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Vet Gazette

Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine eNewsletter

Veterinary Surgery Resident Looks Back On A Very Busy Year

January 21st, 2015
In 2013, Dr. Jennifer Ree (bottom right) helped surgically deliver ten puppies whose mother was in distress.

Dr. Jennifer Ree (bottom right) helped deliver, via Caesarean, ten puppies whose mother was in distress.

By Dr. Jennifer Ree

In my first 18 months as a small animal surgery resident at Oregon State University, I’ve had many amazing learning experiences. My mentors at OSU have challenged me daily to widen and cultivate my knowledge, as well as improve my surgical and clinical skills. I have also partici­pated in ongoing studies within our surgery group, and have started my own prospective randomized clinical trial as part of my Master’s program.

My clinical duties also kept me fully engaged. Since we are a tertiary referral hospital, we are challenged with many cases that are “out of the norm.” Our soft tissue surgery service performs procedures in conjunction with our cardiology service and oncology service. We have performed a number of pulmonary artery banding cases with cardiology present with transesophageal echocardio­gram to evaluate the accuracy of our partial ligation. Our oncology service has been gifted a new Intrabeam intraoperative radiation therapy unit that delivers radiation as high as 3-6Gy to the tissues directly in contact with the radiation probe after marginal resections of otherwise inoperable tumors in the maxilla or mandible.

My mentor, Dr. Wendy Baltzer, is double-boarded in surgery and in the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, so I have been able to see a wide variety of sports medicine cases as well. Being coached in this aspect of orthopedics broadens my ability to participate actively in the postoperative care of many orthopedic cases. I have always had a love for rehabilitation, with all aspects of surgery involving wound management, chronic orthopedic disease, and recovery from neurologic deficits. This exposure has solidified my desire to maintain rehabilitation as part of my career.

One of the most memorable cases I had that challenged my knowledge and skills involved a 6-month-old Miniature Australian Shepherd puppy with severe valvular pulmonic stenosis. The stenosis was unable to be corrected minimally invasively and a pericardial patch graft was recommended. Our anesthesia, soft tissue, and cardiology services planned for this surgery meticulously. And while the stenosis remained four months after surgery, we collectively performed this procedure without morbidity to the patient. My main role was to communicate between the three services involved, and lay out the procedure in a step-by-step fashion so that we would all be accurately prepared to play our roles and communicate effectively in the surgical suite. This solidified my resolve to remain calm and prepared for every surgical procedure, from the routine ovariectomy to the challenging venotomy for a right-sided adrenalectomy. Read the rest of this entry »

CVM Researcher in National News

January 21st, 2015

jollesCVM Professor Anna Jolles received national attention for her recently published findings on the relationship between deworming and the spread of infectious disease. Jolles studies water buffalo in South Africa’s Kruger National Park.

Jolles work was featured in both Science magazine and Science Daily.


McLagan Shines in Clinical Communication Program

January 21st, 2015

twinkle-twinkle-little-starCVM leadership has a commitment to keeping the curriculum dynamic and relevant for students. One example is a new program focuses on clinical communication, and requires third-year students to conduct mock client interviews with trained actors. During this interview, students takes an oral history, determine the presenting problems and concerns of the client, then communicate to the client the findings of a physical examination, a diagnosis and treatment plans. All this is video recorded, and the student’s performances are scored on a variety of different parameters by three assessors from within the college.

At the end of the course, scores are ranked and the first place student receives the Bayer Excellence in Communication Award. This year’s winner is Caitlin McLagan, class of 2015. “This was a very close competition, with only about a 2% differential between the four top-ranked students,” says Dr. Craig Ruaux. “Overall the entire group of competitors performed admirably.”

McLagan will now go on to represent OSU in a national competition where the interaction scenario will involve an actual client from the small animal hospital and a real animal.


McDowell Veterinary Library Is Not Just For Students

January 21st, 2015

DerrickNine months out of the year, there are students in the McDowell Veterinary Library 24-7. Some are there to work on the computers, some take advantage of the small meeting rooms, some are using reference books, and some are just looking for a quiet place to study. But the library can also be a great resource for alumni, Oregon veterinarians, and the general public.

I recently interviewed Library Technician Derrick Padar about services for non-students:

Q: What resources are available to non-students?

A: Copies of journal articles can be sent to OSU alumni anywhere, and to veterinarians and members of the public within the state of Oregon. If they are interested in a book but don’t need the whole thing, maybe just a couple of chapters, I can scan and send those.

Q: Does it cost anything?

A: No, as long as I can send it as a PDF attachment.

Q: How can they contact you?

A: If they want a copy of an article, it is best to email me, then I can reply with an attachment. They can contact me at cvmlibrary@oregonstate.edu.

Q: How can they look up journal articles?

A: They can use the online catalog for the Valley Library. They can use the Search function to look up a topic, then narrow the search by scrolling down and selecting McDowell Veterinary Library from the menu on the left.

Q: What information about the journal article do you need in order to find it?

A: Journal title, volume and issue number with pages. Author and title of the article are helpful. I  need something more than a vague description of an article about leukemia in cats in the Journal of the AVMA that may have been in the last five years. But sometimes, if they are just lacking a couple of things, I can find what they are looking for.

Q: How many journals does the library have?

A: We have more online than we have physical. It could be in the hundreds. We pay for some online journals and we have free access to many, but sometimes they carry an embargo on the most recent 6 months.

Q: Can people check out books?

A: They can come in and check out books in person. They will need to get a community borrowers card from Valley Library. There is information on the library website on how to do that. It costs just a dollar and they should have proof of Oregon residency – typically a driver’s license. Then they would be able to check out books from our library with the exception of reserve books and reference books.



Welcome Ross and St. Georges Students!

January 20th, 2015

CarribeanStudents2015The college welcomes seven new students from Ross and St. Georges Universities who are completing their fourth year of veterinary college at OSU. Here’s a little introduction to each (say ‘Hello’ when you see them around Magruder):

Philip Engelhardt is from Michigan and he enjoys travelling, seeing new countries, and trying new foods. He has two cats and enjoys keeping ornamental fish.

K.C. Fagan grew up on a commercial cow/calf operation in SE Oregon. She is interested in equine sports medicine and is an avid trail rider and runner. K.C. has 2 quarter horses, four dogs, and two cats.

Jacky Huang is originally from Taiwan and moved to Vancouver, British Columbia at the age of nine. He has a dog named Snoopy from Grenada (where he attended St. Georges University). In his spare time, Jacky loves to walk trails in the woods with his dog.

Katie Krage grew up in Visalia, California. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, kayaking, and playing softball. Katie is interested in mixed animal medicine with an emphasis on sheep and goats.

Karim Malak was born in Cairo, Egypt, but now lives in Ohio (Go Cavs!) He has a Papillon named Brutus (after the OSU Buckeyes). Karim likes basketball and music festivals.

Gabriel Perez is from San Juan, Puerto Rico. He is interested in small animal companion medicine and horses as well. His hobbies are watching soccer and surfing.

Jeremy Polk loves reading and metal detecting (but not at the same time!) He is interested in companion animal medicine, and also exotics and small farm animals. After vet school, he plans to build his own house.

Hospital Volunteers Offer Sympathetic Ears

January 5th, 2015
Joan Ferguson gives a hospital patient an orange bandana.

Joan Ferguson gives a hospital patient an orange bandana.

Clients who visit the OSU Veterinary Hospital on Wednesdays get a special treat. Volunteers Joan and Terry Ferguson are on hand to greet them, make sure they have a parking pass, and provide other friendly assistance.

The Fergusons are former hospital clients who know how stressful it can be when your best friend has a serious illness or needs surgery. Their dog, Gunther, was an oncology patient at the hospital several years ago. “He was diagnosed with cancer,” says Joan. “We knew that if anything could be done to help him, this was the place to go.” Gunther had surgery and chemotherapy treatment at the hospital. “They were so great,” says Joan. “We really wanted to do something to help the hospital. We said we would even shovel bark,” she laughs.

It just so happened that their good friend, Joan Campf, had recently donated funds to hire patient advocate Tammy Barr. She suggested the Fergusons contact Tammy and ask her if she needed any help.

When Tammy met with the Fergusons, she liked them immediately. “They were perfect,” she says. “We are so lucky to have them.” The hospital directors agreed to a pilot program with the Fergusons working one day a week, visiting with clients in the small animal hospital lobby.

In addition to practical help, like tips on where to eat, and walking dogs who are getting cabin fever, the Fergusons provide a sympathetic ear and someone to help pass the time while the pets are in treatment. For those clients whose pets have serious health issues, it is important to be able to share their story. “We really enjoy visiting with people,” says Joan. “I just ask, ‘What are they in for?’ and that’s all it takes . . . they let it all out. Then they say, ‘Thank you so much for listening, it really helped.’”

While Joan Ferguson is a people-person who focuses on the owners, Terry is a dog lover who spends a lot of time just petting the animals. “You get to see lots of different dogs and breeds,” he says. “There was a big German Shepard, Jake, in here who was recovering from back surgery. He had been cooped up for 12 weeks, and was getting a little antsy, and man could he bark. While he was in the [exam] room for his checkup, a gal comes in with this little hound dog that has a citronella [anti-bark] collar. Jake comes out of the room and goes, ‘Woof, woof, woof’. The other dog didn’t make a sound but Jake triggered the collar. The owner apologized, but I thought it was funny and told her it was okay, it smelled good in here.”

The Fergusons are careful not to offer any medical information or advice. They know it’s important to let the doctors cover those topics. “We just listen,” says Terry.

Although they live in Cottage Grove, they don’t mind the two-hours of drive time every Wednesday. “We looked forward to it,” says Joan. “We plan our calendar around Wednesdays. When you love what you are doing, it is easy.”

“It surprises me that something this simple can really make a difference. Our reward is that it makes you feel like you are doing something good,” adds Terry.