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Entries in ross university (12)


My SAVMA Symposium Experience

Lisa Corsale, Ross University

Experiences, Entry


If one has an opportunity to attend the SAVMA Conference next year, then it should be taken.  The trip not only helps you network in your field with different social activities but also there are wet labs, day trips, and lecturers.

You get to meet many specialists during the lecturers. For example, I was able to attend a large animal behavior talk given by Dr. Temple Grandin.  From her lecture, being able to read the behavior and interpret correctly how the animal feels, I am able to incorporate that same lesson into small animals. No matter what area of veterinary medicine you are interested in, there was a lecture for every topic imaginable.

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A review of Veterinary Research in Epigenetics

Rebecca Zaremba, Ross University

Cases/Abstracts, Honorable Mention           


 For many years, millions[ACL1]  of healthy women and their families have suffered from miscarriage, which is openly defined as the loss of a fetus under 20 weeks of age (The March of Dimes). The trauma of miscarriage often impacts entire families, from expectant mothers and fathers to siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Many factors can cause miscarriage, and most of these are poorly understood. It is important to determine etiologies of miscarriage and it is also equally important to be able to understand that these tragedies do not disappear after the loss of the baby. Fortunately, the veterinary field has helped immensely in determining specific point mutations which are thought to be responsible for such tragedies in humans.

            One of the long-term goals of the Lossie lab is to understand the genetic and epigenetic causes of miscarriage. In an effort to understand these mechanisms, we have characterized two lethal mutations in mice known as l11Jus1 (L1) and l11Jus4 (L4). L1 and L4 are two separate mutations in a gene called Notchless (Nle1), which is a component found downstream to the Notch pathway (Baumgarner et al. 2007). These two mutant lines survive through the blastocyst stage (Figure 1) and are able to successfully implant into the uterus. However, neither L1 nor L4 survive past implantation; they arrest prior to gastrulation, which eventually leads to an immature body.

Figure 1. Implantation

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My Time in South Africa

Kristen Crouch, Ross University

Life as a Vet Student, Winner


I have always grown up having a passion for the Earth and all of its wild creatures. Having wildlife biologists as parents and growing up just a short bike ride away from to a local wildlife rehabilitation center called Southwest Wildlife fostered my interest in wildlife and conservation medicine. When I was younger, I was able to meet and shadow Dr. Dean Rice, former Phoenix Zoo veterinarian, at the local zoo. This background with both free-ranging and captive wildlife helped prepare me for my visit with a company called Wildlifevets in South Africa. Being able to actively participate and apply what we’ve learned to field conservation medicine was the best experiences I could have hoped for and an experience I will never forget.

While with Wildlifevets, I was able to learn more about and refine my rudimentary wildlife darting techniques, proper drug use and how to calculate appropriate dosages for various species, post-immobilization techniques, and transportation of immobilized wildlife. Reading texts and journal articles and observing captures are nothing compared to the practical experience of working with free-ranging wildlife.

While in South Africa, I had the opportunity to participate in the large-scale capture, immobilization, and translocation of buffalo, immobilization and translocation of individual nyala as they were spotted in the bush, and immobilization and dehorning of rhinoceros to significantly decrease their exposure to being poached. I also attended lectures, practicals, and a post-mortem examination of a buffalo calf to further enhance the learning experience of this opportunity. Lectures included the obvious veterinary topics, but also included information on the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), wildlife management techniques, and the roles of tourism and hunting in managing Africa’s vast wildlife species.

Unlike North America where wildlife belongs to the public and is managed in the public trust, in South Africa, wildlife is owned by the landowners and managed as the landowners see fit. This leads to a much more intensive management as wildlife is generally restricted in movements due to high fences (albeit these are enclosures spanning tens or hundreds of square miles). It also leads to a greater need for application of conservation medicine to ensure health of herds, genetic diversity, treatment of individual animals (injuries, orphans, and illness) and protection of habitat.

While translocating certain species may not seem to have strong ties to conservation medicine, it is actually core to the process. Another experience I was lucky enough to participate in was a mass capture of impala. They are herded using helicopters or other machinery into V-shaped bomas, or enclosures, and when pushed into the final “corral” enclosure, they are stressed, some injured, over-heated, and exhausted, requiring veterinary care. I also got to help translocate buffalo from one farm to another. All must be immobilized, and once immobilized, closely monitored. They are placed on sternal recumbency, have their eyes covered, and have their body temperature and respirations monitored until release. Their blood is drawn for disease testing and general health assessments are conducted. If injured, injuries are assessed and treated if possible, although severely injured individuals may need to be humanely euthanized. Sometimes calves are hopelessly separated from their mothers, or the calves are trampled during darting. These orphan calves are transferred and sometimes raised by people. This was the case for us. Although exhausting, it was also fun to be able to bottle feed these orphans throughout nighttime shifts. We named our buffalo calf “Rossie,” and I’m happy to report that he will be reintroduced into a new herd sometime in the near future.

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A Chance to Touch the Sky

Laura Byers, Ross University

Creative Corner, Winner


A little girl’s dreams are magical things,
And if she’s lucky, they can give her wings.
 A dream, a chance to touch the sky,

Horse as her guide, she learned how to fly.
Whether elegant strides, or difficult rides,
Jumps and falls that made her cry,
Fears were taught be pushed aside,
Because dreams can’t live until you try.
It’s amazing what a horse can provide,
Strength, love, and humbled pride
Responsibility, self-esteem,
All because a little girl followed her dream.
A dream, a chance to touch the sky,
Horse as her guide, she learned how to fly.






2014 SAVMA Symposium Experience

Tara Farrell, Ross University

Experiences, Honorable Mention


I didn’t quite know what to expect when I arrived in Colorado for the SAVMA Symposium.  Coming from a tropical island, I was immediately met with freezing weather.  This was a nice change from the hot, humid weather I had been in the last couple of months. I also did not know what to expect from people and the atmosphere at the conference since I had never been to one before.

From the very beginning of the symposium, it was busy.  My friends and I started off with the volleyball tournament at the CSU recreational center. This was a lot of fun and we met some very nice people from Wisconsin and other schools. Since the lectures didn’t start until Friday, I was able to explore Fort Collins with some friends and take a tour of The New Belgium Brewery.  Thursday night I explored the nightlife of Old Town Fort Collins by going on a pub-crawl.  My friends and I were able to eat some actual American bar food and have some delicious beer after being in the Caribbean for 3 months. Later that night, my group of friends met up and hung out with some of the people that we had met at the volleyball tournament earlier in the day.

Friday morning was another busy day from the beginning. I had my Small Animal Medical Procedures wet lab, which was an awesome experience. I learned techniques like urine catheterization, bone marrow aspirations and other procedures that I had not yet learned at Ross.  Later in the day I was able to attend some of the lectures and meet up with one of my friends who is a veterinary student at CSU.  We also saw and met up with some of the people we had done our Master’s program with at CSU.  That night, the symposium took us into Fort Collins for a Casino Royale Night.  This was a great opportunity to meet and mingle with people from other schools.  Coming from the Caribbean we had our own unique way of meeting people, which was by hula hooping. It was fun because people from other schools would come up and try to hoop and the few people from Ross who were good at it put on a little show. Casino Night was very fun, even though I did not gamble, but I did enjoy meeting people and hanging out with my friends.Volleyball at the Rec Center

On Saturday morning, my friends and I were met with a surprise outside when we woke up. It was snowing! This was fun to see, since we don’t have any seasons in the Caribbean and I hardly get to see snow at home because I live in Arizona.  I was also able to finally relax a little and attend some of the lectures in the morning.  Later that morning I met up with my sister, who had driven up from Denver. It was great to hang out with her and explore Fort Collins a little more in the snow! That night was the closing ceremonies, so we put on our best dress and got ready to have a great time.  The dinner was delicious and the speakers were all very good. The keynote speaker was Dr. Stephen Withrow, who gave a very good and inspiring speech.  He told us about his journey and how he was able to open the Cancer Center at the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital.  He showed us how we can open doors in veterinary medicine that might lead to advances in human medicine.   This is important because the human-animal bond is even stronger these days.  

This whole experience has made me want to be a veterinarian even more and has made me more excited to be apart of the veterinary medical field. I think that any veterinary student who has a chance to attend the SAVMA Symposium should attend.  It is a great opportunity to learn more about the different fields of medicine and learn different types of medical procedures and skills.  This was also a great place to network with other students and lecturers. I would not trade this experience for anything in the world even if I did end up missing a test. I was able to grow more as a veterinary student and am more excited than ever about being apart of the veterinary profession.