College of Veterinary Medicine

CVM Main Blog

Winter 2009 Equine Newsletter

by WSU CVM 6. January 2009 13:23

The winter 2009 Equine Newsletter is now available at 

MRI of hoof

Topics Include:

  • WSU’s equine “pass”-port
  • Strangles a serious equine disease, but not often fatal
  • Lameness in pregnant mares
  • Equine embryo transfer an involved but viable breeding option
  • MRI makes equine diagnosis and treatments more accurate and specific
  • WSU equine internal medicine scholarship honors dean
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    More Birds: update with a Moose picture

    by Bryan 5. January 2009 09:02

    (See also the UPDATE (click on "More...") below the picture.)

    Sitting here this morning with another 8" or so of new snow, last week's brief respite and blue sky seems like a long way away.

    Even though it won't seem like it from the picture below, there was still a lot of snow on the ground last week, but it had warmed enough it was out of the trees.  And the sky was mostly blue.  My daughter took this shot of a couple of visitors to the big pine just off our deck.  What you can't see is the squirrel running around in the tree below them.

    Anyway, I thought this was a neat picture and wanted to share.

    UPDATE: More...

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    News from the College of Veterinary Medicine

    by WSU CVM 2. January 2009 14:41
    In January of 2009 the format of our what's new page will change to a blog and we will invite your comments on our featured stories and or to sign up to receive email notification when a new story is posted.



    by Bryan 31. December 2008 07:07

    One of the constants that veterinarians deal with is variety...of species, of seasons, of the biological rhythms of reproduction and other life (and disease) cycles.  You just never know what will come to you, which is one of the fascinating things about the profession. 

    As we have been wrestling with winter over the past three weeks, these sources of variety have interacted to bring a couple of unusual examples through our door.

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    Is there a shortage of ag animal veterinarians?

    by Bryan 30. December 2008 10:17

    (This one is a bit long, but the topic is complex, so I didn't try to break up the post.)

    Is there a shortage of ag animal veterinarians?  

    If, so why? 

    These are questions that I have been mulling over lately, as have many of our colleagues in the college and around the state – the whole country for that matter.   

    These seem like such simple questions, but in reality they span a very complex set of issues. 

    No doubt there are some regions of the U.S. that have no ag animal veterinary coverage.  Others, perhaps, are under served in relation to the number and quality of producers in that region.  There are certainly studies showing this to be the case.  But there may be regions where a reasonable livelihood for a new graduate may just not be feasible. 

    This question of the availability of jobs that lead to a reasonable livelihood is important to us as veterinary educators because if we convince students there is a need, they have an interest in meeting this need, and they align their studies to pursue a career in ag animal veterinary medicine, they must also be able to make a living when they graduate.  The fiscal reality for veterinarians who will succeed in ag practice is the need to generate a constant, profitable, stream of business. Indeed, national studies have identified the relative earning potential in relation to educational debt of recent graduates as the key factor in determining how veterinarians choose a practice orientation.  To address one side of this economic balance, we hope to continue to develop and fund so-called conditional scholarships.  These are essentially loans that are forgiven over time for service in rural/agricultural practice.  They are important because they will reduce the high education debt loads (which average more than $100,000 per student upon graduation) so that this is not as much of a consideration in choosing a practice setting.  However, this is only one side of the economic picture.  The other side is that sustainable, economically viable practice depends on a clientèle willing and able to pay a fair price for veterinary services within the realities of geographic location, density of operations, and commodity prices, among other considerations. 

    We have dedicated faculty in our college who are making headway on programs to enhance our education of those students who desire ag animal-oriented veterinary practice careers.  Among other things, they are developing an array of summer experiences, both here in Pullman and out in regional producer and practice settings, to supplement the academic year education in our program.  We will need help to implement some aspects of these programs.  We are thus fortunate to also have colleagues in veterinary practice and among the producers who are willing to help develop and implement such programs.  Through these efforts we will develop curriculum flexibility and curricular enhancements to provide excellent opportunity for some of our students to pursue ag-related practice interests.   

    As we succeed with these curricular enhancements, however, we still have to keep our eye on the job market.  Will that market provide attractive career options for the students who have the interest and graduate with the skills? 

    Your thoughts?

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    Winter took its time coming, but it's here now!

    by Bryan 22. December 2008 16:48

    Had to shovel another 4 inches of snow out of the driveway this morning on top of 4 last night after the basketball game with Idaho.  At the time I was feeling like I was ready to be done with winter.  But, here's the view out of the dean's office this afternoon.  Makes the shoveling seem worth it; it is a nice distractor when I need a pause.

    This is the second year in a row with significantly more snow than I'm used to seeing here.  We probably have had at least two feet of snow in town in the past couple of weeks.  Many outlying areas have more than this, particularly as you go North.  More snow on the way, too.

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    Life Science Discovery Fund invests in CVM Research

    by Bryan 20. December 2008 11:11

    The Washington Life Science Discovery Fund recently announced the awards for the latest round of competition.  I'm very proud to say that one of the projects funded was the Washington Vaccine Alliance that includes a significant contribution from faculty from our college's School for Global Animal Health and Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology.

    This significant award will enable Guy Palmer and his collaborating CVM researchers to conduct research leading toward an effective vaccine for the bacterium E. coli and other bacteria that inhabit the gastrointestinal tract of livestockSuccess will mean reduced shedding of these disease-causing bacteria and thus a safer food supply.

    More details of this award can be found in this news release at the Life Science Discovery Fund Authority site:

    Congratulations to Guy, Wendy, Tom, Terry, Kevin, and the rest of the Washington Vaccine Alliance team.

      ********** More...

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    Coug men's basketball next year

    by Bryan 20. December 2008 09:37

    I just noticed this story about one of next year's Cougar men's basketball recruits (Anthony Brown from Spokane's Shadle Park) in the Spokesman's sports blog, and thought those of you who follow basketball might enjoy it:

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    Santa's reindeer

    by Bryan 19. December 2008 08:21

    I don't want you to miss this one from our external relations staff, so will direct you to it here:

         WSU Veterinary College Issues International Health Certificates for Santa’s Reindeer

    This has already been picked up by the Tacoma News Tribune, further spreading what is a great, fun story for this season.  Reactions have been uniformly positive
    An alum writes, Very nice to see that WSU is once again the world leader

    A student writes, I just wanted to let you know that your Santa "article"...put me into Christmas spirit mode...

    A staff member writes, What a service you are doing for these nine special critters!

    From a colleague in the press, Very good.  Thanks for the brightener.

    As you celebrate the holidays, stay in good cheer, travel safe, enjoy your friends and family, and rest well knowing that Santa's reindeer are "good to go".

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    More perspective on the CVM Budget

    by Bryan 18. December 2008 17:06

    Just a quick thought to supplement the last post:

    Another factor to keep in mind about our college budget is that it is highly diversified.  Our state funding is considerably less than one half of our total budget.  The majority of our budget comes from research and teaching grants and contracts, fees from the Vet Teaching Hospital and the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab, and the increasingly important gifts and donations of our many friends.

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