o et r n ry M d i i e0 c oe r 20 0 9
the NEWS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE
VMC becomes only hospital in Southeast to offer advanced imaging
capabilities through new MR technology
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BY SARAH CAREY
A new clinical imaging system now in place at the University of Florida Veterinary
Medical Center will enable veterinarians to obtain diagnostic images of previously
inaccessible and larger parts of the body, such as the upper legs of horses,
The new 1.5 Tesla Titan MR, made by Toshiba, has never previously been used by any
academic veterinary medical center in the United States and will provide private practitioners
and pet owners with a highly sophisticated, state-of-the-art tool for pinpointing and treating
disease in their animals.
"There are many advantages to the Titan, notably its 71-centimeter patient aperture -
known as the open bore which will be a benefit in examining large animals," said Clifford
"Kip" Berry, a professor of radiology at UF and chief of the VMC's radiology service.
Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is used in veterinary medicine to look inside an
animal's body to evaluate diseases and other problems. The new MR will provide veterinarians
with a more detailed anatomic picture through high-resolution imaging, and will enable them
to image arterial and venous blood flow with the injection of an intravenous contrast medium,
UF veterinarians said.
Berry said the new equipment is "faster, bigger and better" than what has previously been
available, and provides UF with one more powerful tool to provide veterinarians and their
clients with the most advanced imaging services.
"There is more space available inside the machine to accommodate patients, which should
allow for better imaging of the mid- to upper extremity of horses," Berry said. "The Titan also
is quieter than existing MR equipment, making it less likely that acoustic noise will awaken
patients during diagnostic examinations."
The equipment is designed so animals should not have to be repositioned during an MR
study. Veterinary technologists also have the flexibility to load large animal patients into the
equipment from the back end.
"There are many advantages to the Titan, notably its 71-
centimeter patient aperture known as the open bore which
will be a benefit in examining large animals."
Dr. Clifford "Kip" Berry
The VMC's new MR unit and the 8-slice multidetector row Toshiba Acquilion CT unit
now available at UF are among the most powerful imaging tools currently available for
veterinary diagnostics in the Southeast.
The MR unit allows highly detailed images to be obtained in multiple planes of bone and
soft tissue in all species. Foot, fetlock, suspensory ligaments, carpus, hock and heads are
regions capable of being examined through MR in the horse, while spiral CT may be used for
3-dimensional reconstruction in complex fracture repair planning of the extremity or stifle in
large animals. In small animals, both modalities are routinely applied to neurologic and
orthopedic cases at the VMC, with additional studies performed for radiation planning and
"MR allows for exquisite distinction between normal and abnormal tissues," Berry said.
"The use of specialized sequences further increases the ability to distinguish between different
types of p.iil h -.1, ranging from hemorrhagic infarctions to primary brain tumors and
Dr. Matthew Winter, assistant professor of diagnostic imaging at UF's VMC, added that
MR also reveals bone, tendon and ligament p.ii, ll .1, and can show bone bruising, meniscal
damage and ligament tears that go undetected when using traditional radiography.
A front view of the new Toshiba Titan MR unit now installed at UF's VMC
Photo courtesy of Toshiba
"All of our radiologists have strong interests in cross-sectional imaging, which gives UF a
unique ability to serve the advanced imaging needs of Florida veterinarians," Winter said.
In addition to MR and CT, UF's VMC offers nuclear medicine, or scintigraphy, to both
small and large animal patients. Teleradiology, or film reading via satellite, is a fee-based
service UF's veterinary radiologists also offer to private veterinary practitioners who want to
make use of UF's expertise remotely.
Prospective small animal referral clients should call (352) 392-2235, ext. 4875. For small
animal outpatient services, call (352) 273-8585 or go to www.gatorvetimaging.com. For
information about large animal imaging, call the large animal hospital at (352) 392-2229.
In-house patients at the UF VMC will have automatic access to all diagnostic imaging
equipment when requested as part of a comprehensive diagnostic workup.
CVM Homecoming is Nov. 7
We have a change this year in that we have scheduled CVM's Alumni Home-
coming on a different day than main campus homecoming. Our CVM Homecom-
ing celebration will be Saturday, Nov. 7, when the Florida Gators take on the
Our event is primarily geared to alumni, faculty and senior students but others
can buy tickets if interested as well. The Web site, www.vetmed.ufl.edu/college/
alumni has all of the information you need to purchase pre-game meal tickets but
anyone seeking further information should call Genevieve Mendoza-Perez at
associate chief of
staff for small
Rowan J. Milner, B.V.Sc., an associate
professor of oi ,' ,i-, at the University
of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine,
recently was appointed associate chief of staff
of UF's small animal hospital.
Milner, who is dually board certified in
small animal internal medicine and in
(11i, I l -.,, will be in charge of the hospital's
day to day operations. 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 1993,
where he became a tenured associate profes-
sor 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 (ii ~Clil, program and
helped create a separate (i it ,C-1l, 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
department of small animal clinical sciences
in 2008 and was (i nc,,.1l i service chief until
assuming his new position in July.
Milner's research interest is in the field of
melanoma vaccines and target radiotherapy
of sarcomas. He developed a vaccine for
canine melanoma which is currently under-
going clinical trials.
Linda ISla.,l 1-1l irllh her c.uiiorrtF r Linda Ht, ,ard surrounded lby dlnalil'LJa galher.Erd r, C -I.1lacull, I a il1 a dll a l lnd s nl otr Ianley, s oln S an
ca .ana ylll an3 ldis P ..) t ill n Iraq phi I,, ara Care,
Stanley's son, Sean Cavanaugh, was deployed to Iraq for
the first time Aug. 23rd with his K-9, Ata, Stanley's
coworkers rallied to provide support. Led by Linda Howard, another
client services worker, an effort ensued that resulted in boxes of dona-
tions being gathered both for Ata, a German Shepherd, and other K-9s in
Ata's unit as well as for Sean and his military companions.
"All sorts of toys, chew bones, booties, water bowls and even
goggles for Ata and the other K-9s serving our country soon filled up the
phone room" said Joy Lee, another phone room staffer. "The outpouring
of support from folks here at the vet school has been tremendous."'
Crackers, hand lotion, peanuts and sun block were among the goods
donated for Sean and other soldiers in his unit. Merial's representative
helped to provide Frontline for the K-9s.
Sean and Ata are serving on the front lines, Howard said.
"Ata is trained to sniff out land mines, booby traps and bombs in
order to make it safe for the rest of the troops," she added.
All the goods were collected and sent in late September.
In a thank-you e-mail sent to all who donated supplies, Stanley
thanked everyone who contributed. Sean Cavanaugh and his dog, Ata.
"We will start collecting things again shortly to send to the guys for
Christmas," she said. "Sean says they have put a lot of the supplies we
have sent them to good use already. He is overwhelmed with your
She also shared a note from one of Sean's soldier friends saying that Sean had made a "pretty big find and saved the lives of
many soldiers with his dog."
Stay tuned for further updates.
Small animal surgery residents net awards at ACVS
Two UF small animal surgery residents were awarded for their research efforts during the American College of Veterinary Surgeons
annual symposium, held Oct. 21-23 in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Stan Kim, a third-year resident, received an honorable mention in the publication category for a paper he coauthored with small
animal surgery faculty members Drs. Dan Lewis and Antonio Pozzi and other colleagues titled "Effect of Tibial Tuberosity Advancement
on Femorotibial Contact Mechanics and Stifle Kinematics." The paper appeared in Veterinary Surgery in January.
Second-year resident Dr. Kelley Thieman took a second-place award for her podium presentation titled "The Contact Mechanics of
Meniscal Repairs and Partial Meniscectomy as Treatment for Simulated Bucket Handle Medial Meniscal Tears in Cadaveric Dog
Both Thieman and Kim were mentored by Drs. Antonio Pozzi and Dan Lewis, both faculty small animal surgeons.
Congratulations to all!
A shoil of support:
Helping soldiers, their families and their K-9s
Dr. Rowan Milner
Dog with heart disease receives needed medical help, thanks to UF cardiologists -- and good Samaritan
BY SARAH CAREY
T hanks to a grant from a good Samaritan and UF Veterinary Medical Center
cardiologists, Tucker, a 2-year-old Golden Retriever with severe heart disease and no
other chance for help, now is back home in Ft. Myers with a new leash, er, lease,
"Today I walked him and he walked me, 70 percent of the time," said Anne Liebermann,
Tucker's owner. "He was really raring to go. When we first got him at the age of four months, he
could do about a block and that was it."
Tucker's owners never limited his exercise; the dog did that on his own, Liebermann said.
His condition had worsened to the point that he showed increasing signs of stress, including '
fainting, with minimal exercise and exertion.
"He's a purebred from a registered litter, but we knew when we got him that he was sick,"
Liebermann said. "We didn't have the cash or the funds to do anything other than normal
maintenance but just decided we would give him as good a life as we could while he was with
Tucker came to Gainesville in mid-September when Liebermann brought him to UF on the
advice of her veterinarian, who had learned about a congenital heart disease study underway at
the VMC. The veterinarian believed Tucker might be a candidate.
After examining the dog, however, Dr. Amara Estrada, assistant professor of cardiology, and
her team determined that Tucker did not qualify for coverage because his particular heart
disease did not meet the study's criteria.
"He not only had really bad heart disease, his owner also was unable to afford an
interventional procedure to treat him," Estrada said.
Approximately two years ago, however, an anonymous client generously donated $4,000
to the cardiology service to help the owners of cats that suffered from heart disease but who
could not afford care. Although obviously Tucker was a dog, not a cat, the funds had not been
spent because there have not been any viable feline candidates, Estrada said. Meanwhile,
however, UF cardiology team members had fallen in love with Tucker and his owner.
Cardiology resident Dr. Mandi Schmidt contacted the anonymous donors to ask if they
would agree to bend their rules this one time and allow Tucker's medical expenses to be
covered through their gift.
The donors agreed. Soon thereafter, UF's cardiologists had performed a cardiac
catheterization and effectively ballooned his pulmonary valve.
"It was a very successful procedure," Estrada said. Al\in ii ihI Tucker will still not have a
normal life expectancy, it will be so much better than it would have been."
Schmidt added that over a week after the procedure, Tucker was no longer fainting and that
his owner described him as "like a new dog."
"He has more energy, better appetite and in general more exuberance for life," Schmidt
Liebermann added that she had not realized up until now how much Tucker's illness had
taken out of him.
"He's just the sweetest thing," she said. "There's not a mean bone in his body. He is quite Cardiology resident Dr. Mandi Schmidt, left, and veterinary student Heather Rogers, right, with Anne Liebermann and
the mischief maker. If we hadn't heard about the study at UF we never would have taken him Tucker in the small animal clinic in September. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Mandi Schmidt)
up, so everything really fell into place."
Bird's eye views -
These most recent architectural renderings show i
views of the main small animal hospital lobby, at . .- ..-.
right, and the lobby for the separate general
medicine and emergency/critical care area, "
___ 4J .
Architectural renderings courtesy of FWAIDB/Ziedler Partnership
Say what? Students get an exercise in good communication
A re you making good eye contact? Putting the client at ease with your body
language? Not confusing the pet owner by speaking in overly scientific terms?
These are just some of the questions sophomore students heard during the second
annual communications exercise held Oct. 16 inUF's small animal hospital. Sophomores
played the role of the veterinarian while being evaluated by silent observers (professional
veterinarians), as well as experienced senior veterinary students who played the role of the
client. Each exercise lasted 15 minutes.
In each scenario, the client dropped off their animal in the morning and has returned in the
afternoon to pick up their pet. They need to meet with their veterinarian to discuss the result of
their pet's appointment. Sophomore students were given a topic, such as veterinary dentistry or
parasites, to discuss with their client.
"The purpose of the exercise is to make students aware of the
importance of communication, both verbal and non-verbal..."
"This exercise has nothing to do with the correct medical jargon," said Dot McColskey,
administrative assistant in the Office for Students and Instruction. "The purpose of the exercise
is to make students aware of the importance of communication, both verbal and non-verbal;
eye contact; body language; and the need to balance this interaction as well as with their
McColskey said the animal could be on the floor, the exam table or the client's lap, so
students were evaluated in terms of how they handled various scenarios.
The American Veterinary Medical Association and the Florida Veterinary Medical
Association have identified communication as an area that veterinary students need more
opportunity to gain experience in.
Senior student Angela Avok, the mock client, sat in the corner of the examination room to see how Pete Otovic, a
sophomore veterinary student playing the role of veterinarian, would react. Photo by Sarah Carey
Senior veterinary student Alexa McDermott visits with classmate Joanie DeHaven and Dr. Tom Vickroy prior to the
communications exercise. Photo by Sarah Carey
Dean Glen Hoffsis, left, chats with senior veterinary student Joanie DeHaven, right, in a small animal hospital
examination room. Hoffsis served as a silent observer while DeHaven played the role of the client.
Photo by Sarah Carey
Senior veterinary student Amy Alexander, playing the role of the client, and silent observer Gary Behler of Banfield
visit with Dr. Tom Vickroy during a break between exercises. Photo by Sarah Carey
Photo bySarah Carey
Dean Glen Hoffsis, a silent observer, watches the interaction between "client" Joanie DeHaven, a senior student,
and Jillian Honiker, a sophomore student playing the role of the veterinarian. Poob aa ae