Rabies Information for Veterinarians
Dear Maryland Veterinarian:
This letter is to provide you
with information and resources regarding rabies prevention and control in
Rabies Information for
Rabies is a
preventable viral disease of all mammals that is usually transmitted by the
bite of a rabid animal. It is caused by viruses in the genus Lyssavirus and
is nearly always fatal once symptoms appear. In Maryland, rabies is most
frequently found in wildlife, most commonly raccoons, foxes, skunks, and bats.
Domestic animals, including livestock, are also at risk, and cats are the most
frequently identified rabid domestic animal. In 2020, 255 animals tested
positive for rabies in Maryland, including 35 cats, 2 livestock, and 2 coyotes. READ MORE.
This survey is a collaborative effort being conducted with representatives from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, the Virginia Department of Health, D.C. Health, the D.C. Veterinary Medical Association, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Department of Human Development and Family Science at Virginia Tech. The only people who will see survey responses are the survey personnel. To learn more about the survey and the professionals leading this study, please visit the webpage
The overarching goal of this research is two-fold. On one hand, it is an exploration into the reasons why veterinarians are experiencing increased rates of mental health issues during COVID-19. On the other hand, this research gives participants an opportunity to examine their role in the veterinary community and change current trends. Those who participate in this survey will be asked to react to a range of concepts and statements that speak to their own mental health, personal and professional relationships, and perspectives on seeking help for mental health concerns. We view mental health as an essential component of overall wellbeing. By choosing to participate, you are helping to inform the development of future resources that will be customized to support you and other veterinarians through this unprecedented time.
TAKE THE SURVEY HERE
For questions about the survey, contact: Dr. Jody Russon at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Brandy Darby at email@example.com.
(April 22, 2021) - Back in September 2020, the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners recommended that curbside service was the safest way for most hospitals to operate. Though this was never a requirement, many hospitals implemented and continue to maintain curbside service because it was the Board’s best advice at the time.
Governor Hogan recently announced increased capacity limits on outdoor and indoor dining, retail businesses, religious facilities, and personal services. Masking, physical distancing, and other safety protocols remain in place. (Read the Press Release.) (Read the Order).
Because the risk varies widely across the state, and from practice to practice, the Board does not have one recommendation that is now suitable for all practices. The Board is encouraging each practice to consider its own risk and set of circumstances and determine the safest way to operate while following all laws, public health guidance, and keeping the safety of the veterinary staff and clients as the top priority.
If you have not been vaccinated yet, you can sign up for text alerts by texting MdReady to 898211 and visiting the official website often for the most current information at https://covidlink.maryland.gov/content/
Helpful Resources: -
(April 7, 2021) - As we start thinking about licensing renewal for next year, please ensure that all your contact information is up to date with us. State regulations require that both your personal contact information as well as your employment information be current with the Board.
You can check your personal/home information by logging into your portal account and checking your profile.
Most licensees can check their employment info by going to the public portal, searching on your name and then click on it. If you are practicing at a Maryland hospital, the name of the hospital should come up. If it doesn’t, you need to let us know where you’re working. (If you are not practicing in Maryland or you are working in some other area, such as in research or public health, please ensure that we have that information in our database. If you're not sure whether we have it, send it in again.)
You can update your personal and employment information online easily. (You must use the email we have on file for you to make any changes.)
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are a Responsible Veterinarian (which is sometimes referred to as the Medical Director), then you and your hospital owner must notify us within 30 days if you are joining or leaving a practice. You must send a letter to the Board office. (A scanned copy with a signature emailed in is sufficient.)
REMINDER TO HOSPITAL OWNERS. Every veterinary hospital must have a designated responsible veterinarian at all times and must inform the Board of any change in responsible veterinarians within 30 days. We suggest verifying who the responsible veterinarian of record is, making certain that the responsible veterinarian is aware of the designation and understands the responsibilities that go with it.
Remember - any change in ownership requires a new license and, in some cases, an inspection. For more information.
The Veterinary Practice Act and related Code of Maryland Regulations are on our website for easy reference HERE.
(August 18, 2020) - The American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) has released the following: "Some veterinary licensing boards are reporting that their licensees are receiving phone calls from people claiming to be staff from the licensing board in an attempt to obtain sensitive license or personal information. The callers will often falsely claim the licensee is under investigation or their license is in danger of being suspended. The phone numbers that appear on the caller ID can sometimes appear authentic. This is a common fraud technique known as spoofing. Scammers appear to be impersonating the DEA as well."
Note: All Maryland State Board and staff members are listed by name on our website. If anyone contacts you and it sounds “off,” please feel free to call us back or call the office to verify it's really us. Let's be safe out there!
Licensing Deadline Set for Sept. 30
(July 28, 2020) Veterinary licenses usually expire on June 30 of every year; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the State of Emergency, the deadline date was extended. The new deadline for renewing licenses that expired June 30, 2020 is now September 30. This applies to veterinary licenses, hospital licenses, animal control licenses, and those three-year RVT licenses that expired June 30, 2020.
If you have not yet renewed your license and you are practicing in Maryland, be sure to do so by Sept. 30. If you are not practicing in Maryland but want to remain licensed here, you have until June 2020 to renew but a $100 late fee will be applied to renewals starting October 1.
If you aren’t sure whether you need to renew or not, check the online look up on the portal. If you do not come up, you have not yet renewed. If you best way to reach us with questions or concerns is by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Read the Secretary's Order
Continuing Education Update
(October 25, 2019) - The State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners has received several inquiries asking if the Board intends to inspect for and enforce USP 800- Hazardous Drugs—Handling in Healthcare Settings. The short answer is: the Board does not currently intend to inspect for compliance with USP 800, but that does not mean that veterinary practices should ignore the standards.
The U.S. Pharmacopeial (USP) Convention is a nonprofit scientific organization with a mission “to improve global health through public standards and related programs that help ensure the quality, safety, and benefit of medicines and foods.” USP itself has no authority to enforce any of its standards. The standards established in USP 800 do not carry the force of law unless they have been specifically adopted, at either the federal or state level, by way of a law or regulation. Currently, the Maryland Veterinary Practice Act and related regulations do not specifically require compliance with USP 800. In addition, the Maryland Board of Pharmacy, which has incorporated certain USP standards into its regulations governing pharmacies, has not adopted USP 800 at this time.
However, this does not mean that USP 800 is irrelevant to veterinary practices. The USP 800 standards promote worker safety, as well as the safety of patients and animal owners who come into contact with hazardous drugs.
Any veterinary practice that uses the hazardous drugs to which USP 800 applies – especially any practice treating animals with any kind of cancer - would be well served to study USP 800 and follow the standards. Although Board inspections will not specifically address compliance with USP 800, if inspectors see a practice that appears to pose a specific hazard to workers, animal patients, or animal owners, the Board may address the issue through its existing regulations governing professional conduct and professional judgment and/or refer the concern to OSHA or other relevant agency for further inspection.
In the event of an OSHA inspection or a private lawsuit alleging harm caused by unsafe handling of hazardous drugs, the USP 800 standards may be viewed as reflecting the prevailing standard of care.
Keep in mind that other agencies, such as OSHA/MOSH, the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Maryland Department of Health impose requirements on veterinary practices which are not reflected in the Board's regulations. Veterinary practices should take care to ensure they are fully cognizant of all the laws and regulations that impact their particular practices, not just those specifically enumerated in the Practice Act.
(June 14, 2019) - Johns Hopkins Medicine is currently enrolling human participants in a research protocol, Novel Diagnostics for Early Lyme Disease. Since canine owners may be exposed to ticks carrying Lyme disease while engaging in activities with their canine pets, they are asking veterinarians to help expand study awareness and outreach to people who develop early Lyme disease with a bull’s eye rash. Read the Hopkins Letter. See the Lyme Poster. For more about the study, see: EarlyLymeStudy.org.
50 Harry S. Truman Parkway, Annapolis, MD 21401