December 10 , 2009
Volume VII, No. 14
H1N1 Test for Dogs and Cats Now Available
(Westbrook, ME 12/8/09) IDEXX Reference Laboratories introduced its latest RealPCR™ test for canine and feline H1N1 influenza virus. The IDEXX H1N1 Influenza Virus RealPCR™ Test is offered in response to concern about the spread of this disease, helping veterinarians diagnose and manage patients with suspected respiratory infection.
H1N1 was confirmed for the first time in October as the cause of death of a ferret. H1N1 infection has since been confirmed as the cause of respiratory disease in a number of cats and ferrets, which are believed to have contracted the virus from their owners. While there is no evidence these pets spread the virus to other animals or people, the potential exists for the H1N1 virus to infect companion animals, including dogs, as a result of close contact with infected family members.
"The clinical signs of the H1N1 virus are likely to resemble other canine and feline respiratory infections," said Christian Leutenegger, DVM, PhD, FVH, Regional Head of Molecular Diagnostics at IDEXX Reference Laboratories. "Offering the H1N1 Influenza Virus RealPCR Test with the Feline Upper Respiratory Disease and Canine Respiratory Disease RealPCR™ panels will help practitioners identify and differentiate multiple causes of respiratory infection for improved diagnosis and patient management."
IDEXX recommends that veterinarians should consider running the H1N1 Influenza Virus RealPCR Test on patients with suspected respiratory disease or those with suspected H1N1 infection. Given the short shedding period of influenza viruses, samples should be submitted for testing within 7 days of the onset of clinical signs to avoid false-negative results. Test results are typically available within 72 hours.
The IDEXX H1N1 Influenza Virus RealPCR Test is included with the Feline Upper Respiratory Disease (URD) and Canine Respiratory Disease (CRD) RealPCR panels at no additional cost. A stand-alone test is also available.
FDA Launches New Pet Health And Safety Widget
(Washington, DC 12/9/2009) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration launched its pet health and safety widget for consumers as part of an ongoing effort to provide timely, user-friendly, public health information.
"Our new pet health and safety widget provides users with information to help them in managing their pet's health," said Joshua Sharfstein, M.D., FDA's principal deputy commissioner.
The widget, a portable application embedded in a Web page that can be copied onto any other Web site or blog, will include topics such as how to report a problem with your pet food, purchasing pet drugs online, and caring for your pet in a disaster. The widget allows users to access content on the FDA's Web site without having to leave another site or Web page.
"The pet health and safety widget allows users to add a new dimension to their Web site by providing consumers with the latest news and information from the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine," said Bernadette Dunham, D.V.M., Ph.D., director of FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine.
The widget has two tabs, one titled "tips" and, the other, "updates. The Tips tab highlights pet health and safety articles. The Updates tab will provide up-to-the-minute recall notices and veterinary drug news for consumers.
The pet health and safety widget is available at http://www.fda.gov/PetHealthWidget requires no technical maintenance on the part of the user. The FDA will provide updates to content displayed on the widget.
New "Family Friendly" CE Concept - Join Us January 23, 2010
The ISVMA is hosting a continuing education program designed specifically for veterinarians thinking about buying a practice or transitioning into ownership. The program will be held at the Peoria Civic Center on Saturday, January 23, 2010 from 3:00pm-6:00pm.
Ken Ehlen, DVM and Kirsten Poppen, JD, AVA from Simmons & Associates will be our instructors. Come learn about the buying process, cash flow and profitability, and get your questions answered. This interactive session will help you on your path to practice ownership. One of our objectives for the meeting is to begin developing a checklist of items for new owners or those considering ownership to review.
So, what is different? What is the new concept?
We want this to be a family outing! In addition to the quality CE program, we encourage our participants to bring their families. We have coordinated with the Lakeview Museum of Arts & Sciences in Peoria to host spouses and children during the CE program. We will all get back together at the Civic Center (veterinarians and family) at 6:15pm for dinner and then watch a Peoria Rivermen professional hockey game! ISVMA has reserved a block of tickets in the lower bowl so that our families can participate in a social and family-oriented program. We hope this will appeal to our membership demographic most likely to be interested in the educational subject matter.
Registration is available online now. You must login to the ISVMA Member Center to register. Please register early so that we can hold back the appropriate number of tickets for the hockey game!
About the Photo
The Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius) is a comparitively small oriole species - about the size of a bluebird. Males have a color pattern superficially similar to that of the Baltimore Oriole except that they are deep chestnut (the only icterid that is largely chestnut) rather than orange on the underparts and rump. The head, back, and tail are black. There is a chestnut "epaulet" on the shoulder, and wings are black with a single broad white wingbar and white edges on the flight feathers.
Adult females have olive-green upperparts and yellowish underparts. There are two white wingbars. First summer males are similar to females but have a black bib and face. Some show a variable amount of chestnut feathers on the breast. First summer males sing and may mate successfully.
While adult male Orchard Orioles are distinctive, females may be mistaken for a number of birds, including warblers. They are most similar to female Hooded Orioles, a larger, southwestern species with longer tail; longer, more curved bill; and gray rather than olive tones on the back.
During the breeding season, Orchard Orioles range from the southern parts of the Canadian Prairie provinces, southern Ontario, central New York, and southern New England south to northern Florida, the Gulf coast, Texas and central Mexico. They are most common, however, in the Midwest and Southeast. They occur in open woodlands, areas of open second growth, orchards, suburban streets, in riparian areas, and in scattered groves of trees. They show a preference for nesting near water, often along the shores of lakes and rivers.
Orchard Orioles spend most of the year on their wintering grounds in Central America and northwestern South America. Northbound migrants leave the wintering grounds in March and begin arriving in the southern United States as early as late March, reaching the northern parts of their range by mid- to late May. Some migrants journey across the Gulf of Mexico. Orchard Orioles spend only enough time on the breeding grounds to raise a single brood before beginning their southward migration.
I photographed this male Orchard Oriole on Dauphin Island, AL in March 2007.
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