Volunteers Needed for 2017 Hawaii Pet Expo

May 13th-14th at Blaisdell Exhibition Hall, corner of Ward Ave and King Street, Honolulu

Pet Expo is sponsored and organized by the HVMA. 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. They are there to promote the HVMA and what we stand for, but can pass out business cards and information if asked for. We would like vets who are willing to volunteer their time to promote our profession and who are willing to interact with the public, to sign up.
1) HVMA Booth: This year we are doing away with the “Ask A Vet” booth, although vets manning the booth will be there to answer any kind of question. The HVMA booth will be similar to last year’s theme: Common Household Dangers.
2) Make and Take (Kiddie Craft ) Booth:  Assist kids and their parents with making finger puppets and other paper crafts, which they get to make and take home.  Keep booth clean and organized.
3) 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.  Collect canned goods and monetary donations for the Hawaii Food Bank.
4) Information Booth:  Help direct people to exhibits, answer questions, make announcements, box up food donations, make more poop bags, run errands, clean up pet messes that are reported or seen.
5) Show Marshalls:  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.


If volunteers sign up by the deadline, a t-shirt will be ordered for them. Sizes are M, L, and XL; please indicate shirt size when signing up. If you sign up vets are encouraged to wear lab coats or smocks to identify themselves as vet professionals, name tags will be provided. They may also wear the Pet Expo tshirt.
Volunteers are needed for Friday night to help set up. (No AC on Friday night, wear shorts!)
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. Only the first shift will be provided a small lunch.
Volunteers should sign up by calling Dr. Kam or staff at Ohana Vet Hospital at 845-1762, or fax at 848-1632.

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

Hawaiian Monk Seals and Toxoplasmosis

Hawaiian monk seals are listed as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act and are protected by Federal and state law. This unique tropical pinniped is found exclusively within Hawaii’s waters, mostly throughout the low-lying atolls of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. However, monk seals have been recolonizing the main Hawaiian Islands over the past two decades. This subpopulation is estimated at 200-250 seals, and is growing. With that growth comes the recognition of new threats to the species such as fish hook ingestion, intentional killing, and now, an accumulating number of deaths from toxoplasmosis. This is not surprising, given the increasing geographic overlap between humans, cats, and Hawaiian monk seals.

A total of 8 monk seal mortalities (and 2 suspect mortalities) have been attributed to toxoplasmosis to-date. We arrived at this number by developing a case definition and retrospectively applying it to 306 cases of mortality from 1982-2015. To be classified as a protozoal-related mortality, we required: (a) pathological lesions consistent with protozoal disease and sufficient to cause mortality, and (b) confirmation of the organism in direct association with these pathologic lesions by immunohistochemistry. Supporting data such as serology and molecular analyses were provided when available. The results were recently published in the peer-reviewed journal, “Diseases of Aquatic Organisms.”

While 8 deaths may not sound like a large number, NOAA is growing increasingly concerned about the threat of toxoplasmosis for several reasons. First of all, the number of monk seal mortalities attributed to toxoplasmosis is an underestimate. More seals disappear each year than are found sick or dead. Even when carcasses are found, they may be too decomposed to definitively identify this infection as a cause of mortality. Vertical transmission to fetuses has been documented in monk seals, however failed pregnancies can be difficult to detect in wild animals. The outlook for treating sick seals is poor because of the rapid, severe, diffuse inflammatory response in the infected seal and because drug choices and delivery routes are far from optimal. Only two seals have been assessed prior to death, but both declined rapidly and could not be rehabilitated. Unlike threats such as fish hook ingestion or malnutrition, which can often be mitigated through rehabilitation, our options are severely restricted when it comes to treating seals for toxoplasmosis. Even if there were improvements in treatment modalities, most cases are simply found dead on the beaches. The population level impact of each mortality exceeds the loss of one seal because the future reproductive potential of that seal is also lost.

NOAA is one of a handful of Federal and state agencies that have met in 2016 to discuss the complex problem of cats in Hawaii and the threats (disease, predation) they pose to native wildlife. The group is still formalizing its mission, scope and membership, but for now, it is focused on compiling and disseminating the best available science on this issue. In time, subgroups will be developed to focus on specific topics. The group will seek participation from outside (non-agency) groups, including veterinarians – so stay tuned.

Through some of our ongoing research partnerships, we at NOAA are investigating the prevalence of exposure within the monk seal population using serology and molecular analyses. Evidence of previous exposure to T. gondii has been documented in a few apparently healthy monk seals as well, so we are very interested in this dichotomy. To address that, we are working with external partners and experts in this field to better understand the epidemiology of this pathogen in monk seals and the risk factors related to the host, pathogen and environment. I hope to be able to share the results of these studies with all of you in the years to come and I welcome your questions or dialogue on this topic.

Michelle Barbieri, DVM, MS

Wildlife Veterinary Medical Officer

Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program

As the primary veterinarian for NOAA’s Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program, Dr. Michelle Barbieri oversees wild monk seal disease surveillance, population health studies, vaccination, rehabilitation, and provides veterinary support to the program’s other research objectives.


Honnold, S.P., Braun, R., Scott, D.P., Sreekumar, C. and Dubey, J.P., 2005. Toxoplasmosis in a Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi). Journal of Parasitology, 91(3), pp.695-697.

Barbieri, M.M., Kashinsky, L., Rotstein, D.S., Colegrove, K.M., Haman, K.H., Magargal, S.L., Sweeny, A.R., Kaufman, A.C., Grigg, M.E. and Littnan, C.L., 2016. Protozoal-related mortalities in endangered Hawaiian monk seals Neomonachus schauinslandi. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 121(2), pp.85-95.

2016 Member Updates

Welcome new members in 2016: Neal Villanueva, Rajdeep Singh Turna, Hui Nee Chin, Melanie Pearson, Krystina Keikionalani Cunningham, Edward Hsu, Ednee Yoshioka, Daniel McConnel, Heidi Choy, Chelsea Monroe, Caroline Olausen, Jamie Ota, Kristina Ramer, Karen Park, Renee Nagata, Lei Imaino-Hata, Clarence Carl Ducummon III.

Please congratulate our newest lifetime members: Richard Fujie, Patrick Ahana, Ted Cleghorn, Roger Kondo, Sharman Ellison, Tim Lau, Sterling Iwashita, and Thomas Lee.

Send us your updates to share with others! newsletter@hawaiivetmed.org

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AVMA District X Representative, George Bishop, presented an update from the AVMA at the HVMA annual meeting.

  • Dr. Janet Donlin is the new AVMA EVP/CEO, replacing Dr. Ron DeHaven who recently retired.
  • There will be a cyberbullying hotline available for members in January 2017. A 30 minute free consultation is included as part of the service.
  • Member wellness/ wellbeing and the student debt issue are top priorities for the AVMA currently.
  • Highlights of recent advocacy efforts:
    • The AVMA has been actively working with the USDA on the Horse Protection Act, urging regulatory changes to eliminate soring.
    • AVMA is also working actively to defeat the Fairness to Pet Owners Act.
  • The 2016 Veterinary Economic Reports Series will be released over the course of 2016. The reports can be viewed free by members at https://www.avma.org/PracticeManagement/BusinessIssues/Pages/AVMA-Economic-Report-Subscription.aspx
  • AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference is January 12-14, 2017 in Chicago.
  • AVMA Convention is July 21-25, 2017 in Indianapolis.
  • More AVMA updates can be viewed at www.avma.org

Cordell Chang and Leianne LeeLoy are the Hawaii delegates to the AVMA.

2016 Member Renewal Information

Thank you to those early adopters who have already signed up for an account at hawaiivetmed.org!

New this year, we will be managing your membership renewal seamlessly through our website. Once registered, you’ll be able to check your membership status, pay dues, and update your professional and contact information.

Plus you’ll have access to these member-exclusive features:

  • Create classified and help-wanted ads for public viewing

  • List your clinic under our public “Find a Vet” feature (practice owners only)

  • Read past newsletters (starting with this edition)

  • Access Executive Board meeting notes and future meeting dates

  • Find and contact your island delegate(s)

  • Research the HVMA by-laws

  • Access the relief vet list

The website also features important news, resources for veterinarians and pet owners, and rabies quarantine information (easier than navigating the government website!). If you have associates moving to Hawaii to join your practice, we also have a comprehensive page outlining the steps to getting licensed and accredited in Hawaii.

This first year, we are asking everyone to fill out the complete registration form (similar to the form you filled out when you first signed up) so that we have up-to-date information. This should take about fifteen minutes.

If you have already created an account, you can go ahead and log in, then go to “My Membership” to pay your dues and fill out your member profile.

We greatly appreciate your time! This should make the renewal process very simple in future years!

Leaders Wanted!

If you have been looking to get involved in organized veterinary medicine, or just want to find out more, you will have the chance to let us know during registration. We have many opportunities, whatever your interests, talents, and available time may be. Join a committee, help us with web development and social media outreach, or come lend a hand at an event.

If you have suggestions or ideas for making our online resources even better, or are having any difficulties getting connected, send an email to webmaster@hawaiivetmed.org.

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Two major bills were passed with the support of the HVMA last year and have been signed into law by Governor Ige.

Legislative Act 147 (SB2671) will go into effect July 1, 2018. This legislation recognizes veterinary technicians as qualified professionals. It is a title protection law and restricts the use of the title “veterinary technician” to those who have passed the national board exam and met the state of Hawaii requirements for the profession. The law does not place restrictions on what duties can be performed by technician or other staff supervised by a licensed veterinarian. Encourage your technical staff to research both the traditional path (through completion of an accredited program) and the alternate pathway to becoming registered veterinary technicians. The alternate pathway provides potential registration eligibility for those who have been working at least 5 years in Hawaii veterinary practices and meet the requirements. This pathway will only be available prior to July 1, 2021. All registered veterinary technicians are required to pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam. Hawaii will also recognize technicians licensed/registered in other states. For more information visit http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/SB2671_CD1_.pdf

Legislative Act (SB 2915) was signed by Governor Ige and controlled substances reporting is now much easier for veterinarians! Thanks to the exemption for veterinarians weekly electronic reporting is no longer required. A HUGE thank you goes to Dr. Ako for leading efforts on this bill. And to Dr. Yoshicedo for managing communications to the members so they could provide much needed testimony.

Email legislative_committee@hawaiivetmed.org to get more involved in the legislative committee.

Updates from the 63rd Annual HVMA Conference

The 63rd Annual Meeting at the Hilton Waikiki Beach was a great success.

This year’s meeting was held in memory of Dr. Allen Y. Miyahara, who played an instrumental role in forming the HVMA as well as mentoring many of our members.

In attendance were 180 veterinarians, 1 student, and 79 technicians and support staff from Hawaii, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Guam and the US mainland. The exhibit hall featured 34 vendors and offered something for everyone.  Our annual business meeting and elections were held on Saturday after lunch.

Highlights from the conference include Dr. Sueda and Carly Crowell speaking about behavior topics as well as our own local experts from VCA Oahu Veterinary Specialty Center: Drs. Lam, White and Atherton on the latest updates in surgery, Internal Medicine and Radiology.

The Saturday pau hana was one to remember with incredible food and hula lessons!

Many thanks to our major sponsors: Abaxis, Bayer, inTrauma, VCA, Veterinary Orthopedic Implants, and Zoetis.

We hope you enjoyed your time with our excellent guest speakers, packed exhibit hall, great food and your friends and colleagues. We would appreciate your feedback on the event. Please take our post-conference survey here.

We look forward to seeing you all next year.

Save the date: October 26-29, 2017.

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Happy New Year!

Thank you so much for choosing to be a part of the Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association. You are a valuable member of our veterinary community here in Hawaii, and we welcome you to be active with us! As a non-profit organization, the HVMA serves as our local veterinarians’ public face and collective voice.

This year we will seek to improve the accessibility of the HVMA to its members in various ways. Our website has undergone tremendous upgrades and continues as a work in progress in providing services such as an online public membership directory, as well as job postings and relief vet listings for members. Our transition to electronic communication continues with improved online membership registration and our first e-newsletter!

We have many areas that members can volunteer to contribute to, such as with Membership outreach, Public Relations, Newsletter production, Legislative action, and Website updates. All of our current progress has come about from members seeing areas of need in our organization, and stepping up to offer their services. We are so grateful for every cog in our wheel, and we welcome any input or help you can offer to improve our HVMA.

If you are interested in getting involved and would like more information, let us know! You can email us at contact@hawaiivetmed.org, indicate your interest when you complete your membership registration online, or find a board member to speak with directly.

Wishing you good health, growth, and abundant aloha in 2017!

On behalf of your HVMA Board,

Jill Yoshicedo, DVM

Veterinary Feed Directive

The use of certain antibiotics in medicated feed for food-production animals will be considered a ‘veterinary feed directive’ or a ‘prescription medication’ starting January 1, 2017.  If you have questions, or want to be added to the list of veterinarians who can a feed directive for clients, please contact the University of Hawaii’s Extension Veterinarian, Jenee Odani, at 956-3847 or jsodani@hawaii.edu.


More Information on VFD from CTAHR

VFD order form