Small animal practitioner, business owner believes
in giving back both to profession and to community
By Sarah Carey
W while horseback riding as a teen, Dr. Dale
Kaplan-Stein underwent the emotional
trauma of having her dog, who was running
alongside her, be hit by a car. In the drama
that ensued, friends held her horse
while Kaplan-Stein rushed to the
family veterinarian's office with her _
dog, which was diagnosed with a -
dislocated hip, fixable through
"I remember just sitting
there, almost like a Norm.anr
Rockwell picture, and rm\
dog turned out to be fin,
a member of the UF
College of Veterinary
Medicine's class of'81.
"As a youngster, the
impact was, hey,
ians saved my y
The early .
Dr. Dale Kaplan-
made on Kaplan-Stein stuck. In college, which was spent in Dade
County and later at the University of Florida, the former Miami
native thought hard about what she really wanted to do with
[here was a lot of sacrifice, and I really had to work
I .r my grades:'," Kaplan-Stein said. "I decided I wanted
So become a vet, and UF has allowed me to be what I
wanted to be. Veterinary medicine has always been
fun for me.'
At 52, Kaplan-Stein owns two small animal
veterinary hospitals in Gainesville, Oaks
Veterinary Hospital, which she founded in
1982, and Northwood Oaks Veterinary
Hospital, which opened in 1995. She is an
adjunct professor at UF as well, assist-
ing Dr. Natalie Isaza, '94, in the shelter
medicine program, and in addition is a
fervent UF CVM alumnae and fund-
"It feels good to give:' said Kaplan-
Stein, who serves on UF's 2007 Capital
Campaign committee representing the
veterinary college. "I would just like
to plant the seed with our alumni that
when you talk about $100 or $500,
more than likely that amount of money
won't change your lifestyle, but it could
of her three Irish setters.
Stein gets a kiss from Reddog, one '
continued on page 9
just like to plant
the seed with
that when you
talk about $100
or $500, more
that amount of
lifestyle, but it
could make a big
difference to the
FIrlida V i,:l arlarira i, rpubli shid by
rIh Unriiv -rliy :1 Floi:nda Ci llI'g,= ,il
V, rirainry Medicumn Ii:,r alunii anrd rirndsI
Sui -.il li-.ns and c: onnlnri airI wil: lni:
anrid srh:,uld tL: w iall:,d 1: I
Sarah Carpy. Flhnrda VWl:rinarian ,dil:.r.
al [carey'," vtrri'm d ull 'du
Cleck out the college websile at:
11 11 11 etmned.uil.edu'
Glen F HoiFiis
ODVM M S
Executive Associate Dean
& Associate Dean for Students
Jaines i Tholn-pso
DV M. Ph Dr
Associate Dean for Research
and Graduate Studies
Charles H CoLurline,
D V M Ph D
Senior Director of Development
and Alumni Affairs
Director of Development
and Alumni Affairs
Director of Public Relations
Sarah K Care;
Coordinator of Alumni Affairs
Jo Ann Winn
In,1 lAr,,i, lH.:.p l.etl
ill l l A r ,lli,.il H.:.-[.pilAl
Le l:..i r n 1 .i I Ai..i.il H.A ii.rl
S,5 : I'- :,-' -1 1 5 ..
Message from the Dean
t is with a great sense of pride and accomplishment
that I announce the approval of funding for the
Veterinary Education and Clinical Research Center,
which includes a new small animal hospital for UE
This goal has been a dream of the college for many
years and much work went into the campaign to ob-
tain private support, as well as to gain high priority for
this project within the university.
Our former dean, Joseph DiPietro, must be given
special mention because of his relentless work that
culminated in the success I am announcing today.
The case for the need for the hospital was compelling
and this resulted in over $4 million in private gifts.
This degree of private support was a major factor
in moving the project up the priority list within the
university. During the early months of this year, we
were successful in gaining the #1 priority ranking for
new construction at UF. The project was requested at
Dean Glen Hoffsis $49 million.
Following the legislative session in May, it became evident that only one new building was
funded for UF and it was the Veterinary Education and Clinical Research Center! Further-
more, we were successful in obtaining a 100 percent state match for the private gifts through
what is called the "Courtelis Match" This means that in addition to the appropriated $49
million, we will be able to add just over $8 million to the project for a total of approximately
This sounds like a huge sum and it is, but the cost of construction within our environment
is astronomical and we anticipate building a 90,000 square-foot structure. So our campaign
continues in order to add more capabilities and equipment into the hospital. We are offer-
ing naming opportunities and gifts will continue to be matched so that your contribution is
leveraged significantly. Anyone making a gift now will know for sure that the project is going
forward and that they will be able to see their contribution put to work educating the next
generation of students and residents and providing services for many clients and animals.
The construction project will be managed by Executive Associate Dean Jim Thompson and
Associate Director of Medical/Health Administration Bob Hockman and coordinated with
our faculty and staff. I am confident we will build a state of the art and beautiful building
we will all be proud of and that benefits the college, the profession and the important work
performed within. Planning began some time ago and will continue until the building is
completed in about 18 months.
I have devoted this entire column to this project because it is the most significant step for-
ward for the college in many years. We do not have the good fortune to build such a structure
very often. We all should take a moment and absorb the significance of this accomplishment
and then get busy with the work of capturing this great opportunity to create a building that
will take UF to the next level of excellence. Thank all of you for all you do for the college as
together we work to advance the veterinary profession.
You'll notice the new color-bar graphic on our masthead this issue. The color bar is part of a more comprehensive
identity campaign to better brand the UF College of Veterinary Medicine and Veterinary Medical Center, within the
new university identity guidelines. This campaign, initiated by Dean Glen Hoffsis, has the goal of unifying the many
components of the college by utilizing similar graphic elements in all college, VMC and department and auxiliary
publications. All of our publications will soon reflect these changes, and we hope you like our new look!
Developing new diagnostics for rickettsial diseases
By Sarah Carey
As the scientific community worldwide
becomes increasingly conscious of
tick-borne rickettsial diseases as a growing
threat to human health, researchers at the
University of Florida College of Veterinary
Medicine are poised to play a key role.
Tick-borne rickettsial diseases have a
worldwide distribution, but are most
common in temperate and subtropi-
cal regions. These diseases include
Rocky Mountain spotted fever (caused
by Rickettsia ,i. i, ,i',), Mediterranean
spotted fever (caused by R. conorii),
African tick-bite fever (caused by R.
africae), Queensland tick typhus (caused
by R. iiistriits), North Asian tick spotted
fever (caused by R. ',ii i,,,,), Flinders
Island spotted fever and Thai tick typhus
(caused by R. honei), and ehrlichiosis and
anaplasmosis (caused by Ehirdi hml and
For years, the epidemiology of tick-
borne rickettsial disease was thought to
amount to a single pathogenic rickettsia
known to occur on each continent. It was
believed that relatively few tick-borne
rickettsiae caused human disease. How-
ever, over the past 22 years, at least 11
additional rickettsial species or subspe-
cies have been identified as emerging Dr. H
pathogens, as well as cases of infection
caused by Anaplasma phig iL't)t 'pliuiiii, the
agent of human anaplasmosis, and Ehrlichia
i iifT, ui'. the agent of human ehrlichiosis.
As is true of many emerging pathogens,
these and other diseases now on the rise in
Europe and in the U.S, originated in ani-
mals. Scientists at the UF veterinary college
have long studied the animal variations of
anaplasmosis and other tick-borne rickettsial
diseases, including ehrlichiosis. While per-
haps best known worldwide for their decades
of research into heartwater, a devastating
disease that affects cattle and other livestock,
the UF team also has significantly contrib-
uted to the understanding of other rickettsial
organisms in the same family.
The infectious agents that cause the animal
variations of anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis,
which historically have affected dogs, horses,
cattle and sheep, have recently made the
jump to humans. More than 2000 people in
the U.S. and Europe have now been infected
with the human form of these diseases.
"Our background comes from studying
these diseases in animals for 20 to 30 years,
way before the disease in humans was
recognized," said Anthony Barbet, Ph.D.,
a professor of infectious diseases with the
college. "When the human diseases were
becoming prevalent, we already knew the
various approaches we could take to study
and diagnose these infections in people
because we had previously used them in
The clinical presentations of these two
distinct, potentially life-threatening infec-
tions are fever, headache, myalgia and other
nonspecific symptoms that are difficult to
"One interesting observation is that
people can be affected both with Lyme
disease and Anaplasma, because they are
transmitted by the same tick," Barbet said.
"Some cases, originally thought to be Lyme
disease, are actually the human versions of
In addition to Barbet, the rickettsial dis-
ease group includes Rick Alleman, D.VM.,
Ph.D., Jeffrey Abbott, D.VM., Ph.D., and
Heather Wamsley, D.VM.
Significant findings include develop-
ing new diagnostic tests using PCR-based
methods and new molecular approaches
which may be applied in order to pinpoint
human infections. In addition, the group has
found that animals may remain persistently
infected even after antibiotic treatment.
Alleman and Wamsley, both veterinary
pathologists, work in UF's Veterinary
Medical Center seeing and diagnosing actual
cases of ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis in
animal patients. The two collaborate with
Abbott, also a pathologist, and Barbet, a
molecular biologist, who have discovered
why it is difficult for the body to completely
eliminate these infections.
"If cattle get infected with Anaplasma mar-
ginale, they're infected for life," Barbet said.
"We've figured out the disease organisms
have a very complex method of antigenic
variation. The reason that the animal's im-
mune system does not get rid of these organ-
isms is that they're constantly changing"
Barbet's group made this finding in animal
infections some 5-10 years ago.
"So when human infections starting
emerging, we wondered if they had some
similar disease systems and it turns out they
do," Barbet said.
Their work is supported by funds from
federal (NIH and USDA) and international
agencies (The Wellcome Trust) and com-
mercial companies such as IDEXX Corpora-
tion, which licenses a diagnostic patent from
the University of Florida. 4-9
FLORIDA VETERINARIAN 3
Alumnus heads back to Honduras with job, high hopes
By Sarah Carey
Like many veterinary students at the University of Florida and
elsewhere, Baird Fleming, class of '07, grew up with several
pets. But growing up in Honduras, where his father headed up
banana operations for the Dole '
Fruit Company, Fleming's pets
included not just the tradition-
al variety -- he had five dogs Aq"
-- but also parrots, kinkajous
and his personal favorite, a
"Our house was on about
an acre, and because relations
were tense between Honduras
and Nicaragua at the time, the
place was pretty well guarded,"
said Fleming, 33. "The guards
spent a lot of time taking care
of the animals, but a lot of
hunting went on in the area
and because of that, many
animals were orphaned. We
would raise them.'
Baird Fleming, '07, is shown at Lowry Park Zoo in the 1991
Any animals that could be
released into the wild were, but others were kept as pets.
"Monkeys and otters, that's kind of what I grew up with', said
Fleming. "That's why I had this interest in exotics. I was always upset
that people were killing these animals, while to me they were such
Fleming left Honduras after high school and attended Emory
University in Atlanta, graduating with a degree in biology with a
comajor in human and natural ecology, which allowed him to focus
on human impacts on the environment.
After graduation, he returned to Honduras, this time to the island
of Roatan, where he worked with dolphins at the Institute of Marine
Sciences. Just over a year later, he returned to the United States,
where he worked for a small animal hospital in St. Petersburg. He
was a kennel assistant, then a kennel manager and finally a techni-
cian/kennel manager. At the same time, Fleming volunteered at the
Lowry Park Zoo.
"After about six months, the zoo hired me on as an aviary keeper,"
Fleming said. "Then after another six months, they hired me as a
trainer for the bird of prey program and I did bird of prey shows for
the zoo. I kept getting pulled from one job into another"'
While working with the bird of prey program, the zoo's veterinary
clinic opened a new position for a hospital and quarantine keeper.
"They bribed me heavily to work for them," Fleming laughed. "But
it was even better than working with the dolphins at Roatan. It was
the best job I'd ever had"'
He likened the position to being a bouncer at a bar. The zoo
veterinarian would call on him to secure various animals, including
12-foot alligators and red wolves.
"I learned a lot about reading animals' eyes and their movements,
such as whether I needed to back up or keep going, and what their
4 FLORIDA VETERINARIAN
bubble was as far as the fight or flight instinct was concerned," Flem-
Meanwhile, many people familiar with Fleming's background
Were encouraging him to
pursue a project back in Hon-
duras. At one point, Fleming
took a veterinarian from
Lowry, a curator from Palm
Beach and two zoo architects
to the country's north coast.
"We came up with the idea
of creating a biopark in which
we would epitomize the cul-
ture, including the flora and
fauna specific to the area;,
When he subsequently
received a call from the
S Institute of Marine Sciences,
during which he was asked
)s when he worked as a trainer in the park's bird of to head up a new cruise ship
facility to entertain custom-
ers on the island of Roatan, Fleming saw an opportunity to return to
Honduras and implement his biopark idea.
But for a variety of reasons, including the 9/11 terrorist at-
tacks and the economic uncertainty that followed, the concept fell
through. Fleming found himself in limbo.
"I had to make some decisions," he said. "I was 28 years old and
I felt I'd been goofing around all my life. I decided I'd either go to
business school and get a master's, or I'd go to veterinary school and
get a D.V.M. But I didn't think my prospects for veterinary school
were very good because my grades in college were less than stellar.'
A member of Emory's crew team, Fleming said he'd spent much
more time rowing than concentrating on his grades. He decided
to try for veterinary school and attended the University of North
Florida in Jacksonville to complete his prerequisites. Amazingly to
Fleming, he was accepted at UF on his first application.
"I came to veterinary school because I wanted to go back to
Honduras and somehow tie in tourism with animal conservation
and cultural conservation:' Fleming said. "Vet school gave me the
knowledge and the confidence I needed.'
Last August, Fleming arranged a trip to Honduras for 13 UF stu-
dents, two residents and one faculty member, Dr. Darryl Heard. The
group visited the Institute of Marine Sciences as well as three reha-
bilitation parks. Group members were able to examine and perform
procedures on animals including a margay, a jaguar, an anteater and
several bird species.
"While I was down there, I talked to a guy who was involved in an
up and coming park on a development in Roatan," Fleming said. The
two discussed the idea, as well as Fleming's desire to build a biopark
and his extensive background in the area.
Fleming wound up with a job offer.
continued on page 5
New graduate's quest to advance animal and human health
has roots in father's legacy
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continued from page 4
He plans to serve as the park's veterinarian and as its director and
will live in a house on the beach that is part of the development.
Fleming can't contain his excitement about the challenges he faces,
among them the fact that his wife is expecting a baby this summer.
"I'm going to be really busy for a very long time," he said. "But
I will have carte blanche to work on any animal I want to, and do
anything to it I want to, with the backing of the government. This is
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all because of my relationships down there and the credibility I have
Fleming added that he hopes to establish an official program with
UF through which zoo medicine students can visit every year. Two
more opportunities for UF students to visit Honduras are already
planned for this summer. 4-9
FLORIDA VETERINARIAN 5
Honors, Awards, Appointments & Announcements
Dr. Ellen Wiedner listens to the heart and lungs of a goat named Smiley.
Farm animal pets have new
resource at UF's Veterinary
A growing number of companion farm an-
imals including llamas, sheep, potbellied
pigs, alpacas and goats are being kept as
pets and seen as clients at the University of
Florida's Veterinary Medical Center, which
has hired a new faculty member specifically
to beef up services to these animals and their
Ellen Wiedner, D.V.M., has always had a
soft spot for these animals, and has worked
with them in private practice for almost a
decade. Recently, she joined the UFVMC
faculty as a clinical assistant professor to
begin building a more comprehensive
program to provide care and treatment for
"I'm looking forward to this," said Wied-
ner, who will be coming to UF one week per
month initially and hopes to expand the ser-
vice as her caseload grows. "UF has always
welcomed these animals into our clinic and
we're excited to reach out to the community
in new ways.'
She said she hopes to start educational
programs focusing on topics such as nu-
tritional and medical care and adds that
the owners of companion farm animals
will hopefully benefit from UF's growing
"We will do farm calls for these patients
when it's appropriate, and they are also in-
vited to be seen in the UF large animal hos-
pital," Wiedner said. "The bottom line is that
our overall focus is going to be high-quality
care for these animals, no matter what.'
A graduate of the University of Penn-
sylvania's College of Veterinary Medicine,
Wiedner completed an internship at Cornell
University in Ambulatory and Production
Medicine and a residency in large animal
internal medicine at Purdue University. She
is board-certified in large animal internal
medicine and serves as a consultant for the
Veterinary Information Network, an online
information service for veterinarians.
TAKE NOTE: VMC
phone numbers change
As part of an effort to provide
our callers with more direct
access to administration,
college departments arnd
hospital services, we have
changed our phone numbers.
Please see page 2 for the new
numbers to use for contacting
us. Individual extensions will
remain the same. Thank you for
UF scientist receives Morris
Animal Foundation grant
to further canine influenza
The University of
scientist who helped
discover the canine
influenza virus has
received a $78,000
grant from the Mor-
ris Animal Founda-
tion to further her
efforts to fight the
disease that affects Dr. Cynda Crawford
The two-year grant has been awarded to
Cynda Crawford, D.VM., Ph.D., a scientist at
UF's College of Veterinary Medicine. Addi-
tional funding partners include the Ameri-
can Humane Association and the American
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Since emerging in pet dogs in Florida
in 2004, canine influenza virus has been
identified in 26 states and the District of
Columbia, with current hot spots in Denver,
Pittsburgh, Miami, California's Bay area and
Cheyenne, Wyo. Infected dogs are highly
contagious before they show clinical signs of
infection, making it difficult to control the
virus' spread and forcing many animal shel-
ters to euthanize thousands of infected dogs.
No vaccine exists.
"This study will determine the prevalence
of influenza virus infections in shelters and
will identify the factors associated with its
introduction and spread', Crawford said.
"We hope to develop effective guidelines for
managing respiratory infections.'
Marie Belew Wheatley, American Humane
Association president and CEO, said helping
shelter organizations keep their animals both
healthy and adoptable is one of the group's
"We feel this study will go a long way to-
ward addressing this problem," she said.
Canine influenza symptoms, primarily
coughing, mirror those of other common
respiratory infections such as kennel cough,
but can progress to life-threatening pneumo-
nia. The virus itself can't be treated, but asso-
ciated secondary bacterial infections require
antibiotics and, in the case of pneumonia,
hospitalization. The disease can be diagnosed
only through laboratory tests.
6 FLORIDA VETERINARIAN
"Canine influenza virus is a rapidly emerg-
ing threat to all dogs who spend time in
multidog environments, and it has led to
the death of more than a thousand dogs in
shelters around the country," said Patricia N.
Olson, D.V.M., president and chief executive
officer of Morris Animal Foundation. "We
are thankful to American Humane and the
ASPCA for partnering with us to address
this critical health issue and to save dogs'
Terrell wins college's Young
Veterinary pathologist Scott Terrell, a
member of the college's class of'97, has
received two awards recently in honor of his
Terrell was selected as a 2007 Outstand-
ing Young Alumnus, an honor for which he
was recognized April 14 during UF's third
annual Spring Weekend. He also received
the College Council's 2007 Teacher of the
After receiving his D.V.M. degree, Ter-
rell completed his residency in anatomic
pathology at UF and in 2000, returned to his
alma mater as clinical assistant professor in
the college's department of infectious disease
and pathology. Terrell commutes to Gaines-
ville from his home in Orlando weekly to
teach veterinary immunology, systemic pa-
thology and small animal pathology among
other topics, to CVM students.
Beyond his professorial duties, Terrell has
been employed at Orlando-based Disney
since 1999, where he is acting director of
veterinary services for Animal Programs
at Walt Disney World. As such, he is the
diagnostic pathologist for all Disney-owned
animals and all animals found on Disney
property. He also oversees the day to day
operations of the veterinary team and animal
nutrition team, a group that manages the
care for the approximately 2,000 terrestrial
animals and 3,000 fish that make their home
at Walt Disney World.
Terrell has spent the last eight years work-
ing to build a relationship between the UF
College of Veterinary Medicine and Disney.
"The Young Alumni Award is recogni-
tion of a lot of work to create a partner-
ship between a great university and a great
company," he said. "When Disney calls UF
for help, they are there for us, and when UF
needs Disney for something support for
scholarships or research, venues for special
events it's there for both sides."
College names 2007
A small-animal practice owner, a livestock
reproduction specialist and a North Florida
dairyman have been honored in the Univer-
sity of Florida College of Veterinary Medi-
cine alumni council's 2007 Distinguished
Three awards were designated: one for
alumni achievement, one for distinguished
service to the veterinary profession and one
for special service.
This year's Alumni
recipient is Link
Welborn, D.V.M., a
1982 graduate of the
co-owner of several
small animal prac-
tices in Tampa, is a
past president of the
Hospital Association. Dr. Link Welborn
He has served on the
college's alumni council and advisory com-
mittee and helped establish the Jim Himes
Alumni Scholarship in honor of an emeritus
dean of students at the college. Welborn
was named Veterinarian of the Year by the
Florida Veterinary Medical Association in
"Dr. Welborn is a stellar example of one
who models professionalism across all slices
of life," said Gail Kunkle, D.V.M., a professor
of small animal dermatology and associate
chair for instruction at the college, in a letter
supporting Welborn's nomination. "He is an
ambassador for veterinary medicine nation-
wide as well as serving as an ambassador for
D.VM., a profes-
sor emeritus at
the college and
respected expert in
livestock repro duc-
tion, has received
Service award. Drost
pioneered studies in Dr. Maarten Drost
embryo transfer tech-
niques and was the first person in the world
to perfect that technique in water buffaloes.
A 1962 graduate of Iowa State University's
College of Veterinary Medicine, Drost has
received numerous awards for teaching as
well as for his scientific accomplishments.
Drost officially retired from UF in 2003 but
has remained active, completing a Web atlas
of animal reproduction using thousands of
visual aids that are freely available to students
and scientists worldwide.
owner of North Flor-
ida Holsteins dairy
farm in Bell, Fla., has
received the Special
Service Award. North
Florida Holsteins is
the UF Veterinary
Medical Center's lon-
"They have been
the backbone of the Dr. Donald Bennick
food animal teaching
program for many years:' said Art Donovan,
D.VM., a professor of food animal medi-
cine at the college. "With the exception of
the charter class, nearly every student that
has graduated from our college has passed
through the gates of Don's farm. The students
have had the opportunity to hone their clini-
cal and problem-solving skills using his cows
in a production setting. He also has provided
a significant caseload to the food animal hos-
pital, where more intense case management
could be provided:'
More than 30 veterinary residents and 20
interns in the Food Animal Reproduction
and Medicine Service, as well as six graduate
students from 16 different countries, have re-
ceived a substantial portion of their training
at North Florida Holsteins, Donovan added.
The awards were presented during CVM
commencement May 26 at UF's Phillips
Center for the Performing Arts.
FLORIDA VETERINARIAN 7
Attention all alumni: The James A. Himes Alumni Scholarship
fund needs your support.
U F College of Veterinary Medicine alumni
created the fund in 1998 to benefit students
in need and to honor Himes, whose service to UF
began more than 40 years ago and continues today.
"For 15 of those years, Dr. Himes served as as-
sociate dean for students and instruction," said Link
Welborn, '82, who helped conceive of and develop
the scholarship when it was first formed. "His
unselfish and caring nature has touched the lives of
thousands of students, families and colleagues. This
$1,000 scholarship is awarded to a veterinary stu-
dent with financial need and who has demonstrated
what we call 'the Himes attitude."
In its first years, more than $47,000 was raised
to support the scholarship, but the current balance
-- about $63,000 -- hasn't changed significantly in
the past five years.
"A few alumni have continued to donate regu-
larly, such that we have been able to award a $1,000
scholarship to a senior veterinary student every year
since 2000," Welborn said. "However with more Dr. Link Welborn, '82
than 88 percent of veterinary students having edu- commencement exer
national debt, and with those in debt owing more
than $88,000 on average, the need for scholarships has never been
Since the scholarship's inception, the goal has been to raise
$100,000, whereupon matching funds of $50,000 will be requested.
The scholarship would then be sufficient to provide approximately
$6,000 per year in scholarships indefinitely.
"As professor and associate dean emeritus, Dr. Himes continues
to go to his office at the college almost every weekday," Welborn
said. "At 87 years young, he remains dedicated to helping veterinary
and pre-veterinary students in every way that he can. I'm asking
everyone, especially college alumni, to consider giving generously,
Melisa Br.uigerSii u7 Di MuiirEt-er Lr.ng .nd HFather ZarElsy u7 alde sh.iwn
IIus1 prior I.) ilnlenirllcnlell e.ert iseL hiEld Ma'-l6 a UF s Phillip Cernle lor the
,who received the college's 2007 Alumni Achievement Award, visits with Dr. Jim Himes May 26 prior to
cises for the class of 2007. Welborn helped create the Himes Scholarship several years ago.
as many have done already, with the goal of reaching the $100,000
mark for state matching funds before the end of the year."
Added Zoe Seale, the college's senior director of development and
alumni affairs, "We only need 37 people to step up and make a gift
or a pledge of $1,000 each.
"When we break it down like that, it seems easy to reach the goal,"
Seale said. "The question I would ask each alumnus is, 'do you want
to be one of the 37 who makes this happen?'"
For more information about how to donate to the Himes Scholar-
ship, contact the college's office of development and alumni affairs at
(352) 392-2213, ext. 5200. 44
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continued from page 1
make a big difference to the university in terms of programs or expansion. I want our veteri-
nary school to produce the best vets out there, because I want to hire them.
"Public universities cannot survive on their own without donations. They cannot advance.
So I want us to be able to buy that ultrasound so the students can learn, or find out why our
animals are dying from what looks like kennel cough but turns out to be canine influenza," she
Her belief in giving back to the college and to the community is an important part of Ka-
plan-Stein's identity, reflected in her recent commitment to help the UF veterinary college be-
come involved in UF's Interdisciplinary Family Health course. Part of the university's Program
for Interdisciplinary Education, the course offers a cross-disciplinary approach to community
health care and targets underserved and/or indigent individuals.
Along with UF's shelter medicine program director Isaza, Kaplan-Stein has worked with a
select group of veterinary students toward this end.
"They are doing wonderful work with our needy pets, offering spay and neuter clinics with
some basic health care," said the program's assistant director, Rhondda Waddell, Ph.D. "Dr.
Kaplan-Stein keeps us going with Science Diet pet food. Many of our families depend on that
food to feed their pets. Otherwise, they might be feeding their own food to their animals'.
Among Kaplan-Stein's mentors from vet school are small animal medicine professor Michael
Schaer, D.V.M., and veterinary neurologist Cheryl Chrisman, D.V.M., along with parasitology
professor Ellis Greiner, Ph.D.
"Dr. Schaer would show slides of case after case, so into it and demanding that we get it
right, and that is just my personality," said Kaplan-Stein. "I was always like that. Dr. Chrisman
is probably the best teacher of neurology in the world, and I always loved Dr. Ellis Greiner and
When Kaplan-Stein first opened Oaks Veterinary Hospital, she had no computers and the
many tests veterinarians are capable of running these days, even routine blood tests, were not
"You used your brain a lot', Kaplan-Stein recalled. "One thing we all need to never forget
is, don't forget what you were taught and don't forget what doesn't make sense when you put
all the facts together. You've got to go back to that all the time and not get wrapped up in a
After graduation from veterinary school, Kaplan-Stein knew she'd be living in Gainesville
because her husband, Robert, had a contracting business in town. She decided to open her own
practice because raising a family with two young daughters, flexibility was something she was
afraid she'd lose working for someone else.
"It's all worked out,' Kaplan-Stein said. "But my biggest accomplishment is not my practice;
it's raising two daughters that will actually contribute to this society of ours, and my 32-year
Daughter Sara, 23, was recently accepted to UF's duel DVM/Master of Public Health
program, now in its first year, and daughter Gracie, 21, is a member of the crew team at the
University of Pennsylvania and studying communication.
Today Kaplan-Stein sees her profession as "a romantic kind of job."
"Everyone loves a veterinarian," she said. "People approach me because it's intriguing to
them. That's why a lot of people want to go into this profession, but you have to have the pas-
sion for it -- no ifs, ands or buts."
At Kaplan-Stein's farm in Jonesville live three horses of her own and a few boarders. Even
though she's a small animal veterinarian, in her spare time, Kaplan-Stein loves horses and
enjoys trail riding with friends and neighbors in local parks. She even participated in the Great
Florida Cattle Drive in December 2006, an annual event which celebrates the state's ranching
Adding to the Kaplan-Stein menagerie are three Irish setters, four schnauzers, two yellow
Labradors, a cat, a Patagonian conyer and a cockatiel.
"No one likes getting up early or being awakened late at night to take an emergency call,
but once I'm inside the hospital, it's always like candy in a store," Kaplan-Stein said. "I'm not
working on the floor anymore, but I love cases and I go over them, and I can go into my barn
at home and I'm as content as a person can be.' A
CLASS OF '82
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UF veterinarians seek dogs with melanoma to participate
in new vaccine study
By Sarah Carey
University of Florida veterinarians are seeking dogs with
melanoma to participate in an ongoing study of a new vaccine
designed to fight the spread of the common skin cancer.
"We are currently looking at the effect of this vaccine in dogs
that have the disease in all stages, from the least severe to the most
advanced, said Rowan Milner, D.V.M., chief of the UF Veterinary
Medical Center's oncology service. "The vaccine we have developed
stimulates the natural killer cells in the body that act almost like
Pac-men to destroy the tumors.'
Rowan Milner, chief of the University of Florida Veterinary Medical Center's oncology service,
administers a physical examination to a golden retriever participating in the melanoma vaccine trial.
He is assisted by visiting veterinary student Rebecca Plodzik.
Last year Milner and his UF colleagues published information
about their study, one of three canine melanoma vaccine studies
currently under way in the United States, in Veterinary Immunol-
ogy and Immunopathology. They also have presented papers on it
at three scientific meetings. The other two studies are at the Animal
Medical Center in New York and at the University of Wisconsin in
Madison, Milner said.
On March 26, the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved a
conditional license for a canine melanoma therapeutic vaccine to
Merial. The product licensed was that tested in the AMC study,
"All three vaccine studies are different and all want to achieve the
same thing: to harness the dog's immune system to fight the spread
of melanoma," Milner said. "At this stage, we cannot say which one
of these vaccines being studied is the best. There is a broad front of
research, and once we find out which one is really going to work,
the others may fall by the wayside, or we may find that each vaccine
targets specific subgroups of melanoma. Time will tell.'
Melanomas are formed when the pigment-producing cells of the
skin known as melanocytes multiply in an uncontrolled fashion,
eventually invading the tissues that surround them and, in the case
of malignant melanoma, spreading to local lymph nodes and the
"Only between 5 percent and 7 percent of all skin tumors in dogs
are melanomas, but melanoma is the most common oral tumor in
dogs, making up 6 percent of all cancer cases," Milner said, adding
that UF's melanoma vaccine does not make use of gene therapy but
consists of a more traditional composition aimed at stimulating an
"The interesting thing about the reaction we get it is that it in-
cludes antibodies, but also stimulates the natural killer cells," Milner
said, adding that no significant adverse reactions have been seen so
far in any of the 35 dogs participating in the study.
"Although most vaccines are given to prevent the onset of disease,
the melanoma vaccine is actually a form of immunotherapy because
it is being administered after the cancer forms rather than before',
Melanoma is unusual among cancers affecting dogs and people
in that in some cases the body is able to recognize the disease as
foreign and can develop an immune reaction to it. In humans, mela-
nomas are associated with ultraviolet light, but this is not thought to
be a risk factor in dogs. In dogs, skin tumors can appear anywhere
on the body, but are most frequently seen in the nail beds, in the eye
and in the mouth, where they are the most aggressive and malig-
nant, veterinarians say.
Oral melanomas are most commonly seen in highly pigmented
breeds such as chow chows, German shepherds, poodles and
schnauzers. Signs that indicate oral melanoma might be present
include growths appearing in the dog's mouth, bad breath and
Veterinarians typically treat melanoma-afflicted dogs with surgery
to remove the tumor, followed by radiation of the primary site. The
biggest threat to a dog's survival, however, comes if and when the
tumor spreads to the lymph nodes, then to the lungs.
"In most cases, surgeons can remove the cancer if it's small
enough, but in high-grade tumors there is a big risk that the
tumor will spread to the lungs, eventually causing the lungs to fail',
Milner said the melanoma vaccine would never be a replacement
for surgery or radiation, because the local disease still has to be
"The vaccine is really there to suppress the spread of the disease,"
The UF study will accept 60 cases.
Participating dogs will be followed for up to two to three years as
part of the study protocols.
"Melanoma does not respond well to chemotherapy, the gold stan-
dard for trying to control metastasis of many other cancers," Milner
said. "There are other cancers that chemotherapy works well for, but
in my experience, chemo is not very effective in preventing spread
of the melanoma. While not a panacea for all problems, immuno-
therapy will have its place'.
Anyone seeking more information about the melanoma vaccine
study should contact UF's Veterinary Medical Center at
10 FLORIDA VETERINARIAN
Bear and cub treated at UF's VMC released back into
By Sarah Carey
E very now and then, disasters have a happy ending.
The return of two Florida black bears treated at UF's Veterinary
Medical Center and Disney's Animal Kingdom to the wild June
19 is surely such an example. The sow and her 3-month-old cub
became known as the "Bugaboo bears" because of their May rescue
in Columbia County from the so-called Bugaboo fire, which was
the name officials gave to designate the Florida portion of a fire that
originated in Georgia's Okefenokee Swamp and later crossed state
The mother bear suffered from third-degree burns on her paws.
The cub, found high up in a tree above its mother, was dehydrated
but otherwise unhurt.
Coverage of the bears' plight reached national proportions, with
stories appearing in media outlets including the New York Times,
CNN and USA Today among countless others.
The Bugaboo bears became a symbol of hope for many when the
fire, which consumed approximately 125,000 acres of timber, swamp
land, grass and scrub in Florida alone while firefighters struggled to
gain control and residents feared for their homes, even their lives.
"When the Georgia fires and Florida fires all burned together,
(Bugaboo) is probably one of the top three in terms of Continental
U.S. history," said Ralph Crawford, assistant bureau chief for the
state's Division of Forestry.
After their initial rescue by Florida Fish and Wildlife Commis-
sion biologists Jim and Elina Garrison, biology technician Don
Wainwright and FWC veterinarian Mark Cunningham, the bears
were taken to Gainesville and treated by members of the UF VMC's
zoological medicine service. Adrienne Atkins, D.V.M., the third-
year zoo medicine resident, was the clinician who led the care team
Also weighing in with a consult was David Mozingo, M.D., profes-
sor of surgery and anesthesiology at UF's College of Medicine and
head of the Shands Burn Center, and his team of wound specialists.
The group visited the bears in the zoo medicine ward at Atkins'
"We went over one time and looked at the burns on the bottom of
the adult bear's feet," Mozingo said. "We thought they should heal
fine and nothing more really needed to be done other than what
they were doing. Mozingo and his colleagues have visited the college
on several occasions over the years to provide consultation relating
to wound care.
"They were relieved when we said we didn't feel surgical interven-
tion was necessary": he added.
Six days later, FWC's Cunningham picked the bears up and drove
them to Disney's Animal Kingdom, where they were kept in a
quarantine facility and fed a diet consistent with what they would
normally eat in the wild: blueberries, heart of palm, and cabbage.
Disney veterinarian Scott Terrell, D.V.M., (CVM class of'98), acting
director of veterinary services for the park, and UF's fourth-year
zoological medicine resident
Christine Fiorello, D.V.M.,
then assumed primary
responsibility for the bears'
Once the mother bear,
whose burn injuries had
been veterinarians' pri-
mary concern, was deemed
ready for release, she and ---
e r University of Florida veterinarian Erin McNally monitors
her cub were transported anesthesia while others on the veterinary care team
to the release site by the dress the foot wounds of this 18-year-old Florida black
State Agricultural Response bear May 14 at UFs Veterinary Medical Center. State
wildlife officials brought the bear and her cub to UF for
Team/Veterinary Emergency treatment after they were found by firefighters during
Treatment Service from the the Bugaboo file in Columbia County. The adult bear suf-
College of Veterinary Medi- feared third-degree burns on her paws and received daily
wound care at UF while her condition stabilized.
cine, complete with a law
The VETS vehicle con-
sists of a 4-wheel drive Ford
king cab truck purchased
with funds from the Florida
Veterinary Medical Associa-
tion Foundation. The truck
towed a 24-foot utility trailer
equipped with a 15,000 BTU
air conditioner which was
The adult black bear rescued from the Bugaboo fire
purchased to haul response and treated at UF's VMC races from her transport cage
team equipment to disasters, and back into the Osceola National Forest after being
then to be used as a bunk released back into the wild June 19.
then to be used as a bunk
house or office on the scene. UF purchased the custom-built trailer
for VETS with funds donated by the American Kennel Club.
The new rig had never been used to transport any animals, much
less wild animals, but when state agricultural officials asked for help
with the bear release, VETS was ready.
On the day of the release, the VETS team, including college direc-
tor John Haven and security coordinator David Johns from UF's
VMC, left Gainesville for Orlando to pick up the bears at Disney
and then transported them upstate to the release site in the Osceola
Located across a sandy graded road 22 miles inside the forest, the
site was within the bear's original range. VETS team members then
worked with Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission biologists and
Cunningham to determine the logistics. The decision was made to
remotely use a winch attached to the handle on the bears' crate to
lift the latch and enable the bears to run to freedom.
And that they did, racing from their tarp-covered crate across a
sandy graded road 22 miles into the Osceola National Forest.
In seconds, the bears were gone, hidden in the deep palmetto
FLORIDA VETERINARIAN 11
The annual Dog Owners and Breeders
Symposium will be held at the Hilton Hotel
in Gainesville. For more information,
contact the UF Department of Conferences
at (352) 392-1701.
The annual Florida Cat Conference will be
held at the Hilton Hotel in Gainesville. For
more information, contact the UF
Department of Conferences at
The annual Horse Farm 100 bicycle ride
with Team VetMed will take place in
Gainesville, departing from Morningside
Nature Center. For more information,
contact Jo Ann Winn
at (352) 392-2213, ext. 5013.
UF's annual homecoming celebration will
take place, with the traditional barbeque
event planned for CVM alumni on Nov. 3.
Kick-off time for the football game -- Gators
vs. Vanderbilt -- will determine exactly
when the CVM event will be held. For more
information, contact Jo Ann Winn
at (352)-392-2213, ext. 5013.
The college's fall alumni council meeting will
take place prior to the CVM homecoming
alumni barbeque. For more information,
contact Jo Ann Winn
at (352) 392-2213, ext. 5013.
College of Veterinary Medicine
P.O. Box 100125
Gainesville, FL 32610-0125
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