S *' mm ofVet riary ed cinO toe r 2010 1
the NEWS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE
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Official UF Small Animal Hospital dedication draws donors, longtime
supporters together in celebration of landmark event
BY SARAH CAREY
A crowd of well-wishers gathered at the University of Florida College of
Veterinary Medicine's new Small Animal Hospital inside the building's
festively decorated atrium Oct. 22 for a dedication and ribbon-,'i i.ii-. which
also served as an opportunity to recognize significant donors for their help in bringing the
$58 million project to fruition.
"The stars literally lined up," said college dean Glen Hoffsis, alluding to the many
years of hoping, dreaming, talking and planning that had passed before the facility could
finally open its doors.
"This building we're dedicating tonight was talked about by at least two deans before
me," he said, adding that since Florida only has one veterinary college, UF's serves an
enormous population. "Over time, we'll need more veterinarians, and
the old hospital facility was a choke point for our growth. We now have the ability to
better serve both students and clinical faculty, and most importantly, the animals we care
He called the new hospital "the finest in the world" and took time to thank the many
internal college and UF staff members, current and former administrators, architects,
contractors, Florida's state veterinarian, the college's alumni council and the Florida
Veterinary Medical Association, as well as state legislators for their support.
UF President Bernie Machen said he had a policy of not visiting any UF building
while it was still under construction.
Standing for the first time in the new hospital, he called it "an incredible moment for
me, as it is for everyone else here."
The new facility, he said, "takes your breath away."
Machen said his daughter and "favorite vet," UF veterinary college graduate Maggie
Machen, '09, told him she was excited about the new hospital but wished it had been
completed in time for her to work inside of it while performing clinical rotations.
"Sixty percent of American households have pets," Machen said. "People think of
their pets as families, and these facilities really are the nation's best."
He added that the UF veterinary college was one of the special attributes of the
"We can take care of pets that no one else can take care of," Machen said. "By
allowing the college to expand enrollment and for all these other reasons, the new
hospital is not only a wonderful addition to UF, but also to the county, the state and the
Florida House Speaker Larry Cretul said he was happy to be present to speak at the
event, which represented one of his last official duties.
"Others have called this building the best in the world, and I'll second that," he said,
adding that he had worked with UF over a period of several years in support of the
project. He added that Florida's Legislature has long had the project on its radar screen.
"Today we take a major step forward," Cretul said. "It's no secret people love their
pets, and from the standpoint of care, there is no better place than here. This new hospital
is good for UF, good for the state and good for pet owners."
University of Florida Board of Trustees member Danny Ponce was on hand to
officially accept the building on behalf of the trustees.
"Nancy and I have had a couple of pets, including a Scottish terrier named Montana,
who wouldn't put her leg down after we returned home from a Florida-Georgia game,"
Ponce said. "I brought her here to Dr. Dan Lewis, who, by the way, is the best veterinary
orthopedic surgeon in the world. It turns out Montana had tor her left rear anterior
cruciate ligament. I had no idea dogs even had an ACL. Seven years later, she's still doing
In his introduction of Dr. David Guzick, senior vice president of health affairs and
president of the UF and Shands Health System, Hoffsis noted the uniqueness UF enjoyed
by virtue of being a part of such a major health center, and said the veterinary college
faculty, and ultimately, hospital patients, benefited from the collaborations this
relationship makes possible.
Guzick said Hoffsis was one of the first people who insisted on meeting with him,
soon after his hiring in 2009, "so that I would see the importance of having a veterinary
center here at UF" He added that two key areas stood out for him with the new small
animal hospital project: philanthropy, and the project's tie-in to the concept of one health.
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"We have learned that we don't just have
a world-class facility here; we have a best-in-
class facility here," Guzick said.
"Let's put this in context. These haven't
exactly been the best of times in Florida, but
in the last several years, people have come
forward and said, 'this is important.'"
After private gifts were raised, advocacy
from the UF trustees, leveraged by the
Legislature to come up with an additional $47
million, "was really important," Guzick said.
Furthermore, the pathophysiology of
diseases is similar in animals and humans,
"There truly is this 'one health' idea, and
what better place to spearhead that idea on
campus than right here," he said. "Dr.
Michael Schaer said to me earlier this
evening, 'This is a shooting star.' Grab hold of
it, and congratulations."
Dr. Jack Payne, senior vice president of
agricultural affairs, and senior veterinary
student Catriona Love offered additional
remarks before the ribbon was cut and guests
spent the remainder of the evening touring the
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Donors, supporters turn out for special recognition event
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For more photos of Donor Recognition event. see p. 6. For internal dedication photos, see p. 4
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Unusual in concept, size and scope, Stuart Keeler's hanging glass panels add crisp color and rich texture to the new UF Small Animal
Hospital. The Veterinary Page caught up with Keeler during the first week in September, during which he and his team were busy assembling
and hanging the five panels from the ceiling of the hospital atrium. Keeler, who learned about the UF Small Animal Hospital's need for artwork
through the Public Art Network, shared why he was interested in the UF project and how it dovetailed with his artistic goals.
VP: Why did you feel that your particular proposal fit well with this building?
SK: The architecture is stark, simple and represents a clear direction and vision from the architect. The purpose of the art in this case is to
augment the vision, while simultaneously punctuating the space with a memory of pattern, textures and markings in pop colors.
VP: Could you say something about the time involved to fabricate all of these beautiful glass panels, and what your process was from start
SK: It took five months from beginning to end. I worked with a company that is 150 years old in Germany and which highlights the use of
invention with art glass.
VP: How did you come up with the idea and identify the types of animals/textures/etc. that were used in the final pieces. Can you tell us
what the shapes/textures/faces consist of?
SK: I wanted to create a portrait of animals that represents the inventive patterns of nature. I photographed the animals in shelters and in pet
spas, as well as a grooming salon for dogs! I had a grand list of 100 animals I was interested in, and ended up with the final images you see in
the work. The notion of creating a dynamic memory for the people of the space, whether in sadness due to a crucial pet issue or in happiness,
the work must address all gamut of emotions and views over time.
VP: What about the colors? How did you make those decisions?
SK: Primary colors with some minor attention to the history of pop colors tossed in!
VP: Why and how is this work consistent with your own personal artistic goals and signature?
SK: It's minimal, inventive and with a smart use of materials and understanding a space. Translucency and light are constant evolutions in
my sculptural work.
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Internal dedication on Oct. 19 brings faculty,
staff and students together to celebrate,
explore new UF Small Animal Hospital
Dr. Colin Burrows, chairman of the college's department of small animal clinical sciences; Dr. John Harvey,
executive associate dean; Dr. Glen Hoffsis, dean; Dr. Dana Zimmel, interim chief of staff of the UF
Veterinary Hospitals, and Jonathan Mathers, a senior UF veterinary student prepare to cut the ribbon.
Research and Graduate Studies employee Monica Gripp, left, stands with cardiology technician Bonnie
Heatwole, center, and Dr. Herb Maisenbacher, clinical assistant professor of cardiology, right, while the
group waited for the internal ribbon-cutting ceremony to commence on Oct. 18.
Dr. Dan Lewis, professor of small animal orthopedic surgery, visits with Dr. Michael Schaer, special
assistant to the dean, and Dr. Clint Greene, a local veterinary practitioner, before the start of the Oct. 18
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Jane Vickroy, Dr. Tom Vickroy, professor in the department of physiological sciences and former interim dean
for students and instruction at the college, stand with Erin Sanetz, Terri Weldon and Dr. John Harvey,
executive associate dean of the college.
Oncology technician Amy Beaver stops at the oncology treatment area during a walk-through of the new
Anatomy lab scientist takes SCAVMA honor
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UF veterinarians treat 'sponge dog', warn to monitor pets' chewing behavior
"Crate training puppies is also a good idea, so that they don't get into things while unsuper-
vised," Allen said. "Puppies are much like toddlers who are just learning to walk. They like to
be naughty and get into anything within their reach."
In Regal's case, Johnson didn't even know he had been chewing on the bedding, Allen
"She is a wonderful owner who loves Regal with all her heart," Allen said. "Now that she
knows he has a habit of eating things, I think she will be making some environmental changes
at home to try to prevent this from happening again."
As for Johnson, she is thankful she was able to get her puppy the help he needed to save his
\\iil Iii the doctors and the excellent equipment at the UF Small Animal Hospital, Regal
would have died," Johnson said. "I barely got him there in time. Every person I have come in
contact with at the UF Small Animal Hospital has been extremely pleasant and the quality of
care cannot be surpassed."
For more information about the UF Veterinary Hospitals, visit www.vethospitals.ufl.edu.
Around and about...
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BY SARAH CAREY
W hen Faye Johnson lost her 16-year-old Shih Tzu, Royal, unexpectedly from a heart
attack in February 2009, she grieved deeply. The dog was one of her last ties to
her husband, who had passed away eight years earlier, so she sought out Royal's
breeder. By December, she had Regal: a bright-eyed, silky smooth puppy from Royal's
bloodline that sleeps in the bed with her at night.
But one night Regal having trouble breathing and woke Johnson up. It became clear that he
was fighting for his life.
When Regal arrived at the UF Small Animal Hospital on July 31, he was immediately seen
by the Emergency and Critical Care Service and placed in an oxygen cage.
"Our initial physical examination showed signs of expiratory respiratory distress, meaning
he was having difficulty getting air out of his lungs," said Ashley Allen, D.V.M., a small animal
medicine and surgery intern who worked closely with Regal. "Chest films showed a suspicious
object blocking most of his trachea, or main airway, and severe collapse of the trachea in front
of the blockage."
Veterinarians also found that Regal's stomach was filled with fluid and gas, and an ultra-
sound test revealed the presence of a fibrous-like foreign body in his stomach.
They discussed their options with Johnson, who gave the UF veterinary team the go-ahead
to proceed with anesthesia to pass an endoscope down Regal's trachea and, if possible, his
stomach as well.
"With the endoscope, we were able to visualize and remove a foreign object in his trachea,"
Allen said. "Since Regal was doing reasonably well under anesthesia, we were also able to
remove several foreign bodies from his stomach."
The foreign bodies were pieces of a sponge-like material, but when veterinarians asked
Johnson about their findings, she was stumped.
"I asked Mrs. Johnson to just look around the house while Regal was with us, just to make
sure he didn't have anything hidden anywhere," Allen said.
Johnson did, and her findings surprised everyone: Regal had been eating the stuffing inside
of his dog bed.
"He was putting his head under the cover of the bed and eating the sponge," Johnson said.
"There is a huge hole in the sponge. He must have been eating it for weeks."
She added that the bedding Regal had eaten was not visible unless the cover was completely
After veterinarians removed the sponge material from Regal's stomach, he remained in the
hospital's Intensive Care Unit over the weekend.
Subsequent rechecks have gone well, and Johnson and UF veterinarians say he is doing
"He is back to being a happy, playful puppy," Allen said. "Mrs. Johnson has disposed of his
previous bed and monitors him closely at home."
Allen added that Regal's case illustrates that with prompt medical attention, patients with
critical needs can have a good outcome.
I ic.iiing these patients successfully often requires a team effort between the multiple
clinicians, including the emergency doctor, the radiologist, the internist and the anesthesiolo-
gist," she said. "I think Regal's story also serves as a reminder for owners to provide puppies
with toys and bedding that they cannot easily chew up."
It's always good to monitor closely any pet playing with a stuffed toy, and to dispose of the
toy if the pet starts tearing it up.
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UF veterinary students complete another successful trip to Ecuador with Project Heal in July
BY SARAH CAREY
N ow in its eighth year, Project Heal is
making even more of an impact on
animal health while the program
continues to provide a culturally enriching, as
well as uniquely educational, experience for
UF veterinary students.
"My goal this year was to make this trip
more organized and to have more of an impact
by helping more animals," said Abbe **~
DeGroat, a senior veterinary student who
served as president of Project Heal this year
but has been involved with the program since,
her freshman year.
Through Project Heal, UF veterinary
students spend 10 days working closely with a
practitioner in Quito, Ecuador as part of a
hands-on learning experience. The students
see many different types of animals in a
variety of environments, rural and urban,
while they sharpen their clinical skills as well
as their cultural knowledge.
Traditionally the program involved
students from several health-related disci-
plines at UF, including dentistry and medicine
as well as veterinary medicine, with all groups
making the trip at the same time in the spring.
However, due to clinic schedules and con-
flicts, the students associated with those
disciplines now make the trip at different
For UF veterinary students, the experi-
ence is now a 10-day trip, and this year the
group traveled in July. Fifteen veterinary
students participated, and for the first time, a
faculty member, Dr. Owen Rae, accompanied
them. Rae is chief of the Food Animal
Reproduction and Medicine Service and H-M I iI- l- li:l EIIol.clh V'Li.i .inrcll- L:
H--III I M I n1 31111To,1,, EhZlAb.lhVVeLl I-,ani .ll. L.,,
speaks fluent Spanish.
"We spent three days doing small animal
work when we were stationed around Quito
and some of the poor parts of the city, where
we did vaccination clinics and spay/neuter clinics," DeGroat said, adding that it was hard to say
how many animals the group actually saw.
"This year we had two different stations at each clinic an inside area and an outside area,"
she said. "Inside was where all the surgeries were going on, and outside we were doing
vaccines against distemper and parvo virus for dogs, and FVRCP for cats, and at the same time
we tried to provide as much information as we could about the importance of vaccinations and
For UF veterinary students, the experience is now a 10-day trip, and this year
the group traveled in July. Fifteen veterinary students participated, and for the
first time, a faculty member, Dr. Owen Rae, accompanied them.
She said the experience was "totally hands-on, in the trenches."
"It's especially great for those students who have not yet come onto clinics, which was
about half of the members of our group," DeGroat said.
All products used vaccines, syringes, needles were provided by the UF group, thanks to
donations from various pharmaceutical companies, including Intervet-Schering Plough and
Merial, and purchases made possible through fundraising efforts.
A Quito-based veterinarian, Dr. Maria Jose Jaramillo, has worked closely with the UF
Project Heal group over the years, helping to arrange educational and cultural opportunities for
the students with her friends, colleagues and family members.
"We work with her every year, and we also have tourist days where we go to the Equator
and those kinds of things," DeGroat said. "Maria Jose has us over to her home for dinners and
we also have a driver, Jorge, who takes us places and does things with us. What we do there is a
lot of hard work, but one of the rewards you get from a trip like this is the wonderful people
Rae, the faculty member who accompanied the group, said the Ecuador trip offered the
students, as well as him, a great opportunity to interact with the veterinary community and the
people of Ecuador in a professional, supportive and positive way for all involved.
"We were unable to maintain a complete count of animals that were examined and for
which we provided health care in one form or another, but conservatively, we saw about 1,100
dogs and cats; 350 cattle; 100 sheep; 50 horses and more than 100 spay and neuter surgeries,"
Rae said. "Students were able to perform physical examinations and to administer vaccines and
,ic Cliniliic, -I nnl i ndl .I'ii-, i G,.nll ,il In lir lll i' J Till ri, Tupl l IPhIIIh.,, ,:o11115 '.,I "LILI Iii'iG C 5r ia,
dewormers. They were able to assist and in
many cases, perform spays and neuters on the
dogs and cats that were brought to the
He noted that students not only were able
to develop their surgical skills, but also
benefited from learning more about anesthesia
protocols used for pre-and post-surgical case
"Importantly, students also developed
skills in client relations and communications;
in this case, the challenge was even greater in
a non-native culture and language," Rae said.
"It was a great learning experience and
opportunity for all of us. The group worked
together with admirable efficiency and mutual
DeGroat holds a master's degree in
agricultural education and communicationand
has always loved to travel. Her experiences
with Project Heal have built on that love, and
she feels that each year, the trip has improved. Fr,,,m 1 Il h, ,i.]hl a3.e CiUll- L.,r-, ..1a i; 1 :
"Each year, the trip has gotten better and Dic~.,g, iOt.no .:i il i and a I.,. .::1 ,:ohn.,1l.1
more organized and we have been able to mnit.,i TIe I .,Iitp ,'.i; n II, -.,,.J n,,:ii, iili,,1
accomplish our goals," said DeGroat, whose "'"r. i '"* i", "l".a"..In" i,""r. .."" "''I
.J-.*,ulmin) an.J pr... i .J n.3 ii amnniidr i i .:.l.- i ...
trip this year was her last with the group. "I .i- r, 1, ,,,,. n ,a lar, ..r ...I ,
feel like I have left the group in a better place i,.il..- ,r,I- i-r,,ianinl ihai
than how I found it." PIiI.., i.:,:. i,, .. uu. Gi-i.:.
The Veterinary Page is the UF College of Veterinary Medicine's internal
electronic newsletter. Please submit story ideas to Sarah Carey, editor, at