The official newsletter of the College of Veterinary Medicine
August 2009 - Vol. 4, No. 8
Dr. Jim Carpenter encounters wildlife on veterinary excursion.
Calais in training
Dr. Pat Payne introduces her newest service puppy in training.
Food Safety First
CVM researchers help clear up misconceptions on food recalls
For someone accustomed to working with exotic animals, Dr. Jim Carpenter says a recent trip to South Africa was probably the most unusual experience in his life.
Invited as a lecturer, Dr. Carpenter was a guest of wildlife veterinarian Dr. Cobus Raath, who runs a practice devoted to wildlife conservation, wildlife management, education and research. The practice features wildlife medicine courses for veterinary students from around the world. Dr. Carpenter said that K-State students have attended the course before, although on this trip, the students were from Murdoch University in Australia.
Dr. Carpenter’s wife, Terry, accompanied him on the trip, and helped document many of the wildlife encounters with Cape buffalo, lions, rhinos, giraffes and more. Their activities involved building a boma (a wildlife corral) to capture buffalo, teaching students how to draw blood from lions and dehorning white rhinos.
“This was one of the most enjoyable opportunities I’ve had to teach wildlife conservation,”
Dr. Carpenter also gave talks in preventive medicine and conducted a wet lab in reptile snake medicine using rock pythons as a model.
Dr. Carpenter will be giving a presentation to the Exotics Club at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 31 in Trotter 201, and all are welcome to attend.
Bringing a pet to work is rare, but for Dr. Pat Payne it’s an everyday occurrence. Because she trains service dogs, the CVM has given Dr. Payne permission to bring her puppy to work with her.
“Calais is my fourth puppy in training” Dr. Payne said. “She’s 5 months old and I’ve been working with her since she was 8 weeks old.”
Dr. Payne was partnered with Calais through KSDS Inc., where she was bred in Washington, Kan. The Cadillac Club of Kansas City sponsored this litter, so each of the purebred Labradors were named after Cadillac cars.
“I got involved in KSDS for the wrong reasons,” Dr. Payne said. “I lost my two Labradors at 14 years of age and didn’t want to face another old dog. In this program, I could have one puppy after the next. It has turned out not to be about the dogs but — it’s really about the people. KSDS has brought a lot of amazing people into my life. The puppy raisers are wonderful souls and the graduates are amazing.”
Dr. Payne learned about the program through the CVM’s annual Dog-N-Jog program that helps raise money for KSDS. KSDS brings dogs in training to K-State for clinical skills to give veterinary students normal, healthy animals to examine.
After puppies are at least 18 months old they are returned to KSDS for evaluation and further training. OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) radiographs and eye CERFs (Canine Eye Registration Foundation) are done here at the VMTH. If they pass these physical tests plus personality tests, then intensive training and a search for partners begins.
Dr. Payne’s previous trainees Maize and Asheni became service dogs for people with multiple sclerosis. Tinsel is now in the guide dog program and should graduate in October.
Dr. Payne encourages students to say “Hi,” but emphasizes following protocol. Calais has to pay attention to her trainer, so address Dr. Payne first, and then she’ll introduce you to Calais.
Consumers usually find out pretty quickly if the meat they're planning to throw on the grill has been recalled.
What consumers may not be finding out about recalls and the inspection process, however, could make them doubt the effectiveness of what is actually a pretty good system to keep food safe, according to K-State researchers.
Dr. Charles Dodd, Ph.D. student in food science, Wamego, and Dr. Doug Powell, K-State associate professor of food safety in the Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology, published a paper in the journal Foodborne Pathogens and Disease about how one government agency communicates risk about deadly bacteria like E. coli O157 in ground beef. Publications, Web pages and recalls are all used in this risk communication.
Dr. Dodd said that although the Food Safety and Inspection Service generally does a good job of keeping meat safe, it’s easy for consumers to think the opposite, particularly when a recall tells them that the food in the fridge or pantry may be dangerous. In their study, Dr. Dodd and Dr. Powell looked at what information consumers can take away from the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s Web site, and suggest government agencies can more clearly communicate their role in keeping the food supply safe.
“We as Americans tend to expect more from regulatory agencies than we should, so we set ourselves up for disappointment,” Dr. Dodd said. “Occasionally, regulatory agencies may create unrealistic expectations by the way they communicate with the public. The message of our paper is to say that the Food Safety and Inspection Service is doing a good job, considering the amount of resources it has. We are trying to open up dialogue about how its role could be communicated more effectively.”
The researchers said it might be helpful for consumers to know a few things about the inspection process that can lead to recalls:
* Not all foods are recalled because someone has gotten sick. “As a consumer, when a recall occurs, I look to see how it was initiated -- from an outbreak or routine testing,” Dr. Dodd said. “There’s always testing involved, and if the recall is from routine testing, I think, ‘This is great. The testing works.’ If it’s from a foodborne illness outbreak, I think, ‘At least we caught it.’”
* When a meat recall occurs, the Food Safety and Inspection Service and industry probably are erring on the side of caution. “The amount of meat recalled is most likely more than the amount that may be contaminated,” Dr. Dodd said.
* When food like ground beef, for instance, is tested by the beef processor or the Food Safety and Inspection Service, not every bite of meat is under scrutiny. Rather, a group of scientific experts have agreed on a sampling method that appropriately represents the product. Dr. Dodd said that it’s kind of like automobile safety standards: There is a system in place to test the safety of your car, but that doesn't mean you're sitting behind the wheel of a car that was tested.
* Testing is just one tool that the Food Safety and Inspection Service uses. Its role is to monitor what other stakeholders are doing to keep food safe. “As a regulatory agency, the Food Safety and Inspection Service is monitoring food safety, not necessarily testing it themselves,” Dr. Dodd said. “I think that’s what a lot of us consumers misinterpret. We need to remember that regulatory agencies allocate, not assume, responsibility.”
More information about food safety is available at http://barfblog.foodsafety.ksu.edu/
Place of birth: Emporia Kan. I lived in Kansas City, Mo, from kindergarten to 6th grade, then in Paola, Kan., from 7th to 9th and back in Emporia for 10th-12th grad. Attended Emporia State University (was a diver on the swim team in high school and college) and received my master's degree in kinesiology from K-State in 2000.
Family information: Husband Galen, and two sons: Blake, 19, plays baseball at Coffeyville Community College, and Wade, 15. attends Riley County High School.
Pets: None at the moment, but have had a horse, dog and two cats. Right now with no dog, the only animals are possums, coons and rabbits!
If you could spend a day with anyone who would you choose? Oprah, because she’s so informative and caring, but otherwise, with my kids.
What is a favorite book that you have read? Haven’t had much time to read, but one I read recently that was good was "Eat, Pray, Love." I enjoy James Bond movies.
If you were to choose a color to express your personality what would it be and why? Blue, calm
What is your favorite way to spend a day off? Watching my boys play sports, or with my family on a vacation skiing in the mountains, swimming in the ocean, or quilting.
Best thing about coming to work? I really enjoy everyone that I work for and with. I enjoy what I do.
Any big plans for the rest of the summer? Watch my sons play baseball and take a short vacation to Branson, Mo.
Using databases such as PubMed and CAB Abstracts to find articles about veterinary medical topics is a frequent task for veterinary faculty, staff and students. Many times these two databases are the only ones consulted. K-State Libraries has access to other databases relevant to veterinary medicine. A listing is located at www.lib.k-state.edu/db/ subject/vetmed.html.
Biological Abstracts, for example, indexes 9,600 journals each year. Article citations go back to 1969 and include abstracts. Biological Abstracts covers life sciences, natural sciences and veterinary medicine, and includes references to journal items focusing on vital biological and medical research findings, pharmacological studies and discoveries of new organisms. Those who submit research applications to K-State’s IACUC (Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee) are often encouraged to use Biological Abstracts for literature searches according to Gayle Willard, CVM Library Director and member of the IACUC committee.
Another useful database is Food Science and Technology Abstracts (FSTA), which provides information on food science, food technology and nutrition from 1969 to the present. This database indexes 1,800 publications in 40 different languages and covers specific topics relating to every aspect of the food chain including all the major food commodities plus bio-technology, microbiology, food safety, additives, nutrition, packaging and pet foods.
Two other databases to consider are Web of Science and SciFinder. Both cover scientific topics, especially chemistry-related. Although they cover the same subjects, a study conducted and published in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology found that different citations resulted when the same search was performed in each database. One possible explanation was that SciFinder covers more chemistry journals but Web of Science covers more journals where multidisciplinary chemistry articles are published. A comprehensive search of a chemistry topic related to veterinary medicine should be searched in both databases to achieve the most comprehensive results.
Remember if you need help with searching any of our databases, staff members of the Veterinary Medical Library will be happy to assist and consult with you on your searching issues.
Dr. Meena Kumari was selected as a member of the Neurotoxicology and Alcohol Study Section, Center for Scientific Review for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She will help review grant applications, make recommendations to the NIH advisory council and survey the status of research in her study section. Congratulations Dr. Kumari.
Dr. Dan Thomson spoke at the North Dakota VMA meeting in Minot from Aug. 5-7. Topics included: Management tips for starting high risk calves on feed, Nutrition for newly received calves, and Beef Cattle well-being-science, media and politics.
Dr. Howard Erickson was elected president of the American Veterinary Medical History Society for 2009-2010.He was also asked to be a member of the Vet 2011 National Committee in the U.S. for the purpose of organizing events that will celebrate the 250th Anniversary for the veterinary profession. The AVMA has joined the Executive Council of Vet 2011 as an Associate and Corresponding Member, so the AVMA will be participating at the international level as well as coordinating activities nationally in the U.S.
Story and photos submitted by Stephanie Oursler, class of 2012
After the June 11, 2008 tornado, the city of Manhattan decided to reinstate and train more citizens for Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training. In March and April, 14 members of the CVM participated in this training. Over six weeks they learned about: disaster preparedness; fire suppression; medical operations such as triage, stabilization and basic first aid; search and rescue techniques; and disaster psychology and team organization. After the classroom material was finished, the group went through a disaster simulation to practice the skills they have learned. Those who participated are: Baoyan An, Kathy Cheng, James Dille, Dr. Chuck Dodd, Sherry Gehrt, Sandy Hickman, Justyne Hughes, Jiarui Li, Melody McElroy, Stephanie Oursler, Yaicha Peters, Tom Schermerhorn, Ethel Taylor and Rachel Wright.
The CERT concept was started in 1985 by the Los Angeles Fire Department as a means of training citizens to help in the wake of disaster. The course prepares individuals to respond and cope with the aftermath of a disaster. These groups are often first responders, gathering information to relay back to Fire, EMS and Police when they arrive. In 1993, FEMA made the training nationally available, so far 28 states and Puerto Rico have conducted CERT training.
In June, Sarah Guengerich went on a Humane Society of the United States Rural Animal Veterinary Services trip (RAVs) to Spirit Lake and Turtle Mountain, N.D. The group was made up of about 30 veterinary students from the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., as well as volunteer veterinarians and technicians, and four very dedicated RAVs staff members. They spent 2 1/2 days working at a mobile clinic helping with surgical check-ins and vaccinations.
"As clinic slowed one evening I perused the surgical cases," Sarah wrote of her trip. "The most enthralling was a lactating lab mix named Baby with raging sarcoptic mange, hundreds of ticks in her ears, a grade three heart murmur, and the strangest 'hose pipe' femoral pulses I’d ever come across. A cloud of volunteers watched as the lead veterinarian performed a laproscopic spay, his choice for lactating animals. I scored a prime viewing spot in the standing room only area by volunteering to hold the alcohol filled prescription vial for collecting all her removed ticks."
Later that same evening, after falling asleep, she was awoke by the sound of a cat meowing.
"Fellow cat owners know what I mean when I say it was the sound of not just a meow, but of a cat’s cry," she wrote. "The desolate, sad call that cat owners hear and immediately think 'Where’s my cat!? He needs me!' I lay there with two hours of sleep in me knowing I had to get up in three hours and be ready to operate on something."
After searching, Sarah lifted a blanket covering one of the cages and was greeted by two copper-colored eyes peering at her. There stood Arnie, the cat from North Dakota. The next morning, she noticed a piece of paper placed on top of the kennel that said “Nice cat. Needs a home. See Pam.” Sarah learned the cat had been surrendered to the clinic, but nothing more of her history was included. She decided she would check with the humane society back home to see if Arnie could be admitted to the society's adoption program.
After a somewhat eventful trip home, which included taking Arnie to the Wal-Mart in Sioux Falls, S.D., Sarah returned to Kansas, where Arnie currently awaits adoption from the Riley County Humane Society into a permanent home. In the meantime she is stealing pillow space at Sarah's house.
Mitzi Wegman - KSVDL
Jamie Gardner - KSVDL
Samantha Lilley - KSVDL
Pradeep Malreddy - Clinical Sciences
Crystal Hammond - VMTH
Sadie Gleason - VMTH
Lifelines is published each month by the Development and Alumni Affairs Office at the College of Veterinary Medicine.
Editors are Joe Montgomery, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Dusty Dhuyvetter, email@example.com