ISVMA Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
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June 27 , 2011


Volume VIII, No. 20



An electronic newsletter highlighting veterinary issues for Illinois veterinarians

Ladder-backed Woodpecker
Ladder-backed Woodpecker
© Peter S. Weber

(click on photo to see larger image)

In this Issue

Deadline to Pay ISVMA Membership Dues is in Three Days

State Public Health Director Warns People to Avoid Contact with Bats

Chicago Cops: Drunk, Naked Man Operated on Pet Doberman

Talking Advocacy and Involvement with AVMA Member Dr. John Scamahorn

AVMA Releases Draft Revision of Model Practice Act

Are You Following ISVMA on Facebook

In Memoriam: Dr. Thomas J. Gunhouse

About the Photo

Contact Us




Deadline to Pay ISVMA Membership Dues is in Three Days!

ISVMA members can now pay their dues online with a VISA or MasterCard. This added convenience is available through the ISVMA Member Center. When you click on the link, you will be asked to login to go to your account. If you have forgotten your username and/or password, click on the reminder link and the information will immediately be delivered to your email address.

Once you have logged in, you will see a link called "Member Renewal" in the floating orange box on the right hand side of your screen. Click on that link to pay your dues.

ISVMA member dues invoices will be mailed on Monday and are due on June 30, 2011. Please pay your dues before the deadline to avoid any interruption in your membership status. When you pay your dues this year, please notice that the invoice form allows you to make additional contributions to the Veterinary Medicine Political Action Committee (VMPAC) and the Illinois Veterinary Medical Foundation (IVMF). I hope that you take advantage of the opportunity to contribute whatever you can afford to these two other organizations that support the activities of ISVMA:

1. VMPAC helps improve both our visibility and the relationships local veterinarians have with their elected officials. These relationships pay off tremendously when we are lobbying for support of our legislative positions. VMPAC contributes to the campaigns of legislators who are friendly to ISVMA and our issues. Typically, we purchase fundraiser tickets and invite veterinarians from the legislator’s district to attend as representatives of ISVMA.

2. Donations to the IVMF, a 501(c)3 charity, are used to provide scholarships and to develop and support charitable programs related to the veterinary profession. 100% of every dollar contributed to IVMF is spent on the scholarships and programs established by the organization’s mission. All administration for the IVMF is donated generously by the volunteer board members and ISVMA staff.

Your support and participation are greatly appreciated. If you know a colleague or associate that is not a member of ISVMA, please encourage them to join now! Some of the benefits of membership are listed on the ISVMA website.

State Public Health Director Warns People to Avoid Contact with Bats

SPRINGFIELD (June 21) - On the first day of summer, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Damon T. Arnold is warning Illinoisans to avoid contact with bats as they start becoming more active during this time of year.

Bats are the primary carrier of rabies in Illinois. Thirteen bats and one bovine have tested positive for rabies already this year.

“Over the past couple years the Department has received increasing reports and phone calls about people coming into contact with, or being exposed to, bats,” said Dr. Arnold. “It’s important to remember that you should never try to approach or catch a bat, or any wild animal, in your home. Instead, call your local animal control agency for its recommendations.”

In 2010, 117 bats tested positive for rabies in Illinois. Click here to read more...

Chicago Cops: Drunk, Naked Man Operated on Pet Doberman

CHICAGO TRIBUNE (June 21) - Alerted by reports of a naked man covered in blood, police rushed to a Near West Side apartment and found a "highly intoxicated" man who had been operating on his pet Doberman, "Foley," officials say.

Stewart Gibbs, 44, was charged with felony cruelty to an animal late Sunday after he told police he had tried to remove a cyst from under the dog's right ear, according to police. Bail of $75,000 was set for Gibbs, whose attorney said is a health care administrator. Click here to read more...

This story clearly illustrates the importance of Illinois laws like The Veterinary Medicine and Surgery Practice Act and the Humane Care for Animals Act. These and other Illinois laws and regulations require constant monitoring and lobbying by the ISVMA. We thank ISVMA members for their support and participation!

Talking Advocacy and Involvement with AVMA Member Dr. John Scamahorn

Recently, Dr. John Scamahorn sat down with the AVMA-GRD staff to talk about how important it is for veterinary professionals to be involved in their association and advocacy. Click here to see YouTube Video...

AVMA Releases Draft Revision of Model Practice Act

Schaumburg, IL — The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has moved closer to a final version of a document that will shape the future of veterinary medicine—the Model Veterinary Practice Act (MVPA).

The last significant revision of the MVPA took place in 2003. The proposed changes to the MVPA are posted on the AVMA website.

"The AVMA adopted its first Model Veterinary Practice Act in 1963, and since then it's provided important guidance on the profession and how it's regulated," says Dr. John Scamahorn, chair of the AVMA Model Veterinary Practice Act Task Force. "The Model Veterinary Practice Act is used by state legislatures and state veterinary licensing and exam boards to help shape the rules and laws that govern veterinary medicine."

The AVMA solicited comments from both veterinarians and the public on the revisions to the MVPA months ago and received over 1,000 comments. After considering the comments, the task force drafted a revised MVPA which reflected these comments and additional input from the task force. As an additional step, the task force is now soliciting input from AVMA committees and councils. A final version will be submitted to the AVMA Executive Board for approval later this year.

"The AVMA collected as much input from veterinarians, other organizations and the general public as possible so that this document really reflects the profession as it is today and should be in the future," explained Dr. Ron DeHaven, chief executive officer of the AVMA. "We received tremendous input from many interested people and organizations, and the task force has done a thoughtful job of developing this draft."

The task force's draft changes to the MVPA include:

• revisions that recognize credentialing of veterinary technicians and technologists;
• clarification of the definitions of "direct supervision" and "indirect supervision;"
• a revision of the definition of "veterinarian-client-patient relationship" that requires a veterinarian to maintain medical records on patients and that allows the veterinarian to arrange for continuing care of the patient by another veterinarian who has access to those records;
• a new exemption that allows a veterinarian from one state to practice in another state following a declaration of emergency;
• a new exemption that allows a person working under the supervision of a veterinarian to provide certain medical care in an animal shelter;
• revisions that allow a veterinarian to disclose client and patient information to a third-party service provider, such as a company that sends vaccination reminders, as long as a confidentiality agreement is in place.

For more information, please visit or To view the revisions to the MVPA, please visit

New Compounding Brochure is Now Available

AVMA (May 26) - A new compounding brochure is available for veterinarians and others who wish to know more about what compounding really is, what the federal rules allow and what they don’t allow, and some questions veterinarians can ask their pharmacist about compounding services.

The publication of this new brochure is timely because the practice of compounding continues to be a complex regulatory issue. Compounding is needed at times in veterinary practice to adequately treat a patient’s medical condition, but some uses of compounded drugs are inappropriate, including selection of compounded drugs over FDA-approved drugs for economic reasons.

The brochure is a collaborative effort by the American Veterinary Distributors Association, the Animal Health Institute, and the AVMA. Volunteer veterinarians on the Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents and its Clinical Practitioners Advisory Committee worked on the brochure along with volunteer subject matter experts, including veterinarians representing species groups and veterinary pharmacologists.

Are You Following ISVMA on Facebook? Get Your News Faster!

The ISVMA recently launched a new Facebook Fan Page. This new page will allow for more dynamic and interactive content for anyone that chooses to "Like" the page. Follow news about Illinois veterinary medicine, veterinary professionals in the news, USDA and other regulatory alerts, legal updates and more!

If you have a Facebook page, go to and choose to "Like" the new ISVMA Fan Page!

The new ISVMA Facebook Fan Page has links to many current articles and topics of interest to veterinarians. This E-SOURCE Newsletter will be cut short to encourage ISVMA members to become a fan of the new Facebook page and get regular updates from ISVMA, AVMA and other organizations that bring you news and information you want and need!

In Memoriam: Dr. Thomas J. Gunhouse

ISVMA learned this morning that Dr. Thomas J. Gunhouse, age 81, of Indianapolis, passed away January 15, 2011. Born January 31, 1929 in Chicago, IL, he was the son of Nelson and Anna (Goniakowski) Gunhouse, who preceded him in death. His brother, Raymon Gunhouse, his two sisters, Rita Sorensen and Laverne Roberts and his son in law, Richard Gielczewski also preceded him in death.


He owned and operated the Frankfort (IL) Veterinary Clinic for 35 years, retiring in 1989. He was an honor roll member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and a life member of the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association. He also was a member of Christ the King Catholic Church.


Survivors include his wife, Betty (Conner) Gunhouse, whom he married April 28, 1951; his children: Steven Gunhouse; Camilla (Al) Lovati and Margaret Gielczewski; his five grandchildren: John Gielczewski, Charis Jessen, Ben Lovati, Cara Lovati, and Katie Casper; and his five great grandchildren.


A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. in Christ the King Catholic Church with inurnment at Calvary Cemetery. You may visit the website where you may sign the guest book, or share a memory with the family.


In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Endowment Fund at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, 3505 VMBSB, 2001 S. Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61802 are suggested or would be appriciated. Arrangements have been entrusted to Leppert Mortuary, Nora Chapel.

About the Photo

The Ladder-backed Woodpecker (Picoides scalaris) is fairly common in dry brushy areas and thickets and has a rather large range. The species can be found year-round over the southwestern United States (north to extreme southern Nevada and extreme southeastern Colorado), most of Mexico, and locally in Central America as far south as Nicaragua.


“Cactus Woodpecker” is an old name for a subspecies of the Ladder-backed Woodpecker inhabiting the southwestern United States.


It is primarily colored black and white, with a barred pattern on its back and wings resembling the rungs of a ladder. Its rump is speckled with black, as are its cream-colored underparts on the breast and flanks. Southern populations have duskier buff breasts and distinctly smaller bills. Adult males have a red crown patch that is smaller in immatures and lacking in adult females. The Ladder-backed Woodpecker is very similar in appearance to Nuttall's Woodpecker, but has much less black on its head and upper back, and the range of the two species only intersects a minimal amount in southern California and northern Baja California. Hybrids are known.


Ladder-backed Woodpeckers nest in cavities excavated from tree trunks, or in more arid environments a large cactus will do. Like most other woodpeckers the Ladder-backed Woodpecker bores into tree-trunks with its chisel-like bill to hunt for insects and their larva, but it also feeds on fruit produced by cacti.


I photographed this male Ladder-backed Woodpecker in Salineno, Arizona in February 2010.

Contact Us

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