the NEWS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE
New rehabilitation and fitness center launched at UF small animal hospital
BY SARAH CAREY
V veterinarians at the University of Florida Veterinary Medical Center now have a new
tool for helping Fido get back on his feet: an underwater treadmill.
A ribbon-cutting to celebrate the launching of this new rehabilitative treatment
modality, part of the UF Veterinary Rehabilitation and Fitness Center, was held Sept. 15 and
included a demonstration of the new treadmill, which is housed in the VMC between the small
and large animal hospitals and adjacent to the equine treadmill room.
Several UF faculty and staff members, along with special guests Victoria Ford and Dr.
Janine Tash, owner of Aalatash and Aalatash West veterinary hospitals and a member of the UF
CVM class of '83, attended the event. The treadmill was made possible through financial gifts
from Ford, who is past treasurer of the Pals & Paws dog agility group in Jacksonville and a dog
agility friend of Tash's.
"After competing in agility for 12 years, I observed all the injured dogs going to Aiken,
S.C. for treatment and wondered why the UF veterinary school was not their choice," Ford said.
"I learned that UF had no such program and the agility dogs needed special treatment."
Tash was meanwhile working on Ford's two competition dogs and mentioned the need for
an underwater treadmill.
"I saw a need and was able to assist the veterinary school in acquiring it with a gift of
$60, 000," Ford said.
After a meeting with college administrators, Ford learned that not only did agility dogs
have rehabilitation needs so did other canine athletes as well as surgical and neurological
She subsequently decided to support this goal by establishing the James Edmundson
Ingraham Endowed Fund in Veterinary Medicine with an additional gift in memory of her
great-grandfather, a businessman, entrepreneur, and railroad company executive whom Ford
describes as "a moving force in the development of the state of Florida from the 1880s through
the early 1900s."
"I am excited to be a part of the development of the small animal rehabilitation area in the
veterinary hospital and look forward to its growth," said Ford. She also made an additional
donation toward creating a small animal rehabilitation area in the soon-to-be-constructed new
Veterinary Educational and Clinical Research and Center, which includes a new small animal
Directing the new rehabilitation program will be staff surgeon Kristin Kirkby, a 2003
graduate of the UF veterinary college who recently completed her residency in small animal
surgery. Kirkby is now pursuing a Ph.D.
Under Kirkby's direction, limited hydrotherapy services are now being offered to certain
VMC clients, primarily animals suffering from joint problems or muscle loss, which often
results from orthopedic or neurologic disease.
"There is a huge benefit for dogs with spinal cord injury that are unable to or have
difficulty walking on land," Kirkby said.
Large animal patients are also benefiting from the new treadmill.
"The goal is to reduce pressure on the muscle groups and to allow for weightless move-
ments as part of physical therapy to improve muscle strength," said equine resident Johanna
Elfenbein, a 2007 graduate of the UF veterinary college. Elfenbein added that the major
problem with recumbence the inability to stand in large animals is that their large muscle
groups have decreased blood flow, causing muscles to die over time.
"Certainly having the treadmill available to us for this purpose is great," Elfenbein said.
Kirkby would like to see the service expand in the near future make use of other rehabili-
tation modalities such as low level laser therapy, therapeutic ultrasound and shock wave
"One of the big things we plan to push for is weight loss," she said. "Most overweight dogs
have some form of arthritis; picture the overweight Lab with bad hips. We envision a wellness
center that would provide exercise and nutrition therapy, along with pain management and
Kirkby said the buoyancy of the water decreases the impact of an animal's weight on its
joints, and the resistance provided by walking in water builds muscle.
"Depending on the height of the water, you can target different muscle areas and joints,"
Many other veterinary colleges and hospitals are now making use of aquatic therapy for
small animals, but UF is the only one in South Georgia and North Florida.
"My vision is that we will become very much a leader in clinical services but also in
research to validate why we're doing this," Kirkby said, adding that part of her doctoral work
will involve evaluating objective outcome measures to be used with rehabilitation.
"For example, is the underwater treadmill at elbow height for 10 minutes better than for
five minutes at carpal height? Certainly thus far, there are big gaps in evidence and there has
been very little objective data provided to prove this technique works."
Dr. Colin Burrows, Victoria Ford and Dr. Kristin Kirkby visit prior to the ribbon-cutting for the new underwater treadmill,
one of several treatment modalities to be available through UF's new Veterinary Rehabilitation and Fitness Center.
Ford holds a plaque she was presented with for her generous support of the new center.
Dr. Kristin Kirkby smiles at her dog, Bailey, while veterinary technician Wendy Davies monitors operation of the new
underwatertreadmill. Bailey gamely participated in the treadmill demonstration during the ribbon-cutting event.
Flying high again
Dr. Deke Beusse
Former marine mammal
program director, longtime
friend of veterinary medicine
Dr. Deke Beusse dies
Dr. Deke Beusse, who served for three
years as the University of Florida
College of Veterinary Medicine's first director
of the marine mammal medicine program after
its inception in 2001, died Sept. 20 in
He was 76.
An Atlanta native and 1958 graduate of
the University of Georgia College of
Veterinary Medicine, Beusse established and
operated a small animal practice, Trail Animal
Clinic, in Orlando for 23 years. He also served
as a contract veterinarian for Sea World in
Orlando for 23 years.
He served at UF's marine mammal
medicine director from 2001-2004 before
moving to Rabun County, Ga., where he then
became a contract veterinarian with the U.S.
Navy Aquatic Animal Program. He served in
that capacity until earlier this year.
He served as president of the Central
Florida Veterinary Association in 1966 and
was president of the Florida Veterinary
Medical Association in 1977. He won many
awards from the FVMA, including
Veterinarian of the Year in 1984 and the
group's Distinguished Service Award in 1991.
Beusse had long-standing roots with the
UF veterinary college.
Soon after being hired to direct the marine
mammal medicine program, he shared in an
interview how he had been "in the middle" of
the political struggle to build the UF
veterinary school back in the 1970s.
"Me and (Dr.) Wy Cripe and Dean
(Charles) Cornelius, along with other
members of the FVMA we just fought
those battles until the school was built'" he
said. "After the vet school was formed, I spoke
to the first freshman class during orientation
and I think I've talked to every class but one
He said he told students who commented
about his "luck" in hooking up with Sea
World that luck had nothing to do with that
"I think you have to donate your time, and
things happen from that," Beusse said. "I was
a practitioner in Orlando back in 1960, a
couple of years after graduating from
veterinary school at the University of Georgia,
and there weren't butl0 or 12 veterinarians in
Orlando at that time. There were rumors that
something big was going to happen in
Orlando and that turned out to be Disney."
Beusse traveled all over the world
working as a consultant for different marine
Lynda White, EagleWatch coordinator for Audubon of Florida (left), and Copper Aitken-Palmer, a resident at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine,
prepare to release an American Bald Eagle into the wild near Cross Creek, Fla., on Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008. The eagle walked several steps before it flew to the top
of a nearby tree, where it was joined by another bald eagle. Originally, a good Samaritan found the bird unable to walk near Cross Creek and transported it to the
University of Florida Veterinary Medical Center, where it was treated until it regained its strength and was later discharged back to Audubon.
(Photo by Sarah Kiewel)
Audobon's Eagle Watch coordinator, Lynda White, releases the eagle, who flew to a nearby treetop, where it was soon joined by another eagle, presumably its
mate. (Photo by Sarah Kiewel)
In 1980, after being treated for
Hodgkin's Disease, Beusse and his son,
Doby, a former professional water skier,
rode their bicycles across the nation
from Oregon to Florida.
"Back then, there were heavy
helmits and no clip-on pedals," he
recalled. "We rode 10-speed bikes and
we did more than 100 miles per day. It
took us six weeks."
During his years at UF, Beusse
participated actively in Team VetMed,
riding for several years in the Horse
Farm 100 ride and completing the full
100 miles one year on his recumbent
"As the first director of the UF
marine mammal program, Deke Beusse
was key to the successful development
and national recognition the program
enjoys," said former veterinary college
dean, Dr. Joseph DiPietro, now vice president
for agriculture at the University of Tennessee.
"Deke was a gentle, humble man whose
expertise and knowledge as a veterinarian far
outshined his reservation about ever being
the center of attention," DiPietro said. "In
addition, his strong commitment to family
and community provided those around him
with an outstanding role model. I recall his
riding the Horse Farm 100 gamely every year
with Team VetMed with the conviction that
we must help provide stronger support of
veterinary student scholarships through that
"I, his friends, family and the veterinary
profession will miss him terribly," DiPietro
Beusse is survived by his wife, Carole,
and two children.
Former Lifculti member
Dr Richard Bradler dies
Dr. Richard Bradley, a longtime member
of the faculty at the UF College of Veterinary
Medicine, died Oct. 6, a week shy of his 81st
birthday, in Morganton, N.C.
A parasitologist, Bradley held D.VM.,
M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of
Georgia. He joined the UF veterinary science
faculty in 1965 and remained at UF until his
retirement in 1990.
While at UF, he was active in the Ameri-
can Veterinary Medical Association, the
Florida Veterinary Medical Association and
the Eastern States Veterinary Association.
He also chaired many college committees .
Since 2003, Bradley and his family
owned and operated Kustom Kare Kennel in
Morganton, N.C. He is survived by his wife,
Alla, and four children.
"Auto" now en route to recovery, thanks to UF vets, Humane Society
A badly injured young stray dog that happened to wander into the bushes near the
Alachua County Humane Society is alive today and at home with his new adoptive
owners, thanks to caring Society workers and surgeons at the UF Veterinary
"He was discovered Monday morning, Oct. 6 by staff members and he was obviously
dehydrated and in shock," said Kirk Eppenstein, the Society's executive director, adding that
while no one saw the accident, it appeared that the dog had been hit by a car.
"The Humane Society made him comfortable until he could be transported to Alachua
County Animal Services for mandatory holding to see if an owner would come forward,"
No one did. After consulting with a few local veterinarians who gave the dog nicknamed
"Auto" a poor prognosis, members of the Humane Society went to the media and to the
general public seeking donations to help pay for the dog's medical care.
"Staff from the Humane Society refused to give up on Auto and worked with him daily,"
Eppenstein said. "He had the presence of mind or the luck to wander into the bushes near our
offices, and although our resources are always spread thin, we just felt he deserved a chance."
Eight days later, Auto arrived at UF's VMC, where he was evaluated by orthopedic surgeon
Dr. Antonio Pozzi and resident Dr. Alastair Coomer.
"Radiographs showed a fracture of his left femur, a left hip luxation, right pelvic fracture
and small fractures of the left femoral head," said Christine Ross, the junior veterinary student
who served as part of the treatment team.
Surgery was performed Oct. 14 to repair the fractured femur.
"Five pins and two screws were used to stabilize the multiple fractures," Ross said.
Two days later, Auto received a total hip replacement, removing small bone chips and
replacing his left hip joint with a new titanium joint.
"He is a young dog and has soft bones, so we are taking multiple precautions during his
recovery," Ross said, adding that Auto would be in a sling for the next few weeks to prevent
him from bearing any weight on the injured limb.
Accompanied by a Humane Society technician, Eppenstein came to the UF VMC Oct. 20
to pick Auto up. He said that the good Samaritan who came forward to cover the lion's share of
Auto's veterinary expenses estimated to have been between $6,000-$7,000 had decided
to give the dog a permanent home.
"His recovery will likely be long and slow, but his prognosis is very good," said Coomer.
In an interview with local news station WCJB, TV 20, Pozzi thanked the members of the
surgery team, the Humane Society and the community for their help.
Paul Davenport named interim chairman of
college's department of physiological sciences
P aul Davenport, Ph.D.,
a professor incthe
University of Florida
College of Veterinary
Medicine, has been named
acting chairman of the
college's department of
His appointment was
effective Oct. 1.
College dean Glen
Hoffsis appointed Daven-
port, who had been
chairman, to the acting
chairman position after
former department chair-
man, John Harvey, D.VM.,
PhD., was named executive
associate dean at the UF
Davenport's work focuses
primarily on the study of
animal and human behav-
ioral control of breathing
and respiratory rehabilita-
His work relating to
Dr. Paul Davenport is shown in his lab with graduate student Sarah Peiying
respiratory function has Chan.
patients, asthmatic chil-
dren, U.S. Navy divers and
the actor Christopher Reeve, among others.
Davenport was the recipient of the Pfizer Award for Research Excellence in the UF College
of Veterinary Medicine in 2001. In 2003, he received the UF Research Foundation professor-
ship, sponsored by the university's Division of Sponsored Research.
He has been a member of the UF veterinary college faculty since 1981.
Pictured outside the Small Animal Hospital with Auto at center are Kirk Eppenstein of the Alachua County
Humane Society; Dr. Alastair Coomer, surgery resident; Dr. Antonio Pozzi, UF clinical assistant professor and
orthopedic surgeon; and UF veterinary student Christine Ross. (Photo by Sarah Carey)
Equine group gives $5,000 for student scholarships
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The Florida Association of Equine Practioners presented the University of
Florida College of Veterinary Medicine with a check for $5,000 for student
scholarships Sept. 27 during the FAEP's annual meeting in Puerto Rico.
In addition, the FAEP contributed $2,500 for UF's course in equine business,
which began Oct. 1.
"The FAEP is an excellent organization that is most supportive of UF, as we are
of them," said Dr. Eleanor Green, chairwoman of the college's department of large
animal clinical sciences and chief of staff of UF's large animal hospital.
Dr. Amanda House, UF's equine extension veterinarian, is on FAEP's board of
directors and was proceeded in her position by Dr. Dana Zimmel, an assistant
professor of equine medicine at UF.
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