ISVMA Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
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September 4 , 2006


Volume IV, No. 5



An electronic newsletter highlighting veterinary issues for Illinois veterinarians

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

In this Issue

Vote for ISVMA Officers

Wet Labs at ISVMA Convention

Scientists Erase Memories in Rat Brains

"Office Supply" Scam Targeting Veterinarians

About The Photo

Contact Us

Index of Links

ISVMA Online Election

ISVMA Convention Registration


Georgia Optometric Association Warning About Med Life Supply

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Complaint Form

Atlantic Puffin Photo

Contact Us


ISVMA Board and Officer Elections End September 9

The ISVMA Constitution (adopted November 2005) gives every member an opportunity to nominate candidates for the ISVMA Board of Directors and vote for their Board members and ISVMA Board officers. We are pleased that you now have an opportunity to learn about your association leaders and participate in identifying and electing these valuable volunteers.

If you have not yet voted, please vote by accessing the online ballot at or by returning the ballot inserted in your next copy of the Epitome Newsletter (to be mailed next week). Each member is allowed one vote. The ballots must be returned to ISVMA no later than September 9, 2006 in order to be counted.

In order to vote online please use the following procedure:

1. Log on to

2. Enter your Username (Last Name) and Password (Birthday).

*Your birthday must be listed in this format 1/1/1951. If you try 01/01/1951 or 1-1-51 or any other variation it will not work.

3. Review the candidate biographies.

4. Cast you votes by either choosing the slated candidates or writing in a candidate of your choice.

If you have any difficulties logging in to vote, please call the ISVMA at (217) 523-8387 and ask for assistance.

Thank you for your support and participation in the election of the ISVMA leadership team!

Snooze and You Lose - Register Early to Take Part in the Wet Labs at the ISVMA Convention (November 3-5, 2006 in Itasca, IL)

Building upon the popularity of the wet labs at the 2005 Convention, ISVMA has scheduled three wet labs for the 2006 Convention. We are already processing a large number of registrations because of the outstanding program that has been put together for this year's Convention.

Registration in the wet labs is limited, so get your registrations in as soon as possible!

The wet labs are offered between 11:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Friday November 3, 2006. This year's wet labs include:

1. Equine Ultrasound Wet Lab - by Joan Jorgenson, DVM, University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, Urbana, IL and Allison Steward, DVM, University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, Urbana, IL.

This program is sponsored by Fort Dodge Animal Health, Nutrena, Universal Ultrasound and Mr. Hunter Hill.

The lab will begin with a one-hour presentation on the principles of ultrasound technique on the horse followed by hands-on instruction at a local farm. Ultrasound machines will be provided but practitioners may bring their own. This course is suitable for veterinarians new to ultrasound, as well as those experienced in the use of this equipment. Directions to the farm will be included in your registration confirmation.

Attendance is limited to 15 veterinarians.

2. Laser Surgery Wet Lab - by Doug Mader, DVM, ABVP, Marathon, FL.

This program is sponsored by Accuvet.

This wet lab is designed as an introductory course in the use of surgical lasers in a small animal practice. It is designed for veterinarians to learn laser safety, surgical technique, everyday laser applications, and how to market a laser in their practice. In this hands-on lab, Dr. Doug Mader will demonstrate and describe making incisions, excision, and ablation with carbon dioxide lasers. Attendees will receive a CD-ROM with laser procedures and video.

Attendance is limited to 30 veterinarians.

3. Wet Lab: Puppy Gentling, Injection Distraction, and Socialization - by Rolan Tripp, AnimalBehavior.Net, LaMirada, CA

This program is sponsored by Butler Animal Health Supply.

Dr. Rolan Tripp will demonstrate the exam room handling technique, "Puppy Gentling" which takes under two minutes and, if continued by the owner, produces a gentle dog who is a wonderful companion and patient. He will describe how to use Injection Distraction - a technique that means the puppy never knew an injection happened. Finally, Dr. Tripp will demonstrate a live, off-leash puppy socialization Master Class intended to allow you to implement puppy classes as a veterinary service.

You may wish to follow up this wet lab by participating in Dr. Tripp's session at 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. - Puppy Socialization Classes as a Veterinary Service. In this session, Dr. Tripp will describe the mechanics of offering Puppy Classes in the hospital lobby after hours once a week. He will include age and health requirements, pricing, number of puppies and recommended policies. This program is best if coupled with Dr. Tripp's Wet Lab.

Scientists Erase Memories in Rat Brains

By Charles Q. Choi
Special to LiveScience

Scientists have for the first time erased long-term memories in rats and also directly seen how the brain is changed by learning.

The research points to potential human benefits.

These findings could prove key "to understanding how memories can be augmented, for example in diseases that affect memory, like Alzheimer's," said neuroscientist Mark Bear at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT.

The research could also help treat pain that does not go away, "like neuropathic pain, where people have a moderately severe injury, typically to the hands or feet, and instead of going away in a couple of hours just perpetuates," neurologist and molecular biologist Todd Sacktor at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn said in a phone interview.

The investigators separately examined the hippocampus, a structure critical for memory. Three decades ago, scientists discovered the existence of persistent increases in the strength of the connections, or synapses, linking brain cells in the hippocampus. This mechanism is largely believed to help in memory formation.

Remarkably, however, until now there was no evidence confirming a link between learning and this synaptic strengthening. One major problem was that these changes in the hippocampus during learning are few and far between.

"It was getting fairly embarrassing to the field that it had yet to be directly observed," Bear told LiveScience.

Sacktor and his colleagues found they could erase long-term memories in rats by suppressing this synaptic strengthening.

"This is the first time we can show you can erase long-term memories this way," Sacktor said.

Sacktor and his collaborators worked on rats trained to avoid a shock zone on a rotating platform. If they received an injection of a chemical dubbed ZIP into the hippocampus one day to one month after they learned to keep away from the shock zone, they no longer shunned it.

"It doesn't have an effect on short-term memory, and afterward they can continue to store long-term memories," Sacktor said.

Bear and his colleagues experimented in rats trained to avoid a shock zone in a darkened area of a box. Using an electrode array that enabled Bear and his collaborators to listen in on many places in the hippocampus at the same time, they eavesdropped on the hard-to-detect synaptic strengthening take place.

"This same process might be hijacked in psychiatric diseases, such as anxiety disorders and even depression," Bear said. "What is cool is that we know how to reverse some of the changes we measure after learning, which suggests the possibility of new treatments."

Both research teams reported their findings in the Aug. 25 issue of the journal Science.

Variation of "Office Supply Scam" Targeting Veterinarians

Two ISVMA members have reported that a company called Med Life Supply from Culver City, California recently shipped their practices unordered latex gloves. Shortly thereafter, the practices received invoices for the latex gloves at an outrageous cost of approximately $240 a case. Veterinarians in Nebraska and Florida have also reported similar incidents with Med Life Supply.

The company appears to be targeting medical practices. The Georgia Optometric Association warned their members about the scam and Med Life Supply Company in particular back in March of 2006. Their warning is still located on their website.

Office supply scams typically target small businesses and non-profit groups, costing them an estimated $250 million each year. Fraudulent sellers also cost legitimate office supply companies about $125 million in lost revenues annually. The FTC has battled office supply fraud for many years in the courts and has undertaken substantial efforts to educate businesses on how to recognize and avoid the scam.

This type of fraud, which involves the deceptive sale of non-durable or consumable products that are used in the course of business and purchased on a regular basis, continues in part because the pool of potential victims grows each year.

Typically, in an "Office Supply Scam" a company calls businesses or non-profit organizations, misrepresents their identity and the cost of the office supplies, and then ships and demands payment for grossly overpriced merchandise.

If you have been impacted by this particular scam, please contact the FTC and file a complaint by using their online complaint form.

As part of its consumer education drive, the FTC has prepared some tips for small businesses to avoid being scammed by fraudulent office supply telemarketers and others:

1. Know your rights. If you receive bills for goods and services you didn't order, don't pay. The law allows you to treat unordered goods and services as a gift. Double-check, however, to make sure than an honest mistake hasn't been made.

2. Review your phone bills as soon as they arrive. Be on the lookout for charges for goods and services you haven't ordered or authorized. If you find an error on your bill, follow the instructions on your statement for filing a dispute.

3. Assign purchasing to designated staff. And document all your purchases.

4. Train your staff in how to respond to telemarketers. Advise employees who are not authorized to order goods and services to say, "I'm not authorized to place orders. If you want to offer or sell us something, you must speak to __________."

5. Buy from people you know and trust. Authorized employees should be skeptical of "cold" or unsolicited calls and feel comfortable saying "no" to high-pressured sales tactics.

6. Check out the organization with the Attorney General or Better Business Bureau in your state or the state where the organization is located before you send any money for any product or service. This is not foolproof: there may be no record of complaints if an organization is too new or has changed its name.

About the Photo in This Issue...

The Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica) is a medium-sized, stout, and robust auk. Its sleek, black-and-white plumage contrasts sharply with its large, brightly colored bill plates and bright-orange legs and feet. Like other puffins, this one gathers to breed on offshore islands and lays a single egg in a burrow dug in the ground or within a rocky crevice. Somewhat clumsy on land and in flight, it is an agile diver while hunting its prey—generally small schooling fish. Able to live into its 30s, the Atlantic Puffin does not breed until it is 3 to 6 years old. Attendance at colonies is highly variable; some days only a few puffins may be present, while at other times masses of birds appear everywhere. Outside of the breeding season, this species heads for the high seas and remains offshore; rarely, some even cross the Atlantic. These winter, at-sea aspects of its life history remain poorly known.

Historically, the Atlantic Puffin in North America was heavily persecuted for eggs, feathers, and food. Many populations suffered drastically, and major conservation initiatives were undertaken to recover populations. Nowadays, the public appears to be endlessly fascinated by puffins. Multimillion-dollar tourism industries have developed near puffin colonies in parts of eastern North America. The rugged scenery of their breeding colonies and their colorful bills and behavioral antics prove an irresistible draw for tourists. In recognition, the Atlantic Puffin is the provincial bird of Newfoundland and Labrador. This public appreciation also made it possible to carry out a large-scale program to reintroduce puffins to the Gulf of Maine. Worldwide, most Atlantic Puffins breed in Iceland. In North America, their current stronghold is Witless Bay, Newfound-land, where over half the continent’s population breeds.

I photographed this Atlantic Puffin on Machias Seal Island in July 2004.

Contact Us

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133 South Fourth St., Suite 202
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Phone: (217) 523-8387

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