October 15, 2012

This year’s drought has forced horse owners and rescue groups in some areas to begin feeding hay to their animals as early as midsummer as pastures have dried up. Meanwhile, cattle owners in affected regions have depopulated their herds or shipped their cattle to more fertile areas, decreasing business for some veterinarians and possibly contributing to a long-term decline in the U.S. cattle population.

AVMA

Maryland practitioner Dr. Richard “Dick” P. Streett Jr., recently started his two-year term as the chair of the American Veterinary Medical Foundation’s board of directors. During his service, he’ll lead the nonprofit as it begins its Go for Gold in 2013 fundraising campaign and other new initiatives, including America’s Favorite Veterinarian.

Issues

By early September, public health officials had declared this year’s outbreak of West Nile was shaping up to be the worst since the flavivirus was first detected in the United States more than a decade ago. Thousands of West Nile cases and scores of deaths had been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which said 48 states had identified infections in people, birds, horses, or mosquitoes.

Practice

A new survey has found that barriers to pet ownership include not only expenses and lifestyle factors but also a dislike of cats and grief over the loss of a previous pet. The American Humane Association’s Animal Welfare Research Institute conducted the survey on reasons for not owning a dog or cat as the first phase of a three-part study on how to keep dogs and cats in homes, thereby reducing euthanasia at shelters.

Community

Large animal practitioner Dr. Ted Yoho shocked the political establishment in August with an upset victory in the GOP primary election in Florida’s 3rd Congressional District. Dr. Yoho bested Rep. Cliff Stearns, who had amassed a war chest of more than $2 million, and will face off against his Democratic opponent in the general election this November.