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Vet Gazette

Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine eNewsletter

Models Help Surgeon

March 2nd, 2017

Two models recently created on the new 3-D printer.

When Dr. Jennifer Warnock, orthopedic surgeon in the OSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital, has a complex surgery ahead, she often uses 3-D models of her patient’s bones to help plan the procedure.

Thanks to a generous donation from Steve and Rebecca Camden, Dr. Warnock can now get those models from a laboratory down the hall, and they cost $20 instead of $200.

A newly ‘printed’ model of a bone awaits processing in a bath to reveal details. Data from a CT scanner was fed into the printer to create the model.

Dr. Susanne Stieger-Vanegas is OSU’s Camden Endowed Professor, and she recently purchased a Stratasys 3-D printer. She is working with Dr. Warnock to study the best way to use the hospital’s 64-slice, high-speed CT to generate the data needed for optimal models. “I can tweak the details in the model, by taking slices [on the CT] from one-quarter millimeter to two millimeters,” she says, “but there is a point at which it is too fine.”

Dr. Stieger-Vanegas is also looking at creating models that can be sawn into peices by Dr. Warnock.

Dogs Needed For Clinical Trials

March 2nd, 2017

The OSU Veterinary Hospital has several clinical trials that are currently enrolling dogs. One example:

Canine Fasting and Chemotherapy Study

Canine cancer patients treated with chemotherapy may have gastrointestinal side effects such as poor appetite and vomiting.  Short-term fasting may decrease the risk of such side effects.  We are recruiting dogs that will be administered chemotherapy (vincristine or carboplatin) as part of their cancer treatment.  Research funding supports much of the expense of two chemotherapy treatments including exam fees, complete blood counts and chemotherapy administration fees

Veterinarians with patients who qualify, may call Dr. Katie Curran or Dr. Shay Bracha at 541-737-4812. Other clinical trials may be found online.


Veterinary Pathology Event At CVM

March 2nd, 2017

The 2017 Davis-Thompson Foundation Descriptive Veterinary Pathology Course will be held at Magruder Hall, June 26 – 30, 2017.

The course includes lectures, active learning exercises, & mock exams on:

  • Gross Pathology
  • Microscopic Pathology
  • Gross-Micro Correlations
  • Ultrastructural Pathology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Cytology for anatomic pathologists

Attendees will have an opportunity to meet course lecturers, get individual feedback, and mingle with other trainees from around the world. Register online.

For more information, contact Christiane.Loehr@oregonstate.edu.


Molecular Diagnostics Team Is Constantly Improving Service

March 1st, 2017

Dr. Manoj Pastey, Noah Lawler, Donna Mulrooney, and Andree Hunkapillar.

From the outside, the OSU Veterinary Research Laboratory (VRL) doesn’t look like a high-tech center of advanced disease testing, but behind the drab, cement-block walls, are highly-trained experts and hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of state-of-the-art equipment.

There are several teams working in the VRL, which is managed by the Oregon Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (OVDL). On the Molecular Diagnostic (MD) team are Section Head Manoj Pastey, Supervisor Donna Mulrooney, and Microbiologists Andree Hunkapiller and Noah Lawler. They use DNA to find the causes of disease in all kinds of critters, from chickens to llamas. “Basically we are looking for specific gene sequences that identify a pathogen – a virus, bacteria or parasite – in a sample,” says Mulrooney. “The sample can be anything from a piece of lung, to fecal samples, to blood,” she says.

Most of the customers for the lab are Oregon veterinarians, many of whom work in the OSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital, but there are also customers from other states. “We have tests that are unique to our lab, so we get samples from across the U.S.,” says Mulrooney. “For instance we have a test for Mycoplasma haemolamae, a blood parasite that can cause severe anemia in alpacas and llamas.” That test was developed right here at the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine by Dr. Susan Tornquist and Dr. Chris Cebra

The molecular diagnostics lab also works with state and federal agencies. They receive weekly samples from Oregon’s state veterinarian for screening of avian influenza. “We test samples from the live bird market in Woodburn,” says Mulrooney. Avian influenza is a serious problem for farmers because it spreads very quickly and is deadly to poultry.

The OVDL is a member of a national surveillance network, under the U.S. Department of Agriculture, that works to respond quickly to disease outbreaks.  That means the MD team has to be prepared to take on heavy loads of extra testing on a moment’s notice. “In the event of a multi-state outbreak of something like avian influenza, we have to cancel vacations and work long hours,” says Hunkapiller.

Read the rest of this entry »

New Teaching Software Online

February 14th, 2017

The  radiographic anatomy teaching software that Dr. Sarah Nemanic and her research group designed is now available online. The program is free and covers canine, feline and equine radiographic anatomy. Avian software is under development.

Take a spin through it and feel free to share it with anyone who might be interested. You’ll have to use a Google login to get access (the one from your Gmail account will work). The login allows students to keep track of their quizzes.

OSU Veterinary Students Can Now Tailor Their Education

November 28th, 2016
Kyra Knutson earned credit while working at the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

Kyra Knutson earned college credit while working at the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

Many veterinary students will tell you they wanted to be a veterinarian since they were small children. Kathryn Gaub (Class of 2017) did not even consider being a veterinarian until she finished an undergraduate degree in premed and was working in biology research.

“In my senior year [at Eastern Oregon University] I did a premed internship in South Africa which was great, but I realized that being a human doctor wasn’t for me,” she says. “So I decided to take some time off to decide what to do.” She spent two years in Alaska working on crab boats in the Bering Sea, doing field work in biology. That gave her time to investigate and discover that she really wanted to work in epidemiology and specialized disease research. “I figured my choices were either a Ph.D. in epidemiology, or I could go to vet school and have a broader use of my degree.” She applied for veterinary school and started the next year. “I began vet school thinking about being a wildlife vet for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, but that changed my first year when I got interested in public health and the correlation between human disease and veterinary medicine,” she says.

As one of the smallest veterinary colleges in the country, OSU has to be flexible and innovative to provide as many opportunities for students as possible. One example: With growing awareness of One Health issues, more students have become interested in non-traditional veterinary careers. While other veterinary colleges can provide more courses or hospital experience in fields like exotic species or public health, OSU had to take a different approach. Starting with the Class of 2017, students can choose a ‘non-traditional’ option where they have more flexibility in building their own curriculum. Those students take the same core classes but have 17 electives instead of seven.  That is a lot of electives to fill so Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Stacy Semevolos, will help the students come up with a plan, but they have to be proactive to get the training they want.

Kyra Knutson (Class of 2017) began volunteering at Turtle Ridge Wildlife Refuge when she was in high school, and developed an interest in wildlife medicine. She earned degrees in animal science and microbiology before enrolling in veterinary college. “OSU doesn’t have a wildlife program and the hospital doesn’t usually treat wildlife,” she says. “I chose the non-traditional track because it was the best way to get the most experience in wildlife medicine, and network with people in the field,” she says.

Knutson built her ‘custom’ curriculum with OSU electives, preceptorships and externships. “I did an externship at the Wildlife Center of Virginia for a month,” she says. “The animals are not client owned so they can get you more involved. They had us positioning and shooting rads, and we were able to perform limited surgeries with supervision. I learned a lot about the different disease processes specific to wildlife and the different ways to treat them. It was really fun.” She also did an avian and exotic animal externship at the University of Tennessee.

But Knutson didn’t just drop into those learning experiences, she had to go after them ahead of time. Her advice to non-traditional students: “You are going to have to do a lot of investigation and ground work on your own,” she says. “It’s on you to find externships and rotations. That’s what is so cool about the non-traditional track; you are able to tailor your own curriculum. Just be sure to do everything very early. A lot of the externships fill up more than a year in advance.”

Gaub also had to be resourceful in building her curriculum. “There aren’t a lot of public health electives so you have to find your own,” she says. “The Center for Disease Control offers a 6-week epidemiology elective for veterinary and medical students. It was the best training for what I want to do,” she says. Gaub also found externships by networking. She advises students to attend lunch presentations on campus that interest them, and talk to the speaker afterwards. “I was just talking to Dr. Schurr, the USDA APHIS vet who was speaking in Magruder today. She is overseeing all of the marine shipping of animals and I might do an extra week with her.”

Veterinary medicine offers a broad array of career paths in addition to working in an animal hospital. There are many ways to find the right fit. “Get involved in student clubs like SAVMA; you learn so much about all your different options, and you meet all these different people,” says Gaub. “Get as much experience in different avenues as you can. There is so much to do in veterinary medicine.”