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Kansas State University


The official newsletter of the College of Veterinary Medicine

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January 2010 - Vol. 5, No. 1

Top Stories

Drs. Justin Janssen and Chris BlevinsStocks make good gift

Alumnus gives Equine Portable Stocks to Equine Field Service team.
See who built and gave the stocks

CVM faculty are 'in demand'

K-State Media Relations names the most cited faculty experts.
Who made their list?

Student's art covers journal

Elizabeth Ebert's artist skill accompanies PNAS journal article on anunusual species.
See what she drew

More Headlines

Dr. Larry Bramlage gives lecture at AAEP convention

Rabies Lab expects active year in 2010

VMTH participates in ‘Adopt-a-family’ program

Gingerbread competition heats up

Holiday Open House features festive delights

Regular features

Brian WillisUnder the Microscope
Brian Willis, COBRE Grant Administrator, Department of Anatomy & Physiology

Check it Out at the Library
“Donations for the Reitz Animal Shelter”

News Ticker

Calendar of events

New Arrivals/Recent Departures

Lifelines back issues

Hard copy version of Lifelines (printable)
Note: File is in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format.
Some documents are in PDF format.
Click here to get Acrobat Reader

Gift helps look horses in the mouth

Dr. Justin Janssen builds and gives equine portable stocks to VMTH

It is said necessity is the mother of invention. Dr. Justin Janssen saw a need and came up with his own solution.

The 1972 veterinary graduate recently designed and fabricated equine portable stocks for the Equine Field Service in the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH). The idea was originally thrown around in July between Dr. Janssen and Dr. Chris Blevins, assistant professor for the Equine Field Service.

"Thank you Dr. Janssen for your contribution towards making the equine field service progressive and safe," Dr. Blevins said.

The equine portable stocks will be used for multiple tasks including equine dental procedures, lacerations and palpations among the other tasks in which equine stocks are needed. The stocks are easily transported to farms where they can be utilized for the safety of the horse, clinicians and students involved.

“I think the portable stocks are great and are really versatile,” said Christina Maglaras, class of 2010. “It helps out on field calls when you need to put a horse in a safe and controlled environment and for any procedure that requires standing sedation. The stocks are especially helpful when we are performing dental exams. The process goes quicker for the horses so they spend less time with their heads elevated and less time in the dental speculum.”

Maglaras explained what she sees as the educational benefits of the equine portable stocks. “Of course, students also love the stocks because it means we don’t have to be the ones holding the patient's head up for a standing dental procedure,” she said. “We can let the stocks do the work and get more out of the learning experience!"

The final project was finished and painted by the Titan trailer company in early November and delivered to the VMTH just before Thanksgiving. This project could not have been done without the pride Dr. Janssen has for the K-State and the CVM. His wife, Mary and their two children, Ben and Katie, also graduated from K-State.


Dr. Blevins gives a demonstration.
Fourth-year students Jennifer Calvert, Christina Maglaras, Tiffany Hummel and Holly Beck watch Dr. Chris Blevins give a demonstration.
Dr. Justin Janssen, far right, presents his gift.
Dr. Justin Janssen, far right, presents his gift to the Equine Field Service team: (from left) Dr. Chris Blevins and fourth-year students Jon Nauss, Joshua Myers, Carly Waugh, Nicole Saucedo and Clint Seitz.

CVM faculty among K-State’s ‘most in demand’ experts

Four of K-State’s top six research newsmakers in 2009, according to K-State Media Relations, include the following CVM faculty.

Dr. Doug PowellDr. Doug Powell, associate professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology
When cases of contaminated foods or food recalls hit the headlines, Dr. Powell was frequently quoted by media. Among his numerous media hits in 2009, Dr. Powell was cited by the New York Times in three stories and by USA Today in two, as well as mentioned by a variety of media across the nation and Canada.
Dr. Kate Stenske and AllyDr. Kate Stenske, assistant professor of clinical sciences
Dr. Stenske’s research found dog owners are more likely to share germs with their pets by not washing hands rather than by sleeping with the dog or letting it lick their face. This garnered numerous media hits as did her tips on minimizing the risks of bites and bite-related infections from dogs and cats. The stories were reported in USA Today, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, U.S. News and World Reports, New Zealand Herald and UPI.
Dr. Jürgen RichtDr. Jürgen Richt, Regents Distinguished Professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology
As an internationally known expert on emerging infectious zoonotic diseases, Dr. Richt received national publicity in the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, UPI, Reuters and more.
Dr. Dan ThomsonDr. Dan Thomson, K-State’s Jones Professor of Production Medicine and Epidemiology
In 2009, research by Dr. Thomson and other colleagues at K-State and West Texas A&M University led to the first licensed vaccine against E. coli 0157 in cattle. Dr. Thomson drew numerous media hits for his work as chair of an international animal health committee to develop beef cattle production and welfare standards and was cited by media including the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle.

The other cited K-State experts were Michael Wesch, associate professor of cultural anthropology, and Phil Nel, professor of English and children’s literature expert.


Third-year student’s Cretaceous art fronts journal cover

It’s not too unusual for veterinary students to draw animals or make anatomical sketches, especially for pets like dogs or cats, but what about a Sinornithosaurus?

This was the assignment drawn by third-year student Liz Ebert, whose work will be on the cover of the upcoming issue of the journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

With fine arts and biology degrees from the University of Kansas (in 1996 and 2006, respectively), she was enlisted to help University of Kansas professors Drs. Larry Martin and David Burnham on a research project about the prehistoric raptor.

“I started illustrating for Dr. Martin (who is the curator of Vertebrate Paleontology) when I took his comparative anatomy course in 2005,” Liz said. “He was looking for an illustrator, and I thought it would be a good opportunity for me. Out of the projects I've collaborated with him on, this one originated after Dr. Martin returned from a research trip to China. I worked off of photographs of holotypes they had access to for Sinornithosaurus. Additionally, I used modern venomous reptiles and lizard specimen to compare anatomic structures to further gain a concept how the skull would work functionally. “

When the article publishes, Liz’s work will be in the story and on the cover of the PNAS journal. In addition to this project, Liz has also provided illustrations for projects on Microraptor, Longisquama, Barbourofelidae and early Castor species.

“I am already working on several illustrations for comparisons of some fossil birds of the Cretaceous period,” Liz said. “I’m able to meet with Dr. Martin over our school breaks, and we also communicate via the Internet. I can scan my work and e-mail it to him for revisions/suggestions. I usually use plastic casts of the specimen along with photographs of the actual specimen to create the illustrations and models and sometimes directly off of the actual specimen.”

After she graduates in 2011, Liz says she might also have the opportunity to travel with the team on their next trip to China and work off of specimen there.

“It’s been difficult balancing school and this work,” she said. “School work always takes precedent, but I find that drawing is a nice way for me to relax and unwind and use a different part of my brain.”


Dinosaur venom glands
Liz Ebert’s illustration of Sinornithosaurus will be on the cover of the new PNAS journal this month.
Liz Ebert, class of 2011
Liz Ebert shows one of her drawings.

Dr. Larry Bramlage gives lecture at AAEP convention

Dr. Larry Bramlage delivered the 12th annual Frank J. Milne State of the Art Lecture titled “Operative Orthopedics of the Equine Fetlock Joint — Fractures, Fragments, Failures and Fixes” Dec. 7 at the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) 55th Annual Convention in Las Vegas.

A 1975 graduate of the CVM, Dr. Bramlage is an internationally recognized orthopedic surgeon who has made groundbreaking contributions to equine surgery with his study of fracture fixation. He is a past president of the AAEP and the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

A familiar face to horse racing fans, Dr. Bramlage participates in the AAEP’s On Call program to provide veterinary expertise during media coverage of the Triple Crown and Breeders Cup races. He has received the AAEP’s Distinguished Service Award and was named a Distinguished Life Member in 2008.

Dr. Bramlage served as Equine Chairman of the A-O/ASIF Principles Course on the Fixation of Fractures from 1978 until 1990. He developed the A-O/ASIF Advanced Course on Fracture Fixation and is currently the co-chair of the course. In 1989 he joined Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., where he is now a partner.

Among his many honors include the 1997 Tierklink Hochmoor Prize for pioneering work regarding the internal fixation of fractures and the British Equine Veterinary Association's Special Award of Merit. He was awarded the Jockey Club Gold Medal in 1998 and elected as a member in 2002.

The Frank J. Milne Lecture debuted at the 1997 convention in Phoenix, Arizona. Named for AAEP past president and distinguished life member Frank J. Milne, the lecture series features “state-of-the-art” information on subjects and techniques considered important by the equine veterinary profession.

The AAEP, headquartered in Lexington, Ky., was founded in 1954 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse. Currently, the AAEP reaches more than 5 million horse owners through its nearly 10,000 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management, research and continuing education in the equine veterinary profession and horse industry.


Dr. Bramlage receives Milne Statue
Dr. Larry Bramlage, second from left, receives the Milne statue,
flanked by (l to r): Dr. David Frisbie, AAEP Educational Programs
Committee chair; Dr. Bramlage; Dr. Harry Werner,
AAEP 2009 president; and Mark Herthel of Platinum Performance,
Milne lecture sponsor.
Dr. Larry Bramlage delivers the Milne Lecture.
Dr. Larry Bramlage delivers the Milne Lecture at the 2009 AAEP Convention.
Dr. Larry Bramlage
Dr. Larry Bramlage, DVM 1975 and nationally renowned equine expert, takes care of
Thoroughbred racehorse Dollar Bill. (All photos courtesy of AAEP)

Centennial Plaza bricks ad


Rabies Lab expects active year in 2010

2009 was a very busy year for the Kansas State Rabies Laboratory. It moved in April from its long-time physical home in Mosier Hall to the K-State Research Park, all while continuing to operate as one of the highest volume serology laboratories in the world.

The Rabies Laboratory, which is part of the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, has public health responsibilities for the Midwest and meets the urgent need for rabies diagnosis for Kansas and Nebraska. When a person or domestic animal is potentially exposed to rabies, animals suspected of rabies are sent in for brain testing by the direct fluorescent antibody technique.

In 2009, the Rabies Laboratory diagnosed 78 rabid animals out of 1,312 tested (6 percent) from Kansas and 78 rabid animals out of 992 tested (8 percent) from Nebraska. Compare that with 2008 when there were 67 rabid animals out of 1,261 (5.3 percent) for Kansas and 34 rabid animals out of 983 (3.5 percent) from Nebraska.

“A negative diagnosis can be as important as a positive diagnosis by ruling out the need for post-exposure prophylaxis (a series of five vaccinations and a dose of human rabies immune globulin to prevent rabies) for humans and proper management of domestic animals which may have been exposed to these animals,” said Dr. Cathleen Hanlon, director of the Rabies Laboratory. “A positive diagnosis requires an urgent public health investigation and medical care for all potentially exposed persons, as well as an examination and rabies booster vaccination of currently vaccinated pets and livestock.”

If an animal is exposed to rabies and is outdated on its rabies shots or unvaccinated, the recommendation is euthanasia or a six-month quarantine to prevent the development of rabies, as the animal is at risk for developing rabies from this exposure during this period of time.

Rabies is caused by a variety of viruses called variants or strains, which are perpetuated animal-to-animal among a single reservoir species. There is substantial “spill-over” to other species including domestic animals and even humans. Rabies in skunks is enzootic (constantly present in the animal population) in much of the Midwest. The South-Central skunk rabies virus variant occurs throughout Kansas and the North-Central skunk rabies virus variant occurs in Nebraska and further north and to the east and south of Kansas. Numerous rabies virus variants are present in insectivorous bats throughout the United States and, some of these variants, such as one associated with big brown bats and another associated with the hoary bat, are routinely found among samples submitted to the Rabies Laboratory.

“All mammals are susceptible to rabies, although in varying degrees,” Dr. Hanlon said. “As such, the laboratory tests a wide variety of animals - around 30 different species each year. Even though the greatest source and intensity of rabies in the Midwest occurs among skunks and bats, domestic animals represent the majority of animals submitted for rabies testing.”

A bite exposure to a human prompts the submission of about 50 percent of all animals tested. The cat is the leading domestic animal with rabies in the United States. In the Midwest, cats get rabies primarily from exposures to skunks or bats, while on the East Coast, the source is primarily from raccoons.

Each year, the Rabies Laboratory determines the level of rabies antibodies as a measure of vaccination and immunity in about 15,000 human sera and over 40,000 samples from pets and other animals usually in preparation to move these animals to rabies-free areas, such as Hawaii, Japan, the UK and other places.

In 2010, the Rabies Laboratory looks forward to meeting the Midwest’s needs for rabies diagnosis, epizootiology, prevention, and research, as well as continuing its expert role in the measurement of rabies immunity for the global community.

For more information visit the rabies laboratory Web site at:


K-State Research park
The new location of the Kansas Rabies Laboratory at K-State Research Park.
Celine Jirron-Corrales preparing dilutions of sera for a rabies antibody assay.
Celine Jirron-Corrales preparing dilutions of sera for a rabies antibody assay.
Dale Claassen with antibodies.
Dr. Dale Claassen preparing for an ELISA-based assay for rabies antibodies.

VMTH participates in ‘Adopt-a-family’ program

VMTH staff gather up Adopt-A-Family donations.
The Hospital Management Team gathers up presents for a family they adopted through the Flint Hills Breadbasket Adopt-A-Family program. Pictured from left to right is Harry Williamson, Kelly Jones, Robyn Dreher, Marsha Roblyer and Dr. Eugene DeDonder. Human Resources Assistant Christina George reported that contributions this year were outstanding! The ‘truckload’ of packages were delivered to the Breadbasket prior to the week of Christmas.

Gingerbread competition heats up

Cold weather failed to dampen spirits at the annual Gingerbread house competition. One entry used questionable enticements to sway the judges’ votes while another entry was measured as too big to qualify, while protests were lodged.

Gingerbread consultation.
A serious consultation may be needed for the Food Animal entry.
Tale of the tape.
The judge measures to see if entries are qualified.
Judges' prizes.
The Library entry included some edible and non-edible items.
Emergency gingerbread office.
Let's guess which maladies are affecting Santa's reindeer in the Internal Medicine entry.


Ice Cream goes good with Gingerbread.
Spectators enjoy ice cream while hearing the an explanation of how one entry was put together.

Holiday Open House features festive delights

The collective offices of the Dean, Business, Alumni and Development and VM Library hosted its annual open house in December. Below are some pictures of the festivities.

Yummy, Chex Mix!
Chex mix inspires awes from guests!
Clinical students take a break.
The Open House provide a nice break for clinical students.
Santa's little screensaver
A holiday screensaver helps provide ambience.
A happy variety of Chex mix.
Each variety of treats brings a smile.
Holiday Open House cookie trays
Co-workers share a laugh at the Open House.


Under the Microscope

Brian Willis, COBRE Grant Administrator,
Department of Anatomy & Physiology

Brian Willis

Place of Birth: Chanute, Kan.

Family Information: Cydney, wife, and Matthew, son.

Pets: Domino, the Miniature Schnauzer that runs our house.

What's a favorite regular activity? I play golf when I can, and work out on the treadmill and weights regularly.

What's something unusual you’ve learned in your job with the veterinary college? Wow, everything. The projects that the COBRE supports are incredibly interesting and absolutely mind-boggling. It is very exciting to be associated with people working to alleviate humanity's problems with hearing disorders, drug transfer to babies, tick-borne and mosquito-borne diseases, infertility, thyroid and eye ailments, E. coli, cancer and so on.

Do you prefer more snow or less snow? Less snow. I walk to work every day and the snow, although beautiful, can be a bit treacherous. I fell down a couple years ago and broke two ribs, thought I was going to die right there. That wasn't fun at all.

You mentioned working with missiles in the Air Force. How did you get involved with that type of work? I was on missile combat crew in the Air Force where I spent five years monitoring operational Minuteman ICBMs in Wyoming. That qualified me for a program that test launches ICBMs off the coast of California. The tests provide accuracy and reliability information that is then applied to the operational systems fielded in Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota. Eventually I ended up helping develop the Titan IV and Delta V rockets that are now putting satellites into orbit.

Under the Microscope logoWhat’s your best memory from when you were a student at K-State? Of course going to school with my future wife was very special. Other than that, we were Big 8 champions in basketball both years I was at K-State and beating KU in Ahearn Field House was about as good as it gets.

Who is your biggest influence in life? My faith comes first, then comes my mother. My mother was as incredible a person as I have ever known. She taught me the difference between right and wrong and wants and needs. She also taught me to never stop learning, to grow intellectually as well as in experience.

Name a guilty pleasure you can’t resist: My biggest downfall, just out of the oven chocolate chip cookies. When Cydney makes a batch, I will take the first dozen or so right off the newspaper with a glass of milk and enjoy. The aroma is like a bell to Pavlov's dog, I start salivating and soon as I smell those cookies.



Check it Out at the Library

“Donations for the Reitz Animal Shelter”

by Carol Elmore

The year-end holidays are always a fun time at the Veterinary Medical Library. The library gets decorated and we share our special popcorn at the annual open house. One event that we have been doing for several years is gathering supplies for the T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter in Manhattan. We place these items under our library tree and then take them to the shelter. While we are there, we always look in on all of the animals that are awaiting adoption. Angela and her special adopted dog, Dayz, graciously accepted our donations this year. She told us that the new cat shelter area is progressing. The concrete has been poured and covered with a solar blanket and is awaiting warmer days so that the work can continue. All the cats at the shelter are housed in temporary quarters and really need to have a more permanent area.

Library staff with donations collected.
Cindy Logan, Susie Larson, Gina Scott, Hava Nauss, Dave Adams, Mary Girard and Carol Elmore collect the animal shelter donations from the library tree.
Making the delivery to the T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter
Dayz and Angela, a worker at the T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter, cheerfully accept supplies from library staff Mary
Girard, Carol Elmore, Cindy Logan and Hava Nauss.


For people who are interested in shelter medicine, we do have back issues of the journal, Shelter Veterinarian, published by the Association of Animal Shelter Veterinarians. We also have books on shelter medicine such as Shelter Medicine for Veterinarians and Staff (call number SF745 .S46 2004), edited by Lila Miller who is a shelter veterinarian in New York. We also have several books on adopting shelter animals such as "Successful Dog Adoption" (call number SF427 .S85 2003) by Sue Sternberg and "Rescue Me!" (call number SF427 .M4736 2007) by Bardi McLennan. Our online catalog has other available books under the subject heading, animal shelters. Remember if you need help in locating these items or any other requests please ask one of us at the library to assist you.

Please visit the Veterinary Medical Library Web site: for help on this and other subjects.



News Ticker

Kester News Hours, Dr. Bonnie Rush, far right

Dr. Bonnie Rush, DVM, MS, Dipl, ACVIM and far right in the above picture, was involved in the Kester News Hour for the American Association of Equine Practitioners convention in Las Vegas Dec. 6. The panel also included Dr. Margo MacPherson, DVM, MS, Dipl, ACT and Dr. Scott Palmer, VMD, Dipl. ABVP.

Dr. Dan Thomson has been asked to serve on the Animal Health Board for American Farm Bureau. There are eight people selected to this office. It meets in San Antonio this year and Washington D.C. next year. Dr. Thomson also presented at the Russell Ag Expo on Dec 2 on the topic, " Raising Beef for a First World Country." He presented at the Kansas Livestock Association Convention Dec. 3 on "International Perspectives on Beef Cattle Welfare," and at the Nebraska Cattlemen's Convention on Dec. 8 on "Economic implications of animal welfare on the U.S. Beef Industry."

The Second Annual Small Ruminant Conference was held at the CVM on Dec. 11. This conference provided state-of-the-art information regarding nutrition, reproduction, medicine and surgery of sheep and goats. Dr. Brian Feris of the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry in the College of Agriculture presented fascinating information regarding the rapidly expanding meat goat industry in the USA and Kansas. Drs. Shelie Laflin, Meredyth Jones, Matt Miesner and David Anderson from the Department of Clinical Sciences presented current issues and concerns regarding health care of sheep and goats. These presentations will be offered as on-line CE credits for veterinarians through VMCE in early 2010 index.htm.

Dr. Shelie Laflin passed the examination and all credentialing requirements to become a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners.

Clinical Sciences finalized an agreement with Ross University to train nine fourth-year students per year at $324,000 per year, annually renewable, effective May 2010.

Dr. Jerry Diemer, DVM 1970, retired in December after 22 years with the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. He was the associate regional director of Veterinary Services in the Western Region.

Dr. Howard Erickson reports the loss of two classmates from the class of 1959. Dr. Sam Strahm, Pawhuska, Okla., passed away Dec.17. He was a mixed practitioner for 48 years, specializing in horses, cattle, bison, and elk and later small animals, and had been president of the Oklahoma VMA in 1980-1981and president of the AVMA in 1989-1990. Dr. Strahm was the recipient of the CVM's Distinguished Alumni Award in 1994. Dr. Curtis McCauley, Emporia, passed away Dec. 19. Dr. McCauley was in private practice for eight years, then served 20 years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, from which he retired. He served three years on active duty in the U.S. Air Force. He served 37 years in the Air National Guard, including 15 years in the veterinary service. When he retired, he held the rank of Lt. Colonel.



Calendar of events

Jan. 23: Canine Care Workshop, Frick Auditorium- Mosier Hall*
For the Pet Breeder: This workshop is designed to assist and educate pet breeders in expanding their knowledge or raising,breeding and maintaining top quality pets.
For the Veterinarian: This session will provide guidance and information for attending veterinarians regarding common kennel issues and Animal Welfare Act requirements for the provision of adequate veterinary care.
For additional information regarding the 2010 Canine Care Workshop, visit

Jan. 30: SCAAEP Winter Conference on Equine Laminitis, location TBA*
To provide the equine professional with a contemporary, comprehensive understanding of the development and management of equine laminitis.
For additional information regarding the 2010 Equine Laminitis Conference, visit

Feb. 27: Small Animal Emergency Medicine Conference , location TBA*

April 16, Kind Hearts, Caring Hands and White Coat Ceremony, Trotter Hall, Frick Auditoriu, Mosier Hall and KSU Ballrooms, Student Union.

* More information about all Veterinary Medical Continuing Education events can be found at the VMCE Web site.


New Arrivals/Recent Departures

Welcome to:

Justina Vanderlinde - VMTH

Thanks and goodbye to:

Stephanie Wiggle - DMP


Lifelines is published each month by the Development and Alumni Affairs Office at the College of Veterinary Medicine.
The editor is Joe Montgomery,