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Connect to Veterinary Medicine: June 2009

June 2009

Welcome to the June 2009 edition of Connect to Veterinary Medicine, the latest news and information from the College of Veterinary Medicine at The Ohio State University.

News at the College

Congratulations to the Class of 2009

The traditional Oath and Hooding Ceremony was held June 13. The ceremony was the culmination of the degree program in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Students received their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine hood, and then stood together and recited their solemn oath. This tradition is meant to give all students the personal recognition they deserve for such a commendable accomplishment. The college also recognized the recipients of the College Distinguished Alumni Award and teaching and research awards.

In addition, a special awards ceremony was held in the Veterinary Hospital Auditorium to recognize students who demonstrated special aptitude in specialty areas, scholastics and service. The Phi Zeta inductees were also recognized at the ceremony. A complete list of graduates, award winners and Phi Zeta inductees can be viewed on the college web site.

College announces partnership with Hoof Beats

The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine's Galbreath Equine Center is proud to announce a new partnership with Hoof Beats magazine. Each month, an article in the harness racing magazine will feature an equine faculty member at the university who will discuss a topic relating to equine care.

The June issue features an interview with Dr. James Belknap, an associate professor in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences and an expert on laminitis.

Dr. Belknap is also featured in two videos discussing various aspects of laminitis. In part one of the video he discusses how to diagnose laminitis. In part two he discusses the treatment and care of the disease.

Shetland Sheepdogs needed for study

Dr. Brian Scansen, assistant professor in Cardiology and Interventional Medicine, and Jordan Vitt, second year DVM student, are conducting a preliminary study on systemic arterial hypertension and proteinuria in the Shetland Sheepdog, and are in need of patients. The study includes a free blood pressure exam, urinalysis and microalbuminuria assay to preemptively screen for early signs of proteinuria and systemic hypertension. Patients will only need to come in for a 30 to 45 minute visit and bring a free-catch urine sample with them.

Since this is a preliminary study, patients must be clinically healthy, with no signs of systemic disease and on no medications other than standard preventatives for heartworm, fleas and ticks. Puppies should be vaccinated and older than four months of age.

If you have a purebred Sheltie or know of a client that would qualify and are interested in helping with this project, or have other questions, please contact Dr. Scansen at or Jordan Vitt at

Technology in Your Practice CE Conference

August 8, 2009

This course for veterinarians, technicians, and practice managers provides useful advice on keeping your practice up-to-date with the new technologies available today. With the current economic times, investing in a new technology can be a tough decision. Before you invest in equipment and training, hear this overview of a few technologies that could enhance your practice. Technologies to be covered include ultrasonography, laparoscopic surgery, laser surgery and MRI. Registration is just $15 for 6 hours of CE credit. For more details visit the CE web site or call 614-292-8727

Vet Med in the news

FDA approves first canine cancer therapy

Zoetis (formally Pfizer Animal Health) announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given approval for Palladia, developed to treat mast cell tumors in dogs. Dr. Cheryl London, associate professor in the Departments of Veterinary Biosciences and Veterinary Clinical Sciences and Thekla R. and Donald B. Shackelford Professor in Canine Medicine, has worked with Zoetis (formally Pfizer) since 2000 to help develop the treatment.

"Palladia is an exciting, new treatment option for dogs with mast cell tumors," said Dr. London. "At the completion of a Palladia clinical study, approximately 60 percent of dogs had their tumors disappear, shrink or stop growing. Also, we determined that dogs whose tumors responded to Palladia experienced an improved quality of life."

Read the full announcement from Zoetis (formally Pfizer)

Common species pain biomarker discovered

Dr. Tony Buffington, professor in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at Ohio State, and his research team discovered a biomarker in cats and humans that may lead to better treatments for some chronic pain syndromes.

The biomarker, found in the blood, might signal both species' susceptibility to a painful bladder disorder called interstitial cystitis, a condition that is often difficult to diagnose. The findings lead researchers to believe that the disorder originates in the brain because of the way an essential amino acid is broken down in individuals with the specified biomarker.

Dr. Buffington believes this biomarker may be the underlying vulnerability that results in IC, and possibly in other chronic pain disorders such as irritable bowl syndrome and fibromyalgia. This new understanding may lead to improved methods of diagnosis, treatment and even prevention strategies.

The research appears in the current issue of the journal Analyst. The university news release can be viewed online.

Various media outlets have covered the findings of the research. The United Press International story can be viewed online, and Science Daily's article can be viewed online.

Remember to check our web site for news!

Upcoming events

Alumni Reception

You and your guests are cordially invited to attend the College of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Reception at the 146th AVMA convention. The reception will be held Monday, July 13th from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the North/West room of the Renaissance Seattle located at 515 Madison St., Seattle, Washington. The event is hosted by the Veterinary Medicine Alumni Society and the College of Veterinary Medicine. Please RSVP by July 6: or (614)-292-9296.

Alumni Reunion Weekend highlights

Alumni Reunion Weekend is scheduled for September 11-13, 2009.
Registration information will be sent in mid-July. If you are eligible for the football ticket lottery, you will receive an application for tickets in early July.

View the schedule of events for the College of Veterinary Medicine Alumni weekend.

Ohio State vs. USC football ticket lottery

Applications for the football ticket lottery for the Ohio State vs. USC game were mailed July 1 to veterinarians who are members of The Ohio State University Alumni Association and the College of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Society as of June 1. Applications must be postmarked by July 18, 2009 and include a check or credit card number for $134. Applications will be acknowledged via email. The drawing will take place on July 29 and winners will be notified by email (or U.S. Postal Service if you do not have an email address). Priority will be given to classes celebrating reunions. More information about the process can be found on our website. If you did not receive an application and believe you are a current member of the Veterinary Medicine Alumni Society and The Ohio State Alumni Association, please email Dr. Harcha at

Away game football ticket lotteries

Members of the Veterinary Medicine Alumni Society are eligible to participate in a lottery to purchase tickets for two away football games – Toledo, (at Cleveland Browns Stadium) on Saturday, September 19 ($131.50 per pair); and Purdue, (West Lafayette, Indiana), Saturday, October 17, which includes the Buckeye Bash ($224 per pair). Information about this lottery will be sent to Alumni Society members July 6; the lottery ends July 31, 2009. Winners will be notified after August 5, 2009 and also will need to be members of the Ohio State Alumni Association. Payment must be submitted within 14 days. (To enter, please send your name, home (mailing) address, cell phone number and e-mail address to:

*Donate items to the auctions!

The money raised during the silent and live auctions held annually during Alumni Reunion Weekend allows us to give back to the college. We count on dedicated alumni such as you to contribute items for the auctions. These can vary from an iPod to a weekend getaway, from a stethoscope to unique artwork, and of course Buckeye-themed merchandise is always popular. Please find the donation form on our website. We thank you in advance for your support of Alumni Reunion Weekend and the College of Veterinary Medicine.

In Memoriam

Kenneth Edwin "Ken" McWilliams (DVM 1946)

Kenneth Edwin "Ken" McWilliams, DVM, age 91, of Mount Gilead, formerly of Hilliard and Galion, died Tuesday morning, May 12, 2009 at the Bennington Glen Nursing Home.

He was born on December 30, 1917 in Congress Township to the late Glen and Iza D. (Miller) McWilliams. A graduate of Johnsville High School in 1937, he went on to graduate with a double major in agriculture and veterinary medicine in 1946 from The Ohio State University. He began his veterinary practice in Plain City in 1953, before enlisting in the U.S. Air force, where he served during the Korean Conflict.

Following service to his country in 1955 he returned to his first love, veterinary medicine, practicing in Galion. In 1971, he moved to Hilliard and went to work with Producers Live Stock as a staff veterinarian and traveled throughout Ohio to their various field locations. At the age of 65, he went to work for the Ohio State Racing Commission, where he worked as a veterinary judge at both Scioto Downs and Beulah Park, as well as the Little Brown Jug harness race until 2003, when he officially retired at the age of 85.

He returned to Morrow County by moving to Mt. Gilead and the family home in 2007. A former member of the Pleasant Grove Church of Christ, he was a member of the Hilliard Church of Christ, and had currently been attending the Mt. Gilead Church of Christ. A member of the Galion Lions Club, Galion American Legion Post No. 243, he was a 32nd degree Mason and member of University Lodge F & AM No 631, in Columbus. He was forever dedicated to the field of veterinary medicine, which he considered his hobby.

Survived by his children, Jean (Barry) Sykes of Powell, John (Jody) McWilliams of San Francisco, California; and grandchildren, Brian (Angela) Sykes and Ian and Paul McWilliams. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Marjorie Zimmerman; and his dear friend, Lucille Adams.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, the Mount Gilead Church of Christ, or the Pleasant Grove Church of Christ.

Last updated: 

Monday, February 18, 2013 - 11:02am