ALERT: Police Impersonator Scams

Please note there have been multiple reports of a scammer calling local vets’ offices and cell phones impersonating the police. They have used the name of Captain David Chang.

The Honolulu Police Department recommends that if a veterinarian receives a phone call from a police officer to be wary and ask for their badge number and office phone number. Do not give out any personal information. Then call HPD (or your local county police department) and verify that information before returning the phone call to their office. If you suspect an impersonator, call 911 and file a police report.

AVMF Extends Disaster Relief to Hawaii Veterinarians

AVMF Disaster Relief and Reimbursement Grants

 The American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) provides two grant programs to help veterinarians and the animals they care for during times of disaster. Grants are available to support victims of hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, volcanoes, wildfires or oil spills.

 Disaster Reimbursement Grants for Veterinary Medical Care

Purpose: The AVMF disaster reimbursement grants are for the purpose of ensuring the emergency veterinary medical care of animal victims of disaster.

 Awards: Up to $5,000 may be issued per grantee for out-of-pocket expenses incurred by veterinarians providing emergency veterinary medical care to animal victims of disasters.  AVMF reimburses for the actual cost of medical supplies purchased directly from a vendor. Modest boarding costs may also be covered. 

Disaster Relief Grant for Veterinarians

Purpose: The AVMF disaster relief grants are for the purpose of assisting veterinarians who have experienced an emergency need for basic necessities due to a disaster. The grants would cover items such as clothing, temporary housing, transportation and meals that were needed immediately following a disaster.

 Awards: Up to $2,000 may be issued per grantee for out-of-pocket expenses incurred immediately following a disaster. AVMF reimburses for the actual cost of items purchased directly from a vendor. Modest housing costs may be covered for emergency temporary shelter.

 Application Procedure

The applications are posted on the AVMF website. Applicants should follow the online directions for submitting the application and the expense chart. Limited funds are currently available and approved on a first come, first served basis.

Deadline:  Applications must be received no later than 120 days following the disaster.

 More Information: Please contact Cheri Kowal, Senior Manager, Programs and Operations, 847-285-6691 or CKowal@AVMA.org

RVT Applications Now Available Online

Applications for licensing registration as a RVT in Hawaii are available online here.

Senate Bill 2671 passed in 2016 which set the following requirements to qualify as a veterinary technician in Hawaii:

  1. Be at least 18 years of age
  2. Have successfully passed the Veterinary Technican National Examination
  3. Meets at least ONE of the following conditions:
    1. Has successfully completed a course of study at a program for veterinary technology accredited by the AVMA committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities;
    2. Be licensed, certified, or registered veterinary technician in good standing in another state having standards for registration comparable to those in this State; or
    3. Prior to July 1, 2021, submits a notarized document from an employer who is a licensed veterinarian and who certifies that applicant has five or more years of practical experience in Hawaii; provided that no reciprocity shall be given for practical experience gained outside of the State.

Information for licensing in Hawaii can be found on the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Professional and Vocational Licensing website. Additional information can be found at the HVTA website. Information about the VTNE can be found here.

RVT in Hawaii Meeting May 15, 2018

The Hawaii Veterinary Technician Association (HVTA) is holding a general meeting on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, to discuss RVT in Hawaii, the application, and the grandfathering process. Members and non-members are invited to attend. Please RSVP by May 10th to hvta.info@gmail.com. The meeting will be held at the Kalihi-Palama Library.

Senate Bill 2671 passed in 2016 which set the following requirements to qualify as a veterinary technician in Hawaii:

  1. Be at least 18 years of age
  2. Have successfully passed the Veterinary Technican National Examination
  3. Meets at least ONE of the following conditions:
    1. Has successfully completed a course of study at a program for veterinary technology accredited by the AVMA committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities;
    2. Be licensed, certified, or registered veterinary technician in good standing in another state having standards for registration comparable to those in this State; or
    3. Prior to July 1, 2021, submits a notarized document from an employer who is a licensed veterinarian and who certifies that applicant has five or more years of practical experience in Hawaii; provided that no reciprocity shall be given for practical experience gained outside of the State.

Information for licensing in Hawaii can be found on the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Professional and Vocational Licensing website. Additional information can be found at the HVTA website. Information about the VTNE can be found here.

Addendum May 26, 2018: Hawaii RVT application online here.

Hawaii Pet Expo May 12-13, 2018

Volunteers Needed!

The Hawaii Pet Expo is sponsored and organized by the HVMA and will be held from May 12-13th this year. It has been an annual event for over 25 years and is FREE and well received by the public, with an average of 10,000 people attending each year.  The purpose of the Expo is to promote responsible pet ownership and strengthen the bond between people and their pets through educational displays, live animal demonstrations, and the latest in pet services and products.  The HVMA is looking for veterinarians who will promote our profession in a positive manner and educate the public on the need for professional veterinary care. If you are willing to volunteer your time to promote our profession and interact with the public, please sign up!

  • HVMA Booth: Veterinarians will be on site to guide visitors through our booth featuring The Year of the Dog, as well as answer questions from the public.
  • Make and Take (Kiddie Craft) Booth:  Assist kids and their parents with making finger puppets and other paper crafts to take home.  Keep booth clean and organized.
  • Greeters:  Pass out programs and poop bags at the door.  Help to direct traffic in and out of the Exhibition hall.  Smile and welcome people.
  • Information Booth:  Help direct people to exhibits, answer questions, make announcements, store lost and found items, collect food and monetary donations for the Hawaii Food Bank, prep poop bags, run errands, coordinate volunteers, and help clean up pet messes that are reported or seen.
  • Show Marshals:  The “Poop Patrol”.  Patrol Exhibition Hall and grounds outside, picking up pet messes.  Empty overflowing trash and cigarette bins outside hall and transfer to dumpster in back.  The good thing about show marshaling is that you get to walk around the hall and check out all the exhibits, although you are supposed to be working, not shopping during your shift!  We always need a lot of show marshals.

Click here to sign up online.

Saturday and Sunday the shifts are as follows:  9:30-12:00 am, 11:30 to 2:00 pm, and 1:30 to 4:00 pm. Please indicate your t-shirt size (M, L, or XL) at sign up to receive a  Pet Expo t-shirt. Name tags will be provided. Vets are encouraged to wear lab coats or smocks to identify themselves as veterinary professionals.

 

Volunteers should sign up online or by calling Ohana Vet Hospital at 845-1762. Paper sign up sheets may be faxed to 848-1632.

Equine Influenza Virus (EIV) Outbreak on Hawaii Island

Alert to veterinarians statewide regarding an ongoing Equine Influenza Virus (H3N8) outbreak observed on the Big Island of Hawaii. The disease appears to be limited to Hawaii Island at this time. The HDOA Animal Disease Control Branch is monitoring the situation and if you have diagnosed EIV in a horse, please contact the deputy state veterinarian in your county to assist us with tracking the disease event.

Hawaii County: Dr. Kim Kozuma (808) 974-6503 or (808) 365-4346
Maui County: Dr. Rick Willer (808) 873-3559
Kauai and Honolulu Counties: Dr. Travis Heskett (808) 483-7131

Quick Facts about Equine Influenza

Etiologic agent: Influenza type A, H3N8.
Species affected: Currently, only horses. The literature suggests that dogs and cats can become infected.
Transmission:
• via droplets and aerosols formed by coughing and sneezing
• direct or indirect contact with nasal discharge
• shedding of the virus often precedes clinical signs
• short incubation period, usually one to three days
• virus is typically excreted only 7-10 days after infection
Clinical signs: Acute respiratory disease, beginning with high fever (up to 106°), coughing, nasal discharge, and occasionally mild swelling of submandibular lymph nodes. Secondary bacterial infections may develop. Healthy adult horses will typically recover within one to three weeks,
although there may be a persistent cough.
Diagnosis: Can be presumed based on history, clinical presentation, and ruling out other causes of fever
• HDOA’s Veterinary Laboratory does not perform diagnostic testing for Equine Influenza.
• A number of mainland veterinary diagnostic laboratories can test for Equine Influenza and other infectious etiologies which can cause similar clinical signs. Contact the mainland laboratory of your preference for specific guidance regarding sample collection, preservation, and submission.
What has been observed in this event:
• Infection has been self-limiting, lasting approximately two to three weeks.
• Vaccinated horses were less likely to develop clinical signs than unvaccinated horses.
• Clusters of ill horses have been observed associated with equine events.
• Practicing good biosecurity reduces the likelihood of spread.

For more information, visit the website of the Hawaii Dept. of Agriculture, Animal Disease Control Branch at http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/ai/main/eiv/ or contact the Animal Industry Division at (808) 483-7106.

Thanks to Jenee Odani, DVM, DACVP and Dr. Travis Heskett, DVM, DACVP who contributed technical information for this article. [3/7/18]

2018 Legislative Update

HVMA Opposes SB2260

SB2260 requires veterinarians, upon request of the owner of an animal, to make available a copy of any prescription that the veterinarian has previously prescribed the animal free of charge. This bill will have a public hearing on Tuesday February 20, 2018 at 9:00AM at the Hawaii State Capitol conference room 229 by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health. Read the complete bill text (brief) here.

Please send in written testimony opposing this bill via the Hawaii State Legislature website (steps detailed below) by Monday Feb 19th 9am and consider testifying in person at Tuesday’s hearing.

HVMA opposes SB2260 because it places unnecessary legislative burden on veterinarians and is of questionable value to the public. According to Hawaii Revised Statutes 471-10, licensed veterinarians in Hawaii are required to practice by “the recognized principles of medical ethics of the veterinary profession as adopted by the Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association”. According to the AVMA Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics Section V.b.iii., “Veterinarians are obligated to provide copies or summaries of medical records when requested by the client.” Prior prescription information is already contained within a patient’s medical record and available upon request by the client (owner of the animal). In regards to current prescriptions, Section VII.f.iii. states: “Veterinarians are entitled to charge fees for their professional services: A veterinarian shall honor a client’s request for a prescription or veterinary feed directive in lieu of dispensing, but may charge a fee for this service.” AVMA’s Policy on Client Requests for Prescriptions states: “Veterinarians shall honor client requests to prescribe rather than dispense a drug (AVMA Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics). The client has the option of filling a prescription at any pharmacy.”

Please make the voice of veterinarians heard and submit your testimony today:
1. Go to the Hawaii State Legislature website.
2. In the upper right hand corner, either “Sign In” to your account or “Register” if you do not have an account.
3. Once signed in, click on “Submit Testimony” (first orange button in the middle of the page).
4. Under “Enter Bill or Measure” enter SB2260 and click “Get Hearing”.
5. Complete your testimony submission (you may upload a document or enter your testimony directly on the webpage) and click “Submit”.
6. Feel good about participating in the legislative process and shaping the practice of veterinary medicine in Hawaii!

The Hawaii State Capitol is located at 415 South Beretania Street in downtown Honolulu. If you have never testified in person before and have questions about the process, please feel free to email us at contact@hawaiivetmed.org.

Other Current Pending Legislation

HB2498 – Establishes and appropriates funds for one full-time equivalent permanent veterinary medical officer position within the Department of Health. HVMA SUPPORTS.


HB1823 – Defines emotional support animals and makes it a misdemeanor to knowingly make a misrepresentation regarding a service dog or emotional support animal.


HB2060 – Removes the word “Examiners” from the names of the State Board of Chiropractic Examiners, Board of Dental Examiners, Board of Examiners in Optometry, and Board of Veterinary Examiners. Renames the boards with titles that more accurately reflect their scope and duties. HVMA defers to BVE stance.


HB2072 – Prohibits certain restraints and tethers that endanger or deny sustenance to a dog. Specifies penalties.


HB2081/SB2566 – Appropriates funds to the Department of Land and Natural Resources to provide assistance and supplemental funding to the National Wildlife Research Center of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conduct pilot field studies to evaluate control tools and develop a management plan to reduce the rose-ringed parakeet population on Kauai.


HB2270/SB2501 – Requires the Department of Human Services to establish ohana zones where homeless persons may reside. Appropriates funds.


SB2014 – Requires persons convicted of animal cruelty to register with the attorney general. Requires animal shelters, animal breeders, and pet stores to check whether an individual has been convicted of animal abuse when the individual applies to work or volunteer, or purchases or adopts an animal. Establishes penalties. Prevents persons convicted of animal cruelty from possessing, owning, or working in close proximity to animals. Requires police officers to be trained in identifying and investigating animal abuse.


SB2289 – Establishes the offense of sexual assault of an animal. Provides for impoundment and forfeiture of a sexually assaulted animal.


SB2435 – Requires the Department of Health to contract with a nonprofit animal rescue group to oversee caretakers of feral cats. Exempts registered caretakers of feral cats from state laws and county ordinances relating to the feeding and confinement of cats. Establishes a trap-sterilize-return process.


SB2461 – Establishes the offense of “misrepresentation of a service animal”. Changes the term “service dog” to “service animal” and amends the definition of that term to conform with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990


SB2929 – Establishes the Hawaii spay/neuter council to be administratively attached to the department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Establishes the Hawaii spay/neuter special fund. Imposes a fee on pet food to support the Hawaii spay/neuter grant program to spay and neuter dogs and cats. Makes an appropriation.

Participate in Our Membership Survey

Help improve the HVMA to better serve you! We are surveying both current and non-HVMA members. Each survey participant may enter to win our drawing for free HVMA membership in 2018. We will hold the drawing during our Annual Conference Social on Saturday Oct 28th from 6-8:30pm at the Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel. You will not need to be present to win. Take the survey here!

Animal Welfare Symposium

CABI and UC Davis are offering 6 hours of CE credits for a one day animal welfare symposium on June 27, 2017. The symposium will be held at UC Davis, but remote attendance is also possible in webinar form. Topics will focus on the subject of animal behaviour problems and veterinary approaches to dealing with them. Further information available here: http://www.cabi.org/vetmedresource/animals-behaving-badly/

Cats & Toxoplasmosis Information

Toxoplasmosis Facts

“Toxoplasma gondii is common, worldwide and everywhere and affects a variety of mammals and birds” – Companion Animal Parasite Council

  • Leading cause of toxoplasmosis in humans is through ingestion of undercooked meat. – CDC
  • Direct contact with cats is not considered to be a risk factor for toxoplasma infection in people, particularly when cats are kept indoors and fed a commercial diet. – CAPC
  • Toxoplasmosis is transmitted to humans from cats when humans accidentally swallow the parasite through contact with cat feces that contain Toxoplasma. CDC
  • Toxoplasmosis can be prevented if the following are done: clean the litterbox daily (the parasite takes 24 hours to become infective in cat feces), wash hands with soap and water after exposure to soil, sand, raw meat or unwashed vegetables, and ensure cats are kept indoors and eat only cat food. – CAPC
  • Only about 1% of cats are active hosts of toxoplasmosis able to shed the parasite. – CAPC
  • Infected cats shed for only about 1 to 3 weeks following infection. – CAPC
  • Because cats only shed the organism for a few days in their entire life, the chance of human exposure is small. – CFHC
  • Cats and dogs become infected with toxoplasma by ingestion of infected mammalian or avian tissues or ingestion of the parasite from articles contaminated by feline feces (e.g., soil, water, vegetation). – CAPC
  • About 19% (˜60 million) of the human population in the United States has already been exposed to (may be infected with) Toxoplasma. Of those who are infected, very few have symptoms because a healthy person’s immune system usually keeps the parasite from causing illness. – CDC
  • A 2013 study by VanWormer, et al. showed reduced prevalence of toxoplasmosis in cats who were fed and considered managed by humans as compared to wild felids and cats subsisting on wild prey.

Solutions to Consider

  • Keep cats indoors and prevent them from hunting and consuming undercooked meat, encourage cat owners to scoop litterboxes daily.
  • Support sterilization to reduce kitten births, since kittens and young cats are at greatest risk to become newly infected and shed the parasite.
  • Advocate for wildlife officials, conservationists, animal welfare advocates and veterinarians to work together to solve problems using the latest science combined with humane methods.

Resources/ References

  • Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) – www.capcvet.org
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – www.cdc.gov
  • Cornell Feline Health Center (CFHC) – www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/
  • VanWormer, E., P.A. Conrad, et al. (2013). “Toxoplasma gondii, Source to Sea: Higher Contribution of Domestic Felids to Terrestrial Parasite Loading Despite Lower Infection Prevalence.” EcoHealth 10, 277-289

HVMA Cats and Toxoplasmosis Information Sheet 12 28 16