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Vet Gazette

Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine eNewsletter

National Swine Expert Will Speak At CVM On Porcine Epidemic

September 17th, 2014

pigOn Tuesday, September 23, 12-1 pm in Magruder 102, Dr. Steven Henry will speak on the devastating pig virus, Porcine Epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv).

Dr. Henry is a veterinary clinician in general practice at Abilene Animal Hospital in Pennsylvania, and specializes in swine and population medicine.

 He earned the status of Diplomate in Swine Health Management by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, and is a member of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, American Veterinary Medical Association, Kansas Veterinary Medical Association, and the National Academy of Practice, Veterinary Medicine.

In 2002, Dr. Henry received the Distinguished Veterinary Alumnus Award from Kansas State University and was awarded the Howard W. Dunne Memorial Award from the American Association of Swine Veterinarians. He is the author of papers and book chapters on swine medicine and is a frequent seminar presenter at veterinary conferences worldwide.

Dr. Brad Leamaster, Oregon State Veterinarian, will be providing snacks for attendees.

New Academic Advisor Joins Student Services

September 17th, 2014
JoleneBunce

Jolene Bunce with son, Ethan, and dog Daisy.

The Dean’s office welcomes Jolene Bunce as the new academic advisor in Student Services.

Jolene previously worked for the OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences in the undergraduate advising office. She served as the pre-med advisor and worked with other pre-health focused students as well.  Her  bachelor’s degree is from OSU in Ethnic Studies, and master’s degree from OSU in College Student Services Administration.

Jolene grew up in Drain, Oregon and has a two-year old pitbull named Daisy. She likes to spend time with her family and friends, go hiking, visit the beach, read a good book, and cook new recipes.

 

OSU Offers One Health Seminar Series

September 17th, 2014

Yellowstone_BisonFaculty, staff, and students from diverse disciplines, and at all levels (undergraduate, graduate, and professional), are invited to attend a series of seminars addressing the topic of One Health.

The series will showcase a variety of experts from human, animal, and environmental disciplines who use a One Health approach in their work. “With these seminars, we hope to inspire and engage individuals from the many excellent colleges and departments here at OSU, provide a platform to cultivate collaborations, and foster the development of work using a One Health approach here in Oregon,” says organizer Rhea Hanselmann, Graduate Research Fellow in the Department of Integrative Biology.

The first speaker is Dr. David Wong, MD, and Chief epidemiologist with the National Park Service. He will  speak on “America’s National Parks: Living Laboratories for Translating the Vision of One Health into Practice”, on Friday October 3, 2014, 12-1pm, in the Agriculture and Life Sciences building, room 4001. A lively discussion with the speaker will follow from 1-2pm.

Lunch will be provided for up to 10 participants. For more information, contact hanselmr@science.oregonstate.edu.

 

Investigation Of Drug ‘Repurposing’ Wins Award

September 16th, 2014

heart-diseaseAlthough he is still an undergraduate, Alvin Yu is working on research in the Systems Biology Lab of CVM Assistant Professor Steve Ramsey. As a Bioengineering major in the OSU Honors College, he  is especially interested in research that will improve health and longevity through the use of biocomputing.

At the 2014 OSU Center for Genome Research and Biocomputing (CGRB) Fall Conference, Yu won the award for best poster in the undergraduate category. The winning poster described his work finding new therapies to combat atherosclerosis, commonly known as narrowing of the arteries.

Cardiovascular disease, including artherosclerosis, is a leading cause of death. Currently, the primary drug therapy for prevention of heart disease is statins, but they only reduce mortality by 27 percent. Using the super-computer capabilities of the CGRB, Yu investigated the thousands of FDA-approved drugs that are no longer under patent, looking for candidates that may be useful in combating heart disease. Specifically, he used an existing database called the Connectivity Map to measure different drug’s effect on human immune cells. Atherosclerosis is known to involve immune cell response. Yu identified three drugs with potential for preventing heart disease. His future work will focus on further analysis of these drugs.

“Everyone in the lab is super proud of Alvin,” says Ramsey.

The CGRB Biocomputing and Bioinformatics facility provides wide-ranging resources, expertise and support for computational needs of the molecular biosciences community at Oregon State University. The facility offers a robust computing environment for high-level computational biology and a versatile intellectual resource for interdisciplinary collaboration.

Learn to Protect Your Back: Free Workshops

September 16th, 2014

BalanceVeterinary medicine can be a very physical job, especially for those who work with large animals.

OSU is offering a series of 30-minute training sessions to help participants develop leg strength and balance in order to protect their spine, knees and shoulders. The workshops are free to OSU faculty and staff.

For more information, or to register for a session, visit the OSU Professional Development website.

 

Student’s Summer Research Leads to Bovine Dental Discoveries

September 8th, 2014
Isaac Barber-Axthelm helps Niki Fadden examine the back molars of a dairy cow.

Isaac Barber-Axthelm helps Niki Fadden examine the back molars of a dairy cow.

Student Niki Fadden spent the summer of 2013 working on a research project that investigated the dental health of local dairy cows. She chose the project because there wasn’t much research on the subject and she was curious. “I wanted to see what their teeth looked like, if they had dental problems, and what kind,” she says.

For the study, Fadden arranged to work with three local dairies; two were conventional dairies, where all the cows are indoors and fed a mixed ration, and one was an organic dairy where the cows are pasture-fed. When a cow died or was euthanized, Fadden travelled out to the dairy to collect its head;  just the head. This created quite a stir amongst the dairy employees. “I severed the heads myself,” she says. “Lots of times they came out to watch me.” Apparently, they had never seen a young woman with a knife disarticulate a cow head and stuff it in a trash bag. “I said, ‘You think this grosses me out? This is nothing.’”

Back at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Fadden froze the heads, ran them through computed tomography (CT) and took radiographs. Then, working with Drs. Mecham and Bildfeld, she performed gross exams in necropsy.

“We wanted to compare the three different diagnostic types for looking at dental pathology,” she says. “Our thought was that maybe imaging would show a lot more of the pathology than you can see in a gross exam. I wanted if an oral exam in a cow would provide you a picture of what is actually going on. It turns out it does.”

In the course of this investigation, Fadden discovered that there were a lot of transverse ridges on the cow’s teeth. “You would think that their teeth would be relatively flat with all the grinding they do, but they can develop sharp points like horses do,” she says. “In a horse, those are normally floated down. But they don’t float cow teeth – it is not common.” This led Fadden to another question: Is it possible to develop a system for floating cow teeth?

“Through the CT images, I went in and looked at every single tooth and measured the dentin thickness over the pulp. The average was about 4-5 mm. It is not enough for floating; you would end up frying their tooth and damaging the pulp.”

She made another discovery: “Something interesting we found was that cows can develop hooks on their very back molars. Some of the girls we looked at, their hooks were so bad, they were puncturing the gingiva.” This could be a concern to farmers if the hooks cause ulcers and effect the cows ability to eat. “If they can’t eat, then they can’t produce milk,” says Fadden.

Fadden also found that the hooks were composed of pure dentin and enamel, and therefore could be corrected with floating.

The discovery of the dental hooks last summer resulted in another research opportunity for Fadden this summer. “Since hooks are the only dental pathology we found that you can correct, I wanted to know how often hooks occur,” she says. So she went back to the same three dairies and examined the teeth of one hundred cows on each farm. “I wanted to get a good representative age sample of the population so I grouped them by lactation number, which basically represents the numbers of babies they have had and is also an indicator of age.” She also randomized the samples to make them as statistically valid as possible.

Her research yielded some interesting results: nearly one third of the cows had hooks. “Some of them were pretty large,” she says. “In general, of course, the older cows had more, but even the three and four year-olds had hooks.”