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Provide Meaningful Assistance


AU CVM Class of 2018



EDITOR Janet L. McCoy WRITER Mitch Emmons CREATIVE DIRECTOR Scott Brown PHOTOGRAPHY Flip Flop Foto Mitch Emmons Auburn Photographic Services



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ACADEMIC AFFAIRS Dr. Daniel Givens RESEARCH Dr. Frank Bartol CLINICAL SCIENCES Dr. Jamie Bellah DEVELOPMENT Diana Turner Jan Chamblin TEACHING HOSPITAL Dr. Douglas Allen


• Facebook and Twitter | AuburnVetMed • YouTube | College of Veterinary Medicine at Auburn University • Instagram | au_vet_med. Auburn Veterinarian (USPS 014-919) is published four times annually, Volume 36, at 105 Greene Hall, Auburn, AL 36849-5528. Submissions: Mail to Auburn Veterinarian, 105 Greene Hall, Auburn, AL 36849. Copyright © 2017 Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be utilized or reproduced without prior written consent of the College of Veternary Medicine. Auburn University is an equal opportunity educational institution/employer.

16 04 From the Dean 05 Scholarships

Provide Meaningful Student Assistance

09 Around the CVM 16 C VM Biodetection Dogs’ Capabilities Vast

19 Vapor Wake

Detection Canines

21 Dawn Boothe Named Alumni Professor

22 C VM Research Aims To Control Wild Pig Population

23 Scott-Ritchey

Research Center

27 A lumni Notes 30 In Memoriam 34 A pocrypha

From the Dean

Sweet Auburn! Loveliest Village of the Plain Saturday, January 29 was a beautiful mid-winter day in Auburn, and a momentous occasion for the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine as we hosted more than 750 family members, friends, and students from the Class of 2018 for the annual White Coat Ceremony. The awarding of white coats on the east lot of Greene Hall recognized the much-anticipated transition from classroom to clinic for 123 upcoming senior students. The president of the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association (Dr. Harold Pate, Jr., Lowndesboro, Ala.) and the president-elect from the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association (Dr. Doug Peterson, Frankfort, Ky.) joined Dr. Dan Givens, associate dean for Academic Affairs in the presentation of coats. Dean Ruby Perry from the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine congratulated our students on their entry into the clinical year. As each student was introduced and coated, class officers provided informative comments about the experiences and aspirations of the Class of 2018. Reflecting the AVMA’s new brand, “Our Passion. Our Profession,” the upbeat tone of our ceremony reminded me that, for many students, the pursuit of veterinary medicine is as much an innate calling as it is an objectively derived career choice. After three years of training, the students’ anticipated career paths already reflect the rich diversity of the profession, ranging from poultry medicine to pathology to small animal medicine. Yet, inevitably, career passion meets the harsh realities of financial demand, academic rigor, and personal struggle. For that reason, we strive to provide students a network of support throughout their education and into their careers. Judging from the cheers and photo opportunities that accom-


panied each student’s introduction during the White Coat Ceremony and the remarkable support and mentorship provided daily by our Office of Academic Affairs, our students enjoy the backing and encouragement of families, friends, and caring professionals as they follow their career paths. The nurturing spirit of the Auburn Family is tangible on our campus and in the clinics, laboratories, and offices of our alumni—and it makes a difference in the lives of our young professionals. Personal wellness is a high priority for Auburn, as it is for the entire profession. Dr. Hugh Bassham, AU CVM Class of 1963 from Quitman, Ga., recently sent me the following anonymously authored poem that seems appropriate for our upcoming senior students as they enter the exciting but sometimes daunting world of clinical medicine: “It’s impossible,” said pride. “It’s risky,” said experience. “It’s pointless,” said reason. “Give it a try,” whispered the heart. May we continue to enjoy the adventure and camaraderie inspired by our great profession. War Eagle!

Dean Calvin Johnson ’86

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Academic Scholarships Provide Meaningful Assistance to Veterinary Medicine Students Academic scholarships provide Auburn veterinary students valuable financial assistance, impacting their lives for years longer than the actual financial support. In fact, students at the College of Veterinary Medicine point to the mentoring and recognition they receive as leading factors in their successful education. The college’s administration is making significant strides in keeping the costs of a veterinary education below or in line with national guidelines. The college’s development office helps secure financial gifts to keep the college on track and assist students with their educational goals. This year, the college awarded nearly $750,000 in scholarships and awards to DVM students. For the 2016-17 academic year, about 48% of CVM’s second-, third-, and fourth-year students received some sort of financial aid. Two significant factors are keeping Auburn students’ tuition at an affordable level: • The CVM has the second-lowest academic cost of any U.S.-based veterinary program. • A three-year trend in which the average indebtedness of Auburn’s at-large students is consistently decreasing below the national average for veterinary students. “The college’s commitment to an affordable, solid education is mirrored by the donors of academic scholarships, who believe, like we do, that assisting our students in being successful in the classroom and in daily life is important,” said Dr. Dan Givens, associate dean for Academic Affairs. “We are committed to keeping the educational indebtedness as low as possible for at-large students, Kentucky students and Alabama students,” Dr. Givens added.

CVM Development Director Diana Turner said, “I am proud that we are able to provide our students with financial assistance through the generosity of the college’s loyal supporters. They are making a difference in a future veterinarian’s career success. “Our scholarship support goal is to exceed $1 million by 2020,” she said. “Thank you for providing this wonderful support to Auburn’s veterinary students.” The college recently honored donors of academic scholarships and awards with a luncheon, where students were able to meet with their scholarship donors. The third year for the luncheon, donors learned first-hand how their gifts are impacting DVM students, and each scholarship beneficiary learned about his or her unique award. “Today’s luncheon is about the personal narrative,” Dr. Givens said, because, in the case of the donor and the student recipient, they are provided the opportunity to meet and learn about each other. “This day is about celebrating the donor and focusing on the development of a relationship between our donors and students.” Mike and Susan McCrary of Fairhope, Ala., provide the Judith McCrary Scholarship, given in honor of Mike’s late mother, for a veterinary student from Pike County, Alabama. For Douglas Hawkins III, who is a third-generation Auburn-educated veterinarian, the scholarship is a perfect match for the hometown and profession he loves. “The monetary gift is so appreciated because it is helping me fulfill my dream, and I’m extremely proud of where I am from and my family heritage,” said Hawkins, a second-year student. “It’s phenomenal to get support from a family who is committed to helping students earn a veterinary medical education.”



Mike McCrary said when he and his wife, Susan, thought about honoring his mother, they thought of the things she loved: animals, education and Pike County. “I inherited my mother’s animal gene; she loved them as much as we do. That made it fairly easy to find a way to honor Mother and remember her in such a tangible way.”





Dr. Glen Puckett ’08 of Auburn represented the East Alabama Veterinary Medical Association, which provides an academic scholarship based on leadership as well as financial need. “We are a relatively small organization but understand how impactful a scholarship can be and how it makes a student feel appreciated,” Dr. Puckett said. “We feel it is important to help students with the largest problem our profession faces, the huge debt load. “I’m relatively successful in my practice but it took me a while to be able to pay off student loans and I remember how important scholarships were to me. I wish we could do more.”


10 Photo IDs page 8.



For third-year student Rachel Burt of Columbiana, Ala., the financial support is important, but knowing that the gift came from veterinarians to recognize her leadership qualities is what she is most grateful for. “I am floored by the recognition and it really makes a difference when you are faced with the academic hurdles we face in our education,” she said. “It made me realize that I am obtaining the goals I’m striving toward and someone in the profession has recognized me for it.” Erika Gibson, a second-year student who is the recipient of the Jefferson County VMA scholarship, agrees. “Before entering the veterinary program, I worked two jobs to save money, but loans are the only [way] I have to pay for my education. It’s nice to know that there are people who are willing to help.”

Dr. Belinda Eckhoff, the current treasurer of the JCVMA, said the organization is committed to helping future veterinarians succeed. “We believe that supporting students is important, that it is helping the profession grow. We understand the debt load because we were once in the role students are in today, so helping with their debt load is important.” Debbie Allen of Auburn established the Kevin Bell & Shelby Scholarship in memory of her son. “We established this scholarship originally in the College of Liberal Arts, where Kevin graduated from in 2000, but the College of Veterinary Medicine had always taken care of Kevin’s service dog, and because it was such great care, we moved the scholarship to the College of Veterinary Medicine. Our desire is to help compassionate veterinary students.”






Kevin Bell Scholarship recipient Drew Lowry, a fourth-year student from Birmingham, says it “reinforces just how great an impact this college has on the community that it serves. My hope is to practice in the Birmingham or Nashville area, and to give back to the community through my own veterinary practice.” Dan Rummel, who represented the Central Cattlemen’s Association of S.C., which provides the Dr. Robert Beatty Jr. Annual Memorial Scholarship, said the organization wanted to honor Dr. Beatty, who was an Auburn alumnus. “Dr. Beatty taught at Clemson University, but he always loved Auburn deeply.” Amelie Rivaleau, a fourth-year student from Charleston, S.C., said “it is an honor to receive a scholarship from my home state and be able to attend veterinary school here at Auburn.” The Deborah Harrington Memorial Scholarship was established by Dr. Don

17 Photo IDs page 8.


agrees. “I’m so grateful for the words of encouragement and I love that this luncheon is an opportunity for us to spend time together. It speaks to the Auburn family and to the close-knit community of veterinary medicine.”

18 ’61 and Joyce Cheatham in memory of their daughter, Deborah Harrington. “She was a very compassionate person, and we have seen that same kind of compassion among veterinarians,” Dr. Cheatham said. “Animals establish a bond with compassionate people and compassionate caregivers. We want this scholarship to go to a veterinary student who exhibits that kind of compassion.” Fourth-year student Matt Miller, of Wheeling, W. Va., said, “This scholarship gives me the opportunity to further myself and my career and to get out and start serving as a veterinarian sooner than I could otherwise. I am

so grateful and appreciative to the Cheathams and to the College of Veterinary Medicine.” Sara LaRosche, a fourth-year student from Huntsville, who received the Dr. M.K. Heather Memorial Scholarship, says the recognition is vital for her and her fellow students. “You can struggle to be successful in veterinary medicine because the classes are intense. The scholarship has shown me that I can be recognized for studying hard and is an incentive to keep going.” Mary McClosky, a fourth-year student from Bay Minette, who received the Lew & Donna Angarano Scholarship,

Dr. Nora Grant has been instrumental in establishing a scholarship for the late Lauren Kirkley, a family friend who suffered from a seizure disorder. Dr. Grant and her family established a scholarship to honor the relationship Kirkley had with her dog Ruby, who alerted and was instrumental in her care. “Ruby and Lauren bonded in a special way and it makes sense to help a veterinary student and honor Lauren in this way,” Dr. Grant said. Kirkley scholarship recipient Jennifer Lyons, a second-year student, who works with an animal service organization, said “it’s not raising a puppy but taking the human/animal bond and making it real. “Learning about Lauren makes my scholarship more meaningful and special.”

Academic Scholarships Photo IDs: Pages 5-8 1. Drew Lowry, left, recipient of the Kevin Bell

7. Calvin Cutshaw, Jennifer Lyons, recipient

13. Dan Rummel, Amelie Rivaleau, recipient of

2. Dr. Frank “Skip” Bartol and Samantha

8. Dr. Glen Puckett and Rachel Burt, recipient

14. Dr. Donna Angarano and Mary McClosky,

3. Dr. Robert and Lela Lofton with Carly

9. Mike and Susan McCrary and Douglas

15. Calvin Cutshaw, Ashley Sharpe, recipient

4. Dr. Belinda Eckhoff with Erika Gibson,

10. Dr. Charles Franz, Sarah LaRosche,

16. Dr. Reid Hanson and Alaina Stumpf,

& Shelby Scholarship, with Debbie Allen and David Sanders Morici, recipient of the AUCVM Student Research Award

Hubbard, center, recipient of the Robert & Lela Lofton Scholarship recipient of the Jefferson County VMA Scholarship

5. Shine Hollinger, recipient of the H.C. Morgan Award-Alpha Psi with Dr. Andrew Lovelady

6. Jennifer Lyons, center, recipient of the

Lauren Kirkley Memorial Endowed Scholarship, with the Konstant family and Dr. Nora Grant, second from right

of the Dr. Pat Teer Award, and Dr. Mary Boudreaux

of the East Alabama VMA Student Leadership Award Hawkins, center, recipient of the Judith McCrary Scholarship

recipient of the Dr. M.K. Heath Memorial Scholarship, Christa Ray, recipient of the Dr. & Mrs. Aaron Groth Award, and Dr. Brad Fields

11. Lane Geer, recipient of the Avary Equine Award and Leewood Avary

12. Dr. Don and Joyce Cheatham and Matt Miller, recipient of the Deborah Harrington Memorial Scholarship

the Dr. Robert Beatty, Jr. ’43 Annual Memorial Scholarship, and Dr. Brandon Brunson recipient of the Lew & Donna Angarano Scholarship

of the Dougie MacIntire Memorial Scholarship, and Dr. Mary Boudreaux recipient of the Peyton Anderson Foundation Scholarship

17. Trisha Prevatt, Gabrielle Montone, Cayla

DeFilippo-Lamb and Emily Hipp. DeFilippo-Lamb and Montone are recipients of AVESS Scholarships; Prevatt and Hipp represented AVESS

18. Dr. Dan Givens welcomes scholarship donors and recipients



White Coat Ceremony for AU CVM Class of 2018 The 123-member Class of 2018 received their white coats during a ceremony Jan. 28. The white laboratory coat is a symbol of medical professionalism that marks a turning point from classroom study to the clinical phase of veterinary education. Friends, family and colleagues came together to celebrate this achievement of the students’ professional journey. Guests had the opportunity to tour the AU CVM campus and facilities then partake in an informal reception in advance of the ceremony. Before the donning of the coats, students and attendees were addressed by Dean Calvin Johnson. Dean Johnson shared words of encouragement and invigoration. “Pursue your clinical training with passion,” Dr. Johnson stated. “Try

to develop skills that will make you excellent and well recognized and committed to the service of the community and public at large.” Class of 2018 President Maggie Thompson and Vice President Alan Bocage took to the stage to introduce their classmates as they received their white coats. Thompson and Bocage gave lighthearted remarks on each recipient which kept the crowd cheering and laughing throughout the ceremony. Thompson was the last student to receive her coat, then proceeded to address the crowd with closing remarks. On behalf of the entire class, she thanked friends and family for their continuous support, as well as the leaders of the college, clinicians, professors and support staff for their hard work and dedication.




Pet owners now have the option of receiving hyperbaric oxygen therapy as a part of their animals’ healing and recovery treatment through the College of Veterinary Medicine. The new veterinary hyperbaric chamber was installed recently in the Wilford and Kate Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital. Although hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used worldwide in human medicine, its use in veterinary medicine is relatively new, occurring primarily during the past decade. Hyperbaric chamber technology is being used by a small number of veterinary practices and an even smaller number of academic institutions throughout the United States. Auburn is one of the small number of veterinary medicine colleges offering hyperbaric oxygen therapy, according to Dr. Lenore Bacek, assistant clinical professor and head of the Emergency and Critical Care service section.


“Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is beneficial for a variety of medical conditions including wounds, snake bites, neurological diseases and rehabilitation, smoke inhalation and carbon dioxide toxicity, near drowning and choking, pancreatitis, among others,” Dr. Bacek said. “Treatment in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber increases pressure around the patient and causes the body to dissolve more oxygen into the blood, thus improving and speeding up the healing process.” During veterinary hyperbaric oxygen therapy the patient is placed safely and comfortably in a hyperbaric chamber designed specifically for small animals. At a maximum of 2 Atmospheric Pressure (ATA), and closely monitored by trained staff, 100 percent pure oxygen treatments are given one to two times daily. Treatments may last from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the prescribed therapy, Dr. Bacek explained. The total number of treatments necessary varies according to the type of treatment and the patient’s response. Most patients appear calm and relaxed during hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Many even fall asleep. “We will be offering hyperbaric oxygen therapy as a package service,” Dr. Bacek said. “When a patient undergoes hyperbaric oxygen therapy, treatment will be customized to the specific treatment program and recovery plan.” Therapy sessions are continuously monitored by certified technicians and veterinarians, with some 15 CVM technicians and veterinarians currently trained and certified to administer hyperbaric oxygen therapy, Dr. Bacek said. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy also is available to referring veterinarians for their patient-clients.

AROUND THE CVM According to publicly available medical literature, hyperbaric oxygen therapy results in reduction in swelling, stimulation of new blood vessel formation into the healing/swollen tissue, a reduction in pressure caused by head or spinal cord injuries, improved wound healing, and improved infection control. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be of great help to veterinary patients by speeding up the healing process and may reduce or eliminate the need for more invasive procedures such as surgery, oftentimes resulting in a net savings of time and cost of treatment for pet owners.

For more information about the hyperbaric oxygen therapy at Auburn CVM, contact the hospital at 334.844.4690, or visit its web site at www.vetmed.

CVM’s Dr. Akingbemi NAMED TO ENDOCRINE SOCIETY’S RESEARCH AFFAIRS CORE COMMITTEE Dr. Benson Akingbemi, a professor of anatomy and developmental biology in the Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology in Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, has been named to a three-year term (2017-2020) on the Research Affairs Core Committee of the Endocrine Society. “I am pleased to be asked to serve on this committee,” Dr. Akingbemi said. “Since postdoctoral training, the Endocrine Society had afforded me several opportunities for professional growth. With this appointment, I look forward to working with colleagues in the Research Affairs Core Committee to identify new ways to support members’ needs and interests in endocrine research in line with the society’s overall goal to advance the field of endocrinology and improve public health.” As a committee member, Dr. Akingbemi will help identify emerging research opportunities and

develop strategies for promoting project priorities to funding agencies. His first assignment is to participate in the society’s “Hill Day” on March 15, in which members meet with congressional representatives at the Capitol to advocate increased research funding, including for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The 100-year-old Endocrine Society is the largest global membership organization representing professionals from the field of endocrinology. Membership is comprised largely of academic professionals, medical doctors and scientists. Society members represent 122 countries, with its headquarters in Washington, D.C. Dr. Akingbemi joined the CVM faculty in 2004. He received the DVM, Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Beginning during his postdoctoral training, he has worked in the areas of molecular toxicology, investigating the effects of environmental agents on male reproduction for more than 20 years.



RAPTORMED IMPROVING THE PROCESS OF CARING FOR BIRDS OF PREY Most will agree that seeing the eagle fly to open Auburn University home football games is one of the most exciting and dramatic pre-game traditions in Southeastern Conference sports. Few might think about the vastness of the behind-the-scenes activity and responsibility involved with caring for AU’s eagle and its other raptor programs. The efficiency of that work has been dramatically improved with the addition of an online case management software, “R APTORMED.”


R APTORMED, developed by Dr. Dave Scott, a veterinarian with the Carolina Raptor Center in Huntersville, N.C., was purchased by the Southeastern Raptor Center at Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2015. Expanding its software this year, the center now uses R APTORMED’s complete case management system including a web site with information fully accessible to the public. “I cannot overly describe how much R APTORMED has helped us in our operation,” said Dr. Seth Oster,

AROUND THE CVM an assistant clinical professor in the CVM’s Avian Service, who also serves as the primary veterinarian with the Southeastern Raptor Center. “Before, all of our medical case records were manually developed and managed,” Dr. Oster said. “This took hours for a staff that basically is comprised of two full-time employees and a small group of volunteers.” In addition to improving the process and management of medical case records, Dr. Oster says R APTORMED also generates a number of reports and other documents that are federally required for raptor care programs. R APTORMED is designed for simplicity, Dr. Oster adds. “The program has multiple screens,” he said. “The first is a list of the birds currently being cared for and treated at the center. There also is some center history that includes the total number of patients treated to date, the number admitted in the current year, the number released, and other data.” Searchers can click on the case number link to go to the next screen, which is the case record for that individual bird. “It is a full and complete on-line medical record system,” Dr. Oster said.

The program also has value to researchers. “The records are an effective method of obtaining case information, and will allow for further research opportunities in the future,” Dr. Oster said. The Southeastern Raptor Center at the CVM handles some 350-400 birds of prey annually, according to Dr. Oster. All patients are brought in by individuals or conservation groups. These birds are treated for medical illnesses or injuries, rehabilitated to the extent possible, and ultimately—birds whose recovery is sufficient to ensure survival—are released back into the wild. Center staff members also conduct programs throughout the Southeast using non-releasable raptors to educate. For more information about the Southeastern Raptor Center, or, to access R APTORMED, visit the center’s web site at:

R APTORMED has proven to be valuable for teaching and research as well, according to Dr. Oster. “We have a large number of veterinary students who serve part of their educational training in the avian service area,” he said. “R APTORMED has made it much easier for those students to access patient case information for their training and educational needs.”



Faculty Join Ophthalmology Service, Teaching Ranks The college welcomed to the Department of Clinical Sciences and the Ophthalmology Service two new faculty who expand research and clinical education.

Dr. Richard McMullen, Jr. B U I L D I NG THE VE TERINARY PR OF ES S I ON

It has been said that fulfillment is in the journey, not only in the destination. That almost certainly may be said for Dr. Richard J. McMullen, Jr., who joined the College of Veterinary Medicine faculty earlier this year. Dr. McMullen, one of the CVM’s new faculty in equine ophthalmology, comes to Auburn from four years of private practice in Munich, Germany—where he established an equine-only ophthalmology service—by way of an earlier academic stint with North Carolina State University in Raleigh, and a military career that got him started. A California native, Dr. McMullen said he moved around a lot—even before joining the Army at the age of 18. “My family was one of those that moved a lot, so I lived all over California growing up,” he said. “I joined the Army at 18 and was soon stationed in Germany.” Dr. McMullen began pursuing his higher education during his military service in Germany, ultimately obtaining his veterinary degree from the Ludwig-Maximilians University College of Veterinary Medicine. When asked about what drew him to the specialty of equine ophthalmology, Dr. McMullen said, “I was drawn to the eyes.”


“I had never spent any real time with horses, but I did have a bovine background and was drawn to treating large species,” he said. “I began working with horses towards the end of veterinary school and my interest in ophthalmology and horses seemed to match perfectly.” Dr. McMullen served a residency and in a faculty appointment at N.C. State. He returned to Germany in 2012 where he entered private practice. “I enjoyed private practice in Germany, but I missed teaching,” he said. “I suppose one might say that even though treating animals is my profession, my passion is really in broadening the profession by teaching future veterinarians.” The field of ophthalmology is on the cutting edge of technological and medical growth and advancement, according to Dr. McMullen. “As a veterinary medicine field, it is revolutionary,” he said. “Everything about it, for me, is intriguing.” Dr. McMullen teaches classes in ophthalmology. He also will conduct research in the area of vision, equine recurrent uveitis and immune mediated keratitis, particularly, novel methods of disease management by intravitreal injections and photodynamic therapy. In addition to his teaching and professional experience, Dr. McMullen’s credentials also include: Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Opthalmologists; Diplomate, European College of Veterinary Opthalmologists; Certificate of

AROUND THE CVM Additional Qualification, Equine Opthalmology, Zusatzeichnung Augenheilkunde–Pferde (Germany). He holds veterinary licenses in Alabama and in Germany, and has received numerous professional honors and awards in the United States and Europe. Dr. McMullen also serves in editorial capacities for a variety of veterinary professional journals and publi-

cations, and is on the board of the International Equine Ophthalmology Consortium (IEOC), an organization created to improve and advance the quality of care and scientific research within the field of equine ophthalmology.

Dr. Shannon Boveland CL I NI C A L S E R V ICE AND EDUCATIO N

Veterinary medicine faculty are passionate about their work, whether teaching, research, or patient care. For Dr. Shannon Boveland, the desire to serve in a clinical capacity and an opportunity to do so are the driving forces that brought her to the College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Boveland joined the college this semester as an associate clinical professor of ophthalmology in the Department of Clinical Sciences. Her post is a clinical appointment with the Ophthalmology Service in the Wilford & Kate Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital. A Louisiana native, Dr. Boveland earned her DVM from Tuskegee University in 2000, interning there in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery. She completed her residency in ophthalmology at the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Boveland said she has had professional interaction with the CVM for many years and has enjoyed that relationship. “I have always liked the people here, the [Ophthalmology] Service and the professional environment at the hospital,” she said. “I am looking forward to working and teaching here.” Her CVM teaching assignment includes classes in ophthalmology diseases. She also will be involved in research programs focused on clinical studies in ophthalmology as well as corneal diseases. She holds a veterinary faculty license in the state of Alabama and is certified by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists. The college’s Ophthalmology Service provides comprehensive ophthalmic care to canine, feline, equine and exotic species. The service offers a full range of diagnostics, microsurgical techniques and therapeutic options for the treatment of ophthalmic disease. It treats a variety of eye disorders, including diseases of the ocular surface (corneal ulcers, dry eye), cataracts, inflammation of the eye, glaucoma, tumors, retinal diseases and eyelid abnormalities.

Since 2009, Dr. Boveland worked at Tuskegee University holding various positions: director of admissions and recruitment; and associate professor, assistant professor, clinical lecturer, faculty fellow and instructor in the Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery. “My appointments at Tuskegee involved some clinical work, but I also was charged with a significant administrative work load,” she said. “My passion, though, has always been clinical service. The opportunity to be more involved in clinical service is what brought me to Auburn.”



Detector dogs are used successfully world-wide, but the program at the College of Veterinary Medicine that has been a driving force in developing detection dogs and refining their capabilities is advancing technology to the next level in the exciting arena of biodetection. Conducted under Canine Performance Sciences, co-directors Craig Angle and Paul Waggoner, together with co-investigator Dr. Thomas Passler, conduct research that uses odor-sensing capabilities of dogs to detect and discern viral pathogens. The technology may soon be used to detect a variety of infectious agents and diseases that pose a threat to public health—including cancer.

CPS has a distinguished pedigree of developing detector dogs and their effective capabilities for security, conservation, agricultural, and biomedical applications. Beginning in the late 1980s, CPS has evolved into one of the world’s leading research and development/training programs for detector dog technologies. Dogs bred and trained through Auburn’s program work globally in law enforcement, the military, homeland security, and various other public 16 AUBURN VETERINARIAN | Spring 2017

protection-related applications. Auburn dogs have worked security in the Olympics, at the Super Bowl, at national sports stadiums and coliseums for the NFL, NHL, NBA and Major League Baseball events, presidential events, military combat operations throughout the world, and in airports. In fact, the “Auburn Dog” is being employed by the New York City Police Department, Disney, the U.S. Capitol Police, and many agencies committed to public safety. Auburn dogs also have been used effectively in environmental and wildlife detection-management-control applications. Auburn-trained detector dogs were part of a recent multi-team effort with University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in projects locating and removing Burmese pythons from environmentally sensitive areas in the Florida Everglades. The CPS program also led research and development efforts that produced the unique Vapor Wake® Detection Dog technology for which Auburn holds a patent. “We have always endeavored to innovate and use the dog’s capability,” said Dr. Waggoner. “People usually associate detection dogs with explosives or drug detection, but biological targets are also a threat. There are pathogens that can potentially contaminate our food, our air, our water and other aspects of the environment that can harm people and livestock. This led us to look at new ways to use and develop the dog’s detection ability.” Dogs possess five qualities that are essential for biological detection, said Dr. Angle: (1) extreme analytical sensitivity in the parts per trillion range (equivalent to 1 second in the last 31,500 years); (2) real-time discrimination of complex odor profiles; (3) ability to trace an odor to its source; (4) ability to efficiently search large areas and populations for biological targets; and (5) ability to sample odors in environmental extremes, including high particulate densities in the air.

The CPS pathogen detection research program began just more than a year ago. Using viral pathogens found in cattle as training aids, the Auburn CVM team has made significant strides. “We found fairly quickly that the dog could detect a virus,” Dr. Angle said. “We also know that a dog can be trained to discern different types of viruses.” The Auburn team members have co-authored several peer-reviewed papers on their research in the area of canines and biodetection. One recent article published in Frontiers in Veterinary Medicine (June 2016) discusses how dogs use the volatilome (the odors emitted from a biological system) to identify differences between biological targets. A second article shows that dogs can discriminate between different viruses in cultures by smelling the volatilome above the cell culture. “We used a bovine virus (BVDV) because it is a virus that is not contagious to dogs or humans,” added Dr. Passler, an associate professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences, whose research is focused on detection of viral pathogens and infectious diseases. The investigators describe a volatilome as the entire set of volatile organic compounds (VOC), or odors, produced by an organism. The accumulation of VOC both inside and outside of the body reflects and indicates the unique metabolic state of the organism. In other words, the VOC is an indicator of health and the presence of pathogenic contaminants and diseases.

“We have been able to trap cell culture odors in media successfully using a technology developed by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) and then autoclave the NIST media and odors for one hour,” Dr. Angle said. “This allows us to take pathogen odors outside of a biosafety lab and use them for training dogs to detect pathogens in operational environments without risk. Importantly, this enables us to provide the dog with real-world scenarios for pathogens infecting our crops, livestock, and humans. We are currently measuring the dog’s ability to not only be trained on the NIST media but to identify an actual pathogen when they come across it in operations. The results are promising.” Training dogs in this program is similar in structure to training other types of detector dogs, such as for explosives or drug detection. The dog works with a canine instructor for about three months to develop its detection and discrimination skills. Depending on the abilities and the operational requirements of the individual dog, training may last up to about six months. However, virus identification and discrimination training is complex compared to explosives or drug detection training, Dr. Angle said. “We are teaching dogs to identify only the viral-associated odors in a cell culture,” Dr. Angle said. “We don’t know exactly what those viral odors are because the dog can detect odors at an order of magnitude lower than our most sensitive analytical devices. There are an estimated 500-plus odors


given off by a cell culture and we are teaching the dogs to identify a small percentage of that odor profile,” Dr. Angle added. “It only takes the dog 0.2 seconds to sniff the 500-plus odor profiles of a cell culture and decide whether the cell culture has the target virus in it. That [0.2 seconds] is not enough time for you to read and interpret a four-letter word, but it is enough time for the dog to interpret a 500-plus odor profile. Their analytical capabilities are off the charts.”

Waggoner said. “Dogs learn in a collateral fashion. We need to train them in the environment that they ultimately will be working in.”

Research has shown that dogs have the ability to smell odors produced by a variety of infectious diseases. Different patterns of VOC expression are associated with different diseases including asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary diseases, various bowel syndromes and cancer. Dogs represent the most capable real-time mobile detection technology available for disease and pathogen detection in operational environments, according to the research team. “There is not another technology capable of doing what the dog can do in biodetection,” Dr. Angle said. “We have shown that dogs are able to accurately detect and discern among different forms of viruses. We now have to bridge the gap between the virus in the lab and the virus in the real-world environment.”

Dr. Passler, who has conducted previous research using the BVDV model, added that their research thus far has surpassed even their most lofty hopes. “BVDV leaves no visual indicator that it is present in a cell culture,” Dr. Passler said. “In the beginning, we were not sure that a dog could detect scents associated with the virus. It is impressive just how well and how accurately they can.” The project, technically, is still in the data-gathering phase, according to the researchers. With marked success in the laboratory phase of this program, the team is working to take training from the lab into the real world. “We now have to develop a way to take this training aid from the lab into the real environment,” Dr.


“Purpose-bred detection dogs have a demonstrated ability to search for unique odor patterns and identify specific targets in field conditions,” the researchers wrote. Their current research is yielding promising results. The Auburn CPS investigators are convinced that biodetection dog technology has potential applications in analytical chemistry, hospitals, and public health monitoring—further proof that the dog is truly “man’s best friend.”


Written by David Housel, reprinted with permission.

Whether you are an Auburn fan, an Alabama fan, a Georgia fan or an LSU fan, even a Tennessee or Florida fan, you have a new Auburn hero. Or should have. The Auburn Dog. Not a Georgia Dawg or a Mississippi State dog, but the Auburn Dog. The Auburn Vapor Wake Dog should be your hero because they are keeping you, your family, and your country safer than it would be without them. Alabama and Florida fans attending [the most recent] SEC Championship game especially [owe gratitude] to Auburn Dogs. Perhaps even grateful enough to say “War Eagle!”

Auburn Vapor Wake Dogs are more refined than bomb-sniffing dogs; they are vapor dogs. The difference between a bomb-sniffing dog and a vapor dog is too complex and scientific to explain here. But Auburn Vapor Wake Dogs, using a process developed by the Canine Performance Sciences program, are more versatile and alert than standard bomb-sniffing dogs. Bomb dogs react to stationary objects. Vapor Wake dogs react to explosives on the move. Rather than finding a pre-placed stationary explosive device as bomb dogs do, Auburn’s vapor wake-trained dogs sniff out moving explosives, in


backpacks and such, while the intended bomber is still moving to the place where the bomb is to be placed.

passed a particular point. That kind of skill and information it provided may well have prevented the Boston bombing.

Case in point: the Boston Marathon Bombing. Bomb-sniffing dogs walked by the spot where the explosive was to be placed, but there was no bomb there at that time. Had it been there, the bomb dogs, no doubt, would have found it. But if the device is placed after the bomb dog makes its rounds, as was the case in Boston, it proves to be a clear and present danger. A vapor wake dog, however, would have detected the bomb before it was ever placed, while the bomber was still moving toward the location. Lives would have been saved, injuries prevented.

An Auburn Dog’s finely tuned sense of smell enables it to detect a dash of Kool-Aid in an Olympic-sized swimming pool or a single blade of grass in an area the size of several football fields.

Vapor wake dogs are one of the nation’s newest and most effective anti-terrorist assets. They are protecting our troops in Afghanistan and are being used at major venues and at transportation hubs and systems throughout the country. Auburn Vapor Wake Dogs are more than man’s best friend; they are rapidly becoming best friends of law enforcement and security agencies across the country. The NFL, MLB, NBA, Marta and Amtrak have all been monitored and protected by Auburn Dogs. They also have been used at the College Football Playoffs.

Vapor wake dogs—Auburn Dogs—do their work by sniffing molecules left in the air by moving objects. Just as perfume leaves an aroma, all moving things, living or inert, leave behind a scent or a vapor trail. Auburn Dogs are trained to sniff out the vapor trail of substances that could be used to make bombs or other explosive devices. Vapor wake dogs can smell potential explosives up to 10 minutes after the would-be bomber has


A single blade of grass. So, no matter how you feel about Auburn Football, love it or loathe it, this is just another example of how Auburn—Auburn University—is making our world a better, safer, more secure, and enjoyable place. And this but one example. Isn’t that enough for at least one “War Eagle”?

A Gordo, Alabama native, David Housel first came to Auburn University in 1965 and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism four years later. He left the Plains for a brief stint as news editor at The Huntsville News, only to return and start a career with Auburn Athletics. Housel spent two years in the ticket office before teaching journalism at Auburn 1972-80. He rejoined the athletic department as an assistant sports information director, was named sports information director in 1981 and assistant athletic director in 1985. Housel became athletic director in 1994 and served in that capacity until his retirement in 2005. That same year, the press box in Jordan-Hare Stadium was dedicated in his honor. Housel has written numerous books including From the Desk of David Housel, a Collection of Auburn Stories and Auburn Saturdays to Remember. He and his wife, Susan, reside in Auburn.

Dawn Boothe Named Alumni Professor Dr. Boothe is a Diplomate ACVIM (Internal Medicine) and Diplomate ACVCP (Clinical Pharmacology).

Dr. Dawn Boothe, professor Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine, has been named one of four Alumni Professors at Auburn University. The university announced the recipients of its 2016 Faculty Awards, recognizing some of the institution’s most innovative teachers, researchers and scholars for their unique and distinguished contributions to the university’s mission.

“This year’s recipients were selected from an outstanding group of nominated faculty,” said Timothy Boosinger, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Our awards not only represent the exceptional contributions of these faculty members to Auburn’s mission, but also illustrate their extraordinary service and dedication to the University.” The Alumni Professorship program, funded by the Auburn Alumni Association, recognizes tenured faculty members with direct responsibilities in two or more of the institutional missions of instruction, research and outreach. Faculty selected to receive a professorship must have demonstrated exceptionally meritorious performance, distinctive competence and potential for continued high productivity and excellence. Currently, Dr. Boothe assists in teaching Veterinary Pharmacology to first- through fourth-year veterinary students and is the director of the Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory.

Presented annually, the Faculty Awards honor individuals and groups of faculty for excellence in teaching, research and outreach. Following a competitive review process, recipients are chosen by selection committees comprised of faculty, staff, students and alumni. Award winners were recognized at the annual Faculty Awards Ceremony hosted by the Office of the Provost.

She joined the college in 2003 and received her bachelor’s, DVM and master’s degrees from Texas A&M University. She continued her education with an internship in Auburn’s Small Animal Surgery and Medicine, then went back to Texas A&M University, Small Animal Internal Medicine, for her residency program. She completed her Ph.D. degree and fellowship in physiology (clinical pharmacology) at Texas A&M University.


CVM Research Aims to Control

WILD PIG POPULATION Wild pigs have become an overpopulation problem throughout the Southeast and other parts of the United States, causing billions of dollars in damage to agriculture and the environment and posing health concerns. A multidisciplinary research team in the College of Veterinary Medicine and the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences is developing contraceptive vaccines as a potential wild pig population control tool. The immunocontraception technology could be commercialized in the near future. The researchers of this effort, led by Dr. Tatiana Samoylova, a professor in the Scott-Ritchey Research Center and Department of Pathobiology, include the late Dr. Nancy Cox, professor and SRRC director; Dr. Stephen Ditchkoff, Ireland Professor in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences; and Drs. Tim Braden, associate professor in the Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology, and F. F. “Skip” Bartol, professor and associate dean of Research and Graduate Studies at the CVM. Immunocontraception involves vaccines that, when administered to animals, will induce immune responses—similar to anti-disease vaccines—that prevent reproduction, explain the researchers. The immunocontraceptive being developed by the Auburn team is designed to affect only the pig and would be administered orally by applying it to the pig’s food source. “This is compelling technology,” said Cary Chandler, director of business development for AU’s Office of Innovation and Commercialization. “Moreover, manufacture of the vaccines can be done using current production methods and equipment.”


The uniqueness of the Auburn development is its targeting ability, according to the researchers. Presently available animal contraceptives are not selective and can affect multiple species. Thus, they cannot be permitted or licensed for use in uncontrolled environments, such as wild pig habitats. The Auburn technology, however, is designed to be species-specific, enabling its consideration for wild pig population control. Additionally, the vaccines are inexpensive to produce and stable under different environmental conditions. In earlier research involving intramuscular and nasal delivery, the AU vaccines successfully induced immune responses in pigs. Further, as is required for a species-specific response, the antibodies produced by pigs in response to vaccination bound to sperm cells from pigs, but not to those from other animals. These anti-sperm antibodies resulted in localization in the right places in the reproductive tract and showed that they would inhibit the sperm-egg binding necessary for fertilization. With success using other delivery methods at hand, the researchers now are focused on refining an effective oral delivery mechanism that can be applied safely in the wild. Wild pigs are found in every county in Alabama and in more than 40 states nationwide. Because they have few natural predators, they are highly prolific and produce up to two litters of piglets per year. Wild pigs contaminate water and destroy crops and tree plantings. They also are identified as carriers of viral and bacterial diseases and parasites that affect wildlife, humans, pets and livestock. According to data compiled by the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, wild and feral pigs cause some $44 million in agricultural and forestry damage in Alabama. Nationwide, that damage is estimated at more than $1.5 billion and rising.




The Scott-Ritchey Research Center has designated an account for gifts and donations that support GM1 gangliosidosis research as Porter’s Fund in recognition and memory of the late Porter Heatherly, the first child in Alabama with GM1. The center also refreshed its visual identity to reflect the four-year-old who died Nov. 10 from complications from the disease. “Porter became the face of GM1 for the scientists and staff at Scott-Ritchey, and for many in the college and community,” said Dr. Doug Martin, a research scientist with the Scott-Ritchey Research Center, who leads the research efforts. “We believe recognizing Porter in this way will carry his memory to those who may learn of GM1 and our research, and, in some small way, ensure his time with us was important.” The gene therapy vector developed by Martin and collaborators is being vetted for human clinical trials in 2017, and could be a breakthrough for other diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. “The technology developed for GM1 treatment could be applied to any numbers of diseases, like Alzheimer’s, which may turn out to be an unusual form of a storage disease like GM1,” Dr. Martin said. “Our vector could have much broader implications and, theoretically, the same technology used to treat GM1 could also treat Alzheimer’s.”

Comparative research by Dr. Heather Gray-Edwards, an assistant research professor at Scott-Ritchey Research Center, is making strides as well. Tay-Sachs disease, of which GM1 is a form, is an untreatable and fatal inherited neurodegenerative disease of children. As with many diseases, Tay-Sachs also occurs in animals. Dr. Gray-Edwards studies Tay-Sachs disease in sheep. Adeno-associated viral (AAV)-mediated gene therapy studies in Tay-Sachs sheep have successfully doubled the lifespan of the Tay-Sachs sheep and resulted in widespread distribution of therapeutic protein throughout the brain. Since the sheep brain is similar in size to the human brain, it is highly likely the same distribution will be possible in humans. In addition to testing AAV gene therapy, Dr. Gray-Edwards has developed biomarkers in live animals for eventual use in human patients, which include ultra-high field MRI (7T), electrodiagnostics and CSF evaluation that reflect post-mortem findings. By studying these diseases in animals, Dr. Gray-Edwards and colleagues at the Scott-Ritchey Research Center are seeing promising results.




or many, choosing a career path can take years of trying on many different hats before one finds just the right fit. That’s not so for Rhett LaPorte, the newest staff member with the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Southeastern Raptor Center. Since seeing an SRC educational program presented to his sixth-grade class in his hometown of Birmingham, LaPorte said he knew what he wanted to do—join the SRC team. He was hired recently as a raptor specialist with the SRC. “It is my dream job,” LaPorte said. “I had always hoped, but never expected, this would happen.” LaPorte said he was captivated by the birds from the moment that Marianne Hudson, assistant director of Education and Raptor Training, came to his middle school with a raptor program more than a decade ago. “I was fascinated, and I knew then that I wanted to do something with animals,” he said. When it came time to apply for college, LaPorte said Auburn University was his first and only choice. “I started in a pre-veterinary program,” LaPorte said. “I was fascinated with the birds and wildlife, but veterinary medicine did not appeal to me as much as wildlife.”


LaPorte graduated in 2015 with a degree in wildlife management and ecology. “Since my freshman year, I had worked as a volunteer with the raptor program,” he said. “After I graduated, I was able to work for a year as a temporary employee. Then the full-time position opened up for a raptor specialist.” As a raptor specialist, LaPorte is a trainer and has responsibilities helping volunteers learn to properly train and care for the raptors. He also conducts educational programs throughout the state and at the SRC for special tours and events. “We are best known for the eagles and their free-flights at home football games,” LaPorte said. LaPorte said that some 300 training flights are conducted every year with each eagle before the first game of the season. “The eagles are well trained and have gotten a lot of exposure to performing before they ever take that first real pre-game flight,” LaPorte said. LaPorte has worked with the eagles’ pre-game flights for the past five years. “Mostly, I have been a sideline assistant,” he said. “This season, I will actually be conducting some of the flights. It is going to be exciting.”

College of Veterinary Medicine Names Bailey Auditorium for Martha Tatum Newsom

Left to right: Lynn Kidd, Ann Headstream, Nancy Bass, Ruth Ann Embrey, Faye Wicker and Judy Bass


n a ceremony held Sunday, Feb. 26, the 82-seat auditorium located in the Wilford and Kate Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) was officially named in honor of the late Ms. Martha Tatum Newsom of Newnan, Ga. Ms. Newsom, who died Feb. 3, 2015, was a retired elementary school teacher and a 1965 graduate of the Auburn College of Education. Ms. Newsom was an avid animal lover and generous veterinary medicine supporter. In recognition of her exemplary teaching and generosity to the College of Veterinary Medicine, the auditorium was named in her honor with a plaque which reads, “This auditorium honors the memory of Ms. Martha Tatum Newsom, an exceptional educator, animal lover, and loyal 1965 Auburn alumna.” “It is with great pleasure that we dedicate this auditorium to the memory of Martha Tatum Newsom,” said CVM Dean Calvin Johnson. “Martha was a phenomenal teacher,” said long-time friend and colleague Ruth Ann Embrey of Newnan. “She loved children and was one of the best teachers I have ever known.” Ms. Newsom also was an avid doll collector. “She had dolls displayed in every room of her home,” Ms. Embrey added.

Left to right: Angela Estes, Dave Estes, Mary Estes and Keith Estes

Many were donated to the Alpha Delta Kappa teaching sorority and sold to raise funds for a scholarship in Ms. Newsom’s honor that was awarded to a Newnan High School student entering the field of education, Ms. Embrey said. Ms. Newsom remained a staunch Auburn fan throughout her life—considering herself to be its number one fan—and for many years, on her birthday, she would bring a carload of young teachers to Auburn for lunch, shopping, and a driving tour of the AU campus. Ms. Newsom was a native of LaGrange, Ga., and a 1961 graduate of LaGrange High School. She began her teaching career at Howard Warner School in Newnan, and spent the majority of her career teaching at Elm Street Elementary School. She retired from Newnan Crossing Elementary following a 30-year teaching career in Coweta County, Ga.


Time to ROLLOVER Your IRA Rollover Gift Can Make a Difference There is no better way to make an indelible impact on the world than through education. And no better place to do it than at Auburn.


If you are 70 ½ or older and own a traditional IRA, consider making an IRA charitable rollover gift this year to Auburn University. Your gift will: •

Make a difference at Auburn for generations to come

Not be included in your taxable income

Count toward your required minimum distribution (RMD) for the year

Reduce your taxable income, even if you do not itemize deductions

Be limited to $100,000 per year

An IRA rollover is a very simple gift to make. Please contact the Office of Gift Planning at (334) 844-7375 or AUBURN VETERINARIAN | Spring 2017


Veterinarian Honored for Service To Kingsport Police K-9s The Kingsport, Tenn., Police Department recently recognized Dr. Michael “Andy” Cherry ’91, for the outstanding veterinary care, attention and support provided to the dogs currently serving with the Kingsport Police Department K-9 Unit. “While much is said regarding their training, abilities, lineage, accomplishments, and their handlers, the essential and sometimes critical behind-the-scenes veterinary care that police dogs receive is all too often overlooked,” said Kingsport Police Department Public Information Officer Tom Patton. The Kingsport Police Department, the secondoldest police K-9 unit in the state of Tennessee, recognized Dr. Cherry and Cherry Point Animal Hospital at the Mayor and Aldermen meeting Jan. 17 to “give them the credit and

recognition they have diligently earned and rightfully deserve.” Alderman Tom Parham presented Dr. Cherry with a proclamation and Chief David Quillin presented him with a plaque in honor of the outstanding care to the current KPD K-9 dogs, as well as several retired dogs still residing with their former handlers. For the past five years, Dr. Cherry has gone above and beyond, making himself available outside of regular business hours on several occasions. “His dedication to the KPD K-9 Unit and the superior level of care provided by Cherry Point Animal Hospital have been nothing short of phenomenal and are greatly appreciated,” said Patton in a KPD news release.

PHOTO ID: Left to right: Alderman Tom Parham, Officer David Johnson (former handler of Sinko & current handler of Nim), Officer Ken Jackson (current handler of Roi), Dr. Andy Cherry, Officer Billy Boyd (former handler of Macho & current handler of Reko), Officer Brian Taylor (former handler of both Zak and Axyl), Officer Caleb Clawson (future handler of the next KPD K-9 to be acquired), Chief David Quillin (former handler of Wolf), Sgt. Kevin Hite (former handler of Odus and current K-9 Unit supervisor and trainer)



Mississippi Veterinarian Of the Year Named

ALVMA Hires Interim Executive Director Dr. Bradley Fields ‘05 has been named interim executive director of the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association for a six-month period beginning March 27 by the ALVMA executive board. The executive board and search committee wanted a period of management continuity to develop a refined request for proposals (RFP) and allow time for a national search to be conducted to hire a permanent executive director. Dr. Fields has served as the organization’s assistant executive director.

Congratulations to Dr. Richard Hopper ‘78, second from the left, who was selected as the 2017 Veterinarian of the Year by the Mississippi Veterinary Medical Association. Pictured with Dr. Hopper are Dr. Nate Moseley, MVMA president, Donna Hopper, and Molly Hopper.

Carolina Seascapes Dr. Bruce Tarkington ’80 was selected recently to have a solo art exhibit sponsored by the town of Cary, N.C. “Carolina Seascapes” was composed of 35 compressed charcoal pictures, all scenes of the North Carolina coast. Dr. Tarkington retired in 2010 from owning and operating Parkwood Animal Hospital in Durham, N.C.



Dr. Bartlett Honored with Clinical Award Naming

Dr. Bartlett and friends, including Dean Calvin Johnson, far right, at the Remuda Award ceremony, led during the National Cattlemen’s Association Annual Meeting in Nashville on February 3, 2017

The College of Veterinary Medicine has established the Dr. Woody Bartlett Clinical Award in Large Animal Theriogenology to annually recognize a top-rated member of the college’s large animal palpation team. The award will be given annually to a student member of the college’s awardwinning palpation team, who train for months for the national competition. The naming of the award recognizes Dr. Bartlett for his generosity to the college, providing academic support for the college as well as unique, hands-on educational experiences for students at his Pike Road, Ala., ranch.

2016 Zoetis American Quarter Horse Association Best Remuda Award and the AQHA Legacy Award, selection for membership in the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association Hall of Fame and election as president of the Alabama Quarter Horse Association.

Dr. Bartlett and Stephanie Bryant

Dr. Bartlett garnered national recognition for his contributions to the industry, receiving the Spring 2017 | AUBURN VETERINARIAN 29


Dr. Aaron Groth Remembered for Pathology Dedication

Dr. Aaron Groth

College of Veterinary Medicine alumni remember the late Dr. Aaron Holland Groth, Jr., as an influential professor in general pathology.

Dr. Groth, DVM, MS, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Pathologists, died Oct. 30, 2016, at the age of 89. For 34 years, he served in the College of Veterinary Medicine as a faculty member in pathology, including 17 years (19641981) as head of the Department of Pathology. Dean Calvin Johnson, whose own career as a pathologist was influenced by Dr. Groth’s teaching, recalled, “Dr. Groth was an authoritative figure in the classroom. He expected concise and accurate terminology, a firm understanding of disease pathogenesis, and an acceptance that mastery of pathology was the basis for advancement in all other clinical fields. There was simply no room for anything less than full attention during his lectures.” Dr. James W. Randolph, AU CVM Class of 1980, from Long Beach, Mississippi, wrote this recollection of his first interaction with Dr. Groth as a sophomore veterinary student: On our first day of pathology class, Dr. Groth came into the Monday afternoon classroom, dimmed the lights, lowered the projector screen and said, “Take out a sheet of paper, put your name at the top and number the left side 1 through 10.” We did as we were told, but we were terrified. There had been no warning, no assignment to read the first chapter of our pathology text, no stories from upperclassmen. Dr. Groth pushed a button and the first slide fell into place in the projector, illuminating a photo of a mass of some kind. “Next to number one, write your diagnosis.” The exercise continued through ten slides


over a five-minute time period, at which time Dr. Groth said, “Fold your papers, pass them to the left, then you’re dismissed until Wednesday. I’ll have your test scores then.” We were further terrified. It would be fortyeight hours before we would know our fates from this nightmare. Wednesday at 1 p.m. sharp, Dr. Groth passed out the graded papers and simultaneously announced the range of scores. “The best score was four right out of ten, 40%. That’s an F. There were a few 30s, some 20s, a lot of 10s and a lot of 0s. They are all Fs. “I gave you this test to illustrate a point. So that you will relax and hear what I’m about to say next I’ll tell you this doesn’t count against your semester grade. Even the best score in the class was an F. After I’ve taught you all I can in a year about pathology, you still won’t be able to score much better by looking at a growth with the naked eye. You need a biopsy to make a definitive diagnosis. Never forget that.” I haven’t. Born in Ames, Iowa, in 1927, Dr. Groth moved from Baton Rouge to Auburn following his discharge from the U.S. Navy in the summer of 1946. At Auburn, he earned a bachelor of science degree in 1949 and the DVM in 1954. Dr. Groth pursued specialty training in veterinary pathology at Iowa State University, earning the master of science degree in 1957 and achieving Diplomate status in the American College of Veterinary Pathologists in 1960. He was among the first board-certified veterinary pathologists to serve on the Auburn faculty. Dr. Groth was active in the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association (ALVMA) from 1967 to 2002, serving on the executive board 1967-1973, vice president in 1974, president-elect in 1975, and president in 1976. He was executive vice president of the ALVMA for 20 years (19812001). As a result of his distinguished service, the Alabama Veterinary Medical Foundation supports two scholarships, the Dr. and Mrs. Aaron Groth, Jr. Annual Scholarships, in recognition of students with strong academic

IN MEMORIAM performance, financial need, and active engagement in organized veterinary medicine. Dr. Charles Franz, executive director of the Alabama VMA who followed Dr. Groth, recalls Dr. Groth training him in 2001 as the newly elected executive director. “Dr. Groth was always available for questions and guidance. He served as a mentor to me, and I remember his sharp mind and ability to recall detailed information from Alabama VMA history. I called Dr. Groth about an Alabama VMA issue just a couple of years ago. After hearing an explanation of what I needed, Aaron easily recalled what happened almost 20 years earlier and went on to inform me that it occurred during the winter executive board meeting at the Holiday Inn East in Montgomery! “Dr. Groth was dedicated to the further advancement of the profession in all that he did, teaching students, volunteering in leadership roles in the national, state and local veterinary community and leading the Alabama VMA. It was my pleasure to have known and worked with him.” Practicing veterinary and comparative pathology throughout his career, Dr. Groth established a reputation as a discerning diagnostician and practitioner of comparative pathology, serving on the Board of Directors for the American Cancer Society, Alabama Division, 1969-1988 and as its president 1985-1987. He was also a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, elected as the Alabama delegate to the House of Delegates 1993-1996. He also was appreciated by the faculty as a mentor in both professional and personal matters. Auburn Provost Timothy R. Boosinger, a fellow pathologist, noted, “Dr. Groth regularly visited young faculty by walking from door to door, offering advice on teaching, diagnostic service, committee assignments, promotion and tenure, and even personal retirement planning. He once told me I would be foolish not to contribute a significant portion of my salary to the university’s optional tax-deferred annuity plan. While it was challenging at the time, I followed his advice and I’m glad now that I did.” Dr. Groth was the son of Dr. Aaron Holland Groth, Sr., dean emeritus of the College

of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri. The elder Dr. Groth previously served on the faculty at LSU and held the position of director of the USDA Regional Animal Disease Laboratory in Auburn 1946-1949 before his appointment at the University of Missouri. Dr. Groth was married to Geraldine Deloney Groth for 61 years, and the couple accompanied each other to nearly all functions of the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association. He is survived by his three children. I can never think of Dr. Groth without thinking of his comment upon beginning the pathology subject of “Abnormalities of Growth.” He said, “No, this lecture is not about me.” ~Dr. Jim Randolph, Class of ’80

Dr. Hoss Kent, DVM Former Alabama Veterinary Medical Association president Dr. Warren Wright “Hoss” Kent of Birmingham died Jan. 17, 2017. He was 94. Prior to arriving at the college, Dr. Kent served in the United States Air Force in World War II as a B24 tail gunner. He returned to Auburn to earn the DVM degree in 1952. Dr. Warren Kent

Dr. Kent practiced veterinary medicine in the Birmingham area for 51 years and was recognized as an exceptional leader, mentor, and practitioner. He served as president of the Alabama VMA, member of the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, and the first veterinarian for the Birmingham Zoo. Dr. Kent’s service to Auburn University as an engaged alumnus was stellar: he was awarded the Wilford S. Bailey Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2003 and was a member of the college’s Centennial Club. He proudly served


IN MEMORIAM for 20 years as a member of Auburn’s Veterinary Advisory Council. In the early 1970s, Dr. Kent was instrumental in soliciting private funding from Auburn alumni for the purchase of Auburn’s first transmission electron microscope, which was installed in the newly constructed Greene Hall. On the celebration of his 90th birthday, Dean Calvin Johnson in a letter stated, “I want you to know how proud and impressed I am with the current group of veterinary students who are enrolled now at Auburn. They are receiving a superb education, and I am confident they will be outstanding veterinarians who will proudly bear the Auburn brand. Your support of the College has helped lay the foundation for their success, and we are all deeply appreciative.” Dr. Andy Sokol ’93 presented Dr. Kent’s eulogy, which highlighted his role as a mentor and role model for himself and many other aspiring veterinarians. Dr. Kent is survived by his son, Jim, and his family, as well as numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

’48 Harley Edward “Doc” Purvis, Jr., of Hernando, Miss., and formerly of Mendes, Ga., died Dec. 31, 2016. He attended the University of Georgia and received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Alabama Polytechnic Institute (Auburn University). He moved to Hernando, Miss., in 1955 and began a 67-year practice of veterinary medicine. He is survived by his wife, Anne; one daughter; two sons; and one granddaughter. ’48 Dr. James A. Smith, of Richfield, Minn., died Dec. 4, 2016. Dr. Smith practiced veterinary medicine for 33 years at Blue Cross Animal Hospital. He also was a two-time Army veteran. He is survived by his wife, Joan; two children; one grandson; a brother; and one niece. ’53 Dr. Henry “Hank” Herman Hayes, of Talladega, Ala., died Jan. 25. A native of Evergreen, Ala., Dr. Hayes was a graduate of


the Alabama Polytechnic Institute (Auburn University) Veterinary School. He served as a Navy medic in WW II, receiving the Purple Heart. Dr. Hayes practiced veterinary medicine in California, Oregon and in Alabama. He retired from practice in Talladega and worked for the Green Track in Eutaw, Ala., for 10 years while substituting for vacationing veterinarians. He is survived by four children; two brothers; and three grandchildren. ’55 Dr. Johnny Kirk Griggs, of Lexington, Ky., died Oct. 19, 2016. Dr. Griggs attended the University of Tennessee and received his degree in veterinary medicine from Auburn University. A native of Davidson County, Tenn., he served in the U.S. Air Force Veterinary Corps and began his veterinary practice in Lexington in 1958, specializing in equine medicine. He is survived by his wife, Linda; six children; and five grandchildren. ’55 Dr. William Alvis Veach, of Meridian, Miss., died Oct. 22, 2016. He studied veterinary medicine at Auburn University and was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity. He later served as a major in the U.S. Air Force 1957-59. He started his veterinary practice in Meridian in 1959 and founded the Meridian Veterinary Association. He also served as first president of the Meridian City dog pound and was active in the Meridian Masonic Order. He is survived by his wife, Norma; five children; a sister; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. ’56 Dr. Robert “Bob” Burton Mardre, Jr., of Opelika, Ala., died December 10, 2016. A native of Greenville, S.C., Dr. Mardre moved to Opelika with his family as a child in 1933. While a student at Auburn University, he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Alpha Psi fraternities. He earned a DVM from the CVM in 1956 and a medical degree from the Medical College of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB School of Medicine) in 1960 and began a distinguished medical career that included becoming the first board-certified radiologist with what now is East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, retiring from EAMC in 2008. He is survived by his wife, Judith; two daughters; three grandchildren; one niece; and five nephews.

IN MEMORIAM ’58 Dr. Donald Sherwood Brown, of St. Cloud, formerly of Clermont, Fla., died Oct. 5, 2016. Dr. Brown graduated first in his veterinary class and was one of the first veterinarians in Osceola County, caring for small and large animals. Following retirement, he was an Osceola County School Board member and received the lifetime achievement award as “Coca-Cola Cowboy.” He co-founded and was executive director of the Christian Prison Ministries. He is survived by his wife, Dianne; five children; and seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. ’61 Walter R. Rice, of Jackson, Tenn., died Aug. 6, 2016. He was a mixed animal veterinarian. Dr. Rice served in the U.S. Army. He is survived by his wife, Virginia, a daughter and a son, and six grandchildren. ’63 Dr. William Granville Holbrook, of Morgan County, Ky., died Dec. 24, 2016. Dr. Holbrook attended Morehead State University and graduated from Auburn University with a degree in veterinary medicine. He built the West Liberty Veterinary Clinic in Staffordsville and Jackson, and also was president of the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association. He was named Kentucky Veterinarian of the Year and Citizen of the Year by the City of West Liberty. Dr. Holbrook is survived by his wife, Pamela; four children; 10 grandchildren; and eight siblings. ’64 Dr. Douglas Dean Shaver, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., died Sept. 27, 2016. Following graduation, Dr. Shaver opened Shaver Animal Hospital and, beginning in 1966, served in the Army for two years as a veterinarian based in Omaha, Neb. He returned to Tuscaloosa to resume his practice for the next 48 years. Doc, as he was known by many, was happiest when he was working on the horses that he treated and cared for, and small animals as well. He is survived by his wife, Donnie; two sons; two stepsons; and nine grandchildren. ’67 Richard Dean “Doc” Tucker, of Okmulgee, formerly of Ada and Meeker, Okla., died Sept. 14, 2016. While a student at Auburn, he was exemplary, being awarded the Upjohn Award for Proficiency in large animal medicine. Moving to Oklahoma, he became a partner in the Ada Veterinary Clinic, where he remained until he

established the Ada Equine Center. Widely recognized in the horse industry for his veterinary skills, Dr. Tucker worked both private horse farms and at Remington Racetrack. Retiring to Meeker, Okla., he enjoyed a second career of establishing a vineyard and producing grapes for Oklahoma wineries. He is survived by his three children, grandchildren, and extended family members. ’71 Dr. John Reddoch Athey, of Flagler Beach, Fla., and formerly of Montgomery, Ala., died Dec. 22, 2016. He graduated top in his class from Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine and spent more than 40 years in his small animal practice in central Florida. Dr. Athey also provided veterinary services to the Sanford (Fla.) Zoo, adopting many newly developed surgical techniques from human medicine to veterinary medicine. Dr. Athey is survived by his wife, Denise Mansolillo; two sons; a grandson; his mother; a sister; and two brothers. ’71 Dr. Clifford Roberts Sr., of Albertville, Ala., died Sept. 26, 2016. Upon leaving Auburn, he served two years in the U.S. Army as a captain. He was the former owner of Spring Creek Animal Clinic in Guntersville and retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2004. He was an avid gardener. He is survived by his wife, Jennie; three sons; three stepchildren; and 12 grandchildren. ’71 Dr. William Verl Wellnitz, of Pewee Valley, Ky., died Oct. 26, 2016. He was a graduate of the University of Kentucky and the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Wellnitz served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force. He practiced veterinary medicine his entire professional life. ’79 Dr. Donna L. Dutton, of Lawrenceburg, Ky., died Dec. 20, 2016. She was a graduate of the University of Kentucky and earned a doctorate from the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Dutton maintained a small animal practice in Anderson County for many years. She is survived by her husband, Clayton Weber; three children; a grandson; two sisters; and three brothers.



Getting Personal By Dr. Tom Vaughan ‘55 Dean Emeritus


mong the most common and least desired things in life is unsolicited advice on self-help from a self-appointed authority pontificating from moral high ground with the wisdom of the ages, or worse, personal testimonials including recollections and reminiscences, the weakest of all arguments. Notably excluded, of course, are the clergy and social scientists whose professional advice and counsel are sought. So, dear reader, bear with me for a minute or two to fill my allotted space, with the understanding that you can file it in the trashcan of small indulgences of strangers and old men. Inspiration comes from different places at unexpected times, in various guises, and from people or events never intended to inspire. The impulse to carry a bulky parcel into the post office for a mother carrying a baby, the dishevelled old man displaying interest in the curiosity of a child, simple acts of kindness with no thought of reward. Far from the lofty stage of public address or the photo-op of ceremony. No ruffles or flourishes of brass and drums. So much of life is humdrum, with transient diversion sought in cheap thrills, vicarious participation in some celebrity circus, gone in the bat of an eye. High-sounding phrases and pious platitudes may provoke us to search for meaning, something significant in what we see about us, oftentimes an unrewarding scavenger hunt, so it seems.


I am reminded of an art professor, alternately a tyrant and a cream puff, intimidating in his critique but respected for his advice, who despite his unsparing judgement, manages to find something positive in every student’s effort, whatever the overall work. A beautiful color, a brushstroke, some little success to compliment. Is there not a lesson that can be applied to other assessments of our fellow beings? Captured in E.W. Hoch’s lines, “There’s so much good in the worst of us…,” but how soon we forget. In a recent issue of Imprimis, the monthly newsletter published by Hillsdale College, Michigan, John Marini1 paid tribute to Frank Capra, legendary filmmaker of the 20th century, who came to America in 1903 as a six-year-old, the son of an impoverished, illiterate Sicilian family, to find a new life in the land of opportunity and freedom that was extended to all regardless of race or circumstance. In his 85th year, when he was being recognized by the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award, Capra summed up the secret to his success in three simple principles: the love of people, the freedom of each individual, and the equal importance of each. Marini pointed out the concurrence with Ronald Reagan’s belief that “there is a purpose and worth to each and every life.” 1

Professor of Political Science, University of Nebraska.

APOCRYPHA Therein lies a challenge to each of us despite how negative our impressions may be of another, how injured we may have been by some experience. Can we not find something good in the worst of us, some way to forgive the injury, remember the gift, forget the grudge? Those who provide the most revulsion are likely those most in need of our understanding, our tolerance, and, yes, our help. Leading lives of quiet desperation, be it financial problems, health issues, unrequited love or simply low self-esteem, can we justify turning our backs in cynical unconcern? One of the first street skills learned in the city is the avoidance of eye contact. One’s gaze is always “off-camera.” Of course, nowadays, with smart-phones, you get more eye contact from the family dog. Smiles, a nod of the head, a tip o’ the hat, any acknowledgement of someone’s presence may be construed as an invitation to any would-be intruder on one’s personal space. So, subconsciously, we construct an impersonal affect that excludes all but invited guests. What a threshold this further imposes on any interpersonal relationships. We can at least start with our basic feelings toward our fellowman. Rating high on my list of favorite verse is “Abou Ben Adhem” by James H.L. Hunt. I spare you the full text, but the message is this. When Abou had just been told by the Angel that his name was not recorded as one of those who loved the Lord, Abou said,

In the laboratory of life, what rich opportunities exist to apply this philosophy to love the unlovable, and if you haven’t succeeded, you’ve not tried hard enough. At the risk if using all my verse in one load, I can think of no better way to close than Robert Burns’ unforgettable lines from his “Letter to a Young Friend” [and other writings.] Yet they wha fa’ in Fortune’s strife, Their fate we shouldna censure; For skill, th’ important end of life They equally may answer; … Then gently scan your brother Man, Still gentler sister Woman; There, but for the Grace of God, You might see me a’ comin … And may yet better reck the rede [heed the advice], Than ever did th’ adviser! Respectfully, Yr humbl and obdt svt JTV

I pray thee, then, write me as one that loves his fellow-men.” The Angel wrote, and vanished. The next night It came again with a great wakening light, And showed the names whom love of God had blessed, And, lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest!


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Profile for Auburn University College of Veterianary Medicine

Auburn Veterinarian Spring 2017  

"Auburn Veterinarian" is a magazine published quarterly by the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine for faculty, alumni, support...

Auburn Veterinarian Spring 2017  

"Auburn Veterinarian" is a magazine published quarterly by the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine for faculty, alumni, support...

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