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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Animal & Veterinary

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Get into the Holiday Spirit with some OMUMS Holiday Trivia!

by Melanie McLean, DVM, Center for Veterinary Medicine, FDA

Answer TRUE or FALSE to the following questions.


  1. “OMUMS” is short for CVM’s “Office of Chrysanthemums.”
  2. The two turkeys pardoned by the president on Thanksgiving Day are a minor species.
  3. The reindeer that ran over Grandma on Christmas Eve had antlers so it was a male.
  4. Around 1220, Saint Francis of Assisi, the Patron Saint of animals, celebrated Christmas by setting up the first known three-dimensional Nativity scene.
  5. After your bobtailed horse got your one-horse open sleigh into a drifted bank, his osteoarthritis flares up. The drug you give him back at the barn is for a minor use in a major species.
  6. The mistletoe hanging in your kitchen doorway is poisonous to your pet parrot.


  1. FALSE. “OMUMS’ is short for CVM’s “Office of Minor Use and Minor Species Animal Drug Development.”
  2. FALSE. Turkeys are a major species. The seven major species are dogs, cats, horses, cows, pigs, chickens, and turkeys.
  3. FALSE. Reindeer differ from other deer in that both males and females have antlers. The antlers are “deciduous,” meaning they are shed at a specific season. For reindeer, it’s winter. All deer, including reindeer, are minor species.
  4. TRUE. Using real animals, Saint Francis of Assisi set a straw-filled manger between an ox and a donkey. “Ox” is another word for cow and is a major species. A donkey is a minor species.
  5. FALSE. Horses commonly have musculoskeletal problems, like osteoarthritis. A drug is for a minor use in a major species only if the drug is for uncommon conditions that occur in a “small number” of animals each year. For horses, that “small number” is less than 50,000.
  6. TRUE. Mistletoe can be deadly to pet birds (pet birds are minor species). Mistletoe is also poisonous to cats, dogs, and horses (three of the major species). So leave the mistletoe out of your holiday celebrations!

For more information about minor species and minor uses, please see “Lions and Tigers and Bears! OMUMS!”