SF Illl e *o V e t e r i n a r y e d i c i n e S e p e b S0 1
the NEWS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE
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UF Small Animal Hospital in final stages of completion
Events in place to present new facility "sneak previews" to different groups, including public
BY SARAH CAREY
Committees are meeting, project deliverables are coming to fruition, and excitement
is growing as the new UF Small Animal Hospital's grand opening approaches.
A series of events are planned to introduce the hospital to a variety of audiences,
ranging from our internal college family to referring veterinarians to the general public.
Although the exact itineraries for each event have not all been finalized, all involved in the
planning agree that the new hospital's opening represents a huge step forward in the life of
the college and the UF Veterinary Hospitals.
"So many at the college are working constantly and tirelessly to ensure that all of our
key stakeholders feel included in our celebration," said Dr. Colin Burrows, chairman of the
small animal hospital marketing committee. "We want everyone to know how much their
efforts are appreciated and that we hope everyone will take advantage of the opportunity to
tour the new hospital to see for themselves what the excitement is all about."
In late August, a banner created by ProInk, a local public relations and marketing firm,
was hung from the hospital rooftop to announce the opening of the new facility in
November 2010. The banner is easily visible from S.W. 16th Avenue.
In early September, stained glass panels created by artist R. Stuart Keeler arrived from
their fabricator and were hung inside the new hospital atrium.
"This project took five months from beginning to end," said Keeler, adding that he
worked with a 150-year-old German company that specializes in the use of invention with
art glass. "The architecture of the new hospital is stark, simple and represents a clear
direction and vision from the architect. The purpose of the art in this case is to augment that
vision, while simultaneously punctuating the space with a memory of pattern, textures and
markings in pop colors."
His original proposal for the art project stated that "familiar patterns, texture and
markings of our favorite pets, beloved companions and compassionate friends" would be
rendered in contemporary color "with a cue to pop-art and abstraction, yet at the same time
remaining recognizable to the viewer."
The college will officially take possession of the new building in mid-October.
Beginning Saturday, Oct. 16, when CVM alumni will visit the site as part of annual CVM
and UF homecoming activities, through Sunday, Oct. 24, there will be public and in-house
tours of the new building.
Stay tuned for more details about activities and plans.
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The banner promoting the opening of our new UF Small Animal Hospital was hung Aug, 30 and is clearly visible from
S.W. 16th Ave. (Photo by Sarah Carey)
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Labrador retriever prognosis good after life-saving hemodialysis
"We may never find out what it was," Baxter said. "In about half of the dogs with renal
failure, the cause is never determined."
As for the Pucketts, they were happy to finally be able to take Cotton home, after two and a
half weeks of uncertainty.
"Our family so appreciates everyone who touched Cotton's life, from the friendly reception-
ists to all of the veterinary students, including our last student, Nicki Puza, all of the students in
ICU and all of the technicians, specifically Andrea Shultz from the hemodialysis team," Mary
Lee Puckett said. "We are overwhelmed by Dr. Baxter's expertise and are so indebted to her for
her selfless consideration of her patients and their families, and are thankful for Dr. Bandt's
skilled knowledge of dialysis. We are huge fans of the UF Veterinary Hospitals, and are so
pleased that Cotton was able to be treated there."
Dr. Carsten Bandt, Ben Puckett, Keith Puckett, Mary Lee Puckett and Dr. Katie Baxter visit with Cotton on
Aug. 19, 2010. (Photo by Sarah Carey)
BY SARAH CAREY
C otton, a 4-year-old yellow Labrador, led a fairly cosmopolitan, stress-free life up until
August. She summered in the Bahamas. She was comfortable on a boat, in a truck or
in a tractor in Pass Christian, Miss., on the Gulf Coast, where she frequently spent
time with her owner's parents. She had adjusted to city life quite well after following her owner,
Mary Keith "Keith" Puckett, from Starkville, Miss., to her new job in Dallas.
But it was in the idyllic community of Hope Town, Abaco, Bahamas, that Cotton suddenly
grew deathly ill.
"At first, it didn't seem too serious, but we took her to the local vet in Marsh Harbour, and
after two afternoons of treatment, we decided she needed more help," said Keith's mother,
Mary Lee Puckett, adding that her veterinarian in Pass Christian, Jennifer Hendrick, D.V.M.,
had recommended taking Cotton back to the U.S. for critical diagnostic testing.
What happened next involved an odyssey of veterinary consultations and referrals, ulti-
mately leading Cotton to the University of Florida Small Animal Hospital to receive life-saving
dialysis after being diagnosed with kidney failure.
On Aug. 7, Keith's father, Ben Puckett, arranged for a charter flight to transport his daugh-
ter, wife and Cotton to Fort Lauderdale. With a stop at Acacia Animal Hospital in Pompano
Beach, Cotton was then referred to PetPB Animal Emergency Center in Boynton Beach, where
an internist, Bettina Mayer-Roenne, D.V.M., immediately recognized that the dog was a good
candidate for hemodialysis treatment.
"She said the sooner the better, called UF and arranged for our arrival after midnight, even
printing out phone numbers and driving directions," Mary Lee Puckett said. "By then, my
husband, Ben, had arrived, and he drove us rather rapidly up to Gainesville. Cotton was so sick
at that point, and we were frantic."
Cotton was able to receive care immediately after arriving in Gainesville at 1 a.m. through
the UF Small Animal Hospital's 24-hour emergency service. The family was met by Katie
Baxter, B.V.Sc., a third-year small animal medicine resident, Jordan Nickell, D.V.M., an intern
with the emergency and critical care service, and Theresa Rodina, a junior veterinary student.
Baxter said she was encouraged by the fact that Cotton was a young dog and had been
referred to UF quickly enough that clinicians could be proactive in their treatment.
Cotton received two five-hour hemodialysis treatments, one the day of her arrival and
another two days later.
"When a case is very severe, we will perform hemodialysis daily initially, but in Cotton's
case, we were able to do the treatments two days apart," Baxter said.
Within days, Cotton's blood values had improved. For another week, however, she re-
mained at UF while Baxter and Carsten Bandt, D.V.M., an assistant professor and head of the
UF Small Animal Hospital's hemodialysis unit, monitored her liver and kidney function.
Although Keith Puckett had returned to work in Dallas, for the next 10 days, Ben and Mary Lee
Puckett were frequent visitors to the hospital. "Our lives at this point revolved around when we
could visit Cotton," Mary Lee Puckett said. "Dr. Baxter was so kind, and made sure she or
Jessica Scott, our next student, called us several times during the day to let us know Cotton's
condition and when we could come for a visit. We often looked like a parade when Dr. Baxter,
Jessica, my husband Ben, Cotton and I would all head outside so Cotton could get some fresh
"This required one to hold the leash, one to hold the catheter bag, one to hold the food we
were trying to tempt her with and one to open doors," Mary Lee Puckett added. "They kindly
performed this act a couple of times a day with compassion and a sense of humor."
On Aug. 23, the Pucketts received the go-ahead from UF to take Cotton home to Pass
Christian. UF clinicians say she has a very good prognosis, although they were never able to
determine the cause of her illness. Preliminary tests for leptospirosis came back negative, and
clinicians say the problem could have been caused by heat stroke or by some type of toxin.
Dr. Katie Baxter plays with Cotton, a 4-year-old Labrador retriever that received hemodialysis treatment at UF's
Small Animal Hospital in August. (Photo by Sarah Carey)
UF \eterinary ophthalmologist selected to present
prestigious Frank I. Milne Lecture at AAEP
Dennis Brooks, D.V.M., Ph.D., professor
of ophthalmology at the University of
Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, will
present the prestigious Frank J. Milne State-
of-the-Art Lecture at the annual meeting of
the American Association of Equine Practitio-
ners in Baltimore in December 2010.
Brooks' lecture, titled "Catastrophic
Ocular Surface Failure in the Horse," will
address the latest approaches to handling
severe corneal conditions in horses, which he
says most practitioners will encounter during
An internationally recognized expert in
canine and equine glaucoma, Brooks also
specializes in infectious keratitis and coreal
transplantation of horses. He has performed
close to 300 successful coreal transplants in
horses, more than anyone in the world.
He received his board certification from
the American College of Veterinary Ophthal-
mologists in 1984 and has served as a full
professor at UF's veterinary college since
Dr. Dennis Brooks
Among the numerous awards Brooks has received for his teaching and research are the
Pfizer Award for Research Excellence and the British Equine Veterinary Association's Sir
Frederick Smith Memorial Lecture and Medal. He was named the Western Veterinary Confer-
ence Continuing Educator of the Year in the equine category in 2007. In addition, Brooks
served as president of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists from 1997 to
1998. He authored the book Equine Ophthalmology, which was published in 2002 and 2007.
Two former UF faculty members have also presented the Milne lecture, including Joe
Mayhew, B.V.Sc., in 1999, and Alfred Merritt, D.V.M., in 2003.
The Milne lecture was created in 1997 to bring a meaningful learning experience to AAEP
members and to recognize an individual with a distinguished career in research and discovery
who has presented and published his or her findings in a specific area of equine health.
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Anderson's zest for life, many passions
remembered at ceremony
BY SARAH CAREY
pm ast and present faculty, staff and
students of the University of
Florida College of Veterinary
Medicine joined family members of the late
Dr. Kevin Anderson on Sept. 10 at the Haile
Village Center for an evening of stories,
memories and music shared in a celebration
of Anderson's life.
The longtime CVM faculty member, who
taught gross anatomy to every veterinary
class since 1988, was remembered as a
someone who generously shared his passions
for many aspects of life with others as an
enthusiastic leader who motivated students as
their anatomy professor freshman year; as an
adventurer who loved to travel and push the
edge in sports; as an avid Gator and fantasy
football fan; as a take-no-prisoners cyclist and
ride leader for Team Vet Med; as a devoted
father and husband; and as someone whose Dr. Kevin Anderson
mischievous streak stayed with him until the
"He exemplified positive forward momentum"' said Dr. Roger Reep, who served as master
of ceremonies and was a longtime colleague of Anderson's in the department of physiological
sciences. "He did it with a whole lot of gusto and humor, and in that spirit, he would want us to
be forward looking. That is part of what this evening is all about."
Dr. Tom Wronski, another departmental colleague, presented a slide show containing
chronological highlights of Anderson's life, from his childhood growing up near Seattle and his
life leading up to Lexington, Ky., where the two first met. Both Wronski and Anderson were
teaching anatomy to medical students at that time.
In 1988, a few years after Wronski had moved to UF to take a faculty position, a position
came open in his department. He called Anderson and encouraged him to apply.
"He was the underdog, as another candidate was highly favored to be hired," Wronski
Paul Davenport, who chairs the physiological sciences department, said he rummaged
through old files and was able to locate the original search committee file from 22 years ago.
Davenport said Anderson had made such a positive impression on the committee that he
became its unanimous choice for the job.
"In my more than 25 years of friendship with Kevin, he made my life better and more fun,"
Wronski said. "We have a huge attendance here tonight, and I'm sure this is true of everyone
Dr. Charles Courtney, the college's associate dean of research and graduate studies, shared
an affinity for fishing and cycling with Anderson. He talked about Anderson's leadership in
heading up the Merck-Merial Summer Research Program as well as Anderson's wonderful
rapport with students.
"When Kevin was Team Vet Med leader, among other things, he would design rides that
were sometimes diabolical," Courtney said. "For example, there was 'Le Tour de Doublewides'
and 'The Hogtownl00.' He was the heart and soul of Team Vet Med."
Longtime former chairman of physiological sciences John Harvey called Anderson "one
of the nicest, most enjoyable people to spend time with."
"He was always willing to help out with whatever needed doing," said Harvey. "I was
amazed at how fast he became one of us," said Harvey, who recalled taking Anderson out to
dinner during his interview for the faculty job.
Harvey noted Anderson's fondness for grouper fishing and his traditional Kentucky Derby
parties. He said he thought of Anderson recently while walking through the Veterinary
Academic Building hallways where several students were seated on the floor having lunch.
See Anderson, p.4
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"I have to admit I missed Kevin then," Harvey said. "He always used to sit there with the
students and would have lunch with them."
Harvey also relayed that he'd had an unusual dream a few nights previously. Both Ander-
son and his wife, Dr. Michelle LeBlanc, were in the dream.
"Kevin was getting into his car, and I said, 'Where are you going?'" Harvey recalled. '"He
said, 'To the ceremony tonight.' I said, well, that'd be great, but how's that really going to
work? Then I woke up this morning and I thought: He's here."
Music was a memorable part of the celebration. Drs. Amy Stone, Kris Cooke and Chris
Sanchez sang a rendition of the old Muppets Movie song, "The Rainbow Connection," which
Stone explained was conceived only 10 days prior to the ceremony during an evening Team Vet
Med bike ride with LeBlanc. Junior veterinary student Tiffany Tupler, who has sung during
several college events, delivered a powerful and moving version of "I Will Always Love You."
Anderson's former graduate student, Mike Weiss, alluded to his mentor's kindness and
"He was an extraordinary mentor, plus he loved fantasy sports," said Weiss, adding that one
of the biggest compliments he had ever received was when Anderson told a friend that he was
no longer Weiss's mentor, but was rather, a colleague.
"He was an incredible individual who didn't care about title or class, who was always there
for me and my family," Weiss said.
Dr. Sheilah Robertson, a professor of anesthesiology and pain management at the college
and an avid cyclist, talked about the definition of a cancer survivor, which, she said, includes
not just people diagnosed with illness but also those who are spouses and friends of those
people. She said Anderson admired Lance Armstrong for his dedication to cancer awareness
and the Live Strong movement.
Ring the bells that still can ring
forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
that's how the light gets in.
lines fom "Anthem," a Leonard Cohen poem
read by Dr Roger Reep
in honor ofDr. Kevin Anderson
"Unity is strength, knowledge is power and attitude is everything," she said. "Kevin chose
to live strong."
Anderson's appreciation of jazz music was a commonality he held with Dr. Al Merritt,
professor emeritus of large animal medicine at UF.
"He wore his passions on his sleeve," Merritt said, adding that Anderson had introduced
him to music he previously had known nothing about. "To borrow from Duke Ellington: Kevin,
we loved you madly, we cherished you madly and we will miss you madly."
Eric Anderson talked about how his brother's approach to life was always one he admired -
"For one thing, I was always jealous of the fact that he had hair," he joked. "He was always
an overachiever, and we used to go snow skiing as a family almost every weekend. We used to
say Kevin bruised the snow."
When Anderson's brothers, cleaned out his bike closet earlier that day, they came across at
least 30 bike jerseys, as well as all kinds of other things he had collected relating to his favorite
"Actually, there were 48 jerseys," said LeBlanc just before the program ended. "I had given
18 of them away already before they came."
There was a break in preparation for a dinner graciously prepared and donated by local
caterer Omi Risco, wife of Dr. Carlos Risco, before the evening came to an end.
Among the many people who contributed to the event were Dr. Gail Kunkle, professor
emeritus of dermatology, who designed the program; Dr. Roger Reep's graduate students, who
tended bar; Dr. Chris Sanchez, who created the slide show using Anderson's favorite selected
music and Anderson's aunt, Lois Brown, who baked 40 dozen chocolate chip cookies from
Anderson's favorite recipe.
Guests left with sweet remembrances, including packages of cookies tied with an orange
ribbon and a copy of the recipe with a photo of Kevin and his brother, Brian, baking cookies
when they were children.
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Assistant professor builds relationships with practitioners in key administrative roles
BY SARAH CAREY
D r. Amanda House is on the road again. Or, said another way: If she's not, she will
be soon. Such is life these days for House, an assistant professor of equine
extension and an internist in the UF College of Veterinary Medicine's department of
large animal clinical sciences.
In addition to directing the department's equine research program, House was recently
appointed course director for the college's new practiced-based equine clerkship. She also is
serving out her yearlong term as president of the Florida Association of Equine Practitioners.
In her new role as clerkship course director, House is in the process of meeting with more
than 60 equine veterinarians from across the state. The goal of the clerkship is to provide
veterinary students with on-farm primary care experience with horses in physical exams,
diagnosis, treatment, herd health, routine medicine, surgery, and practice management. Veteri-
nary students would be assigned to enrolled practitioners for two week rotations. As FAEP
president, House's goal is to drive the group's ambitious agenda, which includes offering
continuing education opportunities and professional development to a group of approximately
So drive she does literally, across the state, meeting, greeting friends and colleagues and
multitasking as she goes.
"I have fortunately been able to combine my roles at times, and can occasionally meet with
practitioners about the clerkship at FAEP events," said House. "I have also offered to make
myself available to county extension offices to coordinate special meetings when I'm in their
area. It can be a scheduling challenge, but I am traveling almost every week."
House joined FAEP shortly after accepting a faculty position with the CVM in 2007. She
soon was named to the group's board of directors and served as its vice president in 2009.
Unexpected changes in the officer slate meant she ascended to the president's role this year
rather than in 2011, but House hasn't missed a beat.
"We have monthly board meetings, which we try to do on a conference call, but we do have
semi-annual, face-to-face board meeting in Orlando" she said. "Events do vary in location, but
there is usually one a year in the Ocala area. The UF Student Appreciation Day wet labs are in
Ocala and our annual Promoting Excellence Symposium is in Orlando for 2010, which we
selected because it was a central location. We are also excited about our 2011 Promoting
Excellence Symposium on Amelia Island."
As a member of the association's educational program committee, House has helped
organize both of those events, along with any additional wet labs or short courses the group
decides to offer.
"This year, we had a breeding soundness exam short course in February, a wound manage-
ment short course in July, and in addition, we are planning an imaging wet lab in November,"
House said, adding that some of these events are free to members and to UF veterinary
Twenty-eight students participated in this year's UF Student Appreciation Day wet labs on
Aug. 28, she said.
For several years, the group has funded a $1,000 scholarship to a senior veterinary student.
"We consider it critical to mentor and give back to young members of our profession,"
House said. "The FAEP Student Appreciation Day Wet Labs has been a tremendously popular
event among our students and the practitioners."
In addition to promoting high-quality continuing education, the association has worked
closely with the Florida Veterinary Medical Association's legislative committee on issues
affecting equine veterinarians and welfare for horses in the state. The group publishes a
bimonthly magazine; sends members a biweekly e-newsletter with upcoming event or impor-
tant industry-related news; and maintains a Web site as well as a Facebook page.
In this economic climate, the organization recognizes the importance of value and efficiency
and has worked to become more cost effective, House said.
"We provide more and different membership alternatives, work hard to keep our registration
costs affordable, and provide events that afford both excellent continuing education and an
opportunity to meet and socialize with colleagues in all facets of equine veterinary medicine,"
she said. "We try to provide at least one completely free continuing education event for
members each year. This year it was the breeding soundness short course in Ocala. It was a
great event in a small group setting where we talked about and performed the examination of
the stallion and mare."
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House's extensive network of contacts, formed largely through equine extension and
clinical work she has performed over the past three years, has helped enormously in her ability
to be effective, not only in her administrative role with FAEP, but as she reaches out to practitio-
ners and potential UF partners while laying the groundwork for the new equine clerkship
I have to say that the experience and relationships I have been able to establish through
FAEP have definitely enhanced what I do at the university," House said.
Dr. Jackie Shellow, a UF CVM alumna and FAEP president-elect, called House ic.tIl to
work with" and said she had no idea how she juggled everything on her plate.
"She is well spoken, organized, extremely diplomatic and very good at presenting issues
and getting the important across," Shellow said, adding that it was important to the veterinary
profession that the professional organizations in the state of Florida represent the practitioners
and work closely with the UF CVM.
"The FAEP is a perfect example of this happening," Shellow said. "Working together, we
can be a stronger voice for veterinary medicine and for horses in the state of Florida."
Personal became professional naturally for Dr. Amanda House
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