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Vet Gazette

Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine eNewsletter

OSU Alum Named Diamond Collar Hero

March 12th, 2018

The Oregon Humane Society honored heroic people and pets at the annual Diamond Collar Awards Luncheon in February. Among the award winners was Picasso, a former client of the OSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital who became a social media superstar and taught the world that it’s okay to look different, and Dr. Doug McInnis, an OSU alum who created the Klamath County Animal Control Task Force which works to end animal neglect and abuse.

Recipients of the awards are selected for their kindness, diplomacy, resiliency and courage. Their inspiring stories represent OHS’s vision of a more humane society.

Watch a video about Dr. McInnis’ work here:


Building A Strong, Diverse Profession

March 12th, 2018

With a goal of engaging in difficult dialogues in order to advance a diverse and inclusive veterinary profession, a contingent from the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine participated in the Iverson Bell Regional Summit last month.

“It was an opportunity to discuss issues of inclusivity and diversity with students, faculty and staff from other veterinary programs in the west,” says Dean Sue Tornquist. “The group was small enough to facilitate great discussions, but large enough to learn about best practices, ideas, and concerns that have come up in other veterinary schools.”

The Dean provided scholarship for two students to attend: Genny Cobarrubias and David Smith. They were chosen based on short essays they submitted.

“I went as a representative from the college’s diversity committee,” said Smith, “I also went to listen and learn. I think diversity and inclusion are important, and it was interesting to see what other schools are doing to try to address these issues.”

The College of Veterinary Medicine’s Diversity Committee is charged with developing strategies and actionable items to foster a community of diversity and inclusion.

“While diversity and inclusion have long been important for the CVM, it becomes even more important to take significant steps in this direction as our entering class of 2021 includes 24% students from under-represented minority backgrounds,” says Tornquist.

Smith is also president of the Student Chapter of the Veterinary Medical Association, and as such wants to use that platform to promote diversity issues and programs.

Genny Cobarrubias is interested in diversity issues because she comes from a diverse background. Growing up in Hood River I never knew anybody who was a veterinarian,” she says. “And, as a student there, I was the only [latina]who was interested in science.”

She is currently building the groundwork for a new student club called Voice (Veterinarians as One Inclusive Community for Empowerment). “Iverson Bell was an opportunity to meet Voice members from other universities,” she says, “and learn about what they are doing.”

Both Smith and Cobarrubias are interested in organizing outreach to diverse groups of young people to encourage their interest in the veterinary profession.

“There aren’t many people of color who are veterinarians,” says Cobarrubias. “So I want to be a role model, reaching out to young people, encouraging them and letting them know ‘You can do this’.” She also plans to pursue these goals as a practicing veterinarian in the near future, reaching out through internships and job shadowing opportunities for high school kids.

Read the rest of this entry »

Workshop On Grief Counseling

March 12th, 2018

Enid Traisman from the Dove Lewis Pet Loss Support Program will be at the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine presenting a workshop on Grief Counseling. She will teach skills that veterinary professionals can use to help clients in times of grief and loss, and lead a round-table discussion for students and staff to ask questions about pet loss support groups, grief, coping mechanisms, and other topics of interest.

The workshop will be held in room 102 of Magruder Hall on Wednesday, April 4th from 5:00-6:30 PM.

In order to make this session as informative as possible, Enid has requested that we generate a list of topics that interest us. If you plan to attend, please fill out this survey by Friday, March 16th: https://goo.gl/forms/hYkWwQxiq6hehAgA3.”>https://goo.gl/forms/hYkWwQxiq6hehAgA3

Biomedical Translator

March 12th, 2018

One of the big new technologies in biomedical science is the use of genome sequencing, which allows scientists to decipher and map the DNA of all kinds of organisms and diseases. This technology has produced massive amounts of data, but the pace of data generation has largely outstripped researchers’ ability to make sense of the results.

The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) has launched a multiyear effort to develop a Biomedical Data Translator that integrates multiple types of existing data sources, including signs and symptoms of disease, drug effects, and biological data relevant to understanding disease.

In the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Stephen Ramsey was recently awarded funding to work on the NCATS project.  “We’re funded to build a software tool for mining biomedical knowledge-bases, and for reasoning based on information from these knowledge-bases. We hope the final product will be able to answer questions (expressed in natural language) such as “what genetic conditions might be protective against osteoporosis” or “how does fenbendazole reduce parasite load?”. The award of $437, 000 is the first of two phases of funding.

The project is a collaboration between OSU, the Institute for Systems Biology, and Ohio State University.


Magruder Hall Expansion Set To Break Ground

February 20th, 2018

After many discussions with cohort groups, and repeated tweaking of the space design, plans for the Magruder Hall expansion have been finalized and ground breaking is scheduled for June.

Why June? “We wanted to wait until after Pet Day,” says Dean Susan J. Tornquist.

One big hurdle in the design process has been the continually rising cost of construction since the project was green lighted in early 2017. Recent disasters like the fires in California and the hurricanes in the south have driven up the cost of both materials and labor.

“A number of adjustments had to made to our plans due to a sharp increase in construction costs,” says Tornquist. “But we’re still doing it. Never give up!” The biggest priority in the construction timeline is getting the new lecture hall done. “We are adding sixteen more students each year for the next three years, so we need the space as soon as possible,” says Tornquist.

Cat With Nine Lives Opens Doors For Mom

February 20th, 2018

Mickey Cat is fourteen years old and on his seventh or eighth life.  His most recent life came courtesy of the Oncology Service at the OSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Nancy Hildebrandt rescued Mickey from a shelter in California when he was six months old. “It was a wonderful place where cats roamed around in a converted house,” she recalls. “He kept sitting on my lap and pushing his nose up into my chin as if he were saying, “Take me!” At one point he climbed onto the back of another cat sitting on my lap so he could get at my chin.” How could she not take him home?

At the time, Hildebrandt lived in a remote area where she let Mickey roam free. “It could be a dangerous place, but I thought freedom was more important than keeping him indoors.” One day, Mickey did not come home so Hildebrandt went looking for him. “I found him up a tree. He had a bite on his belly from a fox or coyote.” The bite got infected and he was very sick, but Hildebrandt’s veterinarian saved him. That was life number three.

When Mickey was five, his nose started looking funny. “It would swell up and get scabs on it,” says Hildebrandt. “The vet thought it was squamous cell carcinoma. I was already saying goodbye to him.” But it turned out to be a rare case of nasal herpes. The virus will always be with him, but with treatment he has lived a normal, happy life.

Then, last year, Mickey went to Rivers Edge Veterinary Hospital for a routine dental exam. Unexpectedly, they found elevated levels of Alanine Transaminase in his liver test. “They aborted the dental and sent me to OSU,” says Hildebrandt. “A biopsy revealed lymphoma of the alimentary tract. The prognosis was a year without treatment, and two to three with.”

The OSU oncology service began treating Mickey with oral chemotherapy. “He has zero side effects. My understanding is that he’ll stay on the chemo as long as he is able to tolerate it, then that will be the end for him,” says Hildebrandt. “But we’re already past one year and he’s doing great.”

The other good news: Hildebrandt is now a volunteer on the client advocate team at the hospital. “This is such a warm and friendly place, from reception, to the students, to the vets,” she says. “I’m an introvert, so it’s sometimes hard for me to talk to other people. On the other hand, I am a really good listener and that gives me some skills in being empathetic.”

Many clients of the OSU hospital have very sick pets, so they spend a lot of hours in the waiting room. One of the goals of the client advocate team is to provide company and support for those pet owners. Because she is a client herself, Hildebrandt knows how important that is, and is able to connect with fellow clients. “A lot of them really want to talk about their pets, which makes it easy; and I spent hours sitting out in the waiting room, and had a lot of conversations before I became a client advocate, so I thought ‘This won’t be too hard’.”

Hildebrandt spends most of her week working with technology so she really looks forward to her Friday afternoons at the hospital. “The clients here are a cut above because they are willing to go the extra mile to save their pet. Many of them are also very interesting people. Volunteering gives me the opportunity to change focus and meet some great new people.”


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