AVNIG ANIAL HUA AN ENIOMNA HEALT
UF veterinarians play key role in turtle rescue
able to get
of turtles back
into the wild
in an appro-
This was an
We had twice
we deal with
in a given year,
and over a
By Sarah Carey
Sn initial influx of about
5 green sea turtles
turned into more than 80
who received care and support
from UF veterinarians in mid-
January following record cold
temperatures throughout the
state. The unprecedented cold
snap, during which below-
freezing temperatures persisted
for several days, posed a severe
health threat to thousands of
the green turtles, already an
Some 5,000 "cold-stunned"
sea turtles were collected from
period of the sea at various locations and
10 days. transported to rescue facili-
j ties throughout the state over
a 10-day period. About 20
Dr. Brian percent of those turtles died.
Stacy The remainder have been
released back into the wild or
are being cared for by various
"Initially, we didn't have a
clear idea how large it was going
to get," said Brian Stacy, Ph.D.,
Dr. Brian Stacy checks the identification number of one of the
green sea turtles that came to UF after being rescued from the
Indian River Lagoon area.
a clinical assistant professor in
UF's Aquatic Animal Health
program and a contract
veterinarian with the National
Marine Fisheries Service. "The
role we played was to house as
many fibropapilloma turtles
as we could so that other
rehab centers that don't keep
those kinds of turtles would
not have to deal with the
biosecurity that the condition
associated with a virus and
manifests as wart-like growths
on the turtles' bodies. For
health reasons, veterinary
professionals like to keep
these turtles separate from
turtles without the condition.
Fibropapillomatosis is 40-60
percent prevalent in one of
the primary areas affected
by the cold and is most
worrisome when tumors are
large and numerous or when
the growths appear in or
continued on page 8
Florida Veterinarian is published bV the
University ol Florida College ol Veterinary
medicinene for alumni and friends.
Suggestions and comments are welcome
and Should be emaelld to:
Sarah Carey. Florida Velerinarian editor, at:
Check out the c:.llege web site at:
Glen F. Hoffsis
Executive Associate Dean
Interim Associate Dean
for Students and Instruction
Thomas W. Vickroy
Associate Dean for Research
and Graduate Studies
Charles H. Courtney
Senior Director of Development
and Alumni Affairs
Assistant Director of
Development and Alumni Affairs
Director of Public Relations
Sarah K. Carey
Coordinator of Alumni Affairs
Jo Ann Winn
malil Animial Hospital
Larle Aninial Hospital
College Adrinistration and Dean's
Developmrnent and Alumni AfMairs
Message from the Dean
College plans strategically for
ur College of Veterinary Medicine is on the
move! All of us are struggling to keep our
businesses, organizations and personal lives maintained
during this most persistent recession. At the college, we
have hopefully weathered the worst of budget reduc-
tions and are looking ahead to avenues for progress.
At times like this we must resist the temptation of
pessimism and be prepared to take prudent risks as we
explore new ventures, programs and services that can
provide the pathway for growth. The college is in the
process of developing a new strategic plan which will
chart the course for the next few years. I would like to
explore a few of our ideas with you.
The new small animal hospital is now within striking
distance of becoming reality. The structure is now
Dean Glen Hoffsis complete and the interior finishes are being completed
and equipment will then be installed. The building is
on track to be completed on time and on budget and will open for business in early October
2010. Please watch for more information about the numerous events we are planning around the
opening. The structure will be the signature for the veterinary campus and will serve genera-
tions of students, residents, clients, and referring veterinarians. Most important is the nature of
the work that will take place in the new hospital, as well as the other veterinary buildings. The
new UF Vice President for Health Affairs, Dr. David Guzick, has concluded that all the Health
Science Center colleges should aspire to hold as their centerpiece value patient care and the
community. In our case, we will also add the client and the referring veterinarian. We think this
concept will serve us well as we begin a new day of quality service and care as we occupy the new
We will institute a veterinary student enrollment management strategy that promises to meet
the needs of students and the state of Florida, as well as the financial needs of the college. We
intend to make small incremental increases in our enrollment over the next several years to
achieve these goals.
We are reaching out to the various communities and constituencies of Florida in an signifi-
cant manner. The FARMS group has instituted a certificate program for students who have an
interest in pursuing food supply veterinary medicine. This builds on our program designed to
create a pathway for four such students to gain admission to the college each year. Now we are
working with the state veterinarian and food animal constituents around the state to identify
geographic areas of need which would qualify graduates to receive federal funds for debt forgive-
ness if they practice in those areas. We have strong Extension programs in dairy, beef, equine,
poultry, and aquatics. Recently we were involved in rescuing numerous sea turtles suffering from
cold stress during the recent cold wave that swept Florida. Our shelter medicine group was also
instrumental in rescue efforts at a cat sanctuary in south Florida that fell on hard times. We offer
continuing education to veterinarians and animal owners and provide assistance for a variety of
emergencies around the state.
These are exciting times and I invite you to observe our progress. As always, thanks for your
generous support and Go Gators!
Longtime manatee biologist receives doctoral
degree in December
By Sarah Carey
It may have taken federal
research biologist Bob
Bonde six years to finish
his Ph.D., but as he puts it,
he's never let his schooling
interfere with his education.
"Much of the infor-
mation utilized for my
dissertation dates back to
when I started working on
manatees more than 30
years ago," said Bonde, who
successfully defended his
dissertation, which focused
on population genetics of
the manatee, in November
at the UF College of
He received his degree
December 18 during UF's
graduate program com-
Bonde has spent his .
entire professional career .. _
working with both the U.S. Bob Bonde, right, and his wife, Cathy Beck
Fish and Wildlife Service female manatee that had been captured for
and the U.S. Geological released.
Survey, where he was assigned to work on population research for the
"I have always had an interest in genetics and understand the value
as it relates to conservation of this endangered species," Bonde said.
"My interests are broad, but my doctoral program focused only on the
manatee genetics issues. I was able to juggle the other responsibilities
of my job and still get the genetics program underway."
To date, the manatee genetics samples Bonde has amassed over
the last 20 years have provided three other Ph.D. projects, one in the
Department of Fisheries in 2000, one in the College of Medicine in
2007 and one in the College of Veterinary Medicine in 2008.
Currently Bonde's name is associated with some 65 scientific
publications. In 2006, he co-authored a book, The Florida Manatee:
Biology and Conservation, with Dr. Roger Reep, a professor of neuro-
science in the CVM's department of physiological sciences. Bonde and
Reep have a professional relationship going back more than 20 years.
"Perhaps more than any other single individual, Bob Bonde
represents the face of the manatee community in Florida," Reep said.
"Whether organizing medical assessments of wild manatees, being
interviewed for television documentaries or doing his own trailblazing
research on manatee genetics, Bob is thoughtful, kind and encourag-
ing to young investigators."
Reep added that Bonde's genuine love of manatees and his dedica-
tion to promoting healthy interactions between humans and manatees
are accompanied by an unwavering positive attitude that is "sweetly
,left, are shown in Belize with a healthy wild
a health assessment and was subsequently
In turn, Bonde called
Reep an enthusiastic
scientist and said he had
been fortunate to be able
to work with Reep on the
"It was a culmination
of a lot of experience
and information on
the manatee," he said,
adding that book profits
are donated to a fund to
reward and acknowledge
students in the CVM
The future should
offer an opportunity to
make further use of the
material collected more
recently, Bonde said.
"I suspect not much
will change at my end,"
he said. "I love my job
and the agency I work
for and embrace being
part of the planning for
the future. In that future,
I hope that genetics will shed some light on the issues and provide us
with better opportunities for the next generation ofscientists."
He added that he very much wanted to remain a part of that
process and to continue his affiliation with the CVM.
"I have never worked with a more pleasant person," Reep said. "It
has been a revelation to watch Bob organize the manatee health assess-
ment captures. He takes a group of 30 chilly people that have never
worked together before, speaks gently to them about what to expect,
leads by example and good humor," Reep said. "Amazingly, these
events go off with no complaints I have ever heard."
Bonde's wife, Cathy Beck, has worked side by side with her
husband for 32 years on the manatee project for USGS. Beck,
a wildlife biologist, manages the Manatee Individual Photo
Identification System, a computerized archive of sighting and life
history data on individual manatees from throughout the southeastern
"We are a team, and continue to work hand in hand on many
issues," Bonde said. "That will not change, as our passions are much
the same. Recently we have spent more time together working on
international sirenian projects in Belize and Australia."
Dr. Ruth Francis-Floyd, who directs UF's Aquatic Animal Health
program, said that having Bonde in the aquatic animal health graduate
program has been "a total privilege."
"His participation gave our fledgling program instant credibility,"
she said. "He has led by example and we are so proud to have his good
name associated with the University of Florida." -4
FLORIDA VETERINARIAN 3
New study will examine use of gene modified stem
cells to aid Dobermans with heart condition
By Sarah Carey
E expanding earlier research, University
of Florida College of Veterinary
Medicine cardiologists have begun a pilot
study using adult stem cells to repair heart
function in Doberman pinschers with a
common heart condition.
Researchers hope to build on their
results to further explore the technique in
other breeds of dogs.
"Our goal would be to try to regener-
ate and bring new muscle cells into the
Dr. Amara Estrada heart," said Amara Estrada, D.V.M., an
assistant professor and chief of the UF Veterinary Medical Center's
The Doberman Pinscher Club of America has provided $72,000 for
Estrada's team to study up to 15 dogs with early stage dilated cardio-
myopathy, known as DCM. A common disease of the heart muscle,
DCM affects both dogs and people. Although people may benefit
from aggressive therapy, such as heart transplants or ventricular-assist
devices, medical therapy is the only current treatment option for dogs
afflicted with the disease.
At best, however, such treatment only prolongs the inevitable.
"When a person gets this disease and their heart fails, they typically
go on a list to receive a transplant," Estrada said. "But when our
patients get it, they are done."
Procedures such as open heart surgery or ventricular assist devices
would be cost-prohibitive for most animal owners, Estrada said.
"If this technique works, it would provide an affordable treatment
option and one which never existed before," she said. "People wouldn't
have to watch their dogs suffer."
Dobermans are afflicted with DCM more frequently than any
other dog breed, and experience extremely high mortality rates. Most
Dobermans with this condition die within six months.
"Other breeds of dogs with this condition do not have as rapid a
course, but do eventually succumb due to refractory heart failure,"
Judith Brown from the Doberman Pinscher Club said she heard
Estrada's name mentioned by another researcher with an interest in
DCM. Brown contacted Estrada right away.
"This disease is an enormous problem in our breed," she said. "We
are all losing dogs because of it. We have been looking for some time
for a viable study to donate funds, and which we could really believe
in," Brown said. "I feel like if you are going to donate to anything, you
might as well make a difference."
Brown said she had spoken to a lot of investigators, but was imme-
diately impressed with Estrada.
"Our dogs are dropping dead in front of our faces," Brown said. "Dr.
Estrada had the empathy and understanding of what we're dealing
with. A lot of people don't seem to get it, but she did."
Preliminary data from Estrada's study will be used to apply for larger
scale clinical trials for Dobermans with DCM, and also for possible
exploration as a translational model for additional studies of the
Shown is Spirit Witt, a healthy Doberman Pinscher who visits the UF
cardiology service every year for health screenings.
disease in people, Estrada said. Over the past one and a half years,
Estrada and her colleagues at the Powell Gene Therapy Center at UF
have removed stem cells from rats and mice, modified them, and
returned them to the animals to repair damaged heart tissue.
"The major advantage of this cell type is their ability to avoid the
immune system, therefore allowing them to engraft in the heart and
survive without rejection," Estrada said.
Transplantation of these stem cells has emerged as a safe and effective
means to repair left ventricular pump function in experimental animal
and human patients with chronically infarcted or ischemic hearts,
The cells are cultured and maintained in the laboratories of Barry
Byrne, M.D., Ph.D. and Thomas Conlon, Ph.D., at the Powell Gene
"This technique follows the latest trend in gene therapy with
combination of stem cells as a platform for expressing therapeutic
proteins," Conlon said. "We are really encouraged by the previous
studies and excited to be a part of Dr. Estrada's research as not only a
potential treatment in canines, but it could be potentially therapeutic
in people too."
Dogs participating in the study will be anesthetized and cells will be
injected via catheter into the coronary sinus essentially a channel
through which blood flows into the heart. Follow-up examinations
will take place at one month, six months, 12 months and 18 months.
To identify registered Dobermans appropriate for the study, Estrada
will be arranging several screening clinics at dog shows and other
venues during the next few months. To meet the criteria, dogs must
be asymptomatic but will show evidence of cardiac dysfunction as the
result of various screening tests.
For more information about the study, contact Estrada via email
at firstname.lastname@example.org or through UF's small animal hospital at
(352) 392-2235. -4
4 FLORIDA VETERINARIAN
UF veterinary cardiologist named one of country's
By Sarah Carey
Amara Estrada, D.V.M., an assistant professor of cardiology at
the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, is the
Southeast Regional winner of the nationwide "Thank Your Vet for a
Healthy Pet" contest.
Sponsored by Morris Animal Foundation, Hills Pet Nutrition,
Inc., and BowTie, Inc., the essay-based contest allows clients to honor
outstanding veterinarians for their dedication to helping animals and
strengthening the human-animal bond.
Nominating Estrada for the award was Gary Anthon of South
Jordan, Utah. Anthon and his family members wrote about how their
dog, Scooby, came to be a participant in Estrada's pacemaker study.
The Anthons learned in early 2007 that Scooby, a black Lab, had a
heart condition known as third-degree heart block. The family was
told Scooby needed a pacemaker and that without one, he would die
"We were devastated," Anthon said. "We didn't even think they put
pacemakers in dogs."
The Anthons came across Estrada's name and contacted her
immediately after learning about her Morris Animal Foundation-
"She wrote back immediately, but there was an obvious problem.
She was in Florida and we were 2000 miles away," Anthon said. "All
the other dogs in the study were local, but she was willing to try."
Despite many challenges, Scooby was enrolled in the program.
Estrada, along with volunteers at UF, even provided housing for
Scooby for three months so the Anthons would not have to travel as
much with Scooby back and forth from Utah.
When he returned home for good in June of 2007, Anthon said
Scooby was full of health and energy and acting like his normal
self. Thanks to Estrada, a devastating experience turned into a great
experience, he said.
"Dr. Estrada saved our dog's life," Anthon said. "We now consider
Amara our friend and we could never repay her for what she has done
for us. We know she is deserving of this award, not just for what she
did for Scooby, but for what she does every day. She is our hero."
Sadly, Scooby passed away due to unrelated causes in September
2009. Still, the Anthons said they would always be grateful to Estrada
for prolonging the time they had left with their beloved dog.
Dr. Amara Estrada, right, with Gary Anthon and his dog, Scooby, in
2007 during one of Scooby's first visits to UF.
"It's a great honor to be recognized with this award, and it makes me
realize that my passion for veterinary medicine, in particular veterinary
cardiology, is recognized and appreciated by my clients," said Estrada,
who also serves as chief of the UF Veterinary Medical Center's cardiology
Hundreds of pet owners throughout the country submitted
nominations, and stories about the award winners already have appeared
in Dog Fancy, Cat Fancy and Veterinary Practice news, all of which are
owned by one of the contest sponsors, Bowtie, Inc.
A complete list of nominees and the winners' profiles are posted at
* E-mail address updates needed
In order to meet the University of Florida's Green Initiatives, more of the college
print publications will become electronic publications or Web-based publications.
Communications via e-mail are becoming increasingly important, as well as being the
'green' thing to do. Be sure your e-mail address is up-to-date so you aren't left out.
Information we need from alumni includes name, class year, and e-mail address. All
others, we need name and e-mail address and some reference to your affiliation to
the college, i.e. you are a donor, a friend, a client, etc.
You can confirm your e-mail address by sending a note to
email@example.com or faxing this info to 352-392-8351.
FLORIDA VETERINARIAN 5
Honors, Awards, Appont'ments& Announcements
prestigious Morris Award
Dr. John Harvey, right, is shown with Dr. Daniel
Aja, director of professional affairs, Hill's Pet
Nutrition, Inc., and Paul Raybould, executive vice
president, Morris Animal Foundation, during the
award presentation held Jan. 16 at NAVC.
John W. Harvey, D.V.M., Ph.D.,
executive associate dean at the University
of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine,
has received the 2010 Mark L. Morris, Sr.
Lifetime Achievement Award for his lifetime
contributions to the field of comparative
The award is given annually by Hills Pet
Food, Inc. to a veterinarian who has made
significant contributions to the welfare of
companion animals through a lifetime of pro-
fessional work. Harvey received the award Jan.
16 during the opening ceremony of the North
American Veterinary Conference in Orlando.
In recognition of Harvey's lifetime of service,
Hill's will donate $20,000 to Morris Animal
Foundation in his name.
"This year we had many outstanding
nominees for this prestigious award," said
Daniel Aja, D.V.M., director of profes-
sional affairs at Hill's. "Dr. Harvey is a highly
dedicated and world renowned educator, and
his accomplishments make him very deserving
of this Lifetime Achievement Award."
A board-certified veterinary clinical patholo-
gist, Harvey has been a member of UF's veteri-
nary college faculty since 1974. His scholastic
accomplishments include the publication
of 113 refereed papers many describing
syndromes not previously recognized -- in
both veterinary and human medicine; three
books; 46 book chapters; 56 proceedings
papers; 65 abstracts and 31 research grants.
He is an accomplished lecturer both nation-
ally and internationally, having participated
in more than 250 major seminar engagements
throughout the world.
6 FLORIDA VETERINARIAN
Harvey has held numerous leadership roles,
serving as president and board member of
the American Society for Veterinary Clinical
Pathology and as president and treasurer of
the International Society for Animal Clinical
Pathology. He has served on the examina-
tion committee of the American College
of Veterinary Pathologists and has been a
member of several other national and state
Among Harvey's previous awards are the
Norden Distinguished Teaching Award, the
American Association of Feline Practitioners
Research Award and the Alumni Recognition
Award from Kansas State University. In 2007,
he received the Lifetime Achievement Award
from the American Society for Veterinary
Dr. Dale Kaplan-Stein is shown with
her horse, Sage.
Dale Kaplan-Stein, D.V.M., a 1981
graduate of the University of Florida College
of Veterinary Medicine, has received a UF
Distinguished Alumnus Award, becoming
the first veterinary college graduate to be so
honored by her alma mater.
Kaplan-Stein, who also received her under-
graduate degree in animal sciences from UF
in 1976, owns Oaks Veterinary Hospital
and Northwood Oaks Veterinary Hospital,
both located in Gainesville. She also helped
establish Affiliated Pet Emergency Services in
Gainesville in 1988. For more than 20 years,
Kaplan-Stein worked tirelessly as a volunteer
for Gainesville Pet Rescue, Alachua County
Animal Services and No More Homeless Pets,
among other groups. In 2007, she founded
the St. Francis House Pet Care Clinic, through
which she has helped provide veterinary care
to more than 600 dogs and cats belonging to
homeless and disadvantaged people from the
Alachua County area.
UF veterinary students have also benefited
from the St. Francis House clinic, as students
on their shelter medicine rotation visit the
clinic weekly to participate as part of their
training. The experience provides an oppor-
tunity for community outreach as well as
additional clinical training.
Kaplan-Stein's commitment to UF veteri-
nary college life and programs through service
and generous philanthropic gifts resulted
in her receiving the college's 2009 Alumni
Achievement Award. The college subsequently
nominated her for the universitywide award.
UF President Bernie Machen said the award
was being given in recognition of the honor
and prestige Kaplan-Stein had brought her
alma mater through her accomplishments and
service. He called her "an excellent example
of what our students should strive to become
as they step off campus and into the world as
She received her award Dec. 18 during
UF commencement ceremonies.
honored by pathology
D.M.V., Ph.D., an
of pathology at the
University of Florida
College of Veterinary
Medicine, has received
the C.L. Davis
Medal for his contri-
butions to veterinary Dr. Claus Buergelt
p t ly ca er igh Dr. Claus Buergelt
Buergelt joined UF's faculty in 1978. His
primary research focus while in academia
was bovine paratuberculosis, resulting in 33
publications on the topic and two patent
"My career highlight was the training of 55
residents in anatomic pathology, with the vast
majority going on to become board certified,"
The foundation, which supports the
advancement of veterinary and comparative
pathology, awards the medal each year to
an esteemed member of the profession who
embodies the ideals of the late Cornell pathol-
ogist Peter J. Olafson specifically excellence
in service, teaching and research.
Buergelt received the award in December
during the foundation's annual meeting in
In addition to the Olafson medal, Buergelt
was honored in August by the International
Association for Paratuberculosis, which
presented him with its Outstanding Service
Milner named associate
SAH chief of staff
Rowan J. Milner,
B.V.Sc., an associate
professor of oncology
at the University of
Florida College of
recently was appointed
associate chief of staff
of UF's small animal
Milner, who is dually
board certified in small Rowan Milner
animal internal medicine and in oncology, will
be in charge of the hospital's day to day opera-
tions. He replaced Michael Schaer, D.V.M.,
in the position when Schaer became special
assistant to the dean.
A 1980 graduate of the University of
Pretoria's veterinary college, Milner spent
two years as a military veterinarian and
practiced general medicine for 10 years. He
returned to the University of Pretoria in South
Africa in 1993, where he became a tenured
associate professor specializing in small animal
medicine. He then studied the application of
radionuclides for the treatment of bone cancer
and received his master's degree in medicine
from the University of Pretoria in 1997.
Milner joined UF's veterinary faculty in
2001 to develop the oncology program and
helped create a separate oncology service in
2005. A medical/radiation oncologist and a
surgical oncologist soon joined the group,
which remains one of the hospital's busiest
He was associate chairman of the depart-
ment of small animal clinical sciences in 2008
and was oncology service chief until assuming
his new position in July.
Milner's research interest t *
is in the field of melanoma
vaccines and target radiother-
apy of sarcomas. He developed
a vaccine for canine melanoma
which is currently undergoing
awarded to UF
Ramiro Isaza, D.V.M.,
an associate professor of small
animal clinical sciences at the
University of Florida College
of Veterinary Medicine, has
been selected as one of six UF
faculty members to receive
KL2 Scholarships through
UF's Clinical and Translational
Isaza, who currently is chief
of the zoological medicine
service, is the only veterinar-
ian in UF's first group of KL2
designees. The KL2 program
provides training and profes-
sional development as well as
salary, research and tuition
support for a minimum of two Dr. Ramiro Isaza is shown preparing to perform a routine physical
years to faculty members who examination on a female Asian elephant. Elephants are one of many
are pursuing a graduate-level species seen by UF's zoological medicine service and an example
degree in a multidisciplinary of potential subjects for Isaza's future studies in public health.
degree in a multidisciplinary
area of clinical research.
Scholars receive an appreciation of diverse
clinical research disciplines, an understand-
ing of methodological and analytic concepts
necessary to design rigorous clinical research
and an opportunity to apply their knowledge
through a mentored research experience that
leads to future grant proposals.
The program is part of the much broader
CTSI, which was established at UF in 2008
as the university developed its programs
before receiving a highly competitive and very
prestigious Clinical and Translational Science
Award from the National Institutes of Health
in July 2009.
"Translational medicine as we think of it
within the veterinary field is primarily basic
research and how we can apply it to animals,"
said Isaza. "But this program seeks ways of
applying our veterinary knowledge to human
health. So I've chosen to pursue a master's
degree in public health and focus my training
and interest on how non-domestic species can
cause disease in people."
Isaza said he also will focus on the
occupational risks faced by people such as
zookeepers, wildlife professionals and even pet
owners who work with non-domestic species.
"I'm pretty well versed in the diseases these
animals have, but I want to communicate
effectively with the human health profes-
sionals about how these animal diseases can
impact human health," he said, adding that
he felt honored to receive the grant because it
afforded him a unique opportunity to cross-
train his veterinary students.
"The concept of one health, one medicine
is only as good as how well faculty are able
to teach the students," he said. "Ultimately
I want to teach the students the importance
of an MPH degree and how to communicate
with human health professionals as well as
with clients. This scholarship gives me the
opportunity to bridge that gap."
FLORIDA VETERINARIAN 7
Honors, Awards, Appointments & Announcements (continued)
Marian Limacher, M.D., heads up the
CTSI's training and professional development
program, which includes the KL2
"We're excited about that quality and
potential of our first KL2 awardees," Limacher
said. "These young professionals have the
opportunity to forge new collaborations and
develop new insights into research that will
improve the health of the population."
Denslow receives UF
Ph.D., a professor
of toxicology at
the University of
Florida's College of
has received a UF
Sponsored by the
of Sponsored Research, Dr. Nancy Denslow
the professorships are awarded to tenured faculty
campuswide for 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.
Denslow's research interests include the
identification of molecular biomarkers for
evaluating adverse effects in fish exposed to
environmental contaminants. Denslow has
been a pioneer in developing and applying
these techniques to the area of environmental
Specifically, she is interested in defining the
molecular mechanisms of endocrine-disrupting
compounds that adversely affect reproduc-
tion. Her research covers species that include
largemouth bass, fathead minnow, sheepshead
minnow, zebrafish and marine organisms such
as queen conch and coral. From field studies
conducted in central Florida lakes, Denslow
and her team developed a largemouth bass
model to chart normal reproductive parameters
for both males and females and to identify how
organochlorine pesticides and other endocrine-
disrupting compounds alter reproduction.
Using next-generation sequencing technolo-
gies, she has obtained more than 16,000 gene
sequences for these species that were used to
create microarrays and a database for proteom-
ics experiments. The microarrays have been
useful to find molecular pathways of toxicity for
contaminant exposure. Using zebrafish microar-
ray analysis as a tool, she has also worked to
better understand the effect of nanomaterials
on fish health, specifically the molecular level
changes that occur upon exposure.
Denslow's work has been supported by
major extramural grants from the National
Institutes of Health, the Environmental
Protection Agency and the National Science
Foundation. In addition, she contributed to
the creation of two UF spin-off companies,
EcoArray and Banyan Biomarkers Inc. She
has developed commercial products including
several monoclonal antibodies that are specific
to the presence of egg yolk protein in the
blood of fish after exposure to estrogen or
estrogen-like products. These antibodies were
licensed and are now commercial products.
In 2007, Denslow received the veterinary
college's Pfizer Award for Research Excellence
for her discoveries.
A member of UF's veterinary college faculty
since 2004, Denslow previously served for 15
years as director of UF's Protein Chemistry
and Molecular Biomarkers Core Facility in
ICBR. She is currently an associate editor
for Ecotoxicology and Environmental
Safety. She serves as a junior councilor in the
Molecular Biology Specialty Section for the
Society of Toxicology and previously served
on the executive board of the Association for
Biomolecular Research Facilities. She is also
a member of the Society of Environmental
Toxicology and the American Society of
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
continued from page 1
around the eyes, threatening the animals' vision and their ability to
Stacy, a board-certified anatomical pathologist, received his Ph.D.
from the UF College of Veterinary Medicine in 2008. During the sea
turtle stranding event, he was instrumental in working with state and
federal wildlife agencies to coordinate rescue efforts all over Florida.
He was involved in initial health assessments, triage, treatment and
release efforts, helping to determine which turtles needed further care
at rehabilitation facilities.
"Some of the turtles were actually responsive between 12-24 hours
and could be released," Stacy said. "We were identifying those with
buoyancy issues, severe tumors, turtles with eye problems or that
showed other types of trauma. We were also concerned about turtles
that were very thin, since those would need to be kept for longer."
Other members of the Aquatic Animal Health team assisted in
various ways. Drs. Mike Walsh and Jim Wellehan managed the clinical
treatment of turtles coming into UF, with help from zoo medicine
resident Dr. Natalie Hall, aquatic animal health resident Dr. Jenny
Meegan, aquatic animal health instructor Dr. Nicole Stacy, veterinary
technician Jennifer Muller, biological scientists Linda Archer and
Heather Daniel and many other veterinary student and staff volun-
teers. Biological scientist Mike Sapper, who works in the anatomy
laboratory, helped set up tubs and pools in advance of the turtles'
arrival. Aquatic Animal Health Program Director Ruth Francis-Floyd
helped with water quality management and other logistical aspects that
were coordinated and put into place within a day, and with very little
"Most of the turtles we got, we were able to save, but some we lost,"
Stacy said. "Most were subsequently released and two were held back
for removal of fibropapillomas. One of those turtles has been discharged
to a rehabilitation facility and another is still being held for possible
Stacy said the weeklong rescue effort was challenging for many
who volunteered to help out, but that overall he felt the response was
"We were able to get large numbers of turtles back into the wild in
an appropriate manner," he said. "This was an unprecedented situation.
We had twice as many strandings as we deal with in a given year, and
over a period of 10 days."
It is unclear what the extent of the overall effect of the recent freezes
on sea turtle populations will be, Stacy said.
"Green sea turtle nesting has risen in recent years, but this event was
a concern especially because it involved so many larger turtles. It takes
an animal an estimated 20-30 years or longer to become sexually mature,
so when that demographic is affected, it's a concern," he said. -t
8 FLORIDA VETERINARIAN
Personal experience leads native Floridian to
support UF's small animal rehabilitation efforts
By Sarah Carey
Victoria Ford and her prize-winning poodle, Tasse, are shown outside UF's
small animal hospital in November. Tasse had just completed a session in
the Rehabilitation and Fitness Center's underwater treadmill.
A s a longtime owner of competitive agility dogs, native Floridian
Victoria Ford saw first-hand how frequently sports injuries can
affect animal athletes.
"After competing in agility for 12 years, I observed all the injured
dogs going to South Carolina for treatment and wondered why the UF
veterinary school was not their choice," Ford said. "I learned that UF
had no such facility, and that agility dogs needed special treatment."
A past treasurer of the Pals & Paws agility group in Jacksonville,
Ford began talking with Dr. Janine Tash, owner of Aalatash Veterinary
Hospital in Gainesville and a UF CVM alumna from the class of
1983. Tash and Ford, both agility dog aficionados, expanded their
discussions to involve UF administrators.
"I learned that not only did agility dogs have rehabilitation needs,
so did other canine athletes as well as surgical and neurological
patients," Ford said.
Soon after, Ford made a $60,000 gift to help purchase an under-
water treadmill for the college's new Small Animal Rehabilitation and
Fitness Center. During the new Small Animal Hospital's fund raising
campaign, she made a significant donation toward construction of
the Rehabilitation and Fitness Center. Subsequently, she decided to
increase her level of support through the establishment of the James
Edmundson Ingraham Endowed Fund in Veterinary Medicine. This
additional gift was made in memory of her great-grandfather, a busi-
nessman, entrepreneur, railroad executive and mayor of St. Augustine,
whom Ford describes as a "moving force in the development of the
state of Florida from the 1880s through the early 1900s."
Just one year after a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to mark the
treadmill's installation, Ford is excited to see the new rehabilitation
center gaining in caseload and in capability.
"It was most heartwarming to be in the Small Animal Hospital
waiting room with my miniature poodle, and overhear a patient
talking about her dog's surgery and recovery," Ford said. "The owner
was telling someone how wonderful the underwater treadmill and
rehabilitation area had been for her dog's recuperation after surgery.
She felt her dog had recuperated more quickly with the assistance of
the rehabilitation center."
Ford added that a Jacksonville agility friend's dog had been
paralyzed and now is doing very well, thanks to treatment through the
UF rehabilitation and fitness center.
"I believe when you are blessed, you should use that blessing
wisely and not selfishly," Ford said. "I try to live knowing that I will
be accountable to my maker on judgment day for my actions and
non-actions. By seeing the need and stepping up to the plate, I feel
I am not only helping the animals but also the expansion of medical
knowledge, specifically the blending of standard medical treatments
with alternative treatments."
Dr. Kristin Kirkby, a board-certified veterinary surgeon who
directors the small animal rehabilitation program, said Ford had a
passion for agility as well as a commitment to the health and fitness of
her dogs and other dogs that participate in the sport.
"She recognized the absolute necessity for a rehabilitation center in
North Florida that can diagnose, treat, and help prevent agility-related
injuries," Kirkby said. "Without Vicky, a rehab service at UF would
still be a plan for the future rather than the fully equipped rehabilita-
tion and fitness center we have today." -t
FLORIDA VETERINARIAN 9
Dairy goat back to show form after successful
surgery at UF
D airy goats have been a f
hobby for University of ,
Florida chemist and program 0 I --* ....
assistant Kelley Hines since I -
she was 15 years old and began cnm 1
raising them for a 4-H club Wai_ t
"What started as a club project P
has now turned into a full-time
show and hobby herd," she said.
Since 2000, she has been -
breeding purebred Lamancha
dairy goats under the "Here
Be Goats" herd name. All of
her goats are registered with
the American Dairy Goat
Association, and her small herd
has participated in two national
shows as well as being shown
throughout Florida and Georgia.
But Martini, a 2005
Christmas-baby goat, was never
just one of the crowd. She had
been born as the result of an arti- Kelley Hines and her prize-winning gc
ficial insemination breeding that
made use of rare, proven semen,
along with her triplet sister and brother.
"From the minute she was born, I knew she was special," Hines
said. "Her mother was my winningest champion doe, so to have an AI
kid out of her like Martini was more than we could have ever hoped
Her beloved goat was also a show-stopper from an early age,
earning her first championship at the age of three months. Hines said.
Last June however, Martini developed a hernia due to complications
from a pelvic fracture and abdominal wall injury that occurred in a
fight with another doe. A hernia occurs when the body wall muscu-
lature under the skin tears or doesn't heal together properly following
injury or surgery, allowing organs to drop through the hole, forming a
By August, Martini's condition had worsened and Hines's veterinar-
ian, Dr. Mara Ricci of New Tampa Animal Hospital, referred her to
UF's Veterinary Medical Center.
"In Martini's case, her rumen was pushing through the hole in
her body wall," Hines said. "There were now only two options, to
euthanize her or to proceed with surgery."
In goats, hernia surgery is risky due to the size and weight of the
"In order to successfully repair a hernia the size of Martini's, you
can't just stitch up the opening," Hines said. "A polypropylene mesh
that is used in humans has to be involved, and the price of the mesh
alone is $500. "
S. !, j '. 9 But Hines's love and
'7, .. respect for Martini was such
S that there was only one
option for her, and that was to
proceed with the surgery.
S "She had an abscess on
the ventral abdomen that
Swas drained successfully at
.h the VMC and again at home
later," said Orlaith Cleary,
D.V.M., a clinical instructor
in large animal surgery at UF
who participated in Martini's
hernia repair, along with Ali
Morton, D.V.M., assistant
professor of large animal
surgery, and Jeremiah Easley,
D.V.M., a large animal surgery
"Once the abscess healed,
she started to develop a body
wall hernia that was quite
large. We successfully repaired
Martini. the hernia with polypropylene
mesh and now she has her
girlish figure back."
In addition, Martini is completely back in show form and in the
early stages of pregnancy. In October, Himes took her to the St. Johns
Fair Open Dairy Goat Show, where she was named champion over 15
other Lamancha does.
"She then exceeded our hopes by also winning Best of Breed over
three additional animals that were already permanent champions,"
Hines said. "This was the third and final win Martini needed to
make her a permanent champion and she is also our first homebred
champion Lamancha. She is a true inspiration for me and for everyone
UF's Morton said the surgery could not have been successful
without the commitment to care that Hines provided throughout
"Hernia repairs can often have complications, so proper preopera-
tive preparation and diligent postoperative care are essential," Morton
said. "There was no question that Kelley would follow every recom-
mendation to the 't.' She was an ideal client friendly, inquisitive and
committed to caring for Martini."
Since Martini's surgery was successful, Hines hope to continue to
breed her while continuing to use her as a regular show and milking doe.
"While I do raise these animals for show and milk, they are also
very much a part of my family and I love them each as individuals,"
Hines said. "Martini is one of those once-in-a-lifetime goats and I
cherish every day I get to spend with her."
Added Morton, "We are thrilled at the outcome of the surgery and
Martini's subsequent successes, and can't wait to see her kids!" o4N
10 FLORIDA VETERINARIAN
CV Hoeoig 2009S
The college celebrated 2009 Homecoming
activities Nov. 7 at Florida Gym. The new venue
drew alumni. faculty. staff and friends together
for an evening of barbecue and fun before
the Florida Gators trounced the Vanderbilt
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FL- --IL C, I ERIN-PHI-N 11
UF |UNIVERSITY of
College of Veterinary Medicine
P.O. Box 100125
Gainesville, FL 32610-0125
The Class of 1985 holds its 25th Anniversary
Celebration during UF's Silver Society
Weekend. Contact Jo Ann Winn at winnj@
vetmed.ufl.edu for details.
The professional coating ceremony for the
Class of 2010 will be held at UF's Phillips
Center for the Performing Arts. For more
information, contact Jo Ann Winn at
Commencement exercises for the Class of
2010 will be held at 2 p.m. at UF's Phillips
Center for the Performing Arts.
The college will hold its annual Referring
Veterinarian Appreciation Day at the UF
Hilton. For more information, go to:
Find us on Facebook
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