The Farewell Toast

“The time has come the walrus said, to speak of many things…” But in this case I need to amend that line. I’m here to speak of only one thing – change.

The AZ St Vet’s blog is moving to a new home. If you are subscribed, that connection should remain so that any new posts will generate a notification to your email. Subscriptions to RoamingTheRange.Com will be disabled. If you wish you may (re-) subscribe there – as soon as I have it up and running.

This change is because today I take my leave from being AZ St Vet. It’s been an interesting sojourn. I am infinitely wealthier for the relationships that have been given the opportunity to flourish.

Thank you for your time and attention and in many cases, your help.

I will leave you with the very fitting words of a fellow Tar Heel. (The title is a link which will take you to a YouTube of his studio recording.)

The Farewell Toast

 – Mike Cross

Here’s to the wine we love to drink
And the food we love to eat.

Here’s to our wives and sweethearts,
And may they never meet.

Here’s champagne for our real friends
And real pain for our sham friends.

And when this journey finally ends,
May all of us find peace.

Here’s to the women that I’ve loved
And all the ones I’ve kissed.

As for regrets, I’ve just have one
That’s all the ones I’ve missed.

Ah, women’s faults are many. We men have only two:
Every single thing we say and everything we do.

I wish you health; I wish you wealth
And happiness galore.

I wish you Heaven when you die,
What could I wish you more?

May your joys be as deep as the ocean;
Your troubles as light as its foam.

And may you find sweet peace of mind,
Wherever you may roam.

Good Night.

2015 Livestock Camp in Holbrook Arizona


Livestock camp is a time for educating youth in proper techniques of choosing the right animal, feeding, grooming, showing and overall how to produce a quality product.

I was impressed with the turn out for the 2015 livestock camp. Approximately 60 young people attended with the majority from our state but also some were visiting from California.

Arizona Department of Agriculture was invited to take part in providing some of this education. We really appreciated having this opportunity to build relations and advise this audience on how they can help decrease chances of becoming contaminated with disease and what roles they can play in eradicating disease. We also discussed animal traceability, along with how diseases are spread and ultimately what happens to the end product (food!) if the system fails.

If you are interested in learning more about Livestock camps around the state, please contact Steve Lackey (


HPAI Traces From IA Into AZ

For those of you who are wondering about the situation concerning poultry shipments into AZ, here’s the latest information on the poultry and game bird chicks and eggs shipped from an IA farm which later broke with HPAI.

The Mohave County birds all tested negative for HPAI and Newcastle disease (another bird disease which is very similar to avian influenza for which we monitor) on initial testing. Virus isolation tests are being conducted to ensure no latent infection is present. This will take a few weeks. Rarely will samples that are negative on screening tests show a positive result on virus isolation, but it is possible.  So these results are helpful and encouraging, but not yet final.

The eggs which were shipped to Santa Cruz County were taken from Arizona to Mexico.

The eggs which were shipped to Yavapai County were seized per statutory authorities provided under ARS §§ 3-1203 et seq and subsequently destroyed.

The owner of the chicks shipped to Pinal County opted for USDA indemnification. Those birds and other birds living in that coop were humanely euthanized. Other birds on the premises are being tested.

All quarantines remain in place until the state vet is satisfied there is no threat to the poultry industries in the state.

The spread of HPAI does seem to be slowing in the upper midwest. But please continue to be vigilant and exercise caution when you consider buying birds or hatching eggs.

Kearney River Fire

Did you know the folks in the Department’s Livestock Service and the State Vet’s Office respond to various disasters?

On Wednesday June 17, 2015 around 3:30 pm, Arizona Department of Agriculture received a phone call from the Pinal County Sheriff’s Dispatcher requesting assistance near the town of Kearny with livestock which were threatened by the Kearny River Fire.

By 7:00 pm, ADA-Animal Services Division had deployed 5 Livestock Officers, 3 Livestock Inspectors (including one with a horse and roping experience), 1 Assistant State Veterinarian, 8 trucks, 6 livestock trailers, 1 mobile veterinary unit and 1 Incident Response trailer.

The ADA response team was dismissed at noon on Thursday June 18, 2015.  During deployment, ADA personnel assisted several area residents with fire-related livestock issues including evacuating livestock, providing veterinary medical assistance, and escorting residents to retrieve feed and to check on the status of livestock left in evacuated areas.

Thanks to all folks and organizations who responded and provided assistance.


VSV Dwindling

Our Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV) outbreak continues to dwindle (hopefully away soon.)

At this time we have one quarantine in place in central Arizona in the vicinity of the Verde River. We also have one now near the Salt River in Mesa, not too very far from one of the earliest positives.

We have had much fewer reports over the last several weeks. But it seems we are not past this outbreak just yet. I’ll also add just a word of caution, the folks in TX and NM have also had a couple more cases show up in the last week.

Bug Borne Disease Update

A couple of points from a report AZ Dept Health Services released yesterday concerning what’s going on in 2015:

  • 34 mosquito pools have tested positive for West Nile virus; all positive pools were identified in Maricopa County
  • 13 confirmed or probable cases of Rocky Mountain Spotted-Fever (RMSF)
  • 14 suspect cases of RMSF

Keep those mosquitoes and ticks at bay!

VSV Update

Our VSV situation definitely seems to be winding down. Now let’s hope it goes away completely!

We had 1 new suspect case reported last week in the general vicinity of the Verde River in central AZ. Along with just a few reported the last week of May.

At the moment we are looking promising (NO GUARANTEES) for having no VSV quarantines in about one more week.

National Weekly VSV Situational Report

PEDV Surveillance Underway

Since July 1, 2014, Arizona Department of Agriculture has been trying to reach all Arizona pig producers to determine what our state’s pig population is and provide information on PEDV biosecurity measures necessary to prevent the spread of this disease.

Although this is still an ongoing process, we are also conducting surveillance studies at many of the points of congregation in an effort to see if the disease is actually present and spreading unnoticeably. Multiple samples have been taken from the highest pig traffic areas as well as the transport vehicles delivering the pigs to the fairgrounds.

To date, the results have been negative for PEDV and we hope this will remain true as we continue with surveillance studies throughout the year.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns about this study please feel free to contact me at or 602-542-0799.

VSV Update – Maricopa County

A horse in the west valley which had been the focus of a VSV investigation was released yesterday after results from the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, IA confirmed the horse was negative for VSV.

Currently the outbreak is still confined to areas generally along the Verde River.

Equine Flu in BLM Burros

Thanks to Dr. Anderson of Kingman for alerting us to this matter. He has definitively diagnosed Equine Influenza A in a group of burros near Oatman, AZ. These burros are part of the BLM herd in the Black Mountains area near Oatman.

Please keep this in mind if you are riding in the area along with discussing the situation with your veterinarian.