients. It can help us triage patients, both during and after hours. It allows us to better connect with our clients and patients between visits to support ongoing care and provide earlier intervention when things are not going as planned. And it can support and improve communication between primary care veterinarians and specialists, while making needed specialty care more accessible to our patients. It can also facilitate information sharing and education—team to team, colleague to colleague, and veterinarian to client.

As existing technologies improve and new ones emerge, we need to look for the best ways to apply them while also collecting data that helps us assess their value for improving clinical outcomes in our patients as well as the business side of our practices. And while we're creating excitement around what might be possible, it's also absolutely critical that we understand and are working within the current regulatory framework when using these tools, including the VCPR (veterinarian-client-patient relationship) at both the federal and state levels. We also recognize the potential for that framework to evolve as we learn more about what works and what doesn't for our patients and clients in this space.


A. This is a great example of a situation where market demand has gotten ahead of science and regulation. Cannabidiol is widely available and is being marketed as a treatment for a variety of medical conditions in pets, but with little to no assurance of product efficacy, safety, or quality and a variety of approaches on the part of manufacturers to those concerns. So, a bit of a Wild West out there.

Based on what we know about the cannabinoid system in animals and people, cannabis-derived products do appear to have great therapeutic potential, including for treatment of epilepsy, osteoarthritis, cancer, and anxiety in pets. That said, there are currently no cannabis-derived products that are FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved for use in animals. To gain that approval, more scientific evidence around product effectiveness—including what formulations and dosages are appropriate—and safety is needed. The AVMA has continuously advocated the need for more research, to both government and industry. Fortunately, relatively recent changes in federal law have made cannabis and specifically hemp more easily accessible to researchers. Improved access and a booming business market have significantly increased the number of laboratories conducting studies in this area, which is a good thing.

That said, the AVMA recognizes that veterinarians still have an obligation to understand and follow the law—and that the law is confusing. This means that at the same time we have been speaking with researchers, exploring the veterinary and human medical literature around cannabinoids and other cannabis-derived compounds, sharing what we know, and encouraging veterinarians to educate their clients, we have worked hard to ensure veterinarians are aware of current limitations on their ability to recommend, administer, dispense, and sell these products. And we have been advocating to those in Washington, as well as supporting our state VMAs, in seeking a clearer and more consistent regulatory approach to cannabis and its derivatives at both the federal and state levels.


A. My goal this year is to work on planning a little further into the future. We're already very good at the three-year planning cycle, and I'm now leading the Board to look at what things might look like in five or 10 years. How can we position the AVMA to support the profession further into the future?

Things are moving so fast, and because of that, it's important to look at various societal trends: pet ownership and human-animal bond trends and innovation and changes in technology are a few examples. We can try to learn what the future might look like and what we can do today to continue providing value to members in five years and beyond. We're not trying to predict the future but to prepare for the future. What might the impact of changing technology look like for monitoring animals? How will we assess the health and well-being of animals? How will we treat diseases when looking at gene therapy and unique drug therapies? We're growing cells in different ways; what are the ethical considerations? I've challenged our Board to think in those terms. It's important to plan for our three-year cycle, but can we also start looking further into the future, and I am excited to bring that to our work.

VMX features second well-being study

Banfield report, also released at the conference, focuses on overweight pets


Sessions on small animal endocrinology were among the continuing education offerings at the 2020 Veterinary Meeting & Expo, Jan. 18-22 in Orlando, Florida. (Courtesy of VMX 2020/Universal Image)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 256, 6; 10.2460/javma.256.6.617

By Katie Burns

The percentage of veterinarians who consider the suicide rate in the profession to be a leading concern increased from 80% to 89% between 2017 and 2019, according to the second Merck Animal Health Veterinarian Wellbeing Study.

Merck Animal Health released the results of the well-being study during the 2020 Veterinary Meeting & Expo, Jan. 18-22 in Orlando, Florida. Also at the conference, Banfield Pet Hospital released its fourth annual Veterinary Emerging Topics Report, focusing on overweight pets.

The North American Veterinary Community, a nonprofit that provides continuing education and other services, renamed its flagship conference as VMX starting in 2018. VMX 2020 attracted more than 18,000 attendees and offered more than 1,200 hours of CE, including hands-on workshops, a multitude of program tracks, and hundreds of speakers.


Merck Animal Health conducted the well-being study in collaboration with the AVMA. Brakke Consulting Inc. sent an online survey in September and October 2019 to a nationally representative sample of 20,000 veterinarians and received 2,871 usable responses. Data were weighted on the basis of age, gender, and region.

Of 14 dimensions of job satisfaction, veterinarians rated highest the statements “I'm invested in my work and take pride in doing a good job” and “My work makes a positive contribution to people's lives.”

Along with the suicide rate, leading concerns for veterinarians again included stress levels and educational debt. Other top concerns were the ability to retire or exit the profession, a declining willingness among clients to pay for veterinary care, and cyberbullying and vicious online reviews. Just 43% of veterinarians would recommend a career in the veterinary profession, citing educational debt and low pay as the main reasons, compared with 41% in 2017. The study found that veterinarians’ well-being on average was unchanged between 2017 and 2019.

Veterinarians increasingly agreed with the statement “Veterinarians are caring toward those with mental illness,” with 24% agreeing in 2017 and 57% agreeing in 2019. Nevertheless, in 2019, 52% of distressed veterinarians who needed mental health treatment or therapy in the past 12 months said they didn't get it.

Using the Mayo Clinic Physician Burnout and Wellbeing Scale, the study found that veterinarians, despite working fewer hours, had a higher rate of burnout than physicians, with a mean score of 3.1 on the 7-point scale versus 2.24.

The prevalence of serious psychological distress in veterinarians was consistent with that for the general population of employed U.S. adults. Veterinarians are much more likely to think about suicide than nonveterinarians, however, and more than 2.7 times as likely to attempt suicide.

“This study affirms that more veterinarians are comfortable discussing mental health related topics and there has been a significant increase in the number of respondents who believe that veterinarians are caring toward those with mental illness. That's an incredibly positive shift in the last few years and suggests that educational efforts to reduce stigma have had a measurable impact,” said Dr. John Howe, president of the AVMA, in an announcement about the study. “In addition, this study links the data to practical and realistic strategies that individuals and organizations can apply to enhance wellbeing. As an organization that serves veterinarians, our mission is to protect the health and welfare of our members and the future of the profession. The more clarity we have on contributing factors, the greater confidence we have in developing resources that create a substantive difference.”

The study found that veterinarians who were not distressed were more likely than distressed veterinarians to do the following: have a healthy method for dealing with stress; spend time with family; hike, walk, or participate in sports; exercise; socialize with friends; spend time on a hobby; sleep at least eight hours a night; read for pleasure; volunteer; have a financial planner; and limit time on social media.

Merck Animal Health made a second $100,000 commitment following up on its 2017 pledge to support the AVMA's well-being resources, many of which are available at avma.org/wellbeing.

Source: Merck Animal Health Veterinarian Wellbeing Study


As before, Banfield released its VET Report in partnership with the NAVC. The 2020 report, available at banfield.com/vetreport, examines overweight pets and weight management, building on the 2019 report about the management of osteoarthritis in overweight and obese dogs and cats.

According to the new report, 51% of the 1.9 million adult dogs—age 2 and up—seen at Banfield's more than 1,000 hospitals nationwide in 2018 were overweight. Less than 10% of those dogs were successful in losing 10% of their body weight in the three to six months after diagnosis. Of those that did initially lose at least 10% of their body weight and were then classified as healthy weight, approximately 40% regained weight and were reclassified as overweight six to 12 months later.

Owners of dogs that lost weight and kept it off were more likely to have multiple dogs in the house, to report consistently measuring daily food portions, and to use pet care services such as pet walkers, but not dog day care.

To improve patient outcomes, the report made the following recommendations for veterinary teams:

  • • Incorporate a complete nutritional assessment into the veterinary visit.

  • • Make the pet weight-loss program into a team effort.

  • • Develop individualized weight-loss plans.

According to the conclusion, “Setting reasonable expectations, celebrating successes, acknowledging failures and relapses and learning from them, and adjusting the weight loss plan when appropriate are some of the basic concepts for pet weight loss programs identified throughout this report.”


Also during VMX, Nationwide announced a new health insurance plan for avian and exotic pets.

About 15% of U.S. pet owners keep a bird or an exotic animal as a pet, according to Nationwide. As with dogs and cats, these pets require veterinary care that can sometimes put a strain on their owners’ finances. According to Nationwide, the top health conditions in these species are dehydration or constipation for small mammals, at a mean treatment cost of $483; feather picking or loss for birds, $305; and internal parasites for reptiles or amphibians, $72.

The new health insurance plan is the only one available for avian and exotic pets in the U.S., according to the announcement. The plan reimburses up to 90% of eligible veterinary expenses, inclusive of the most common medical conditions for these species, and includes an option for preventive care. Details are at everypetinsurance.com.


As part of VMX, the NAVC announced Embrace, a new legislative advocacy program to give veterinary professionals and pet owners a platform to advocate for animals. The program launched with a call to action in support of a resolution and two bills in Congress: a resolution to support designation of National Animal Rescue Day, the Strengthening Support for Veterans with Service Animals Act, and the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers Act.

In 2018, the NAVC Veterinary Innovation Council created a political action committee, PetsPAC, focusing on state legislative advocacy. Information about the NAVC legislative advocacy programs is at navc.com/advocacy.

The 2020-21 NAVC officers are veterinary technician Paige Allen, West Lafayette, Indiana, president; veterinary technician Harold Davis, West Sacramento, California, president-elect; Dr. Bob Lester, Vancouver, Washington, vice president; Dr. Christine Navarre, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, treasurer; and Dr. Cheryl Good, Dearborn, Michigan, immediate past president.



Scout and certified veterinary technician Ashley Onsager (Photos courtesy of WeatherTech)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 256, 6; 10.2460/javma.256.6.617


Scout wears a colorful bandanna to each appointment.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 256, 6; 10.2460/javma.256.6.617

By Kaitlyn Mattson

Every dog has his day, and for Scout the Golden Retriever, that day was Feb. 2. He and the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine—and by extension, the veterinary profession—were at the center of a 2020 Super Bowl commercial.

The 30-second spot told the story of Scout and the cancer treatment he received at the veterinary school. The commercial prompted several large donations to the UW Foundation's Pets Make a Difference Fund, which benefits the veterinary school and its work to improve animal and human health.

The veterinary school had not released official donation totals as of press time in mid-February, but the fund did report that it had received thousands of gifts from donors across the U.S., Europe, and South America after the commercial aired. The gifts ranged from $5 to a $250,000 donation from the Petco Foundation. Full gift totals were not available as of press time in mid-February.

“This is an amazing opportunity not only for the UW-Madison veterinary school but for veterinary medicine worldwide,” Dr. Mark Markel, dean of the veterinary school, said in a press release. “So much of what's known globally today about how best to diagnose and treat devastating diseases such as cancer originated in veterinary medicine. We're thrilled to share with Super Bowl viewers how our profession benefits animals like Scout and helps people too.”

The veterinary school first encountered the 7-year-old Scout after a heart tumor was diagnosed in July. The treatment plan from the team at the veterinary school led to the tumor all but disappearing.

“Scout's illness devastated us,” said Scout's owner, David MacNeil, in a press release. “We wanted this year's Super Bowl effort to not only raise awareness, but also financial support for the incredible research and innovative treatments happening at the veterinary school, where Scout is still a patient.”

MacNeil is CEO and founder of WeatherTech, a car accessory manufacturer in Bolingbrook, Illinois. Scout acts as the company's mascot and appeared in a 2019 Super Bowl commercial for WeatherTech.

MacNeil said he was so appreciative of the care Scout received at the veterinary school that he wanted to do something to showcase the work its board-certified oncology specialists and team do.

“We wanted to use the biggest stage possible to highlight Scout's story and these incredible breakthroughs, which are not just limited to helping dogs and pets,” MacNeil said in the press release. “This research will help advance cancer treatments for humans as well, so there's the potential to save millions of lives of all species.”

The 2020 Super Bowl was seen by 102 million viewers across platforms. The average price for a 30-second ad was around $5 million, according to media reports.

The “Lucky Dog” commercial was produced by Pinnacle Advertising, a Schaumburg, Illinois-based agency. The filming took place in December at UW Veterinary Care, the school's veterinary teaching hospital.


A drug resistance-focused nonprofit organization is creating one-health certifications for meat, dairy, and egg producers.

The One Health Certified program, administered by the National Institute of Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education, so far provides certification programs for chickens and turkeys raised for meat, and organization officials hope to complete standards for pork this year. The institute is based in Iowa State University's research park.

Dr. Kristen Obbink, associate director of NIAMRRE, said the organization works with experts to develop standards related to disease prevention, veterinary care, responsible antimicrobial administration, animal welfare, and environmental impact and opens those standards to public comment. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service conducts audits on those standards, and third-party audits verify compliance with the welfare standards, she said.

Dr. Obbink said the program's standards are intended to reflect a system-based approach that considers the overall circumstances of how farms animals are raised. The program's branding assures consumers that production companies’ practices are in the best interests of animals, humans, and natural environments, she said.

The program limits concurrent labels, prohibiting use of the One Health Certified logo on products also labeled as cage free, gluten free, or produced with no antibiotics, although it can be used with the Humane Certified label. Dr. Obbink said those other labels can confuse consumers, who may think competing products, for example, contain antimicrobials.

A statement from NIAMRRE issued in January indicates the chicken meat producer Mountaire Farms became the first company to adopt One Health Certified standards, completing audits in November 2019.

“It was important to us that we participate in a holistic and ethical program that strives for optimal health outcomes for animals, consumers, and the planet,” said Dr. Don Ritter, director of technical marketing at Mountaire Farms, in the announcement.



Officers of the British Veterinary Association—(from left to right) Drs. Christianne Glossop, Christine Middlemiss, Sheila Voas, and Daniella Dos Santos—hold up signs for “Standing on Her Shoulders,” which was the theme of a campaign celebrating the centennial of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 that removed legal barriers preventing women from entering the veterinary profession and other fields in the U.K. (Courtesy of BVA)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 256, 6; 10.2460/javma.256.6.617

By Kaitlyn Mattson

The veterinary profession in the U.K. celebrated 100 years of women being allowed on the veterinary register in December 2019.

“I am honored to be a female president celebrating this centenary,” said Dr. Daniella Dos Santos, president of the British Veterinary Association, in a press release. “Thanks to those women who went before me I have been able to join this amazing profession and do a job I love.”

The Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 removed the legal barriers preventing women from entering the legal, accounting, and veterinary professions and civil service in the U.K.

“A person shall not be disqualified by sex or marriage from the exercise of any public function, or from being appointed to or holding any civil or judicial office or post, or from entering or assuming or carrying on any civil profession or vocation, or for admission to any incorporated society,” according to the language of the legislation.

To celebrate the anniversary, BVA officers—Drs. Christianne Glossop, Christine Middlemiss, Sheila Voas, and Daniella Dos Santos—visited the Parliamentary Archives of the United Kingdom, which preserves and makes available to the public the records of the House of Lords and the House of Commons, to view the document.

“Seeing the act which made this possible in person was an emotional experience for me and I know that my fellow officers were also delighted to be allowed access to the document which has had such a tremendous impact on our profession,” Dr. Dos Santos said in the press release.

The 1919 law allowed for Dr. Aleen Cust to become the first female veterinary surgeon to be recognized by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1922. Dr. Cust was born in 1868 in Tipperary, Ireland. She enrolled in the New Veterinary College in Edinburgh, Scotland, under the name A.I. Custance in 1894, although how she gained admission is unknown as all veterinary students in the U.K. at the time were male. The RCVS first denied her application to the registry in 1897. She graduated in 1900 and returned to Ireland to practice. Unable to call herself a veterinarian, she worked as an assistant to a veterinarian.

“Like me, Dr. Cust had only ever wanted to be one thing,” Dr. Dos Santos said in the press release. “One hundred years ago she was working as a vet but not legally recognized as one. Today we celebrate women in our profession, but we've still got a way to go on equality, diversity, and inclusion. We're up for the challenge.” Women make up about 60% of the veterinary profession today in the U.K., and 80% of veterinary students in the U.K. are women, according to the BVA.

The BVA also celebrated the centennial by highlighting the achievements of women veterinarians on social media and using the hashtag #StandingOnHerShoulders. The organization encouraged other veterinary professions to use the tag and highlight other female veterinarians who inspire them.

The United States’ first college-trained female veterinarian, Dr. Mignon Nicholson, graduated in 1903 from McKillip Veterinary College in Chicago, according to JAVMA archives. Dr. Elinor McGrath graduated from Chicago Veterinary College in 1910 and went on to become the AVMA's first female member. She and Dr. Florence Kimball, who graduated from Cornell University the same year, became small animal practitioners.

DOT proposes to let airlines limit service animals to trained dogs

Emotional support animals could be treated as pets

By Greg Cima

Proposed federal rules would let airlines treat emotional support animals as pets.

The rules announced in January and published in the Federal Register on Feb. 2 by the Department of Transportation would more narrowly define service animals as dogs trained to perform work or tasks for people with disabilities. Airlines would still need to accommodate people traveling with up to two service dogs.

But airlines could require that passengers submit forms that affirm their dogs are trained, well-behaved, healthy, and able to either delay urinating or defecating during the flight or relieve themselves in a sanitary manner. Those health affirmations could include veterinarian-completed forms similar to the certificates of veterinary inspection used by states and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Airlines have expressed concerns that their inability to verify, pre-incident, that an animal has received the proper vaccinations has caused individuals bitten by service animals to undergo painful and expensive rabies treatment,” the proposal states.

People have tried to board flights with myriad species, claiming as emotional support animals a peacock, ducks, turkeys, pigs, and iguanas, according to the proposal.

Airlines complained of safety risks to crew members, passengers, and legitimate service animals, as well as decried lost revenue from fees charged to accommodate pets. The proposal states that thousands of passengers also complained to the airlines.

“Under the proposed rulemaking, carriers would no longer be required to recognize emotional support animals as service animals,” the proposal states. “Passengers currently have an incentive to claim pets as emotional support animals as existing regulations require carriers to transport all emotional support animals at no cost to the passenger.”

Canine Companions for Independence, which provides trained assistance dogs to people with disabilities, published a statement that the proposal was a positive step but disagreed with provisions that could increase the burdens for people flying with service dogs.

Molly Schulz, spokeswoman for CCI, said the organization agrees with the decision to adjust the DOT's definition of a service animal to align with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which defines a service animal as a dog individually trained for work or tasks that benefit a person with a disability. But the organization wants equal rights for people who have disabilities and says they should have the same travel requirements as the rest of the public.

The DOT proposal would let airlines require that people with service dogs arrive at the airport one hour earlier than other passengers, as well as fill out forms about those dogs.

Schulz noted that people who have service dogs already often need more time to prepare ahead of arriving at an airport, which includes caring for the service dog and ensuring it will have adequate time to relieve itself before travel.

Schulz said people who have negative interactions with untrained emotional support animals can carry negative perceptions about service animals, creating barriers for people who have trained dogs. The CCI also wants to ensure service animals are safe while traveling.

The DOT also would let airlines limit sizes of service animals to those able to fit within a passenger's foot space on the aircraft or in the passenger's lap.

“While the Department is sensitive to the fact that many large service animals, such as German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and Labrador Retrievers, tend to accompany individuals with disabilities, particularly individuals with mobility impairments, these animals are often trained to fit into small spaces,” the proposal states. “The Department seeks comment on its proposal to limit the size of service animals based on whether the animal can fit into the foot space afforded to the passenger on that particular aircraft type, or on whether the service animal is no larger than a lap-held child and can be placed on the passenger's lap.”

When dogs are unable to fit in such spaces, airlines could find empty seats in the same service class, offer to carry the dog in cargo for free, or offer space on a later flight, the proposal states.

At press time, AVMA officials sought comments from members through February as they planned to submit comments on the proposal. In July 2018, the Association submitted comments in response to a series of questions from the DOT on categories of service animals and emotional support animals, which species should be accommodated as service or support animals, whether airlines should be allowed to limit the number of service or support animals with a passenger, whether airlines should be allowed to require health forms or immunization records, whether airlines should collect affirmations that service and support animals are trained to behave in public, and what responsibilities airlines should have for service animal limits by foreign partners.

The AVMA's 2018 comments are available at jav.ma/AVMAcomments.

Congressmen call for public health coordination amid coronavirus outbreak

Animal source for the disease unknown at the time


A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention illustration of the 2019 novel coronavirus that caused an outbreak of respiratory illness, COVID-19, first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China (Courtesy of CDC)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 256, 6; 10.2460/javma.256.6.617

By Greg Cima

A coronavirus that recently emerged in China likely originated in animals before spreading person to person, according to the World Health Organization.

As the virus spread to thousands of people and crossed international borders, two veterinarians in Congress declared that the outbreak showed the importance of coordinating national and international responses. Rep. Kurt Schrader of Oregon and Rep. Ted Yoho of Florida said in a Jan. 30 call with media organizations that their legislation, the Advancing Emergency Preparedness Through One Health Act (HR 3771/S 1903), introduced in July 2019, would improve preparations for future outbreaks.

Dr. Schrader said well-intentioned epidemic responses by state governments and federal agencies tend to be isolated.

“We need to put all those groups together,” Dr. Schrader said. “The goal is to have a much more coordinated federal response that integrates with threats from overseas or, frankly, within this country.”

The bill would require that the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Agriculture lead federal efforts to draft a plan for coordinated zoonosis prevention, preparation, and response, as well as submit the plan to Congress. Dr. Schrader said such a plan could help authorities identify pathogens more quickly and respond with vaccine development, quarantines, and public health responses guided by experts on zoonotic diseases.

Dr. Yoho said veterinarians saw the risks and effects of Lyme disease before physicians took notice, and he hopes the legislation reduces such compartmentalization.


WHO officials learned Dec. 31 that several people in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, developed pneumonia linked with a novel virus, according to WHO information. One week later, Chinese authorities confirmed they had identified a new coronavirus. Viruses in this family cause the common cold in humans and caused outbreaks of severe acute respiratory syndrome in 2003 and Middle East respiratory syndrome in 2012.

Health authorities confirmed 45,000 infections with the new coronavirus by Feb. 12, with more than 99% of these in China. About 8,000 people developed severe illness, and 1,115 died, with 1,114 of those deaths occurring in China and one in the Philippines.

At press time in mid-February, the animal source for the coronavirus emerging in China remained unknown.

Investigators linked some of the earliest known infections with a meat and live animal market in Wuhan. In January, WHO officials noted that almost all of the infections in other countries occurred among people who had traveled from Wuhan or people linked with others who had been to Wuhan.

By the end of January, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had begun 14-day quarantines of 195 airline passengers arriving at a California air base from Wuhan, the agency's first quarantine order in more than 50 years. On Feb. 12, CDC officials announced they had discharged 195 people from quarantine a day earlier, but more than 600 who arrived in the U.S. on chartered flights from Wuhan remained in federal quarantine and two people in quarantine so far had tested positive for infection with COVID-19.

The Trump administration suspended entry of most immigrants and visitors within 14 days of leaving mainland China.

The U.S. Department of State also advised Americans against traveling to or remaining in China because of the risk from the outbreak, and U.S.-based airlines announced halts to all flights to mainland China.

WHO officials warned that, in the outbreaks with SARS and MERS, those coronaviruses spread among humans through droplets, contact, and fomites.


Dr. Christopher W. Olsen directs a global health certificate program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health and is a professor emeritus of public health in the university's School of Veterinary Medicine. He said during a meeting in late January of the AVMA Council on Public Health that scientists in China worked remarkably quickly to sequence the new coronavirus. That analysis showed it is a bat-origin coronavirus closely related to the SARS virus that emerged in 2002.

But much remained unknown early in the outbreak, including how the virus first spread to people, whether the virus could infect domesticated species, and what portion of the population in China had unreported infections with the novel coronavirus, he said.

Dr. Olsen noted that civets served as intermediary hosts between bats and people for the SARS outbreak, and dromedary camels did for MERS, but what species spread the new virus to humans remained unknown. The market implicated in the outbreak sold species ranging from fish to donkeys, he said, and health investigators may find the disease smoldered undetected for a long time.

A Jan. 24 scientific article published in The Lancet indicated that, of 41 hospital patients with confirmed infections, 27 had links with the implicated food market.

At the time of the AVMA Council on Public Health meeting in late January, the U.S. had five confirmed infections. In an interview outside the council meeting, Dr. Olsen said the likelihood of an infected person entering a veterinary clinic and risking the health of veterinary personnel seemed remote.

“A month from now, circumstances could be different,” he said.

The world learned much from the SARS outbreak, he said. Researchers worked on vaccines against coronaviruses, and public health officials saw more value in breaking disease transmission cycles.

“I think one of the critical things that was learned from SARS was the importance of very traditional public health measures of identifying cases, tracking contacts, quarantines, and isolations,” he said.


Below are some of the new listings of veterinary clinical studies in the AVMA Animal Health Studies Database. Information about participation in the studies is available at avma.org/findvetstudies.

  • • AAHSD005053: “The Dog Aging Project: Genetic & environmental determinants of healthy aging in companion dogs,” Texas A&M University; dogs may be enrolled anywhere in the U.S.

  • • AAHSD005054: “Safety and effectiveness of GEM-IB/docetaxel in dogs with osteosarcoma,” Colorado State University.

  • • AAHSD005055: “Dietary treatment of mild to moderate feline chronic enteropathy,” University of Tennessee and Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in New Jersey.

  • • AAHSD005063: “Clinical evaluation of propranolol in combination with doxorubicin for the treatment of hemangiosarcoma,” University of Minnesota, Purdue University, and University of Pennsylvania.

  • • AAHSD005064: “Optical coherence tomography for margin evaluation of canine skin and subcutaneous neoplasms,” The Ohio State University.

  • • AAHSD005070: “Medical resolution of gallbladder mucocele formation in dogs,” North Carolina State University.

  • • AAHSD005097: “Efficacy of rabafosadine, vincristine, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin and prednisone (T-CHOP) in dogs with untreated lymphoma,” Oregon State University.


The article “Budget deal boosts federal veterinary programs” in the Feb. 15, 2020, issue of JAVMA News inadvertently transposed the fiscal year 2020 appropriation amounts for two of the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service programs. Veterinary diagnostics received $7.2 million, in fact, and the Center for Veterinary Biologics received $1 million.


Last year, 53,947 horses were shipped from the United States to Mexico for slaughter. That marks a 26% decrease from 2018 when 70,708 horses designated for slaughter were transported across the southern U.S. border, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Market News Livestock Export Summary.

Although Congress had made several attempts to ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption, the practice didn't end until the nation's three horse meat processing plants closed in 2007. Two Texas facilities were closed by court order; the Illinois plant shuttered after state legislation against horse slaughter was enacted.

Efforts to open new horse slaughter plants have been unsuccessful, partly because of legislation denying funds for federal inspections of such operations.

Nevertheless, thousands of U.S. horses have been exported to slaughterhouses in Mexico and Canada.

Canada and Mexico are two of the main exporters of horse meat to Europe, according to Humane Society International. At least 85% of horses slaughtered at European Union-approved Canadian horse slaughterhouses originated in the United States, and 50% of the horse meat produced from those animals was exported to the EU.

Federal data on the number of horses transported to Canada annually aren't available. However, the advocacy organization Animals’ Angels estimated that 12,273 U.S. horses were imported by Canada for slaughter in 2017.

California, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas, and New York have enacted laws against horse slaughter and eating horse meat.

Veterinary Nurse Initiative a work in progress

Veterinary technicians grapple with slow name change progress, but continue with other efforts

By Kaitlyn Mattson

Rachel O'Lone often has to explain her future job to people.

“Anytime I say that I am a veterinary technician or I am going to school to be a veterinary technician to someone, they're like: ‘Oh, what is that?'” she said. “And I have to be, ‘Oh, it's like a veterinary nurse.’ I always have to say nurse for them to even know what it is.”

O'Lone is president of the Veterinary Technician Club and a second-year veterinary technology program student at Joliet Community College in Joliet, Illinois. O'Lone believes that changing the professional title from certified veterinary technician to registered veterinary nurse would help indicate to pet owners how important her role in the veterinary care team is.

“In the veterinary field, we are respected as nurses, but I think the public just doesn't realize what we do and all that we do,” O'Lone said. “One of my (human health) nursing friends said: ‘Oh, I just thought you were the one who weighed the dog.’ And I'm like: ‘No, oh, no, no. I am running the anesthesia during surgery.'”

The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America formed the Veterinary Nurse Initiative in 2016 to unite the name change efforts.

Kenichiro Yagi, president-elect of NAVTA, said there has been some progress with the VNI. To date, no state has amended its laws to change the title. The VNI has made strides in other areas.


“I think one of the things we focused on in 2019 was to make sure people knew what VNI was about,” Yagi said. “I think people focus on the title a lot, which is really important for us, but at the same time, there is a lot more riding along with it.”

The VNI has the following goals:

  • • Professional standards: Promoting a standard credential with uniform educational standards in the U.S.

  • • Public recognition: Establishing professional identity through public education and title recognition to contribute to public safety and protection.

  • • Professional recognition: Clarifying the value, scope of practice, and title by delineating the credentialed veterinary technician or veterinary nurse role.

  • • Expanding career potential: Defining the role of the veterinary technician or veterinary nurse in all areas of practice to maximize potential.

Erin Spencer, past president of NAVTA, said the organization has been focused on professional recognition within the veterinary industry for the past few years and it has paid off.

NAVTA has a seat at most tables now. For example, this past July, NAVTA was elected as a member of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association.


Eileen McKee is a certified veterinary technician and the program director of veterinary medical technology at Joliet Community College in Joliet, Illinois. She agrees with the overall efforts of the VNI, but she thinks title protection is key. (Photo by Kaitlyn Mattson)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 256, 6; 10.2460/javma.256.6.617

“We have the profession and the veterinary community behind us,” she said, noting that moving forward, efforts will focus on public education. “Let's move out and start having those conversations and getting that education to the public so they can also support us.”

Along with public education, the VNI is working on finding solutions to title protection issues by building resources for members. Last year, the VNI created a Title Protection Task Force to specifically address this problem after continuing to hear of clinics not making a distinction between their credentialed veterinary technicians and those who learned on the job. The task force sent out a survey asking those in the veterinary profession what they knew about their state law on this matter and, if there was a law, whether it was being enforced. The VNI and NAVTA aim to create practical guides later this year based on the responses received from the survey to help individuals and organizations advocate for title protection.

“We are trying to get fine details of what the current status is and get that out there and be able to say, in these states where title protection looks like this, we should be doing this,” Yagi said. “When there is no title protection or licensure, we should be doing this. Trying to make some suggestions as to how to improve the situation.”


On the legislative front, the VNI is still trying to pass a bill in Ohio to establish the registered veterinary nurse title. SB 131 passed the House last year and has been in the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee since last May.

The other state the VNI targeted last year, Indiana, also saw the introduction of a title-change bill, which made it to the Senate last February but failed to pass by a handful of votes. VNI advocates plan to reintroduce the bill this year.

Similar legislation was introduced in Georgia last year, but it failed to get a vote in the Senate. Yagi said the plan is to move forward without the bill and instead work with veterinary entities to change the title through regulatory and other means.

Finally, the VNI is working with veterinary and veterinary technician organizations in Oklahoma to determine how to proceed with changes in that state.

At the same time, veterinary technician leaders have found themselves playing defense as well.

NAVTA and the VNI successfully opposed bills in Maine and North Carolina that proposed establishing an apprenticeship—experience only rather than formal education—route to obtain a veterinary technician credential. Veterinary technicians were taken off the list of occupations in these two states, thus preserving requirements for licensed technicians to graduate from an AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities-accredited program and pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam.

Further, a bill that would have established licensing qualifications for veterinary technicians in Montana died last spring. HB 179, championed by the Big Sky Veterinary Technician Association, stalled in the Senate Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation Committee in March.

More recently, in West Virginia, HB 4813 was introduced in February that would remove licensing requirements for veterinary technicians in the state, according to the bill language. The VNI has put out a notice on social media for advocates to contact lawmakers and express their opposition.


On the education front, the Michigan State University Veterinary Technology Program has moved to change its name this spring to the Veterinary Nursing Program. The name change was approved by the MSU academic governance. The MSU program joins six other programs that have changed their name to veterinary nursing.


Rachel O'Lone (left) is president of the veterinary technician club and a second-year veterinary technology student at Joliet Community College, and Jordan Trauscht is the secretary of the veterinary technician club and also a second-year student in the veterinary technology program at JCC. (Photo by Kaitlyn Mattson)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 256, 6; 10.2460/javma.256.6.617

Eileen McKee, a certified veterinary technician and program director of veterinary medical technology at Joliet Community College, tries to prepare her students for life as a veterinary technician, and that includes making them aware of the positives and negatives of the career.

“I love teaching. I love seeing these guys get so excited about what options they have in this career,” McKee said. “I try to teach these guys, if in 20 years your back hurts, don't quit the field. Realize there are so many other opportunities for you. There is room for continual advancement.”

McKee tries to prepare her students for the financial realities of the career, too. She agrees with the overall efforts of the VNI, but she thinks title protection is key.

“I think if you change the name but you're not protecting it, it's a moot point,” she said.

McKee has been on the faculty at JCC for 17 years and the program director for two years. She said she has tried to make changes to the program by focusing on the academic side as well as practical skills such as communication, veterinary terminology, and administering anesthesia.


Only two states do not have some form of credentialing for veterinary technicians, but states vary greatly with regard to definitions, standards, title protection, and scope of practice for veterinary technicians.

The American Association of Veterinary State Boards Regulatory Policy Task Force completed a draft of its Veterinary Technician Scope of Practice model regulations in late 2019. The AAVSB's newly proposed model regulations would delineate health care tasks that may be performed by veterinary technicians or veterinary technologists and would assign the appropriate level of supervision required—immediate, direct, or indirect—for each of those tasks. While some state boards do have regulations for veterinary technician scope of practice, this is the first model document that state boards could use to achieve a consistent standard across the country.

NAVTA and the VNI have provided input into the proposed model regulation language through representation on the task force. The association is currently receiving feedback on the draft, and the model will likely be available in the spring, said James T. Penrod, executive director of the AAVSB.

He said the AAVSB's model practice act already addresses the practice of veterinary technology, but the veterinary technician scope of practice model regulations will provide language that AAVSB member boards can use when enacting regulations. The process for passing regulations is typically easier than the process for changing statutes, so the model regulation language should allow member boards to more easily make changes they deem appropriate to the tasks veterinary technicians and technologists can perform, Penrod added.


In 2019, the AVMA Task Force on Veterinary Technician Utilization was created after the AVMA House of Delegates recommended asking the AVMA Board of Directors to convene a working group to design a plan to improve veterinary technician utilization.

The task force released its report during the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference Jan. 9 in Chicago.

The task force recommended, among other things, that the AVMA should encourage states to eliminate alternative routes to credentialing, so-called grandfather clauses, from state practice acts. It also suggested surveying credentialed veterinary technicians on a regular basis to track demographics, compensation, and utilization and surveying veterinarians to determine how many credentialed veterinary technicians versus veterinary assistants are employed in various practice types.

The Board referred the report to the AVMA Council on Veterinary Service, AVMA-NAVTA Leadership Committee, AVMA Veterinary Economics Strategy Committee, AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities, and other entities for their consideration.


Despite the potential challenges, Rachel O'Lone is optimistic about the future of her profession. Although she hopes the name change will eventually happen, she has no concerns about her job prospects or her place within the industry. She already has two internships lined up and has plans to get into wildlife veterinary work after she graduates.

“This is a growing field; I don't think we'll have a problem finding jobs,” O'Lone said.


The Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine has named Dr. Dori Borjesson (UC-Davis ‘95) as its new dean, effective July 20.

Dr. Borjesson will replace Dr. Bryan Slinker, the former dean of the veterinary college, who announced he would step down but was later appointed interim provost. He will leave that position in June.

“Being from the Pacific Northwest, this feels like a homecoming,” Dr. Borjesson said in a press release. She was raised in Portland, Oregon. “Increasing engagement and outreach across the state is a top priority for me upon taking up this new role. In addition to engagement and strategic planning, I'm also eager to face some of the critical issues facing members of the veterinary profession, including student debt and enhancing the wellbeing of our faculty, students, and staff.”

Dr. Borjesson is the former chair of the Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. She has also worked as a clinical pathologist and served as the director of the Veterinary Institute for Regenerative Cures at UC-Davis from 2015-19. She is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathology.

Dr. Borjesson holds two patents in mesenchymal stem cells and immunomodulation, and some of her recent research has focused on naturally occurring inflammatory bowel disease in dogs, chronic gingivostomatitis in cats, and spinal cord injury in dogs.

She received the 2014 Zoetis Research Excellence Award.

Dr. Borjesson has worked at UC-Davis as an associate professor and full professor, and she has led the Integrative Pathobiology Graduate Group at UC-Davis. She engaged in curriculum development, teaching, and mentoring with the group. She has mentored more than three dozen veterinary residents and graduate students, according to the press release.


Dr. Dori Borjesson will step into her new role as dean of the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine in July. (Courtesy of WSU)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 256, 6; 10.2460/javma.256.6.617


The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists welcomed three new diplomates following the board certification examination it held Oct. 5-6, 2019, in Raleigh, North Carolina. New diplomates are as follows:

Ashley Elzerman, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Meghan Leanne Lilly, Columbus, Ohio

Jill Sackman, Oxford, Michigan



21st Biennial Symposium, in conjunction with the American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology, Aug. 20-23, 2019, Overland Park, Kansas


The theme of the symposium was “New ideas, New Voices.” The AAVPT invited many new speakers to the program to expand its audience and membership, including new academic faculty and industry members. The Tom Powers Keynote Address was presented by Dr. Linda Rhodes, Durham, New Hampshire, speaking on “Change is Coming: New Therapies, Big Data, New Capital for New Companies. Thoughts on the Future.” Dr. Katrina L. Mealey, Pullman, Washington, winner of The Lloyd E. Davis Award, presented “KLM on ABC transporters: A retrospective analysis of cofactors.” A silent auction raised almost $8,000 to help sponsor the annual research grants from the Veterinary Pharmacology Research Fund and American Veterinary Medical Foundation.


The Lloyd E. Davis Award

Dr. Katrina L. Mealey (Colorado State ‘90), Pullman, Washington, for outstanding lifetime achievements in research, teaching, and professional service in the field of veterinary pharmacology. Dr. Mealey is an expert in the field of pharmacogenomics. She is currently associate dean for research, a professor, and chair in small animal medicine and research at Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine.


Dr. Katrina L. Mealey

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 256, 6; 10.2460/javma.256.6.617

AAVPT Service Award

Dr. Mike Apley (Kansas State ‘87), Manhattan, Kansas, for exceptional and sustained service either to AAVPT or to the profession of veterinary or comparative pharmacology or therapeutics at large. Dr. Apley is a professor of production medicine and clinical pharmacology at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He previously worked in rural general practice and in feedlot consulting and contract research, joining academia in 1996. He has provided support to multiple veterinary and food animal producer organizations in the area of clinical pharmacology and currently serves on the Presidential Advisory Council for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.


Dr. Mike Apley

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 256, 6; 10.2460/javma.256.6.617

AAVPT Teaching Award

Dr. Butch KuKanich (Virginia-Maryland ‘97), Manhattan, Kansas, for significant teaching activities in the fields of veterinary or comparative pharmacology or therapeutics. Dr. KuKanich is a professor and assistant department head at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, where he has been on the faculty for 15 years. Dr. KuKanich's research interests focus on companion animal pharmacology, drug interactions, drug metabolism, and analgesia.


Dr. Butch KuKanich

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 256, 6; 10.2460/javma.256.6.617

ACVCP/AAVPT Resident/Graduate Student Research Award

Sophie Gretler, University of California-Davis, for her presentation “Characterization of CYP450 mediated metabolism of the polymorphic CYP2D6 probe drug codeine in horses,” and Ally Fitzgerald, Kansas State University, for her presentation “Clinical efficacy of an oral long-acting analgesic with a human abuse deterrent in perioperative dogs”

Distinguished Fellows

Drs. Mike Apley, Manhattan, Kansas; Scott Brown, Galesburg, Michigan; Virginia Fajt, College Station, Texas; Cory Langston, Starkville, Mississippi; Marilyn Martinez, Gaithersburg, Maryland; Katrina L. Mealey, Pullman, Washington; Jane Owens, Indianapolis; Mark Papich, Raleigh, North Carolina; Jim Riviere, Raleigh, North Carolina; Steve Sundlof, Silver Spring, Maryland; and Lauren Trepanier; Madison, Wisconsin


Drs. Rob Hunter, Olathe, Kansas, president; Jonathan Hare, Port Perry, Ontario, president-elect; Luke Wittenburg, Davis, California, treasurer; Jennifer Davis, Blacksburg, Virginia, secretary; Virginia Fajt, College Station, Texas, immediate past president; and councilors—Mathias Devreese, Merelbeke, Belgium; Jonathan Mochel, Ames, Iowa; Mohammed Al-Bataineh, Pittsburgh; and Lisa Tell, Davis, California


Dr. Rob Hunter

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 256, 6; 10.2460/javma.256.6.617


Dr. Jonathan Hare

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 256, 6; 10.2460/javma.256.6.617


Erin Sole, a fourth-year student at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, was named the winner of the National Simmons Educational Fund Business Aptitude Award in January during the annual meeting of the national Veterinary Business Management Association, an organization of veterinary students, in Orlando, Florida.


Erin Sole

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 256, 6; 10.2460/javma.256.6.617

The $15,000 awarded is earned through an essay competition. Sole was selected from among 19 national and international candidates.

She won the award for resolving a case study focused on a business owner interested in selling a practice and a young associate veterinarian interested in buying it but with multiple high-value corporate offers also in play.

“For my solution, with the immense help and advice of members of the veterinary finance community, I presented a partial sale option in which the associate purchases 80% the practice, and, together with the owner, is able to grow the practice so that the value continues to increase,” Sole said in an announcement from the University of Florida. “Through the initial sale, combined with earnings for the retained 20% ownership over 10 years and final sale after 10 years, the owner is essentially able to recover profit equivalent to the top corporate offer.


The American College of Veterinary Dermatology welcomed 19 new diplomates following the board certification examination it held Nov. 9, 2019, in Pomona, California. New diplomates are as follows:

Erin Aufox, Chicago

Katherine Backel, Norristown, Pennsylvania

Lucilene Bernardi de Souza, Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec

Megan Boyd, Studio City, California

Desirae Foust-Wheatcraft, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Karen Ho, Dallas

Christopher Hudec, Oakland, California

Maria Ierace, New Port Richey, Florida

Tyler Jordan, Raleigh, North Carolina

Jay Korbelik, Vancouver, British Columbia

Matthew Levinson, Northfield, Illinois

Samantha Lockwood, Avondale, Arizona

Julia Miller, Ithaca, New York

Curtis Plowgian, Indianapolis

Amy Schnedeker, Fairfax, Virginia

Clarissa Pimentel de Souza, Urbana, Illinois

Maturawan Tunhikorn, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand

Tracy Yen, Marina del Rey, California

Amanda Young, Maple Grove, Minnesota



Dr. Bates (Ohio State ‘62), 83, Bay City, Texas, died Sept. 4, 2019. He owned a mixed animal practice in Sealy, Texas, and served as veterinarian for several broodmare farms in the Sealy, Brenham, and Katy areas of Texas. Early in his career, Dr. Bates worked for the state of Texas, involved in brucellosis testing, and at a practice in Rosenberg, Texas. His two daughters and a son survive him.


Dr. Billings (Michigan State ‘56), 86, Indianapolis, died Sept. 29, 2019. A small animal veterinarian, he was a founding partner of the Michigan Road Animal Hospital in Indianapolis. Dr. Billings also helped establish the Airport Animal Emergi-Center in Indianapolis. Following retirement from his practice, he co-founded C Specialties in Indianapolis, an animal care supply company, also serving as president of Billings Farm Corp., a family enterprise. Dr. Billings was a member of the Indiana VMA and Sertoma Club of Indianapolis. His wife, Diane; two sons; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren survive him.


Dr. Danker (Iowa State ‘52), 94, Sun City West, Arizona, died Nov. 8, 2019. He owned a large animal practice in Dows, Iowa, for almost three decades. In later years, Dr. Danker worked for the state veterinarian's office in Clear Lake, Iowa. He was a member of the Iowa VMA and Order of the Knoll at Iowa State University. Dr. Danker was active with the Masonic Lodge and Lions Club. An Army Air Corps veteran of World War II, he was also a member of the American Legion. He is survived by two sons, two daughters, nine grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.


Dr. Duggan (Georgia ‘67), 85, Statesboro, Georgia, died Aug. 29, 2019. He practiced small animal medicine at Bulloch Veterinary Clinic in Statesboro from 1970 until retirement in 2001. Prior to that, Dr. Duggan worked in Tallahassee, Florida. He was a member of the Statesboro Rotary Club. Dr. Duggan served in the Army from 1957-59. His wife, Tricia; three sons; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to Friends of the Library, P.O. Box 1265, Statesboro, GA 30458, or to Fostering Bulloch, a nonprofit organization assisting foster children, and sent to 2505 Watering Hole Court, Statesboro, GA 30458.


Dr. Jackel, 96, Aptos, California, died Oct. 5, 2019. A 1952 graduate of the National Veterinary School of Alfort in France, he owned a small animal practice in New Jersey prior to retirement in 1984. Earlier in his career, Dr. Jackel served in the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, caring for horses being transported to Europe after World War II. In retirement, he volunteered at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music for more than 25 years. Dr. Jackel is survived by two sons, two grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.


Dr. Karns (Ohio State ‘61), 94, Waverly, Ohio, died Nov. 14, 2019. Following graduation, he practiced primarily equine medicine in southwest Ohio. In later years, Dr. Karns served on the veterinary faculty of Louisiana State University. He also volunteered with the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. Dr. Karns retired in 1990. He was a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners.

Dr Karns’ daughter survives him. Memorials may be made to Humane Society of Greater Dayton, 1661 Nicholas Road, Dayton, OH 45417, hsdayton.org/donate; The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Columbus, OH 43210, vet.osu.edu/giving/ways-give; or American Veterinary Medical Foundation, 1931 N. Meacham Road Suite 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173, avmf.org.


Dr. Klide (Pennsylvania ‘65), 80, Oxford, Pennsylvania, died Sept. 12, 2019. A charter diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia, he was professor emeritus of anesthesia and a past section chief and director of small animal anesthesia at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Klide began his career at Penn Vet as an assistant professor of anesthesiology, becoming a professor in 1994. He retired in 2007.

Dr. Klide was a member of the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society and American Association of Zoo Veterinarians. Known for his contributions to the field of exotic, zoo, and wildlife animal anesthesia, he frequently presented information on the use of immobilizing drugs and safe anesthesia in several species of zoo animals. Dr. Klide was part of the team that took care of immobilizations at the Philadelphia

Zoo and provided support to clinicians pursuing the diagnosis and treatment of exotic pets.

His wife, Dr. Lin V. Klein (Pennsylvania ‘70), is a veterinary anesthesiologist. Memorials may be made to Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society, P.O. Box 1808, Manteo, NC 27954, coastalwildliferefuge.com.


Dr. McGruder (Oklahoma State ‘64), 82, Indianapolis, died Dec. 1, 2019. In 1966, he founded Southern Oaks Animal Clinic in Dallas, where he practiced small animal medicine until retirement in 2013. Earlier, Dr. McGruder taught in the large animal clinic at Tuskegee Institute and worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

During his career, he had a column focusing on pet health in the Dallas Post Tribune, and he worked with the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Dr. McGruder was a past treasurer of the Dallas County VMA and served six years as the honorable commissioner for Greyhound and horse racing in Texas.

He is survived by two daughters, a son, nine grandchildren, two sisters, and two brothers. Dr. McGruder's son, Dr. Edward D. McGruder (Texas A&M ‘92), is a veterinarian in Indiana, and brother-in-law Dr. Claud D. Evans (Tuskegee ‘70) is a veterinarian in Okemah, Oklahoma.


Dr. Mitchell (Tuskegee ‘95), 49, Fayetteville, Georgia, died Sept. 16, 2019. A small animal veterinarian, he co-founded Union City Veterinary Medical Center in Union City, Georgia. Dr. Mitchell's wife, Nicole, and his family survive him.


Dr. Murphy (Kansas State ‘62), 87, Franklin, Nebraska, died Nov. 30, 2019. Following graduation, he moved to Franklin, where he practiced mixed animal medicine, focusing on large animals, until retirement in 2000. During that time, Dr. Murphy established Franklin Animal Clinic. He was a Navy veteran of the Korean War. Dr. Murphy's wife, Kathleen; three sons and a daughter; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and two sisters and a brother survive him. His daughter, Dr. Patricia Murphy (Iowa State ‘90), is a veterinarian in Aubrey, Texas.


Dr. Sage (Missouri ‘74), 71, Butler, Missouri, died Sept. 26, 2019. A mixed animal veterinarian, he had owned Sage Animal Health Clinic in Butler since 1989. Prior to that, Dr. Sage worked at Butler Animal Clinic. He is survived by his wife, Roberta; a son; two grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and two sisters. Memorials toward McGennis Youth Center or Bates County Fair may be sent c/o Roberta Sage, 1185 NW State Route V, Butler, MO 64730.


Dr. Sloan (Colorado State ‘60), 88, Dublin, Ohio, died Nov. 13, 2019. He served as executive director of The Ohio State University Research Foundation from 1973 until retirement in 1988. Following graduation, Dr. Sloan practiced mixed animal medicine in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After receiving a master's in radiology and earning his doctorate in radiation biology from Colorado State University, he served as an assistant professor of radiation therapy at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. From 1968-73, Dr. Sloan was associate dean for research at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. He served on the Council on Governmental Relations from 1978-84, chairing it in 1981.

Dr. Sloan was a veteran of the Korean War. He is survived by his wife, Mary Ann; a daughter and a son; a grandchild; and three great-grandchildren. Brother-in-law Dr. Henry A. Brunz (Colorado State ‘65) is a retired small animal veterinarian. Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association, 7272 Greenville Ave., Dallas, TX 75231, or towards the Meals-on-Wheels program of LifeCare Alliance, 1699 W. Mound St., Columbus, OH 43223.


Dr. Wales (Iowa State ‘52), 91, Akron, Iowa, died Sept. 26, 2019. He served as a federal meat inspector for 30 years in the Sioux City area of Iowa. Dr. Wales also raised cattle for 55 years. Earlier in his career, he practiced in Pleasantville, Iowa, and served in the Air Force Veterinary Corps. Dr. Wales’ son, daughter, five grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and siblings survive him.


Dr. William W. Buisch, whose obituary was published in the March 1, 2020, issue of JAVMA News, is survived by four children, eight grandchildren, and three sisters. Dr. Jamal O. Toler, whose obituary was published in the March 1, 2020, issue of JAVMA News, was a member of the Rod Benders Fishing Club.

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 152 0 0
Full Text Views 1214 1114 100
PDF Downloads 114 55 4