Questions? Comments?


Never underestimate the.... what?

Katherine Baldwin, Western University

Foot in Mouth Disease


     As first year vet students on clinical rotations, there are many things that you are not very comfortable doing.  When asked to express the anal glands on a tiny Chihuahua while never having done it before, it is understandable why some students would have hesitated.  The supervising clinician offered some unforgettable words of comfort and encouragement when he said, “It will be OK - never underestimate the elasticity of the anal sphincter.” 


Pou Sante

Sarah Colmer, UPenn

Experiences, Honorable Mention

         It was June of 2014 and the small propeller plane being masterfully guided through scenic mountains and amidst the borders of sparking Caribbean coast contained 13 veterinary students from the University of Pennsylvania, myself included, and one veterinarian from England. We are part of an organization known as Pou Sante: Amar Haiti – translating from Haitian Creole to mean “for health,” and the health of the livestock and farmers is our focus. After fundraising during the year through school events and the generous hearts of donors, we made our trek to Thibeau, a small Haitian village which would be our headquarters for veterinary work for two weeks. We noted the stunning natural beauty of the landscape from our position in the clouds, curious as to the variety of animals and people alike that we would come across on the beautiful island below us. Our plane landed gracefully in the blaring sun on the tarmac lined with looming palm trees. It was a beautiful setting in which to accomplish our goals.

Our journey had two main focuses: one was a mobile clinic to take care of the immediate needs of local farmers. We went to three different villages and held six days of clinics where people came form far and wide with their cattle, goats, horses, dogs, cats and pigs in tow. We would start our morning in a schoolyard-turned-hospital at 8 AM to the cacophonous sounds of mooing, bleating, barking and whinnying. We opened our gate to a long line of conscientious villagers who understood the importance of the health of their animals and wanted to learn how they could improve their own farming and veterinary techniques. We provided full physical exams, vaccinations, treatment for internal and external parasites, and assessed pregnancies. We dispensed advice with the help of a phenomenal translator, conducted interviews about farming practices, and chatted and laughed with the farmers and their children.

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The Cake Baker

Mélissa De Lombaert, University of Wisconsin

Creative Corner


We love all types of entries here at the Creative Corner!!


Farm Cake

Pirate Ship


The Painted Dogs of Africa

Sarah Bonnar, UC Davis

Experiences, Honorable Mention

SAVMA's IVEC Individual Scholarship Winner


Painted Dog Research Website


      The painted dogs of Africa are strange and fascinating animals. Classified as Lycaon pictus, they are the only surviving members of the Lycaon genus; their behavior, biology, and physiology is unique among extant canid species. I’ve been captivated by the struggle of this beautiful and reclusive endangered species since I was a child, and this summer—with help from SAVMA’s IVEC Individual Scholarship, and the U.C. Davis ICC Travel Grant, without which this trip would not have been possible—I had the opportunity to spend a month working for the Painted dog Research Trust in Zimbabwe. My internship was hosted and guided by Dr. Gregory Rasmussen, the founder of the longest-running research project on Painted dogs in Zimbabwe.


As a PDRT Research Intern, I was responsible for aiding in tracking, pack monitoring, fecal sampling, and darting operations. One of the most exciting parts of the trip was when I had the opportunity to aid in the location of an entirely new pack of Painted dogs in the Fuller Forest area of Zimbabwe; this type of wildlife work was entirely new to me, and the opportunity to contribute to such an important and delicate operation was amazing, both in how it contributed to my professional education and goals, and in the personal impact working hands-on with the dogs had upon me.


We spent several days tracking the dogs back to their den. Following a tip from a local forest service tracker, patiently and slowly traversed the bumpy roads deep into the Fuller Forest area, scouring the dust for spoor. I had the chance to learn from the highly skilled PDRT staff and trackers;

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Digital infrared thermal imaging assessments of body temperature in the equine eye, muzzle, and coronary band

Cameron Volpe, Mississippi State University

Abstract, Winner


Cameron Volpe, Susan Bowers, Lauren Hodges and Scott Willard, Mississippi State University Colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture and Life Sciences, Starkville, MS


Measuring vital signs such as body temperature in an efficient manner is crucial to monitoring the health of both humans and animals. Digital infrared thermal imaging (DITI) is a fast non-invasive method of measuring body surface temperature gradients by converting a heat signature of an object into a color picture. DITI is also efficient at detecting asymmetry in thermal gradients, as is seen in areas of inflammation. This study utilized a DITI camera manufactured by Flir to evaluate the temperatures of the equine eye, muzzle, and coronary band and investigated their correlation with internal body temperature. The coronary band was selected because of its importance to hoof health and the numerous diseases associated with the equine hoof. Mares and foals (n=45) were imaged in a covered barn at a distance of one meter to determine any correlation between DITI temperatures and rectal temperatures (RT) measured with a digital thermometer. DITI temperatures were compared to RT using Pearson correlation coefficients, regression analysis, and paired/unpaired comparisons where appropriate (StatView).  RT was positively correlated with eye DITI (0.44 to 0.48; P< 0.001) and muzzle DITI (0.393 to 0.436; P<0.001) at a moderate level. Front and rear coronary DITI differed (P<0.02) by 0.27 to 0.29°C and were positively correlated with RT at a moderate level (0.289 to 0.367; P<0.0074). In conclusion, DITI measures were positively correlated, albeit at a moderate level, with RT. Additional research is needed to determine if this is sufficient as a non-invasive measure of body temperature in the equine species. In the future, DITI may become a useful diagnostic tool for measuring body temperature and detecting areas of inflammation and lameness in the equine species.Healthy mare, image taken at distance of 1 meter, focusing on the eye and muzzle.


The source of student financial support was the NIH Summer Research Experience for Veterinary Students, grant number 5T35OD010432


This study was funded by the USDA-ARS-funded Biophotonics Initiative for study support.




Potential applications-Pictured here are a the forelimbs of a mare with an old hoof abscess on her right hoof. The picture indicates that the area of the abscess is cooler in temperature than the surrounding hoof wall, due to decreased perfusion of that area.Potential applications-Pictured here are the hindlimbs of a mare with known lameness in her left hoof. The picture indicates that the left hoof is higher in temperature than the right hoof, indicating ongoing inflammation.