ISVMA Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
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September 26 , 2006


Volume IV, No. 8



An electronic newsletter highlighting veterinary issues for Illinois veterinarians

©Peter S. Weber
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In this Issue

Deadline Reminder

New Website Available for Owners of Lost Pets

Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Offers Internet Conveniences

Halloween Hazards

About The Photo

Contact Us

Index of Links

Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

American Dipper Photo

Contact Us



The Deadline to take advantage of Early Bird Registration pricing for the 2006 ISVMA Annual Convention (November 3-5, 2006) in Itasca, IL is October 6, 2006! REGISTER ONLINE NOW!

Website to Offer Free Alert Service to Locate Lost Pets Launches Nationwide

CHICAGO, IL (Sept. 22, 2006) – Lost and Pound, LLC announced today the national launch of The lost and found pet website is the first of its kind to send out electronic email alerts for free to various authorities when a pet is lost anywhere in the United States. offers a free service that allows pet owners to post pictures and descriptions of their lost pets including the location where they were last seen. Upon entering this information, a LOST PET ALERT is sent immediately via email to a combination of participating veterinarians, animal shelters, police stations, media outlets pet service companies and “neighborhood watch volunteers” within a 15-mile radius of where the pet was lost. Additionally, there is a section of the site where people who find lost or stray pets can post those pets’ information.

“When we lost our dog for a day last year, it was one of the most emotional experiences of our lives,” said Peter Lubell, Lost and Pound president and founder. “We realized that there was no immediate and effective resource that would allow us to quickly disseminate information about our dog to multiple locations and people. Lost and Pound provides a quick, easy and free service that will effectively shorten the time that a pet is lost.”

According to the Humane Society of the United States, between 6 and 8 million dogs and cats enter animal shelters each year, most of which are stray or lost pets. Due to the overpopulation of animal shelters, 3 to 4 million of these dogs and cats are euthanized each year. Only thirty percent of dogs and 2-5 percent of cats are reclaimed by their owners from shelters each year.

When a pet is lost, owners are advised to conduct a search that includes knocking on neighbors’ doors, visiting area animal shelters and hospitals, reporting their lost pet to the local police department, creating and posting signs around the area where the pet was lost and putting an ad in the local newspaper. reduces the amount of time it takes an owner to take these steps. After entering the pet’s basic description and information on their last known location, the site automatically sends an email alert to the proper outlets, makes the user aware of where their alert was sent, creates a lost pet poster to hang in the area and posts their lost pet in a central database for anyone to search. This reduction in time increases an owner’s chances of locating their lost pet before they are picked up and taken to the pound, kidnapped, hurt or killed.

"As a veterinarian and a rescue group board member, it is heart breaking to see so many pets become separated from their families,” said Scott Rovner, D.V.M., owner of the Roscoe Village Animal Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. “ is a great resource for every veterinarian and animal lover around the country." is available to pet owners with internet access in all fifty states and can be used for pets of any kind. The company is working to add more outlets to receive the LOST PET ALERTS by forming partnerships with national, state and local pet and animal welfare organizations throughout the country and by asking pet owners and animal enthusiasts to join the network. Initial marketing of the site will take place through veterinarians’ offices and informational packets given to new pet owners.

“It is our goal to make a household name in the pet industry within the next five years,” added Lubell. “Through the help of veterinarians, animal shelters, local authorities and our network of volunteers, will play a large role in cutting down on the number of euthanized pets each year by expediting the process by which lost pets are reunited with their owners.”


Founded in 2006, is a free web-based resource established to help pet owners nationwide reunite with their lost pets as quickly and safely as possible. The site is the first of its kind to send out electronic email alerts for free to various authorities – and the public – when a pet is lost anywhere in the country. Through, pet owners can quickly post pictures and descriptions of their lost and found pets including the location where they were last seen. Upon entering this information, a LOST PET ALERT or FOUND PET ALERT is sent immediately via email to a combination of veterinarians, animal shelters, police stations, media outlets pet service companies and “neighborhood watch volunteers” within a 15-mile radius of where the pet was lost or found. In addition, makes the user aware of where their alert was sent, creates a lost or found pet poster to hang in the area and posts their lost or found pet in a central database for anyone to search.

Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) Available on the Web

The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine offers a service that many Illinois veterinarians may not be aware of. Laboratory results from the laboratory information management system operated by the VDL may be accessed via the Web. Access is available from any Internet web browser to authorized veterinarians, clinicians, and animal clinic/hospitals. Veterinarians may log on to for registration information.

Another service available to VDL clients is Notification by Email of the Receipt of a Case. Email notifications are sent out daily and include the case number and the name of the diagnostician assigned to the case along with the owner and animal information. Email notification does not apply to cases for which results are returned the same day as receipt, such as clinical pathology. Clients do not have to be registered Webvad users to receive this service; however, Webvad users are automatically setup to receive the service upon registration.

Both of these services are free to VDL clients.

Goulish Goodies: Keep Your Pets Safe From Halloween Hazards

(Urbana, IL) – The arrival of Halloween brings fun parties, trick-or-treaters, and lots of delicious candies. However, some of the same goodies and decorations we humans are fond of can be potentially hazardous to our pets. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is offering pet owners some helpful hints to keep their pets healthy and safe during Halloween.

• Halloween treats with chocolate are not appropriate for pets. Depending on the dose ingested, chocolate (bakers, semi sweet, milk and dark) can be potentially poisonous to many animals. In general, the less sweet the chocolate, the more toxic it could be. In fact, unsweetened baking chocolate contains almost seven times more theobromine as milk chocolate. Vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, hyperactivity and increased thirst, urination and heart rate can be seen with the ingestion of as little as 1/4 ounce of baking chocolate by a 10-pound dog.

• Candies and gum containing large amounts of the sweetener xylitol can also be toxic to pets, as ingestions of significant quantities can produce a fairly sudden drop in blood sugar, resulting in depression, incoordination and seizures. Be sure to keep such products well out of the reach of your pets.

• Keep aluminum foil and cellophane candy wrappers away from pets. They can cause vomiting and could even produce intestinal blockage.

• Keep your pet on its normal diet. Any change of diet, even for one meal, may give your dog or cat severe indigestion and diarrhea. This is particularly true for older animals that have more delicate digestive systems and nutritional requirements.

• Never offer or allow your pets to access alcoholic beverages. Place unattended drinks where pets cannot reach them. If ingested, the animal could become very ill and weak and may go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.

• Halloween decorative plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively non-toxic, yet they can potentially cause gastrointestinal upset and may even result in intestinal blockage as well if large pieces are ingested.

• Keep wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations out of the reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet could experience damage to its mouth from shards of glass or plastic, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

• Liquid potpourri, commonly used to add pleasant scent to the home during certain holidays, can be hazardous to pets. Potentially severe damage to the mouth, skin and eyes could result from exposure to both heated and cool liquid product.

• If you suspect your pet may have become exposed to a potentially toxic product or substance, contact your local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center immediately for assistance.

About the Photo in This Issue...

"[H]is music is that of the streams refined and spiritualized. The deep booming notes of the falls are in it, the trills of the rapids, the gurgling of margin eddies, the low whispering of level reaches, and the sweet tinkle of separate drops oozing from the ends of mosses and falling into tranquil ponds." John Muir 1894. The mountains of California. Century Co., New York.

John Muir’s “ouzel” or “water thrush” now bears the name American Dipper (Cinclus mexicanus), a descriptive name that matches the names of this species’ European, Asian, and South American counterparts. The name describes the most conspicuous habit of most members of this family of aquatic passerines: a repetitive up-and-down bobbing motion.

Admirers of Muir’s ouzel have attributed to it a combination of factual and mythical characters. Muir declared “bird and stream...inseparable,” which is essentially true; although this dipper, like others, rarely strays from rushing streams, it does on occasion frequent lakes and seashores. It does not restrict itself to mountains; some individuals nest along coastal streams from Alaska to California and on desert streams in Grand Canyon and Zion national parks.

The American Dipper chooses a nest site, invariably along a stream, that provides security from floods and predators. Availability of suitable nest sites appears to limit its populations and is probably the principal limiting factor. It eats an exclusively animal diet, composed almost entirely of aquatic insects.

This species’ distinctive traits include incessant dipping, a blinking white eyelid, and frenzied feeding by jumping or diving into turbulent water even at ambient temperatures well below 0°C. To persist in this demanding environment, the American Dipper has a low metabolic rate, extra oxygen-carrying capacity in its blood, and a thick coat of feathers. It aggressively defends both summer territories and winter spaces along streams.

As North America’s only truly aquatic passerine, the American Dipper combines some characteristics of passerines (melodious song and aggressive territoriality) with some of ducks (feeding, molt, and dense feathering). Most of the information in this account pertains to the subspecies C. m. unicolor, which resides in the United States and Canada.

I photographed this adult American Dipper feeding a hungry fledgling at Goldstream Provincial Park near Vancouver, British Columbia in June 1999.

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