March 01, 2016

New guidance in this issue of the JAVMA advises that cats and dogs that are exposed to rabies and are overdue for a vaccine can have a booster shot followed by an observation period rather than be subject to quarantine or euthanasia. The recommendation appears in the 2016 edition of the Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control, along with other updates from the 2011 edition. The new edition also advises reducing the quarantine period from six months to four for unvaccinated cats and dogs exposed to rabies.


The AVMA has revised its policy on “Free-roaming Abandoned and Feral Cats” to encourage collaboration among veterinarians, humane groups, and wildlife conservation entities “to reduce the number of free-roaming abandoned and feral cats in a humane and ethical manner.” More specifically, the policy “encourages collaborative efforts to identify humane and effective alternatives to the destruction of healthy cats for animal control purposes, while minimizing their negative impact on native wildlife and public health.”


A late December 2015 storm in western Texas and southeastern New Mexico may have killed tens of thousands of cattle. In a Jan. 8 letter to Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J. Vilsack, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and state Commissioner of Agriculture Sid Miller stated that the snowstorm that started in the Texas Panhandle Dec. 26 was estimated to have killed more than 25,000 cattle in Texas alone.


The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service eliminated requirements that farms with infections from porcine epidemic diarrhea virus or porcine deltacoronavirus show, through a herd management plan, that they were working to clean, disinfect, conduct tests, and otherwise work to control the spread of disease. With that change made in January, the agency eliminated repayments for those activities to direct the remaining money in an emergency fund to diagnostic testing and reporting.


Thirty-seven U.S. government veterinarians on an Ebola response team shared an honor for their work to control spread of the virus. And individual honors went to two veterinarians, one of whom was part of the Ebola response team.


Dr. Lisa Smart, shown here, was the recipient of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care’s Research Grant Award at the International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Symposium held in September 2015, as reported in JAVMA News Jan. 1, 2016. A photo of Dr. Claire Sharp, who accepted the award on her behalf, was misidentified as Dr. Smart.

 Dr. Lisa Smart