The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, April 14, 1987, Image 1

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Wv\\ The Battalion Vol. 82 No. 135 LISPS 045360 10 pages College Station, Texas v Tuesday, April 14, 1987 Here Kitty, Kitty Joanna Pridgen, a second-year A&M veterinary student, exercises “Delilah” the lioness at the Exotic Animal Center by having the animal Photo by Tom Ownbey chase her around the cage. “Bucky” the whitetailed deer decides to join in on the fun — also from the safe side of the cage. Analysts deem Texaco’s filing ‘superb move’ ,&M team finds new heartworm drug Medicine to make protection of dogs easier for owners By Lisa Vandiver Reporter Dog owners now can do 30-times less work to Jkeep their pets f ree from a commonplace heart- Iworm disease, thanks to a new preventative drug called Heartgard-30. The new preventative has been tested and re searched at A&M by the research team of Dr. IGreg Troy, Dr. Alice Wolf and Dr. Tom Craig, pH associated with A&M’s College of Veterinary |Medicine. Heartgard-30 — the first new development in Iheartworm medicine in 25 years — requires giv ing the dog a small pill once a month rather than Ithe once-a-day treatment now offered. Heartgard-30 tablets destroy heartworm lar vae dogs often acquire from mosquitoes. Heartworm disease is a condition in which par- lasitic worms congregate in the right side of the Iheart and adjacent pulmonary blood vessels of a Idog. The worms can grow to 14 inches long with Ian average length of 1 1 inches. Dr. Kenneth Knauer, an A&M professor of veterinary medicine and a cardiology specialist in the small animal clinic, said the disease is trans mitted through the bite of mosquitoes carrying infective larvae. If left untreated, Knauer said, the larvae grow into worms, eventually causing severe damage and possibly death. This area of the country is a prime target area for the disease, he said. The highest area of in fection is along the coasts and river valleys of southern states because of the high mosquito population native to these areas. “All dogs should be treated with a preventative in this area, whether the dog has been diagnosed with the disease or not,” he said. “There is almost a 100 percent chance that a dog exposed to the outdoors in this area will acquire the disease.” The new treatment should cost about $50 to $60 a year, which is congruent with the cost of the current treatment — Dietheyl Carbamazine Citrate (DEC). The cost of treating a dog diagnosed with heart worms, however, could cost between $125 and $500. Dogs currently on DEC can be switched to Heartgard-30 with no problem, Knauer said, but dogs should be checked by a veterinarian before beginning new treatments. Symptoms a dog owner should look for in de tection of the disease, Knauer said, is lack of en ergy or development of a cough. A dog sus pected of having the disease should be taken to a veterinarian as quickly as possible. “If a dog develops heartworms and it goes un treated, depending on how many worms are con tracted, the dog could die within the year,” Knauer said. The new preventative comes in a blister-sealed wheel similar to a birth control package, Knauer said, and has heart-shaped stickers for owners to place on their calendars as reminders of the treatment. In addition, the pills are smaller and easier for dogs to swallow than DEC. It is available in three doses for three sizes of dogs. Dogs should begin the treatment at about six weeks of age to ensure a longer and healthier life free of heartworms, Knauer said. The new drug should be available at the begin ning of May through A&M’s small animal clinic and throughout the state. NEW YORK (AP) — The multi- billon-dollar legal war between Tex aco Inc. and Pennzoil Co. took a turn in Texaco’s favor with Texaco’s filing for protection under federal bankruptcy laws, industry analysts said Monday. In taking the step, Texaco re lieved itself of the necessity of post ing a potentially debilitating security bond against the roughly $1 1 billion judgment won by Pennzoil against Texaco in a 1985 Houston jury deci sion. That effectively removed a nego tiating club that Pennzoil had been wielding over Texaco, giving the White Plains-based giant oil com pany plenty of time to negotiate a settlement, they said. This is a benefit to Texaco be cause the more time it has, the more chance it has of winning a reversal of the decision, and the more time Pen nzoil has to wait to get its money — or some part of the award. In addition, by putting its fate in the hands of a federal bankruptcy judge, Texaco also opened up the possibility that it could lose its ap peals all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court — but still wind up better off, said Bruce Lazier, an analyst at the Prescott, Ball & Turben Inc. securi ties firm. “Pennzoil could win the final suit,” he said. “But it’s up to the bankruptcy judge to determine how much Texaco is going to pay.” In addition. Lazier noted, Pen nzoil will have to stand in line for its money with other creditors whose claims are not backed by Texaco as sets. “I think it was a superb move,” La zier said of Texaco’s filing for reor ganization under Chapter 11 of bankruptcy law. “They had little choice. Their banks, their creditors, their suppliers were starting to shut them down.” In announcing the move Sunday, officials of the White Plains, N.Y.- based Texaco insisted the company will be conducting business as usual while reorganizing its finances. A few industry watchers sug gested, however, that this view was optimistic at best. “It’s not mirrors,” said Richard Lieb, a bankruptcy specialist at the Kronish, Lieb, Weiner & Heilman law firm. “It’s a real bankruptcy. Texaco’s got real problems.” One of those problems stemmed from Texaco’s previous warnings that it might file under Chapter I 1 if it could not negotiate a resolution to the Pennzoil judgment. This had en couraged worried bankers, suppliers and others to stop doing business with Texaco out of fear of not get ting paid. Those concerns should be less of a problem now, said Rosario Ilaqua, of the L.F. Rothschild, Unterberg, Towbin securities firm. “First,” he said, “they had $3 bil lion in cash on hand. Second, with Chapter 11, their interest and divi dend payments are suspended — that’s another $1.5 billion; and third, their cash How looks like $3 billion.” Under Chapter 11, Texaco will be free to conduct its business while all debts to creditors remain frozen as it seeks to work out a way to pay the debts. Bill to give SWC schools right to sue boosters AUSTIN (AP) — Texas senators gave quick approval Monday to a bill that would let Southwest Conference members sue ambitious boosters who get their alma maters into NCAA violations. The bill goes to the House for fur ther action. The measure, by Sen. John Mont- ford, D-Lubbock, received no debate or opposition. “This is the product of a year of research,” Montford told the Senate. “We consider this a workable ap proach to an increasing problem.” Montford’s bill would give col leges and universities and their re gional associations, such as the Southwest Conference, the right to bring suit against individuals whose actions result in sanctions against schools by the NCAA. Colleges and universities cur rently have no recourse against boosters who are not associated di rectly with the schools but bring on the suspensions by their violation of NCAA rules. “Four of the nine Southwest Con ference schools are on probation now, mostly because of these viola tions,” Montford said. “This has caused the loss of ticket revenue and the loss of TV revenue and other costs. This bill would allow civil suits to be filed.” Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos, D-Aus- tin, asked if the bill would cover the board of governors of a university, in apparent reference to Gov. Bill Clements’ former role as chairman of the Southern Methodist Univer sity board of governors. Montford said, “This would allow SMU or the conference to bring suit, but not the board of governors. I would think if this bill had been in effect SMU probably could sue for several millions of dollars.” Attorneys say Texas should not be fined for prison conditions HOUSTON (AP) — The state is making a good faith effort to comply with court-ordered prison reforms and should not be fined $800,500 a day for failure to meet those reforms, state attor neys said Monday. “The state is in substantial compliance,” special assistant at torney general F. Scott McCown said. “What we’re asking the court to do is vacate those fines.” U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice on Dec. 31 found the state in contempt of an agreement to improve prison conditions and gave the state un til April 1 to comply or face fines of $24 million a month. The fines were delayed pending the out come of the hearing that began Monday and was expected to con tinue most of the week. “They are not delivering the necessities of life — like clothing, plumbing, heating,” William Ben nett Turner, attorney for the in mate plaintiffs, said. “There are a number of issues.” Attorneys for both sides said they did not expect Justice to is sue an opinion from the bench, but instead take the matter under advisement. The state also has appealed the fines to the federal appeals court in New Orleans, which has not yet ruled in the matter. James Lynaugh, the interim di rector of the Texas Department of Corrections and the leadoff witness called by the state, out lined what he said were increases in staff hiring within the depart ment and the pressure he put on the governor and Legislature to comply with the court orders. Lynaugh said the department was recruiting additional medical staff even before the Legislature made an emergency $12.6 million appropriation to pay salaries for the new help. “We did everything short of hiring these people,” he said. Lynaugh also noted that the numbers of corrections officers, psychological and rehabilitation aides and supervisory officers also exceeded the court guidelines, and that he had asked for total compliance in his budget request to the Legislature for 1988-89. Brazos’ planned parenthood center out of funds, forced to increase costs By Kelley Bullock Reporter Since Planned Parenthood of Bra zos County expended its Title 20 funding from the government in February, many women at Texas A&M cannot afford to pay for birth- control pills and examinations. “The Title 20 fund is available for agencies that provide family plan ning and health care for indigent people,” Sally Miller, Planned Par enthood clinic director, said. “We have a contract that is renewed an nually on a bid basis, and there’s just so much that is available for a partic ular area of the state.” On Sept. 1, 1986, Planned Paren thood was given a contract for $89,000. “We use this money in the method that is prescribed by the state until the money is all gone,” Miller said. “When the funding is no longer available, in order to keep the bills paid, we have to charge for services. We’re giving the maximum amount of care with the minimum amount of pay, in order to keep the doors open.” Miller said Planned Parenthood exhausts Title 20 funds every year. When first informed of the higher prices of pills and examinations, workers at Planned Parenthood said they were too high. “Students would come in for the first time and receive services for a reasonable rate,” Terry Delagarza, a Planned Parenthood worker, said. “They would come back four months later, and the funding would be gone. They were very disappoin ted.” Of the 10,880 visitors to Planned visit would cost $25 or less, including a full examination and four cycles of pills. Since funding has ceased, the ex amination costs $36 and each cycle of pills costs $3 to $4. Although the prices seem high, Miller said, most still can afford them. “When you consider the cost of an “Students would come in for the first time and receive services for a reasonable rate. They would come back four months later, and the funding would be gone. They were very disappointed. ” — Terry Delagarza, Planned Parenthood worker Parenthood since 1986, about 70 percent, or 7,616 patients, were af filiated with A&M. Women must be at least 18 to use the services. About 50 people per day visited Planned Parenthood when Title 20 funding was available, but, after funding was lost, visitors dropped to about 35 or 40. “The decrease in visits per day may be a result of the loss of funds, or it may be related to the depressed economy of this community,” Miller explained. When it was available, a typical exam, especially when it’s being paid by both a woman and a fellow, it’s not really expensive,” Miller said. “People go to dinner and to a movie, and it costs almost that much. “So we’re not talking about some thing that is totally out of reach for most of the students. It’s just such a big change from what it was before. “If students would think, ‘Yes, it’s more expensive, but it is a good buy and it’s something I need to do for myself,’ then they would realize it was a good bargain.” Compared to prices of $3 to $4 for pills at Planned Parenthood without the Title 20 funding, prices for pills at pharmacies cost at least three times as much. On the aver age, prices of pills range from $12 to $14 if purchased at pharmacies. If students cannot afford to pay for pills and an examination at Planned Parenthood, Miller advises using an alternative form of birth control. “Foam and condoms are ex tremely inexpensive and students can get them cheaper here than in the stores,” Miller said. “We pass out three free condoms, and they’re very effective if used properly. “Also, if students are on their par ents’ insurance, sometimes the insur ance will cover these visits, depend ing on the kind of insurance,” she said. A&M students also can receive birth-control pills and an examina tion at the A.P. Beutel Health Cen ter on campus. An examination costs $ 13 for the lab work and pills cost an initial $2 for filling the prescription plus $3 for each cycle. Title 20 funding is still available to other Planned Parenthoods in Texas. Possible effects from the loss of Title 20 funds, such as an increase in unwanted pregnancies, are too diffi cult to measure. Miller said.