ISVMA Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
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February 19 , 2010


Volume VII, No. 18



An electronic newsletter highlighting veterinary issues for Illinois veterinarians

Lark Sparrow
Lark Sparrow
© Peter S. Weber
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In this Issue

Legislative Call to Action

Important ISVMA Survey

MVVMA Annual Meeting Registration Deadline Approaches

USDA Accreditation Reminder

VPI Releases Most Common Clinical Conditions

Pet Industry Grows Despite Recession

Women Growing Majority in Veterinary Profession

About the Photo

Contact Us

Contact Us




Legislative Call to Action - Have You Asked Your Legislators to Support the ISVMA Practice Act Amendments?

A comprehensive amendment to the Veterinary Medicine and Surgery Practice Act has been introduced in the Illinos General Assembly on behalf of the ISVMA. The amendment is contained in two identical bills introduced in the Illinois House of Representatives (HB5377) and the Illinois State Senate (SB3712).


Please contact your legislators and ask them to support these important bills! It will take less than a minute to complete each alert message. You may modify the message subject or content as you wish (personalization can be advantageous).

ALERT #1 (to state senators):


ALERT #2 (to state representatives):

For more information on these important bills and a detailed ISVMA analysis of the proposed changes, please visit

Important Survey to Support ISVMA Lobby Efforts

The ISVMA will rely heavily upon our advocacy assets to help pass the important changes to the Veterinary Medicine and Surgery Practice Act. One of the greatest tools we have is the experience of our members. Veterinarians have a vital role in protecting the health and welfare of animals and the public. In order to demonstrate the relevance of this role, and make our advocacy efforts more relevant to legislators, we need examples of instances in which non-veterinarians engaging in treatment of animals have:

1) delayed proper diagnosis and caused an animal unnecessary suffering, injury or death or raised the exposure of health risk to humans.


2) provided treatment or therapy on an animal which resulted in complications or serious health risk to the animal or people.


3) Failed to recognized symptoms of a transmissible disease that put humans at risk (Rabies, Lyme disease, Giardia, etc.). Some of you may even recall examples of exposure and risk of brucellosis or tuberculosis.

We will retain the privacy of all information provided. The particulars of to whom and where something occurred are not what we are focused on (except that it should have occurred in Illinois). What is important is that we have examples that take us from the anecdotal to the evidential. Real stories have a much more dramatic impact in advocacy work than conjecture and potential risk.


Please help us make our case for the importance and relevance of the profession in protecting the health and welfare of animals and the public. Your stories and experiences will be kept confidential. Take a few minutes and fill out the quick information/experience survey at (

Mississippi Valley VMA Annual Meeting - Registration Deadline February 26, 2010

The 2010 MVVMA Annual Meeting will be held March 3 & 4, 2010. Full attendance earns 12 hours continuing education.


This year's program includes the following speakers:

Donald H. Bliss, PhD

Shawn G. McVey, MA, MSW
Matt D. Miesner, DVM, MS
Rolan Tripp, DVM

Download a copy of the program brochure and registration form and/or register online.

USDA Accreditation Reminder

All veterinarians accredited prior to February 1, 2010 will be required to re-apply in order to continue their accreditation status in the revised program which goes into effect on February 1, 2010. The revised USDA Accreditation program changes allow a 6 MONTH WINDOW to re-apply. Those who do not apply within this timeframe will have their accreditation status expire.


The application forms are available online now (with helpful FAQ) at

VPI Releases Most Common Clinical Conditions in Dogs and Cats in 2009

(February 11, 2010; DVM Newsmagazine ) Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) has released its list of the top 10 medical conditions for which claims were submitted last year for dogs and cats. VPI received more than a million claims in 2009.


The most common ailment in dogs? Ear infection, coming in at nearly 68,000 claims and an average cost of $100 per visit. And in cats? Lower urinary tract disease, with a total of 3,700 claims at an average cost of $260 per visit. Here's the complete list:


Top conditions in dogs
1. Ear infection
2. Skin allergy
3. Skin infection, or hot spots
4. Gastritis, or vomiting
5. Enteritis, or diarrhea
6. Bladder infection
7. Arthritis
8. Soft tissue trauma
9. Noncancerous tumor
10. Eye infection


Top conditions in cats
1. Lower urinary tract disease
2. Gastritis, or vomiting
3. Chronic renal failure
4. Hyperthyroidism
5. Diabetes
6. Enteritis, or diarrhea
7. Skin allergy
8. Periodontitis, or dental disease
9. Ear infection
10. Eye infection

Pet Industry Continues to Defy Recession

According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), the pet industry grew more than 5% in 2009 and is poised to grow another 5% in 2010. Veterinary care alone grew 8.5% in 2009, which may be a surprising number to some veterinary clinics struggling in the economy. Included in the statistics are food, supplies, veterinary care, live animal purchases, and grooming and handling purchases. (read full story).

Women Growing Majority in Veterinary Profession

(February 14, 2010; WeNews) Women outnumbered men in the field of veterinary medicine in 2009, according to data from American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). In 2010, women comprise 78% of the students in U.S. veterinary schools, according to the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC). (read full story).

About the Photo

The Lark Sparrow is a distinctive species found of farmlands and roadsides. The Lark Sparrow has a number of bold features that distinguish it from other sparrows. The long tail has white triangles at the corners that are conspicuous in flight. The rump is gray-brown and unmarked, and the back is a similar color with dark streaks. The clear, white breast is punctuated with an eye-catching black dot. The most distinguishing feature, however, is the alternating chestnut, white, and black head pattern. The top of the head is chestnut, bisected by a white stripe. Birds in their first winter have the same pattern, but the patches at each cheek and on the head are drab gray-brown rather than chestnut.


The species' courtship display is also very unique. A courting male Lark Sparrow crouches on the ground, holds his tail up at a 45 degree angle from the ground, spreads the tail feathers to show off the white tips, and then struts with its wings drooping so that the wingtips nearly touch the ground. When the female is receptive, the male gives her a small twig just before copulation.


It often takes over old mockingbird or thrasher nests instead of building its own. Occasionally the eggs and young of two species are found in the same nest, suggesting that the Lark Sparrow shares the nest with the other bird.


The Lark Sparrow breeds from British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and northern Minnesota, south to California, northern Mexico, Louisiana, and Alabama. It spends winters from southern California to Florida and southward. Its preferred habitats include grasslands, semi-open scrublands, agricultural areas, sagebrush and pinyon-juniper woodlands in lowlands and foothills.


This Lark Sparrow was photographed near Rochester, IL in April 2005.

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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