Welcome to the official web site of the Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association, a professional organization representing veterinarians across Jamaica. We invite you to explore the site and see for yourself who we are and why we do what we do.
DISEASE OF THE WEEK
Ebola and Dogs - Is there any risk to humans?
The recent cases in Spain and the United States involving dogs exposed to persons infected with the Ebola virus has caused much discussion in the veterinary community. In Spain, the dog in question was euthanized sparking much outrage in the animal welfare community. In the case of Dallas, Texas, the dog was isolated and is being cared for while samples of urine and faeces are to be collected at intervals to investigate whether or not the animal sheds any virus.
The truth is that despite all the information we have so far that is strongly suggestive that dogs play no part in the epidemiology of Ebola in humans, there remains some uncertainty as to whether or not they can actually shed virus. A study carried out in Gabon in 2001-2002 during an outbreak in humans, published in 2005, determined that dogs do get exposed to the Ebola virus by consuming dead wild animals or the discharges from infected people but they do not become ill. They develop antibodies against the virus which circulate in the blood and prevent its further entry. If they do not become sick, it is highly unlikely (though not impossible) that they shed the virus in their body fluids.
Appoximately 25% of the dogs sampled were positive for antibodies. None of the dogs samped tested positive for the virus itself, whether they had antibodies or not. With no virus being found, none of those dogs could, therefore, pose a health risk to humans. Also, in all the past Ebola outbreaks, from its emergence in 1976 to the present, dogs have not figured in the process of containing and stopping the spread of the disease.
However, given that the stakes are so high with the severe threat to human health posed by the virus, all precautions must be taken with dogs that are exposed to infected humans, particularly if they have been in contact with blood, vomitus or faecal material. The Texas case is an excellent opportunity to begin the process of investigating whether or not it is possible for dogs to shed the virus between exposure and antibody production (seroconversion).
Until more definitive information is available, all in-contact dogs must be humanely managed with due diligence and care. The veterinary authorities and community must be prepared for such an eventuality with this disease or any other involving humans and animals.
PLEASE CLICK HERE for more a more detailed look at Ebola.
Chikungunya does NOT affect dogs or other animals
It appears that a significant number of Jamaicans are curious as to whether or not dogs are coming down with the Chikungunya virus - "affectionately" called ChikV. It is only natural that such curiosity should surface given the unprecendented epidemic in the human population and the fact that mosquitoes bite dogs too, spreading heartworm disease in the process.
The good news is that it has never been documented that dogs become ill from ChikV even if it happens to be passed to them by mosquitoes. This virus appears to be very specific for humans, since it made the "species jump" from non-human primates (apes or monkeys) in the 1950's in Tanzania. It follows that any signs of illness seen in dogs during this human epidemic will be related to a range of other illnesses that affect these animals and completely unrelated to ChikV.
Also, persons who suspect their dogs have ChikV might be tempted to give them acetaminophen (Panadol(R), Cetamol(R), Paracetamol(R), Tylenol(R)) for pain. This is a dangerous practice since, although the drug will act in pain relief, more importantly it causes liver damage when given to dogs and cats. While dogs may tolerate and recover from a single dose, this can be fatal for a cat. Repeated dosing can send a dog into fatal liver failure. Therefore, it should never be given to these animals.
The public is advised to consult a veterinarian about illness in their animals and the use of over-the-counter human medications as "first aid" for them.
The second regular JVMA General Meeting of the 2014 calendar year took place on Sunday October 5th, 2014 at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston. The meeting was attended by 46 veterinarians - greater than 50% of the current number resident in the island - the largest turnout for a General Meeting in several years. It started promptly, on-time, at 1:00 PM, following arrivals and signing in which began at 12:30.
There were two scientific presentations which were valued at 1.5 CVME credit hours by the Continuing Education Accreditation Committee (CEAC) of the Jamaica Veterinary Board. Dr. Osbil Watson, Director of Veterinary Services and Jamaica's delegate to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), gave a presentation on the structure and status of disease reporting to the OIE followed by a review of a number of currently active diseases around the world, including Rabies, Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea and Porcine Delta Coronavirus, Avian Influenza, Foot and Mouth Disease, and African Swine Fever among others. Dr. Audrie McNab, who lectures in Veterinary Pharmacy in the Pharmacy programme at the University of Technology, gave a refresher course in veterinary prescrition writing. A number of considerations, including certain differences in the abbreviations commonly used by physicians in Jamaica, were covered.
Dr. Nigel Elliott, recently returned to Jamaica from the Cayman Islands and newly employed to the Veterinary Services Division, gave an overview of the upcoming Caribbean Veterinary Medical Association Conference to be held in the Cayman Islands from November 4 - 7, 2014. He encouraged members who have not already done so to register to attend. He noted that the conference was attracting strong registration from North America and beyond, but needed stronger Caribbean participation. He also noted that Jamaican delegates would be given visa waivers by the Cayman government, but they would need to register and submit the required information for the waiver by October 15. All this could be done on the conference website.
The customary discussion of matters arising ensued, including proposals for re-engaging the Ministry of Agriculture on matters of concern following the untimely death of Minister Clarke, plans for World Veterinary Day 2015, the status of the revised Veterinary Act & Regulations and more.
T. Geddes Grant Distributors exhibited products during the meeting, including a number of veterinary-only items and the Poen line of ophthamologic preparations including antimicrobials, anti-inflammatories, glaucoma treatments and diagnostic aids, among others.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:00 PM.
The capacity audience at the October 5, 2014 General Meeting. T. Geddes Grant Distributors were exhibitors, displaying veterinary and ophthalmologic products.
Director of Veterinary Services Dr. Osbil Watson addressing the meeting on the OIE disease reporting system and current diseases of special interest around the world.
Dr. Audrie McNab, lecturer in Veterinary Pharmacy at the University of Technology, is all smiles during her presentation on veterinary prescriptions.
FAREWELL Dr. Lloyd Turner 1924 - 2014
September 28, 2014
One of Jamaica's most accomplished veterinarians and exceptional scientific minds, Dr. Lloyd Everett Turner, was laid to rest on Saturday September 27, 2014. Though Dr. Turner spent his latter years very quietly, away from the activities of today's veterinary world, he was a classic all-rounder in his days of practice, pursuing and achieving excellence in all he did.
Dr. Turner was a 1961 graduate of Tuskegee University's School of Veterinary Medicine, and spent much of his career with the Veterinary Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, taking on roles from Parish Veteinary Officer, Regional Veterinary Officer (1978) to Acting Director of Veterinary Services (1984). He had a long list of accomplishments, including, among many others, an Upjohn awards for outstanding performance in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, development of a surgical technique for the correction of vaginal prolapse in cattle, the development of a vaccine for colibacillosis in pigs. He was a recipent of the Prime Minister's Award.
Dr. Turner was the uncle of the JSPCA's senior veterinarian Dr. Paul Turner.
Dr. Lloyd Everett Turner - 1924 - 2014 - May he Rest in Peace.
Dr. Lloyd Turner
Dr. Patrick Craig completes PhD at University of Liverpool
Dr. Patrick Craig with his Thesis: The effects of the abortifacient parasite, Neospora caninum on bovine foetuses in early and late gestation.
September 27, 2014
Jamaican veterinarian Dr. Patrick Craig has successfully defended his thesis on "the effects of the abortifacient parasite, Neospora caninum on bovine foetuses in early and late gestation" at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom.
Dr. Craig, a 2009 graduate of the People's Friendship University of Russia (PFUR) in Moscow, Russia, was one of five recipients of the 2010 Commonwealth Scholarship and chose the University of Liverpool as the institution at which he would pursue his dream of becoming a pathologist. "My goal since year 3 of vet school was to be a pathologist, because I simply fell in love with it and I think I was just good at the thing. I was initially given the Royal Veterinary College in London to read for the PhD, but then I found out that one of the best pathologists in the country was at Liverpool, so I turned down RVC and applied for UoL."
It was a tough road - four years of hard work, long hours and determination - which led to this moment of triumph and satisfaction for Dr. Craig. "I sacrificed all my time (play and rest time) to make sure that my work would be exceptional. I even got to present it to the rest of the world at an international conference in Perth, Australia and all the great Prof. and Doctors were well pleased to see a piece of work with a different approach. I successfully defended my thesis August 29th, 2014 after a gruelling 4 hour exam. My examiners praised the thesis for its uniqueness and that gave me the extra confidence that I can now work independently and produce meaningful results of the highest quality. The final step on this journey is simply to collect the piece of paper in the December graduation, as life as a PhD student is no more."
Though life as a PhD student is now a thing of the past, Dr. Craig has his sights set on further achievements and intends to work towards Board Certification by the European College of Veterinary Pathology.
Congratulations Patrick from all your Jamaican colleagues and friends!
PLEASE CLICK HERE for information on Neospora caninum.
L-R: Dr. Emanuele Ricci, neuropathologist, Liverpool (internal examiner), Prof. Diana Williams, Veterinary Parasitologist (supervisor), Dr. Patrick Craig (candidate) Damer Blake, Molecular Parasitologist, Royal Veterinary College (external examiner)
Treasure Beach Community Spay-Neuter Clinic September 20 & 21, 2014
September 27, 2014
The Jamaica Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (JSPCA) spay-neuter clinic in Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth was held as planned on September 20 and 21, despite at least two volunteer vets having to cancel particpation having been struck down by the Chikungunya virus.
The final report on the clinic is pending and will be posted as soon as it is available.
The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog.
A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near to his master's side.
He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter with the roughness of the world . He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he was a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains.
When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey thru the heavens.
GEORGE VEST, 1870
SPOTLIGHT ON ILLEGAL PRACTICE
September 14, 2014
The Jamaican news media has shone a spotlight on the issue of illegal practice by non-veterinarians in Jamaica. This comes on the heels of news reports of the stabbing death of a woman in May Pen, Clarendon, in which the alleged perpetrator was reported at being a "veterinarian". The JVMA was quick to issue a release pointing out that this person is NOT a veterinarian and highlighting the incidence of illegal practice across the island by persons pretending to be such.
The press release was as follows:
"The Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association (JVMA) would like to inform the public that the person charged in the brutal murder of a woman in May Pen, as reported in the print and electronic media on September 4, 2014, is NOT a veterinarian nor is he a veterinary technician and has NO affiliation with any veterinary practice, organization or entity.
The Association has been informed by one of our members that the individual did work in their corporate area practice several years ago in a janitorial role but was dismissed.
The JVMA would like to remind the public that a Veterinarian is a veterinary medical doctor trained for at least 5 years in an accredited tertiary institution who must be duly registered by the Jamaica Veterinary Board (JVB) under the Veterinary Act (1976) in order to practice veterinary medicine in Jamaica. The only other official category of veterinary health care personnel is the Animal Health Assistant, otherwise called a veterinary technician who must also receive formal training approved by the JVB and is duly enrolled as such to work under the supervision of a registered veterinarian.
There are also veterinary clinic assistants who may work with veterinarians within their clinical practices, but they have no authority to work on their own outside of the immediate supervision of their employer. The JVMA has lobbied for this category to be regulated by the JVB under a revised Veterinary Act which has been pending for several years.
There are many persons around the country who pretend to be veterinary personnel and engage in illegal practice. The public is advised that all registered veterinary medical doctors possess an identification card issued by the JVB in addition to a registration certificate and an annual licensing certificate. They should ask to see this identification in order to ensure proper, professional health care for their animals.
Click HERE for more information on Chikungunya Virus Disease.
POSITION PAPER ON ANIMAL WELFARE - CLICK ON LOGO ABOVE
WEEKLY DISEASE REPORT. Please click on the logo above to check on important infectious diseases occurring around the world
POSITION PAPER ON ONE HEALTH - CLICK ON LOGO ABOVE
Writer's Credit:Unless otherwise stated, all articles on this page are written by Dr. Paul Cadogan.
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