Nov
26
2008
New research could change the way post-operative analgesia is administered in dogs, enabling patients to go home sooner and spend less time in the hospital. A study led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Veterinary Medicine looked at the effectiveness of injecting dogs with extended-release opioids to provide long-term pain relief.

The group of scientists, headed by UW veterinary anesthesiologist Lesley Smith, DVM, DACVA, used liposome-encapsulated hydromorphone made with dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine and cholesterol (DPPC-C hydromorphone) for the study. Different concentrations of the formulation, created at the university, were subcutaneously injected into healthy beagles. The concentration of hydromorphone in the dog’s blood serum was then measured at various intervals to determine whether the drug was working.

“We extrapolated that certain serum levels (as shown in human studies) are correlated with surgical analgesia,” Smith said. ...more
Nov
12
2008
As states look for additional dollars to make up budget shortfalls, Arizona provides a novel approach: Sweep the budgets of individual state boards — and take more than is actually there. This year, the state OK’d an appropriation of more than $600,000 from the Arizona Veterinary Medical Examining Board fund for the state’s general fund. But here’s the kicker:

“They’re sweeping about 150 percent of our budget,” said Arizona VMEB Chairman Richard Crisler, DVM. “We’re struggling just to keep things going.” ...more
Nov
12
2008
With low rates and a saturated market, now is a good time to buy a home for your family. But is it a good time to buy a home for your practice?

The answer is yes, according to academic and professional sources.

Mark Levine, PhD, is a professor at the University of Denver, and is director of the Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management at the university’s Daniels College of Business. He says that given the right opportunity, now could be a great time to purchase commercial real estate for your practice.

“Obviously, the key is the right property for the right terms,” Levine said. “But, speaking on a general basis, the sellers seem to be much more negotiable today as compared with six months or a year ago.” ...more
Oct
29
2008
As the approaching winter causes a lull in the demand for rabies vaccine, now may be a good time to get you and your staff vaccinated.

The rabies vaccine supply has been very limited this year, and the pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has been difficult if not impossible to come by. Even many veterinary colleges have been unable to vaccinate their first year students. However, the vaccine is now available directly through Novartis on a case by case basis, officials say.

Demand for the post-exposure vaccine has been about 1,500 doses per day, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That demand, coupled with the fact that only one of the two manufacturers of the vaccine is currently producing the vaccine, led to the limited supply situation. ...more
Oct
29
2008
As animal welfare issues gain momentum worldwide, two of the nation’s top veterinary organizations are taking a leadership role in the field. The American Animal Hospital Association is looking into revising its animal welfare positions, and an American Veterinary Medical Association official has become the first U.S. citizen to be credentialed in animal welfare.

“We’re going to look at the present policies that AAHA has right now, and if they need changing and how,” said AAHA board member Rod Jouppi. “[Animal welfare] has always been a very important part of AAHA, and it is appropriate that the policies that have been established be reviewed periodically.”

Meanwhile, Gail Golab, PhD, DVM, head of the AVMA Animal Welfare Division, traveled to Australia to study with veterinarians from Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. After more than two years of study, she sat for and passed written and oral exams to earn membership-level credential in the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists’ (ACVSc) Animal Welfare Chapter. The ACVSc and the British Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) are the only veterinary organizations in the world to offer animal welfare credentials. ...more
Oct
29
2008
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell signed House Bill 2525 into law earlier this month at a Langhorne, Pa., animal hospital. The so-called “Puppy Mill Bill” represents an important step toward improving the lives of the state’s dogs.

The 102-page law, signed Oct. 9, takes aim at commercial breeders that operate puppy mills, for which the state is infamous. Many of the major changes pertain to breeders who sell dogs to dealers or pet shops, or who sell more than 60 dogs per year.

Charlene Wandzilak, executive director of the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA), said her organization sees the bill as a big step toward better care for dogs kept by large commercial breeders.

“It is a significant improvement in providing humane treatment, ensuring standards for exercise and living conditions, and a regular program of veterinary care including two exams per year per dog and euthanization only by a veterinarian,” Wandzilak said. “It is a great stride toward advancing the welfare of dogs in Pennsylvania and PVMA is proud of our contribution to ensuring this happened. Now, it will be a matter of enforcement and compliance.” ...more
Oct
15
2008
A report that claims exotic and “nontraditional” pets are not suitable for homes with young children is merely “sensational” science, and what is really needed is better pet-owner education, say some exotic-pet veterinarians. Meanwhile, the state of Delaware is pursuing legislation that would require permits and strict standards for exotic pet owners.

The report, in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, concludes that: “most nontraditional pets pose a risk to the health of young children, and their acquisition and ownership should be discouraged in households with young children.”

National media outlets have reported on the study, but not everyone buys into it.

“Most of that stuff is old, over-hashed fear and loathing,” said Jeffrey Jenkins, DVM, DAVBP (Avian). “I would call it a sensational scientific article.” ...more
Oct
15
2008
As the U.S. economic climate continues to darken, another unfortunate victim is appearing: the pet health-care financial assistance fund.

There are dozens of these funds, which accept donations to help pet owners pay for veterinary medical bills. Many are state-specific, but there are only a few national organizations that provide money for pet owners in need, and as of this week, five of them are no longer accepting applications for assistance.

“We’re hurting. We’re all out of money,” said Jacki Hadra, founder of In Memory of Magic (IMOM). “We’re getting more applications than ever, but fewer donations.”

Claire Gaudiani, a professor at New York University’s Heyman Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising said that these organizations can expect to see a drop-off in donations.

“Historically there is a decline in giving that is associated with a decline in wealth-building,” Gaudiani said. “It’s different in different periods; it’s hard to predict how severe this will be.” ...more
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