Veterinary Palliative Medicine

Veterinary Palliative Medicine is growing globally.

Co-Founders of the World Veterinary Palliative Medicine Organization (WVPMO), Dr Lynn Hendrix and Dr Caroline Ficker discovered soon after meeting that they shared a vision for the future of veterinary medicine.  Not only that, they saw how it could change the lives of veterinarians, their patients and the people who love them.

As palliative care awareness grew in veterinary medicine and became a hot topic at veterinary conferences, they saw the need to bring more education on the subject, formalise the field, and usher palliative medicine into the mainstream. The WVPMO’s mission is to elevate palliative medicine to the forefront of veterinary education, improve the lives of animals across the globe, and support clients by promoting and advancing veterinary medicine centered on quality of life. Dr Hendrix states, “We really also want to improve the lives of our colleagues, which in the US are suffering from increased levels of depression, anxiety and suicide.”

Dr Hendrix and Dr Ficker have noticed a rise in interest in veterinary palliative medicine in recent years. Dr Ficker says “We believe we can help every veterinarian around the world enhance their skills, educate their clients, and help animals live better.  We also believe that in helping animals and their people live better, the veterinarian can also.”

They are working to provide webinars and interactive workshops. In addition to education, they want to build a community of veterinarians who are looking for an evidence based approach to provide the best standard of care for end of life veterinary patients and their caregivers.

The World Veterinary Palliative Medicine Organization is a non-profit Corporation, 5013c pending. The WVPMO is open to licensed veterinarians around the globe. You can join by visiting wvpmo.org.

If you would like more information about the WVPMO, please contact Dr Lynn Hendrix at President@wvpmo.org or Dr Caroline Ficker at President-elect@wvpmo.org .

AVMA Update Spring 2019

Aloha HVMA members! These are some highlights from the AVMA.

AVMA Convention 2019

A monumental experience awaits you in Washington, D.C. and we can’t wait to see you there! This year’s event will take place August 2-6 and the CE and events schedule is now available for you to search. Start planning an itinerary that will earn you more than 40 hours of CE and still leave plenty of time for networking, fun events, and sightseeing . Choose from nearly 900 education sessions over the course of the five-day conference. There are hands-on labs, interactive workshops, panels, lectures, and poster presentations. Register at AVMA.org.

Axon: Next-generation digital education

AVMA Axon™ is an online learning tool that you can incorporate into your daily life. Veterinarians, veterinary technicians, practice managers, or other team members, can find CE with information you need – about the newest studies, techniques, and trends – along with actionable ways to apply it to your daily life and work. Examples of topics:
Agile Pioneers
Career Development
Financial Health
Leadership
One Health
Policy and Practice
Wellbeing, Diversity, Inclusion
Advocacy

AVMA Axon™ is a resource for the entire veterinary community. As an AVMA member, all of the current offerings are free. Start exploring today at axon.avma.org.

AVMA establishes veterinary technician task force

Veterinary technicians are important members of the veterinary health care team. Their skills and expertise help both the patient and the practice. Improving veterinary technician utilization would only enhance that level of service and increase job satisfaction. At the AVMA Board of Directors spring meeting April 12-13, the Board voted to approve a task force which will develop a plan to improve vet tech use while recognizing the importance of financial and career sustainability, effective task delegation, and the wellbeing of both the veterinary technician and the practice.

The task force comes after the AVMA House of Delegates discussed technician utilization and ways to enhance it during its January meeting. It was clear during the discussion that the value of veterinary technicians is important and that efforts need to be made across the profession to increase technician use. The consensus among House members led them to recommend that the AVMA Board convene a task force to design a plan to improve veterinary technician utilization and that a progress report be
shared with the House Of Delegates within a year.

Guiding the profession: Policy actions

AVMA councils and committees reviewed more than 40 AVMA policies prior to the Board meeting that were subsequently submitted for reaffirmation, revision and approval. Highlights include the Board voting to:
– Reaffirm the AVMA Policy on Transport, Sale Yard Practices and Humane Slaughter of Hoofstock and Poultry
– Approve the revised Policy on Animal Abuse and Neglect
– Approve the revised Policy on Veterinary End-of-Life Care
– Refer the revised Policy on Judicious Therapeutic Use of Antimicrobials to the AVMA House of Delegates with a recommendation to approve
– Refer the revised Joint American Association of Bovine Practitioners-AVMA Judicious Therapeutic Use of Antimicrobials in Cattle Policy to the House of Delegates with a recommendation to approve
– Refer the revised Model Veterinary Practice Act to the House of Delegates with a recommendation to approve

Carolyn Naun and I are your AVMA House of Delegates. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, comments or topics of discussion.

Aloha,
Leianne K. Lee Loy, DVM

Pesticides Rules Change

§4-66-54 of the Hawaii Administrative Rules is being updated by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture Pesticides branch to mandate that “every retailer that sells or distributes pesticide products to the public shall prominently post within ten feet of any pesticide product display or sales area, a warning sign that includes:

  1. Information regarding the proper handling, storage, and disposal of all pesticides sold;
  2. Emergency telephone numbers to call in case of poisoning from the pesticides; and
  3. A statement that use of any pesticide product in a manner inconsistent with its label is prohibited by law.

The warning sign shall be no less than seventeen inches by twenty two inches and contain lettering of sufficient size, no less than sixteen point bold type, which will enable the sign to be read from a distance of six feet under all lighting conditions normally encountered during business hours.”

The rules have not yet been signed as law by the governor but are expected to be signed some time in the May-June timeframe. These rules will affect
retailers that sell pesticides in any form (flea collars, topical medicine, etc.).

Sample signage wording below:

  1. For the proper handling, storage, and disposal of a pesticide product as required by Federal and State law, please refer to its label.
  2. In case of pesticide poisoning, please call the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
  3. It is a violation of Federal and State law to use any pesticide product in a manner inconsistent with its label.

[Pesticide product signage as required by Hawaii Administrative Rules(HAR) 4-66-54(d).]

For more information, please see the Department of Agriculture website.

Other AVMA Opportunities

Volunteer with AVMA

Volunteers are now invited to serve on AVMA’s Council on Education (COE). The deadline for receipt of applications for the COE is February 15, 2019. More information on the COE and the Member Application is available here.

AVMA Fellowship Program

Shape public policy while enhancing your knowledge of the political process! The AVMA is now accepting applications for the next AVMA Fellowship Program, which runs from the end of August 2019 through August 2020. The deadline for applications is February 8, 2019. All AVMA member veterinarians are eligible to apply. Please visit AVMA’s website for more info.

Honolulu Street Dog Coalition

The Street Dog Coalition is a Colorado-based nonprofit founded by veterinarian Jon Geller whose mission is to provide free veterinary care and related services to pets of people affected by homelessness. Dr. Geller began providing care through street clinics in Ft. Collins in 2015 and has since expanded to mentor and provide supplies to licensed, volunteer veterinarians willing to lead clinics in their communities. The Street Dog Coalition partnered with the AVMA in July for a clinic at the Denver convention in July, read more about it here.

The Honolulu Street Dog Coalition clinics are led by Aleisha Swartz, DVM, and have started providing veterinary care such as vaccinations, parasite control and treatment of minor medical concerns at the new Punawai Rest Stop in Iwilei. The facility was built by the City and County of Honolulu and is a pet-friendly hygiene center where people can do laundry, take showers, receive mail and access social services.

The number of pets belonging to people affected by homelessness is unknown but is estimated to be approximately 10%. For the first time the 2019 Hawaii Homeless Point in Time Count survey asked people if they had pets; this information should be available in the spring.

If you are interested in more information on how to support this effort, volunteering at the Honolulu Clinics, or starting a clinic on a neighbor island, contact Aleisha at honolulu@thestreetdogcoalition.org. Support staff are welcome to volunteer. For more information about The Street Dog Coalition visit their website.

Meet a Board Member: Brenda Smith, Treasurer

Dr Brenda Smith grew up ‘on the mainland’.  Living in Louisville, Kentucky for most of her childhood, she developed a passion for horses and became very involved in Pony Club and dressage and eventing.  The seeds for a career in Veterinary medicine were planted early. Moving to Texas in high school, she remained through school, graduating from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine in 1995.

The next 11 years were spent in Oregon and Washington, working first at mixed animal and then small animal clinics and the Southwest Washington Humane Society. An interest in alternative medicine led to certification in acupuncture through IVAS in 2001 and several Chinese herbal courses in the following years. She got immersed in volunteer work as well, supporting and serving on the board of the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon as well as participating in international spay/neuter projects.  Spare time was spent exploring. The hiking and trail-riding and rafting are amazing in the Pacific Northwest.

Dr Smith moved to Maui in 2006, then Oahu in 2010. Moving to Oahu, she began Cherished Pet, a home euthanasia service, as well as doing relief work. Horses and rafts were replaced with surfboards and sailing gear! Volunteer work continued as well, both internationally doing spay/neuter projects and locally with the Polynesian Voyaging Society. Sailing on canoes (Faafaite and Hikianalia) from Auckland to Papeete to Hilo was a huge adventure!

The volunteer work was so rewarding, that in 2013 Dr Smith moved to American Samoa to work on a large scale spay/neuter and dog overpopulation project.  After two years and 5000 surgeries, the island dog population was much healthier. The island is beautiful, both above and underwater. Hiking and diving and outrigger paddling were spare time activities.

Last year, Dr Smith and her partner Tim moved back to Oahu and she resumed doing relief work and home euthanasia. She is currently working at Kailua Animal Clinic at their new Feline Wellness Center, paddling recreationally with Lanikai Canoe Club, and generally enjoying life biking and beach walking around Kailua. Her two cats have moved from Washington to Hawaii to American Samoa and then back. They have now been joined by four entertaining backyard hens.

Meet a Member: Kasey Carter, DVM

Dr. Kasey Carter joined the Hawaiian Humane Society as Chief Veterinarian in June of 2018. In his role as Chief Veterinarian, Kasey has drawn on prior experience to guide Hawaiian Humane in opening the Society’s Community Spay/Neuter Center in October 2018 and is developing programs to strengthen veterinary practices for Hawaiian Humane. Additionally, Kasey is responsible for oversight of two full time staff veterinarians and several part time veterinarians at the Society.

Kasey was born in Tucson, Arizona and was surrounded by all kinds of animals throughout childhood. He attended the University of Arizona for a bachelor’s degree in veterinary science in 2008. He moved to Fort Collins, CO in 2009 to attend Colorado State University and received a master’s degree in biomedical science in 2009 and subsequently a DVM degree in 2013. Throughout vet school, Kasey had a passion for shelter medicine and completed scientific studies in the shelter and academic settings. After graduation in 2013, he worked as a staff veterinarian at Denver Dumb Friends League for about five years prior to moving to Honolulu.

While in Colorado, Kasey was an active member/district representative in CVMA and is a CVMA Power of 10 alumnus. He looks forward to being an active member and working with HVMA. Kasey shares his home with his girlfriend and two dogs Kevin and Frank. When not at work, he enjoys hiking, discovering new music, and laying around with his dogs. Please feel free to reach out and let him know if you are looking for a cat – he knows a couple hundred that are looking for homes!

AVMA Update Jan 2019

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Winter Session and The Veterinary Leadership Conference (VLC)

Aloha to you all and a belated Happy New Year!

The House of Delegates convened for the Winter Session in combination with the Veterinary Leadership Conference in Chicago, Illinois, January 10-13.  This years theme was Evolution of Leadership – Learn, Grow, Lead, Evolve your Leadership Journey. The purpose of the VLC was to provide veterinary professionals, at all stages of their career, personal and professional leadership that benefits the individual attendee and the Veterinary Profession.  The conference included:

a) AVMA governance meetings

b) Continuing Education Sessions focused on leadership development

c) Network opportunities

At this conference, Rising Leaders are interacting with Experienced Leaders to expand leadership skills and gives everyone the tools to create a roadmap for our leadership journey.

Here is a summary of our AVMA House of Delegates Winter Session:

Membership

AVMA membership is strong with the association’s official membership at more than 93,400. AVMA retained a higher percentage of members to start the year. Three out of every four veterinarians are members of the AVMA.

Health Insurance is returning!

Beginning in July, members and their employees in the AVMA LIFE Trust, or a related entity, may be able to offer health insurance as an ‘association of employers.’ This means veterinarians who are employers – including those who are self-employed – might be eligible to purchase group health insurance for themselves, their families, and their employees through the AVMA family. The program is expected to build over time.

For more information and to sign up for the latest updates,  go to: AVMALife.org or call 800-621-6360.

Enhancing the utilization of veterinary technicians

During the House of Delegates business meeting, the HOD’s Veterinary Information Forum was committed to the topic of enhancing the utilization of veterinary technicians. Prior to the forum, AVMA members were asked to provide their input on the topic to their House representatives, and more than 400 comments were received.

The value of veterinary technicians is certain and that efforts need to be made across the profession to increase technician use and boost job satisfaction. Members of the House of Delegate recommends that the AVMA Board of Directors convene a task force to design a plan to improve veterinary technician utilization and that a progress report be shared with the HOD within a year.

Governance: House of Delegate Actions

HOD members also acted on several resolutions and bylaws amendments, including:

  • Model Veterinary Practice Act: Refer to the AVMA Board of Directors
    • Consideration of a revised version that incorporates input from HOD deliberations conducted during the meeting.
  • Membership Dues Increase: Approved
    • A resolution submitted by the AVMA Board of Directors to increase annual membership dues $30 in 2020, and, if necessary, up to $10 in 2021 and 2022 for regular and affiliate memberships. Reduced dues memberships will be made equal to 50% of the annual dues of regular members.
  • Bylaw amendment expanding the composition of the AVMA Council on Veterinary Services to include a credentialed veterinary technician.  Approved.
  • Bylaw amendment changing the name of the AVMA Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine to the AVMA Council on Public Health. Approved
  • Bylaw amendment removing a statement of responsibility of the AVMA Council on Research. Approved.
  • Bylaw amendment removing a statement of responsibility of the AVMA Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents. Approved
  • Bylaw amendment that replaces the AVMA Judicial Council with an ad hoc hearing panel to adjudicate complaints of unethical conduct by AVMA members. Approved
  • Bylaw amendment related to the maintenance of House status for House of Delegates member organizations. Approved
  • Bylaw amendment expanding eligibility of membership on the AVMA Council on Public Health (formerly known as the AVMA Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine). Approved

Keynote speaker Drew Dudley: Day One Leadership.

Leadership is more than money, power and influence.  Drew’s message is to focus on the “everyday leadership.” We have all changed someone’s life — usually without even realizing it. Let us celebrate leadership as the everyday act of improving each other’s lives.  Create those moments that have powerful impacts and growth and that can be life changing for you and your organization. To learn more about Drew’s message refer to his Ted Talk on Leadership or enjoy his book: This is Day One, A Practical Guide to Leadership That Matters.

Future VLC Meeting

January 9-12, 2020

VLC benefits veterinary professionals at all career stages to take on new challenges and leadership roles that benefit both the individual attendee and the veterinary profession. The benefits of attending the combined VLC and House of Delegates winter session are:

  • Evolve your leadership skills – Gain new insights, expand your personal tool set, and learn from those who’ve come before you.
  • Connect with a diverse network of leaders from across the veterinary profession.
  • Deepen your understanding of how the AVMA works and discover exciting opportunities to get involved!
  • Earn up to 8 hours of continuing education credit.

Please feel free to contact your AVMA Hawaii Alternate Delegate – Carolyn Naun, or myself – Leianne Lee Loy if you would like to learn more about this meeting (avma_delegate@hawaiivetmed.org).

AVMA Convention: A Monumental Experience

Save the date: August 2-6, 2019 in Washington D.C.

Aloha!

Leianne K. Lee Loy

Hawaii Delegate for AVMA

Rat Lungworm Disease in Hawaii

In November and December 2018, two young dogs in the Honolulu area were diagnosed with Rat Lungworm Disease, caused by Angiostrongylus cantonensis. Both puppies presented with spinal hyperesthesia, hindlimb weakness, and proprioceptive ataxia. One dog had peripheral eosinophilia; all other hematology and serum biochemistry tests were unremarkable. Plain radiographs and computed tomography scans (with/without) contrast were performed but did not reveal a cause for the neurologic signs. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis in both patients revealed eosinophilic pleocytosis and real-time PCR testing for Angiostrongylus cantonensis on CSF was positive in both dogs, confirming a diagnosis of neural angiostrongylisias; PCR testing for other canine neural pathogens was negative.

Both dogs responded rapidly to treatment with corticosteroids and recovered clinically within 2 weeks. Neither dog was observed ingesting a snail or slug, but both dogs had environmental access to them. Dr. Richard Malik (University of Sydney) spoke on this topic in May 2018 and recommends treating with corticosteroids (up to 6 weeks), +/- anthelmintics (if early infection when the larvae are still small and not yet in the CNS), and pain medication or other symptomatic care as needed. He also recommends antibiotics to address the issue of translocated bacteria carried by migrating larvae.

If you have any suspected cases or have questions regarding diagnosing, treating, or preventing rat lungworm infection in dogs or other animals, please call Dr. Jenee Odani (Extension Veterinarian) at 808-956-3847 or email jsodani@hawaii.edu. She is especially interested in conducting post mortem testing on suspected cases.

Hawaii Veterinary Emergency Response

HVMA is working with the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) to support local and state disaster preparedness pertaining to animals. Would you be interested in volunteering in the event of an emergency? Would you be interested in being part of the working group developing a set of guidelines for animal care and treatment and considering the formation of a Veterinary Medical Reserve Corps or Companion Animal Response Team? Please help us gauge member interest by taking our survey below.