ISVMA Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
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March 5 , 2007


Volume IV, No. 23



An electronic newsletter highlighting veterinary issues for Illinois veterinarians

Crimson-Collared Grosbeak
Peregrine Falcon

In this Issue

Public Health Workforce Expansion Act of 2007

Support for Family of Dr. Jennifer Thompson

Getting to Know ISVMA Better

ASPCA Releases Top 10 Hazards

Eastern Illinois VMA Meeting

About The Photo

Contact Us

Contact Us




Congressional Bills Urge Veterinarians to Get Involved in Public Health Sector

ACTION ALERT: Please contact your congressmen and ask for their support of these bills. Email them directly from the ISVMA Legislative Action Center at:


On March 2, 2007, U.S. Senator Wayne Allard (R-CO) and Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) jointly introduced the Veterinary Public Health Workforce Expansion Act of 2007 (S.746/H.R. 1232) in the United States Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, respectively. The Act will establish a competitive federal grants program to build research, diagnostic and training capacity in the nation's veterinary medical colleges.


The United States is facing a critical shortage of veterinarians in public health practice areas such as food safety and security, bioterrorism and emergency preparedness, environmental health, regulatory medicine, diagnostic laboratory medicine, food systems veterinary medicine and biomedical research. Only a significant national effort can address these critical deficits.


This legislation is a realistic solution to the significant shortage of veterinarians in these critical public health areas. Public health practice veterinarians affect the lives of every citizen of this country every day.

Colleagues Ask for Support for Family of Dr. Jennifer Thompson

On February 14, 2007, Dr. Jennifer (Wilson) Thompson (ILL 1996) was tragically killed in an auto accident near her home. Jennifer and her husband Brad had four children; two of whom were in the accident with her. Samuel, age 4, passed away one day later. Charles, age 1 ½, is still fighting to live and is in critical condition at Rockford Memorial Hospital.


We would like to ask you to consider a monetary donation to help the survivors carry on with their life. Jennifer left behind two bright daughters that may want to go to college someday and a son who could need some form of long term care.


Your contribution to this family will be very much appreciated. Jennifer had recently opened her new clinic six months ago and lived her dream, even if only for a short time. Please help her children reach their dreams.


Donations can be made to the Thompson Family Memorial at:

Harris Bank
2005 W. Route 34
Plano, IL 60545
Account # 4801895298

If you have any questions, feel free to contact:


Dr. Christine Cozen (ILL 1996)

(630) 552-7814

Dr. John Calhoun (ILL 1996)

(309) 274-6509

Dr. Bill Hollis (ILL 1996)

(217) 357-2811

Getting to Know ISVMA Better...

Legislative and regulatory advocacy is one of the most important benefits the ISVMA provides to its members. The ISVMA continually monitors legislation and regulatory agencies that could affect the veterinary profession in Illinois. It is the only organization that constantly monitors, reviews and amends the Illinois Veterinary Medical and Surgery Practice Act and its regulations to keep veterinary professionals secure in the knowledge that their license to practice is protected.


Being a member of the ISVMA gives you the security that your professional interests are being protected every day in the state’s Capitol City. The staff at the ISVMA is committed to advancing the well being of veterinary professionals, animals, the public and the environment.

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Releases List of Top 10 Hazards Encountered by Pets in 2006

New List Reveals Significant Increase in Calls Pertaining to Common Household Items

Urbana, Ill.– The ASPCA today announced that it managed more than 116,000 calls to its Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) hotline in 2006, several of which pertained to common household items. “While the reason is not clear, calls in virtually each of these categories seems to be on the rise,” said Dr. Steven Hansen, veterinary toxicologist and senior vice president with the ASPCA, who manages the ASPCA’s Midwest Office, which houses the APCC. As National Poison Prevention Week approaches (March 18-24), the ASPCA advises pet parents to stay alert to the possibility of poisoning from these common household items:

Human Medications: For several years now, this category has been number one on the ASPCA’s list of common hazards, and 2006 was no exception. Last year, more than 78,000 calls involving common human drugs such as painkillers, cold medications, antidepressants and dietary supplements were managed by the Center—a 69 percent increase over 2005. “Pet parents should never give their pet any medication without the direction of a veterinarian–just one extra-strength acetaminophen can be deadly to a cat, and just four regular-strength ibuprofen can lead to serious kidney problems in a 10-pound dog,” says Dr. Hansen. To avoid inadvertent poisoning from medications, store them in a secure cabinet above the counter and out of the reach of pets.

Insecticides: The APCC handled more than 27,000 cases pertaining to products used to kill fleas, ticks and other insects in 2006, up more than 28 percent from 2005. According to Dr. Hansen, “A key factor in the safe use of products that eliminate fleas, ticks and other pesky bugs, is reading and following label instructions exactly. Some species of animals can be particularly sensitive to certain types of insecticides, so it is vital that you never use any product not specifically formulated for your pet.” It is also a good idea to consult with your pet’s veterinarian before beginning any flea and tick control program.

Veterinary Medications: Surprising as it may seem, last year the APCC managed more than 12,000 cases involving animal-related preparations such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, heartworm preventatives, de-wormers, antibiotics, vaccines and nutritional supplements—a 93 percent hike in volume. “Although these products are formulated for use in pets, it is very important to always read and follow label directions for use exactly,” says Dr. Hansen. “As with flea and tick preparations, many medications are intended for use in certain species only, and potentially serious problems could result if given to the wrong animal or at too high a dose.”

Plants: The number of cases involving plants also shot up by more than 111 percent in 2006 to more than 9,300. Some varieties that can be harmful to pets include lilies, azalea, rhododendron, sago palm, kalanchoe and schefflera. ”Just one or two sago palm nuts can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures and even liver failure,” says Dr. Hansen. “Also, lilies are highly toxic to cats—even in small amounts they can produce life-threatening kidney failure.” While poisonous plants should certainly be kept away from pets, it is also a good idea to discourage animals from nibbling on any variety of plant, as even non-toxic plants can lead to minor stomach upset.

Rodenticides: Last year, approximately 8,800 calls about rat and mouse poisons were received by the APCC, representing an increase of more than 27 percent over 2005. Depending on the type of rodenticide, ingestions can lead to potentially life-threatening problems for pets including bleeding, seizures or even damage to the kidneys or other vital organs. “Should pet owners opt to use a rodenticide around their home, they should make sure that the bait is placed only in areas completely inaccessible to their animals,” says Dr. Hansen.

Household Cleaners: In 2006, approximately 7,200 calls pertaining to cleaning agents such as bleaches, detergents and disinfectants were received—up 38 percent from the year before. Says Dr. Hansen, “Depending on the circumstances of exposure, some household cleaners can lead to gastrointestinal irritation or even severe oral burns for pets.” Additionally, irritation to the respiratory tract may be possible if a product is inhaled. “All household cleaners and other chemicals should be stored in a secure location well out of the reach of pets,” recommends Dr. Hansen, “and when cleaning your pet’s food and water bowls, crate or other habitat, a mild soap such as a hand dishwashing detergent along with hot water is a good choice over products containing potentially harsh chemicals.”

Chocolate: Always a common food-related call, more than 4,800 chocolate calls were received by the APCC last year, an 85 percent increase from 2005. Depending on the variety, chocolate can contain large amounts of fat and caffeine-like substances known as methylxanthines, which, if ingested in significant amounts, could potentially cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity. In severe cases, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors and seizures have been noted—and it could even be fatal. “Typically, the darker the chocolate, the greater the potential for poisoning,” says Dr. Hansen. “Baking chocolate contains the highest amount of methylxanthines, and just two ounces could cause serious problems for a 10-pound dog.”

Chemical Hazards: A newcomer to the top 10 category, this includes such harmful items as volatile petroleum-based products, alcohols, acids, and gases. In 2006, the APCC received more than 4,100 calls related to chemical hazards—an astronomical jump in call volume of more than 300 percent. “Substances in this group can cause a wide variety of problems,” Dr. Hansen explains, “ranging from gastrointestinal upset and depression to respiratory difficulties and chemical burns.” Commonly-used chemicals you should keep your pets away from include ethylene glycol antifreeze, paint thinner, drain cleaners and pool/spa chemicals.

Physical Hazards: While not necessarily all toxic, items in this group consists of objects that could pose a choking hazard, risk for intestinal obstruction, or other physical injury, and in 2006, the number of physical hazard calls grew a staggering 460 percent to over 3,800. “We’ve managed cases involving the ingestion of several common objects—from pet collars and adhesive tape to bones, paper products and other similar items,” says Dr. Hansen. “It is important to make sure that items which could be easily knocked over, broken, chewed up or swallowed are kept out of the reach of curious pets.”

Home Improvement Products: In 2006, approximately 2,100 cases involving paint, solvents, expanding glues and other products commonly used in construction were managed by the APCC—up 17 percent from 2005. While the majority of water-based paints are low in toxic potential, they can still cause stomach upset, and artist paints sometimes contain heavy metals that could be poisonous if consumed in large quantities. In addition, solvents can be very irritating to the gastrointestinal tract, eyes and skin, and could also produce central nervous system depression if ingested, or pneumonia if inhaled. “Prevention is really key to avoiding problems from accidental exposures to these substances,” says Dr. Hansen. “Pet parents should keep pets out of areas where home improvement projects are taking place, and of course label directions should always be followed when using any product.”

The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) is an allied agency of the University of Illinois. It is the only facility of its kind staffed by 40 veterinary professionals, including nine board-certified toxicologists/veterinary toxicologists, 10 certified veterinary technicians, and 16 veterinarians. Located in the ASPCA’s Midwest Office in Urbana, Ill., the specially-trained staff provides emergency and specific analysis and treatment recommendations pertaining to toxic chemicals and dangerous plants, products or substances to pet owners and veterinarians, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information on potentially dangerous substances in the home or to reach the APCC, please call (888) 426-4435 or visit

Eastern Illinois VMA Annual Spring Meeting

The Eastern Illinois Veterinary Medical Association will be having their Annual Spring Meeting on Thursday, March 22, 2007. The meeting will be held at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Basic Sciences Building, 2001 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL.


The Schedule for the meeting is as follows:


7:30 - 8:00 AM Registration and Coffee
8:00 - 9:00 AM Introduction to Cytology (Dr. Anne Barger)
9:00 - 10:00 AM Cytology of Skin & Subcutaneous Tissues (Dr. Barger)
10:00 -10:15 AM Break
10:15 - NOON Cytology of the GI Tract
12:00 -1:00 PM Lunch/Business Meeting
1:00 - 2:00 PM Nuisance Barking and Other Disruptive Behaviors (Dr. Pamela Reid)
2:00 - 3:00 PM Canine Separation Anxiety (Dr. Reid)
3:00 - 3:15 PM Break
3:15 - 4:15 PM Canine Fears and Phobias (Dr. Reid)
4:15 - 5:30 PM Aggression over Resources (Dr. Reid)


Registration cost is $100 which includes: meeting, lunch, proceedings and parking permit.


If you would like to register for this meeting please contact Dr. John Penning at:

About the Photo in This Issue...

The Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) picture is the first photograph in the E-SOURCE not taken by Executive Director Peter Weber. It appears in this issue because it comes with a great story!

This beautiful bird emerged from the nest on the afternoon of June 9, 2006. She fledged a week later and ended up grounding at an entrance to the Monadnock building in downtown Chicago. A police officer noticed the bird and called Dr. J.B. Bruederle at the Burnham Park Animal Hospital for assistance.

Dr. Bruederle rescued the bird and called the Field Museum to speak to Mary Hennen, who is the director of the Chicago Peregrine Program which monitors Peregrine Falcon breeding pairs in Chicago. Mary went to pick up the bird at Dr. Bruederle's office and banded her there (Black "K" over Green "41"). When given the opportunity to name the bird, Dr. Bruederle seized the opportunity to name her after his wife.

Beth was released from the roof of the EPA building on later that afternoon. She was found grounded again on 6/19/06 and was taken to the Lincoln Park Zoo where a veterinarian recommended that she stay overnight for observation. The next day, Beth still seemed a bit wobbly. She was taken to a raptor rehabilitation center. In the third week of June, she was taken to a downstate veterinarian and diagnosed with a bacterial infection.

Presently, Beth is in raptor rehab and is being treated with antibiotics. She is expected to make a full recovery but it will not be known whether she will be releasable or whether she will live the cushy life as an education bird.

In the 1960's, the American Peregrine Falcon had disappeared from the Midwest due to the use of DDT. DDT caused egg shells to thin so much that they could not support the weight of the growing chick inside and broke before the chick fully developed. In the early 70's, the government banned the use of DDT and Peregrines were placed on the Federal Endangered Species List.

The Chicago Peregrine Program joined other groups in 1985 who dedicated themselves to reintroducing this beautiful bird into the Midwest. From 1986-1990, they released 46 birds with the hopes that they'd come back to Illinois to nest. Populations began to rise and the program shifted its efforts from releasing birds to monitoring nesting pairs. In August of 1999, the Peregrine Falcon was removed from the Federal Endangered and Threatened Species List, but the state of Illinois still classifies its population as threatened.

Peregrine Falcons naturally nest on cliff faces. The skyscraper is a city's answer to cliffs and some of the reintroduced Peregrine's began nesting in the niches and on the ledges of a few Chicago buildings beginning in 1988. By 2004, Chicago happily hosted 13 successfully breeding pairs.

Contact Us

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Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
133 South Fourth St., Suite 202
Springfield, IL 62701

Phone: (217) 523-8387

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