ISVMA Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
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December 8, 2011


Volume IX, No. 9



An electronic newsletter highlighting veterinary issues for Illinois veterinarians

Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

(click on photo to see larger image)

In this Issue

Cargill Animal Nutrition Recalls River Run and Marksman Dry Dog Food

Public Hearing Over Large Hog Facility

8 Cases of New Tick-Borne Disease Are Identified

Precise Chemotherapy Delivery System is Tested in Mice

ISVMA November Legislative Report

January 25 Vet U -
An Evening of Free CE

About the Photo

Contact Us


ISVMA Facebook Fan Page



Cargill Animal Nutrition Recalls River Run and Marksman Dry Dog Food

Cargill Animal Nutrition announced, December 6, a voluntary recall of two regional brands of its dry dog foodRiver Run and Marksman– due to aflatoxin levels that were detected above the acceptable limit. The affected products were manufactured at Cargill’s Lecompte, Louisiana, facility between Dec. 1, 2010, and Dec. 1, 2011. No illnesses have been reported in association with these products to date, and no other Cargill Animal Nutrition pet food products are involved in this recall. Affected products are:


RIVER RUN PROFESSIONAL FORMULA 27-18 Dog Food, 50 pound bags

RIVER RUN 21% Protein Dog Food, 40 and 50 pound bags

RIVER RUN Hi-Pro No-Soy Dog Food, 40 and 50 pound bags

MARKSMAN DOG FOOD 24% Protein 20% Fat, 40 pound bags

MARKSMAN DOG FOOD 20% Protein 10% Fat, 40 and 50 pound bags

MARKSMAN DOG FOOD 28% Protein 18% Fat, 40 pound bags

The recall only applies to the above products with the following Packaging Date Codes (lot numbers): 4K0335 through 4K0365, LL0335 through LL0365, 4K1001 through 4K1335 and LL1001 through LL1335.

The affected dry dog food products were distributed in the following 15 states/territories – Kansas, Missouri, Northeast Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Western Kentucky, Southeast Indiana, Southern Illinois, Hawaii, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and limited areas of Florida and California. Retailers have already been instructed to remove the affected brands and products from store shelves.

While no adverse health effects related to these products have been reported, Cargill is implementing this recall as a precautionary measure. Consumers are urged to return affected products – whether in opened or unopened packages — to their place of purchase for a full refund. For more information, including photos of products involved, consumers can go to or call toll free 855-460-1532.

Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring mold by-product. Pets that have consumed any of the above recalled products and exhibit symptoms of illness including sluggishness or lethargy combined with a reluctance to eat, vomiting, yellowish tint to the eyes or gums, or diarrhea should be seen by a veterinarian.

For more information on pet product recalls, please check out "The Recall Roundup" from Shawnee, Oklahoma's News-Star.Com.

Public Hearing Over Large Hog Facility

MACOMB — About 200 people turned out for a public hearing Monday night about a proposed hog confinement two miles east of Blandinsville.

South Morgan Acres applied for a state permit in October to build a facility with five buildings that would handle about 8,000 hogs greater than 55 pounds and about 10,000 hogs less than 55 pounds.

The McDonough County Board asked the Illinois Department of Agriculture to hold the public hearing. (Read more)

8 Cases of New Tick-Borne Disease Are Identified

(Courtesy AVMA) Swedish scientists identified a new tick-borne illness in a total of eight patients worldwide after a 77-year-old man underwent recurrent waxing and waning symptoms for a year. The disease is caused by the bacterium Neoehrlichia mikurensis, first identified in ticks and rats in Japan in 2004, and causes diarrhea, fever and deep vein thrombosis, but can be treated with appropriate antibiotics. (Read More)

Precise Chemotherapy Delivery System is Tested in Mice

(Courtesy AVMA) Stanford researchers have created a simple means of delivering chemotherapy directly into target tissues that could reduce the amount of oral medications and injections cancer patients receive. In mice studies, the researchers showed that a liquid designed to become a gel in the body can be injected into mice, and it spread and released the drugs when stimulated by a relatively weak, easy to produce electrical field from outside the body. (Read More)

ISVMA Monthly Legislative Report

In an effort to keep ISVMA members more aware of Illinois politics and legislative and regulatory actions that impact their practices, ISVMA publishes a monthly legislative report. Please read the November Legislative Report.

January 25 Vet U: An Evening of Free CE

Dr. Domenico Santoro has agreed to present “Canine atopic dermatitis: clinical and therapeutic updates” on Wednesday, January 25. The event will start at 6:00 with 30-45 minutes of socializing and food, followed by an hour of CE starting around 6:30-6:45. The event will be hosted by ISVMA at the ISVMA Headquarters, 1121 Chatham Road, Springfield, IL 62704.


If you wish to register for this free, one-hour CE Program, you may do so at

About the Photo

Be on the look out for a Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) near you! This winter has already shown evidence of being an irruptive year with hundreds of individuals birds already located throughout the Midwest.


These periodic irruptions often coincide with crashes in lemming populations in the Arctic, which force the birds south to find food. However, sometimes lemming populations are so high that snowy owls produce many chicks, and these young will disperse southward en masse regardless of whether lemming populations have crashed. Reports out of the Arctic suggest record-high lemming numbers this summer and a very high percentage of the owls seen this winter have been hatch-year birds, both suggesting a banner year of productivity.


The Snowy Owl is an amazing combination of graceful beauty and efficient predator. It is perfectly suited for life in the Arctic, where temperatures in winter can reach -80°F. The breeding season begins in May and the young owls start to move in September.


Snowy Owls are the largest North American owl, and one of the largest owls in the world. Males are smaller and usually have less dark markings than the females. They are 20” – 28” in length, have a wing span of 54” – 66” and weigh 3.25lb. – 6.5lb.


During breeding season, the owls inhabit the open tundra, and can be found all the way around the Arctic Circle. Their main food source is voles, lemmings and other small rodents, as well as birds.


They are diurnal — hunting during the day — on the summer breeding grounds, as it is daylight 24 hours a day. But in winter, like most other nocturnal owls, they prefer to hunt during the hours of darkness. Despite their notoriously diurnal behavior, Brady said many perfectly healthy snowy owls will sleep during the day and become active from dusk until dawn.


Unlike most raptors that use thermals to stay aloft, Snowy Owls hunt for food by hovering in the air looking for prey. They will also watch for prey from a perch. Like all owls, their eyes are enormous in proportion to their head, taking up most of their skull. Owls cannot move their eyes, so they must turn their entire head to shift their gaze. This is why they need to be able to turn their head around so far. With 14 neck vertebrae, they can swivel their head a full 270°.


Snowy Owls have upper and lower eyelids, as well as a third eyelid — called a nictitating membrane — that cleans and protects their eyes. Snowy Owls have deep yellow eyes, with an upper eyelid that projects, keeping the sun out of their eyes.


The face and beak of Snowy Owls are covered with feathers so thin and fine that they look like fur. Their use is the same as fur - insulation.


They also have "ear tufts" like some other owls, though very small. These tufts have nothing to do with the owls' ears, which are much lower and further forward. Scientists speculate that they might help to camouflage the owl by breaking up the rounded shape of their head.


Owls have 4 toes with long sharp talons. The Snowy Owl's legs and feet are difficult to see, as they are covered with the same fine feathers as their face. In fact, this heavy covering of feathers has made it difficult to read the owls' leg bands without recapturing the owl.


Most Snowy Owls are not snowy white. In fact, they range from all white, to having dark, prominent bars all over - except on the face, which is always white. Only the adult male is all white.


I photographed this hatchling year Snowy Owl in Springfield, IL on the roof of a house (and on a lightpole) in a busy subdivision a few years ago. You never know where one of these birds will show up in an irruptive year!

Contact Us

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