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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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FDA Recall Alert: March 27, 2018

Posted By Jaime Markle, Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Recall Alert

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has issued recalls on the following pet food:

Veterinary practices, please share with your clients. Pet owners, if your pet has consumed these recalled products please contact your veterinarian.



Tags:  fda  laboratory  owners  pa  pet focused brands  pet food  pet owners  pets  recall  united states  usda  veterinarian  veterinary profession 

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Veterinarians to Share the Love for Chester County Senior Citizens' Pets

Posted By Jaime Markle, Thursday, March 22, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Veterinarians to Share the Love for Chester County Senior Citizen’s Pets

The Pennsylvania Veterinary Foundation (PVF), the charitable arm of PVMA, will be hosting a Share the Love event on Saturday, April 28, 2018, at the Phoenixville Area Senior Center located at 153 Church Street, Phoenixville, PA 19460. This veterinary care event is for dogs and cats of local senior citizens and will feature local veterinarians and technicians sharing the love of their profession and animals by donating their time to provide:

  • Basic exams,
  • Vaccinations,
  • Flea and tick treatment,
  • Microchipping, and
  • Nail trims.

This event coincides with World Veterinary Day, which is celebrated annually on the last Saturday in April. Share the Love will be from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.

PVF began sharing the love for senior citizens in Chester County in 2016 when it created its Henry’s Helping Paws Fund. This pilot program began with a partnership with Meals on Wheels in Chester County. It provided free pet food to senior citizens’ pets, which allowed owners and their beloved pets to stay together. In an effort to expand the program to not only offer pet food, but to also provide veterinary care grants to the animals, PVF was able to secure a grant from PetSmart Charities®. This grant made the Share the Love event possible, along with The Last Chance (TLC) Fund, PVF’s grant program that helps to pay for veterinary care for animals in need.

Who qualifies for a free veterinary exam?

Seniors, age 62 and over, who are on a fixed or low income and are located in Chester County, PA are eligible for this event. Seniors who would like to take advantage of these free services are encouraged to call PVF at 888.550.7862 to make an appointment for their pet or click here. This is an appointment-only event, and unfortunately, cannot accommodate walk-ins. This event will provide basic care for pets. PVF will provide a care voucher up to a certain amount that can be redeemed at a participating veterinary practice in Chester County. 

How can PVMA members you help? Sign up to volunteer that day!

We are looking for veterinarians, CVTs, veterinary assistants and CVPMs to help us at the event. To sign up as a volunteer, click here.




Tags:  care  cat  cats  dog  dogs  exam  free  pets  PetSmart Charities  senior citizens  veterinary medicine  volunteer  wellness  World Veterinary Day 

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Heroes for Healthy Pets Program Helps Veterinary and Pet Businesses Maintain Disease-Free Facilities

Posted By Jaime Markle, Thursday, March 8, 2018
Updated: Thursday, March 8, 2018

Heroes for Healthy Pets Program Helps Veterinary and Pet Businesses Maintain Disease-Free Facilities

Infectious Disease Management Certification Program Launches 

LAS VEGAS, Nev., March 5, 2018 – Over the past few years, the incidence of infectious disease outbreaks in dogs in the United States has increased, and one of the best ways to combat this growing risk is through education and proactive healthcare for dogs. Today at the 90th annual Western Veterinary Conference, Clorox Healthcare and Merck Animal Health (known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada) in coordination with the International Boarding and Pet Services Association, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, Pet Sitters, International, VETgirl, and Barkleigh Productions, are proud to announce the launch of the Heroes for Healthy Pets™ Infectious Disease Management Certification Program to educate veterinary and pet professionals on the risks of infectious diseases. The program provides best practices for preventative care, including strategic vaccination and cleaning and disinfection protocols to help maintain disease-free facilities and keep pets healthy. 

“The Heroes for Healthy Pets™ certification program provides essential support to the veterinary and pet professional community to help keep pets healthy,” said Michael Cavanaugh, DVM, DABVP (Emeritus), chief executive officer of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). “The program is complementary on VetFolio and provides professionals an excellent opportunity to better understand infectious diseases and preventative care.”

The Heroes for Healthy Pets™ Infectious Disease Management Certification Program consists of two free educational modules taught by three renowned veterinary experts in infectious disease: Understanding Infectious Diseases led by Dr. Jason Stull and Dr. Michelle Evason, and Effective Infectious Disease Control led by Dr. Melissa Bourgeois.

“Dogs that are social or visit pet facilities, such as doggie daycares and boarding kennels, are at higher risk for infectious diseases, such as canine influenzai,” says Dr. Ernie Ward, America’s Pet Advocate and supporter of the Heroes for Healthy Pets™ program. “Fortunately, through better understanding of infectious diseases and preventative care, including effective vaccination and cleaning and disinfecting protocols, we can help keep pets healthy when they enjoy travel and play.”

The Heroes for Healthy Pets™ certification is free and open to all veterinary and pet professionals. To become certified, participants must complete both educational modules and pass the certification exam. The certification provides two hours of Registry of Approved Continuing Education (RACE) approved continuing education credits for veterinary professionals. Individual pet professionals and veterinary and pet care facilities can also apply for certification.  
In addition to the certification, the Heroes for Healthy Pets™ program also supplies veterinary and pet businesses with the following resources:

  • Heroes for Healthy Pets™ Podcasts, a collection of educational podcasts on infectious diseases hosted by Dr. Courtney Campbell 
  • Heroes for Healthy Pets™ Infectious Disease Handbook, a resource for all pet professionals written by experts in infectious disease, including information on viral and bacterial pathogens and best practices for infection prevention
  • Heroes for Healthy Pets™ promotional materials to help pet businesses promote their “Hero status,” including a virtual marketing toolkit consisting of template e-Blasts, social media content, signature badges, and website banners, as well as educational tools for pet owners. 

“Merck Animal Health is very excited to partner up with Clorox Healthcare and these other great organizations for this program,” says Dr. Madeleine Stahl, Associate Director, Scientific Marketing Affairs. “The Heroes for Healthy Pets™ certification program was created to help veterinary professionals and pet businesses create facilities dedicated to being disease-free.” 

For Clorox Healthcare, the collaborative program was a natural fit. “Vaccination, hand hygiene and cleaning and disinfecting all play a vital role in preventing infectious diseases,” said Sarah Bell-West, PhD, Scientist, Clorox Healthcare. “These practices serve as the foundation of efforts to help keep pets happy and healthy and the Heroes for Healthy Pets™ program will help empower more veterinary and pet care professionals with the education and resources they need to keep their facilities clean, healthy and infection-free.”

To learn more about the Heroes for Healthy Pets™ Infectious Disease Management Certification Program or register for certification, visit Attendees at this year’s WVC annual conference can also visit the Clorox Healthcare booth (#1315) and Merck Animal Health booth (#3527) to learn more. 

About Merck Animal Health

Merck is a global health care leader working to help the world be well. Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada, is the global animal health business unit of Merck. Through its commitment to the Science of Healthier Animals™, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest range of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. Merck Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit or connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter at @MerckAH.

About Clorox Healthcare

Clorox Healthcare understands that safeguarding veterinary medicine and pet care environments requires advanced and evolving solutions. We offer a broad range of innovative disinfectants like bleach, hydrogen peroxide, and enhanced UV technology, as well as cleaning and odor removal products and hand hygiene solutions designed for the needs of healthcare professionals.  Our comprehensive portfolio offers best-in-class solutions to help reduce the risk of infection in your facility and protect patients, staff and visitors. For more information, visit or follow @CloroxHealth on Twitter.


Media Contacts:

Katherine Vossen

Brad Ferris


i Stull, JW, et al. Risk reduction and management strategies to prevent transmission of infectious disease among dogs at dog shows, sporting events, and other canine group settings. JAVMA. September 15, 2016, Vol. 249, No. 6, 612-627.


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Tags:  canine  certificate  disease  healthy  heroes  infectious  pets  shelter  veterinary medicine 

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FDA Recall Alert: February 15, 2018

Posted By Jaime Markle, Thursday, February 15, 2018
Updated: Monday, February 26, 2018

Recall Alert

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has issued recalls on the following pet foods:

Veterinary practices, please share with your clients. Pet owners, if your pet has consumed these recalled products please contact your veterinarian.



Tags:  dog  eating  fda  food  owners  pet  pet focused brands  pets  puppy  rawhide  recall  salmonella  usda 

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Football Parties And Hazards For Our Pets

Posted By Jaime Markle, Thursday, January 18, 2018
Updated: Thursday, January 18, 2018

Football Party Hazards

Football Parties And Hazards For Our Pets

by Greg Wiley, Senior Manager, Public Relations
Petplan Pet Insurance

With the conference championship games this weekend and the Super Bowl on Feb 4, there are sure to be a fair share of house parties to watch the games. Football fare is nearly irresistible for dogs — especially when sitting at eye-level — but even cats can grab a piece of the action. Unfortunately, furry fans who intercept game day grub are likely to catch more than they bargained for.  Pet parents can find themselves at the emergency room, dishing out cash to treat their sick pup instead of high fives for great plays.

Petplan pet insurance encourages would-be revelers with pets to think carefully before serving the following:

  • Brew-hoo — Just like people, some animals have a taste for beer. But think twice before pouring your pet a pint: even a nip can cause fatal respiratory depression. 
  • No bones about it — Chicken wings have especially fine bones, which can splinter easily and puncture the GI tract. Besides, the sauces are virtually guaranteed to cause an upset stomach.
  • Not fun-ion — Onion rings are doubly dangerous: onions in any form are poisonous to pets and fried foods can cause diarrhea.
  • (Don’t) pick ‘em — Toothpicks make a nice presentation for cubed meats, cheeses and other appetizers, but can cause severe and potentially fatal damage to pets’ GI tracts, if swallowed.
  • Aw, nuts! — Many nut varieties have a devastating effect on dogs’ nervous systems. Walnuts and macadamias are especially toxic and can cause vomiting, paralysis and even death.

Costs for pet parents can range from an average of $830 for treating onion toxicity to thousands of dollars for GI tract surgery.

Here are some tips from Petplan Staff Veterinarians on how to avoid that costly trip to the ER.

  • Start with a game plan - For some pets, the temptation may simply be too great. If that’s the case, seek alternative arrangements before hosting, or consider leaving your pet at home, if attending.
  • Watch the turnovers - When begging doesn’t work, dogs may resort to linebacker tactics: playing smart and aggressive. Encourage guests to minimize the risk of fumbling food by sitting at a table or using snack trays.
  • The best defense is a good offense - Go for the extra point by keeping pet-friendly snacks handy for hounds with hungry eyes. Better yet, go for two with pigskin-themed pet treats!
  • Don’t leave it all on the field - Keep an eye on unattended plates and cups — and make sure to clean up promptly. Even if they’re blocked at the line of scrimmage, sufficiently motivated dogs will run the end-around without a second thought.

Read more


More about Petplan

Petplan is the world’s #1 pet insurance provider, with over 280 dog years’ experience keeping tails wagging and pets healthy. More than a million pet parents around the globe trust us to protect their best friends with confident coverage and first-class service that's second to none. 

Did you know...

Petplan gives the Pennsylvania Veterinary Foundation (PVF), PVMA's charitable arm, $10 for every insurance plan that uses the promo code INS0398? This money helps to run PVF's community-based programs like The Last Chance Fund, Henry's Helping Paws Fund and the PVF Scholarship Fund.  

Plus, when you enroll online, you SAVE 10%. Visit Petplan to get a 10% discount when you enroll online. Just be sure to use promo code INS0398c. 

Tags:  eating  football  game  instructions  pets  safety  super bowl 

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FAQs about Medical Marijuana in Companion Animals

Posted By Jaime Markle, Friday, August 25, 2017
Updated: Friday, June 1, 2018

Medical Marijuana

FAQs about Medical Marijuana in Companion Animals

By Carrie Jurney DVM DACVIM (Neurology) 

With the rise in popularity of medical and recreational marijuana in humans, it follows that people will be curious about using these products in their pets. This is still a tricky subject for the veterinarian, as evidence is lacking and legality is questionable at best for our patient population. 

As a practicing neurologist in San Francisco, it’s a conversation I have frequently. This prompted me to research the efficacy, safety and legality of these products for veterinary patients. Here’s what my investigations have shown: 

Is it legal to prescribe? 

The short answer is medical marijuana is not legal to prescribe for companion animals anywhere in the United States. There has yet to be a state that included veterinarians in the legal language for their medical marijuana laws, so regardless of the laws for human consumption in your state, veterinarians are in no way excluded from the federal law. 

It is equally important to note that the AVMA and the FDA state that these products are not known to be safe nor efficacious. 1, 2 When I contacted the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Board about their recommendations, they stated that there have been no specific policy or regulations made on this subject. 

What about supplements? 

There are supplements widely available on the internet, many are based on cannabidiol or CBD. There are several pet focused brands. The legal definition of these products is still under debate. In December of 2016 the DEA announced a new definition for marijuana that included CBD as a marijuana extract, and therefore a Schedule 1 substance.3 The Hemp Industry Association has responded, and there is legal action pending, that this designation violates Sec 7606 of the Farm Bill which allows for the legal sale of cannabis based products with less than 0.3% THC.4

Is it safe?

Marijuana is a fairly safe product in terms of fatal toxicity. There have been only 2 reported fatalities from marijuana toxicity in 338 clinical cases in the veterinary literature, although one of these studies noted that the volume of cases seen for toxicity has risen sharply with legalization.5,6

It is also important to note that across many studies in human medicine there are consistent reports of adverse effects associated with medical use. Doses and formulations that would be well tolerated in our veterinary species are still not known. 

An additional concern are reports of pesticides in dispensary obtained marijuana products. In one such report 84% of tested samples had unacceptable levels of pesticides.7 Legal regulation and enforcement of pesticide use on marijuana is still in development in most states.  

Does it work? 

There is interesting and emerging research on a variety of uses for medical marijuana for conditions like pain, seizures, nausea and cancer. Many of these studies do show statistically significant therapeutic action of these substances. As a neurologist, I have been particularly interested in the current research of CBD in pharmacoresistant epilepsy in children, for which there have been successful trials.8, 9 However, it is important to note there is no current evidence for efficacy in veterinary species. The limited bioavailability data we have in dogs does suggest that dogs metabolize these products differently than humans, so we should be cautious when directly translating the human literature to our patient population. 10, 11

The Clinical Pharmacology lab at Auburn University is currently offering free cannabinoid monitoring in hopes of establishing an assay for toxicity and efficacy. You can submit samples via their webform

What do I say to my clients? When asked about these subjects from clients I say the following:

“I understand there is a lot of interesting information out there about marijuana. The truth is that we do not yet know what doses and formulation are safe or have any positive effect in pets. We do know from years of experience that pets can have some negative side effects from marijuana ingestion, so that makes me cautious. The research in humans is really interesting, but very new, and no research has been done in dogs (cats, horses, etc). Additionally, it is illegal for me to prescribe it, as veterinarians are not included in state medical marijuana laws.”


Dr. Carrie Jurney

Carrie Jurney DVM DACVIM (Neurology) 
President, Jurney Veterinary Neurology, Redwood City, California


  1. AVMA@WorkEditor. "A Sign of the Times: Medical Marijuana Use and Veterinary Medicine."AVMA@Work Blog. AVMA, 16 July 2013. Web. 01 July 2017.
  2. Office of the Commissioner. "FDA and Marijuana: Questions and Answers." U S Food and Drug Administration Home Page. Office of the Commissioner, 30 June 2016. Web. 01 July 2017.
  3. Drug Enforcement Administration. "Establishment of a New Drug Code for Marihuana Extract." Federal Register. Office of the Federal Registrar, 14 Dec. 2016. Web. 01 July 2017.
  4. Hemp Industries Association. "Hemp Industries Association Responds to DEA Final Rule Regarding ‘Marijuana Extracts’." Hemp Industries Association News & Press Releases Hemp Industries Association, 16 Dec. 2016. Web. 01 July 2017.
  5. Meola, Stacy D., et al. "Evaluation of trends in marijuana toxicosis in dogs living in a state with legalized medical marijuana: 125 dogs (2005–2010)." Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care 22.
  6. (2012): 690-696. 6. Janczyk, Pawel, Caroline W. Donaldson, and Sharon Gwaltney. "Two hundred and thirteen cases of marijuana toxicoses in dogs." Veterinary and human toxicology 46.1 (2004): 19-20.
  7. Angle, Patrick, and Steep Hill Labs, Inc. | Ste. "Steep Hill Launches New High Detection Cannabis Pesticide Testing in California." Steep Hill Press Release (n.d.): n. pag. Steep Hill Labs, 19 Oct. 2016. Web. 1 July 2017.
  8. Devinsky, Orrin, et al. "Cannabidiol in patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy: an open-label interventional trial." The Lancet Neurology 15.3 (2016): 270-278.
  9. Cross, J. Helen, et al. "Cannabidiol (CBD) reduces convulsive seizure frequency in Dravet syndrome: results of a multi-center, randomized, controlled trial (GWPCARE1)(CT. 001)." Neurology 88.16 Supplement (2017): CT-001.
  10. Samara, E. M. I. L., M. E. I. R. Bialer, and R. A. P. H. A. E. L. Mechoulam. "Pharmacokinetics of cannabidiol in dogs." Drug metabolism and disposition16.3 (1988): 469-472.
  11. Samara, E. M. I. L., and M. E. I. R. Bialer. "Pharmacokinetics of the dimethylheptyl homolog of cannabidiol in dogs." Drug metabolism and disposition 16.6 (1988): 875-879.

Tags:  avma  cancer  cbd  companion animal  distribution  does  legality  marijuana  medical  medical marijuana  nausea  oil  pain  patient  pet focused brands  pets  pharmacy  prescription  products  seizures  supplements  toxicity  veterinarian  weed 

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