Looking for county fair veterinarians, and warmer weather means H-A-B's are on the rise

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board of animal health

Animal Bytes

May 2023

Harmful Algal Bloom season in Minnesota

Algal Bloom

**Alert** the City of Minneapolis announced an algal bloom in Lake Harriet earlier this week.**

As the weather in Minnesota begins to warm, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) advises veterinarians to be on the lookout for possible illnesses and deaths related to harmful algal bloom (blue-green algae) exposure. Although harmful algal blooms (HABs) often occur in late summer, local testing programs have found they can occur at any time, including the spring, early summer, and late fall. Additionally, to better understand the incidence and geographic distribution of HAB-related illnesses in Minnesota, MDH requests veterinarians report suspected or clinically diagnosed cases of HAB-related illness to the MDH Waterborne Diseases Unit.

Pets can be more easily exposed to HABs because they do not naturally avoid swimming in or drinking from green, smelly water. Animals can be exposed when they wade in, swim in, or drink from contaminated waterbodies. Pets can also be exposed to the toxins when they lick algae from their fur while grooming.

Symptoms animals experience during illness depend on the type of toxin present in the water and how the animal is exposed (i.e., ingestion, skin contact, or inhalation). Additionally, the severity of the illness depends on the amount of water and algal cells ingested, the animal’s body size, the amount of food in the animal’s stomach, and the sensitivity of the species and individual animal.

Common symptoms experienced include vomiting, diarrhea, rash, difficulty breathing, general weakness, liver failure, and seizures. In the worst cases, animals may suffer convulsions and/or die. Symptoms generally begin minutes to hours after exposure to the toxins.

Reporting forms for animals along with additional resources for veterinarians, including clinical features, differential diagnoses, and treatment options are on the MDH website. Report cases by phone to 651-201-5414 or 877-676-5414 or by fax to 1-800-233-1817.

Keep reading...

County fair veterinarians can step right up and earn CE credit on May 24

County fairs are about to kick off and we need fair veterinarians to take this quick refresher on their official duties, and review state rules and common scenarios they may encounter. Join Dr. Katie Cornille for a midday webinar and earn a CE credit on Wednesday, May 24 at 1 p.m.

The webinar is hosted on Microsoft Teams. View event details, Dr. Cornille’s bio and register for the webinar online.

County fairs are about to kick off and we need fair veterinarians to take this quick refresher on their official duties.

Keep up the biosecurity: avian influenza detected in backyard flock

A Nobles County backyard flock tested positive for HPAI this week and it serves as a reminder that the virus is still in the environment. Here are some quick backyard flock biosecurity tips to protect your birds:

Circle the calendar! Beginning June 11, livestock owners must obtain a veterinarian’s prescription to purchase certain animal medications.

The FDA is issuing a new rule to ensure the judicious use of medically important antimicrobials. The Veterinary Feed Directive rule was established in 2017 and made the vast majority of antibiotics used in animal medicine into veterinary feed direction drugs or prescription drugs. The FDA works to ensure antibiotics are only for the treatment, prevention and control of disease under the guidance of a veterinarian.

The latest guidelines enforce a prescription requirement for over-the-counter drugs such as injectable penicillin, tetracycline, sulfa drugs, oral medications like neomycin, and intramammary tubes like those used to treat mastitis.

Veterinarians are not allowed to simply write prescriptions for clients they don't know and animals they've never worked with, they need to have a veterinary client patient relationship. Livestock producers need to talk to a veterinarian about their animals and their needs today, because after June 11 it may take longer than usual to get certain medications if you aren't a regular client.

Lawmakers pass language to add a member to the Board

On May 6, the Omnibus Agriculture, Broadband and Rural Development appropriations Conference Committee passed language to add an additional member to the Board of Animal Health. If passed into law, this would increase membership to seven members and the new member would need to be a companion animal veterinarian. The Bill has since passed the House and Senate.

The next stop for the bill is to be signed into law by Governor Walz.