ISVMA Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
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December 5 , 2008


Volume VI, No. 17



An electronic newsletter highlighting veterinary issues for Illinois veterinarians

Gull-billed Tern
Gull-billed Tern
©Peter S. Weber

In this Issue

American Heartworm Society Needs Information From Veterinary Practices

Man Dies from Rabies in Missouri

In Memoriam: Leon G. Schwartz, DVM

Save the Date - 127th ISVMA Annual Convention

About the Photo

Contact Us

Contact Us




American Heartworm Society Heartworm Survey - If You Haven't Responded Yet, Please Do So!

The American Heartworm Society is seeking your help. If you have not already responded to the AHS heartworm survey, please do so as soon as possible. The heartworm survey is an incidence survey (# of cases diagnosed in a specific time-frame) for Calendar year 2007. This information will be used to create a valuable tool that you can use to increase heartworm awareness in your clinic. Make sure your clinic data is included!


In order to update the national heartworm incidence map with the most recent information, every three years the American Heartworm Society conducts a survey to determine the number of heartworm positive dogs in the US diagnosed in the previous calendar year.


The AHS initiated this survey to find out the number of heartworm cases diagnosed last year, but unfortunately the response rate from has been lower than they were targeting. In order to provide quality information for use by the veterinary profession, they need everyone to respond.


The survey can be completed by logging on to Be sure to fill in the form completely for your clinic name, county and contact information, and then answer the 2 simple survey questions - the number of dogs you’ve tested and the number positive in calendar year 2007. If you prefer, you may also choose to print off the survey in .pdf format and FAX it to the toll-free number on the survey form.

Man Who Died from Rabies is Missouri’s First Since 1959

(Jefferson City) State health officials have reported Missouri’s first human death from rabies in nearly a half-century.


They identified the victim only as a 55-year-old southern Missouri man who died November 30, 2008 about six weeks after a bat bit him on the left ear.


In a statement Monday, the Department of Health and Senior Services called it Missouri’s first human rabies death since one in Pulaski County in 1959.


The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed last week that the man had a rabies virus associated with silver-haired and eastern pipistrelle bats.


Rabies is not spread by casual human contact, but five people who might have had contact with the bat or the victim are receiving preventive treatment.


The Associated Press

In Memoriam: Leon G. Schwartz, DVM

ISVMA was notified that Dr. Leon Schwartz passed away on December 1, 2008.


Shiva will be on Monday following the services and Tuesday after 1 PM at:

Ricki & Steven Strauss Building
The Hospitality Room, 43rd Floor
2800 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60657

You may park in their buildings parking lot or in the North end of Diversy Harbor.


Memorials may be made to: Foster Small Animal Clinic at the Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine, 200 Westboro Road, North Grafton, MA.

Save the Date - ISVMA 127th Annual Convention

The 127th ISVMA Annual Convention will be held on November 13-15, 2009 at the Peoria Civic Center in Peoria, IL. Please plan to join us for another outstanding ISVMA convention experience - and bring a friend!

About the Photo

The Gull-billed Tern is a medium-sized, heavy-billed tern that breeds along the Atlantic Coast from New Jersey to Florida, along the Gulf Coast from Florida to Mexico, and locally in southern California near the Salton Sea. They also breed in warmer scattered sites across Eurasia, northwestern Africa, and Australia. They winter in the Gulf Coast and points south.


Unlike many of the other terns, the Gull-billed Tern forages mostly over land, sitting on a perch and flying out to catch insects in mid-air. Its diet includes insects, small mammals, frogs, crustaceans, and sometimes bird eggs, bird young, and fish.


This species is not common and its numbers are declining; but is not yet listed as Threatened or Endangered in any part of its southeastern range. The original massive decline in numbers was caused by hunters gathering plumes for the fashion industry of the late 1800s and early 1900s, during which time these birds were eliminated from the northern portion of their breeding range. Gull-billed Tern populations, although partially recovered from the effects of hunting during the millinery trade period in early 1900s, are today limited by the availability of suitable undisturbed habitat and winter food, flooding, predation, and human disturbance.


Human disturbance from boating, recreation, and development is a primary conservation concern, as it causes the young to disperse from the nest too early, sometimes resulting in heavy losses due to exposure to weather and predators. Protection of both active and potential colony sites is an important management tactic, as initially unused sites may be used later on, either in the same season, or the following year. In addition, many Gull-billed Tern colony sites have been taken over since the early 1970s by Herring and Black-backed Gulls. The species is also vulnerable to eggshell thinning and reproductive failure from pollution and pesticide contamination.


These terns seem both less tolerant of disturbance and less faithful to nest sites than most other tern species. Some former nesting areas in salt marshes have been abandoned, possibly due to human encroachment. Some terns have adapted by nesting on Gulf Coast rooftops.


I photographed this Gull-billed Tern in the suburbs of New Orleans, Louisiana in August 2008. It was part of a small colony nesting on the roof of a shopping mall.

Contact Us

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Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
1121 Chatham Road
Springfield, IL 62704

Phone: (217) 546-8381

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