Group Title: Florida veterinarian.
Title: Florida veterinarian. Fall 2004.
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Title: Florida veterinarian. Fall 2004.
Uniform Title: Florida veterinarian.
Physical Description: Newspaper
Creator: College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida
Publisher: College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida
Publication Date: Fall 2004
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Bibliographic ID: UF00088916
Volume ID: VID00003
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Dr. Ayalew Mergia


Ayalew Mergia, Ph.D., a
biomedical researcher
at the University of Florida
College of Veterinary
Medicine, has received a
UF Research Foundation
Sponsored by the
university's Division of
Sponsored Research, the
professorships are
awarded to tenured faculty
members campuswide for
See MERGIA p.7

I 0nid

4 Sea Turtle
Treasure Trove
UF veterinarians collaborate to
build valuable database of sea
turtle blood.

Veterinary pathologist

builds ties between UF,

Disney's Animal Kingdom

behind the scenes as
well as front and
center, Walt
Disney World Resort is much
more than the Magic King-
dom and a Florida
vacationers paradise for key
University of Florida
veterinary college faculty and
It's a real-life, close-by
haven of learning
opportunities for

5 Second
A dog injured in Hurricane
Charley receives treatment at
UF, reconciles with owner.

veterinarians, whether they
specialize in horses, birds,
elephants or fish.
"Our strong contacts at UF
allow us here at Disney to
provide the best possible
animal care," said Dr. Scott
Terrell, '97, a board-certified
veterinary pathologist who
heads up the Ih '%**,
department for Disney's
Animal Programs, which
includes Disney's Animal

6 Stimulating
UF veterinary students now
using human patient simulatorto
learn anesthesia techniques.

Dr. Scott Terrell with an alligator
at Lake Apopka while participating
in an environmental contaminant
Photo courtesy of Dr Terre

Kingdom and The Living
Seas at Epcot. He also serves
as a visiting assistant
professor at UF.
"If we have a problem that
someone at UF can help us
with, I can pick up the phone
and call someone I know and
usually get a quick response
or an offer of help," he said.
Terrell said a few examples
of these collegial
relationships include
Disney's interactions with Dr.
Patrick Colahan, professor of
equine surgery, and with Dr.
Carlos Romero, a college
virologist, among others.
"Dr. Colahan has helped a
lot with horses that are used
in parades and trail rides, and
Dr. Romero has assisted us in
diagnosing viral diseases in
some of our birds," Terrell
Dr. Mats Troedsson,
assistant professor and chief
of the college's
theriogenology service,
worked with a Disney group
to develop a field method for
surgically sterilizing female

1 Marine
I Maven
UF veterinary college alum
builds expertise at Mote Marine
Laboratory in Sarasota.

is published by the University of
Florida College of Veterinary
Medicine for alumni and friends.
Suggestions and comments are
welcome and should be sent to
Sarah Carey, editor, Florida
Veterinarian, UF College of
Veterinary Medicine, P.O. Box
100125, Gainesville, FL 32610-
0125. Check out the college
website at: http://
www. vetmed.

Joseph A. DiPietro
D.V.M., M.S.
Executive Associate Dean
Ronald R. Gronwall
D.V.M., PhD.
Associate Dean for Research
and Graduate Studies
Charles H. Courtney
D.V.M., PhD.
Associate Dean for Students and
James P.Thompson
D.V.M., PhD.
Senior Director of Development
& Alumni Affairs
Zoe Haynes
Director of
Development & Alumni Affairs
Karen Hickok
Director of
Public Relations
Sarah K. Carey
M.A., A.P.R.

Small Animal Hospital
(352) 392-4700, Ext. 4700

Large Animal Hospital
(352) 392-4700, Ext. 4000

College Admissions
(352) 392-4700, ext. 5300

Dean's Office
(352) 392-4700, Ext. 5000

Public Relations
(352) 392-4700, Ext. 5206

Development & Alumni Affairs
(352) 392-4700, Ext. 5200

U nwaMy ofFldaCollwge a Vct-mwyn
~arm Ga 3 Liaro G

Mesag frmteda

Dean Joe DiPietro

tis already fall of 2004 but
for many of us Floridians,
itis still just hurricane season.
Itfs time to welcome our
incoming freshmen, start
planning tailgate parties and
taking stock of all we have to
be thankful for, in our busy
professional lives and at home.
And itis still just hurricane
If therefs any comfort to be
had in these trying times, itis
knowing our college does
pride itself in its ability to
respond, when asked, to

disastrous situations. Ifm
talking about situations such
as our recent hurricanes,
events that affect pets who
cannot speak for themselves,
who have owners who during
these times may not be able to
help themselves, much less
their animals.
The college sent teams to
assist in animal relief efforts in
Bartow and Wauchula in the
aftermath of Hurricane
Charley, and in evacuating
horses stranded in floodwaters
in nearby Marion County after
Frances hit.
We are actively pursuing
more ways to make our
services available, not just to
the public and the referring
veterinary community, but to
state and federal officials who
may need our particular
expertise in times of acute
In the meantime, closer to
home, wefve seen many
examples of friends giving
friends rides to work, helping
neighbors with downed trees
or otherwise helping col-
leagues who haven't had
electricity or a hot shower or

meal in days due to Hurricane
While many of our own
lives have been affected, all
around me I see people from
our college making a personal
effort to help others they work
with, and many they donft.
Ifm proud to be a part of
college life on any day, but in
recent days Ifm even more
humbled and gratified by the
spirit of giving and sharing
that goes on in times such as
We do have much to talk
about in terms of college life.
Our new Mobile Equine
Diagnostic Service (MEDS)
comes on line in November.
The Small Animal Reproduc-
tion Service geared up in mid-
September and is now offering
a variety of diagnostic and
treatment options never
before available at this college,
or not since the retirement of
Dr. Victor Shille in the early
f90s. Drs. John Verstegen and
Karine Onclin welcome your
calls, and so, as always, do I.
Please stay safe.

# 4ihE

Animal instincts:

UF sends team to provide aid in aftermath of Hurricane Charley

Second from right, veterinary
pathology resident Dr. Lori Alvarez,
also a member of the college's
Class of '97, examines a flea
infested dog with help from a UF
r I: n veterinary team stationed in
t:4 Wauchula following Hurricane
Charley. UF's team saw many
animals suffering from a variety of
Conditions related to the storm as
well as many animals separated
from their owners. Left to right are
veterinary student Marissa Curtis,
veterinary technician Brandee
Thacker, veterinary technician
Candy Baxter, Alvarez and
veterinary student Ann Lindholm.
See related story, p.5.

TERRELL, from p.1

African elephants using
endoscopy techniques.
"Overpopulation of the
African elephant is a serious
problem in parts of Africa,
and the project is part of a
contraceptive program for
the elephants" Troedsson
"Dr. Mark Stetter (director
of veterinary services at
Disney) and his group have
used a technique developed
in our equine research
program to ligate blood
supplies to ovaries in
elephants in the field in
Other collaborations have
focused on digital radiology
with Dr. Meg Thompson, a
college radiologist and
clinical assistant professor,
and with zoo medicine
professors Drs. Elliott
Jacobson and Darryl Heard.
Dr. Ellis Greiner, a
professor in veterinary
p.i..ii il .1]_:,, has also had
many occasions to interact
with the Disney group, as
has Dr. Marilyn Spalding,
whose expertise is in
whooping crane research.
"Studies resulting from
Scott finding parasites in
animals from many places
around the world is an
avenue ripe for
collaboration," Greiner said.
"It is a win-win situation and
I am delighted that he is a
former student of ours who
is doing so well with his
Greiner said his own
laboratory helped partially
complete some research
Terrell helped initiate.
"Scott was invited to help
assess the health of a series
of turtles that had been
impounded by Chinese
officials and then sent to
Miami," Greiner recalled.
"They arrived in varying
levels of health, from dead

etf grea to epaie th comparativ

pahlg whe yo ar takn about

_Dr. Scttere

to poor condition to fairly
Terrell then performed
necropsies on several turtles
that had been euthanized in
order to assess the animals'
"He froze the
gastrointestinal tracts of a
series of four species which
were endangered or
threatened," Greiner said,
adding that one of his
graduate students, Jennifer
Freeman, was subsequently
able to recover, then identify,
the parasitic worms known as
"Now information about
two new species of parasites
has been submitted for
publication and a review has
been written about the
helminth types and the
relative number of worms in
these turtles," Greiner said.
Terrell began his
association with Disney in
1999 by working as a rotating
p.ihil, h -.1, resident, spending
time both at UF and Disney.
This newly-forged
relationship at the time was
based on the understanding

Dr. Terrell, right, performs a skin
biopsy on an adult male gorilla in
Disney's on-show veterinary
treatment area.
that a new resident in
p.ih, lih l: would come in each
"After a year here, I
decided I wanted to stay, and
my Disney bosses decided
they wanted to keep me,"
Terrell said.
Ultimately the rotating
residency concept continued
with UF's zoo medicine
service. Zoo medicine
residents spend their fourth
year at Disney, during which
they are officially designated
as clinical instructors and
receive slightly higher pay.
Former zoo medicine residents
who have matriculated
through the program include
Drs. Geoff Pye, Brad Lock and
Greg Fleming. Dr. Maud
Lafortune is the current
fourth-year zoo medicine
"Our cases here provide
training material for the
residents back at UF," Terrell
explained. "We see a lot of
interesting and unusual cases

that folks up there don't get
exposure to."
Terrell spends 90 percent
of his time at Disney and
visits UF a few days a month
unless he has longer-term
teaching assignments. He said
he integrates case examples
from Disney into his general
p:illI l -'.l, lectures for UF
veterinary students.
"It's great to emphasize the
comparative p.iln, ,I .1 when
you are talking about diseases
that are shared by dogs, cats
and perhaps even elephants,"
Terrell said.
On an average day, Terrell
oversees all aspects of the
p;illihlh i- department at
Disney, from necropsy to
surgical biopsies, evaluation
of histopathology, writing
reports, and coordinating
diagnostic testing on
everything from fish to
"Our pathology caseload is
not huge, so that gives me
time to pursue other things
such as teaching, cast member
(employee) training, wildlife
health surveillance, and
conservation related
research," Terrell said, adding
that external projects include
alligator and black bear
research in Florida, elephant
and rhino research in South
Africa, and participation with
the recovery of highly
endangered birds in Guam
and the Marianas Islands.
Dr. Jackie Ogden, director
of animal programs for Walt
Disney World World, said
Terrell brings "a tremendous
amount of expertise and
experience" to Disney's
Animal Kingdom.
"His dedication and skills
as a pathologist add much to
our Animal Programs team,"
Ogden said. "Additionally,
Scott is such a natural teacher
that he continually contributes
to the professional
development of our entire

UF veterinarians hope sea turtle blood database

will prove treasure trove for rehab experts


UF scientists and

their collaborators

have stumbled on a

sea turtle treasure

trove that will help

them better assess

the endangered

animals health.

Researchers are
creating a
database of
unprecedented size that will
chart blood profiles of turtles
entering the intake canal of a
nuclear power plant in Port
St. Lucie.
iThis project is significant
because the biochemical
components of blood plasma
6 the liquid portion of blood
6 can help us determine the
health status of both popula-
tions of free-ranging sea
turtles and those ill sea turtles
brought into rehabilitation
facilties,i said Elliott
Jacobson, D.V.M., Ph.D., a
professor of zoological
medicine at UFfs College of
Veterinary Medicine and the
projects lead researcher.
.i. -. ,-J p| I 1:m1 ..t- 1 : ,.
commonly used to ci th..
condition of all sort, t
animals, Jacobson said,
adding that more than 1,000
turtles are trapped annually
in the Port St. Lucie power
plants intake canal, making
it one of the best sites in the
world for access to a huge
number of sea turtles. All the
turtles trapped in the plants
canal are removed, weighed,
measured and tagged. Last
month, scientists added a
step: They take a small

sample of blood from each
turtle before releasing it or
sending it to a rehabilitation
iA reliable and sizeable
database consisting of what
essentially are blood blueprints
for turtles appearing normal, as
well as for those appearing sick,
could give veterinarians and
rehabilitation specialists
additional tools for deciding
how to treat these turtles and
when to return them to the
wild,i Jacobson said.
Researchers aim to collect
data from 415 turtles the first
year and hope to continue the
project for five years.
In the past century, habitat
destruction, incidental and
intentional harvesting,
temperature change have
accelerated decline of sea turtle
populations worldwide,
according to the Smithsonian
National Zoological Park Web
site. An increasing incidence of
diseases and health-related
problems in the wild pose an
additional threat to sea turtle
Today, all sea turtles found
in U.S. waters are federally
listed as endangered, except
for the loggerhead, which is
listed as threatened.
Collaborators in the project,
which is funded by the Florida
sea turtle ie. n,.. plate grant
program and is a result of a
grant from UFfs Opportunity
Fund, include UFfs Archie Carr
Center for Sea Turtle Research,
Marinelife Center of Juno Beach
and the Cloearwatr 4Marine
-.. Lu' Ill Ini T l.. .-.!Lll,.. t._.l !
(_..nt.i \ ill ci.ct.. lat, i..d t b .
based on species, size, sex and
water temperature at time of
sampling and will link this data
to a Web page where the
findings will be available to
those working with sea turtles
around the world.

Marinelife Center and
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
are the primary recipients of ill
or injured turtles found in the
canal. Power plant-based
p., ,nn. I from a federally
contracted organization
known as Quantum Inc. fish
the turtles out of the canal.
Then, Quantum staff members
determine if the turtles are sick
and if so, arrange for trans-
port. Staff members release the
large, air-breathing reptiles
back into the sea when they
seem healthy.
The project began officially
in late July and the first
samples arrived at UF in mid-
August for testing. Officials
will collect blood from turtles
at the power plant and sick
ones will be retested again at
the rehabilitation centers
where they are sent.
iWhile people have been
collecting data on turtle blood
for years, I believe this may be
the largest project of its type in
terms of numbers to be
sampled,i said Sandy
F.,urnies, M.A :, l.hbilita-
t.,,n '-p o li't At I :11 In..IIt.
._,.nt.. ilTh. ie have b.'.n
some published results, but
sample sizes are much smaller
than for this project.i
Fournies pointed out that
the project would also be
unique in that its results
would be available on the

Dr. Elliott Jacobson with sea turtle at
the Port St. Lucie power plant intake
canal. Photo by SarahCarey

!Any information that
advances our understanding
of sea turtles helps us
become better at rehabilita-
tion,i she said. iThe more
data we have on a healthy
population, the better we
understand what we are
aiming for with recovering
turtles. Ideally, this results in
a greater chance of survival
for the turtles we treat.i
Jacobson has two
veterinary students working
on related studies, one of
which focuses on how long
the average sea turtle stays in
a rehabilitation facility once
arriving there for treatment.
1Do blood values help at
all in making a determina-
tion whether to release an
animal? .I d. nit really
1 n. ,I T :,C.b-.,n -1 :id
. H ,. ,.. \ ,. d., h. .p .. to
I .... p tIh, pi. t *-,. n-., for a
Sn., tim,. bn t,. build on it.
F !.. .. :Illn.. a key compo-
n.. nt in assessing the health
I'ttu" of wild animals is to
evaluate health status both in
the wild and in captivity.
Ultimately, we hope to be
able to build on this database
to assess the vitality of wild
populations of sea turtles.i



A k.- LI._hII ., L nd
thjnl ,' t, LiF
"VLAL 1.tlliialb, a
badly injured German
shepherd named Lady wound
up getting a second wind.
From the many personal
stories that emerged in the
aftermath of Hurricane
Charley, Ladyfs story has
special meaning to many at
the University of Florida
College of Veterinary Medi-
When team of UF veteri-
nary pathologists, technicians
and students responded to a
request from the Governoris
Office to aid in the animal
relief efforts; they hooked up
with a huge disaster response
vehicle dispatched by FEMA
to provide shelter and
treatment facilities.
The team traveled from
Bartow to Wauchula, provid-
ing care and treatment to a
variety of animals brought to
the site.
All animals brought to the
facility were photographed by
workers with Code3 Associ-

ates, the company that
operates the truck. All photos
were distributed to various
shelter sites in order to help
pet owners locate their
displaced animals.
One particular dog whose
owner could not be located at
the time was seen and treated
by the UF team.
The female dog,
nicknamed Charley, was
brought up to Gainesville for
major surgery after the team
leader, second-year pathology
resident Dr. Jennifer Maners,
made an impassioned plea to
the colleges surgery service to
provide additional care to the
iThis dog would have
been euthanized had Dr. Jason
Wheeler of our surgery service
not been willing to donate his
time to perform the needed
operations on the dogs hind
legs,i said Maners, who
admits to having fallen in love
with the animal.

Maners said she had lost
her own German shepherd last
year and perhaps that was one
reason why she had become so
attached to the quiet, gentle
creature who was brought to
the Code 3 vehicle after being
found badly hurt.
UF team members deter-
mined that the dog had
probably been hit by a car.
On Aug. 27, less than a
week after the dogs arrival at
UF, Maners received a call
from a woman claiming to be
the dogs owner.
In tears, the woman told
Maners said she had gone from
shelter to shelter and finally
located a photograph of the
dog she knew instantly was
iThey asked if I knew of
any characteristics that were
unique,i said Bridget McVay, a
cafeteria worker who lives and
grew up in Wauchula.
II told them her left fang
tooth was chipped off and they

said, well, this is definitely
your dog.i
McVay said the dog,
whose real name is Lady,
had gotten out during the
Ladyfs surgery, which
was paid for privately by
individuals wanting to
help out, will require two
months of post-operative
care, Wheeler said.
iShe came through the
procedure really well,i
said Wheeler, adding that
Bridget had agreed to leave
Lady in Gainesville until
shefs well enough to go
McVay drove to
Gainesville Sept. 1 to visit
her beloved pet.
iShefs my sweetheart
she said of Maners. II just
canit believe all that
everyone has done. They
let me drive her around
and I got her some of her
favorite treats I miss her
so much.i

Animal care may one day benefit from use

of human patient simulator in student training

Professional training
through the use of
simulators that imitate
real-life situations has become
a way of life in everything
from emergency medicine to
space flight. Now, thanks to a
new anesthesia training
program at the University of
Florida College of Veterinary
Medicine, animal care may be
This years veterinary
graduates are the first in the
country to have studied
anesthesia using a Human
Patient Simulator developed as a
teaching tool by UF physicians
in the 1980s. Educators feel the
experience will make a huge
difference in enhancing
students confidence in handling
emergency situations, as well as
their overall skills in
administering anesthesia to
David Woodham, who
graduated from the UF
veterinary college May 29,

completed two anesthesia
rotations during which he
worked with the patient
iYou can stop and talk
about why pressures are
dropping,i he said. iAlso, if itfs
a bad scenario, you're not
having to deal with someonefs
actual pet. That definitely takes
the pressure off.i
Jan Ilkiw, B.V.Sc., Ph.D., a
professor and associate dean of
academic programs at the
University of California-Davisi
School of Veterinary Medicine,
said Floridais veterinary school
was the first in the country to
offer such a program.
iTheyfre the only ones with a
publication about the human
simulators use in veterinary
education,i Ilkiw said.
In 2002, the Journal of
Veterinary Medical Education
published a UF study in which
90 students took turns being the
ipatientisi clinician as real-life
scenarios were played out on the

simulator. The students
induced and maintained
anesthesia on their patient 6 a
full-sized adult mannequin
nicknamed Stan, for standard
mani 6 and monitored vital
signs. This time, the simulator
represented an animal patient.
Several critical events were
presented for the students to
diagnose and treat.
The studyfs authors, faculty
members from the colleges of
Veterinary Medicine and
Medicine, included Jerome
Modell, M.D., Shauna Cantwell,
D.V.M., John Hardcastle, B.S.E.,
Sheilah Robertson, B.V.M.S.,
Ph.D., and Luisito Pablo,
iWe concluded that the
HumanPatient Simulator was a
valuable learning tool for
veterinary students said
Cantwell, an assistant
professor of anesthesia at the
veterinary college who holds a
joint appointment in the
College of Medicine. Cantwell

At center, Rebecca Niedfeldt, '04,
intubates "Stan" (for standard man), the
human patient simulator, during an
exercise. With her are otherveterinary
students on their anesthesia rotations,
Dr. Shauna Cantwell, second from left,
and Dr. Luisito Pablo, far right, both
faculty anesthesiologists with the UF
veterinary college.
Photo by Sarah Carey

has since taken the simulator
to professional meetings,
including the World Congress
of Veterinary Anesthesia in
Orlando last October, to
demonstrate its use.
lit was exciting for
students to work with, made
them deal with real-life
scenarios, permitted them to
learn without subjecting live
patients to complications and
enabled them to retrace their
steps when their therapy did
not correct the simulated
patients problems Cantwell
Last year, UFfs veterinary
school began requiring that
students be exposed to the
simulator as part of their
education. Students in the
clinical training phase of their
curriculum travel from UFfs
Veterinary Medical Teaching
Hospital across the street to UFfs
McKnight Brain Institute,
where they spend two hours
working with the simulator.
iln school during their
regular curriculum students
donft have the chance to be the
primary caregivers in an
emergency situation, making
their own decisions,,i
Cantwell said. iSo when they
are faced in practice with an
emergency, not only will they
have to evaluate and treat the
patient in an appropriate time
frame, they'll have to face any
confidence issues they might

Dean receives alumni award from University of Illinois

Joseph A. DiPietro,
D.V.M., dean of the
University of Florida College
of Veterinary Medicine, has
received the Dr. Erwin Small
Distinguished Alumni Award
from the University of Illinois
College of Veterinary Medi-
cine and its alumni associa-
The award honors distin-
guished UI graduates who

have excelled in their respec-
tive fields and who have made
significant contributions to the
profession and/or college.
Award recipients will be
honored Oct. 14-15 during
UIfs annual fall conference.
DiPietro became dean of
UFfs veterinary college in
January 1996. He received
D.V.M. and masters degrees
from UI and served as both

assistant and associate
professor of veterinary clinical
medicine and veterinary
parasitology there from 1980
to 1990. From 1990 to 1996, he
held administrative positions
as acting associate dean,
assistant and then associate
dean for research at UI. He
also served as both acting and
assistant director of the
Agriculture Experiment Station
in the College of Agriculture.

Scientist honored for mycoplasmology research

Daniel R. Brown, Ph.D., a
scientist at the University
of Florida College of Veterinary
Medicine, has received the
Derrick Edward for his contribu-
tions to mycoplasmology
Brown received the award
in July in Athens, Ga., during
the 15th International

Congress of the International
Organization for
An assistant professor in
the colleges department of
pathobiology, Brownis work
focuses on genetic and
taxonomic analyses of
pathogenic mycoplasmas and
the diseases they may cause in

wildlife hosts. His research
has been supported by the
National Institutes of Health,
the U.S. Department of
Agriculture, the Morris
Animal Foundation, the UF
University Scholars Program
and the Merck-Merial
Veterinary Scholars Program.

Veterinary department chair receives IFAS award for service

Eleanor Green, D.V.M.,
chair of the University
of Florida College of Veterinary
Medicinefs department of large
animal clinical sciences, has
received the College of Agricul-
ture and Life Sciencesf 2004
Award of Distinction.
The award will be
presented Oct. 9 at the Institute
of Food and Agricultural
Sciences annual TailGATOR
iThe pool of nominees
was very strong, making

MERGIA, from p.1

distinguished research and
scholarship. The honor
includes a $5,000 salary
increase each year for three
years and a one-time $3,000
award for research support.
Mergia, an associate
professor in the colleges

selection a difficult task,i said
Jimmy Cheek, dean of IFASis
College of Agricultural and Life
The award is given for
outstanding contributions to UF,
IFAS, Floridais food, agricultural
and life sciences as well as to
natural resources industries.
Green has served as
professor and chair of the UF
veterinary colleges large animal
clinical sciences department
since 1996. As chair, she also
serves as chief of staff of UFfs

department of pathobiology,
studies the molecular virology
of simian foamy virus. Using
mice as animal models, Mergia
is researching ways the
antiviral gene therapy could
be used to prevent simian
AIDS in primates and
eventually to protect against
HIV infection in humans. The

Alec P. and Louise H.
Courtelis Equine Teaching
A Tampa native, Green
came to her post from the
University of Tennesseefs College
of Veterinary Medicine in
Knoxville, where she was
professor and head of that
colleges department of large
animal clinical sciences as well
as director of its large animal

simian foamy virus is deemed
a desirable way to deliver and
express antiviral genes
because of its broad host range
and its safety and efficiency
relative to other gene-transfer
The UF Research Founda-
tion professorships were
created by the foundation to

Dr. Eleanor Green

recognize faculty members
who have established a
distinguished record of
research and scholarship that
is expected to lead to continu-
ing distinction in their field.
Mergia has been a member
of the UF veterinary faculty
since 1993.

Dr. Joseph DiPietro


Dr. Daniel Brown
Dr. Daniel Brown

UF launches new mobile


diagnostic program

o more driving Miss Daisy long distances when
she s sick Unive sily :il : Floida verennanlans ai e
laun:hing a new pIogiam lia, aims to reduce hoi'ise
owner travel hassle by raking UF 5 v.ereina y diagnostic
services on the road
The Mobile Equine Diagnoslic Seivice known as MEDS,
targets equine vere, nai ans in pi valeI practice and officially i
kicks off in Novembe, The1 piogiam is believed to be the only,, I
such service in t ,e Uniled Siales 11ia wAill ofiei a sophisticated:ii!!. dL
collection of equ pmeni c, upled wi'li, the abilil to consult in |f l r. l
time with experts ai a veienai v hospital
"The collabo arnon Lbew-een mo-dern medicine and digital
technology has advanced ihe held of medical diagnostics such
that diagnoses thai pievi,:usly could be made only in a hospital
setting can now :cc 1.1 ai a disrani location said Michael Porile
D.V.M., Ph.D., a c,:oaid-c i i nIed ine nist As diieciou oi tihe
MEDS program, Po.:. re will iespo:nd It: calls Ii:m eleie ng
veterinarians and provide diagnostic services to their clients
throughout the state of Florida and southern Georgia.
Porter is committed to promoting the program as a useful
tool for veterinarians inasmuch as it will often fill a gap in
available diagnostic services, as well as provide needed
co:,nvennnienc : li i.: se :wnei5 s The i:nompel'iensive diagno.:siic
package I..1EDS will oiiei ai exceeds what mo:si clinicians aie
able 1: access Ailioul[ visiting a referral veteiinaiy hospital
We 11 have all the important diagnostic capabilities includ-
ing digital radiology, ultrasound, endoscopy. gastroscopy and
echi:caidi:ogiaphy, plus the ability to share images and data via
sarelliie irechniology while in the field," Porter said. adding that
the additional capabilities i1EDS will provide veterinarians will
iiiimarelv help them belle serve then clients
Tlie U S Department of Agi icultuie estimates hlat Florida is
hon:me Ir:, 1 7I,0 000 horses and that the ihoise indiusIIy geneiales
pi':'d'J.i valued at $2 2 billion annually The Ocala area ianks as
the wc01 Id s I0:'.I Ih-largest bi feeding and h gaining ai ea behind
Lexingio:n Ky NJewmarket England and Chanrilly Fiance
Fli: ida ovei I:ook Calioi nia in 1998 to become the nation s
second laigesi pIoducei of registered Thoi-oug'i. bied foals
I riink iiis piogl am will definitely be beneficial to the
releiing vere, nai v c mm.iniiv pai iculailv a as esou ice i:
those private ambulatory practitioners who are in business for
themselves and not associated with a major clinic or hospital,"
said Ted Orosky, D.V.M., an equine veterinarian who is the sole
owner of an ambulatory practice based in Ocala. "Most of
MEDS' usefulness will likely be directed to cases relating to
soundness, lameness and trauma."
An example of such a case would be a foal suffering from an

Dr. Michael Porler

acute head or neck injury-a situation where a private
veterinarian would not be comfortable transporting the
Here's how Porter envisions the program will work.
Say Miss Daisy, a 26-year-old mare owned by the same
a1milv all ie-i lie is in need of referral-level diagnostic
seIvices Unnl,:ii.inael-v she is two hours from the closest
ri.:sp1ial and lie o:wnei s and veterinarian worry about the
potential siiess oi inansporting Miss Daisy in a trailer for two
hours during tie hi:,resr days of the year.
Entei the I.1EDS pi:gram and Porter, who communicates
diiecilv wilI th..11 Daisy s referring veterinarian and sched-
ules a aa ppin:nlmenl Ir: perform an abdominal ultrasound
and gasi:lsco.:pv on 11ie horse. One gastroscopy with
inl-esinal bol'psies and one abdominal ultrasound later, Miss
Daisy is diagno.:sed will the equine version of inflammatory
Lbowel disease ..liss Daisy's owners opt to begin a medica-
lion pil.:giam immediately, and within several weeks, Miss
Daisv is dJ:oing belle
We ,iec.:gnize ihat these days, animals are often
lega'Jded as membeils ,.:. the family," Porter said. "The MEDS
pioggiam uliimaelyv is about helping to preserve that bond by
'de-eci ng disease as s::on as possible and saving or
improving the horse's quality of life."
UF's Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, the
clinical arm of the university's College of Veterinary Medi-
cine, admits about 5,000 horses a year for treatment, the
overwhelming majority of which are referred by private

All about good breeding:

Husband-wife team join

UF faculty to head up

small animal

reproduction service


W hen it comes to
making babies,
the animal world
is not so different from the
human one 6 planning is
everything. In an effort to help
animal breeders better manage
diseases and improve preg-
nancy success rates, the
University of Florida College of
Veterinary Medicine has
launched a new service focused
solely on small animal repro-
iWe will offer cutting edge
technologies to diagnose and
treat reproductive diseases and
infertility cases in male and
female animals, mostly dogs
and cats,i said Dr. John
Verstegen, who heads the
service in partnership with his
wife, Dr. Karine Onclin.
Verstegen and Onclin moved
last summer to Gainesville
from Belgium where they
worked at the University of
Liege. Their UF clinic opened
for business in early Septem-
Among the tools the couple
plans to offer breeders are a
variety of hormone tests, as
well as vaginal smears,
vaginoscopy, uterine endos-
copy and endoscopic uterine
iWe also will be able to
provide sonography of the
reproductive tract, including
sonographic detection of
follicular growth and ovulation
to improve fertilization and
artificial insemination success,i
Verstegen said, adding that the
services main activities will
include pregnancy monitoring

through Doppler ultrasonog-
raphy, endocrine testing,
parturition monitoring and
neonatal care.
Tampafs story is just one
example of the literal lengths
to which some breeders will
go to insure success.
A bearded collie owned by
an internationally recognized
breeder, Tampa was sent to
Verstegen and Onclin in July
2003 for breeding manage-
iWhen we determined she
had ovulated and begun her
fertile period, we told the
breeder on Wednesday that
she had to plan a mating for
Tampa on Friday,i Onclin
said. iSo 48 hours in advance,
the breeder took Tampa in her
car and drove from Liege,
Belgium to Calais, France.
Then they took a boat to
London and finally drove
more than 1000 kilometers to
Scotland to find the right
fiancE for Tampa,i Onclin
iTampa was mated on that
Friday and Saturday, then
they took the road and the
boat back to Belgium, where
they arrived late Sunday,i she
added. iWe checked Tampa
again on Monday. When we
performed an
ultrasonographic examination
three weeks later, Tampa was
The breeder was thrilled
and sent the Verstegens many
pictures of Tampafs litter of 11
iDrs. Verstegen and
Onclin are renowned authori-
ties in all aspects of animal
reproduction and we are

delighted to have them on
board our team at UF,i said
Eleanor Green, D.V.M., chair
of UFfs department of large
animal clinical sciences and
chief of staff of the Alec P. and
Louise H. Courtelis Equine
Teaching Hospital.
The department oversees
the theriogenology service,

Foi more iniormano:n :i i.:
make an appo.inimenil will
Dis Veislegen andn Onclin
of Ihe Small Animal
Repi:'Juction Service call
i352C :2- :.41 exi 47-1,

In top photo, Dr. Karine Onclin, Dr. John
Verstegen and Renee Baker with a litter
of Baker's dachshunds and their
relatives. State of the art Uterine
drainage equipment used in the
reproduction laboratory is pictured

which now encompasses
reproduction expertise for
both large and small animals.

Endowment gifts help plan the future, build on existing strengths

G ifts come to the college
in several ways-annual
gifts, bequests, charitable
All of them are important and
necessary for Florida's
College of Veterinary
Medicine to remain viable and
on the cutting edge of keeping
animals, humans, and the
environment healthy.
Many benefactors choose
to create an endowed fund
Zoe Haynes which is perpetual and can be
Senior Director of named in the donor's honor or
Development in memory of a loved one.
and Alumni Affairs
Some have lost a beloved pet
and named the fund in the pet's memory. The principal of an
endowed fund remains in tact forever and a portion of the
annual income earned is used as stipulated by the donor while a
portion is added back to the principal fund to increase its value
through the years.
If current or annual gifts are our daily bread, endowed funds
will sustain us into the future. Endowed funds allow the College
to plan more efficiently. For instance, the College currently has
a fund which supports studies in feline disease. Therefore, a
new donor might be encouraged to focus on canine disease.
An endowed research fund would allow a department to
establish a new initiative on a particular disease effecting animal
health, knowing that the income from that fund will be available
year after year. Income from endowed funds help to recruit and
retain our faculty/clinician experts-an ever increasing
challenge for us as we compete with private practices and other
veterinary colleges.
At this time, Dean Joseph DiPietro and the faculty, staff and
students of Florida's only college of veterinary medicine would
like to acknowledge those benefactors who have made gifts--
many of them sacrificial gifts-to establish the following
endowed funds.

Martha and Arthur Appleton Endowed Professorship in Equine Studies
Fern Audette Professorship in Equine Studies
Jerry and Lola Collins Eminent Scholar Chair in Veterinary Medicine
Hill's Pet Nutrition Professorship in Small Animal Clinical Nutrition

Joseph W. Wunsch Fellowship
Deedie Wrigley-Hancock Fellowship in Equine Colic Studies

Angel Dogs Scholarship
Aviary and Cage Bird Society of South Florida Scholarship

Mark S. Bloomberg Memorial Scholarship
Calder Race Course Scholarship
Clarence and Lucille Dee Scholarship
Dr. John W. DeMilly, Jr. Scholarship
Verna Hilda Soderstrom Domaschk Scholarship
Echo Equine Scholarship
Thomas W. Ernst Scholarship
Florida Veterinary Medicine Association Scholarship
Stan Fried Foundation Scholarship
Elizabeth Fuschetto Scholarship
College of Veterinary Medicine Golf Classic Endowment
John Karl Goodwin Memorial Scholarship
Hal's Hope Equine Studies Scholarship
Francis Heide Memorial Scholarship
Harold S. Heide Memorial Scholarship
Theodore H. Heide Memorial Scholarship
Priscilla Henderson Scholarship
James A. Himes Scholarship
Horse Farm Hundred Scholarship
William M. Inman and Clara Strickland Inman Graduate Scholarship
Gwyndolen F. Jensen Scholarship
Barbara C. Joslin Scholarship
Jake Kelly Memorial Scholarship
Jeanne Marie Neal Award
Paul Nicoletti Scholarship
William R. Rambo, Sr. Scholarship in Veterinary Medicine
Phylis L. Raynor Memorial Scholarship
Kimberly K. Riley Scholarship
Salsbury Endowment for Veterinary Medicine Scholarships
Charles F. Simpson Memorial
Neal H. and Theresa D. Slade Scholarship
Treasure Coast Exotic Bird Club Senior Scholarship
Frances P. Weaver Scholarship
Amy Swisher Wilcox Scholarship
Dr. Ralph S. Wilhelm, Jr. Scholarship
Joe and Sophie Witten Scholarship
Gloria Vargo Scholarship
Charles B. Viall, III Scholarship

Canine Reproduction Laboratory
E. Malcolm Field Neurological Research Fund
Stephen and Dorothy Flynn Memorial Equine Disease Research Fund
Gwathmey Visual Sciences Laboratory
Island Whirl Colic Research Laboratory
Jablonski/Peterson Animal Health Research Fund
Wayne H. Riser Laboratory for Bone and Joint P ii .i.. '.
Blanche Saunders Dermatology Laboratory

Program Enhancement:
George Batchelor Wildlife Fund
Charlie Bild's Friends, Inc. Fund
Philip B. and Georgia E. Hofmann Fund for Equine Studies
North American Veterinary Conference Emergency Fund
William F. Parma Fund for Excellence
Anne Troneck Fund

Veterinarian aspires to make a difference in

marine mammal rehabilitation

D r. Tonya Claussis
reflects an
interesting skill set of conserva-
tion research and clinical
But as much as anything,
her present job as a staff
veterinarian for Mote Marine
Laboratory and Aquarium in
Sarasota reflects a lifelong
passion for animals of all types.
As a 5-year-old child,
Clauss was participating in
open horse show circuits in
South Florida.
At age 9, she placed fifth in
the Trail Class at the American
Quarter Horse Youth
Association World show and
went on to place in the top 10
on two other national
She won 19 state
championship titles in the five
years she showed on the
quarter horse circuit and three
state champion titles in rodeo
competitions as a high school
In fact, until her senior year
of high school, Clauss wanted
to become an equine
But as her life evolved, so
did her interest in wildlife
iSitting in a wetlands
ecology course, the revelation
hit me -- I wanted to work
with aquatic animals of all
types, but I wanted to do more
than just treat their illnesses in
a captive situation,i Clauss
said. ii began graduate school
the next semester.i
Clauss holds bachelors
degrees in animal science and
wildlife ecology and received
her masters degree in
environmental engineering
with a focus on wetlands
She received her veterinary

degree from UF in 2003.
1Holding a position at
Mote Marine is an honor, as it
has given me the rare
opportunity to be an aquatic
veterinarian,i she said.
Although Clauss works
with marine mammals
multiple times each week, she
says they were never the
driving force behind her
desire to be an aquatic
II truly love working with
fish, reptiles, amphibians,
birds and invertebrates, as
well as mammals, both
freshwater and marine,i she
Mote employs three full
time veterinarians, two of
which, including Clauss, are

In top photo, Dr. Tonya Clauss, second
from left, passes a gastric tube into the
stomach of a bottlenose dolphin to
obtain a sample for analysis. At left in
below photo, Clauss writes down
pertinent information prior to performing
a necropsy on a blacktip shark that had
died the night before. She is assisted by
Mote aquarist Theresa Nietfeld.
Photos by Sarah Carey

clinical and research
veterinarians in the animal
care department.
Clauss is the primary care
veterinarian for Motefs fish
and invertebrates.
iSince Mote Marine is a
research facility, we are all
involved in various research
projects at any given time,i
Clauss said.
Since joining Motefs staff in

June 2003, Clauss has been
involved with research
focused on pharmacokinetics,
reproduction and nutrition in
sea turtles; wound healing in
dolphins; and pharmacokinet-
ics and acoustic tag tracking
use in fish.
On a typical Monday,
Clauss is performing examina-
tions on dolphins at 7:30 a.m.
iThis includes taking
blood, performing gastric,
fecal and blow hole sampling,
and taking girth and length
measurements,i Clauss said.
After caring for the
dolphins, Clauss and her team
move to the sea turtles being
rehabilitated at the facility.
Then Clauss assists Lynne
Byrd, a certified veterinary
technician, in processing blood
and cytology samples.
lOnce the samples are
processed, I go to the
aquarium to observe the fish
and invertebrates in quaran-
tine, as well as any under
hospital care,i she said.
Examinations on fish might
include skin scrapes, fin and
gill clips, fecal examinations
and water chemistry analysis
from the tank or system of
iAt that point, I try to catch
up on paperwork,i Clauss
If that's not enough to keep
her busy, she also holds a part-
time job at Pelican Manfs Bird
Sanctuary, a wildlife rehabili-
tation facility in Sarasota
oriented toward injured
aquatic birds.
iMost evenings, after my
duties at Mote are complete, I
go to Pelican Man to examine
and treat animals,i Clauss
said, adding, ii like variety. At
this point in my career, I
would not want to focus on
any one area of aquatics.i

rs. Karine Onclin and her husband, Dr. John Verstegen, are
new in town. Having moved from Belgium to Gainesville to
head up the college's new Small Animal Reproduction
Service, (see story, p. 9) the couple had no experience with
Their first client at UF was Jackie Kensler of St. Augustine, a Border
Terrier breeder who brought Louise, a "prize catch" from Canada, to the
Verstegens for breeding management.
Kensler was attempting to breed Louise to her own dog, Cody. An
attempt to mate the two last year was unsuccessful.
"We saw Jackie and Louise three times, and the last was right before
Hurricane Frances," Onclin said. "Jackie brought us two large buckets full
of products such as candles, dog and cat treats, wine and even beers for
the resident, Dr. Adam Eichelgerger. She called the buckets 'hurricane
survival kits' and there was even a card 'signed' by Louise thanking us for
the care we showed her."
Louise was mated during the hurricane and a few more times in the
"We all survived the hurricane, but we're crossing our fingers she will
be pregnant this time," Onclin said.
At right Onclin is pictured with kittens from the Alachua County Animal


I Alumni Calendar

October 24
Team Vet Med will once again
participate in the annual Horse
Farm 100 ride sponsored by
the Gainesville Cycling Club.
Proceeds will go to support
veterinary student scholarships.
For more information about how
to support riders or ride
yourself, contact Jo Ann Winn
at (352) 392-4700, ext. 5013.

November 12-13
UF Homecoming activities will
be held, featuring Gator Growl
on Friday evening, Nov. 12,
and the college's annual pre-
game brunch on Nov. 13.
Times TBA. Tours will be
provided. Contact Jo Ann
Winn at (352) 392-4700, ext.
5013 for more information.

January 8-12, 2005

The 2005 North American
Veterinary Conference will be
held in Orlando. The head-
quarters hotel will be the
Gaylord Palms Resort. The UF
veterinary college's annual
alumni reception will be held
beginning at 7 p.m. at the
Marriott World Center. The
room is to be announced.
Contact Jo Ann Winn at (352)
392-4700, ext. 5013.



College of Veterinary Medicine

P.O. Box 100125
Gainesville, FL 32610-0125

Address Service Requested

February 12, 2005

Want to party to help raise
money for the college's new
Small Animal Hospital? A
"Party in the Jungle for the
Love of Animals" fundraiser will
be held Saturday, Feb. 12 at
Parrot Jungle Island in Miami.
For more information, contact
Julie Sculthorpe at
or call her at (352) 392-4700,
ext. 5214.

Non-Profit Organization
U.S. Postage

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