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Researchers at Kansas State University hope to partner with a poison control hotline and together aid food animal veterinarians who encounter unfamiliar toxicology problems.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing Kansas State's College of Veterinary Medicine with $248,000 toward a program that could help answer those calls. Dr. Steve Ensley, who is a clinical veterinary toxicologist at the veterinary college, said in October that he was in talks with a national animal poison control hotline about a partnership.

Under the current proposal, he said, the existing hotline's operators would field calls from veterinarians and help as many as possible. Those who would need additional help could be connected with toxicology experts such as Dr. Ensley and several others at Kansas State and Iowa State University who have agreed to participate in the project.

An announcement from Kansas State indicates toxicology researchers at the university already receive multiple inquiries daily related to food animals, mostly from veterinarians. The hotline project is part of a broader program intended to help veterinarians recognize and address toxicology problems in food animal species, especially cattle, pigs, and small ruminants.

The program also will provide additional toxicology training resources to veterinarians, veterinary students, and veterinary technicians, according to the announcement.


Applications for the Merck Animal Health Veterinary Student Scholarship Program will be available starting Nov. 15.

Marco Animal Health is partnering with the American Veterinary Medical Foundation to offer $5,000 scholarships to second- and third-year veterinary students in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean.

Thirty-seven scholarships will be awarded to students focusing on companion animal or equine medicine, and 17 to students working toward a career in food animal or aquatic animal medicine.

Applications are due by Dec. 31. The application form will be available at avmf.org/programs/student-scholarships.

In addition, the AVMA and AVMF are announcing the application period for the Second Opportunity Summer Research Scholarship program, which opens Oct. 8. The scholarship program is intended to provide support for currently enrolled veterinary students who have previously conducted a summer research project and are seeking to gain a second summer of research experience.

Five students will receive $6,000 each: a $5,000 stipend to perform a second research project and $1,000 to cover travel expenses to the symposium, which will take place at the University of Minnesota.

Students should complete the application form and submit it to their veterinary college by Jan. 11. Officials at each college will select one applicant to nominate. The AVMA Council on Research will then select the five recipients from among the colleges' nominees.

Scholarship applicants for both programs will be notified in March.


Retail giant PetSmart has entered the online veterinary prescription market with the launch of The Pharmacy at PetSmart, a “one-stop online destination” for pet and livestock medications.

PetSmart is competing against other big-name brands, including Chewy and Walmart, for a share of an online market that the market research company Research and Markets valued at $1.7 billion in 2020.

A wide range of veterinary drugs are sold on The Pharmacy at PetSmart site, according to a Sept. 20 press release from PetSmart. Customers enter relevant animal and veterinary information on the site, then check out while PetSmart handles prescription verification.

Allivet, an online veterinary pharmacy licensed in all 50 states, fills and ships the medication orders made on the PetSmart pharmacy site.

PetSmart operates roughly 1,650 pet stores in the United States and Canada as well as more than 200 in-store dog and cat boarding facilities.

Taking the chronic out of enteropathies

Make the most of diets, drugs, and diagnostics to manage pathologies of the intestine in pets

By Katie Burns

Chronic enteropathy is an umbrella term that encompasses a vast array of patients, said Dr. Alison Manchester, a veterinarian and a fellow at Colorado State University who is studying chronic enteropathy in dogs.

She said dogs with chronic enteropathies have all sorts of clinical signs, from intractable diarrhea to vomiting twice a week to unexplained weight loss to an extremely picky appetite.

“While we understand some about this disease process, it remains quite mysterious,” Dr. Manchester said. “Though it probably involves some degree of immune dysregulation and environmental factors and genetic influences, we still are pretty unsure about what is driving the clinical signs in these dogs.

“And not surprisingly, when we don't entirely understand what's driving chronic enteropathy, it makes it difficult to assign a specific treatment that we're confident is going to be successful in an individual dog. And for this reason, we really rely on treatment trials to come to more of a retrospective diagnosis in these types of patients.”

Dr. Manchester was among several speakers at AVMA Virtual Convention 2021, July 29-Aug. 1, who discussed practical approaches to treating chronic enteropathies in dogs and cats, particularly nutritional management, and a new diagnostic option that is now available for dogs.


At Colorado State University, Dr. Manchester is working toward a doctorate focused on characterizing the immune dysregulation in dogs with chronic enteropathies. She presented “Diet as Therapy for Canine Chronic Enteropathy: Why and How?” in a session sponsored by Nestlé Purina during the convention.

Patients may require some combination of treatment with diet, antimicrobials, and immunosuppressants, Dr. Manchester said. After her talk, she added that no currently available diagnostic test is able to predict which treatment or combination of treatments will most benefit an individual dog.

Dr. Manchester said during her talk that she simplifies her approach with diet to focus on the components of fat, fiber, and protein to help match patients with appropriate diets.

“These dogs with diet-responsive disease are going to have more lasting and more robust clinical remission when we find that correct diet as opposed to dogs with these antibiotic-responsive or immunosuppressant-responsive chronic enteropathies,” Dr. Manchester said.

In one example, Fanni, a 5-year-old Yorkshire Terrier, had increased thirst and urination as well as abdominal distension for three weeks and diarrhea for three days. On the basis of a physical examination and minimum diagnostic database, she was diagnosed with protein-losing enteropathy. Dr. Manchester suspected that lymphangiectasia was driving Fanni's abdominal distension and hypoalbuminemia, meaning that fat was the nutrient of interest.

Dr. Manchester prescribed an ultra low-fat diet along with clopidogrel and supplemental calcium and B12. Eight days later, Fannie was eating well and had solid stools, and her abdomen was no longer distended.

Zara, an 8-year-old Shepherd mix, presented for chronic waxing and waning soft stools, acute abdominal distension, and a history of anxiety. She was on cyclosporine, fluoxetine, Denamarin, spironolactone, and an ultra low-fat diet. Dr. Manchester suspected that fat still could be an issue for Zara.

The dog was put on a home-cooked diet of tilapia and sweet potato that was even lower in fat. Dr. Manchester added clopidogrel and B12 but stopped the cyclosporine and spironolactone. Two weeks later, Zara had an improved attitude and energy and semiformed stools, and her abdomen was no longer distended.


Fanni, a Yorkshire Terrier, was diagnosed with protein-losing enteropathy. She did well on an ultra low-fat diet along with clopidogrel and supplemental calcium and B12. (Courtesy of Dr. Alison Manchester)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 259, 10; 10.2460/javma.259.10.1083


Zara, a Shepherd mix, presented with acute abdominal distension and other clinical signs. She did well following a change from an ultra low-fat diet to a home-cooked diet of tilapia and sweet potato that was even lower in fat, along with adjustments to her medications. (Courtesy of Dr. Alison Manchester)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 259, 10; 10.2460/javma.259.10.1083


Cane, a German Shepherd, had intractable chronic gastrointestinal signs. He did well after being enrolled in a clinical trial of an elemental diet. Elemental diets use amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. (Courtesy of Dr. Alison Manchester)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 259, 10; 10.2460/javma.259.10.1083

Cane, a 2 1/2-year-old German Shepherd, had intractable chronic gastrointestinal signs. He was on a prescription ultra low-fat diet and previously hadn't responded well to a hydrolyzed-protein diet. Dr. Manchester suspected that protein was his main issue.

While hydrolysis breaks down proteins into what should be unrecognizable sequences of peptides, Dr. Manchester said, some dogs still mount immune responses to some components of the diet. Coming from the other direction—using the building blocks of proteins, amino acids—results in an elemental diet. In human medicine, elemental diets are a first-line treatment for pediatric Crohn's disease.

Dr. Manchester was enrolling dogs in a clinical trial of an elemental diet coming down the pipeline from Purina, and Cane was the first dog she enrolled. Eight weeks later, he had gained more than 10 pounds, had a consistently good appetite, and had fairly normal stools.

On Oct. 20, Purina released the diet, Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EL Elemental.


Dr. Gary P. Oswald, a specialist in small animal internal medicine at Tampa Bay Veterinary Medical Consultants in Clearwater, Florida, presented an overview session during AVMA Virtual Convention 2021 titled “What's in my Gastrointestinal Pharmacy? Diet Trials, Antibiotics, Probiotics & Appetite Stimulants.”

“We've learned a lot more in the last decade or so that chronic enteropathies are more than just primary inflammatory bowel disease, which, of course, is a disease of the immune system,” Dr. Oswald said.

Dr. Oswald said about 50% of cats and dogs with gastrointestinal signs such as diarrhea, reduction in appetite, and weight and condition loss have enteropathies that are food responsive. Another 25% are responsive to antibiotics or probiotics, suggesting an imbalance in the microbiome.

Up to half of patients with food-responsive enteropathies have adverse reactions to food. For dogs, Dr. Oswald starts by trying a low-fat, higher-carbohydrate diet to address possible fat intolerance. Then he moves to a diet with hydrolyzed protein to address possible food allergy. Finally, he goes to diets with limited and novel proteins and carbohydrates, also to address possible food allergy.

Dr. Oswald said the feline intestinal microbiome often responds well to a higher-protein, lower-carbohydrate diet, and canned foods can provide a better response. Next he tries diets with limited novel proteins and carbohydrates. Hydrolyzed diets are his final options for cats.

Probiotics have many potential indications.

“Some of these things we have proven to be true, that probiotics can do for us,” Dr. Oswald said. “Other things we postulate.”

Another treatment that Dr. Oswald uses in his pharmacy quite a bit are bile acid sequestrants.

For potentially antimicrobial-responsive enteropathies, tylosin tartrate is a drug to consider using. It can be used intermittently or continuously for chronic diarrhea. Metronidazole used to be the go-to antimicrobial but is associated with genotoxicity in cats.

For granulomatous colitis in dogs associated with Escherichia coli, Dr. Oswald's treatment of choice is a fluoroquinolone. For bacteria resistant to fluoroquinolone, aminoglycosides are his treatment of choice.

Veterinarians used cyproheptadine as an appetite stimulant for years, but the drug has inconsistent effects. Mirtazapine increases appetite, has anti-nausea and anti-emetic effects, and turns out to be a gastrointestinal promotility drug. And a newer option for an appetite stimulant is capromorelin, which mimics the action of ghrelin, the hunger hormone.



Jinx, a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, had frequent regurgitation associated with aerophagia and a very small confirmed hiatal hernia. She was on omeprazole and metoclopramide for seven years but did well after a switch to a gastroenteric diet and discontinuation of her medications. (Photo by Dr. Jacqueline Johnson)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 259, 10; 10.2460/javma.259.10.1083

Dr. Jacqueline Johnson of Cabrillo Pet Hospital in San Diego, a consultant for Vetica Labs, presented “Advancing Diagnostic Options for Chronic Enteropathies in Dogs: The Canine CE/IBD Assay” during AVMA Virtual Convention 2021. The new assay was developed by Vetica and is offered through Antech.

Dr. Johnson is a consultant for Vetica, and she assisted in the design of a clinical trial for a serum-based diagnostic test for canine inflammatory bowel disease. She also facilitated cooperation with VCA Animal Hospitals, where she worked at the time, to implement the clinical trial.

About 75% of dog owners will refuse endoscopy for diagnosis of canine enteropathies, citing cost and invasiveness as the main reasons, according to market research commissioned by Vetica.

A report on the clinical trial, published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine in May 2020, found that serum antibodies appear promising in differentiating IBD versus acute gastrointestinal conditions in dogs. A report on a second trial, published in the May/June 2021 issue, found that an assay based on three antibodies is useful to distinguish dogs with chronic enteropathies or IBD versus other GI conditions.

The test differentiates CE/IBD dogs from normal dogs with 90% sensitivity and 96% specificity; it differentiates CE/IBD dogs from dogs that have other chronic GI diseases with 80% sensitivity and 86% specificity.

Antech announced the availability of the test in July 2020. The assay is based on anti-calprotectin antibody, a marker of intestinal inflammation; anti–outer membrane protein C antibody, a marker of bacterial proliferation; and anti-gliadin antibody, a marker of sensitivity to gliadin, a component of gluten.

Dr. Johnson said, “Once you start introducing treatments to these animals, be it medications or diet or some combination of the two, you should start seeing improvements in intestinal inflammation, gut permeability, and you should be seeing a reduction in these autoantibodies.”

In one example, Reno, a 4 1/2-year-old Masti?, had elevated biomarkers for bacterial proliferation and gliadin sensitivity consistent with chronic enteropathy or IBD. The next steps were a change in his diet to salmon, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and green beans; a course of metronidazole; supplemental B12; and treatment with omeprazole.

The biomarkers for bacteria and gliadin sensitivity improved, but there was elevation in the biomarker for inflammation. Reno was started on budesonide and ranitidine. In addition, an endoscopy confirmed CE/IBD.

The bacterial biomarker remained intermediate, but the others went back to the normal range. Reno was doing well and gaining weight.

Jinx, Dr. Johnson's own dog, a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, had frequent regurgitation associated with aerophagia and a very small confirmed hiatal hernia. She was on omeprazole and metoclopramide for seven years, and her clinical signs were much improved but never 100% better.

Jinx's bacterial marker was in the intermediate range, her inflammation marker was low, and her gliadin marker was high. She was switched to a gastroenteric diet, and her medications were discontinued. The result was a 90% resolution in clinical signs with the occasional flare-up two to three times per year.

Dr. Johnson noted that nothing will replace the accuracy of a biopsy. She said, “Try using the test to improve your biopsy compliance.”

Cats are trickier, Dr. Johnson added, because the line between IBD and gastrointestinal lymphoma is much more blurred. Clinical trials are underway for a CE/IBD assay in cats, however, and the results so far look promising.

AVMA VP strengthens ties with college deans, faculty

Faeh Butler takes to new liaison role

Interview by R. Scott Nolen


Dr. Sandra Faeh Butler

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 259, 10; 10.2460/javma.259.10.1083

Since the summer of 2020, when Dr. Sandra Faeh Butler was elected 2020-22 AVMA vice president, the companion animal practice owner from Lake Forest, Illinois, has been connecting with veterinary college deans and faculty as well as working closely with the Student AVMA.

More than halfway through her term, Dr. Faeh Butler talked with JAVMA News about her time in office, what she's hearing, and how the AVMA is helping.

The following responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.


A. I have been honored to meet with the deans and faculty of 23 veterinary schools since the start of my term, all but one being virtually via Zoom. My goal is to meet with all of the U.S. veterinary colleges before the end of my term. From my numerous interactions, I have heard many different concerns and desires. The biggest request was to be able to connect with faculty from different colleges. This led to the creation of the AVMA Online Educator Community, which launched this past February. This group is a community of individuals involved in academia and the education of the next generation of our colleagues. It is a place to exchange ideas, learn about AVMA resources that may make their jobs easier, and discuss challenges and opportunities unique to the world of academia. It is important to note that this community is open to all educators, including veterinarians, PhDs, AVMA members, and non– AVMA members.

To launch the community, we started with a survey and gained valuable feedback. The top interests of the community included the ability to have discussion threads with peers, faculty-specific resources, and virtual roundtables. Their top focuses included diversity, equity, and inclusion; well-being; and economics, although many members wrote in curriculum development as an additional focus. They asked for resources on course content, mentorship, and guidance for career transitions.

As a result of this feedback, we launched a speaker series. This series was designed to provide faculty with a space to hear from and interact with subject matter experts on the topics that are important to them. There were two talks this summer.

Our June presentation was titled “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Academia,” featuring Dr. Ruby L. Perry, dean of Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine, and Dr. Christine Jenkins, chief medical officer and vice president of veterinary medical services and outcomes research of U.S. operations at Zoetis, who co-chair the Commission for a Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Veterinary Profession, along with Dr. Douglas Kratt, then AVMA president, as our panelists— and moderated by Dr. Allen Cannedy. It was a virtual discussion on DEI challenges unique to academia and ways to create more inclusive education.

Our July session was “Implementing Competency-Based Veterinary Education” with Dr. Jennie Hodgson, associate dean for professional programs at Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, and Dr. Kristin Chaney, clinical assistant professor at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.

It was a pleasure working with these thought leaders, and both sessions had great discussion.

One of our fall topics was a session on veterinary economics and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, with Bridgette Bain, PhD, associate director of analytics at the AVMA, and Dr. Tony Bartels, the Veterinary Information Network Foundation's educational debt expert. We also are having a series on wellness with Jen Brandt, PhD, AVMA's director of member well-being, diversity, and inclusion initiatives, and Makenzie Peterson, director for well-being at the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges.

And on-demand viewing is available for all our presentations after the event on the AVMA Online Educator Community for all community members unable to attend the live sessions.


A. This new focus is essential for our profession. We always say that students are our future colleagues, but without the educators, they would not have the skills to be successful. Our educators have unique experience. Many of our concerns are the same—work-life balance, debt, and well-being, for example—but the academic environment has its own challenges and opportunities. AVMA can help. This is just the beginning. I look forward to continuing to build this relationship and to see what more is to come with future vice presidents.


A. Despite the shift to focus on faculty, I still work closely with the students. The vice president continues to be the liaison to the Student AVMA, participating in the SAVMA House of Delegate meetings and supporting the students however else is needed. This year, I also served on a SAVMA task force. And in January, we hosted a panel of 2020 veterinary graduates from various disciplines to talk to the class of 2021. It was a very interactive discussion covering topics such as interviewing, your first job, and mentorship, and we hope to make this an annual event.

Along with our Student Initiatives Team, I continued to meet with several SAVMA chapters throughout the year as well, and I was so impressed with the students' resilience. They have been using their Achieving, Leading, and Learning for Students program funds for innovative events such as virtual yoga, virtual cooking classes, book clubs, and many other ways to stay connected.


A. Educational debt and mental health are definitely still top student concerns. However, preparedness for graduation despite COVID-19 restrictions was the bigger concern over the past year. As a practice owner who regularly works with students and new graduates, I am confident that they are ready. Every year, these students are getting smarter and smarter, and with the help of our amazing educators, they are so well prepared.


A. When I decided to run for this office, never in my wildest dreams did I anticipate a year like we have just experienced. I anticipated travel and face-to-face contact, shaking hands, and giving hugs. Taking on a new position is always an adjustment, but taking on a new role with a new charge—during a pandemic— was very challenging to say the least. It was a bit nerve-wracking to be honest. Could we connect via Zoom? Would it be enough? But I shouldn't have worried. The pandemic actually enabled me to connect with more individuals than ever before. In-person meetings are essential, but there is no reason that Zoom meetings can't continue as a complement to maintain those connections.


A. They are all amazing individuals— and so much smarter than I was as a student! I have learned so much from working with them. It amazes me every day the wonderful people I call colleagues and friends. I am truly blessed to be a part of this inspiring profession.


By Greg Cima

A U.S. Department of Agriculture–developed vaccine protected pigs against African swine fever in a second study.

Results published Sept. 28 indicate pigs administered the candidate vaccine not only survived but often remained free of clinical signs of illness when experimentally inoculated with an ASF virus strain that has been circulating in Vietnam. The work follows previous results, published in April 2020 in the Journal of Virology, that indicated the candidate vaccine was effective against a strain first identified in 2007 in the country of Georgia.

The new results, published in September in Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, resulted from a collaboration of scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, which developed the vaccine, and National Veterinary Joint Stock Co., which conducted the studies at its facility in Vietnam. The study results are available online ahead of print at jav.ma/ASFvaccine.

Dr. Douglas Gladue, who is a research microbiologist for the ARS and one of the developers of the ASF candidate vaccine, said NAVETCO was able to show the vaccine protected European and Asian breeds of pigs against a virus strain recently isolated in Vietnam. His co-developer and fellow ARS research biologist Manuel Borca, PhD, said the vaccine was based on a 2007 isolate from the country of Georgia, and the report showed the vaccine could protect against a strain of ASF that had evolved in the years since.

Dr. Gladue said the company plans to conduct field trials in Vietnam, but those studies had not begun at press time.

ASF is a highly contagious and deadly disease of pigs, and outbreaks can kill entire herds. The results of the study in Vietnam became available nine days after animal health officials in Haiti reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) that the virus had been detected in their country. The virus has been in the neighboring Dominican Republic since at least April, the first infections identified in the Western Hemisphere since 1984.

The Transboundary and Emerging Diseases article indicates researchers tested the candidate vaccine on two sets of mixed-breed pigs, some of them Yorkshire and Landrace crossbred pigs and some of them Vietnamese Mong Cai crossbred with either Landrace or Yorkshire pigs. The researchers checked for effectiveness of four different doses of the vaccine as well as how quickly the vaccine offered protection.

When challenged with ASF inoculation 28 days after vaccination, three of five pigs in the lowest-dose group developed disease and were euthanized, but all pigs in the remaining three groups survived, which Dr. Gladue said aligns with previous results. In a second experiment, the researchers found that the vaccine protected only half of pigs challenged 14 days after vaccination, but all of the pigs challenged after 21 or 28 days survived without clinical signs of disease.

Jianqiang Zhang, MD, PhD, associate professor of veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine at Iowa State University, said the ARS team had performed pioneering work in developing the vaccine candidate, which he predicts will have a bright future.

He noted that those scientists not only identified a gene they could delete to attenuate the virus within the ASF virus's large and complex genome, but also developed a cell culture–adapted ASF virus strain that could replicate in inoculated pigs but was attenuated and able to induce protection against ASF. That latter development overcame a previous dependence on fresh cells because naturally occurring ASF virus strains efficiently replicate only in fresh swine macrophages.


The way veterinary teams talk with pet owners about veterinary care can influence owners' perceptions about the value and importance of regular preventive care for pets.

This is what AVMA research with pet owners across the United States has revealed. A new e-book, “Language That Works: Changing the Way We Talk About Veterinary Care,” compiles the practical lessons from this research into a resource for veterinary teams.

The e-book offers a close look at specific words and phrases that work—and don't work—when talking with pet owners. The book aims to help team members improve client communication skills to better connect with clients, build trust, have honest discussions about cost of care, and ultimately provide better, more customized care.

For example, “41% of pet owners chose ‘check-ups' as the best way to talk about wellness visits,” according to the e-book. “It feels all-encompassing, and suggests they'll leave the veterinarian feeling reassured about their pet's health. They describe the language as a hopeful way of conveying the importance of protecting their pet from problems down the road—without using scare tactics.” Another 31% of pet owners did choose “wellness visits” as their preferred terminology for this kind of appointment, while 24% chose “visits,” and 4% chose “appointments.”

In another example, the book recommends saying, “Veterinary care is one of the best ways to keep your pet healthy and happy for years to come.” Don't say, “Veterinary care is a responsibility that comes along with being a pet owner.”

The new e-book is the first in a library of resources that the AVMA is creating as part of its Language of Veterinary Care Initiative, made possible in part by educational funding from CareCredit and Pets Best. The AVMA partnered with Maslansky + Partners, a language strategy firm, to conduct language-focused research with pet owners across the United States. The results from that research are the basis for much of the e-book.

“Language That Works” provides tips on how to use specific language that resonates with clients in daily conversations in these key areas:

  • Why to go to the veterinarian.

  • When to go to the veterinarian.

  • What you get from a veterinarian.

  • How to pay for veterinary services.

The new book is a guide for the whole team to use when discussing the value of veterinary medicine and encouraging pet owners to prioritize wellness visits.


The AVMA is seeking volunteers to become leaders of the Association or to serve in council or committee positions, taking on top issues in veterinary medicine.

The Association currently seeks candidates for president-elect and for one seat on the AVMA Board of Directors as well as nominations or applications for numerous other volunteer positions. Details and forms can be found by visiting jav.ma/AVMAvolunteers or emailing OfficeEVP@avma.org.


The AVMA is calling for candidates to run for president-elect for the Association year running from summer 2023 to summer 2024. While the Association will accept applications through summer 2023, candidates who submit materials by April 1, 2022, can formally announce their candidacy and present to the AVMA House of Delegates in conjunction with AVMA Convention 2022.

Candidates will then have a full year to campaign. Election by the House will take place during its regular annual session in conjunction with the 2023 convention. The president-elect will serve as president for the 2024-25 Association year.

The AVMA also will continue to accept nominations for 2022-23 president-elect and 2022-24 vice president until July 25, 2022. Election by the House will take place during its regular annual session in conjunction with the 2022 convention.

The Association is currently seeking nominations from AVMA voting members in District I for a representative to serve on the Board of Directors for a six-year term starting in summer 2022. District I consists of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

The AVMA will accept nominations from a state VMA in each district or by petition of 50 AVMA voting members in the district. The deadline for receipt of nominations is Feb. 1, 2022. If the district has more than one nominee, the Association will distribute a ballot to each voting member in the district.


In spring 2022, the AVMA Council on Education Selection Committee will select a COE member to represent private mixed clinical practice. The committee will post a call for applications in mid-January. The deadline is March 15, 2022.

The AVMA House of Delegates will elect members of AVMA councils other than the COE this coming summer during its regular annual session in conjunction with AVMA Convention 2022. The House fills vacancies on the Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents, Council on Public Health, Council on Research, and Council on Veterinary Service.

The AVMA will accept nominations for positions on these councils from organizations in the HOD or by petition of 10 AVMA voting members. The deadline is May 1, 2022.

In spring 2022, the AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities' Selection Committee will select three new members for the CVTEA, to represent veterinary technicians, education of veterinary technicians, and veterinary industry. The deadline for applications is Feb. 15, 2022.

The AVMA Board of Directors will fill other committee positions in April 2022, including a position on the AVMA American Board of Veterinary Specialties. For many of these vacancies, AVMA members can apply on their own behalf or make a nomination on another member's behalf. For other vacancies, nominations must be made by a specific organization to be represented by the nominee or as otherwise stated in the vacancy description. The deadline is March 31, 2022.



Attendees listen to a speaker at the WVC conference, Sept. 6-9 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Tonya Harvey)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 259, 10; 10.2460/javma.259.10.1083

Viticus Group brought attendees back in person to the WVC conference, Sept. 6-9 in Las Vegas, and offered a virtual supplement.

The Western Veterinary Conference became WVC in 2014. The organization was renamed as Viticus Group last year, reflecting its expansion to education in human health, while the annual conference remains WVC.

The 2020 conference took place in February last year before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down much of the United States. Viticus Group postponed the 2021 conference from February to September.

On-site attendance was over 8,000 for this year's conference, and attendance through the virtual platform was over 4,000. The conference offered more than 800 hours of in-person continuing education, including hands-on laboratory sessions, and 21 hours of virtual CE. After the conference, more than 200 people continued to participate each week in the virtual supplement, available through Nov. 10.

The conference was named the WVC Dr. Jon R. Pennell 93rd Annual Conference in recognition of Dr. Pennell's contributions to Viticus Group and the veterinary profession. Dr. Pennell is a second-generation veterinarian who has practiced small animal medicine and surgery in Las Vegas since 1981. He has a long history with Viticus Group, serving as president and in other roles, and also has held leadership positions in organized veterinary medicine.

“After scheduling the conference in September to ensure it would be safe to gather, we're so happy to be together again,” said Andrea Davis, Viticus Group CEO, in an April blog post touting the meeting. “What our team is doing to expand the accessibility and safety features of a hybrid conference while still providing the high-quality educational experience is exciting. We want to give people the options and confidence they deserve when they trust us with their education.”

The top 5 best-attended in-person sessions were:

  • “The Diabetic Cat: Don't Let It Get the Best of You, Part I”

  • “What to Worry About and How to Fix It: Crisis Management in Anesthesia”

  • ”The Vomiting Cat, Part I”

  • “Rational Approach to Dogs and Cats With Refractory Diarrhea, Part I”

  • “The Diabetic Cat: Don't Let it Get the Best of You, Part II”

The 2021-22 WVC officers are Dr. Brian Poteet, Tomball, Texas, president; Dr. Debbie White, Las Vegas, president-elect; Dr. Gary D. Weddle, Henderson, Nevada, vice president; and veterinary technician E. David Stearns, Fall Creek, Wisconsin, secretary-treasurer.

Researchers analyzing effects of wildfire smoke on cows

Ongoing studies in Oregon, Idaho include finding effects on animal health, milk production

By Greg Cima


Scientists want to characterize the health and production effects of smoke on cattle—both beef and dairy—to help develop management strategies. Cattle exposed to smoke could be more prone to dehydration, one researcher said, or they could benefit from feed supplements to bolster their immune systems.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 259, 10; 10.2460/javma.259.10.1083

During Oregon's September 2020 wildfires—the worst in memory—dairy farmers told Jenifer Cruickshank, PhD, they were worried about the effects the smoke could have on their cows.

“The air quality was really awful for days and days, and I was getting questions from producers like, ‘What effect is this having on the cows?’” she said. “And I had to say, looking through the literature, ‘I don't know that those questions have been answered.'”

Dr. Cruickshank is an assistant professor at Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences, and she works with dairies through the university extension service. She and Juliana Ranches, PhD, who is an extension beef specialist, started a three-year study this past summer into the effects of smoke exposure on cattle health and, for those in the dairy herd, their milk production.

A summary from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture, which awarded $37,000 for the study, indicates the researchers will conduct the study with 16 lactating dairy cows from the main dairy herd at Oregon State University's campus in Corvallis and 16 beef cows at the Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center in Burns.

Another research team at the University of Idaho also has been analyzing the effects of exposure to smoke and wildfire-associated particulate matter on cattle health and milk production.

“Even two weeks after the smoke event, the cows have not fully rebounded in terms of their milk production.”

Amy Skibiel, PhD, assistant professor of lactation physiology at the University of Idaho Department of Animal, Veterinary, and Food Sciences

Amy Skibiel, PhD, assistant professor of lactation physiology at the University of Idaho Department of Animal, Veterinary, and Food Sciences, has been part of a team that collected data on the effects of smoke exposure on dairy cows at the university's dairy center for the past two years and collected baseline data in summer 2019. She said preliminary results show some effects on immune cell populations in the blood—which suggest an inflammatory response—and a decline in milk production following exposure to heavy smoke originating from wildfires in California, Oregon, and Washington.

Drs. Cruickshank and Ranches said prior studies showed the effects of smoke exposure on humans, nonhuman primates, and laboratory mice. But neither found data specific to cattle or even more broadly to livestock.

A review article published in March 2021 in the open-access journal Animals indicates that authors from the University of Melbourne's veterinary school similarly found little information on the effects of wildfire smoke on cattle exposed for extended periods. Unlike the health effects seen in humans, any effects in cattle are likely transient, they wrote.

“We conclude that cattle do not appear likely to be severely impacted by chronic smoke haze exposure, as evidenced by the lack of reports,” the article states. “We hypothesize this may be because cattle do not tend to suffer from the co-morbidities that, in the human population, seem to be made worse by smoke and pollution.”

Dr. Ranches said scientists want to characterize the health and production effects of smoke on cattle to help develop management strategies. Cattle exposed to smoke could be more prone to dehydration, she said, or they could benefit from feed supplements to bolster their immune systems.

Dr. Skibiel said that, in the University of Idaho's study, a typical cow that had been producing 80 pounds of milk daily before smoke exposure produced about 3 pounds less per day afterward.

“Even two weeks after the smoke event, the cows have not fully rebounded in terms of their milk production,” she said.

Dr. Skibiel also is examining health and production records from dairies in the region, and she has secured participation so far from two in Idaho and one in Washington. Preliminary analysis of those data so far suggest associations between exposure to air with high particulate matter from wildfire smoke and increases in overall disease among dairy cattle and increases in calf mortality, as well as an unexplained correlation between increased exposure to particulate matter and increased mastitis.

Though dairy producers expressed concerns during Oregon's September 2020 wildfires, they also told Dr. Cruickshank they hadn't noticed any large declines in production, nor had they seen obvious clinical signs such as nasal congestion or coughing. Figures from Oregon State University's cattle suggest exposure to wildfire smoke may have caused a small production decline, but Dr. Cruickshank noted that the decrease was still within the expected variation.

“Producers may not see that because it's not a big, dramatic effect,” she said. “But having an understanding of what's going on at the physiological level, we can understand the degree to which they're affected.”

The Oregon team was able to collect baseline data on dairy cows in Corvallis in summer 2021, but the area lacked significant wildfire events over the summer that could be used to measure smoke exposure. In Burns, on the other hand, wildfires caused poor air quality since the beginning of summer, so the team was unable to collect the samples needed from beef cows to provide baseline data that are needed before collecting samples for smoke exposure data.

But these delays are built into the design of the three-year study, during which Drs. Cruickshank and Ranches expect at least one wildfire event will produce sufficient smoke to measure effects in each herd.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture is awarding nearly $800,000 to the veterinary colleges at Tuskegee University and the University of Georgia to improve veterinary education and research across Africa through the Faculty Exchange Program, administered by the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service.

“Both Tuskegee and the University of Georgia are first-time program participants, reflecting USDA's commitment to expand the reach of its programs and also promote equity and inclusion,” FAS Administrator Daniel Whitley said in a Sept. 9 press release.

“Tuskegee in particular exemplifies these efforts being the first of our nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities to receive funding through the Faculty Exchange Program, something we hope will inspire other HBCUs and minority-serving institutions to learn about and apply for our programs.”

FAS will provide $400,000 to Tuskegee's College of Veterinary Medicine and $395,605 to UGA's College of Veterinary Medicine to host fellowships for visiting agricultural and veterinary educators from Africa. The fellows will focus on curriculum development and research in areas including animal health, feed quality and safety, and measures for the control of plant diseases.

The Faculty Exchange Program was established in 1995 and has provided training opportunities for hundreds of agricultural educators across the developing world. Since 2016, the program has specifically focused on veterinary science in Africa, providing training to 54 faculty members from colleges in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda through partnerships with Iowa State University, Michigan State University, and the University of Tennessee.

“We have always had a strong focus on global animal health and production and how to prepare the next generation of veterinarians for work in this arena,” said Dr. Corrie Brown, principal investigator and professor at Georgia's veterinary college, in a press release.

“This program will allow our students and faculty even more opportunities to learn from their international colleagues and vice versa—it is a win-win situation,” Dr. Brown said.

The FAS Faculty Exchange program is expected to begin this coming spring.



Dr. Frank Bartol

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 259, 10; 10.2460/javma.259.10.1083

A new federally funded program for preventing diseases threatening U.S. food animals and public health will be headquartered at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, the college announced this September.

The Animal Health and Agro-/Bio-Defense Program is a new element in the national network of U.S. government agencies and land-grant universities, focused on safeguarding economically important animals from disease.

“Auburn's AHAD program will expand the mission and capacity of the College of Veterinary Medicine's existing animal health research to include research complementary to the goals of the USDA (U.S. Department or Agriculture) and other federal agencies charged to ensure national security and public safety,” said Dr. Frank Bartol, AHAD co-director, in a statement.

The USDA Agricultural Research Service has provided Auburn's veterinary college with more than $647,000 in initial funding for the program and a commitment of an additional $2.5 million over the next five years.

The AHAD program will focus on the four strategic areas of the National Biodefense Strategy identified by the ARS: predicting the emergence of pathogens in livestock and associated wildlife; understanding the ecology of exotic, emerging, and reemerging pathogens; research on incident response; and developing veterinary countermeasures for early detection, prevention, and treatment of foreign and emerging animal diseases.

Research in the AHAD space will involve a collaborative partnership with ARS scientists through the U.S. National Poultry Research Center.

The AHAD-ARS partnership will advance the education and training of next-generation scientists at Auburn, filling a critical need in this important domain, said Dr. Bartol, who is also associate dean for research and graduate studies at Auburn's veterinary college.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is funding more than 40 projects toward controlling the spread of chronic wasting disease, an incurable prion disease of cervids such as deer and elk.

The agency is giving $5.7 million to 20 states and eight tribes or tribal organizations that plan to develop or implement CWD management and response activities in wild and farmed cervids. Examples of projects include research into predictive genetics and CWD response strategies, evaluations of biosecurity measures on farms, public education efforts, assay validation work, and surveillance implementation or expansion, according to plans that name the projects.

In an Oct. 1 announcement, APHIS administrator Kevin Shea said APHIS is committed to working with state and tribal partners to control and prevent CWD in wild and farmed animals.

“These collaborative efforts will strengthen our ability to find and implement new solutions as part of our mission to safeguard agriculture and natural resources,” he said.

APHIS information describes 43 proposed projects and one ongoing research project that will together receive the $5.7 million in funding.

CWD has been detected in wild and captive herds in 26 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces, and wildlife managers and researchers have documented population declines among white-tailed deer, mule deer, and elk, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.




Annual meeting, June 5, Orlando, Florida


SVME Shomer Ethics Award

Dr. Anne Quain

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 259, 10; 10.2460/javma.259.10.1083

Dr. Anne Quain, Sydney, won this award, given in recognition of significant contributions to the field of veterinary medical ethics. Dr. Quain received her veterinary degree in 2005 from the University of Sydney. She is a lecturer at the Sydney School of Veterinary Science and a companion animal practitioner in Western Sydney. Dr. Quain is a member of the animal welfare chapter of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists; a diplomate of the European College of Animal Welfare and Behaviour Medicine in the subspecialty of animal welfare science, ethics, and law; and a member of the leadership council for the Humane Society VMA. She co-authored the book “Veterinary Ethics: Navigating Tough Cases.”

Student Essay Award

Kristina Liang, Edinburgh, Scotland, for “When Taking is Giving: Veterinarians and the Good Death.”



Dr. Alice Villalobos

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 259, 10; 10.2460/javma.259.10.1083

Dr. Alice Villalobos, Hermosa Beach, California, president; Dr. Scott Swetnam, Oviedo, Florida, president-elect; Dr. Jennifer Quammen, Florence, Kentucky, secretary; Dr. John Wright, St. Paul, Minnesota, treasurer; Dr. Lynn Bahr, Roswell, Georgia, parliamentarian; Dr. Marthina Greer, Lomira, Wisconsin, immediate past president; and Julie Jennings, Phoenix, executive director


The American College of Veterinary Nutrition welcomed 12 new diplomates following the board certification examination it held virtually June 7-8. Subsequently, the ACVN merged with the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, effective Oct. 1. The new diplomates are as follows:

Chih-Fan “Jeff” Chiang, Davis, California

Lara Fossati, Aimargues, France

Caitlyn Getty, Chicago

Yuet-Ming “Becca” Leung, Aimargues, France

Stewart Morgan, Rancho Cucamonga, California

Lori Prantil, South Weymouth, Massachusetts

Michael T. Robbins, Topeka, Kansas

Catherine Ruggiero, Topeka, Kansas

Rae Sires, Kansas City, Missouri

Dan Su, Irvine, California

Camille Torres, Fort Collins, Colorado

Sarah Wilson, Stockton, California




Dr. Davis (Ohio State '59), 92, Urbana, Illinois, died Sept. 4, 2021. Following graduation and after earning a doctorate in physiology and pharmacology from the University of Missouri School of Medicine, he joined the veterinary faculty at the university. Dr. Davis subsequently served as a professor at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, the University of Nairobi in Kenya, and Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.

In 1978, he joined the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, where he was a professor of clinical pharmacology. Dr. Davis retired as a professor emeritus in 1994.

Known for his expertise in veterinary clinical pharmacology, he helped establish the American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology and was a charter diplomate and the charter president of the college. Dr. Davis was also a founding fellow and a past chair of the board of directors of the American Academy of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. He served on the editorial board of the Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics and was a past chair of the U.S. Pharmacopeia Advisory Panel on Veterinary Medicine.

In 1988, the AAVPT established the Lloyd E. Davis Award, in recognition of outstanding lifetime achievements in research, teaching and professional service in the field of veterinary pharmacology. Dr. Davis was honored at the University of Illinois in 2008 as one of 17 notable faculty members.

Dr. Davis served in the Navy and Naval Reserve from 1948-53. He is survived by his wife, Carol; a daughter; and a grandchild. Memorials may be made to the American Academy of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics or the Veterinary Pharmacology Research Foundation, aavpt.org/donations.


Dr. Going (Michigan State '57), 90, Gurnee, Illinois, died May 17, 2021. He owned Countryside Animal Clinic in Northbrook, Illinois, for several years. Dr. Going was a past president of the Northbrook Rotary Club. He is survived by his wife, Joyce; three daughters; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.


Dr. Heisler (Ohio State '03), 45, Plain City, Ohio, died May 1, 2021. A small animal veterinarian, she owned Champion Pet Vet with locations in Ohio at Delaware and Mechanicsburg. Dr. Heisler was a member of the Ohio VMA. Her husband, Brad; four children; her parents; and a brother survive her.


Dr. Kling (Georgia '59), 85, Evans, Georgia, died Aug. 26, 2021. Following graduation and after receiving his master's in physiology and biochemistry in 1961 from Auburn University, he taught anatomy and pharmacology for two years at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Kling subsequently earned his doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Florida. He then joined Augusta University Medical College of

Georgia, where he directed the Office of Research and Support Services, served as an attending veterinarian, and was a professor. During his tenure, Dr. Kling also served as interim vice president for research and was interim chair of pharmacology. He retired in 2001.

Dr. Kling was known for his leadership in the establishment of ethical and humane treatment of laboratory animals and ethical research standards. In 2001, the Medical College of Georgia instituted the Malcolm Kling Lectureship in Research Ethics in recognition of his contributions. In 2004, the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine honored Dr. Kling with a Distinguished Alumnus Award. He is survived by a daughter, two sisters, and a brother. Memorials may be made to Heart of Georgia Hospice, 103 Westridge Drive, Warner Robins, GA 31088.


Dr. Lawson (Auburn '57), 89, Maryville, Tennessee, died Aug. 2, 2021. He founded Lawson Animal Hospital in Maryville, where he practiced mixed animal medicine until retirement. Dr. Lawson's two daughters, a son, five grandchildren, a great-grandchild, and a brother survive him.


Dr. Lynch (Georgia '83), 69, Higganum, Connecticut, died July 1, 2021. Following graduation, she practiced small animal medicine in Penfield, New York, for two years. In 1985, Dr. Lynch joined Cromwell Veterinary Hospital in Cromwell, Connecticut, eventually becoming a partner in the practice. She retired in 2014.

A member of the Connecticut VMA, Dr. Lynch served on its board of directors for several years. She was active with the Fred Scott Feline Symposium at Cornell University and the Northern New England Veterinary Alpine Symposium. She was an avid supporter of Protectors of Animals, a no-kill animal shelter and rescue. Dr. Lynch is survived by her husband, David. Memorials may be made to Habitat for Humanity International, 322 W. Lamar St., Americus, GA 31709, habitat.org, or Global Lyme Alliance, 1290 E. Main St., 3rd floor, Stamford, CT 06902.


Dr. Meyer (Cornell '68), 77, Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, died July 15, 2021. A mixed animal veterinarian, he owned Animal Clinic of Mount Vernon in Mount Vernon, New York, for 40 years. Dr. Meyer is survived by his wife, Anne; two sons; four grandchildren; and two brothers. Memorials may be made to the Baker Institute for Animal Health, 235 Hungerford Hill Road, Ithaca, NY 14853, jav.ma/BakerInstitute; Cutaneous Lymphoma Foundation, P.O. Box 374, Birmingham, MI 48012, clfoundation.org; or Temple Beth Shalom, 740 North Broadway, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706, tbshastings.org.


Dr. Migaki (Washington State '52), 96, Phoenix, died July 27, 2021.

Following graduation, he was in private practice in Montana and Washington state for several years. Dr. Migaki then joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture, serving initially as a meat inspector and later as a pathologist at the meat inspection laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland. From 1968-91, he was chief pathologist for the Registry of Comparative Pathology at the former Armed Forces Institute of Pathology at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. During his tenure, Dr. Migaki established and edited the Comparative Pathology Bulletin. He also developed several scientific exhibits on comparative pathology.

Dr. Migaki was a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. In 1988, Washington State University honored him with an Alumni Achievement Award. The WSU College of Veterinary Medicine named Dr. Migaki a Distinguished Veterinary Alumnus in 1993. In retirement, while living in Oregon, Dr. Migaki became a Yamhill County master gardener and volunteered with the master gardener program. In 2008, Oregon State University honored him with the Diamond Pioneer Award for his contributions toward the development of Oregon's agricultural and natural resources.

Dr. Migaki was an Army veteran of World War II. His wife, Riyoko; two daughters; four grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren survive him. Memorials, toward the Dr. George Migaki Veterinary Pathology Graduate Fellowship, may be sent to the WSU Foundation, Attn: Gift Planning, Migaki Fellowship GF006515, P.O. Box 641925, Pullman, WA 99164.


Dr. Reass (Texas A&M '69), 74, Houston, died April 29, 2021. She owned Glencairn Animal Clinic in Houston for 45 years. Earlier in her career, Dr. Reass worked at the University of Illinois for two years and practiced in the Houston area. She is survived by her son, two brothers, and a sister. Memorials may be made to the Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society, P.O. Box 632, College Station, TX 77841, or to Special Pals, an animal shelter, and sent to 3830 Greenhouse Road, Houston, TX 77084.


Dr. Scully (Kansas State '63), 82, Bottineau, North Dakota, died Aug. 13, 2021. Following graduation, she established a practice in Bottineau, where she also farmed and bred dogs and horses. In 1990, Dr. Scully joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture, working as a veterinarian at the U.S. border with Canada. She continued to work full time until the fall of 2020. Dr. Scully's two daughters, six grandchildren, two brothers, and a sister survive her.

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