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Ethics/Welfare, Today's Veterinary News

FDA Commissioner Gottlieb Announces New Resource Guide to Safely Prescribing Opioids

FDA Commissioner Gottlieb Announces New Resource Guide to Safely Prescribing Opioids

Veterinarians are on the front lines when it comes to combating the opioid epidemic that has gripped much of our country. Keeping opioids secure in the veterinary practice, while retaining access for patients who need pain control, is a primary concern.

To address this concern, the FDA published a resource that will help veterinarians comply with federal and state regulations for prescribing, storing, and disposing of these products safely.

In announcing the contents of the new resource guide, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said, “Among the recommendations we’re announcing today for veterinarians is a reminder about the importance of following all state and federal regulations on prescribing opioids to animals for pain management and how to properly safeguard and store these medications to ensure they remain in the legal supply chain dive.”

  • We urge veterinarians to visit the FDA’s official website and check out the resource guide, found in the article “The Opioid Epidemic: What Veterinarians Need to Know.”

Resources To Help Owners Keep Dogs Safe From Canine Influenza

In the United States, 2 strains of canine influenza virus (CIV) have been identified: H3N8 and H3N2. H3N8 was first detected in 2004 and has since been identified in canines in most states. H3N2, which infects canines and sometimes felines, was identified in 2015. Most recently, the state of Massachusetts reported its first cases of canine influenza. Despite the virus’s prevalence in the U.S. for a number of years, many pet owners aren’t familiar with it.

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine noted there has been an increased awareness of CIV due to the release of vaccines. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) remains the most reliable test to diagnose the virus. The Animal Health Diagnostic Center offers a PCR test that can detect any influenza virus in a specimen, not just CIV. For more information, visit ahdc.vet.cornell.edu.1

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is striving to help educate the public about canine influenza, and has gathered helpful resources that are publicly available at avma.org/canineflu.

AVMA’s web page provides information intended to help better inform the public about the virus. Pet owners will find facts about the virus’s origins, transmission, pathology and clinical signs, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention and control.

ACVR Petitions for an Equine Diagnostic Imaging Specialty

Equine imaging is a field that is quickly growing. The American College of Veterinary Radiologists (ACVR) submitted a petition to the American Board of Veterinary Specialties (ABVS) for a subspecialty in equine diagnostic imaging.

According to the proposal for the potential specialty, recognition of the ACVR Equine Diagnostic Imaging Specialty (ACVR-EDI) would provide “dedicated training for equine radiologists to enhance their service to equine practitioners and specialists; further raise the standard of care; and promote research, teaching and academic development, and clinical service.”

The goal of attaining certification for this specialty is not to divide the ACVR into separate large and small animal colleges, but rather to provide a service that has become increasingly necessary. Equine veterinary practice has experienced rapid growth and advancements, and many niche specialties now require more attention. This new certification will address the strongly intertwined areas of equine diagnostic imaging and the expanding field of equine sport medicine.

The specialty would provide a 3-year training program in equine diagnostic imaging including all currently available diagnostic imaging modalities and encompassing orthopedic, soft tissue, abdominal, airway, and cardiac imaging. Certification in ACVR-EDI would become attainable for currently boarded veterinary radiologists who pass the certification exam and for those who undergo ACVR-EDI residency. Non-radiologists who are recognized as specialists in equine diagnostic imaging may participate in a portion of the training for residents.

  • For further information, visit acvr.org.

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