ISVMA Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
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October 20 , 2010


Volume VIII, No. 6



An electronic newsletter highlighting veterinary issues for Illinois veterinarians

Wilson's Snipe
© Peter S. Weber

(click on photo to see larger image)

In this Issue

ISVMA Convention Standard Registration Deadline is October 22, 2010

ISVMA Convention Wet/Dry Labs Still Available

FDA Sniffing Around Pfizer's Doggy Weight-Loss Slentrol

The Bionic Veterinarian

Breast Cancer Affects Pets Too

Researchers are Developing a New Method to Detect Livestock Diseases

About the Photo

Contact Us




ISVMA Standard Convention Registration Deadline is October 22

The Early Bird Registration deadline expired on October 15 (after a week's extension). The standard registration prices for the ISVMA Annual Convention expire on October 22, 2010. All registrations must be faxed, submitted online or postmarked prior to the deadline date.

Any registrations after October 22, 2010 must be processed on-site and Late Registration pricing will apply.

The 128th ISVMA Annual Convention will be held at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center Hotel on November 5-7, 2010. A copy of the full program brochure is available online. There is also a convenient online registration option.

ISVMA Convention Wet/Dry Labs Still Available

There are still openings for most of the wet/dry labs offered at the 128th ISVMA Annual Convention, November 5-7, 2010 in Lombard, IL. If you would like to add one of the labs to your registration, please call ISVMA at (217) 546-8381. A list of the labs available is available on the ISVMA website.

FDA Sniffing Around Pfizer’s Doggy Weight-Loss Drug Slentrol

(Wall Street Journal - 10/14/2010) By Katherine Hobson

Not only have we in the U.S. made ourselves fat, we’ve dragged our dogs along with us. Hence, Slentrol, Pfizer’s FDA-approved drug to help pudgy pugs lose a neck roll or three.

But the FDA says a preliminary analysis suggests a “potential correlation” between the breed of the dog and certain side effects of the drug, Dow Jones Newswires reports, citing an agency document. The FDA is planning to study genetic data on dogs that have taken Slentrol to see if certain breeds are more susceptible to problems. It didn’t specify which adverse events it’s tracking.

Pfizer disagrees with this plan, DJN reports. The company says side effects listed on the label, including vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy, are usually mild, and that specific breeds don’t seem to be disproportionately affected.

The breeds most commonly associated with adverse events with Slentrol — Labrador retriever, beagle, golden retriever, dachshund, pug and Chihuahua — are also very common, and some are predisposed to obesity, Pfizer says.

Meantime, there’s been lots of action on the diet-drugs-for-humans front. Last week Abbott pulled Meridia from the market at the FDA’s behest, on concerns of cardiovascular side effects. Three experimental drugs are up for FDA consideration; an advisory panel has voted not to recommend two of them, Arena’s lorcaserin and Vivus’s Qnexa. Orexigen’s Contrave comes before the panel late this year. (The FDA doesn’t have to follow the advice of its advisory panel, though it often does.)

Humans on the hunt for new options shouldn’t steal Fido’s Slentrol, however. The FDA has said that Pfizer tested the drug in a small number of people and it produced swollen abdomens, stomach pain, diarrhea, flatulence, nausea and vomiting.

The Bionic Veterinarian

( British veterinary surgeon Noel Fitzpatrick's work includes attaching "bionic" prostheses that help crippled cats and dogs run once more. One of his goals is convincing surgeons who operate on humans why they should "work closer together for the benefit of all living creatures."

Breast Cancer Affects Pets Too

(Culpeper Star-Exponent - October 19, 2010 ) Breast Cancer Awareness Month, observed in October, highlights a type of cancer found in both humans and animals. Dogs are especially vulnerable to the disease, which is 99% preventable by getting them spayed before their first heat, Dr. Michael Watts writes in this article. National Pet Wellness Month also is observed during October, and the AVMA recommends giving pets routine wellness tests such as heartworm checks and urinalysis. (Courtesy AVMA)

Researchers Are Developing a New Method to Detect Livestock Diseases

(Omaha World-Herald - October 20, 2010) Iowa State University researchers found that flashing an intense, blue light in the eyes of livestock can potentially detect neurological disorders in the animals. Researchers hope to use the finding to develop tools that can be used by meatpackers to detect neurological diseases. (Courtesy AVMA)

About the Photo

Wilson's Snipe is a rather chunky shorebird, with a short neck and short legs. Its straight bill is very long. It is colored cryptically in mottled brown and black, with prominent light buffy longitudinal stripes on both its head and back. Its flanks are heavily barred, and its tail, barely visible when the bird is on the ground, is a rusty orange. Males, females, and juveniles have virtually the same appearance, and there is no seasonal variation in plumage.


Wilson's Snipe breeds in lowland, freshwater marshes and wet meadows with emergent vegetation, especially sedge meadows. During migration and winter, snipes can also be found in salt marshes, estuaries, and other mucky areas.


This species is relatively solitary, but may form flocks. They move slowly through vegetation, probing deep in the mud with a repetitive up-and-down 'sewing-machine' motion. They are best seen during the breeding season when males sing from the top of perches such as fenceposts. When snipes are approached, they often burst away in a zigzag escape flight. One of the most distinctive sounds of Wilson's Snipe is a winnowing sound made by air rushing through its stiff outer tail feathers as it dives from high in its display flight.


Wilson's Snipes are found throughout the US and are partially migratory. Some move north into Canada, Alaska, and the northern US tier and some winter in the central and southern US, Mexico, and Central America.


I photographed this WIlson's Snipe in East St. Louis, IL in the Spring of 2007.

Contact Us

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Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
1121 Chatham Road
Springfield, IL 62704

Phone: (217) 546-8381

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