Utah State University School of Veterinary Medicine Magazine

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Veterinary Medicine M AG AZ I NE

{ Summer 2018 }



TABLE OF CONTENTS COVER STORY The Role of Veterinarians in Times of Disaster 2

FACULTY/STAFF Faculty Highlight: Dr. Kerry Rood 8 Mystery Case: Feedlot Beef Cattle Reduce Feed Intake 9

STUDENTS USU Vet Student Reaches Out to Help Community Hit by Wildfires 10 Preparation is Key: Mock Emergency Response 11

RESOURCES Plan Now to Help Later 12 Caring for Pets (and Owners) in the Face of Natural Disasters 14


Students Learn by Becoming the Teachers 16

ALUMNI From the USU School of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2017 18 Alumni/Donor Recognition 21

On the cover: Veterinarians should play an important role in planning to prevent and relieve animal suffering from natural and human-caused disasters.

WE TEACH WHAT YOU LOVE. PUBLICATION INFORMATION NOELLE E. COCKETT, President, Utah State University KENNETH L. WHITE, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences

MIKE WHITESIDES Director of Marketing


MICHELLE MERRILL Director of Development

MICHAEL WERNERT Graphic Designer

MICHAEL BISHOP Director of Student and Academic Affairs

AUBREE THOMAS Marketing Intern

Utah State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity institution.

ASSOCIATE DEAN’S MESSAGE I am pleased to share this page with my friend and faculty colleague, Dr. Kerry Rood, who currently serves as president of the Utah Veterinary Medical Association (UVMA). The UVMA represents “organized veterinary medicine” at the state level, while the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) represents organized veterinary medicine at the national level. Since its establishment in 2012, the Utah State University School of Veterinary Medicine (USU SVM) has worked closely with the UVMA in an effort to support the veterinary profession within the state, and augment the formal education of our veterinary students while fostering their appreciation for the role that organized veterinary medicine will play for them throughout their professional careers. One of those roles is to help the veterinary profession address challenges, and one clearly recognized challenge is the increasing cost of a veterinary education and the commensurate amount of debt many new graduates are incurring. Although this is a multifaceted issue with no single means of resolution, it is evident that scholarship support will play an increasingly important role in making it possible for aspiring veterinarians to pursue their dream of entering this wonderful profession. To that end, the UVMA recently endowed a student scholarship fund in the USU SVM that will provide scholarship support for our students in perpetuity. On behalf of the faculty, staff and students in the USU SVM, I extend our most sincere appreciation to the UVMA and its member veterinarians for their collective support of our students and our entire program. If you would like to contribute to the UVMA scholarship fund, thereby adding to its impact on our students, you can do so by visiting the USU SVM website at www.vetmed.usu.edu and selecting the “Giving” tab. You may also contact Michelle Merrill in our development office, michelle.merrill@usu.edu. In closing, I hope you enjoy this issue of the USU SVM Magazine, and on behalf of our faculty, staff and students, thank you for your interest and support of our program. Sincerely,


Associate Dean, School of Veterinary Medicine

UTAH VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION During a recent discussion with classmates from veterinary school (Kansas State University, 1997), career satisfaction was brought up. I told my peers, “Veterinary medicine has been a good fit. It feels like it was meant to be.” The training I have received has prepared and positioned me to be an advocate for animal health and wellbeing. The professional curriculum also trained me to be a continual learner in order to advance my understanding. My personal professional journey is a result of continual learning and has included private practice, regulatory medicine, academia, and a more recent emphasis in public health. While not a new concept, there has been a resurgence highlighting the concept of continuous learning. This refers to one’s ability to continually develop and improve new skills or knowledge while adapting to a changing workforce or professional environment. I am reminded of a college mentor who felt like computers were a fad and was unable to visualize their value in his career. Boy was he proven wrong. Part of the challenge was embracing the learning curve required to understand something new and inability to be a continual learner. My mother has been a great example of a continual learner. I have fond memories from my youth of her taking courses through Oregon State University Extension and at the local community college in Coos Bay, Oregon. What was even more amazing was that she then tried to implement what she had learned with our family and dairy farm. This instilled in me the need to always be learning. The USU School of Veterinary medicine and Utah Veterinary Medical Association look for opportunities to provide and support continuing education events for the public, practicing veterinarians, and students. I encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities as you actively participate in continuous learning. Sincerely,


President, Utah Veterinary Medical Association



By: Lynnette Harris

Naval Aircrewman 2nd Class Jansen Schamp was among the many emergency responders called into action in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey that caused widespread flooding and destruction in September 2017. USDA photo.


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he causes may vary—flood, fire, earthquake, blizzard, hurricane, tornado—but much of the results are the same: structures are damaged or destroyed, everyday services and utilities are interrupted or nonexistent, people are in danger and may be injured or worse, food and water may be in short supply or unable to reach those who need it, and large areas may have to be evacuated. It’s not just people who must contend with the aftermath of natural or human-caused disasters. Caring for animals, whether they are pets or livestock, is an important aspect of the response to a disaster. There are also times when animals are the cause or a vector for disease that can create an emergency or disaster if improperly managed. Whatever the cause, veterinarians must be involved in effective disaster and emergency response. Preparations for disaster response vary across the country, even from county to county, and are developed based on what disasters are most likely to occur. In Utah that list includes wildfires, severe storms, flooding in some areas, and earthquakes. But not all emergencies are the result of natural phenomena. Bioterrorism, chemical spills, and disease outbreaks are very real threats as well. Dr. Barry Pittman, state veterinarian with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF), has worked in several parts of the country and for the USDA as an emergency management coordinator, writing disaster plans and acting as the federal liaison to state and city agencies in three Midwestern states. He has seen a range of emergency preparations from state to state. For example, North Carolina has a large emer-

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Flooding often cuts animals off from their usual shelter, food sources and care givers, and can ruin pastures that once provided food. In addition, after a severe storm or flood, water may carry dangerous debris or become contaminated. USDA photo.

gency division specifically for animal response that includes five veterinarians because the state has high concentrations of pork and poultry production and regularly contends with hurricanes and flooding. Other states have no emergency management personnel dedicated to animal care. Pittman said many states and other entities became more aware of the need for comprehensive response plans that included animal care after September 11, 2001. “A lot of us were called on then to teach emergency responders about animal agriculture, and responders were teaching vets about Incident Command procedures,” Pittman said. “We all work in worlds with a lot of jargon and we found we were not using the same nomenclature. We had to find ways for everyone to speak the same language, to understand the equipment used to help people and animals, and to understand how to stand-up emergency responses and facilities in a hurry.” Dealing with small animals in an emergency frequently presents problems, and it has taken some time for response plans to take them into consideration. Urban and suburban areas are home to many small animals and when evacuations become necessary, people are often reluctant or refuse to leave without their pets. Those delays can be costly and dangerous to residents and emergency responders. “Humans will always come first, but it’s critical to include small animals in evacuation plans because most people have pets and don’t want to leave them,” Pittman said. “There are a lot of good reasons to help people keep their animals with them, in-


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cluding the fact that you don’t have to find places to keep them, feed and water them, and provide them shelter.” Often, emergency shelters for people do not allow animals, especially if no one from the veterinary medical profession has been part of local emergency planning efforts. Pittman said it is wise to evaluate how existing facilities in a community, such as fairgrounds and vacant store parking lots, might serve as sites for emergency animal shelters. There should also be procedures in place for handling found animals and reuniting them with their owners because after floods and severe storms have ruined structures and driven people out, it’s not unusual for individual or groups of animals to roam through the wreckage. Pittman recalled visiting the site of a destructive tornado with a government official who observed, “There sure are a lot of feral cats here.” Pittman’s response was, “They weren’t feral yesterday.” He added that pet food producers often deploy truckloads of donated food to a disaster site, but many communities have no plan for where it should be delivered, and how it will be unloaded, stored, and distributed. Dr. Chelsea Crawford, assistant state veterinarian, has represented the UDAF at several emergency preparedness fairs and regularly hears from people that they had never thought about preparing to evacuate their animals. There are a number on online resources for pet owners to search for advice and checklists, but veterinarians can help just by advising clients to include pets in their family’s emergency plans.

The Humane Society of the United States’ website recom- involving livestock trailers. What do the highway patrol or other law enforcement officers know about handling large animals? mends that pet owners’ emergency preparedness plans include Do they know what animals are like when they are injured or in checking with hotels and motels in their area and surrounding a stressful situation? Do they know how to corral them? Move communities so see which ones allow pets, and whether a “no them? They need to be able to contact local people with that pets” policy might be waived in an emergency. Then keep a list knowledge, and that may of animal-friendly places, be a vet, a technician, or including addresses and even a rancher who are willphone numbers in a “go ing to prepare and to help in bag” provisioned for their “It requires some time and effort to help emergency management.” pets. It’s also wise to check with preparations in your area, but in a He and Crawford urge in advance with local animal disaster it is ultimately your patients and veterinarians to take the shelters and veterinarian’s initiative to contact their offices about their ability to clients you’ll be helping. It’s just a step local emergency response provide shelter or arrange away from regular patient care and in your coordinator before disaster foster care for pets in an interest to keep them safe and well." strikes. City or county fireemergency. fighting and law enforceMajor snowstorms and ment agencies will be able floods can severely affect Dr. Chelsea Crawford to tell you who the coordilarge animals. They may nator is in your area. Crawbe cut off from their usual ford is assisting Utah counshelter and food by high water, or escape the safe confines of a pasture when snow and ties with the animal health aspects of their emergency plans and knows that potential needs vary throughout the state so local ice pile up on fences and animals are able to get over them. veterinarians are valuable resources because they know their “People, including emergency responders, are mostly so distant from animal agriculture that they really don’t know what to communities best. “It requires some time and effort to help with preparations do with large animals.” Pittman said. “And it doesn’t have to be a in your area, but in a disaster it is ultimately your patients and natural disaster to create problems. Think of rollover accidents

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{ UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY VETERINARY MEDICINE } clients you’ll be helping,” Crawford said. “It’s just a step away from regular patient care and in your interest to keep them safe and well. Preparation is highly dependent on local interest and needs. Some areas will have concerns about large animals, and some areas it’s more about small animals. We are ready to come do training to meet those needs.” Pittman said veterinarians must be prepared with a basic knowledge of how things will work in an emergency, what tools to bring, where they should report to use their skills in an emergency response, how to check in and out of an Incident Command System, etc., in order to be an asset in an emergency. “It is important to be involved in exercises to keep skills and information fresh,” Crawford said. “Most counties or cities run emergency exercises, but most of the people involved won’t go looking for a veterinarian or technician to include. They have a lot going on and can get tunnel vision about what they need to do. Ask to be part of exercises in your area.” Some equipment for animal emergency response is costly, and Pittman recommends veterinarians and emergency responders come together with colleagues in contiguous counties to write grants for resources like response trailers that can be shared, especially in less-populated areas of the state. It’s also important to find out before an emergency whether animal control officers and others from one county can operate in another county because liability policies vary widely. “Then there are cases like Rich County that has no veteri-


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narian, but it has the highest concentration of cattle in the state,” Pittman said. “How do you prepare in a case like that? But they must.” Pittman pointed out that some of the learning modules practicing veterinarians can study for reaccreditation include emergency response procedures and he recommends that vets select and study them. Crawford agreed, pointing out that it’s important to review the information and training frequently because it is easy to forget skills and procedures that are not in regular use. An earthquake may not seem imminent and worries about floods, fires, and snowstorms largely change with the seasons and between locales, but biosecurity is important year round and everywhere. Emergency response equipment and training can be critically important in cases of bioterrorism and disease outbreaks. The state veterinarian’s office is specifically tasked with matters of animal health. “In other kinds of emergencies we supplement the overall response,” Pittman said. “But in a zoonotic disease outbreak, we are in charge and direct the response. It helps to explain the possible impacts in terms that make sense to emergency responders. I tell them to think of an animal disease outbreak like a fire that is invisible, and has been burning for 2 weeks before anyone even knew it was there, and you have no idea yet where it has spread. They get the idea quickly that we need to be the ones to run the response.”

Dr. Barry Pittman, state veterinarian with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, has extensive experience creating emergency response plans that include animal health and welfare. Dr. Chelsea Crawford, assistant state veterinarian, is prepared to work with county and municipal governments and local veterinarians to help develop emergency response plans based on community needs and assets. Photo by Lynnette Harris.


of open land that will need to be monitored or secured. Crawford said veterinarians who work with farm clients can Pittman advises studying and referring clients to the help them by recommending that they make plans for emergenUSDA’s website (the simplest way to find them is a web cies caused by disease or a biosecurity breech. search for FAD PREP), which “Discussing some posprovides templates for sible scenarios can help emergency plans that can be them see the need to make adjusted for each state, and a plan,” Crawford said. “Ask"...THINK OF AN ANIMAL DISEASE that are continually updated ing a dairy client to consider OUTBREAK LIKE A FIRE THAT IS for emerging diseases. There questions like, ‘If you can’t INVISIBLE, AND HAS BEEN BURNING are also secure food supply move any animals on or off FOR 2 WEEKS BEFORE ANYONE EVEN plans specific to commodities your place for 2 weeks, do KNEW IT WAS THERE, AND YOU HAVE like eggs, dairy, poultry, etc., you have enough room for NO IDEA YET WHERE IT HAS SPREAD." on Iowa State University’s all the calves? If you have Center for Public Health and to continue milking, what do DR. BARRY PITTMAN Food Security website (cfsph. you do with the milk? Does iastate.edu). someone come pick it up? “When you first tell peoCan you dump it?” ple that they need to create Pittman added that bean emergency plan, and point out potential problems they will fore a disease outbreak, farmers and farm workers need to deneed to deal with, the first thing they usually do is get mad,” Pitttermine where vehicles will park without driving onto the farm, man said. “Then they panic. Then they get around to, ‘OK. What how to track who comes and goes, where supplies can be delivare we going to do?" ered, and whether there are defined entrances and exits or acres

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DR. KERRY ROOD Kerry Rood, DVM, MPH, Associate Professor


erry Rood, associate professor in the Utah State University School of Veterinary Medicine, grew up in Coos Bay, Oregon, on a beef, dairy, and lumber operation. He received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from USU and attended veterinary school at Kansas State University. Rood joined the USU faculty in 2007 and said his time here has been a “fun ride.”

When did you decide to become a veterinarian?

I gravitated toward regulatory medicine and then public health. I am board certified in public health and that’s the area that I am really interested in. I teach the public health course to veterinarians, I am involved in the Masters of Public Health program at USU, and I am a part of a committee that plans the One Health Conference. I do some research in public health as well.

What do you enjoy the most about working with students?

Dr. Rood: The vet students are bright, they are articulate, and Dr. Rood: I don’t have that sort of defining moment where one are further advanced than I ever was at their age. I was a part of

day I woke up and decided that’s what I wanted to be. I think it has just been a natural progression of events and circumstances in my life that created a path and I just followed it. It’s not been a path of least resistance by any means, it’s been dang tough. Having said that, this has been a profession I was meant to be in. I just fit in. It feels right and just natural.

What area of veterinary medicine interests you the most?

the team that helped start USU’s veterinary program, and I make a joke that I don’t know if I would be able to get into the program I helped create. The requirements are just very rigorous. They were back then, but are even more so now. It’s been fun, it’s been challenging, and the students are a good group of students.

If you had a day off, what would you most likely be doing?

Dr. Rood: There are two main hobbies that I like to do, and Dr. Rood: As a student, I wanted to become an equine sur- everyone teases me about one of them, and that is that I like to

geon, but the opportunity wasn’t there for me to move in that direction. What’s been interesting is that, in private practice, I’ve done equine surgery. I found that while I liked it, I’m glad I didn’t invest all of my training into that. It just wasn’t for me. From that,


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cycle. I’ve got a road bike and I get on it and I pedal around the valley. People have seen me, and they laugh and give me a hard time. The second thing that’s not as commonly known is that I like to do competitive pistol shooting. I compete in a few events

Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

MYSTERY CASE FEEDLOT BEEF CATTLE REDUCE FEED INTAKE By Jane Kelly, DVM, MPH, Clinical Associate Professor You are a mixed-animal practitioner in rural Utah. It is a hot June day and you are called out to examine a group of feedlot beef cattle that have reduced feed intake. The producer reports that some animals are drooling and others are reluctant to move. She also says that there have been no recent changes in the feed. The producer did take the rectal temperature of several animals and she reports that it ranges from 104°F to 107°F. She also noticed some ulcerated lesions on the muzzles of two animals. Just before you end the phone call, the producer remembers that the horse she rode to look at the cattle was reluctant to take the bit when she put the bridle on and has some crusting at the corners of the mouth. She asks if you would look at the horse also when you come.

Answer the following questions and go online for the answers at vetmed.usu.edu/mystery 1. When you get to the farm, which pens do you examine first? 2. What are your main differential diagnoses? 3. What is the most likely diagnosis and why? Is it a zoonotic disease? 4. Once you confirm the lesions that the producer reported, what is your next step?

around here and that’s probably where you would find me on my day off.

What do you see in the future for USU’s School of Veterinary Medicine?

Dr. Rood:

There are some exciting things on the horizon for our program. Our program is proven now, and when I use that term I mean our third cohort graduated in May and that makes almost 90 graduates of our program, which shows that we can graduate excellent veterinarians. Going forward, it is an evolutionary process for the program to become better, to become more efficient and always have the goal to try a little more, to try new things and to adapt to different situations. I look forward to seeing what that is going to look like in the future.

By: Aubree Thomas Photos: Dennis Hinkamp

Dr. Kerry Rood and veterinary medical student Cinda Pieper visited USU’s Dolores Doré Eccles Center for Early Care and Education last fall to check on two well-loved guinea pigs named Popcorn and Edwin, and talk about pet care and what veterinarians do. To read more about the “house call,” please see the story online at tinyurl.com/PreschoolPets.

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Above: When her California hometown caught fire, second-year student Sarah Beard found a way to help.

The devastating wildfires that occurred in Northern California last October hit home for Sarah Beard, a California native who was then a second-year student in the Utah State University School of Veterinary Medicine. Beard’s hometown of Healdsburg was surrounded by two deadly fires. She wanted to find a way to help her community, but the rigorous schedule of vet school and being over 12 driving hours from home posed a unique challenge. “I wanted to go home and help, but you can’t just leave vet school,” Beard said. “My parents were doing what they could and had cleaned up the entire yard. My dad stayed home from work to spray down the roofs and my brother came home from college at San Luis Obispo. They said you could go outside and see the flames from the house. It was scary.” Beard spent her limited free time checking for up-to-date information on the spreading wildfires. While looking through social media, she saw some questionable advice re-


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lating to smoke inhalation in pets that didn’t line up with what she had learned in school. Beard recognized an important opportunity to get involved. “There were plenty of tips for humans when it came to smoke inhalation, but not for pets,” Beard said. “I just had the thought, ‘Hey, that’s something that I could do from here to try to serve and feel like I was helping out.’” With the help of books and research papers, Beard created a flier to share information about recognizing and treating smoke inhalation and burns in pets. She even consulted her professors, Drs. Tom Baldwin, Briedi Gillespie and Johanna Rigas, to make sure the information she was sharing was correct. “Mainly I was trying to get out good, correct information about smoke inhalation in dogs, cats and horses,” Beard said. “It included signs to look for and when you should go to the vet. I tried to keep it simple, straightforward, and easy to understand.”

Beard sent her flier via Facebook to several places, including city offices, humane societies and veterinary hospitals and clinics in the affected area. While she doesn’t know exactly how many people saw the flier, Beard said it was exciting to see her own work spread across social media. Beard believes veterinarians, both future and practicing, should play an important role when it comes to disseminating correct information during a crisis situation, and hoped she was able to help pet owners and their animals. “The most rewarding part was feeling like I had done something to help and make a difference,” Beard said. “I hope it helped people and encouraged pet owners to take their animal to the vet if they recognized something was wrong. I hope their pets were better cared for if they saw the information and acted upon it because it was correct, not bad, information.”

By: Aubree Thomas



econd-year students in Utah State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) got first-hand experience in the roles veterinarians can play during a public health crisis by participating in a simulated emergency exercise at USU’s Animal Science Farm. The exercise focused on teaching students how to keep themselves safe by correctly using personal protective equipment, or PPE. Personal protective equipment provides a barrier between a person and a hazard with which they may have contact, but its effectiveness depends on understanding how to properly don, doff and dispose of it – experience Dr. Kerry Rood, associate professor in the SVM, has found missing in the veterinarian community. “I did a survey about a year ago with some veterinarians who are currently practicing, and it indicated that they have the equipment but don’t all have the understanding or haven’t been trained in its proper use,” Rood said. “I realized we needed to get that into our current curriculum to benefit students.” The simulation was developed by Rood and Dr. David Wilson, associate professor in the SVM. In addition to learning the proper use of protective gear, the idea was for students to gain an understanding of how PPE can limit movement, dexterity and temperature regulation. Students were divided into groups and given the following scenario: five employees at a slaughterhouse had developed symptoms including fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting. Two had been hospitalized and four family members had de-

veloped similar symptoms. The future veterinarians were tasked with correctly donning their PPE and obtaining blood, fecal and urine samples from either a sheep, goat, horse or cow. Student Cinda Pieper said the simulation provided valuable experience she wouldn’t have gained anywhere else. “I have never done this before, and I thought it was a great chance to experience putting the suits on,” Pieper said. “I feel like if I were to run into a situation where I had to put the suit and everything on and I hadn’t done this simulation, I would have been like ‘Well, I’m going to get infected.’” Colton Gust, another vet student, agreed and said he enjoyed the awareness the exercise brought to emergency situations. “You never know when something like this is going to happen, and to have already been familiarized with a lot of it, we aren’t going to be caught by surprise because we can refer back to this experience,” Gust said. The final verdict was that a specific strain of Salmonella caused the outbreak. While Rood recognizes that emergency and regulatory medicine isn’t for everyone, he hoped the exercise pushed a few students toward considering it as a future career. “I think the exercise was an overall success,” Rood said. “I think feedback from the students was genuine. They felt energized, they saw a lot of excitement, and I think they thought it was a lot of fun.”

By: Aubree Thomas

Second-year vet students stayed throughout the night and checked mares every hour to monitor their progress when foaling was imminent.

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By Sandra Weingart, USU School of Veterinary Medicine Reference Librarian

e have all become sadly familiar with the images and stories of people refusing to evacuate from disasters when they learn their pets are not allowed to accompany them. Farmers and ranchers suffer huge economic losses when their herds are displaced and feed is destroyed. Every season seems to bring its own challenges and no region of the country is immune. Hurricanes, floods, tornados, drought, fire, blizzards, and earthquakes cause massive disruptions and animals are not spared. No one can predict accurately where, when, and what the next natural disaster might be, but we do know that it is going to happen. Veterinarians have many important roles to play in preparing to meet these challenges. These include: • Advising clients, both for companion and production animals • Creating a plan for your clinic • Creating a plan for your own animals • Networking with other veterinarians to establish plans for mutual support and back-up • Connecting with disaster preparedness agencies at local, county, state, regional, and national levels • Advocating for policy changes to make official disaster plans and protocols more accommodating for animals • Public health implications (zoonotic disease outbreaks, disposal of dead animals, etc.)

As if you didn’t have enough to do healing animals, managing your staff, and running your business, right? Here are some great resources to help you get started.

AVMA Disaster Preparedness for Veterinarians avma.org/KB/Resources/Reference/disaster/ Pages/default.aspx The AVMA has developed a wide range of written materials, podcasts, videos and other resources to assist veterinarians and their clients with disaster preparedness and response. • Materials for use with clients, a guide to planning for your practice, AVMA policies, etc.


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National Institutes of Health Disaster Information Research Center sis.nlm.nih.gov/enviro/animals.html The Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC) develops and provides access to health information resources and technology for disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. • Includes pets, livestock, wildlife, legislation, human-animal bond. Also features a curated collection of relevant articles from PubMed


FEMA Emergency Management Institute training.fema.gov/is/crslist.aspx Independent study courses on various aspects of planning and management, including Animals in Disasters. CEU credits available. Dates on course listings are date of origin for course, not availability dates.

CDC Disaster Preparedness for Your Pet cdc.gov/features/petsanddisasters/index. html Fact sheets with tips on everything from keeping your pets safe in shelters and finding a pet-friendly hotel to preventing transmission of disease.

Extension Disaster Education Network https://eden.lsu.edu/ Offers extensive training and planning resources for agricultural producers. The “Exercises”section is particularly helpful for use with farm and ranch clients. I hope these resources help you keep your “to-do” list under control while continuing to provide great care to your patients and advice for your clients. Contact me at Sandra.Weingart@usu.edu if you have questions about this or any information needs you may have.

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n 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated the New Orleans area. In addition to the tragic loss of human life and property, many companion animals were rendered homeless and endangered by the storm. In the aftermath of the hurricane, the media was filled with stories demonstrating the enduring strength of the Human-Animal Bond even during times of grave crisis. Many of those who stayed behind to face the storm did so because of their pets, fearing there would be no accommodations for them if they travelled away from home. Stories surfaced of people risking their lives to rescue their pets. One heartbreaking story recounted how a victim of the storm huddled with his dog on high ground as floodwaters rose up around them. When rescuers finally arrived, they refused to take the dog, stating that they only had the capacity to save humans. The man refused to leave until he was finally forced to go to save his own life. The recounting of painful stories like these in the media led to changes that forever altered the way pets are seen in the eyes of the law. Following Hurricane Katrina, congress passed the Pets Evacuation and Transportation (PETS) Act with near unanimous support. The law impels rescue agencies to save pets as well as people during natural disasters. As veterinarians know well, companion animals are more than just pets. For many people, they are family, and to lose one can be just as difficult as losing a beloved family member or friend. That relationship is of particular importance in the wake of a disaster, when people have lost homes, belongings, and security. Pets can provide emotional support and distract owners from worrying about their own well-being. This is particularly true for people who lack strong community connections. When working in the aftermath of a disaster, veterinarians should be aware of the anxiety pet owners often feel when they are separated from their companion animals, or when their animals suffer distress or injury. It is common for pet owners to experience acute shock in the aftermath of a loss. People experience these painful emotions in different ways. For some, there will be a sense of numbness and a struggle to process what has happened. For others, there will be tears and sadness. Veterinarians are not grief counselors, and don’t need to be. With that said, simply providing a listening ear for someone experiencing a

Chris Chapman, Ph.D. Director of Wellness, Utah State University School of Veterinary Medicine


(and Owners)



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loss can be an invaluable service. You can make the experience easier for them by validating the tremendous power of such a shock and help them feel comfortable getting counseling or support group to aid their recovery. It is important for a vet to know that witnessing or discovering an animal in the aftermath of such an event is extremely distressing and may cause traumatic shock responses to linger long afterwards. It is normal and helpful for a client who has had such an experience to want to share it in great detail. This will certainly occur shortly after the event, such as when the pet or the body is brought in to the office. Although it may be difficult to hear, it is helpful for the client to have the chance to tell the story... even several iterations of the story. This helps them process the shock and see it from a more distant perception. It is advisable, however, to help them understand it is not helpful to repeatedly replay the trauma or the accident in their heads, as this tends to “cement” the trauma in their memory. Writing the incident down, or sharing it with others is an acceptable way to attempt to process such an occurrence. It is a difficult reality that when a disaster strikes, we often have little power over what happens next. For this reason, the saying that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” holds true in this case. You can assist clients in preparing for disaster by referring them to online resources furnished by the AVMA: • The Saving the Whole Family© brochure (also in Spanish: Salvando a la Familia Entera) offers a comprehensive list of what needs to be done to safeguard pets before, during and after a disaster. • First Aid Tips for Pet Owners can help

you prepare by learning some basics of pet first aid, including what to put into a first aid supply kit. • Wildfire Smoke and Animals provides important information to keep both pets and livestock safe from wildfire smoke. Veterinarians are uniquely positioned to understand the depth of the Human-Animal Bond and provide help for clients struggling with loss or unsure of how to protect their pets in the face of natural disasters. Veterinarians play a vital role in recovery from disaster, helping people and their animal companions heal and rebuild their communities. In addition to the resources discussed here, Utah State University hosts a Pet Loss Hotline staffed by veterinary student volunteers who are happy to assist pet owners struggling with the pain of loss. The

hotline can be reached at 435-757-4540 or via email at petloss@usu.edu. Learn more by viewing the Saving the Whole Family: Disaster Prep for Your Pets on YouTube, or by visiting the following resources: For Pet Owners Natural Disasters: Plan Ahead for Animals' Safety (University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine) Prepare Your Pets, Too (American Red Cross) For Horse Owners Large Animals and Livestock in Disasters (AVMA) Emergency and Disaster Preparedness for Horse Owners (American Association of Equine Practitioners)

In addition to causing property damage, injuries, and even death, disasters often leave animal owners struggling to cope with anxiety, grief, and shock when pets or livestock are injured or lost. Veterinarians are not grief counselors, but can provide valuable service to clients after a disaster.

2018 Summer




STUDENTS LEARN BY BECOMING THE TEACHERS Often, people find that the best way to sharpen their skills is by teaching others. Janae Nordwall and Chelsea Barker, third and second year students, respectively, in the USU School of Veterinary Medicine, became teachers for a week as they represented USU at the Monument Valley High School Veterinary Science Camp in Kayenta, Arizona, on the Navajo Nation. During the 5-day camp, Nordwall and Barker had the opportunity to share their knowledge and interact with high school students from all over the country. They, along with veterinary students from Colorado State University (CSU), worked with the high schoolers to teach them skills in suturing, surgical instrument identification, blood draws and drug calculations. “They were learning so many important skills that many of


Summer 2018

us didn’t get to learn until vet school,” Nordwall explained. “Having veterinary students there to help them learn these things correctly is a great advantage and will help them be well prepared to apply for and enter veterinary school in the future.” Throughout the week, the high school students participated in practical workshops that emphasized basic skills and knowledge necessary in the field of veterinary medicine. Nordwall and Barker hosted a workshop on the California Mastitis Test to teach students the significance of mastitis and an easy way to test for it. This test, Nordwall said, is something veterinary students need to be very familiar with if they plan to work in the dairy industry in the future. The high school students weren’t the only ones who

{ UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY VETERINARY MEDICINE } learned new skills at the camp. Activities also provided great opportunities for veterinary students with different skill levels and educational backgrounds to network, make valuable connections and share knowledge. “There were many different moments where I got to teach CSU CVM students some of the things I had learned here at USU that they hadn’t learned in their program,” Nordwall said. “It was a great chance to interact with veterinary students from another school and share knowledge with each other.” Nordwall recalled a particular instance where she was able to identify a type of tick that had been pulled off an animal, thanks to her parasitology class. It was information that the CSU students hadn’t yet covered, and she said it was rewarding to share the information with them. While the camp was focused on teaching high school students the basics of veterinary medicine, Nordwall and Barker were also able to participate in plenty of hands-on learning opportunities. “I got to scrub in and assist with a spay, pregnancy check a mare, help with a tumor removal surgery, tail dock a sheep, develop a treatment plan that included a limp amputation surgery and perform a herd health check on a cattle and goat farm,” Nordwall said. “These were all wonderful experiences that I wasn’t expecting to get out of this trip.” A significant part of veterinary medicine involves learning how to interact and communicate with clients, while respecting their beliefs. Learning more about Navajo culture and how their beliefs apply to veterinary medicine on the reservation was another invaluable opportunity for both Nordwall and Barker.

“It was a great chance to interact with veterinary students from another school and share knowledge with each other.”

Although attending the camp took time away from their busy summer schedules, which include conducting research with SVM faculty members Drs. Helosia Rutigliano and Dave Wilson who allowed them the week away from their labs, both Nordwall and Barker agreed that it was well-worth the time and effort. Not only did it teach the high school students more about veterinary medicine, but encouraged them to seriously consider Utah State University when it comes to receiving their degree in veterinary medicine. Nordwall and Barker received a stipend for their work at the camp from the USU SVM Dean’s Office. “I hope that USU continues to send veterinary students to help out with this camp. I think the benefits to us, as well as to the high school students, were tremendous and well worth the expense,” Nordwall said. “All of the hands-on experiences and opportunities to teach others were invaluable.”

By: Aubree Thomas, aubree.thomas@usu.edu Learn more about Monument Valley High School’s remarkable veterinary medicine program online in a PBS New Hour story: tinyurl.com/MonumentValleyHS.

Left: Vet med students Janae Nordwall and Chelsea Barker (front row, left, and top row second from left, respectively, page 16) were part of the teaching staff at a veterinary medicine camp at Monument Valley High School on the Navajo Nation. Photo courtesy of Janae Nordwall.

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VETERINARY MEDICINE CLASS OF 2017 Jessie Salter I currently work at Uinta Veterinary Services in Roosevelt, UT. We are a mixed animal practice and we have a lot of fun! A typical day for me involves working with dogs to horses to chickens. I love the variety of cases I see and that every day is something new. The transition from student to associate veterinarian was intense, but I had an awesome mentor at my practice, along with an excellent support staff. My family has also been an integral part of my success. I have the best support in them. I enjoy being in a rural environment that allows me to get to know my clients and build lasting relationships with them. What I truly love about being a veterinarian is the opportunity to help all kinds of animals be healthy, stay healthy, and thrive.

Nathan Whiting Dr. Whiting is currently working as a mixed animal associate veterinarian at North Cache Veterinary Service in Richmond, UT. Since graduation he has also ventured back into some of his old hobbies. He is an assistant wrestling coach for Green Canyon High School, he is serving as co-chair of the UVMA Legislative Committee, and was elected president of the Cache Veterinary Practitioners Association. Dr. Whiting loves the variety of cases he is able to see each day, and the opportunity he has to represent veterinary professionals in Utah while working with legislators to pursue good public policy.


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CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR CLASS OF 2018! The new veterinarians and representatives of our faculty and staff (noted by an *) gathered at commencement at Washington State University in May for a celebratory group photo. Front Row, Left to Right: Briedi Gillespie*, Jessica Nielsen, Patrisha Paulos, Ryann Healey, Emily Hampden-Smith, Lisa Martinez, Catherine Crouch, Stacie Anderson, Carrie Cobb, Kendra Antonides, Melanie Fitzhugh, Melisa Bishop*, Bart Gillespie*

Middle Row, Left to Right: Michael Bishop*, David Wilson*, Kerry Rood*, Jerald Hansen, Kaitlyn Gowans, Casey Larsen, Jared Hamilton, Lisa Yamane, Megan Bohannon, Shayla Zeal, Jacob Miller, Hanna Toribara, Allyson Atwell, Michael Long, Dirk Vanderwall*

Back Row, Left to Right: Rusty Stott*, Ken White*, Kolby Talbot, Derek Lowe, Michael Sandstrom, Lauren Michaud, Erin Hughes, Tara Nicholle Whalen, Robert Bradford, Ryan Lee Bertucci, Jonathan Odgen, James Kershisnik, Chris Davies*, Ralph Meyer*

Above Photo by: After Images Visual Services Below Photos by: Henry Moore Jr, CVM/BCU, Washington State University

Fall 20182017 Summer



ALUMNI/DONOR Recognition



ecently, I attended the Utah Veterinary Medical Association Canyonlands Veterinary Conference in Moab. I had the opportunity to speak with many veterinarians from different parts of the state, and was extremely impressed with their sincere desire to help provide opportunities for USU vet med students as well as recent graduates. Having these types of conversations with such generous individuals inspires me to increase my philanthropic efforts. In addition, I’m truly inspired by our students! I personally see their respect and sincere appreciation for the incredible donors who help ease the financial burden of vet school. To express gratitude for her scholarship, one student wrote to a donor, “It must require a great amount of trust to make an investment in someone whom you have never met. As a veterinarian, I can serve the people and animals in my community to the best of my ability. Your support plays a vital role in this endeavor as it not only helps to relieve the monetary pressures of my education but reinforces the reasons why I decided to enter this profession.” Thank you for investing in our future veterinarians. Because of our donors’ philanthropic efforts, the USU School of Veterinary Medicine is able to offer more scholarships to our students and create more endowments, which ensure financial assistance in perpetuity. More importantly, the majority of our graduates have returned to Utah to practice veterinary medicine, and many of you are now their associates and mentors. On many levels, thank you for supporting the School of Veterinary Medicine at USU.


Director of Development


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