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Need a New Year's resolution? How about making sure your pet is healthy by maintaining its ideal weight? It is just as important for your pet to be at an ideal weight as it is for you! Below are some questions you should consider when thinking about your pet's health.

pugs and scale

Is my pet overweight?
Dr. Ken Lambrecht, Medical Director at West Towne Veterinary Center, recommends using the 1 to 9 Purina Body Condition Score (BCS) approach to determine if your pet is overweight. This is accomplished by feeling the pet's ribs and trunk and lumbosacral area (around the hips). By feeling their ribs just behind the foreleg, you should be able to verify if your pet is overweight. It should feel the same as your fingers below your knuckles when you make a fist. If you cannot feel the ribs easily in this area, your pet may be overweight. Muscle condition should be scored at each veterinary visit as well and is especially important in older cats that tend to lose muscle mass.

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As you navigate the slippery sidewalks outside this winter, members of the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association (WVMA), want you to be aware of the dangers associated with commonly used sidewalk salt.dog in snow

"Sidewalk salt/deicers can often be a hazard to dogs for several reasons. The most commonly used deicer is rock salt, Sodium Chloride, because it is inexpensive and effective at melting ice on sidewalks," says WVMA Member, Dr. Kevin Landorf. "It is dangerous to dogs because it is irritating to their paws, and toxic if ingested."

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With the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association (WVMA) wants to help keep your pets safe. As you prepare for all the parties and festivities, please keep these tips from WVMA Member, Dr. Ann Sherwood Zieser in mind.

1. Leftovers

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By Stephen A. DiTullio, DeWitt Ross & Stevens s.c.

One key to conducting a thorough workplace investigation and/or performance evaluation is to document the investigatory work regarding the alleged wrongdoing, misconduct, and/or unsatisfactory performance. Such documentation is particularly important in order to defend against employment claims of discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation. However, it is not sufficient just to document – rather it is imperative that documentation must be prepared carefully and professionally. Keep in mind that today’s performance evaluation or disciplinary warning is tomorrow’s evidence.

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Freshly carved turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, homemade stuffing and pumpkin pie; the classic Thanksgiving meal. But what sounds perfect for you, may not be what's best for your pet.

This Thanksgiving, the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association (WVMA) would like to share tips to help keep your pets happy and healthy.

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alliance logo

By Leslie Ptak, OSHA compliance assistance specialist

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By Bryan C. Esch, DeWitt Ross & Stevens s.c.

If you are an owner of your own veterinary medicine clinic, your practice is probably your most valuable asset. You invested years of hard work and thousands of dollars getting your education and degree, being trained in the practice of veterinary medicine, and building up your practice in your community.  Your practice is the way you earn your living and help your patients and clients. One mistake, fire, natural disaster, employment dispute, health problem or disability may leave you with significant liabilities that could bankrupt you and your practice. As with any valuable asset, you should keep your practice, professional reputation and ability to earn a good living safe and secure by obtaining a comprehensive package of insurance.

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Over the past several years, the WVMA has become acutely aware of the increasing mental health and substance abuse stresses that our professionals are experiencing.  Survey studies by mental health experts have quantified the challenges facing some of our colleagues.  Articles in our press have made us aware of this issue. The stresses of veterinary school and practice can combine to create depression, anxiety, and even suicide for some of our colleagues.  

In a cooperative effort to provide additional resources for our profession, the WVMA worked with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and Governor Walker’s office to get authorization for the creation of a Professional Assistance Program for Veterinarians and CVTs included in the 2017-19 state biennial budget bill.  The program is funded with existing license fees and will be a much-needed resource for Wisconsin veterinary professionals who are struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues. This is a major victory for veterinarians in Wisconsin.  The WVMA will be working with DATCP as this program is developed.  We extend our thanks to DATCP and the Governor’s Office for their recognition of this need for our profession and the commitment to creating this professional assistance program.

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Over the past several years, the WVMA has become acutely aware of the increasing mental health and substance abuse stresses that our professionals are experiencing.  Survey studies by mental health experts have quantified the challenges facing some of our colleagues.  Articles in our press have made us aware of this issue. The stresses of veterinary school and practice can combine to create depression, anxiety, and even suicide for some of our colleagues.  

In a cooperative effort to provide additional resources for our profession, the WVMA worked with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and Governor Walker’s office to get authorization for the creation of a Professional Assistance Program for Veterinarians and CVTs included in the 2017-19 state biennial budget bill.  The program is funded with existing license fees and will be a much-needed resource for Wisconsin veterinary professionals who are struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues. This is a major victory for veterinarians in Wisconsin.  The WVMA will be working with DATCP as this program is developed.  We extend our thanks to DATCP and the Governor’s Office for their recognition of this need for our profession and the commitment to creating this professional assistance program.

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The Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association (WVMA) awarded Mary Ann Hittle, DVM, of Menasha, with the WVMA Veterinarian of the Year Award at its 102nd Annual Convention on Thursday, October 12. 

 Hittle
 Dr. Scott Spaulding and Dr. Mary Ann Hittle

Dr. Melinda Wright, a past associate of Dr. Hittle’s, has witnessed the dedicated following of clients she has gathered during her 38 year career.

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4610 S. Biltmore Lane, Suite 107
Madison, WI 53718
Phone: (608) 257-3665
Fax: (608) 257-8989
Email: wvma@wvma.org

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