Quarterly Update
Arkansas State
Veterinarian's Office
Spring 2020 (Volume 6) 
Randolph Chick, DVM (501) 823-1733 randolph.chick@agriculture.arkansas.gov
As information concerning the veterinary community and COVID-19 matures, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture (by way of the State Veterinarian’s office or the Veterinary Medicine Examining Board) will send out e-mail flyers for your notification. Information will be provided in cooperation with The Arkansas Veterinary Medical Association. Make sure your contact information including e-mail addresses is up to date.

The FDA is warning the public not to use ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID-19 even though early-stage lab studies found the anthelmintic drug interferes with the replication of SARS-CoV-2. Veterinary formulations of ivermectin " can cause serious harm in people ," the FDA writes, and "[p]eople should not take any form of ivermectin unless it has been prescribed to them by a licensed health care provider and is obtained through a legitimate source." https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/product-safety-information/fda-letter-stakeholders-do-not-use-ivermectin-intended-animals-treatment-covid-19-humans
Livestock Exhibitions – When it is that Time Again!
Animals being shown within the state of Arkansas must be accompanied by a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI or health papers) dated for use within Arkansas for 90 days from issuance. Testing results for diseases of concern are to be noted on the CVI and should be repeated as required.
A Category II Accredited -Arkansas licensed veterinarian needs to issue health certifications.
  •  Personally inspect animals and sign forms (i.e., test charts, ICVIs, other health certificates)
  • Issue complete and accurate forms (i.e., all official ID’s should be recorded, markings, date of sample collection, TB injection, read date and time)
  • Indicate and verify work of other accredited veterinarians; (i.e., if another accredited DVM did testing that should be indicated on ICVI or health certificate)
  • Immediately report any regulated disease
  • Maintain biosecurity
  • Know current regulations; ask if unsure
  • Use and securely maintain the accountable property following regulations (tags, forms and certificates, seals, and electronic signatures)
  • Complete the accreditation renewal process every 3 years
  • Have contact information for state and federal veterinarians responsible for their area of the state(including the federal area veterinarian in charge and the state veterinarian)
  • Please see 9 CFR Parts 106, 161, and 162 for the full regulation concerning the National Veterinary Accreditation Program and duties of an accredited veterinarian. 
Veterinary Electronic Health Certificates – Exports

More and more countries are accepting electronically signed health certificates for pets and certain species of livestock. The Veterinary Export Health Certificate System, known as VEHCS, facilitates the generation and endorsement of health certificates from the convenience of your computer and removes the hassle of either mailing or driving printed health certificates to an export office for endorsement.

Once electronically endorsed by the export office, you can print out a copy of the certificate at your clinic and provide it directly to your client. Please remember, when submitting health certificates electronically, call the endorsing office to let them know you have submitted a certificate. The export office does not receive notifications when a health certificate has been submitted, calling is helpful to make sure your certificate is endorsed in a timely manner. Contact your local export office for more information on this service.

Arkansas’ area VS Export Endorsement Center location is in Oklahoma City:
USDA, APHIS, VS, Veterinary Export Trade Services                                                  
Phone 405‐751‐1701
12304 Market Drive, Suite A, Oklahoma City, OK 73114‐8136
Theileriasis/Babesiosis   - look like Anaplasmosis? (excerpt from Merck Veterinary Manual)  
Babesiosis is caused by intraerythrocytic protozoan parasites of the genus Babesia . Transmitted by ticks, babesiosis affects a wide range of domestic and wild animals and occasionally people. Although the major economic impact of babesiosis [worldwide] is on the cattle industry, infections in other domestic animals, including horses, sheep, goats, pigs, and dogs, assume varying degrees of importance throughout the world.

In endemic areas, three features are important in determining the risk of clinical disease: 1) calves have a degree of immunity (related both to colostral-derived antibodies and to age-specific factors) that persists for ~6 mo, 2) animals that recover from Babesia infections are generally immune for their commercial life (4 years), and 3) the susceptibility of cattle breeds to ticks and Babesia infections varies; eg, Bos indicus cattle tend to be more resistant to ticks and the effects of B bovis and B bigemina infection than Bos taurus –derived breeds. At high levels of tick transmission, virtually all calves become infected with Babesia by 6 mo of age, show few if any clinical signs, and subsequently become immune. This situation can be upset by either a natural (eg, climatic) or artificial (eg, acaricide treatment or changing breed composition of herd) reduction in tick numbers to levels such that tick transmission of Babesia to calves is insufficient to ensure all are infected during this critical early period. Other circumstances that can lead to clinical outbreaks include the introduction of susceptible cattle to endemic areas and the incursion of Babesia -infected ticks into previously tick-free areas.

The acute disease generally runs a course of ~1 wk. The first sign is fever (frequently ≥106°F [41°C]), which persists throughout, and is accompanied later by inappetence, increased respiratory rate, muscle tremors, anemia, jaundice, and weight loss; hemoglobinemia and hemoglobinuria occur in the final stages. CNS involvement due to adhesion of parasitized erythrocytes in brain capillaries can occur with B bovis infections. Either constipation or diarrhea may be present. Late-term pregnant cows may abort, and temporary infertility due to transient fever may be seen in bulls. Lesions (particularly with B bovis ) include an enlarged and friable spleen; a swollen liver with an enlarged gallbladder containing thick granular bile; congested, dark-colored kidneys; and generalized anemia and jaundice. Most clinical cases of B bigemina have hemoglobinuria, but this is not invariably the case with B bovis . Other organs, including the brain and heart, may show congestion or petechiae. Clinically, babesiosis can be confused with other conditions that cause fever, anemia, hemolysis, jaundice, or red urine. Therefore, confirmation of diagnosis by microscopic examination of Giemsa-stained blood or organ smears is essential. From the live animal, thick and thin blood smears should be prepared, preferably from capillaries in the ear or tail tip.

A variety of drugs have been used to treat babesiosis in the past, but only diminazene aceturate and imidocarb dipropionate are still in common use. These drugs are not available in all endemic countries, or their use may be restricted….. Supportive treatment is advisable, particularly in valuable animals, and may include the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, and fluid therapy. Blood transfusions may be life-saving in very anemic animals.

A number of cases of human babesiosis have been reported. The rodent parasite B microti and the cattle parasite B divergens are the most commonly implicated species in North America and Europe , respectively. The reservoir hosts and vectors of some of these species are not necessarily known with any certainty. Human Babesia infections are acquired via bites from infected ticks or through contaminated blood from an infected transfusion donor. Cases reported in splenectomized or otherwise immunocompromised individuals are often fatal. More than 100 species of Babesia have been isolated from domestic animals and wildlife. The following are indicative of those affecting domestic animals, but the list is far from complete. Equine babesiosis is caused by Theileria (formerly Babesia ) equi or B caballi . T equi is a small parasite and is more pathogenic than B caballi . T equi was reclassified as a Theileria (see Theileriases ) in 1998. Equine babesiosis is found in Africa, Europe, Asia, South and Central America, and the southern USA . It is transmitted by ticks of the genera Rhipicephalus , Dermacentor , and Hyalomma . Intrauterine infection, particularly with T equi , is also relatively rare. [Goats and Sheep] can be infected by several species of Babesia , the two most important species are B ovis and B motasi , transmitted by Rhipicephalus bursa and Haemaphysalis spp, respectively. Infection is of importance in the Middle East, southern Europe, and some African and Asian countries.  

Researchers score win in anaplasmosis fight ( Mar. 03, 2020) 

Researchers at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, in collaboration with Iowa State University, have developed a new vaccine delivery platform to produce long-lasting protection against anaplasmosis infections.
Cache Valley Fever

This virus is a mosquito-transmitted cause of infertility, abortions, stillbirths, and congenital abnormalities in sheep and goats. It is most commonly diagnosed in sheep and goats who are due to give birth in the winter, usually before February in the northeast. This corresponds to an exposure of the pregnant dams (during the first 2 months of gestation) to infected mosquitoes during the late summer/early fall.

One Health

On 1 Apr 2019, Shelley Rankin, Ph.D., the chief of clinical microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine, got a surprising notification from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), about a rare antibiotic-resistant e-coli.
Rabies in Texas - cow, human exposure.
Date: Sat 29 Feb 2020. Source: 25abc

The Texas Department of State Health Services (TXHHS) is notifying people who visited the cattle barn at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo on [11 to 13 Feb 2020] they may need to be assessed for possible rabies exposure. A cow in the cattle barn developed rabies and was capable of spreading the virus causing it during those dates, according to TXHHS. The solid black cow was being shown by a student from the Miller Grove ISD in Hopkins County. The cow was only outside of the barn while being shown and loaded and unloaded for transport, said TXHHS. Public health officials have been in contact with the people who were caring for the cow and the animals in nearby stalls, so their risk can be assessed.

Rabies is spread through the saliva of infected animals. Anyone who put their hand in the cow's mouth or nose or had contact between the animal's saliva and an open wound or mucous membranes like the eyes, nose or mouth should be evaluated for rabies exposure. Someone in such a situation should contact their health care provider as soon as possible and explain the situation. People who didn't have much contact with the cow are not at risk of contracting the disease. Rabies can be prevented if treatment is started before symptoms begin, however, once symptoms start, it's almost always fatal. It usually takes between 3 weeks and 3 months for someone exposed to rabies to get sick. Bexar County residents who visited the cattle barn on those dates and have questions may contact the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District at 210-207-8876. People who live elsewhere may contact their DSHS regional Zoonosis Control office.
A Smithsonian team discovered a new coronavirus. The story behind that effort shows what it takes to get ahead of potential pandemics. Theresa Vargas Feb. 8, 2020

Before Marc Valitutto could begin hunting for a deadly virus, he had to find a snake hook for a monk. As a wildlife veterinarian, Valitutto hadn’t received training on how to build trust with people. But shortly after he arrived in Myanmar to look for viruses capable of jumping from animals to humans — such as Zika, Ebola and the coronavirus that is responsible for the current outbreak — he realized he was going to have to learn on the job. He was going to have to prove to locals who had no reason to trust his presence and every reason to fear it that he was there to help. He was going to have to find that snake hook because that monk needed it to handle the venomous reptiles in the caves he protected, and Valitutto needed that monk to let him test bats in those caves. “To even start the work, it took a year and a half of just building that trust,” recalls Valitutto, who works for the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Global Health Program.
It took listening to the priorities and fears of local residents. He says some of their early concerns included: “What are our motives? Are we going to respect their religion, their culture? If we find disease, is it going to destroy their tourism industry or destroy their agricultural industry?”
For so many of us, the emergence of the coronavirus in the Wuhan area of China feels like a sudden threat, a conjured contagion we didn’t know to fear until it was here, in front of our facemask-less faces.
But for the past decade, a team of wildlife experts from the Smithsonian has been working with other organizations across the world to find these zoonotic diseases to reduce their pandemic potential.
The work Valitutto and others did in Myanmar is just one piece of that massive effort, but it is an important one because it led to the discovery of a new coronavirus in bats. That coronavirus — unlike the one that has killed more than 800 people in China,  including a doctor in recent days  — is not believed to pose a health threat to humans at the moment.
Threat level aside, the story behind the discovery is worth unraveling because it shows the painstaking planning, the on-the-ground labor and the widespread collaboration that is needed to get ahead of these viruses. It shows how connected we all are to one another and to the wildlife around us.
Suzan Murray, director of the Smithsonian’s Global Health Program and former chief veterinarian of the zoo, says it was once normal for people to talk about the environment and human health separately. Now, she says, there is a “holistic approach.” There is recognition that human health is tied to the health of the environment and the wildlife in it. “I always knew I would be a wildlife veterinarian,” Murray says. “Since the age of 5, I knew I was going to work with endangered species. But I never thought I would have the chance to affect human lives, so that is exciting and really rewarding.”
Exactly how rewarding though? Is the work that is happening unseen behind the scientific curtain going to keep us safe? I ask Murray as we talk one recent afternoon. “I think we’re vastly more prepared than we were 10 years ago,” she says. “The people behind the curtain know more than they used to.”
The Smithsonian’s Myanmar project and another in Kenya were part of a larger effort called PREDICT, which involved five organizations working in 30 countries for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Emerging Pandemic Threats program. The lead organization was the One Health Institute at the University of California at Davis. Samples collected and tested in Myanmar were sent to the institute, which determined that that coronavirus hadn’t yet been detected anywhere else in the world. It is not believed to have the ability to cause serious health problems.
“We don’t think it poses a big threat to the human population, at least not now,” Murray says. “But you never know what’s going to happen in the future, and at least we have that information.”
Getting that information wasn’t quick or easy. It took years. It required setting up laboratories in Myanmar, establishing partnerships with local government agencies and buying protective gear for humans and GPS collars for bats. It required not only gaining the trust of local residents, but also hiring and training some to do the testing. Without their help, Valitutto says, he couldn’t have navigated sweltering caves that offered little ventilation and housed poisonous snakes and other dangerous animals. “We were going into caves you can’t breathe in,” he says. The caves were often hotter inside than outside, and he along with a team of about 20 locals had to step into them while wearing body suits, goggles and masks. Once inside, they often found themselves standing in bat feces as it fell on them. The team also worked in the night and in torrential rain.
When outbreaks happen, there is a tendency to blame the country where it started for not doing more, Valitutto says. But the work done for PREDICT shows that communities in countries across the world have been working, and working hard, toward the same goal of protecting people. “They’re working alongside us hand-in-hand to prevent these from spreading,” he says. But it’s work that requires ongoing support and funding. “The work that we’re doing is a lifelong thing. It’s a forever thing.”
Valitutto moved to Myanmar five years ago to start the project and remained there until it wrapped up in September. An official meeting to bring PREDICT to a close is scheduled to occur in the District in March. In the past 10 years, Murray says, PREDICT teams have found more than 1,200 new mammalian viruses, including 160 coronaviruses. To find that single Myanmar virus, Valitutto estimates his team collected as many as 1,000 bats and took more than 10,000 samples from saliva and feces. They also went beyond disease detection. They studied human behavior in the region to understand the ways in which the virus might jump.
Many of the caves serve as holy places, and custom calls for people to take off their shoes and socks, leaving their feet exposed, Valitutto says. Bats in that region, similar to China, are also eaten and sold in wild animal markets. Experts say the outbreak that has infected tens of thousands of people probably resulted from a wild animal market in Wuhan. Bats were quickly identified as a likely culprit. More recently, a new possible suspect emerged — the pangolin, a critically endangered animal that is often killed for its meat and scales.
The pangolin is what initially pulled Valitutto into the wildlife field. It is the most trafficked mammal in the world, and he has spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to save it. During the  SARS epidemic in the early 2000s , he says, some pangolins tested positive for the coronavirus. At that time, he says, it hit him that maybe the best way to help the pangolin is by helping people. Maybe people would stop eating them if they knew they could carry a deadly disease. “I came into my career with a focus on wildlife, and not so much an interest in working with humans,” he says. “Now, I realize cannot save wildlife unless I’m saving people, too.” He is currently working with pangolins and giant pandas for the Smithsonian.
For that work, he has now settled in a new country: China. “Far from Wuhan,” he tells me when we Skype one recent evening. He is in Chengdu, which is about 700 miles from the outbreak’s epicenter.
He has used that distance to reassure his relatives who have called more frequently lately. He has also told them about the precautions the country is taking to keep the virus contained. He is required to wear a mask in public and have his temperature checked three times a day.
Other Americans have fled that region, but Valitutto does not have plans yet to return to the District.
“I have my general fears, but I know the measures that China has taken, and I know how to protect myself,” he says. “I’m not entirely too worried about contracting it.” For him, unlike most people, the threat does not feel new. He has spent years knowing it existed.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/a-smithsonian-team-discovered-a-new-coronavirus-and-the-story-behind-that-effort-shows-what-it-takes-to-get-ahead-of-potential-pandemics/2020/02/07/ec04a21e-49e6-11ea-b4d9-29cc419287eb_story.html?wpisrc=nl_sb_smartbrief
Putting a price on Fido
(JAVMA News , published February 15, 2020)  
How much is that doggy in the window? Turns out, around $10,000. That’s the valuation of the average canine companion, arrived at by authors of “Monetizing Bowser: A Contingent Valuation of the Statistical Value of Dog Life,” published online in the Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis on Nov. 11, 2019. The paper is an attempt to quantify the “value of statistical dog life” using a widely accepted method for calculating the worth of a typical human life. As the authors explain, the value of statistical life is an estimate of the mean dollar value people place on their own lives when making decisions that involve mortality risk. Current estimates of the VSL for the U.S. general population is approximately $10 million per person, they write.                                                                                                                  
The authors surveyed nearly 5,000 dog-owning households about their willingness to pay for a hypothetical vaccine that would reduce their dog’s risk of death from a particular canine virus from 12% to 2% in a given year. Next, participants were asked how much they would be willing to pay for such a vaccine. They were provided specific price points ranging from $5 to $3,000 and asked whether they would be willing to pay that amount. Based on nearly 5,000 responses, researchers identified a mean acceptable price somewhere between $500 and $900. That’s the cost, in other words, of a mortality reduction of 10 percentage points for a dog. Authors converted that figure into a mean valuation for a dog’s entire life, adjusting for such factors as the presence of multiple dogs in a household and known biases present in how people assess risk. The estimate for the value of statistical dog life that they initially arrived at is $6,760. However, the final price they put on a dog’s life is $10,000, “a very round number that both reflects our overall interpretation of the results of our analysis and conveys that we are providing only a first estimate,” the authors write. They go on to suggest several ways the VSDL can be used, including as a basis for valuing loss of companionship with pet dogs in tort cases and as a starting point in custody negotiations during divorce settlements.  
If I could go back': Woman who fed CBD treats to dogs has regrets after one of them dies. https://www.wrdw.com/content/news/I-TEAM-If-I-could-go-back-Woman-who-fed-CBD-treats-to-dogs-has-regrets-after-one-of-them-dies-568146211.html                                                                            

Does your cat really love you?

Benefits (and some surprising science) about owning a pet. Sandee LaMotte, CNN February 21, 2020.
USDA’s Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP), authorized by the National Veterinary Medical Services Act (NVMSA), helps qualified veterinarians offset a significant portion of the debt incurred in pursuit of their veterinary medicine degrees in return for their service in certain high-priority veterinary shortage situations. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will carry out NVMSA by entering into educational loan repayment agreements with veterinarians who agree to provide veterinary services in veterinarian shortage situations for a determined period. NIFA may repay up to $25,000 of veterinary medicine student loan debt per year for eligible veterinarians who can commit to providing veterinary services in a designated veterinary shortage area for at least three years. Please visit the following website:
Veterinary Services Grants                                                                                              
Published on January 15, 2020 - The Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture announced in December 2019 that it had awarded 16 grants totaling $2.9 million to support rural veterinary services and relieve shortages of veterinarians in parts of the United States. The Veterinary Services Grant Program supports two funding categories. Education, Extension, and Training projects are open to universities and state, national, or regional organizations. Rural Practice Enhancement projects are open to for-profit or nonprofit organizations and practices that aim to provide veterinary clinical services in rural areas designated as having a shortage of veterinarians—for example, shortage area CO197 in northeastern Colorado.

Rural Practice Enhancement:
  • Cattleman’s Resource Inc., Brush, Colorado, $125,000, “Expanding veterinary care for food and fiber animals in designated rural veterinary shortage region CO197.”
  • Central Veterinary Clinic PC, Sioux Center, Iowa, $125,000, “Iowa 163—Central Veterinary Clinic mobile IVF unit.”
  • Flyin’ 3 Veterinary Service Inc., Eureka, Kansas, $125,000, “This grant is to purchase veterinary equipment to allow for new and more complete services to be added to our underserved community.”
  • Solomon Valley Veterinary Hospital PA, Beloit, Kansas, $125,000, “KS196 rural practice enhancement—Solomon Valley Veterinary Hospital.”
  • Betsy the Vet Inc., Hardin, Montana, $125,000, “Grant for equipment to expand service in MT166.”
  • Stillwater Veterinary Clinic PC, Absarokee, Montana, $125,000, “Rural practice enhancement: Addressing veterinary shortage in south-central Montana (MT 176).”
  • Clover Acres Livestock Veterinary Services LLC, Mount Holly, Vermont, $125,000, “Improving access to imaging diagnostics for farm animal veterinary patients in rural southern Vermont.”

 Details available at  jav.ma/2019education  and  jav.ma/2019practice .
Continuing Education -
Upcoming Veterinary Continuing Education Events
Most opportunities and dates are likely subject to change…

Food Animal Medicine Workshops
UA Cooperative Extension / ARVMA – varied sites
 Various locations, including: Puerto Rico, TX, GA, FL

July 9-12, 2020
Mississippi VMA Summer Conference at Perdido Beach Resort, MS

July 31 – August 4, 2020
AVMA Annual Convention in San Diego, CA

October 15-18, 2020
American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in Chicago