ISVMA Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
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October 3 , 2007


Volume V, No. 10



An electronic newsletter highlighting veterinary issues for Illinois veterinarians

American Robin
American Robin

©Peter S. Weber
click on picture to view larger image

In this Issue

The Age of Group Effort

Screwworms in Mississippi

Early Bird Registration Deadline

FDA Cautions About Chicker Jerky Products

Court Ruling Shuts Down Cavel

About the Photo

Contact Us

Contact Us




This is the Age of Group Effort...

In 1930, Dr. C. Hastings of Williamsville, IL said in his ISVMA Presidential Address, “You can say what you want about keeping associations out of politics, but the man out of politics is not living in the present age. This is the age of group effort.”


Dr. Hastings words are even more profound now than they were 75 years ago. Membership support of ISVMA has never been more important than it is today. Legislative, regulatory and judicial involvement in veterinary medicine has increased significantly in the last decade and the scope of veterinary practice is threatened every day. We rely upon organized veterinary medicine to carefully monitor and effectively represent the interests of our profession.


You can support ISVMA in its efforts to protect your practice and the profession by registering for the 2007 ISVMA Annual Convention to be held November 2-4 in Peoria. You'll experience an outstanding program, network with hundreds of your colleagues, and personally witness the energy and excitement that comes with being a member of ISVMA!


If you haven't been to an ISVMA Convention lately, you don't know what you are missing!

Dog with Screwworms Brought into Mississippi

Courtesy AVMA


The Mississippi state veterinarian recently reported a case of screwworm infestation in a dog.


Private veterinarians in Mississippi found the fly larvae on a 16-year-old dog that was imported Sept. 13 from Trinidad. Dr. James A. Watson, Mississippi state veterinarian, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory confirmed the larvae to be Cochliomyia hominivorax—the New World screwworm.


The United States eradicated screwworms in the 1960s. Previously, the larvae had caused major economic losses to the U.S. livestock industry. One of the last reports of screwworm importation was in 2000, when a private veterinarian in Florida found C hominivorax larvae on horses from Argentina.


The Mississippi Board of Animal Health and the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services, performed an extensive investigation in response to the importation of screwworms on the dog. The traceback and the clinical presentation of the animal indicate a low risk for screwworm establishment in Mississippi.


Veterinarians should report screwworm infestations to state or federal authorities immediately upon diagnosis or suspicion of the disease. Contact information for federal area veterinarians in charge is at Information for state veterinarians is at


A fact sheet about screwworm myiasis is available from the Iowa State University Center for Food Security and Public Health at by clicking on Animal Disease Information, then on Factsheets.

Early Bird Registration Discounts Expire October 12

Remember to register early for the 125th ISVMA Annual Convention in Peoria on November 2-4, 2007. The early bird registration discounts expire on October 12, 2007.


The optional wet lab programs on Small Animal Ear Care (Dr. Louis Gotthelf), Equine Dentistry (Dr. Jack Easley) and Puppy Aggression Prevention and Socialization (Dr. Rolan Tripp) are almost full. If you hope to participate in one of these sessions, register immediately online.

FDA Cautions Consumers About Chicken Jerky Products for Dogs

Courtesy AVMA


The Food and Drug Administration is cautioning consumers about a potential association between the development of illness in dogs and the consumption of chicken jerky products, according to a Sept. 26 statement.

Prior to the FDA statement, the AVMA had warned that some veterinarians believed certain jerky treats could be causing illness in dogs.


As of Sept. 26, the FDA had received more than 70 complaints involving more than 95 dogs that experienced illness that their owners associated with consumption of chicken jerky products. The agency also had received preliminary information from Banfield, The Pet Hospital, suggesting an association between exposure to the chicken jerky products and signs of gastrointestinal tract illness.

The FDA has conducted extensive testing of the products but had not identified any contaminants as of Sept. 26.


According to the FDA statement, dogs that have become ill typically have some or all of these signs: anorexia, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and polydipsia/polyuria. Signs of illness may occur within hours to days of feeding the product. Blood tests may indicate kidney failure, and urine tests may indicate Fanconi syndrome. Most dogs have recovered, but some reports involve dogs that died.


The FDA continues to investigate the situation. The American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine has posted an informational document at The AVMA will post updates at


Veterinarians who suspect a problem with a pet food should contact the FDA. Contact information is at

Court Ruling Shuts Down Cavel

Courtesy AVMA

On Sept. 21, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld an Illinois law that prohibits the slaughter of horses for human consumption. The ruling shuts down Cavel International Inc., which was allowed to operate since July pending resolution of the appeal. Cavel has closed and reopened several times following court orders since the state law was signed in May.

Located in DeKalb, Ill., Cavel was the nation's last fully operational horse processing facility. The 20-year-old plant had some 60 employees and processed 40,000 to 60,000 horses a year.

About the Photo

The American Robin (Turdus migratorius) is 10–11 inches long and averages about 2.7 ounces in weight. It has a wingspan ranging from roughly 4.5 to 5.25 inches. In the wild, the longest known lifespan of an American Robin is 14 years, but the average lifespan is about 2 years. It has a brown back with a reddish-orange breast. It is white underneath the tail feathers and on the lower belly. The throat is white with black streaks, and males are generally brighter than females. It has a small yellow beak and distinctive crescents around the eyes. There are seven sub-species, but only T. m. confinus in the southwest is particularly distinctive, with pale gray-brown underparts. Juveniles are paler in color than adult males and have dark spots on their breasts.

During the breeding season, the adult males grow distinctive black feathers on their heads; after the breeding season they lose this eye-catching plumage.

This bird breeds throughout most of North America, from Alaska and Canada southward to northern Florida and Mexico. While Robins occasionally overwinter in the northern part of the United States and southern Canada, most winter south of Canada from Florida and the Gulf Coast to central Mexico, as well as along the Pacific Coast. Most depart south by the end of August and begin to return north in February and March {exact dates vary with latitude and climate).

The American Robin's habitat is woodland and more open farmland and urban areas. American Robins are frequently seen running across lawns, picking up earthworms by sight. In fact, the running and stopping behavior is a distinguishing characteristic. When stopping, they are actually looking for prey, not listening.

American Robin diet generally consists of around 40 percent invertebrates, such as beetle grubs, caterpillars, and grasshoppers, and 60 percent fruits and berries. It feeds on a mixture of both wild and cultivated fruits and berries. It forages primarily on the ground for soft-bodied invertebrates, and finds worms by sight, pouncing on them and then pulling them up.

I photographed this American Robin near Rochester, IL in August 2006.

Contact Us

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Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
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