In Short

Published on October 10, 2018

Donation helps clinic treating wildlife victims of red tide

Dr. Barron
Dr. Heather Barron, medical director of the Clinic for Rehabilitation of Wildlife

The Association of Avian Veterinarians announced Sept. 20 that the AAV had awarded a $1,000 disaster relief donation to the Clinic for Rehabilitation of Wildlife in Sanibel, Florida, which has been treating victims of the red tide along the Gulf Coast. The harmful algal bloom in the Gulf of Mexico has caused illness and death in many species of birds as well as dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, and 300 tons of fish, according to the AAV announcement.

Dr. Heather Barron is medical director of the clinic and a past president of the AAV. She spoke with the television program PBS NewsHour for the Sept. 5 piece "Florida's toxic red tide is a perfect storm for the Gulf Coast." In the interview, Dr. Barron said: "Even if you don't care about the wildlife, you should care about what that means for your health and your children's health and your pets' health and your food supply's health. It's not just wildlife that is going to be affected by this."

AVMF grant awarded to Hawaiian disaster survivor

Dr. Agnes Horvath's life was uprooted when the Kilauea volcano erupted on the Big Island of Hawaii. The eruption that started May 3 lasted about 3 1/2 months, sending lava rolling over entire beach communities and destroying hundreds of homes.

Forced to evacuate with her family, Dr. Horvath learned later that her home in Phoa, located a little more than 30 miles east of the volcano, was surrounded completely by hardened lava. She reached out to her insurance company and other organizations for help, but each cited a technicality that prevented them from providing immediate assistance.

However, through the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, Dr. Horvath was eligible to apply for a disaster relief grant. The grant program assists veterinarians and veterinary students who have experienced an emergency need for clothing, temporary housing, transportation, or meals because of a natural disaster. Dr. Horvath received $2,000 toward her expenses.

Students get all-access look at sporting horse event

Thirty-seven student members of the American Association of Equine Practitioners experienced the event of a lifetime at the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018, held Sept. 11-23 at Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, North Carolina.

The games are considered the world championships for eight equestrian sports: dressage, eventing, show jumping, driving, endurance, reining, vaulting, and para-equestrian dressage. They are held every four years, two years prior to the Olympic Games, and are governed by the Fédération Equestre Internationale. The games were last held in the U.S. in 2010 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.

This year, fourth-year veterinary students from veterinary colleges in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean were volunteering behind the scenes at WEG. They assisted with horse care at the on-site clinic and helped in the veterinary diagnostic laboratory and with quarantine procedures.

The AAEP provided funding for travel, and the students were overseen at the event by Dr. Tracy Turner, owner of Turner Equine Sports Medicine and Surgery in Stillwater, Minnesota, and a member of the AAEP board of directors.

Dr. Turner was also part of one of several teams of veterinarians on-site that oversaw the health of the horses as well as enforcing the rules of the event. He and Dr. Colin Roberts of England headed up the medical team focused on the use of thermography for limb-sensitivity testing in show jumper horses. FEI treating veterinarians were overseen by the husband-wife veterinary team of Drs. Bill Hay and Anne Baskett. They are partners at Tryon Equine Hospital PLLC, which is located near the WEG Tryon 2018 event facility. All of the veterinarians who served at the games were unpaid volunteers.

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Related JAVMA content:

A one-health solution to the toxic algae problem (April 15, 2018)