Fish-based pet foods might also contain mercury | View AVMA's One Health resources | Heavy rain, flooding increase heartworm risk
October 17, 2018
Animal Health SmartBrief
News for animal health professionals
Veterinary Medicine Update
Fish-based pet foods might also contain mercury
An analysis of pet foods revealed the presence of mercury, especially in fish-based cat foods but also in both wet and dry dog and cat foods. Genetic testing also revealed sheep in a food labeled duck and potato, though sheep was not listed as an ingredient, researcher Sarrah Dunham-Cheatham said.
KOLO-TV (Reno, Nev.) (10/13) 
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Heavy rain, flooding increase heartworm risk
Veterinarians in South Carolina say recent heavy rain and flooding raise the risk of heartworm disease in animals as standing water allows mosquitoes to proliferate. Heartworm disease is difficult and expensive to treat and can be fatal, but it is easily prevented with monthly medication or an injection that lasts six months, veterinarian Isabelle Ying said.
WMBF-TV (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) (10/15) 
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Scientists breed litter of pigs with resistance to deadly virus
Scientists say they successfully used gene editing technology to breed a litter of pigs resistant to transmissible gastroenteritis virus -- a highly contagious virus that is nearly always fatal in young pigs -- and the research could improve animal health and livestock production worldwide. The pigs do not produce the ANPEP enzyme, which is believed to be a receptor for TGEV, and did not get sick when exposed to the virus.
Laboratory Equipment/University of Missouri (10/16),  AgWeb (10/16) 
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Toxoplasma gondii found in endangered beluga whales
Toxoplasma gondii found in endangered beluga whales
(Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Toxoplasma gondii was found in 44% of 34 beluga whale carcasses tested in Canada between 2009 and 2012, though researcher and professor of veterinary medicine Stephane Lair cautioned that the presence of the parasite does not necessarily mean the endangered whales died of toxoplasmosis. The parasite might have a sub-lethal effect that weakens but doesn't kill the animal, Dr. Lair said.
CBC News (Canada)/The Canadian Press (10/15) 
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Other News
Animal News
Population of rare Choctaw horses growing
Choctaw horses were thought to have left the Southeast when their Native American owners were forced to leave, but the discovery of one of the horses at a Poplarville, Miss., farm has led to a recovery plan for the horses, originally brought to the US by the Spanish in the 1500s and bred by the Choctaw tribe.
The Valdosta Daily Times (Ga.)/The Associated Press (10/16) 
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Policy Watch
USDA reorganizes Veterinary Services unit
The USDA has reorganized its Veterinary Services division, consolidating six service centers into four. An Area Veterinarian in Charge will be the main point of contact for each state, district offices also are being consolidated from six to four, and the three primary units are being renamed.
Feedstuffs (Minnetonka, Minn.) (10/16) 
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Ark. considers new rules for sale, breeding of non-native species
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is considering changes to regulations regarding the importation, sale and breeding of non-native species. The rules are intended to prevent the introduction of potentially harmful species as well as any pathogens they might carry, and to prevent the exploitation of wildlife elsewhere, state wildlife veterinarian Jenn Ballard said.
Harrison Daily Times (Ark.) (10/16) 
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Around the Office
Think beyond yourself when leading a team
Leaders will arrive at better solutions if they look at problems through a variety of perspectives, writes Joel Garfinkle. "Your credentials in your field are already established; now it's your turn to draw ideas out of others and build effective leadership qualities in those below you," he writes.
SmartBrief/Leadership (10/15) 
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AVMA Today
AVMA shares resources on diversity and inclusion in veterinary medicine
The AVMA strives to educate its members about the value of diversity within the work place, and its role in improving animal and human health and advancing the veterinary medical profession. Diversity and inclusion efforts can make your "work ecosystem" a more vital, resilient and thriving environment. But these efforts are not always easy. To help veterinarians address diversity and inclusion in the workforce, the AVMA has gathered links to books, journal articles, videos, personal accounts and other organizations that address these subjects. View AVMA's Diversity and Inclusion webpage.
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As Veterinarians, You Matter to Us
The AVMA LIFE Trust wants to know what matters to you. Why? Because that's who we aim to protect with our life, disability, and health insurance products. Learn more.
Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board.
Zora Neale Hurston,
author and anthropologist
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The news summaries appearing in Animal Health SmartBrief are based on original information from news organizations and are produced by SmartBrief, Inc., an independent e-mail newsletter publisher. The AVMA is not responsible for the content of sites that are external to the AVMA. Linking to a website does not constitute an endorsement by the AVMA of the site or the information presented on the site. Questions and comments should be directed to SmartBrief at
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