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The Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA) is the only statewide professional membership association dedicated exclusively to the profession of veterinary medicine and the interests of the veterinary team. The focus of our association is professional development, advocacy, and practice vitality to ensure the continued success of our members.


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Veterinary Task Force on Feline Sterilization for Age of Spay and Neuter Surgery

Posted By Jaime Markle, Thursday, September 27, 2018

Veterinary Task Force on Feline Sterilization for Age of Spay and Neuter Surgery

Did you know that the AVMA has recently endorsed the consensus document from the Veterinary Task Force on Feline Sterilization for Age of Spay and Neuter Surgery, which recommends cats not intended for breeding be sterilized by five months of age? In attempting to determine the level of understanding of, and agreement with this endorsement the Marian’s Dream Foundation which created the Feline Fix by Five campaign is asking that you complete a very brief survey. This should take less than 5 minutes of your time.

Take Survey

The survey will remain active until the end of December 2018.

The Feline Fix by Five campaign was started a few years ago to promote sterilization of cats on or before 5 months of age. This campaign is in response to the number of cats that are euthanized in shelters all across the United States. Female cats can come into heat and become pregnant by 5 months of age and unplanned unwanted litters of kittens make up a significant percentage of the cats relinquished to animal shelters. Research has repeatedly demonstrated that there are no long-term adverse effects of ovariohysterectomy or castration of cats under 5 months of age.

If you would like to know more about this endorsement please read the following:

While there is a growing debate about the most appropriate age to spay or neuter dogs, this debate does not include cats. There is no research that shows that early-age spay or neuter of cats is associated with any orthopedic issues. The only proven association between the incidence of cancer and early age sterilization in cats is a marked decrease in mammary neoplasia in cats that are spayed prior to their first heat cycle.

Given the positive impact on population dynamics and lack of adverse physiologic effects of early age spay or neuter in cats, the Feline Fix by Five campaign has been endorsed by numerous professional and humane organizations. These include:

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2018 Hall of Fame Awards Presented at Keystone Veterinary Conference

Posted By Jaime Markle, Thursday, September 27, 2018

2018 Hall of Fame Award Winners

The Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association and the Pennsylvania Veterinary Foundation proudly presented the 2018 Hall of Fame Awards During our annual Hall of Fame Luncheon, which was held at the Keystone Veterinary Conference (KVC) on August 16, 2018. Together they recognized some of Pennsylvania’s and veterinary medicine’s finest!

View Winners

View Photo Album

Tags:  ahaa  animal  association  avma  award  awards  campaign  cats  ceremony  endorsement  fff  five  fix  hall of fame  kvc  luncheon  members  neuter  petsmart  sterilization  survey  veterinarian  veterinarians 

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Controlled Substance Prescriptions Survey

Posted By Jaime Markle, Thursday, September 20, 2018

Controlled Substance Prescriptions Survey

Dear Colleagues:

As the opioid crisis grips the nation, states are looking to the veterinary profession as a potential source of additional regulation to quell diversion and abuse. In many states, veterinarians are required to log into that state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) database every time a controlled substance is dispensed. In other states, veterinarians are completely exempt from any additional type of regulation beyond what is required by the DEA and the state board of pharmacy. In others, veterinarians are required to self-report all controlled substance prescriptions on a regular basis to the state department of health. When Pennsylvania introduced its PDMP several years ago, the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA) was successful in convincing legislators that veterinarians should be exempt. The law that was passed exempted our profession from being a mandatory reporter of dispensed controlled substances.

Because the opioid crisis has increased in intensity, we again face the possibility of being included as a mandatory reporter of dispensed controlled substances. Our state legislators in Harrisburg have enlisted PVMA’s assistance to try to determine the most effective and equitable course of action in Pennsylvania with regard to the veterinary profession. In an effort to be part of the solution to this debilitating epidemic, PVMA is working cooperatively with lawmakers to identify where veterinarians can be beneficial.

Our goal is to provide legislators with data that actually reflects the real prescribing, dispensing, and administering practices of the profession and dispel the myths that currently exist about our potential role in the epidemic. The first step in this effort is fact gathering, through this survey. Please take the time to answer the questions as accurately as possible. The survey consists of 30 questions and should take about 15 minutes to complete. Please answer to the best of your ability.

Take Survey

Thank you so much for your help. We are working hard to advocate for you as a member of our profession. If you are not currently a member, we encourage you to join our efforts at


Mary Jane McNamee, JD, VMD

PVMA's Legislative & Regulatory Affairs Committee

Tags:  answer  legislators  opioid  prescription  profession  questions  substance  substances  survey  veterinarian 

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3-Part Video Series: Poultry Respiratory Diseases

Posted By Jaime Markle, Thursday, September 13, 2018

Check out these helpful videos from Penn State Extension about poultry respiratory diseases:

Preventing Respiratory Disease in Small Poultry Flocks

Common Respiratory Diseases of Small Poultry Flocks

Getting Help for Respiratory Diseases in Small Poultry Flocks

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Congratulations Dr. Harvey: 2018 Global Scientific Achievement Award

Posted By Jaime Markle, Thursday, September 6, 2018

Dr. Colin Harvey

Champion of Veterinary Dentistry to receive the 2018 WSAVA Scientific Achievement Award

PVMA wanted to congratulate one of our members, Dr. Colin Harvey, as he has been awarded the WSAVA 2018 Global Scientific Achievement Award that will be officially presented to him at the upcoming WSAVA Congress in Singapore at the end of the month. Dr. Harvey has devoted his career to veterinary dentistry in small animals and made many great advancements in the field. In addition to this, though, he has also been a champion for animal health and welfare in all areas. PVMA President, Dr. Bryan Langlois, first met Dr. Harvey when they were both appointed to the Canine Health Board as part of the revamped Dog Law in 2008. Bryan found him to be incredibly knowledgeable and fair in all aspects we were asked to deal with during that time. Always one to give back, he has also been a regular volunteer at events like the PA Farm Show PVMA booth, answering questions and sparking young minds that will hopefully go on to follow in his footsteps to make animals happier and healthier, one pearly white tooth at a time. PVMA cannot think of a more deserving recipient of such a prestigious award!

About the Award Recipient:

Excerpt from official press release

Emeritus Professor Colin Harvey is the recipient of the prestigious 2018 World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Award for Scientific Achievement in recognition of his work to highlight the importance of veterinary oral and dental conditions in companion animals and in developing tools to support the incorporation of dental procedures and dental preventive strategy into daily veterinary practice. The Award, given annually to an individual judged to have made a significant contribution to the field of small animal medicine, will be presented during this year’s WSAVA World Congress, which takes place from 25-28 September in Singapore.

Colin Harvey graduated from the University of Bristol School of Veterinary Sciences before completing an internship and surgical residency at the University of Pennsylvania. He was trained in dental procedures by faculty of the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Until his retirement in 2013, he was Professor of Surgery and Dentistry at the University of Pennsylvania, a position he held for 33 years. As a Boarded Specialist in both Surgery (ACVS, 1972) and Dentistry (Charter Diplomate of AVDC, 1988), he introduced a full range of oral and maxillofacial surgical procedures into clinical, teaching and research activities. This led to improvements in the major oral surgery reconstructive techniques necessary for cancer patients, as well as in the management of oral trauma and congenital and acquired oro-nasal defects. On his retirement, the Penn Vet Dental and Oral Surgery Operatory was named in his honor.

His interest in the relationship between oral health and systemic health in companion animals led to collaborative work that resulted in confirmation of the epidemiological findings in humans that worsening periodontal disease is associated with distant organ (kidney, liver, heart) pathology. He developed the Penn Canine and Feline Periodontal Scoring spreadsheet, which takes into account the wide variation in the size and shape of teeth in dogs and cats when scoring the severity of periodontal disease; this spreadsheet is now in use by veterinarians around the world. As a result of Emeritus Professor Harvey’s passion for veterinary dentistry, he was a founder member of the first veterinary dental organization, the American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS). He was also a member of the Organizing Committee and first President-Elect of the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC), later serving as Secretary of AVDC for 14 years. He also organized the group that founded the Veterinary Oral Health Council®, of which he has been Director for 20 years. VOHC is an independent product recognition entity that awards its Seal of Acceptance to products that meet or exceed its standard for retarding accumulation of dental plaque and/or calculus in dogs and cats.

During WSAVA World Congress, he will give one of a series of lectures presented by 2018 WSAVA Award winners. His lecture is entitled: ‘Periodontal Disease – Systemic and Distant Organ Associations in Dogs and Cats; Facts or Conjecture’. Commenting on the Award, Professor Gad Baneth, Chair of the WSAVA’s Scientific Advisory Committee, commented: “Professor Harvey has made outstanding contributions to the understanding of veterinary oral health and has influenced both the science and practice of veterinary dental medicine worldwide."


Read Press Release


Tags:  cats  dentistry  disease  dogs  health  medicine  procedures  professor  surgery  veterinarians 

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August 15 is Check the Chip Day

Posted By Jaime Markle, Thursday, August 2, 2018

Save the Date: August 15 is "Check the Chip Day"

Check the Chip Day is meant to serve as a reminder to pet owners to check and update their pets’ microchip registration information. Microchips are very effective for identifying lost pets and reuniting them with their families, but the happy ending can’t occur if the microchip registration isn’t correct – or if the chip has never been registered at all.

Share this infographic with your clients to help spread awareness.

Infographic: Microchip Your Pet

Tags:  ahaa  aug15  avma  avmaplt  checkthechip  chip  conference  continuing  DVM  DVM360  education  fetch  homeagain  Kvc  microchip  microchipping  pavma  pets  pvma  swvs  vet  veterinarian  veterinary  vetgirl 

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2018 Small Business Advantage Grant Now Available

Posted By Jaime Markle, Thursday, July 26, 2018
Photo credit: Pixabay

Update: Funds Still Available!

2018 Small Business Advantage Grant Now Available

The Department of Environmental Protection’s 2018 Small Business Advantage Grant is now available. This grant provides Pennsylvania small businesses the opportunity to acquire energy efficient or pollution prevention technologies with a 50% matching grant for equipment or materials.

Who is eligible?

  • Pennsylvania small businesses with fewer than 100 employees are eligible to apply.
  • Applicants must be for-profit entities, be located in Pennsylvania, and registered with the Pennsylvania Department of State. 
  • Eligible projects must save the applicant a minimum of $500 annually and reduce their costs by a minimum of 25%. 
  • Applications are reviewed and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. 

New this year is the opportunity for small businesses in the Agricultural Sector to implement natural resource protection projects designed to reduce nutrient and sediment runoff into the Commonwealth’s streams and rivers. Eligible projects will include riparian buffer plantings, installation of exclusionary streambank fencing, or other agricultural stormwater best management practices as defined in the official Grant Guidance Document. Natural resource protection projects are exempt from the $500/25% minimum savings, however, the projects must be able to quantify nutrient and sediment runoff from the receiving waterway. Our staff can assist with those calculations.
Also new this year, we’ve created short instructional videos to assist applicants with completing the application. The videos are project specific (Lighting Upgrades, Medical X-Ray Upgrades, Natural Resource Protection, and All Other Projects) and are designed to make the application process as easy as possible. I highly recommend viewing the videos before starting the application process.

All documents needed to apply for the grant, as well as the instructional videos, can be found at the bottom of the Small Business Advantage Grant webpage. If you have any questions, please feel to contact Caroline Zepp at 717.772.5160.  


Visit Site


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Posted By Jaime Markle, Friday, June 1, 2018

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The following ‘SPECIAL NOTICE TO VETERINARIANS’ was recently posted by the State Board of Veterinary Medicine.


In July 2007, the Board of Veterinary Medicine amended its regulation related to recordkeeping to specifically address the records that must be kept by a veterinarian participating in a public health or animal health vaccination clinic. The minimum required veterinary medical record must include an identification of the client and patient, the vaccine lot number, and the date and dosage administered. In contrast to the record required for a vaccination clinic, the veterinary medical record for a patient with which the veterinarian has established a valid veterinarian client patient relationship must reflect the complete evaluation and treatment of the patient.

The Board has received a number of complaints regarding animal health vaccination clinics at which, in addition to providing animal health vaccinations, veterinarians or those under the veterinarian’s supervision are administering, prescribing, or dispensing drugs such as flea/tick treatments and heartworm preventative drugs. In order to administer, prescribe, or dispense any treatment, biologic, or drug other that an animal health vaccination, a veterinarian is required to establish a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship and create and maintain complete veterinary medical records on the patient. Establishing a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship requires and appropriate, complete physical examination and history of the animal, and recording the findings related to function of all body systems in the patient’s
veterinary medical record, as set forth in the Board’s recordkeeping regulation, 49 Pa. Code §31.221.

The Board’s mission is to protect the public, which includes ensuring that consumers understand the services they choose for their animals.

View Notice



The parameters of an “appropriate” examination may depend on the circumstance under which the veterinarian is seeing the animal. By way of example, a veterinarian is not required to examine the ears of an HBC animal brought to the veterinarian suffering from profuse bleeding in order to commence treatment, including administering drugs.



Tags:  animal  clinic  clinics  drugs  health  patient  treatment  treatments  vaccination  vaccine  veterinarian 

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New Brucella Canis Tests Available At PADLS

Posted By Jaime Markle, Friday, June 1, 2018

Brucella canis bacteria

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons 

New Brucella Canis Tests Available At PADLS

Authored by: David L Thompson MS, PhD, and Deepanker Tewari BVSc PhD DACVM

Canine brucellosis is an important, incurable reproductive disease of dogs that is caused by Brucella canis. Natural transmission of canine brucellosis can occur by several routes. B. canis organisms are present in abundance in aborted material and vaginal discharge. Shedding of B. canis may occur for up to six weeks after an abortion. Semen, seminal fluid and urine from infected males have also been shown to be sources of infection. The organism can be present in blood, milk, saliva, nasal and ocular secretions, and in the feces. Carrier animals shed the organisms intermittently and present a risk to other dogs and even for humans. The carrier animals must be identified and removed from the breeding population to stop the spread of disease.

Diagnosis of canine brucellosis is best accomplished by use of diagnostic aids such as serology, PCR and culture.  PADLS-Harrisburg now offers both serology and culture tests for B canis detection. The lab has recently expanded serology test offerings for detection of canine brucellosis.  The Rapid Slide Agglutination Test (RSAT), both with and without 2-mercaptoethanol (2-ME), will continue to be used as an initial screening tool.  While this test produces few false negative results, false positive results are common.  Previously, a serum sample yielding an “RSAT pos./RSAT-2ME neg.” result would prompt a request for a client to resubmit another serum sample after 4 weeks to distinguish an acute from a chronic infection. In an infected animal, this follow up testing conducted after 4 weeks normally will show the RSAT-2ME test to be positive following conversion of IgM to IgG antibodies against Brucella.  However, in a number of scenarios we examined, when a second sample was received, no change was seen in the original reactivity.  This result prompted us to introduce additional tests during primary screening in our testing algorithm to address false positives.  In addition to the RSAT -/+ screening test, clients can now request the B. canis indirect immunofluorescent antibody (IFA) test.  The IFA test, is a supplementary screening tool and can help resolve false positives seen with the RSAT test--particularly when RSAT is positive and the RSAT-2ME is negative.  Generally, an “RSAT pos./RSAT-2ME pos.” result indicates infection.  These samples were previously forwarded to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory for performance of the Tube Agglutination Test (TAT+2-ME) confirmation.  The TAT+2-ME test is a semi-quantitative test with increased specificity.  The TAT+2-ME test has now been validated by PVL and is offered as a follow up test.  This new test reduces both the turn-around time and the client shipping fee required for forwarding samples. The serological testing strategy used at the lab is summarized in the diagram (below). 

B canis serology algorithm at PADLS

The isolation of B. canis from a clinical specimen remains the diagnostic gold standard, but because of intermittent shedding, up to 3 consecutive cultures may be necessary to rule out the disease in suspect animals. Recently, PVL added culture option too to enhance the B. canis diagnostic test options. Clinicians should consider B. canis anytime reproductive problems occur whether chronic or acute and all dogs for breeding purposes should be screened for brucellosis.

For more details, visit




PADLS-Pennsylvania Veterinary Laboratory is located at 2305 N Cameron St. Harrisburg, PA.


Tags:  antibodies  blood  breeding  brucella  canine  canis  carrier  cultures  diagnostic  disease  dogs  infection  organisms  padls  positives  reproductive  risk  sample  screening  serum  specimen  test  testing  urine 

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Summer Holiday Safety Tips For Pets

Posted By Jaime Markle, Thursday, May 24, 2018

For many of us, summer holidays means backyard barbecues, drinks, and fireworks. While this can make for a fun holiday for neighbors, friends, and family, it can be bad news for your pet. While it may seem like a great idea to reward Rover with scraps from the grill and bring him along to watch fireworks, in reality some festive foods and products can be potentially hazardous to your pets. 

  • Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets. If ingested, the animal could become very intoxicated and weak, severely depressed or could go into a coma. Death from respiratory failure is also a possibility in severe cases.
  • Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.
  • Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which could potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing—or even kidney disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin, and if ingested can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. If lighter fluid is inhaled, aspiration pneumonia and breathing problems could develop.
  • Keep your pets on their normal diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pets severe indigestion and diarrhea. This is particularly true for older animals who have more delicate digestive systems and nutritional requirements. And keep in mind that foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes and raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals.
  • Do not put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with it. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the 
    plastic containers.
  • Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach. Ingestions can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in pets.
  • Never use fireworks around pets! While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.
  • Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for pets, so please resist the urge to take them to Independence Day festivities. Instead, keep your little guys safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home.


Get Fact Sheet


This information was provided courtesy of the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)

Tags:  4th of July  alcohol  avocado  barbecues  chocolate  citronella  crowds  dangers  deet  diarrhea  fire  fireworks  flames  grapes  hazardous  holiday  inhale  intoxicated  Labor Day  lethargy  Memorial Day  party  people food  poison  raisins  safety  salt  summer  sunscreen  toxic  trauma  vomiting  yeast 

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