SF Ilo l l e g o V e t a r y M e d i ci n e J u n e 0 1 01
the NEWS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE
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Birth of cloned foal in May first for UF Large Animal Hospital
BY SARAH CAREY
T he management of a high-risk
pregnant mare and her foal's
subsequent birth might be
business as usual at the University of
Florida College of Veterinary Medicine,
but the case of Minnie and Mouse was
anything but routine. That's because
Mouse, a spindly, dark brown Lipizzaner
colt cloned from a Florida resident's
beloved stallion, was the first test tube
baby delivered at UF.
Nearly six weeks after Mouse's birth
May 5 and a month after his discharge
from UF's Large Animal Hospital, he is a Kit Knotts, left, with Mouse and Dr. Margo Macpherson.
happy, healthy, bucking foal enjoying the (Photo courtesy of Kit Knotts)
good life at his home in Cocoa, Fla.
"There have been several issues with cloned offspring, and while this isn't the first cloned
foal, there are few in the world," said Margo Macpherson, D.VM., an equine reproduction
specialist and associate professor at UF. "So the fact this baby is alive and is currently thriving
is a very good thing."
Since the technology was pioneered at Texas A&M University's College of Veterinary
Medicine in 2004, TAMU has produced 14 cloned foals, of which 12 survived and remain
healthy, according to an article in the May 1 Journal of the American Veterinary Medical
Technically known as somatic cell nuclear transfer, the cloning process that resulted in
Mouse's birth also took place at Texas A&M. Because Mouse's owner, Kit Knotts, is a Cocoa
Beach, Fla., resident and a longtime client of UF's Large Animal Hospital. Knotts recognized
that UF, which itself is a pioneer in the management of equine neonatal foals, had the expertise
necessary to be able to carry Minnie and Mouse successfully through the latter part of Mouse's
evolution from nuclear transfer-produced embryo to live horse. Teams from UF's equine
reproduction, medicine and surgery services were all involved in that journey.
Knotts visited Gainesville in mid-March to meet with several members of UF's reproduc-
tion and medicine teams. Two weeks later, Minnie arrived, just shy of 300 days gestation.
Meanwhile, Macpherson and cloning guru Katrin Hinrichs, D.VM., Ph.D., of Texas A&M,
began communicating about Minnie's care and issues encountered in treating other cloned
foals. In addition, Malgorzata Pozor, D.M.V, Ph.D., a reproduction specialist and clinical
assistant professor, teamed up internally with Rob MacKay, Ph.D., a large animal medicine
specialist and professor at UF, and Stephanie Meyer, D.VM., a third-year large animal medi-
cine resident, to plan the horses' care.
Although veterinarians worried that Minnie would give birth prematurely, a situation that
would have meant almost certain death for the foal, the mare held on to carry Mouse to term.
"When we believed the mare was close to foaling, the reproduction, medicine and surgical
clinicians communicated regularly," MacKay said. "Taking into consideration the special needs
previously cloned foals have had at the time of birth, a strategic plan was formed early that
encompassed all possible supportive therapies and intervention needs that may be required at
the time of foaling. This included addressing any unexpected foaling complications for the foal
and/or the mare."
For example, UF veterinarians knew that for unknown reasons, many cloned foals have
needed oxygen support at birth, so they planned ahead of time to start administering oxygen
therapy immediately after the foal was born.
"Additionally, we knew an IV catheter was going to be required shortly after birth for
administration of plasma, as we were aware that the mare's colostrum quality was poor prior to
her going into labor," Meyer said. Plasma is administered to transfer the parent's antibodies to
build the foal's immune system.
Mouse's birth proceeded without incident. Minnie passed her placenta within an hour of
foaling and the foal was sitting up and alert within 5 minutes all good signs, veterinarians
As time progressed, however, Mouse was unable to stand without assistance. At that point,
veterinarians administered antibiotic therapy, supportive fluid therapy and regular feedings of
Dr. Stephanie Meyer, left, and Kit Knotts are shown giving Mouse some exercise about a week after his birth.
the mare's milk. The foal's other vital signs were normal, with the exception of mild angular
deformities in all four limbs, which did not require correction.
Within the next few days, additional problems were diagnosed, similar to those seen in
premature foals, including some temporary brain injury; a bacterial infection; dripping of urine
from the umbilical stump and a large blood clot within his bladder.
UF equine surgeons then operated on Mouse to remove the blood clot and his umbilical
remnants, eliminating the urinary problem and the source of blood loss into his bladder. In
about a week, the infections had greatly improved. Knotts was at Mouse's side throughout his
I1 \\ a a complete pleasure to work with Kit. She was supportive of any therapies,
preventative interventions and critical care monitoring recommendations that we felt would not
only increase the foal's chance of survival, but also his optimal health," Meyer said. "I think this
foal helped demonstrate that we are good at what we do. When challenged with new and
unusual circumstances, we can have successful outcomes."
UF veterinarians said that in addition to having the facilities and round-the-clock nursing
staff to support critical cases, they also had a unique camaraderie amongst a team of veterinary
Cloned Foal p. 4
Congratulations to our
UF Health Science
Center Service Pin
Christa L Best, Susanne Benson, Dina L
Demcovitz, Maryann Dixon, Max E.
Donner, Sarah R. Eichner, Sara E. Keith,
Amanda K. LaMar, Mark Milks, Brooks
H. Nelson, Richard Newbold, Wayne
Newport, ,Janis E. Peterson, Erika Riley,
Jennifer Sager, Mike Sapper, Inta
Stillwell, Lavern Turner,
Boyd Westerman, Mary Wilson, Leslie
Melissa Bass, Honore Busch, Karen
Legato, Lila Pittman, Susan Starke,
Lashand Williams, Brandy N. Woodley
Alice Bliss-Dodd, Gary Geiger, Karen
Scott, Theresa Torres
Judy Chastain, Danielle Mauragis,
Leonard McDonald, Mary Ring, Brenda
Jay Gilbreath, Brett Rice, Anthony Ross,
Debra Couch, Frances Edwards, Kathleen
McCartin, Virginia Simmons
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Director honored for disaster relief
I orl dturimg 2010 G1oernor s
J olin H\ cen. the IUF CV I s dirclior of medical he:Illh
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college and Ihe tlilce
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officer for ithe LF \citeiallJ Hospials
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Zimmel named chief of stall
/or LIF eterinair Hospitals
Dr. Dana Zimmel, a clinical
associate professor at UF's College
of Veterinary Medicine, has been named
interim chief of staff of UF's Veterinary
Zimmel has served as associate chief of
staff for the UF Large Animal Hospital
since January, but due to recent administra-
tive restructuring, both the large and the
small animal hospitals will now be
supervised by a single chief of staff.
The UF Veterinary Hospitals function
as a major referral center treating more than
18,700 animals annually. A new $58
million small animal hospital is currently
under construction and will be unique
among veterinary colleges nationwide
when it opens this fall. The new hospital
will include a linear accelerator, a cardiol-
ogy catheterization laboratory and state-of-
the-art diagnostic equipment, including
MRI and CT. Patients seen in both hospitals
are referred by veterinarians throughout the
state. Routine wellness and outpatient
medicine clinics are also available.
In her new role, Zimmel will be
responsible for all issues relating to patient
care as well as overall hospital operations.
A 1995 UF veterinary school graduate,
Zimmel is certified in equine practice by
the American Board of Veterinary Practitio-
ners and in large animal medicine by the
American College of Veterinary Internal
Medicine. She performed an internship in
equine field services at North Carolina
State University and subsequently com-
pleted her residency there in large animal
internal medicine and equine practice.
After working in private practice, then
teaching for two years on the large animal
medicine faculty at the University of
Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine,
Zimmel joined UF's faculty in 2002 as an
assistant professor of equine health
extension. She was the college's equine
extension agent and chief of extension
services until 2006. She became a clinical
assistant professor of large animal medicine
at the college in 2006, and has served as
large animal medicine service chief since
Zimmel has received two UF Superior
Accomplishment Awards for her service, in
2010 and in 2006, as well as numerous
other awards for her contributions to equine
health. She has served on the boards of the
American Association of Equine Practitio-
ners and the Florida Association of Equine
Practitioners, and has performed committee
work for AAEP, the American College of
Veterinary Internal Medicine and the
American Board of Veterinary Practitio-
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Farewell, Dr. Greiner
A retirement reception was held May 25 at the Paramount Plaza Hotel in Gainesville to
honor Dr. Ellis Greiner, who served as the CVM's professor of parasitology for 32
years. Many present and former faculty, staff and students gathered to pay their respects.
For more photos, see Dr. William Castleman's link:
ltt \ \\ \\w Icailcimiil icollu/ufvetmed/greinerO52510/index.htm
Dr. Kristin Kirkby, Dr. Russ Snyder, Dr. Dena Baker and Dr. Bern Levine were this year's Distinguished Award
Former college dean Dr. Joe DiPietro joined Dean Glen Hoffsis in honoring Dr. Ellis Greiner, shown here
Winners of the 2010 CVM Alumni with his wife, Mary.
Council's Distinguished Award Program
honored May 29 during commencement
ceremony at UF's Phillips Center
T he owner of a Miami-area attraction and the developer of three pet-related businesses
joined a retired Jacksonville veterinarian and a small animal surgeon on the list of those
honored as 2010 Distinguished Award winners by the UF College of Veterinary Medicine.
Sponsored by the college's alumni council, the program offers recognition to deserving alumni,
faculty and others who have contributed meaningfully to UF and/or to the veterinary profes-
Dena Baker, D.VM., of Naples, received the college's Alumni Achievement Award. Baker
graduated from the college in 2000 and started Mobile Pet Vet in 2003. She provides full-
service, in-home veterinary care to Naples-area pet owners and also cofounded Innovative
Veterinary Products, a company that makes disposable items used by veterinarians, in 2004. Dr. Maureen Long, Dr. Charles Courtney and Dr. Siobhan Ellison were among the guests.
She recently started a third business, Neapolitan Gourmet Pet Food, which produces high
quality, veterinary formulated diets, and is in the process of opening a new pet resort and
wellness center with an attached veterinary clinic for dogs and cats.
The Outstanding Young Alumnus Award went to Kristin Kirkby, D.VM., a board-certified
small animal surgeon and 2003 graduate of the college. Kirkby received undergraduate and
master's degrees from UF and stayed at the college to complete her residency in small animal
surgery in 2008.
During her training, Kirkby developed a keen interest in physical therapy and postoperative
rehabilitation treatment methods well known in human medicine but less developed in
veterinary medicine. As a result of her efforts, the college received funding to implement a
physical therapy service, complete with a state-of-the-art underwater treadmill. Kirkby now is a
certified canine rehabilitation therapist and serves as director of UF's Small Animal Rehabilita-
tion and Fitness Center. She also is pursuing a Ph.D. at the college, focusing on the effects of
low-level laser therapy on intestinal ischemia-reperfusion injury in the rat.
Russ Snyder, VM.D., a retired veterinarian from Jacksonville, received the Distinguished
Service Award. Since helping with the original plans to establish a veterinary college at UF
several decades ago, Snyder has remained an active advocate of the school. He has actively
supported the college through local and state veterinary associations as well as politically in the
Legislature. As president of the Jacksonville Veterinary Medical Society, Snyder played a key
role in establishing two scholarships to benefit UF veterinary students. He also contributed
personally and solicited additional private support from colleagues to help build UF's new Joining Dr. Greiner for his farewell party were CVM alumni Dr. Dale Kaplan-Stein ('81) and Dr. Rich Kane
small animal hospital. ('84).
He has served on the college's admission committee and has been a member of its advisory
committee for more than 25 years.
Bern M. Levine, D.VM., owner of the Parrot Jungle Island tropical theme park in Miami,
received the Special Service Award. Levine received his bachelor's degree from UF and his
veterinary degree from Auburn. He has supported the UF veterinary college for years by
serving on its capital campaign committee and by providing his park as a venue for continuing
education and fundraising activities to support UF's new small animal hospital.
He has supported scholarships for UF veterinary students and has worked to expand the
college's outreach not only in Miami but throughout the state.
The awards were presented May 29 at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts during
college commencement exercises.
* The Veterinary Page is the UF College of Veterinary Medicine's monthly electronic
* internal newsletter. Please send stories to Sarah Carey at careysk @tvetmed.ufl.edu.
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Drs. Diane Lewis, (85) Joy Barbet and Pam d.
Junior veterinary student lends her voice to CVM life
Tiffany Tupler sings The Slar Spangled Banner al
Ihe Solphomore Professional Coaling Ceremoinv on
Tiffany, we will always love you.
Since junior veterinary student Tiffany Tupler's rendition of the classic Whitney Houston ballad during the Freshman Orientation
Leadership Event in the fall of 2008, her presence has been, well, a bright note in college life. After being asked to sing "I Will Always
Love You" during karaoke at FOLE Tupler says she can't turn down a request UF College of Veterinary Medicine student event
organizers have called on her to sing at two commencement ceremonies and even at her own class's professional coating ceremony this
"I guess you can say I've always been a singer, ever since I was a little kid," said Tupler, a classically trained soprano who studied
voice at the University of Miami. "My dad found out I could sing when I was in third grade, because he 'overheard' me singing to the
radio. He promptly turned the radio down, and yelled: 'Ha! You can sing; I knew it! "
Tupler said she loves music and always will. She sang competitively in high school, winning many awards and honors for her voice,
and says music is her way of expressing her emotions and feelings.
While continuing her voice studies at the University of Miami, Tupler learned that she was very good at sight reading and music
theory, but some of the passion and excitement she had always derived from singing was starting to fade. She began to feel burned out.
After a year, she decided that singing all the time and doing it for a living just was not enjoyable.
"I really did it for the people around me; my soccer teams really liked it, and it was awesome to do karaoke and have people walk
up to me and say, 'Wow, that's amazing. Have you ever thought about American Idol?' or 'Thank you so much for singing, it really
Tupler remembers when the decision she had to make to stop pursuing voice as a career became clear to her.
"I was standing in my last-ever juries, which is when a performer is judged by a panel after singing two pieces, when I begged for
them to let my 10 friends come in and hear me sing. It was the last and only time they would ever hear opera out of my mouth, and
really, where do you find places to just burst out opera? The juries flat out told me no, since they felt having my friends there would
disrupt my attention."
So instead, Tupler cracked the door and allowed her friends to listen and cheer from the outside.
"When they asked me why I was leaving the school of music, I replied, 'because I sing for them, pointing out the door, not for me
or for you.'"
Tupler changed her major to history with a minor in political science, biology and music. She specialized in classic Greek and
Roman history and also studied American history specifically from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War. She also took several classes
in international politics, and focused on prerequisite classes for veterinary school.
Tupler even founded the pre-veterinary society at the University of Miami.
"We had no help for pre-vet students and I found it hard to know what to take and
what to do in order to get in," she said, adding that the very small group she started has
now grown to more than 50 members.
"Vet school was always a big dream," Tupler said. "I remember most teachers telling
me that I didn't have what it takes for vet school and that music was my future. I didn't
have the grades or the scores and why would I waste such a talent, blah, blah, blah. But for
some reason I kept going."
She took summer classes at night while working full time jobs, just for the opportunity
to apply to veterinary school. Then life took more unexpected turns.
Her best friend died, and Tupler began doubting herself. She moved to Atlanta to
pursue "bigger and better things" and wound up passing the national veterinary technician
board examinations. She worked for veterinary specialists who "performed miracles" in
her mind, and after four years the experience convinced her to give the vet school applica-
tion process just one try.
The rest is, well....history.
..- i "I can't lie. Vet school is hard," Tupler said. "Sometimes I didn't think I was going to
TIffnv Tupler is shc. .:n iilh her menlur Dr Cyncda Crai, dord aller CraI, dord presenled Ttpler :',lh her ne make it. I can't believe to this day I'm walking around the halls in a white coat on clinics,
while :oa1Il during Ihe Sophomore Prouessional Coaling Ceremony on r.la, 6 IPholo ty Sar.Lh Carey but I'm seriously doing something I wanted to do. I may not be the best at it, or make
trillions of dollars, but in the end I'm living a dream that most people will never have the
Although she loves surgery, particularly orthopedics, she also has a passion for shelter medicine and likes the thought of making a difference, not only in the lives of pets, but also the
But those are decisions that can be made another day. Tupler said she's really not a show-off and that most people are shocked when they find out she's a trained classical soprano.
"I love to do nice things for people, and I knew a few of my classmates would have enjoyed me performing at the coating ceremony, so I agreed," Tupler said.
She also performed the national anthem at the 2009 and 2010 CVM commencement ceremonies, and was on the program to conclude the latter event on May 29 with the singing
of the UF Alma Mater. However, there was a last-minute change, and at the end of the program, Dean Hoffsis asked for a volunteer from the graduating class to step up. Laurie
Kallenbom, who the night before at the Senior Award Banquet had received the Angel Dogs Scholarship, gamely made her way to the podium to lead the audience in an emotional
rendition of the final song.
CLONED FOAL, FROM P.1
Mouse, taking a break from his walk outside the UF
Large Animal Hospital.
"Ultimately, the patient benefits from the
wealth of knowledge and expertise that each
veterinarian here has to offer," MacKay said.
Meanwhile, Knotts could not be happier.
After arriving back home, Mouse quickly
bonded with Marc, his healthy and sound 30-
year-old DNA twin. Knotts has owned Marc,
a Dressage champion, for 24 years. It was as
a tribute to him and after a futile nation-
wide hunt to find another horse she really
wanted that Knotts first embarked upon
the odyssey of the cloning process.
She has no regrets. In fact, another
surrogate mare pregnant with Marc's next
cloned twin is expected to journey from Texas
A&M to UF in mid-August for management
by equine specialists.
"I think the whole team approach we have
is so outstanding," Knotts said. "It's not just
the doctors; it's the students and the nurses,
even the stall cleaners. They're just the most
amazing crew I have ever encountered. The
team is just top notch."
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Kit Knotts spent lots of time with Mouse in his stall at the UF Large Animal Hospital after his birth.
New graduates get advice,
congratulations and warm send-off
during commencement May 29
BY SARAH CAREY
M embers of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine's largest
graduating class ever 89 students were inspired, challenged and encouraged
to seek success and find balance in their lives during 2010 commencement
exercises held May 29 at the UF Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.
From Destiny Prezzano, president of the college's Alumni Council and a member of the
Class of 2005: "Find a mentor and a vision, and the sky's the limit." Prezzano also urged
graduates to think of the college as their resource for good and useful information relating to
patient care; to attend Referring Veterinarian (RDVM) Day; and to keep up with college news.
From Alexa McDermott, who was only the second following Prezzano student to serve
as class president all four years, came the admonition to "push yourselves professionally and
"Life comes at you fast, and I can't believe four years have gone by so fast," McDermott
said. "I would have never gotten through these years without all of my friends who have given
me a hug and told me I could do it when I thought I just couldn't anymore."
McDermott told her classmates, "Life's full of unknowns" and that she couldn't wait to see
where all of them wound up. She also said members of the Class of 2010 should remember that
as veterinarians, they all will play a special role.
"We get to take care of the animals that can't speak for themselves'" McDermott said.
Dean Glen Hoffsis also addressed the class, reminding them that they had something in
common both started their experience at the UF veterinary college at the same time. Hoffsis
began his first year as the college's dean in 2006.
Together, he said, they'd experienced several important health developments relating to
veterinary medicine, including avian influenza outbreak of 2006, the melamine pet food recall
of 2007, and H1N1 in 2009.
"All of this really is a reminder that there really is just one health, one medicine'" Hoffsis
said, alluding to the One Health Initiative, a movement that has been underway to forge co-
equal, all inclusive collaborations between physicians, veterinarians and other scientific-health
He added that during the past four years, he and the Class of 2010 had jointly experienced
three UF national championships and weathered severe budget cuts, yet managed to see
funding procured to build the new small animal hospital that will open this fall.
Hoffsis also acknowledged several longtime members of the CVM faculty who were
retiring: Dr. Alistair Webb, pharmacology; Dr. Carlos Romero, virology; and Dr. Ellis Greiner,
parasitology, and the audience applauded all of these individuals for their years of service to the
Dr. Michael Schaer, emergency and critical care specialist and special assistant to the dean,
talked about why he felt the Class of 2010 was unique, alluding to several individuals with
"There are two questions that I repeatedly ask day after day while on clinic duty: 'Where
Am I, and Where Am I going?'" Schaer said. "For me, those questions might imply my
advancing age, but for you, I would like you to use them throughout your professional careers,
along with the 31 other maxims, in order to help you navigate through many of life's imposing
He added, "In the field of clinical medicine, the 'Where Am I' part will help you avoid the
pitfalls of tunnel vision that will cause you to lose your objective and analytical approach to
your patients. It will prompt you to step back to see the entire picture, rather than becoming
inundated and entangled in a mass of potentially blinding and mind boggling data, as you might
have witnessed during this past year's clinical rounds discussions."
Schaer said the new graduates should remember that if the diagnostic test results do not
make sense, it would behoove them to return to square one in order to capture the truth about
"I can only hope that your pursuit of the truth will be a constant driving force throughout
your clinical careers," he said.
Schaer told the class that they should ask themselves whether a diagnosis is one of
convenience or whether it represented the truth, and that it was the truth that would make the
difference between mediocre and excellent, sometimes even life and death.
He also stressed the importance of the pathologist's role.
"Do not hesitate to let the pathologist reveal the facts, for without their findings, you will
always be right and be forever free from making and having to admit to mistakes," Schaer said.
He extolled the importance of having passion in both life and career.
"Without passion, there would have been no important discoveries, and all too many of
life's historical triumphs would have been lost," he said. "Passion is the one possession that is
entirely yours and one of life's essentials for your ultimate fulfillment and happiness."
In closing, Schaer quoted Sir William Osler, who advised his students: 1) do the day's work
well and not worry about tomorrow; 2) to act the Golden Rule toward colleagues and patients
and 3) to cultivate such a measure of equanimity or calm "as will enable you to bear success
with humility, the affection of your friends without pride and to be ready when the day of
sorrow and grief comes, so that you will meet it with the courage befitting a mature person."
Schaer told the class they could be certain that the faculty was confident they would heed
Sir William's words of wisdom and wished them all congratulations.
Before he sat, however, Schaer asked everyone in attendance to join in a special prayer for
the peace and comfort of Dr. Kevin Anderson, who was unable to be present at the ceremony
due to illness.
A long moment of silence ensued.
Within minutes, the ceremony was completed; all graduates had tipped their tassels to the
left and had spilled outside on a sunny day, many joining family and friends for their last
official gathering as a class, a farewell reception held at UF's Touchdown Terrace.
Dr. Antonio Pozzi and new graduate Christopher Gauthier.
New graduates Linwood Starks and Marcy Sumling.
New graduates Danielle Tyner and Shannon O'Reilly stand outside the UF Phillips Center.
Dr. Ellis Greiner, who retired in May, performed his last official duty for the college by serving as Grand Marshall
during commencement exercises for the Class of 2010.