Morris Animal Foundation has awarded $553,000 to fund five studies in Australia designed to improve the care, rehabilitation, and release of wildlife impacted by wildfires, the organization announced in October.

The studies, supported by the foundation's Australian Wildlife Fund, will help veterinary and animal health scientists prepare for future wildfires in Australia and may also inform responses to other wildfire crises around the globe.

The five studies address the following research topics: recovering missing marsupials, clinical assessment of koalas during and following bushfires, treatment and rehabilitation of fireaffected wildlife, improving decision-making to optimize outcomes for bushfire-impacted Australian wildlife, and identification of prognostic indicators for survival in koalas, macropods such as kangaroos and wallabies, and wombats affected by wildfires.

“There is a significant lack of evidence-based research on best practices to assist animals injured in wildfire events,” said Dr. Janet Patterson-Kane, the foundation's chief scientific officer, in an announcement about the studies. “As global climate change, drought and habitat destruction continue to fuel ever-more destructive fires around the world, we need to know how to save and rehabilitate our wildlife.”


The Veterinary Emergency Group has chosen Ashley Newman and Yvette Huizar, both fourth-year students at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, as this year's recipients of its annual VEG Scholarship. The scholarship, first established in 2019, covers full tuition for the fourth year of study for a veterinary student in the United States attending a veterinary college in state or out of state. It also offers the recipient a full-time role as an emergency veterinarian following graduation. This year, in light of the financial burden placed on many students because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the organization decided to award an additional scholarship.

According to the VEG, Newman and Huizar represent the group's values of love and support for pets and their families and of openness and inclusivity. Huizar is the co-founder of the Latinx VMA, which aims to empower Latino professionals in the veterinary field and to support the next generation of Latino veterinarians.


Ashley Newman

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085


Yvette Huizar

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085


A new draft policy issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will allow researchers to better study transmission of brucellosis in swine, elk, bison, and cattle that cannot be easily housed or studied indoors.

The draft statement, “Biosafety for Large Animal Study-Related Activities with Brucella abortus and B. suis Using Outdoor Containment Spaces,” outlines the information investigators must provide to the Federal Select Agent Program for their study to be approved.

“Endemic Brucella abortus is expanding its range in the Greater Yellowstone Area and Brucella suis is being found in more feral swine populations throughout various areas of the United States,” according to APHIS. “This expansion emphasizes a critical need for both improved diagnostics and vaccine development related to wildlife. Traditional studies will not work for wildlife species, but this draft policy statement provides an outline for how to safely conduct outdoor studies. The information gathered from these types of studies will help both wildlife managers and livestock producers across the country, while still addressing the need to handle Brucella according to select agent requirements.”

The draft statement is available at jav.ma/brucellosisresearch.

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

US-led $100M project to study, reduce zoonotic disease threats

USAID-funded effort to focus on hot spots of human-wildlife interaction

By Greg Cima

Disease experts from across the globe will collaborate on a five-year project to understand and reduce zoonotic disease risks in global hot spots.

Dr. Deborah T. Kochevar, dean emerita of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, is director of the Strategies to Prevent Spillover—or STOP Spillover—project, a $100 million effort funded through a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development. She described herself as an air traffic controller for the participants within Tufts and partner organizations in Africa, Asia, and the U.S.

“The model that we proposed to USAID—and that they endorsed—really asks people who live in these spillover zones or hot zones about their thinking and their concerns as to which diseases are of most concern to them,” Dr. Kochevar said. “Obviously, we have priority pathogens that we're focused on as well.”

Teams at Tufts and the University of Minnesota collaborated on a project from 2009-19 to build one-health capacity in Africa and Southeast Asia.

The STOP Spillover project participants would increase surveillance where diseases are likely to spill over from animals to humans, design interventions to prevent that spillover, and assess the success of those interventions, she said. Reducing the risk of spillover requires understanding the routines of people who work closest to wildlife, such as those in mining, forestry, and farming industries where wild environments are cleared for human activities.

Tufts officials will lead work by a consortium of experts in wildlife and human diseases, according to a USAID announcement.

“With the consortium's cross-disciplinary experience and deep relationships in partner countries, STOP Spillover will contribute directly to the reduction of future outbreaks from known zoonotic viruses,” the announcement states. “The award will apply USAID's understanding of risk; build on our prior investments; and deploy our prior experience through working with local governments, stakeholders, and high-risk communities to develop and institutionalize innovative, country-specific, and sustainable approaches so they are well-prepared to prevent future outbreaks.”


Fruit bats are the main reservoirs of the Nipah virus, which can be deadly to humans.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085

Dr. Kochevar hopes that, by working with people at risk and building on existing disease-prevention systems, the project will help affected people understand the reasons for any interventions and support those changes long term. Behavior changes, while difficult to achieve, are a priority for the project, she said.

She cited as examples past interventions that reduced Nipah virus infections by preventing fruit contamination by bat waste and reduced Ebola virus infections by changing how people handled the bodies of those killed by the virus, as well as by identifying potential regulations that could reduce the risks from wildlife markets.

Dr. Kochevar described a structure including field technicians within communities, consultants to guide sample collection, and country-based disease authorities to guide projects, regional veterinarians, and resource hubs. She commended the U.S. government—through USAID, an independent agency of the federal government responsible for administering civilian foreign aid and development assistance—for not only investing in research toward understanding emerging pandemic threats, but also recognizing that interventions need to come from the countries where spillover occurs, rather than be exported from the U.S.

Tufts, along with partners at universities and companies, will aid the project through efforts such as helping to design studies, mentoring researchers, and assisting in analyzing data.

Another large-scale USAID-funded program shut down earlier this year after a decade of identifying viruses and bolstering countermeasures. The Predict project, led by the University of California-Davis One Health Institute, was part of the USAID Emerging Pandemic Threats program, and its participants identified 1,100 unique viruses, trained 6,200 people in 30 countries, and aided 60 disease detection laboratories.

Officials at the One Health Institute continue global work on emerging infectious diseases. An announcement from August describes plans to use $8 million in National Institutes of Health funding toward a five-year plan for research on the Amazon and Congo Basin forests and how viruses spread from wildlife to humans.

In the Tufts-based STOP Spillover project, partner organizations are as follows: Africa One Health University Network; Southeast Asia One Health University Network; Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University; Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team; Internews; International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh; JSI Research and Training Institute Inc.; Tetra Tech ARD; University of California-Los Angeles; University of Glasgow Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health, and Comparative Medicine; Global Center for Health Security at the University of Nebraska Medical Center; and the University of Washington Institute for Risk Analysis and Risk Communication, according to an announcement from Tufts.


Veterinarians competing in federal or state elections saw a number of wins during the general election on Nov. 3.

Twelve veterinarian candidates were elected to federal or state office.

Dr. Kurt Schrader, the Democrat representing Oregon's 5th Congressional District, won a seventh term in the U.S. House of Representatives, fending off two challengers with just over 54% of the vote.

The following are veterinarians who won state races:

  • • Dr. Karen McCormick, Democrat, Colorado State Assembly, District 11.

  • • Dr. Rebecca Mitchell, Democrat, Georgia House of Representatives, District 106.

  • • Dr. Ron Highland, Republican, Kansas House of Representatives, District 51.

  • • Dr. Bill Rabon, Republican, North Carolina Senate, District 8.

  • • Dr. Charles “Doc” Anderson, Republican, Texas House of Representatives, District 56.

  • • Dr. Brad Buckley, Republican, Texas House of Representatives, District 54.

  • • Dr. Lynn Stucky, Republican, Texas House of Representatives, District 64.

  • • Dr. Glenn Rogers, Republican, Texas House of Representatives, District 60.

  • • Dr. John Bartholomew, Democratic, Vermont House of Representatives, Windsor-1 District.

  • • Dr. Joel Kitchens, Republican, Wisconsin State Assembly, District 1.

  • • Dr. Eric Barlow, Republican, Wyoming House of Representatives, District 3.

Dr. Shelley Lenz, the Democratic–NonPartisan League candidate in North Dakota's gubernatorial race, was unsuccessful in her bid to unseat Republican incumbent Doug Burgum.

Federal antimicrobial resistance program expanding into animal, environmental health

NARMS officials to collect data on sources including animal foods, waterways

By Greg Cima

Federal health agencies plan to expand drug resistance testing and analysis to include pathogens in pet food, livestock feed, and surface waters.

That change would include adding analyses of pathogens that affect animals—rather than only pathogens of concern for human medicine—as well as developing environmental surveillance programs.

In a public meeting in October and a draft plan published earlier this year, leaders of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System described plans for studies on pathogens and drug susceptibility beyond the current testing programs involving humans with foodborne illnesses, animals presented at slaughter, and meat sold in retail markets, as well as studies. They also described plans to expand use of whole genome sequencing, which can provide more information on how resistances spread and identify sources of new attributes that confer drug resistance.

The additional studies could help improve understanding of how pathogenic bacteria develop resistance to antimicrobials and share those genetic characteristics, as well as indicate which of those components are most likely to spread to other bacteria and which drug-resistant bacteria converge in rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. By collecting samples from pet and livestock foods, the sampling will also provide clues as to how animals become infected and how that increases the risks to humans.

And NARMS leaders plan to expand testing to more animals, such as additional ruminants and seafood species, and test for resistance in more bacteria species.

During the public meeting, Patrick McDermott, PhD, director of the NARMS program, said the changes shift NARMS toward a one-health approach and support a vision of NARMS as a program that helps maintain antimicrobial effectiveness for treatment of infections in humans and animals.

“I think what we've put together here is the logical next phase and attempt to fulfill that vision, and we look forward to continuing to work with all of you to do that as effectively as we can,” he said.

Dr. McDermott also described plans for the agency to shift toward faster publication of antimicrobial resistance data and analyses, from every two years to every two weeks.

Jay L. Garland, PhD, senior research scientist in the Environmental Protection Agency Office of Research and Development, described surface waters as a starting point of looking at antimicrobial resistance in natural environments. He said a national pilot study on surface waters will run in fiscal years 2022-25, and a final assessment in fiscal year 2025 will aid decisions as to whether to include surface water sampling in NARMS permanently.

“This is not necessarily a surveillance program,” Dr. Garland said. “This is a research program to evaluate if and what a surface water component to NARMS would look like.”

Beth Harris, PhD, associate coordinator for the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, and Dr. Olgica Ceric, of the FDA Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network, described in the meeting the ongoing analysis of antimicrobial resistance found in pathogens isolated from livestock and companion animals by veterinary clinics and diagnostic laboratories. The NAHLN pilot project was in its second year in 2019, a collaboration with NARMS and part of a broad federal plan to collaborate against antimicrobial-resistant bacteria in humans and animals.

Leslie Kenna, PhD, a spokesperson for the Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine, said in a message after the meeting that NARMS participants in the FDA also are examining historical Salmonella isolates, gathered from animal foods by the CVM, as well as considering more studies on animal foods. She said the agency had no plans for additional animal food sampling.

The NARMS program is a collaboration of agencies in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Agriculture, and FDA. The strategic plan document indicates that, to further incorporate one-health principles, NARMS officials formed new partnerships with experts in the EPA and additional departments in the CDC, USDA, and FDA.

One of those partners, the FDA Vet-LIRN program, conducted a project from 2017-18 to evaluate use of veterinary diagnostic laboratories to monitor antimicrobial susceptibility of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus pseudintermedius isolates from dogs and Salmonella enterica isolates from any animal host.

“Approximately 5,000 isolates from clinically sick animals were collected and tested,” the strategic plan document states. “We plan to continue this work and include animal pathogen data in the NARMS annual reports.”

Further studies would evaluate more bacterial species, characterize the prevalence of resistance genes among all bacteria in samples, and examine other animals and animal products for antimicrobial resistance patterns, the plan document states.

But it also describes the potential limitations of money, competing duties, people trained for the work, laboratory capacities, and lack of isolates for testing because of a shift in human medicine toward culture-independent diagnostic tests.

Dr. McDermott, NARMS director, said adding the animal-focused laboratory networks to NARMS helps incorporate animal health into the program and is an important advance in a one-health approach.

NARMS officials are still trying to see how they can best be of value to the veterinary community, he said. But he thought everyone participating in the public meeting agreed with a vision of NARMS as an effort toward preserving antimicrobial effectiveness for treatment of infections in humans and animals and that helps minimize the harm of infections.


Pet food maker Sunshine Mills recalled products sold under 17 brand names for potentially harmful amounts of aflatoxin.

The company attributed the danger to mold on a single delivery of corn used in making the foods, mostly dog chow and some cat chow. In announcements Sept. 2 and Oct. 8, Food and Drug Administration officials indicated the company was recalling corn-based pet foods made April 3-5, 2020.

Clinical signs of aflatoxin poisoning include lethargy, lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and jaundice, and aflatoxin poisoning can result in liver damage and death. The National Institutes of Health also lists aflatoxins among carcinogens in humans, citing links between exposure to the toxins and increased risk of liver cancer.

The recalled products are in 58 lots that had been sold under 17 brand names: Champ, Family Pet, Field Trial, Good Dog, Heartland Farms, Hunter's Special, Old Glory, Paws Happy Life, Pet Expert, Principle, Retriever, River Bend, Sportsman's Pride, Sprout, Thrifty, Top Runner, and Whiskers & Tails. The affected products range in size from 4 pounds to 50 pounds, and all have lot codes that include the text 3/April/2020, 4/April/2020, or 5/April/2020.

Additional details are available at jav.ma/aflatoxinrecall.

Sunshine Mills also issued recalls in August 2020 for potential Salmonella contamination in certain poultry-based dog foods and in November 2018 for dog foods with excess vitamin D, according to FDA information.

In the October announcement, FDA officials urged veterinarians treating pets with aflatoxin poisoning to ask their clients for the pets’ diet history and encouraged veterinarians to submit case reports, especially if they confirm their findings through diagnostic testing. Veterinarians can file those reports through the Safety Reporting Portal at www.safetyreporting.hhs.gov.

Veterinary social work summit focuses on animals, poverty

Sessions covered topics of COVID-19, telehealth, animal welfare, access to care

Story and screenshot by Kaitlyn Mattson

The sixth International Veterinary Social Work Summit, held virtually Oct. 8-10, focused on the theme “Animals and Poverty: How It Impacts the Human-Animal Relationship.”

Sessions during the summit also touched on COVID-19–related challenges, telehealth, animal welfare, and access to veterinary care. Many of the conversations involved tips and advice for veterinarians. The event was hosted by the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine and College of Social Work.


The session “Improving Access to Vet Care,” focused on potential barriers to care and how to bridge them.

Emily Gelb, director of community solutions at the Asheville Humane Society in Asheville, North Carolina, suggested to first identify a community's barriers and then to focus programming around eliminating those.

“I am not a veterinarian, but from my perspective, one of the pieces I've seen to be most important with veterinary clinics who partner with us is for the clinics to focus more on incremental care rather than the gold standard,” Gelb said. “Along with that is creating a clinic environment that is welcoming and a culture that doesn't make assumptions or pass judgments about people and their love of their pet based on their socioeconomic level.”

Gelb and Pia Cash, a community solutions assistant at the Asheville Humane Society, suggested ways a veterinary clinic can improve access to care, including the following:


This slide of the presentation “Improving Access to Vet Care,” a session at the sixth International Veterinary Social Work Summit, discusses several aspects of pets living in poverty, including how many live in households receiving benefits through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085

  • • Starting a financial assistance program.

  • • Partnering with a shelter to run vaccine clinics.

  • • Setting up pop-up clinics in underserved neighborhoods and providing preventive or wellness care.

  • • Selling at-cost flea and tick preventives at the clinic.


“Is the animal loved?” asked Dr. Zenithson Ng, a clinical assistant professor at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, during “Enhancing Animal Welfare for Pets of People Living in Poverty.”

Dr. Ng discussed how to use the Five Freedoms, originally developed to establish animal welfare guidelines for farm animals, to help pets living in poverty. He said an animal living with a person experiencing homelessness, for example, may have different experiences.

“We have to recognize that every case is unique. We want to invite the owner to discuss,” Dr. Ng said. “Talk to them, ask them what their perspective is. What the owner sees might not be what the veterinarian sees.”

Dr. Ng said it is important to discuss ensuring an animal is well hydrated, especially for pet owners who are experiencing homelessness.

“Discuss where to shop for low-cost foods and free food delivery or food bank options. Supply a free measuring cup, and discuss access to fresh water at all times,” he said.


Multiple experts came together during the panel discussion “COVID-19—What is Essential?” The conversation focused on issues and concerns attendees were facing including curbside service, sheltering, and telehealth.

Dr. Meggan Graves, a large animal veterinarian and clinical assistant professor at the UT veterinary college, said telemedicine is fairly normal for large animal practitioners.

Although a large number of pets live in households facing barriers to care, many of those households do have internet access and could potentially benefit from more telehealth appointments.

Dr. Michael Blackwell, director of the Program for Pet Health Equity at UT, spoke about how telemedicine could solve some issues.

“I think it is important—even post COVID—if we are going to bridge access, our profession must get comfortable with telemedicine,” Dr. Blackwell said. “There are situations that demand in person, but I think we need to press for more use of technology. We need to be a voice encouraging, embracing telehealth.”

Current policies vary by state. The AVMA has a resource page on telehealth at jav.ma/telemedicine.


By Kaitlyn Mattson

The AVMA Council on Education is looking to create a standing emergency conditions policy in light of the pandemic and the potential for similarly disruptive events.

The council already updated its COVID-19 policy during its virtual fall meeting, Aug. 30-Sept. 1.

According to information released by the COE: “The occasion of COVID-19 in 2020 has given the AVMA Council on Education (AVMA-COE, the Council) the opportunity to consider how the Council can best continue its mission in the context of large-scale disruption. … The Emergency Conditions Policy has been drafted with the COVID-19 Policy as a basis for a policy the Council may enact, under specific ‘Emergency Conditions,’ as designated by the Council.”

The council sought feedback this fall on the policy's usefulness to stakeholders and on specific inclusions in the policy. These include the authorization of site visits to occur through audio or video and a temporary extension of the accreditation interval for up to 18 months for programs in certain risk categories.

Dr. Kevin Donnelly, chair of the COE, said the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the operations of veterinary colleges. The COE recognized the operational duress and, as a result, issued its COVID-19 policy earlier this year. Recent updates to the policy involved an appendix to the council's policy for verification site visits, following virtual site visits, as well as providing the option for the COE to conduct a virtual site visit for veterinary colleges with an accreditation status of accredited.

“The provisions in the policy are for the sole purpose of management of the COVID-19 situation and are temporary but are in effect until—in the view of the COE—the COVID-19 situation is sufficiently resolved,” he said.

The policy was written consistent with the U.S. Department of Education guidance, which expires as of Dec. 31. Without further information or an extension from the USDE, the COE expects to return to normal policies and practices in 2021, Dr. Donnelly said.

“However, as a contingency, the COE has drafted a separate Emergency Conditions Policy, that is informed by the experience of COVID-19 and with stakeholder review and input, that could be deployed in continuance of the needs of (veterinary colleges) due to COVID-19 or in some future similar event. Overall, the COE is reevaluating the COVID-19 situation regularly as we head into the close of 2020,” he said.

The Accreditation Policies and Procedures Manual of the AVMA COE remains the primary source for policies and procedures related to the COE. However, the full and updated version of the COVID-19 Policy can be found at jav.ma/coecovid.


The article “One size doesn't fit all when it comes to paying veterinarians” in the Nov. 15, 2020, issue of JAVMA News, page 994, mistakenly gave the title of Veterinary Practice Today for the publication Today's Veterinary Business.


With their long snouts and tusks, feral pigs are rooting a destructive path across the nation. (Courtesy of USDA)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085


By R. Scott Nolen

Feral pigs are a destructive and dangerous invasive species costing the United State an estimated $1.5 billion annually in damages and control costs. And the problem is getting worse.

In 1982, feral pigs were rooting, wallowing, and reproducing in 17 states. But by 2020, the species had spread to at least 38 states, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which estimates the size of the wild pig population is at least 6 million and rapidly expanding.

“I've heard it referred to as a feral swine bomb,” said Dale Nolte, manager of the USDA's National Feral Swine Damage Management Program, in a Sept. 19 article in The Atlantic magazine.

“They multiply so rapidly. To go from a thousand to two thousand, it's not a big deal,” Nolte said. “But if you've got a million, it doesn't take long to get to 4 [million], then 8 million.”

Congress responded to the increasing damage and disease threats posed by the expanding feral pig populations by appropriating funds to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in 2014 to create the National Feral Swine Damage Management Program, with the goal of protecting agricultural and natural resources, property, animal health, and human health and safety by managing damage caused by feral swine.

In 2019, 84,223 feral pigs were euthanized in dozens of states as part of the NFSDMP. Those numbers mark a nearly 15% increase from 2018, when 73,443 feral pigs were euthanized.

Feral pigs are not a native species. They were brought to the United States in the 1500s by explorers and settlers as a source of food. Free-range livestock management practices and escapes from enclosures led to the first establishment of feral swine populations within the United States.

During the 1900s, the Eurasian, or Russian, wild boar was introduced into parts of the United States for sport hunting. The troublesome feral pigs today are a combination of escaped domestic pigs, Eurasian wild boars, and hybrids of the two.

A 1999 study in California found that multiple hunting-related introductions contributed to the range expansion of wild pigs from about 10 coastal counties in the early 1960s to 49 of the state's 58 counties by 1996.

Adult feral pigs typically weigh between 75 and 250 pounds but can grow twice as large. They can reach 3 feet in height and 5 feet in length and run up to 30 miles per hour. Females breed year-round, having up to two litters of between four and 12 piglets annually.

Together, these traits make feral pigs a serious problem on many levels. Feral pigs eat and trample crops, erode soil with their rooting and wallowing behaviors, and compete with native wildlife for food, water, and habitat.

Wild pigs also threaten public and animal health. They carry at least 30 viral and bacterial diseases and nearly 40 parasites that can be transmitted to humans, pets, livestock, and wildlife. They are aggressive and have attacked farmers, golfers, and others unfortunate enough to cross their path.

A 2018 report of the NFSDMP noted concerns within the animal agriculture industry related to the potential for feral pigs to reintroduce pseudorabies or swine brucellosis to domestic swine, which have been free of the diseases for more than a decade.

“Feral swine could also play a role in the spread of a foreign animal disease which could cause substantial damage to the U.S. economy,” the report states. “A FAD outbreak would not only impact livestock producers, but also grain producers, particularly corn and soybean farmers, energy companies, and manufacturing jobs, among others.”


The federal Wildlife Services program lethally removed 62,000 coyotes as nuisance animals last year. Coyotes reportedly kill more than 300,000 livestock annually and injure even more.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085


The federal Wildlife Services program in 2019 removed nearly 30 million wild animals from urban, rural, and other settings where they were causing damage.

Most encounters (93%) were resolved with nonlethal means. However, Wildlife Services used lethal measures in the remainder of the cases, killing 2.2 million animals that were threatening or damaging human health and safety, agriculture, natural resources, or property.

Wildlife Services, a program run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, released last year's numbers on Oct. 5 as part of its annual report to the public.

Program activities aim to reduce or eliminate more than an estimated $232 million in annual livestock losses due to predation and $150 million in bird damage to crops caused by native and invasive wildlife annually, according to the report.

Although comprehensive estimates of all wildlife damage are difficult to make, APHIS estimates wildlife strikes on aircraft cause $625 million in losses to American civil aviation each year and have the potential to result in loss of life. The agency responds to requests for assistance from individuals, companies, and other government entities when wild animals are a problem.

Eighty-five percent of the animals removed lethally in 2019 were either an invasive species or a blackbird listed on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Depredation Order because of the damage they cause. That order encompasses more than 18,000 brown tree snakes on Guam; 84,000 feral swine; 687,000 European starlings; 62,000 coyotes, which reportedly kill more than 300,000 livestock annually and injure even more; and 53,000 native northern pike minnow that APHIS removed to protect federally threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead trout in the Pacific Northwest.

Native species not listed in the USFWS depredation order accounted for 15% (358,195) of animals that Wildlife Services lethally removed. Lethal actions for damage management remove a small percentage of native wild animals, compared with their overall population, the report states. For example, out of an estimated 300,000 black bears, last year APHIS euthanized 400 and relocated 519, in compliance with wildlife agencies’ policies in 19 states.

When lethal control is used, APHIS works to make full use of the meat, which included donation of 138 tons of goose, deer, elk, and other meat for people in need, the report states.

Wildlife Services used $79 million in appropriated funds in 2019 to help manage wildlife damage in every state and territory and to support special programs, such as managing damage by feral swine and rabies in raccoons and other wildlife.


By Kaitlyn Mattson

The AVMA Brave Space Certificate Program, set to launch this year, will explore the impact of stereotyping, unconscious bias, and workplace harassment.

The seven-module program will concentrate on providing practical tools and strategies for promoting healthier, safer, and more inclusive workplaces.

The concept for Brave Space derived from the idea of a safe space, a place where you don't have to defend or explain yourself, said Jen Brandt, PhD, director of well-being, diversity, and inclusion initiatives at the AVMA.

“We are excited about this,” Dr. Brandt said. “In the workplace, we think it might just be the boss's job to have difficult conversations, but we all have a role to play.”

The modules will focus on the following topics and are hosted by the following experts.

  • • Dr. Brandt leads two modules, “Interpersonal Violence 1: An Overview” and “Interpersonal Violence 2: Plan, Prevent, Respond.” Dr. Melinda Merck, owner of Veterinary Forensics Consulting in Austin, Texas, co-hosts these sessions. The two modules will focus on the impact of interpersonal violence in the veterinary community, the signs, and its link to animal cruelty. The module will also include information about creating a safety plan and point participants to resources.

  • • Dr. Ellen Lowery, director of Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine's Veterinary Teaching Hospital, hosts “LGBTQIA+ 1,” while Kara Burns, immediate past president of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, hosts “LGBTQIA+ 2.” These modules will focus on exploring gender identity, vocabulary associated with different identities, and creating supportive and inclusive environments for people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual within the veterinary community.

  • • Lisa Greenhill, EdD, senior director for institutional research and diversity at the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, hosts “Combating Unconscious Bias and Marginalization.” Dr. Greenhill will discuss marginalization and how it can harm the veterinary profession in areas such as recruitment, retention, and meeting client needs. The module will also focus on strategies to limit unconscious bias.

  • • Dr. Allen Cannedy, diversity director at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, hosts “Race and Inclusion.” Dr. Cannedy will discuss race and inclusion issues in veterinary medicine.

  • • “Preventing Workplace Harassment” was developed in partnership with the AVMA Trust. The module will teach participants how to recognize workplace harassment and steps that can be taken if veterinary team members experience or witness inappropriate actions or behavior.


Texas A&M University AgriLife faculty members are laying the groundwork for a network of rural veterinarians to provide education and assistance to make rural veterinary practices sustainable in Texas and New Mexico at a time when food animal veterinarians are in short supply.

Started in September, the three-year project—“Improving the Sustainability of Rural Veterinarians Through Mentoring, Targeted Education, Telemedicine, and Monitoring of Disease Syndromes”—seeks to shift the focus from treatment to prevention through a comprehensive herd health approach.

Overseeing the project is Dr. Tom Hairgrove, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service cattle veterinary specialist with the TAMU Department of Animal Science. The project is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Dr. Hairgrove believes practitioners who stop diseases before they start will be a great asset to livestock producers.

“We know livestock enterprises are major contributors to rural communities,” Dr. Hairgrove said in an Oct. 6 press release. “We want to improve the communication and cooperation between the livestock industry and the veterinary profession to ultimately improve livestock health and economic sustainability for rural communities.”

“Veterinarians responding in a ‘fire engine’ manner simply is no longer practical,” Dr. Hairgrove said. “We need livestock producers to realize that veterinarians can contribute more to their operation profits if a comprehensive health management program is developed.”

As envisioned, the network will link together rural practitioners through virtual reporting and diagnostic tools so veterinarians in underserved areas feel more engaged and part of a larger group experiencing similar issues in production agriculture.

According to the grant description, the goals of the program include helping provide a sufficient supply of food animal veterinarians to serve livestock producers in underserved areas and educating producers so they will request more intensive health programs for livestock, to be designed with major assistance from rural veterinary practitioners.

Veterinarians working on the project along with Dr. Hairgrove are Drs. James Thompson, professor of food animal theriogenology, and Jennifer Schleining, clinical associate professor large animal medicine and surgery, both at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, and John Wenzel, New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service veterinarian.

The project's first step, Dr. Hairgrove said, will be establishing a mentoring program for early-career veterinarians to help them feel less isolated and more supported.

Additionally, AgriLife Extension will host monthly virtual rounds focusing on important cases with faculty members from the veterinary college participating.


Amid a year of unprecedented difficulties, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation has been able to rise to the challenge thanks to the donors who support the AVMF.

“As the charitable arm of the AVMA, our programs are designed to facilitate and promote the good work of veterinarians. And so one of the things I'm most proud of is the positive effect that our programs have on member well-being,” said Dr. John Howe, AVMF board of directors chair.

“Whether it's funding for student scholarships, reimbursement for charitable veterinary care, or educational programs to enhance self-care, I really think we're making a difference in the lives of our members and the entire veterinary health care team.”

The AVMF will soon begin raising funds to support development of a new AVMA first responder certificate program to help veterinarians and veterinary technicians work effectively in disaster relief programs, according to Dr. Howe.

‘There are only safe anesthetists’

Veterinarians, veterinary technicians discuss how to improve safety in anesthesia of cats, dogs

By Katie Burns

In human medicine, some anesthesiologists can go an entire career without having a patient die. In contrast, for a variety of reasons, veterinarians and veterinary technicians who anesthetize cats and dogs on a regular basis see higher mortality rates than their human counterparts.

Perhaps one of the most famous quotes in medicine is from Robert Smith, MD, who said: “There are no safe anesthetic agents, there are no safe anesthetic procedures. There are only safe anesthetists.”

Speakers at the AVMA Virtual Convention 2020 in August discussed issues with anesthesia in cats and dogs—and ways to improve safety, such as through better monitoring and the use of checklists. In addition, speakers at the American Animal Hospital Association's Connexity 2020 conference in October covered the AAHA anesthesia guidelines, which were updated earlier this year.


Dr. Anderson F. da Cunha, a professor of anesthesiology at Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine in Glendale, Arizona, spoke at the AVMA Virtual Convention 2020 on “How to Reduce Anesthesia-Related Morbidity and Mortality.”

He said: “Anesthesia mortality can always be lower. It can be zero, and that would be ideal. But is that achievable?”

A 2008 study in the journal Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia examined the risk of anesthetic- or sedation-related death in almost 100,000 dogs and 80,000 cats between June 2002 and June 2004 in the United Kingdom. The risk of death was 1 in 1,849 for healthy dogs and 1 in 75 for sick dogs. The risk of death was 1 in 895 for healthy cats and 1 in 71 for sick cats.

A 2017 JAVMA study examined the risk of anesthetic-related death in about 1.3 million dogs and 275,000 cats anesthetized between January 2010 and March 2013 at Banfield Pet Hospitals, which have similar anesthetic protocols for every hospital. The risk of death for dogs was about 1 in 2,000 anesthesia episodes, and the risk of death for cats was about 1 in 900 anesthesia episodes.

In human medicine, Dr. da Cunha said, the risk of anesthetic-related death is about 1 in 100,000 to 1 in 250,000 anesthesia episodes.

What is the difference? Training. Veterinary professionals treat more than one species, each with its own unique anatomy and physiology, so they need to have broad medical knowledge and adjust as needed. They also have fewer pieces of equipment and less money to spend.

Among the factors that increase the odds of anesthetic-related death in individual dogs and cats are being in worse health, urgent procedures, age, long procedures, use of injectable anesthesia rather than inhalant anesthesia, obesity, and brachycephaly.

Factors that decrease the odds of anesthetic-related death are an equipment check with a protocol and checklist, direct availability of an anesthesiologist and a trained nurse, no change of anesthetics during the procedure, two people available for emergencies, postoperative pain management, epidural or local analgesia rather than systemic analgesia, pulse oximetry, and monitoring in general.

Dr. da Cunha said all the studies—on horses, rabbits, cats, dogs, or humans—agree that monitoring is key to reducing mortality rates. He also recommended following an anesthesia checklist to prevent mistakes, as he does.


Heidi Reuss-Lamky, a veterinary technician specialist in anesthesia and surgery at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services in Oakland County, Michigan, spoke at the AVMA Virtual Convention 2020 on “Anesthesia Mistakes Awareness.”


A team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services in Oakland County, Michigan, triages a patient with two traumatized front limbs. Heidi Reuss-Lamky, a veterinary technician specialist in anesthesia and surgery at the practice, said emergency situations are an area of concern for anesthesia mistakes. (Courtesy of Reuss-Lamky)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085


Dr. Anderson F. da Cunha, a professor of anesthesiology at Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine in Glendale, Arizona, suggests that, to avoid stress, anesthetists should go over the anesthesia process in their mind and arrange everything they need on their table in such a way that they can immediately identify where things are. (Photo by Dr. da Cunha)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085

Reuss-Lamky said the perfect anesthetist would have access to excellent anesthesia and monitoring equipment; do a pre-anesthetic workup and hands-on monitoring; know a lot about pharmacology, physiology, and pathophysiology; have good communication skills; stay current on continuing education; do great postoperative support; and have a little bit of intuition. Plus, he or she would never have a bad day.

“We're people, right? We're not machines,” Reuss-Lamky said. “And so everyone will eventually have a bad day, and mistakes can and do happen.”

She listed the following areas of concern with the patient, pharmacology, monitoring, anesthesia, and the anesthetist.

  • • The patient: Inadequate preoperative workup, undiagnosed underlying disease, mismanaged preexisting conditions, clinicopathologic abnormalities, inadequate preoperative stabilization, emergency situations, fearful or feral patients, and human errors such as recording the incorrect weight.

  • • Pharmacology: Administering a drug by the wrong route, incorrect drug dose calculations, human errors such as medicating the wrong patient, and adverse drug interactions.

  • • Monitoring: Incorrect monitoring devices, patient's abnormality not accurately reflected by the monitor, inaccurate data provided by the monitor, relying too heavily on monitors, and accurate data provided by the monitor but ignored or alarms silenced.

  • • Anesthesia: Improper flow rates, not scavenging waste anesthetic gases, broken or improper equipment, unidentified malfunction in the anesthesia machine, poorly maintained anesthetic equipment, and post-operative hypoventilation.

  • • The anesthetist: Incorrect use of the anesthetic machine or equipment, inadequate preoperative preparation or stabilization, breathing and ventilation errors, substandard patient monitoring, the many stresses that veterinary technicians face, and poor communication.

Reuss-Lamky said checklists are heavily used in human medicine and are creeping into the veterinary side. She showed a pre-surgical checklist used in her practice.

When developing a checklist, she said, a practice should get input from all staff members to be make sure the checklist will be well used after implementation.

She said, in summary, that preventing anesthesia mishaps involves proper patient preparation, training and experience, adequately functioning monitoring devices and anesthetic equipment, and diligent postoperative monitoring.


When anesthetizing patients, veterinary teams follow the adage: “The lighter, the better. The deeper, the deader.”

Dr. Tamara Grubb, a veterinary anesthesiologist, and Jennifer Sager, a veterinary technician specialist in anesthesia, spoke at AAHA Connexity on “The Calmer, the Better: How to Defuse Fear and Infuse Enthusiasm by Following the 2020 AAHA Anesthesia and Monitoring Guidelines for Dogs and Cats.” Dr. Grubb and Sager co-chaired the task force that prepared the guidelines.

Dr. Grubb, an adjunct clinical professor at Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, said: “We all know that anesthesia can be really scary because anesthesia, of course, creates a physiologic plane that is somewhere much deeper than normal sleep. And it should always create a little bit of enhanced attentiveness, but it doesn't need to be scary.”

According to the AAHA guidelines, “In addition, ‘anesthesia’ is not limited to the period when the patient is unconscious but is a continuum of care that begins before the patient leaves home and ends when the patient is returned home with appropriate physiologic function and absent or minimal pain levels.”

Dr. Grubb said the guidelines are divided into three phases with numerous steps that can serve as a descriptive checklist for the entire anesthesia team, as follows.

Phase I: Pre-anesthesia: Individualized anesthetic and analgesic plan, client communication.

  • • Step 1: Pre-anesthetic evaluation and plan.

  • • Step 2: Client communication and education.

Phase II: Day of anesthesia: From doorknob (home) to doorknob (home) and everything in between.

  • • Step 1: Anesthesia begins at home, with fasting and sometimes medications.

  • • Step 2: Equipment preparation.

  • • Step 3: Patient preparation.

  • • Step 4: Anesthetic protocol.

    • • Step 4a: Pain management.

    • • Step 4b: Pre-anesthetic anxiolytics and sedatives.

    • • Step 4c: Anesthetic induction.

    • • Step 4d: Anesthetic maintenance, including physiologic monitoring, physiologic support, and troubleshooting of anesthetic complications.

    • • Step 4e: Recovery.

Phase III: Return home.

Sager, education and training specialist at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine's Small Animal Hospital, emphasized putting safety first with anesthesia and seeing anesthesia as multidimensional—scary, but fun as a challenge. Her key points are to pay attention to equipment selection, develop individual anesthetic plans, and use multimodal anesthesia techniques.

In the realm of anesthesia overall, Sager advised practices to take the time to invest in clients with communication and education and to take the time to invest in the veterinary staff with training.


The following individuals are winners of the 2020 Zoetis Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award and the Zoetis Award for Veterinary Research Excellence. The Zoetis Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award is given to educators in recognition of their character and leadership qualities as well as their outstanding teaching abilities. The Zoetis Award for Veterinary Research Excellence recognizes researchers whose innovative studies have advanced the scientific standing of veterinary medicine.


Lindsay N. Starkey, DVM, PhD, Auburn University

Kevin D. Woolard, DVM, PhD, University of California-Davis

Forgivemore Magunda, BVSc, PhD, Colorado State University

Daniel J. Fletcher, DVM, PhD, Cornell University

Wendy W. Mandese, DVM, University of Florida

Brandy Burgess, DVM, PhD, University of Georgia

Kari Foss, DVM, University of Illinois

Austin K. Viall, DVM, Iowa State University

Thomas Schermerhorn, VMD, Kansas State University

Julie A. Hunt, DVM, Lincoln Memorial University

Olalekan M. Ogundele, PhD, Louisiana State University

Ioana Maria Soneo, DVM, PhD, Michigan State University

Anderson da Cunha, DVM, Midwestern University

Jennifer Granick, DVM, PhD, University of Minnesota

Matthew Williams, DVM, Mississippi State University

Patrick Hunt, DVM, University of Missouri

Lysa Pam Posner, DVM, North Carolina State University

Teresa Burns, DVM, PhD, The Ohio State University

Timothy A. Snider, DVM, PhD, Oklahoma State University

Erica McKenzie, BVMS, PhD, Oregon State University

Michael B. Mison, DVM, University of Pennsylvania

Joanne B. Messick, VMD, PhD, Purdue University

Sarah M. Cavanaugh, DVM, Ross University

Talia Guttin, DVM, St. George's University

Marcy J. Souza, DVM, University of Tennessee

Mark Johnson, DVM, Texas A&M University

Marieke Hilarides Rosenbaum, DVM, Tufts University

Pamela Y. Martin, DVM, Tuskegee University

Katie M. Boes, DVM, Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine

Stephen Hines, DVM, PhD, Washington State University

Ohad Levi, DVM, Western University of Health Sciences

Sathish Kumar, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison


Paul H. Walz, DVM, PhD, Auburn University

Jeffrey Stott, PhD, University of California-Davis

Stephanie McGrath, DVM, PhD, Colorado State University

Jessica McArt, DVM, PhD, Cornell University

Donald C. Bolser, PhD, University of Florida

Nikolay Miltchev Filipov, PhD, University of Georgia

Huanyi Qiao, PhD, University of Illinois

Jodi L. McGill, PhD, Iowa State University

Michael W. Sanderson, DVM, Kansas State University

Susanna Kitts-Morgan, PhD, Lincoln Memorial University

Jennifer Liford Sones, DVM, PhD, Louisiana State University

Gisela S. Hussey, DVM, PhD, Michigan State University

G. Elizabeth Pluhar, DVM, PhD, University of Minnesota

Attila Karsi, PhD, Mississippi State University

Christian L. Lorson, PhD, University of Missouri

Lauren Schnabel, DVM, PhD, North Carolina State University

Shan-Lu Lui, PhD, The Ohio State University

Veronique Anne Lacombe, DVM, PhD, Oklahoma State University

Brian Dolan, PhD, Oregon State University

Dipti Pitta, MVSc, PhD, University of Pennsylvania

Marxa Figueriedo, PhD, Purdue University

Firdous Khan, BVSc, St. George's University

David E. Anderson, DVM, University of Tennessee

Stephen Safe, PhD, Texas A&M University

Lisa G. Barber, DVM, Tufts University

Temesgen Samuel, DVM, PhD, Tuskegee University

Sherrie Clark-Deener, DVM, PhD, Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine

Santanu Bose, PhD, Washington State University

Linda Kidd, DVM, PhD, Western University of Health Sciences

Jyoti Watters, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison



Virtual annual conference, Sept. 24-26


The conference drew 979 virtual attendees, including 264 veterinary students. Amy te Plate-Church, Shawano, Wisconsin, presented the keynote address “Believe. Engage. Connect!” The address is available at aabp.org/gallery/keynote.asp. Continuing education included beef, dairy, clinical skills, practice management, and student sessions in addition to sessions from the American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners. Also on offer were more than 50 virtual exhibits. The issues of mental health and wellness were addressed during the conference. Josh Tanguay, a clinical psychologist in Plainville, Kansas, delivered a presentation that included statistics on suicide among veterinarians. The immediate past president of the AABP, Dr. Calvin Booker, spoke on the association's new initiative, the Humans of AABP series, established on the AABP Facebook page, giving members the ability to share their stories and struggles. Student members of the AABP who received $193,500 in scholarships this year were recognized at the conference. The awards were funded by AABP members, the AABP Foundation, Merck Animal Health, Zoetis, and the National Cattlemen's Association.


Boehringer Ingelheim Bovine Practitioner of the Year

Dr. Pat Comyn, (North Carolina ‘88), Madison, Virginia, for exemplifying practice excellence, leadership, and service. Dr. Comyn owns Virginia Herd Health Management Services in Madison, focusing on reproductive ultrasounds, embryo transfer, nutritional consultations, bull fertility, general herd health management, laparoscopic artificial insemination in ruminants, and small ruminant medicine. He is a member of the executive board of the American Embryo Transfer Association, chairs the AETA Education Committee, and serves on the AABP Genomics and Genetics Committee.


Dr. Pat Comyn

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085

James A. Jarrett Award for Young Leaders

Dr. Brandon Treichler (Minnesota ‘12), Canyon, Texas, won this award, given to a member who has graduated in the past 10 years and exemplifies leadership via significant contributions to the association. Dr. Treichler serves as a quality control veterinarian with Select Milk Producers, working primarily with dairies in western Texas and eastern New Mexico. He is active with the National Mastitis Council and serves on the AABP Animal Welfare Committee.


Dr. Brandon Treichler

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085

Boehringer Ingelheim Excellence in Preventive Medicine Award—Beef

Dr. John D. Bolinger (Missouri ‘08), Tipton, Missouri. Dr. Bolinger owns Bolinger Veterinary Service in Tipton. He works exclusively with beef producers, assisting with their cow-calf and stocker operations. Dr. Bolinger has served in leadership roles with the Academy of Veterinary Consultants and Missouri VMA and is a member of the Society for Theriogenology and Missouri Cattlemen's Association.


Dr. John D. Bolinger

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085

Boehringer Ingelheim Excellence in Preventive Medicine Award—Dairy

Dr. Roger Thomson (Michigan ‘79), Battle Creek, Michigan. Dr. Thomson owns MQ-IQ Consulting in Battle Creek, a milk quality consulting company, offering training programs on evaluation of milking systems and a teaching parlor for various organizations, including the AABP and National Mastitis Council. He also serves as an academic teaching specialist in the Department of Animal Science at Michigan State University College of Agriculture & Natural Resources and in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine.


Dr. Roger Thomson

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085

Zoetis Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Jim Brett (Mississippi State ‘83), Starkville, Mississippi. Dr. Brett is a clinical professor and a member of the large animal ambulatory service at Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He previously practiced mixed animal medicine in Georgia for more than 20 years. Dr. Brett serves as Mississippi's delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates and is a past member of the House Advisory Committee and the AVMA Convention Education Program Committee. He has also served as Georgia's alternate delegate to the AVMA HOD.


Dr. Jim Brett

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085

Merck Animal Health Mentor of the Year Award

Dr. Gordon Atkins (Western University ‘73), Calgary, Alberta. A past president of the AABP, Dr. Atkins serves as a professor of production animal health at the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. His practice career, based in Alberta for almost 50 years, has focused on dairy veterinary medicine and has involved all aspects of dairy herd health with particular emphasis on nutrition, cow comfort, and reproductive performance and a special interest in bovine gastrointestinal surgery. Dr. Atkins has also served as a veterinary consultant for Holstein Canada as a member of its Classification Advisory Committee and Breed Advisory Committee.


Dr. Gordon Atkins

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085

AABP Award for Excellence

Dr. Terry Lehenbauer (Oklahoma State ‘79), Exeter, California, is a professor in the Department of Population Health and Reproduction at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and serves as director of the UC-Davis Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center in Tulare, California. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Medicine, he focuses his research on herd health and production medicine in dairy cattle with an emphasis on the epidemiology of infectious diseases, risk management, and the economics of animal health, especially related to bovine respiratory disease, mastitis, and antimicrobial stewardship.


Dr. Terry Lehenbauer

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085

AABP Foundation Competitive Research Grant Award

Drs. Gerard Cramer, University of Minnesota, for “Development of a sole ulcer induction model in Holstein cows: The next step in lameness research”; and Manuel Chamorro, Auburn University, for “Effects of lameness on semen quality in beef bulls: A case-control study”

AABP Research Summaries Graduate Student Award

First place—Dr. Matthew Scott, Mississippi State University, for “Transcriptomic profiling of BRD-attributed mortality in stocker cattle identifies active inflammatory and antiviral pathways at arrival”; second place—Dr. Claira Seely, Cornell University, for “Effect of hyperketonemia on circadian patterns of blood metabolites and milk predicted constituents in dairy cows”; and third place—Dr. Ainhoa Valldecabres, University of California-Davis, for “Associations of serum calcium and subclinical hypocalcemia at calving with productive, reproductive and health outcomes in multiparous Jersey cows”

2020 Student Case Presentation Competition Winners

Overall—Isabella Knecht, Cornell University, for “Intravenous dextrose as a treatment for hyperketonemia in dairy cows”; clinical case report—Elizabeth Rumfola, Louisiana State University, for “Urolithiasis in a bull”; research report: first place—Isabella Knecht, Cornell University, for “Intravenous dextrose as a treatment for hyperketonemia in dairy cows”; and second place—Caroline Cunningham, Texas A&M University, for “Genetic variability of bovine coronavirus isolated from the respiratory and enteric tract of calf-ranch raised dairy calves”


Drs. Carie Telgen, Greenwich, New York, president; Pat Gorden, Ames, Iowa, president-elect; Sandra Godden, St. Paul, Minnesota, vice president; Brian Reed, Lititz, Pennsylvania, treasurer; Richard Wallace, McFarland, Wisconsin, parliamentarian; and Calvin Booker, Okotoks, Alberta, immediate past president


Dr. Carie Telgen

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085


Dr. Pat Gorden

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085



Virtual annual meeting, June 20-23


The theme of the meeting was “Progressive solutions to age-old problems.” Prerecorded plenary and sponsored presentations were featured during the first three days of the meeting, with presenters answering questions in real time. Winners of the AAVP–Boehringer Ingelheim Distinguished Veterinary Parasitologist Award and Outstanding Graduate Student Research Award also made presentations at the meeting. Prerecorded videos of additional oral and poster presentations were made available on a dedicated website. The fourth day of the meeting was dedicated to the judging of entries submitted by participants of the student competitions.


AAVP–Boehringer Ingelheim Distinguished Veterinary Parasitologist Award

Sharon Patton, PhD, Knoxville, Tennessee. Dr. Patton earned her doctorate in parasitology in 1975 from the University of Kentucky. She taught parasitology and conducted research at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine for 38 years, retiring as a professor emeritus in 2014.


Sharon Patton, PhD

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085

AAVP Distinguished Service Award

Thomas J. Kennedy, PhD, Westport, Wisconsin, won this award in recognition of his service to the AAVP and the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology. Dr. Kennedy earned his doctorate in parasitology in 1975 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Known for his expertise and contributions in the fields of anticoccidial and anthelmintic research and development, he serves as a consultant for the animal health industry. Dr. Kennedy is a past president of the AAVP and WAAVP.


Thomas J. Kennedy, PhD

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085

AAVP–Merck Animal Health Outstanding Graduate Student Award

Dr. Ashley E. Steuer (Tennessee ‘16), Amarillo, Texas. Dr. Steuer earned her doctorate in parasitology in 2020 from the University of Kentucky. Her research focused on the local and systemic inflammatory reactions caused by anthelmintic treatment in horses with naturally acquired cyathostomin infections. Her other research interests include the development and validation of novel diagnostics, evaluation of novel anthelmintics and treatment protocols, epidemiological and prevalence surveys, and in vitro development and maintenance of equine helminths. Dr. Steuer recently joined the faculty of Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine.


Dr. Ashley E. Steuer

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085

AAVP–Companion Animal Parasite Council Graduate Student Award in Zoonotic Disease

Dr. Jimenez Castro, Athens, Georgia. Dr. Castro received his veterinary degree in 2013 from the National University of Colombia Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics and is pursuing his doctorate and completing a residency program in veterinary clinical parasitology at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. His research is focused on investigating the biology, epidemiology, and genetics of multiple drug resistance in Ancylostoma caninum. Dr. Castro's other research interests include clinical efficacy and safety trials, anthelmintic resistance, and the epidemiology and control of parasites of veterinary and public health importance.


Dr. Jimenez Castro

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085


Drs. Doug Carithers, Duluth, Georgia, president; Martin Nielsen, Lexington, Kentucky, president-elect and 2021 program chair; Antoinette Marsh, Columbus, Ohio, vice president; Adriano Vatta, Richland, Michigan, secretary-treasurer; Alan Marchiondo, Santa Fe, New Mexico, executive secretary; Mason Reichard, Stillwater, Oklahoma, immediate past president; and student representatives–Drs. Julie Thompson, New Orleans, and Kathryn Duncan, Stillwater, Oklahoma


Dr. Doug Carithers

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085


Dr. Martin Nielsen

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085



Emerald Coast Veterinary Conference, Aug. 19, Miramar Beach, Florida


Veterinarian of the Year

Dr. T.C. Branch (Tuskegee ‘81), Birmingham. Dr. Branch is the founder of Oporto Animal Clinic in Birmingham and was a partner at the Emergency and Specialty Animal Medical Center in Birmingham. President of the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, he is a past president of the Alabama VMA and Alabama Veterinary Medical Foundation and is a past chair of the American Association of State Boards’ Conference Committee. Dr. Branch is a member and a past corresponding secretary of the Jefferson County VMA.


Dr. T.C. Branch

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085

Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Thomas Dawkins (Auburn ‘78), Birmingham, for exceptional achievements and contributions to the advancement of the profession. Dr. Dawkins owns two practices in Birmingham and serves as the rabies officer for Jefferson County. Earlier, he owned a rural practice in Randolph County, where he also served as rabies control officer. Dr. Dawkins is a past president of the Jefferson County VMA and has served 10 years on the Birmingham Racing Commission.


Dr. Thomas Dawkins

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085

Layperson of the Year

James R. Harper Jr., Mobile. Harper completed his law degree at the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law in Montgomery. He works as a criminal defense attorney in Mobile. Harper was honored for volunteering his time and efforts in the representation of an Alabama veterinarian.


James R. Harper Jr.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085

Special Award

Drs. Robert “Bert” Gaddis (Auburn ‘83), Homewood, and Harold “Hal” Pate (Auburn ‘79), Hayneville. A diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College, Dr. Gaddis owns what is now known as Animal Dental Specialists in Pelham. He previously practiced at Roswell Animal Hospital in Roswell, Georgia. Dr. Gaddis has served on the board of directors and several committees of the AVDC. Dr. Pate owns Pate Animal Clinic in Hayneville and serves as staff veterinarian for the Montgomery Zoo. A past president of the ALVMA, he currently serves as chair of the ALVMA Nominating Committee and is Alabama's alternate delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates.


Dr. Robert “Bert” Gaddis

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085


Dr. Harold “Hal” Pate

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085

Service Award

Drs. Randall Davis, Tuscumbia, and Dan Kuykendall, Auburn


Dr. Randall Davis

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085


Dr. Dan Kuykendall

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085


Drs. Randall Davis, Tuscumbia, president; Steven T. Murphree, Cullman, president-elect; Frances P. Kendrick, Selma, vice president; Susan Parsons, McCalla, treasurer; Alan Jones, Kelso, immediate past president; and member at large—Dr. Bradley Harris, Dothan


Dr. Steven T. Murphree

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085


The World Small Animal Veterinary Association, whose 45th World Congress was postponed to 2021 because of COVID-19 restrictions, held its general assembly meeting online on Sept. 22. During the meeting, the association installed the following new officials: Drs. Siraya Chunekamrai, Bangkok, president; Ellen van Nierop, Quito, Ecuador, vice president; Shane Ryan, Singapore, immediate past president; John de Jong, Weston, Massachusetts, honorary treasurer; and board members—Drs. Felisbina Queiroga, Vila Real, Portugal, and Jim Berry, Fredericton, New Brunswick. The WSAVA also confirmed Shanghai as the location of its 2024 World Congress and announced the acceptance of veterinary associations in Burundi, Egypt, Kosovo, and Madagascar as new associate members.


Dr. Siraya Chunekamrai

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085


Dr. Ellen van Nierop

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257, 11; 10.2460/javma.2020.257.11.1085



Dr. Boileau (Iowa State ‘80), 69, Chaska, Minnesota, died April 1, 2020. He co-owned Chanhassen Veterinary Clinic in Chanhassen, Minnesota, with his wife, Dr. Jodi Arndt (Iowa State ‘80). Dr. Boileau also co-owned a hobby farm with several animals, including Norwegian Fjord Horses. He is survived by his wife, a son, a grandchild, and a brother. Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123.


Dr. Christensen (Texas A&M ‘77), 72, Baytown, Texas, died June 14, 2020. A small animal veterinarian, he owned Baytown Animal Hospital. Dr. Christensen's wife, Betty; a son; three grandchildren; and three brothers survive him. Memorials may be made to the Texas A&M Foundation, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Office of Development, 4461 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843, vetmed.tamu.edu/giving/ways-to-give.


Dr. Dorn (Ohio State ‘57), 86, Columbus, Ohio, died April 27, 2020. He was a professor and a past chair of the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, retiring in 1992 as a professor emeritus. During his tenure, Dr. Dorn also served as a professor at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

He began his career as a staff veterinarian at Stark Animal Hospital in Canton, Ohio. Dr. Dorn subsequently served in the Air Force, worked as an inspector for the Cincinnati Health Department, earned his master's in public health from Harvard University, was a research specialist in cancer with the California Department of Public Health, and served as a visiting lecturer in epidemiology at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

In 1968, he joined the University of Missouri as an associate professor in both the School of Medicine and in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Dorn eventually served as a professor at the veterinary college before moving in 1975 to The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. During his career, he also served as a visiting scientist in the epidemiology branch at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, and was a Fogarty International Senior Fellow at the Central Public Health Laboratory in London. In retirement, Dr. Dorn spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar at National Autonomous University of Mexico School of Medicine and worked part time for a few years as a community relations specialist for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and as a science officer for the American Kennel Club's Canine Health Foundation in Aurora, Ohio.

He was a diplomate and a past president of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine; served on what is now known as the AVMA Convention Education Program Committee; was a past member of several U.S. Animal Health Association committees; and served as president of what was known as the Association of Teachers of Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine. Dr. Dorn also served in leadership roles with the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges’ Council on Educators and was a past trustee of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. He consulted for several entities, including the National Institutes of Health, National Academy of Sciences, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and World Health Organization. Dr. Dorn was a member of the Ohio VMA, Missouri and Ohio public health associations, Veterinary Cancer Society, and the Society of Environmental Geochemistry and Health.

In 1991, he received the ACVPM Helwig-Jennings Award. In 1992, he was named a Distinguished Alumnus of The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Dorn served 20 years in the Air Force Reserve, attaining the rank of colonel and in 1982 was a recipient of a Commendation Medal. He is survived by his wife, Barbara Jane; a son and two daughters; and three grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, 322 Eighth Ave., 16th Floor, New York, NY 10001.


Dr. Hollen (Iowa State ‘71), 73, Winterset, Iowa, died June 30, 2020. Following graduation, he worked two years in Villisca, Iowa. Dr. Hollen then moved to Winterset, joining the practice where his father, Dr. James Hollen (Iowa State ‘50), served as a partner. He retired in 2019. Dr. Hollen was a member of the Madison County Cattlemen's Association, Madison County Pork Producers, and Madison County Master Gardeners. He was also active with Lions Club International, serving as a district governor and as a council chair. Dr. Hollen's wife, Susan; three sons and a daughter; eight grandchildren and two stepgrandchildren; and two sisters survive him.


Dr. Reeves (Texas A&M ‘68), 74, Amarillo, Texas, died June 3, 2020. He practiced small animal medicine in Amarillo for 44 years. Dr. Reeves twice served as a volunteer veterinarian for the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska. He was a past president of the Amarillo VMA and was a past member of the Amarillo Animal Control board of directors. Dr. Reeves was also a past president of the South Amarillo Kiwanis Club and served as a lieutenant governor of Division 33 of Kiwanis International. His wife, Carol Ann; a daughter; two grandchildren; and a brother survive him. Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, 1208 S. Tyler St., Amarillo, TX 79101.


Dr. West (Texas A&M ‘56), 88, College Station, Texas, died June 5, 2020. Following graduation, he completed an internship in Skokie, Illinois, and then joined the Air Force Veterinary Corps. During his 22-year military career, Dr. West served as a base veterinarian and assistant preventive medicine officer; earned a master's degree in radiation biology from the University of Rochester; served as chief of the nuclear medicine section at the U.S. Air Force Medical Service School; earned a doctorate in comparative pathology from the University of California-Davis; chaired the Radiation Biology Department at the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland; and served as command veterinarian in the Office of the Surgeon for U.S. Air Forces Europe.

During his three-year assignment as command veterinarian in Europe, he was responsible for and oversaw all veterinary medical and food safety programs for USAF Europe. Afterward, he moved back to the United States, where he served a year as a member of the Air Force Inspector General team, auditing Air Force hospitals and clinics worldwide. During his military service, Dr. West also served as a consultant to the Air Force Surgeon General and was honored with an Air Force Commendation Medal, a Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Legion of Merit. He retired as a colonel in 1979.

After retiring from the corps, Dr. West became an associate professor of veterinary medicine at Mississippi State University before joining the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory as a clinical pathologist. He served in that capacity until retirement and was named a clinical pathologist emeritus in 2016. In 2001, the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences honored Dr. West as an Outstanding Alumnus. In 2011, the Texas A&M University Association of Former Students named him a Distinguished Alumnus. In 2014, he was inducted into the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets Hall of Honor.

In retirement, Dr. West worked in emergency preparedness and response with the Texas Engineering Extension Service. He was a past president of the Brazos Valley VMA and Texas Academy of Veterinary Practice. Dr. West was a member of the College Station Noon Lions Club, American Legion, and the Brazos Valley chapters of the Air Force Association and Military Officers Association of America. Dr. West is survived by his wife, Carolyn; two sons and two daughters; three grandchildren; and two brothers and a sister. Memorials may be made to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, 1931 N. Meacham Road, Suite 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173.