ISVMA Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
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September 13 , 2007


Volume V, No. 7



An electronic newsletter highlighting veterinary issues for Illinois veterinarians

Yellow-headed Blackbird
Yellow-headed Blackbird

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

In this Issue

AVMA Statement on Microchipping

Media Reports on Studies Linking Microchips to Cancer in Animals

Register Your Practice to Host Veterinary Students

Veterinary Heritage Collection Needs Items

Support the ISVMA Convention

About the Photo

Contact Us

Contact Us




AVMA Issues Statement on Microchipping

In response to the considerable media attention regarding studies linking cancer to microchips in animals, the AVMA released the following statement on September 13, 2007:

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is very concerned about recent reports and studies that has linked microchip identification implants, commonly used in dogs and cats, to cancer in dogs and laboratory animals. AVMA staff and member veterinarians are actively looking into any potential for this technology to induce tumor formation in dogs, cats, or people but must await more definitive data and test results before taking further action.


Based on the fact that a large number of pets have already been implanted with this microchip technology and there has been a relatively small number of confirmed cases of chip-induced tumors, the AVMA advises pet owners against a rush to judgment on the technology. In fact, there is a concern among veterinary medical researchers that some of the research into chip-induced tumors may be flawed, because the animals used were genetically predisposed to cancer. In addition, removal of the chip is a more invasive procedure and not without potential complications.


It's clear that there is a need for more scientific research into this technology."

Media Reports on Studies Linking Microchips to Cancer in Animals

Many media outlets have recently reported on studies that link microchips in animals to cancer. The newspaper articles, television reports, website postings, etc. have created another flurry of activity and interest related to animal health issues.


One of the many stories on this issue can be found on the ABC News website.

Register Your Practice to Host Veterinary Students

As reported on page 9 of the August/September issue of the ISVMA Epitome, the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois has recently approved a new clinical rotation elective for fourth-year veterinary students. This elective is a precursor to required 4-week-for-credit externships.


The Primary Care Elective Rotation allows students to spend 2 or 4 weeks at a private veterinary practice in order to increase their knowledge and skills pertaining to practice management, business practices, primary care, and preventative medicine.


Practitioners who are interested in mentoring a student in this way may register their practice online at


Externship arrangements are the responsibility of the student and practitioner. Registering your practice allows veterinary students to choose your practice for a rotation but does not guarantee that you will be matched with a student.


To be eligible, your practice must be a primary care practice or have a substantial primary care component. Small animal, mixed, or large animal practices are all eligible. Specialty practices are not eligible.


Students must be able to accomplish a majority of defined learning objectives at your practice. You must provide opportunities for the student to meet the learning objectives, and assure that the student is adequately supervised.

Veterinary Heritage Collection Needs Items

The ISVMA is looking for any photographs or items attributable to the McKillip Veterinary College which operated in Chicago from 1892 until 1920. We need these items to display in the Walter E. Zuschlag/ISVMA Veterinary Heritage Collection and Information Commons which will be dedicated at 3:00 p.m. on October 5, 2007 during the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Fall Conference.

If you have items related to McKillip Veterinary College or have any other unusual, interesting or important items you would like to contribute to the Collection, you may either donate or loan them by contacting

Support the ISVMA Convention

I recently read an interesting speech given by N.I. Stringer, DVM from Paxton, IL. During his presidential report to the 1908 ISVMA Annual Convention he stated:

“Young people (sic), do not fear criticism, for you will get used to that when you have been in practice a few years. We have too many veterinarians of the porcine type who absorb everything they can from others, but are careful not to impart that knowledge. Others stay at home during the meetings of the association in the hope they will get a few dollars in their practice from their near competitors. They are of no use to the profession, but are quick to squeal and want the law applied by someone else should the need arise.”

At the time these words were spoken, the veterinary profession in Illinois was only 9 years old. The ISVMA, however, was celebrating its 25th Annual Convention.

During the 16 years that ISVMA existed prior to the authorization of the veterinary profession; the association worked to have legislation enacted to regulate veterinarians within the state. At last, in July 1899, this was accomplished by the passage of the first Illinois Veterinary Practice Act.

Now, almost 100 years after Dr. Stringer's speech, ISVMA continues to advance the well-being of the veterinary profession, animals, the public and the environment.

Dr. Stringer's admonition to his colleagues is just as relevant today as it was 100 years ago. He understood and was passionate about the relationship between a strong ISVMA and a strong veterinary profession in Illinois.

Please join us at the 125th ISVMA Annual Convention in Peoria, IL on November 2-4, 2007. The Convention Prospectus and registration form has been mailed and all program information and registration is also available on the ISVMA website.

About the Photo

The Yellow-headed Blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) is a medium-sized blackbird, and the only member of the genus Xanthocephalus.

Adult Yellow-headed Blackbirds have a pointed bill. The adult male is mainly black with a yellow head and breast; they have a white wing patch sometimes only visible in flight. The adult female is mainly brown with a dull yellow throat and breast.

Their breeding habitat is cattail marshes in North America, mainly west of the Great Lakes. The nest is built with and attached to marsh vegetation. They nest in colonies, often sharing their habitat closely with the Red-winged Blackbird. During the breeding and nesting season the males are very territorial and spend much of their time perched on reed stalk and displaying or chasing off intruders.

These birds migrate in the winter to the southwestern United States and Mexico. They often migrate in huge flocks with other species of birds. These blackbirds are only permanent residents in the USA in the San Joaquin Valley and the Lower Colorado River Valley of Arizona and California.

Yellow-headed Blackbirds forage in the marsh, in fields or on the ground; they sometimes catch insects in flight. They mainly eat seeds and insects. Outside of the nesting period, they often feed in flocks, often with other blackbirds.

I photographed this adult male Yellow-headed Blackbird in Colorado in May 2007.

Contact Us

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