from the Chief of Si
June 28, 2008 write it down in your calendars and join us for RDVM Appreciation Day here in Gainesville. This
full day of free CE allows us to say thanks for your support of the University of Florida's Veterinary Medical
Center. Through your referrals, you are helping us teach the veterinarians of tomorrow, many of whom will become
your associates. You are also contributing to the training of the residents, who will become the academicians and
educators of tomorrow or join one of the growing number of referral hospitals to bring specialty care closer to
home. Referrals allow us to provide your patients top quality diagnostics and treatments by a team of specialists in the
various veterinary specialties, backed up by the latest and best diagnostic equipment. You, the referring veterinarian,
are our number one client. You make us better.
Finally, it is here, up, and operating a diagnostic imaging center. Check out GatorVetImaging.com. This center will
allow practitioners to refer their cases for MRI or CT scans here at UF to complement their own diagnostic work-ups.
Of course, the horse can still be referred to one of the specialty services in the hospital, as indicated by the case. A
new specialty service we have just rolled out is the lameness and diagnostic imaging service headed up by Dr. Matt
Brokken. You can read more about Dr. Brokken and his service on Page 5 of this newsletter. Our hospital made
this very large investment in MRI and CT with the patient, the referring veterinarian, and the advancement of new
knowledge in mind. The use of MRI has mushroomed in equine practice. We are now able to confirm diagnoses
merely postulated previously. Soon the term caudal heel pain will give way to a wide variety of specific diagnoses and
the ever evasive nervous system will be better explored. More to come.....
Dr. Huisheng Xie is one of the best known veterinarians in acupuncture in the United States and I believe is the first
faculty member hired full-time to provide acupuncture services in an academic hospital. Acupuncture at UF has finally
reached a critical mass to be its own service, with two veterinarians and two interns. Dr. Carolina Ortiz-Umpierre
recently joined us at UF and has already shown the leadership skills to become Chief of the new Acupuncture
We have thoroughly enjoyed showcasing the art of local equine artists in our hospital. I have admired the work of all
of the artists we have had so far, including the work of horses themselves. Sharon Crute's paintings are on display
"as we speak." It is notable that our Large Animal Clinical Sciences Conference Room and my home were not listed
among the prestigious locations that exhibit her work.
Pag 3 -gi Art Gallery
Aage g tur a
While the UFVMC has always been know for it's scientific skills we starting to show our artistic side as well. The
initial idea was to showcase local equine artists and have a changing exhibit that would provide something new and
different to discover whenever you visit the UFVMC, but like anything we do we are doing it on a grand scale. Our
first exhibits included local artists such as Sue Johnson and Patsy Lindamood. Another featured artist was Cheryl
Ward however in her case the horses did the painting Cheryl only facilitated. All of these exhibits were a huge hit,
so we've expanded.
Our current artist is a local favorite Sharon Crute
whose boldly colored, high energy work is always
popular. The gallery is not only in our front entrance
hall, but the hall down to the equine auditorium and
the hallway outside of the outpatient receiving area.
All the artwork displayed is for sale, prints at varying
prices and sizes are available.
Our current artist has been involved in the horse
racing industry for over thirty years and has the
distinctive ability to create dynamic equine paintings
expressing powerful movement and speed. Her
experience at the racetrack stretches the gamut from
hotwalker to racing official.
Sharon Crute in front of "Harrowing" a piece that is an open edition
Because of Crute's extensive involvement in all which can be reproduced in a variety of sizes and is currently on
aspects of racing, she feels that her artwork is straight display a at the UFVMC Gallery.
"from the trenches". She endeavors to "express the
subtle with an undercurrent of volatility" resulting from intimate knowledge of the emotional anguish and exhilaration
shared by all those who love horse racing. Numerous galleries, arts councils and racing centers on both coasts exhibit
her artwork. Included in her resume is a long list of private and public collectors including those abroad in Italy,
England and Japan.
Some of Crute's recent exhibitions include a group show at the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners'
Association in Ocala, Florida and at Equidae Gallery in Saratoga Springs, New York; a two-artist exhibit at Gallery
Central in Hot Springs, Arkansas; and a solo exhibit at Fayette Gallery in Lexington, Kentucky. Her artwork has also
been exhibited at the Museum of Florida Art in Deland, Florida and The Elliott Museum in Stuart, Florida.
Commissions abound as Crute's work is featured on the posters, book covers and program covers for: Michigan Stallion
Directory, Florida Farm Managers' Directory (twice), H.I.T.S. (Horseshows in the Sun), Horseshows in the Park and
Live Oak International Driving Competition to name a few. Logo design and illustration include two children's books,
one is currently in progress. Her artwork is often requested as illustration material for various publications.
If you would like to view our current exhibit the UFVMC is open fron 7:30-5:30 Monday through Friday for visitors
to the gallery. If you know an artist who would be interested in displaying their work at UF please contact Kate
Vinzant @ 352-392-2229. For more information on Sharon Crute and her work please visit www.sharoncrute.com.
2008 Ficuc ty A word, R econitova u vC A /AccompliwMrts
Dr. Eleanor M. Green, DVM President, American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP)
Dr. Eleanor Green, Chair & Chief of Staff of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, has been named the first female
President of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP). Her Presidency began January 2008 and will
run through December 2008. Dr. Green was featured on the January 2008 cover of Horse Capital Digest, in the Florida
Horse, The Quarter Horse Journal, and the Quarter Horse Racing Journal. Dr. Green is responsible for organizing
the 2008 AAEP Focus Meeting which will be held in Austin, Texas in July 2008. The focus is "The First Year of Life".
Green was inducted into office during the AAEP's annual convention, held Dec. 1-5 in Orlando. Board-certified
by both the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners,
Green is a past president of the ABVP and also of the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians. She has been
an active member of AAEP since joining the organization in 1973, the year she graduated from veterinary school at
Auburn. Green most recently served as AAEP's president-elect and also has served as a district director and as chair
of the internship and student relations committee and the AAEP foundation's student scholarship task force, and has
participated on several other committees.
Dr. Al Merritt, DVM Honored by the Florida Association of Equine Practitioners (FAEP)
Alfred Merritt, D.VM., the former Appleton Professor of Equine Studies and retired director of the Island Whirl
Equine Colic Research Laboratory at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, has received the Florida
Association of Equine Practitioners' lifetime achievement award. FAEP members honored Merritt, a UF faculty
member from 1978 until his retirement in 2003, in September during the group's annual meeting in the Bahamas.
Award presenter Carol Clark, D.VM., completed her residency in large animal medicine at UF "There is probably
not a person at this meeting whose life has not been touched by Dr. Merritt," she said. Merritt's primary research
interests were the function and malfunction of the equine gastrointestinal system. The Island Whirl laboratory is a
resource for faculty, staff and student research in the area of equine colic. Merritt served as editor or co-editor of
four books and has written 20 book chapters. Two of his books, "Equine Medicine and Surgery" and "Veterinary
Gastroenterology," are widely used in veterinary courses throughout the world. While at UF, Merritt was recognized
with several teaching awards, including the Norden Distinguished Teacher Award, which is bestowed by college
faculty. Veterinary students chose Merritt three times as Large Animal Clinician of the Year. "I felt extremely honored
to receive this recognition from this first-class organization, especially since numerous former students and residents
were involved in the decision to name me," Merritt said. "What could be more gratifying than knowing that your life's
work has had some lasting positive impact?"
Dr. Michael B. Porter, PhD, DVM, DACVIM Distinguished Award Winner from the University of Florida
The Outstanding Young Alumnus Award was given to Dr. Michael Porter, a clinical assistant professor at the UF
veterinary college. Porter received his D.VM. and Ph.D. degrees from the UF veterinary college in 1998 and 2001,
respectively. He also completed a residency in large animal medicine at UF in 2004. As director of the college's Mobile
Equine Diagnostic Service, Porter takes state-of-the-art imaging technology on the road providing imaging to a wider
area of horse owners and veterinarians.
New Lameness and Imaging Service
Dr. Matt Brokken
by Sarah Carey
A new clinical service at the University of Florida Veterinary Medical Center offers horse owners full-time expertise in
the area of equine lameness and imaging. "We provide referral MRI procedures to veterinarians and their clients," said
Dr. Matt Brokken, a board-certified surgeon who graduated from the UF veterinary college in 2003 and subsequently
completed a residency in equine surgery and sports medicine at Washington State University.
He returned to UF in early 2008 to
head up the equine lameness and
imaging service at the Alec P. and
Louise H. Courtelis Equine Hospital.
I [- goal is to be a constant presence
and to serve the referral community
better by being available as a resource
whenever these kinds of cases come
in," Brokken said.
The new service will provide
information about the use and
advantages of equine MRI as well as
providing evaluations of images from
other magnetic resonance imaging
units upon request.
"Horses that come to our facility now Dr. Matt Brokken in the client consultation room at the UFVMC LArge Animal
have access to imaging technology Hospital using a 4 screen viewing station to show clients and students the MRI images.
comparable to what is available for
human patients," said Dr. Eleanor Green, chairwoman of UF's department of large animal clinical sciences and
chief of staff of the large animal hospital. "Our own patients will benefit significantly from our enhanced diagnostic
capabilities, but in addition, veterinarians throughout Florida and beyond can refer their patients and clients to us to
have images taken and interpreted to complement their own diagnostic procedures."
Brokken has extensive experience with the use of equine MRI, as well as with the diagnosis and treatment of equine
orthopedic injuries. MRI produces highly detailed images, which are obtained in multiple planes of bone and soft
tissue, and can examine any portion of the horse's body which will fit into the aperture designed for people. In adult
horses, this includes the foot, fetlock, suspensory ligament, carpus, hock and head. In foals, the entire body can be
Dr. Brokken performing a lameness exam at the UFVMC
The MRI imaging technique can help
determine the specific causes of lameness,
which is critical to determining appropriate
treatment recommendations. Brokken offers
more than just clinical expertise; he also has
conducted research into a new surgical therapy
for proximal suspensory ligament injuries
and has used MRI to monitor healing of the
ligament after treatment.
He works closely with UFVMC radiologists
and said he is excited about the imaging
technology UF has to offer, which in addition
to MRI, includes CT, nuclear scintigraphy,
digital radiography and ultrasonography. "I
believe our expertise with the MRI is second
to none, and while we already have the only
high-field strength magnet in Florida, an
upgrade is already on the way and is expected
to arrive within the year." Brokken said. "That
will increase our capability even more."
The upgraded magnet will speed up exam time
and will provide higher-resolution images,
Brokken said. The MRI upgrade is expected
to be implemented by next March and a new
CT table for horses is coming soon as well.
"This advanced diagnostic imaging technology
is enhanced by the expertise that surrounds
it," Brokken said. "Our comprehensive
approach is supported by a team of veterinary
specialists, including board-certified surgeons,
internists, radiologists, anesthesiologists and
many others. Here at UF, we have everything
that anyone would want to diagnose and treat
a horse, and we can do it all in one place."
That aspect of academic veterinary medicine is a large part of what attracted Brokken to the job. "Being at this
university allows me to practice at the highest level, and I'm very excited for the opportunity to return to my alma
mater," Brokken said.
Receiving days for the equine lameness and imaging service are Tuesdays and Thursdays and surgeries and MRI
examinations are generally performed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Horse owners, trainers, referring
veterinarians and others seeking more information or who wish to make an appointment with the equine lameness
and imaging service should call 352-392-2229.
Please visit our new Diagnostic Imaging website www.GatorVetImaging.com
New Acupuncture Faculty
& Expanded Services
Acupuncture has been used in China for over 2,000 years to treat a variety of diseases. Acupuncture
is the insertion of thin, sterile needles into specific points on the body to create a therapeutic effect.
Physiological changes in response to acupuncture point stimulation is the basis of clinical treatment.
Some of these changes include release of endogenous opioids and other neurotransmitters, release of
hormones, immune system stimulation, and blood pressure regulation. There are 361 acupuncture points
located throughout the body that have various functions used to treat different diseases.
Acupuncture is safe, effective, and is used to treat a variety of diseases including but not limited to
pain and lameness, neurological disorders laryngeall hemiplegia, seizures, disc disease, wobbler's disease),
dermatological disorders, behavioral disorders (anxiety, fear and aggression), reproductive disorders
(infertility or impotence), gastrointestinal disorders (colic, vomiting, diarrhea, inflammatory bowel
disease), anhydrosis (non-sweat), respiratory disorders (Heaves/RAO), and improvement of quality of
life in geriatric and/or cancer patients. In many instances, acupuncture is used together with conventional
therapy to improve the overall effects of treatment.
There are usually minimal to no side effects if acupuncture is performed by a professional. There are rare
and minor side-effects such as local short-term discomfort and occasional bruising in the area where the
needle is inserted. However, there are certain contraindications of needle insertion based on the location
of the acupuncture point or health status of the patient. Contraindications for certain applications of
acupuncture include inserting a needle directly into a tumor or open wound, using certain acupuncture
points around the lumbar and lower abdominal regions during pregnancy, and using electro-acupuncture
on seizure or pacemaker patients.
The Acupuncture Service at the University of Florida has two clinicians, Dr. Huisheng Xie and Dr. Carolina
Ortiz. Dr. Xie graduated from Sichuan College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine (China) in
1983 and received a PhD from the University of Florida in 1998. He has been a clinician at the University
of Florida for 9 years. Dr. Ortiz graduated from St. George's University College of Veterinary Medicine
(Grenada) in 2005. She completed an internship at the University of Florida in 2006 and is the current
chief of the acupuncture service. They treat both large and small animals at the Veterinary Medical Center
as outpatients and also do farm calls and house calls. For more information the acupuncture service can
be reached at (352) 392-2235 X 4076.
Their service treats cases six days a week according to the following schedule:
Monday: Horses and small animals seen in the hospital as outpatients
Tuesday: 1) Small animals seen in the hospital as outpatients
2) Ambulatory farm call service in Gainesville and surrounding areas
Wednesday: Ambulatory farm call service in Gainesville and surrounding areas
Thursday: Small animals seen in the hospital as outpatients
Friday: Ambulatory farm call service in Gainesville and surrounding areas
Saturday: Small animals seen in the hospital as outpatients
2008 New Clinicians
Dr. Sarah Matyjaszek, the third
year Large Animal Surgery
resident, will be completing
her residency this July. We
are happy to announce that
she will be staying on at the
UFVMC as faculty with a one
year appointment as a surgical
clinician, and will be assisting with coverage of the
hospital's newly expanded Emergency Service. Her
professional areas of interest include upper airway
disease and colic.
Dr. Laura Javsicas, the third
year Large Animal Medicine
resident, is also completing her
residency this July and will be
staying on with the UFVMC with
a one year faculty appointment
as a medicine clinician. She
will be filling in for Dr. Robert
MacKay during his sabbatical. We are happy to
have Dr. Javsicas back with us for another year.
Her professional areas of interest include equine
neonatology, critical care, and endotoxemia.
Jeremiah Easley, DVM
Large Animal Surgery
Jeremiah is from Shelbyville, KY.
He received a Bachelor of Science
degree from College of Charleston in
Charleston, SC in 2002. He worked
as a laboratory technician at the Grice
Marine Laboratory in Charleston, SC
before entering veterinary school in
In 2007, he received his DVM degree
from the Virginia-Maryland Regional
College of Veterinary Medicine.
He then completed a one year
internship program at the Equine
Medical Center of Ocala where he
focused on numerous aspects of
equine veterinary medicine ranging
from surgery and neonatal care, to
Thoroughbred sales and reproduction.
His interests are varied, and he enjoys
all aspects of equine surgery.
Mouhamadou Diaw, DVM
Large Animal Reproduction
Mouhamadou received his DVM
from the University of Dakar, School
of Veterinary Medicine in Sengal in
1987. He spent 10 years in private
practice in Senegal and is also licensed
to practice in France (Nantes 1998).
In 2006 heworked forHagyard Equine
Medical Institute in Lexington aiding
in equine reporduction procedures in
Field Care and at the McGee Fertility
Center (embryo transfer, problem
mares, and stallions).
Most recently he was employed by
SCP Guiot Vanbrabant, Grandpre
France a clinic specializing in equine
reproduction managing late pregnant
mares, embryo transfer, artificial
insemination with fresh, cooled and
frozen semen, following and treating
problem mares, and managing the
Large Animal Medicine
Johanna Elfenbein grew up in Florida.
She graduated from Harvard College
in 2003 with a degree in Biochemical
Sciences and a Citation of Fluency in
Italian. She returned to Gainesville for
her DVM and is a UF Alumni. During
veterinary school, Johanna performed
research in the Island Whirl Equine
Colic Research Laboratory and was
a technician in the Hofmann Equine
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
She completed her internship in
Large Animal Medicine and Surgery
at the University of Georgia College
of Veterinary Medicine.
Johanna's research interests include
equine pain management, equine
gastroenterology, and systemic
inflammation. Johanna's clinical
interests include large animal critical
care in both the adult and neonate.
A novel therapy called IRAP, Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein, is now available and showing promising
results for the treatment of osteoarthritis in horses. Equine athletes are susceptible to musculoskeletal injuries and
osteoarthritis (OA), also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD). Osteoarthritis has a major economic impact on
the horse industry and dictates the level of performance for many horses and their riders. Conventional therapies for
osteoarthritis include rest; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as bute, Banamine, and Equioxx;
intraarticular (joint) injections with hyaluronic acid and/or corticosteroids; intramuscular Adequan; intravenous
Legend; oral supplementation with products such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, and extracorporeal
shockwave therapy. IRAP was originally developed in Europe and has been used extensively in Germany. It is
being marketed in the United States by Arthrex VetSystems, and is recommended for the treatment of synovitis
(inflammation of the joint lining) and mild to moderate OA.
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common
causes of lameness in the horse. It is the
result of multiple factors which can include
conformation, age, type of performance,
conditioning, trauma, development
diseases, and multiple physiologic factors.
The clinical signs of OA include lameness,
poor performance, stiffness, and joint
swelling and inflammation. These signs
are a result of synovitis and progressive
cartilage damage within the joint. Trauma
(physical or chemical) to the joint surface
results in the formation and release of
inflammatory proteins, such as interleukin-
1 (IL-1) and other cytokines, which result
in cartilage degeneration. Cytokines,
including IL-1, are chemical signals
produced by cells in the immune system
and tissues of 'joints, that may speed up Dr. Alison Morton injecting IRAP into a joint at the Veterinary Medical Center.
joint injury and potentiate inflammation.
Articular cartilage normally has a smooth
surface and is a critical component of joint stability and fluid motion. It is also resilient and acts to absorb a great
amount of force exerted through locomotion. Damage to the cartilage initiates a cycle of inflammation and pain,
increased inflammatory protein production, and thus further cartilage degeneration. This process can become a
vicious cycle if not treated and arrested in a timely fashion. Over time, bony changes will occur, which account for
abnormalities commonly seen on radiographs ("x-rays") of joints with OA.
Continued on page 10...
IRAP was developed to counteract the inflammatory protein interleukin-1 that is produced in the joint during
synovitis and to slow the progression of OA. It prevents IL-1 from binding to IL-1 receptors on tissues within the
joint, and therefore blocks the action of and stops the damage caused by IL-1 in the joint. The IRAP procedure
requires drawing about 50 ml of your horse's blood. The blood is collected and incubated for 24 hours in a special
syringe which stimulates production of the antagonist protein. After incubation, the blood is placed in a centrifuge
and the plasma (containing IRAP) is separated from the blood cells. The plasma is stored in multiple aliquots and
placed in a special freezer at -80 degrees Celsius for use at any time. The IRAP-rich plasma is then thawed and
sterilely injected into the affected joint. The joint is usually treated every 7-10 days for 3 or more treatments with 1-8
ml, depending on the size and location of the joint. Rest is typically recommended for at least 5-7 days following the
injection, per your veterinarian.
Preliminary studies show that IRAP is improving lameness and may decrease joint swelling. Horses likely to benefit
most from IRAP are those with synovitis or mild to moderate OA or other conditions that may result in a secondary
inflammation within a joint. IRAP can not reverse any permanent damage that often exists in joints with OA, but
may serve to prevent further inflammation and reduce progression of disease. It is likely that other therapeutics may
also be needed in conjunction with IRAP therapy to treat horses with OA. Some horses with severe osteoarthritis
that were refractory to other therapies are reported to have improved with the addition of IRAP therapy, however,
IRAP is generally not recommended for horses with severe cartilage loss. Talk to your veterinarian, as they are the
best resource to determine if IRAP is right for your horse.
If this procedure is not available in your
area contact your local veterinarian for
.a referral to the UFVMC. We will work
along with your referring veterinarian
to give your horse the best possible
H... .. .. ... ..... .~ ..... .
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UF Willed Body Program
A wa' forv our horse to leave a lasting legacy
"He made a difference in someone's life while he was alive, and now he will make a difference in many other horses'
lives by what he is teaching us future veterinarians."
Katherine Doerr, a veterinary student at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM), is speaking
about the horse whose body she studied in her Large Animal Anatomy course.
Recently, the CVM expanded its Willed Body Program, which allows individuals facing the
euthanasia of their terminally ill horse, pony or cow to donate the animal's body to the vet school
for use in teaching. Through this generous act, donors help students become veterinarians.
I. In Large Animal Anatomy, first-year students build a foundation of knowledge about the
structure and function of the body. Later courses about disease processes, surgery, radiology,
pain management, and more all build on this foundation. And it's in Large Animal Anatomy
that, for many hours each day for over 2 months, students work with the donated cadavers.
Students deeply appreciate the contribution body donation makes to their education.
"Knowing the loving history behind the donated cadavers made learning from them so much
more meaningful," says Doerr.
At the end of the course, each group of students honors the donated animal and the person who donated the animal's
body by sending a personalized card expressing their gratitude.
Some donors have reported that, in their time of grief, it was comforting to know that their animal was helping to
advance veterinary medicine. The CVM also offers pet loss counseling through the Companions Program.
For several years, donation to the Willed Body Program has been offered to some clients at the CVM's Veterinary
Medical Center (VMC) who were facing the unavoidable euthanasia of their equines. Recently, a grant allowed the
CVM to expand the Willed Body Program. Now, people throughout Florida (including those who are not VMC
clients) can donate their animals' bodies.
The Willed Body Program resonates with the CVM's reputation for being at the forefront of veterinary medicine
and education. While several other veterinary schools have similar programs, the CVM is developing the concept by
focusing on large animals and enlisting the help of referring veterinarians. Last year, the program was featured at the
Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges Educational Symposium in Washington, D.C.
If you \vould like to learn more about this program. please call the Willed Body Program Hotline at
(352) 392-2246 e\t 3 49 or e-mail program director Dr. R.D. lohnson at email@example.com.
In order to be donated to the Willed Body Program. animals must \weigh less than 700 pounds
and arrangements must be made in advance.
RDVM Appreciation Day Topics
June 28, 2008
Equine Pain Management
Ultrasound Examination of the Foal Abdomen
The Coughing Horse Field Diagnosis & Treatment
Amniotic Membrane and the Horse Cornea
MRSA in the Horse
Update on Hormone Therapy in the Mare
Update on Equine Metabolic Syndrome
Use of MRI in the Horse
Applications of Computed Tomography in the Equine Patient
Care of the Post-operative Colic Patient
Advanced Treatment Modalities for Lameness
Options for Treating Local Skin Tumors
Top 3 Equine Diseases Treated with Acupuncture
Dr. Chris Sanchez
Dr. Laura lavsicas
Dr. Michael Porter
Dr. Dennis Brooks
Dr. Amanda House
Dr. Margo Macpherson
Dr. Dana Zimmel
Dr. Matt Brokken
Dr. Matt Winter
Dr. David Freeman
Dr. Alison Morton
Dr. Jason Errico
Dr. Carolina Ortiz-Umpierre
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