ISVMA Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
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February 18 , 2008


Volume V, No. 15



An electronic newsletter highlighting veterinary issues for Illinois veterinarians

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

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

In this Issue

ISVMA Spring Seminar Series

Information Brief on Calicivirus

AAFP Updates Vaccination Guidelines

The AVMF is Here to Help

About the Photo

Contact Us

Contact Us




ISVMA Spring Seminar Series - Mark Your Calendars!

The ISVMA offers an outstanding education program in April that is repeated at multiple locations to make it easy for veterinary professionals to attend. Detailed information on the 2008 ISVMA Spring Seminar Series and registration materials will be mailed and emailed in the next few days!

Speakers and topics are:

° Peter Kintzer, DVM, DACVIM

· The latest, cutting edge developments in endocrinology.

· Challenges in the diagnosis and treatment of canine hyperadrenocorticism.

· Addison's disease in dogs.

° Stephen Dullard, DVM, ABVP

· The latest developments in feline heartworm treatment and prevention.

The seminar will be offered in the following locations:

April 19 in Springfield, IL
April 20 in Fairview Heights, IL
April 26 in Chicago, IL
April 27 in Lisle, IL

*The 2008 ISVMA Spring Seminar Series is generously sponsored by:


Feline Practitioners Release Information Brief on Calicivirus

Hillsborough, N.J. – February 20, 2008- Eliza Sundahl, DVM representing the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) Guidelines Committee announced the release of an information brief in response to concerns veterinarians have had about virulent systemic calicivirus infections (VS-FCV). The brief is available on the AAFP web site.


The brief describes both clinical and diagnostic considerations for outbreaks of disease associated with highly pathogenic strains of feline calicivirus. It describes clinical signs that should alert a veterinarian to the possibility of VS-FVC infection. These include edema, cutaneous ulceration and multiple organ failure in groups of cats in which adult cats have more severe signs than kittens. The brief fully explains diagnosis, which requires both histopathological confirmation of vasculitis and the demonstration of FCV in the same samples.


The brief also addresses preventative strategies as suggested by the Feline Vaccine Advisory Panel. Current information about available FCV vaccine products is presented in an effort to help the practitioner make an informed decision about the use of FCV-containing vaccines in a clinical setting.

Feline Practitioners Update Vaccination Guidelines

Hillsborough, N.J. – February 20, 2008- Eliza Sundahl, DVM representing the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) Guidelines Committee announced the AAFP has issued a companion summary to the AAFP 2006 Feline Vaccination Guidelines. This new format provides a short reference guide to the vaccination considerations and recommendations found in the much longer original document.


The AAFP continues to work to make the vaccine guidelines a practical addition to all practice settings. The guidelines reiterate the recommendations for vaccines in adult cats and also present important new information concerning kittenhood vaccinations. Kittens are generally more susceptible to infection and typically develop more severe diseases than adult cats to many of the viruses addressed in the guidelines. New information has led to changes in protocols for panleukopenia, rabies, and feline leukemia virus vaccination for this age group.


AAFP hopes that facilitating the awareness and implementation of the vaccine recommendations will help veterinarians provide better and safer protection for their feline patients. Other guidelines and more information about AAFP can be found at

The AVMF is Here to Help

The strange winter weather in Illinois has impacted almost everyone. Some of us have been modestly frustrated at the poor driving conditions or the need to shovel a tremendous amount of snow and ice. Others have been more severely impacted. Residents of Iroquois County were victims of a devastating flood and the rising water did not spare Watseka Animal Hospital. The American Veterinary Medical Foundation was able to provide some support to the practice as a result of the generous support of veterinary professionals.

The American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) has two types of reimbursements available for Veterinarians who have been impacted by natural disasters like the flooding in Iroquois County. They can obtain reimbursements for out-of-pocket expenses related to the veterinary care of animal victims and Veterinary Relief for the restoration of veterinary infrastructure. Up to $2,000 per request is available for qualified applicants.

If you are in need of support from the AVMF, please use the application form on the AVMF website.

About the Photo

Red-shouldered Hawks (Buteo lineatus) are large, broad-winged hawks with a relatively long tails and heavy bodies. They show reverse sexual size dimorphism, meaning that females are larger than males. Female red-shouldered hawks average 25 ounces and 19 to 24 inches in length whereas males average 20 ounces and 17 to 23 inches in length. Adults have a wingspan of 36 to 42 inches (average 39 inches). Adult red-shouldered hawks have a brown head, a dark brown back and reddish underparts with dark brown streaks. Juveniles appear similar to adults, but have creamy underparts with dark brown spots and streaks. Both adults and juveniles have reddish lesser secondary upper wing coverts, which give the impression of red shoulders, giving this species its name. The tail of the both immature and mature red-shouldered hawks is dark brown with white bands.

Red-shouldered hawks are monogamous and territorial. Courtship displays occur on the breeding grounds, and involve soaring together in broad circles while calling, or soaring and diving toward one another. Males may also perform the "sky-dance" by soaring high in the air, and then making a series of steep dives, each followed by a wide spiral and rapid ascent. These courtship flights usually occur in late morning and early afternoon.

Red-shouldered hawks breed once per year between April and July, with peak activity occurring between early April and mid June. They often use the same nest from year to year, refurbishing it each spring. Both the male and female build or refurbish the nest, which is large and deep, constructed from sticks, twigs, shredded bark, leaves and green sprigs.

Red-shouldered hawks are solitary and territorial. They do not form flocks, even in the winter. Most populations of red-shouldered hawks do not migrate. They stay in the same area year-round. Red-shouldered hawks that breed in the northern parts of their range (the northeast United States and southern Canada) migrate to northern Mexico for winter.

The diet of red-shouldered hawks consists primarily of small mammals, the largest of these being rabbits and squirrels. Other food items include reptiles and amphibians, such as snakes, toads, frogs and lizards, small birds and large insects. Crayfish are important prey for red-shouldered hawks in some regions.

Red-shouldered hawks search for prey while perched on a treetop or soaring over woodlands. When they sight prey, they kill it by dropping directly onto it from the air. They may cache food near their nest for later consumption.

Prior to 1900, this species was one of the most common hawks in eastern North America. Population densities declined substantially through most of the 20th century, probably due to hunting and destruction of wet hardwood forest habitat. Poisoning from insecticides and industrial pollutants and loss of habitat are major threats to this species. Disturbance of nesting pairs by human activity such as logging and climbing of nest trees also presents a serious threat to some populations.

This species is listed as threatened or endangered in several U.S. states, including Illinois. It is protected in the U.S. under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

I photographed this Red-shouldered Hawk on February 9, 2008 in the Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area. I was very surprised and thrilled to see this gorgeous bird because it is very uncommon to see one in most parts of Illinois and very seldom does anyone get such a tremendous look!

Contact Us

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Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
133 South Fourth St., Suite 202
Springfield, IL 62701

Phone: (217) 523-8387

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