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Kansas State University


The official newsletter of the College of Veterinary Medicine

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November 2011 - Vol. 6, No. 11

Top Stories

Max - Great DaneFacebook Friends to the Max

Great Dane inspires passion and support from Facebook community.
How did they respond?

Bred for success

Genetic modification technique in rats offers more ways to study diseases.
What is a chimeric pup?

One in a 150

State of Kansas names Dr. Elizabeth Davis to prestigious list.
Who is on this list and why?

NC State names K-State CVM professor as distinguish alum

CVM recognizes new class of Early Admit Scholars

Miss America set to deliver Upson Lecture

CVM pets and children go trick-or-treating for Halloween

Third-year student takes research trip to Plum Island


Regular features

Ryan EngelUnder the Microscope
Ryan Engel, Radiology Technician Supervisor, VMTH

Check it Out at the Library
Cooking for Dogs and Cats

News Ticker

Calendar of events

New Arrivals/Recent Departures

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Facebook friends to the Max

Great Dane inspires passion and support amidst medical ordeal

“People can see that we're into dogs. It's easy to see that we are strong and assertive as we mosey about with our giants. We show our generosity and patience with the myriad of questions and silly 'jokes' we endure. But People don't know when they look with green eyes at us with our Great Danes just how BRAVE one must be to love and lose and LOVE another Great Dane knowing the inevitable will come again. Melissa, and family — we see how brave you are.”
- Facebook post in “The Dane Yard” group, by Carrie Baj Armitage


Three weeks ago, Melissa noticed something different about Max, her 6-year-old Great Dane. He was being a little clumsy. While this breed of dog is known for being awkward and clumsy, this was different. He was walking very slowly and bumping directly into things he would normally avoid.

Melissa’s husband, Jon, noticed Max was picking up his front paws and was dragging his back left leg.

The Pohlmanns, who live in Lincoln, Neb., took Max to the Animal Care Clinic, run by K-State alumni Dr. L.R. Buller, DVM 1977, and Dr. K.J. Anderson, DVM 1991. A mass was discovered and Max was declared blind. Max had suffered a stroke and his condition required advanced care, so he was referred to K-State’s Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.

Shortly before his visit to K-State, a message was posted by “Tank Great Dane” at the College of Veterinary Medicine Facebook page:

“You guys please keep taking good care of our friend Melissa Meinecke Pohlmann's MAX the Great!”

The college Facebook page has received messages from grateful clients before, but this was the first post from a sympathetic friend — in this case, the friend was a dog who had a page created by his human family. This comment was followed in the next couple of days by other comments posted by Great Dane owners who were members of a Facebook group called “The Dane Yard.” Max was known in this group because Melissa had joined it about a year ago.

“It’s a good place to post pictures of our dogs and to comment about the other Great Danes that other members have,” Melissa explained.

The Pohlmanns have another Great Dane named Oscar and a half-lab, half-Dane named Yankee. Little did Melissa realize she had made friends with an extraordinarily compassionate and caring group of people in the Dane Yard. More and more messages of care and support were posted at the college Facebook page prior to and during Max’s visit to the teaching hospital. The bond between humans and animals is significant — for Great Dane owners, that bond is very strong and tight-knit — worldwide. Comments have been posted from Lincoln to Kansas City to London and Australia.

Yet, this was not the only way the Dane Yard showed its compassion. Several members have called the college to ask about Max and/or started giving money to help pay Max’s medical expenses — all by people who had not met the Pohlmanns in person; who had never had the joy of being with Max as the Pohlmanns have had. In all, 38 donations were made for a total of $1,160 on Max’s behalf.

“It’s overwhelming,” Jon Pohlmann said. “We never asked for donations —never mentioned it. The way people have responded has been a complete surprise.”

“The lady who organized the Dane Yard — I didn’t even know her real name until a few days ago,” Melissa said. “She started suggesting donations. We are just very overwhelmed and appreciate all the support for our Max.”

“Melissa is a wonderful woman, and well, Max is a wonderful Dane,” said Marie Pickard, the creator and administrator of the Dane Yard, who goes by the username Spyder. “We've all been there, and realize that we will be again someday. The Dane Yard wanted to help because we had hope and love one another. Even though the prognosis is not good for Max, we do not regret helping him and Melissa. We are heartbroken, and continue to be moral support to Melissa. Max is not just a dog, he is a Dane and there is something special about Danes.”

"I wish I could've done more because the feeling of helping helped me a lot," Carrie Baj Armitage, Dane Yard member, posted on Facebook.

Max was diagnosed as having a retrobulbar mass (sarcoma) behind his left eye with infiltration into the left nasal cavity and skull. A CT was performed and revealed a large soft tissue mass behind the left orbit that involves the left nasal cavity and extends into the central nervous system. A fine needle aspirate of the mass was consistent with sarcoma.

“Given the extensive and aggressive nature of this neoplasm, it is unlikely that surgical or medical treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation will benefit Max,” said Dr. Sara Fritz, small animal medicine and surgery intern. “However, pain medication was available to make Max more comfortable. We also suggested feeding Max canned food or moistened dry food at home because this would decrease the amount of jaw pain associated with eating.”

At this point, Max is home in Lincoln while Melissa and Jon monitor his health from day to day and try to help him be as comfortable as possible.

“Max is having good days and bad days,” Melissa said. “He still enjoys his walks and eating his meals.”

While his future is uncertain, his support system is not. He is loved by his family in Lincoln — and his Facebook family in The Dane Yard.

CVM Facebook page:

The Dane Yard on Facebook:


Max the Great Dane.
Max, a Great Dane, lost his vision after suffering a stroke. On his visit to the K-State Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, he was aided by many of his Facebook "friends" at the "Dane Yard."
Melissa Pohlmann and her Great Dane, Max.
Melissa Pohlmann walks Max in front of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. She brought Max after he suffered a stroke at their home in Lincoln, Neb., through a referral from a clinic run by K-State alumni Dr. L.R. Buller, DVM 1977, and Dr. K.J. Anderson, DVM 1991.
Fourthe-year student Kelly Martin and Max.
Fourth-year student Kelly Martin works with Max at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.


Video Feature

Bred for Success

Genetic modification technique in rats offers more ways to study diseases.

In science, sometimes big developments come in small packages.

Recently, K-State researchers in the veterinary college learned how to breed rats with missing, added or altered genes for studying different medical conditions.

Dr. Mark Weiss and his laboratory have perfected a technique using embryonic stem cells to introduce targeted genetic modifications to rats.

Watch the video for the full story. To learn more about stem cell research at K-State, visit:


Chimeric rat
Chimeric rats are produced through a new genetic modification technique in Dr. Mark Weiss' laboratory. These rats will make it possible to study certain diseases based on specific genetic traits.

Video produced by Joseph Chapes and Kent Nelson, technology coordinators from
Computing and Technical Support (CATS).




Dr. Elizabeth Davis: One of 150 top scientists in Kansas

  Dr. Elizabeth Davis  
Dr. Elizabeth Davis

When it comes to being “healthy as a horse,” one need only think about the work of Dr. Elizabeth Davis.

An associate professor of clinical sciences and section head of equine medicine and surgery at Kansas State University,

Dr. Davis researches equine health and ways to improve it. Recently the Ad Astra Kansas Initiative named her as one of the top 150 scientists to operate in Kansas within the past 150 years.

Despite that saying about a horse’s health, the animal is actually prone to viruses and illness. Dr. Davis hopes to curb that by investigating the immunologic, neurologic, respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases that affect the horses.

In her studies Dr. Davis has investigated antimicrobial proteins as well as mechanisms that allow immunizations to protect horses from infection. These findings are expected to improve the overall understanding of warding off infectious disease as well as enhance vaccine protocols combating these diseases.

Currently she’s researching how vaccines affect horses on a cellular level.

Throughout the year Ad Astra is spotlighting Kansas researchers, inventors and engineers from the past to the present who have advanced their field. Dr. Davis is the 13th active faculty member at K-State to be named a top scientist in the project, “Science in Kansas: 150 Years and Counting,” which celebrates the state’s sesquicentennial. It is meant to emphasize the importance of science and the career possibilities in research and innovation to K-12 students. She joins other historically noted Kansas researchers on the list including George Washington Carver, Charles H. Sternberg, Clyde Cessna and Clyde Tombaugh, as well as Dr. T.G. Nagaraja from the CVM's Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology.




NC State names K-State CVM prof as distinguished alum

  Dr. David Anderson  
Dr. David Anderson

Congratulations to Dr. David Anderson, professor and head of Agricultural Practices at the CVM. He was recently chosen by his alma mater, North Carolina State University for its Distinguished Alumnus. Dr. Anderson is a member of the NC State class of 1990. He was raised in North Carolina in the small farming town of Oak Ridge and earned a bachelor's degree in animal science from NC State in 1988 and his DVM in 1990. Following graduation, Dr. Anderson completed a rotating internship in large animal medicine and surgery at the University of Georgia in 1991 and a residency in food animal medicine, surgery, and reproduction at K-State in 1994.

While at Kansas State University, Dr. Anderson has earned a master's degree in clinical sciences focusing on bone physiology and fracture repair. He became board certified as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1995; regional director of the American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners; and a large animal regent on the Board of Regents of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Dr. Anderson was the founding director of the International Camelid Institute based in the College of Veterinary Medicine at The Ohio State University.

Recently, Dr. Anderson founded the International Academy of Farm Animal Surgeons and is the current director of that organization. Dr. Anderson has a robust research program focusing on surgery of food animals, and his Ruminant Models Laboratory has a special emphasis on translational models for human research, ruminant surgery, assessment and alleviation of pain, and lameness.



CVM recognizes new class of Early Admit Scholars

Early Admit Scholars
Congratulations to the 2011 Early Admissions Scholars! Pictured left to right, first row: Christa Curtiss, Lauren Jarnigan, Kathleen Flanagan, Karsen Brown, Hayley Chauvin, Alyssa Fink, Bayli Endicott and Megan McLaughlin. Second row: Katherine Kramer, Amanda McGuire, Keely Penna, Shelbie Martel, Kelly Nyffeler, Kelsey Madden, Anne Clark and Jessica Eisenbarth. Third row: Jordan Pieschl, Jacob Beck, Brett Wheeler, Chase Miller, Rickey Deo, Sara Alves and Mckenzie Gee. Not pictured: Chelsea Porter.



Miss America set to deliver Upson Lecture

Teresa Scanlan, Miss America 2011, will discuss the importance of agriculture and food security to the nation in the next lecture in the Upson Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, in McCain Auditorium at Kansas State University. The lecture is free and open to the public, but donations of nonperishable food items for the Flint Hills Breadbasket are encouraged.

Raised in Gering, Neb., Scanlan has strong ties to production agriculture. Since being crowned Miss America in January, she has initiated partnerships with The hand That Feeds U.S. and other agriculture groups to help spread the positive message about food production in the U.S. She recently filmed a Food Day video, where she discusses how every day is food day for America's farmers and ranchers. The video is available at

The lecture is sponsored by Food For Thought, a grass-roots group of K-State students and young alumni who strive to bridge the gap between consumers and production agriculture. More information about Food for Thought is available at; on Twitter,; or on Facebook.






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CVM pets and children go trick-or-treating for Halloween

Halloween brings out the creative side in both people and pets. Several pictures were submitted in this gallery by CVM faculty, staff and students.

Leena Reddy Ganta
"This is a healthy puppy," declares Leena Reddy Ganta. (Photo submitted by her mother, Lalitha Peddireddi, research assistant professor in DM/P.)

Buddy the elf
Buddy the beagle's costume as an elf can be used for Halloween or Christmas. (Submitted by Jennifer Gih, class of 2013.)

Molly Gurtner
Molly sports a fine pumpkin hat. (Submitted by Kasandra Gurtner, class of 2012.)

Nathaniel, Charlie and Tedy.
Not to be confused with Nathaniel the kid, but Nathaniel (18 months old) the green dino is spending some quality time with his canine friends: Kansas City Royals fan Charlie and K-State fan Tedy. (Submitted by Maura Drake, class of 2015.)

Kellie and Cricket
Staying true to her name, Cricket the kitten dressed up as a cricket. (Submitted by Kellie Lewis, class of 2014.)

Erin Li in the meadow
Little Erin Li, 14 months old, takes her role-playing serious as a cow in in a meadow (actually, the yard by Coles Hall). Submitted by xiangdong Li, Ph.D. student in Department of Anatomy and Physiology.

Piper the poodle and pumpkins
Piper the poodle poses with pumpkins. (Submitted by Rhiannon Harris, class of 2012.)
Anderson, Lubbers, Bear, Linden and Miesner group photo
All the boys and ghouls are ready to go! Left to right (standing): Ann Beard, BreAnn Miesner, Olivia Lubbers, Jacob Anderson and Brock Lubbers. Sitting: Erin Linden, Evie Linden, John Anderson and Owen Miesner. (Submitted by Dr. Lane Anderson, A&P.)

Clara Blevins
All ready for trick-or-treating, Clara goes as a pink poodle. (Submitted by Dr. Lindsey Blevins, Clinical Sciences.)

Josh and Payton Owensby
Josh and Payton react to the news that they'll still have to do homework after trick-or-treating. (Submitted by James Owensby, procurement office in the VMTH).

Pinky and JD
Big pumpkin or little pumpkin? Pinky and JD are ready for treats. (Submitted by Maggie Berge, class of 2015.)

Amy, Josh and Chase Brusk
Josh sits on Mom's lap (Amy Brusk, grants specialist) and becomes a veterinarian for Halloween. His first patient is Chase the German shepherd.

Ryan Engel and Sterling the Shrimp
Chef Ryan Engel (in this month's "Under the Microscope") pulls a little shrimp out of the pot. Ryan's son Sterling is dressed as the shrimp.


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Third-year student takes research trip to Plum Island

Third-year student Darla Dwyer with student research group in Ithaca, N.Y.
The group takes a break in front of a waterfall outside of Ithaca, N.Y. Darla Dwyer, second-year student is located in the second row, fifth from the left.


This past summer Darla Dwyer, third-year student, had the chance to participate in the Smith-Kilborne program sponsored by the USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The program is designed to expose veterinary students to various foreign animal diseases that could potentially threaten the domestic animal population. The program includes both presentations on animal disease and their implications combined with laboratory experiences. The program occurs at two locations, Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and the Plum Island Animal Disease Center.

“I honestly enjoyed everything, it was an awesome experience,” Darla said. “To pick a couple of high points, I really enjoyed getting to know everyone from the other schools as well as all of the people who put the program together. They were all really wonderful. It was also neat to see some of the diseases firsthand. There were four different ones we were able to see.”

The program lasts about a week, but the experiences last much longer. Darla said she felt that the program helped her out professionally.

“This program is definitely something I consider important for me as career training,” she said. “Hopefully that was the first and last time I see those diseases firsthand, but it’s really valuable to have actually seen them myself once already. The hands-on things and the way they had us go through the situations really gave me a better idea of how the government and world-scale sides of things works and how to work with them.”



Under the Microscope

Ryan Engel, Radiology Technician Supervisor, VMTH


Ryan Engel Hometown: I was born in Oklahoma City, but moved to Topeka when I was 6 — so I claim both.

Family Information: My beautiful wife, Courtney, and newborn son, Sterling

Pets: I don't have any at the moment, but I want a cattle dog that can catch a frisbee or a Rhodesian ridgeback

Do you have any special Thanksgiving traditions? Dallas Cowboys football!

What is something that you are thankful for? I'm thankful that my 2 1/2 month old kid is so well-tempered.

If you could visit another time period, what one would you choose? It would have to be the Middle Ages, as long as I wasn't a peasant, because castles are awesome, but I wouldn't want to have to clean one.

What is something that you enjoy doing in your free time? Going to concerts and riding my mountain bike.

What do you feel is the most rewarding aspect of working at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital? The fact that the students will use what I taught them in practice someday is very rewarding.

Where's the farthest you have traveled from Manhattan? I lived in Wonju, South Korea, for two years while I was in the Army and it was amazing!

Who is someone you look up to? My mom for all the sacrifices she has made for me over the years



Check it Out at the Library

Cooking for Dogs and Cats

by Carol Elmore

Carol Elmore Eating the same food every day can become dull and monotonous. That is why many people like to prepare special meals and treats for their dogs and cats as well as for themselves. Cooking for pets is not hard, but should be done correctly to provide the animals with proper nutrition. The Veterinary Medical Library has a number of books on this topic.

Since treats are something that most pets appreciate, we have several recipe books that feature healthy dog treats such as “Cooking the Three Dog Bakery Way” (SF427.4 .B424 2005), “The Ultimate Dog Treat Cookbook” (SF427.4 .P37 2005) or “Doggy Desserts” (SF427.4 .G5292 2007). If cat treats are needed, then recipes for them can be found in “No Catnapping in the Kitchen” (SF447.6 .R44 1996). “The Whole Pet Diet” (SF427.4 .B75 2006) lists some no cook treats that can be used with dogs and cats as well as featuring recipes for both dog and cat treats.

We also have several books that discuss natural food options such as “Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs” (SF427.4 .O57 2010), “Natural Food Recipes for Healthy Dogs” (SF427.4 .B69 1997), and “Natural Nutrition for Cats” (SF447.6 .S38 2008). Some other books that include natural cooking for both dogs and cats are “The Natural Pet Food Cookbooks” (SF427.4 .R43 2008) and “Pet Food Nation” (SF427.4 .W46 2007).

We also have specialized diet books such as “Pudgy Pooch, Picky Pooch” (SF427.4 .S56 1998), “Fat Cat Thin” (SF447.6 .A43 2007), and “Fat Cat, Finicky Cat” (SF 447.6 .D38 1997) that provide options for weight control. In addition to the above books we also have many others related to cooking and recipes for pets. One of our more unusual and interesting books, “The Growling Gourmet” (SF427.4 .G76), is a compilation of photographs of celebrities in the 1970s with their dogs and a listing of what they liked to feed their dogs. Phyllis Diller claims that one of her dogs liked “egg foo old, Chinese pork and fortune cookies” and also “baloney and salami.” Although some of the diet descriptions are not necessarily healthy ones, they are certainly fun to read.

There are also several electronic pet cookbooks listed in our online catalog. “Natural Pet Food Cookbook: Healthful Recipes for Dogs and Cats” (SF427.4 .R43 2008eb) and “Ultimate Cat Treat Cookbook: Homemade Goodies for Finicky Felines” (SF447.6 .P36 2006eb) are both available as electronic books. I have prepared a list of books on Cooking for Dogs and Cats that is available at: under October.

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



News Ticker

Pheasant groupThe 2011 Samuel Kelsall III Memorial Hunt occurred on Oct. 10 at Ringneck Ranch in Tipton, Kan. Every year a select amount of invites are sent out and participants are selected on a first-come, first-serve basis. Participants enjoyed trap shooting, country gourmet meals, a guided hunt and a chance to win a shotgun. Pictured left to right: Ranch guide John Peckham, Kevin Payne, Dr. Mike Christensen, DVM 1984, Sam Kelsall IV and Dean Ralph Richardson.

American Royal Association selects five CVM students for scholarships

Congratulations to fourth-year students Shayla Sorenson, Theresa Lamontagne, Julia Roque, Whitney Revell and Rochelle Reddig for being selected to each received a $1,500 American Royal Association scholarship. The five students were housed in Kansas City while working with the official veterinarian for the Kansas City American Royal, Dr. Bud Hertzog. Some of the students were there for as much as a couple of weeks.

Shayla Sorenson examines a goat.
Shayla Sorenson examines a goat under that watchful eye of its owner.
Whitney and Shayla with Janis Rowell.
Whitney Revell and Shayla Sorenson take a quick break while working with Janis Rowell, the American Royal's official veterinary assistant.
Whitney Revell and Rochelle Reddig
Whitney Revell and Rochelle Reddig were two of five fourth-year veterinary students at K-State to receive $1,500 scholarships from the American Royal.
American Royal veterinary scholars sign.
Veterinary students from both K-State and the University of Missouri participate in the veterinary services at the American Royal.



Volleyball team represents CVM

CVM volleyball teams

Two teams made up primarily of College of Veterinary Medicine folks played for the division championship on Nov. 3 in Manhattan city league volleyball. Mission Unblockable defeated the Salty Sows for the championship. CVM folks who played in the championship included Drs. Cameon Childers, Dr. Jennifer Akers, fourth-year student Kasandra Gurtner, Drs. Gretchen Grissett, Lindsey Blevins, Laura Armbrust, Meredyth Jones, Sara McReynolds, Sonya Wesselowski and Amanda Beck. Dr. Jane Ashley Stuckey attended and cheered her team to victory. Congratulations to all!





Calendar of events

General events

Tues., Nov. 15 - Upson Lecture Series, Teresa Scanlan, Miss America 2011 will speak, McCain Aud., 7 p.m. Topic will be about food production in the U.S.


Cat Town - munch and mingle at Bill Snyder Family Stadium

Join us at Cat Town at these upcoming games. Meals are served two hours prior to kick off. The College of Veterinary Medicine tent will be located in Cat Town between Frank Myers Field and Bramlage Coliseum.

Sat., Nov. 12 - Texas A&M, kickoff time TBA

Sat., Dec. 3 - Iowa State, kickoff at 11:30 a.m., Cat Town at 9:30 a.m.


Continuing Education events

Dec. 9 - Small Ruminant Conference*
Jan. 6 - Bull Evaluation and Management Clinic*

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


A&P Seminar Series

Seminars start at 3:30P.M. in the Mara Conference Center, 4th Floor, Trotter Hall

Nov. 14: Dr. Barbara Ehrlich, Yale University

Nov. 21: No Seminar-Student Holiday

Nov. 28: Dr. Nelson Horseman, University of Cincinnati

Dec. 5: Sivasai Balivada, KSU


DM/P Seminar Series

Seminars start at 3:30P.M. in the Mara Conference Center, 4th Floor, Trotter Hall

Nov. 10: Dr. Govindan Vediyappan, Division of Biology, KSU

Nov. 17: Dr. Stella Y. Lee, Division of Biology, KSU

Dec. 1: Dr. Revathi Govindan, Division of Biology, KSU

Dec. 8: Dr. Wenjun Ma, DM/P, KSU

Dec. 15: Dr. Robert J. Miller, USDA ARS Cattle Fever Tick Research Laboratory, Edinburg, Texas



New Arrivals/Recent Departures

Welcome to:

Janel Koons, Administrative Assistant - Dean's Office
Amy Jo Beckley, Assistant Scientist - A&P

Thanks and Goodbye to:

Muneharu Yamazaki, Post Doctoral Fellow - A&P
Emily Olson, Medical Resident - VMTH
Barbara Barkdoll, Administrative Assistant/Retired - KSVDL
Carl Myers , Medical Resident, DM/P


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