The magazine of the College of Veterinary Medicine
at Michigan State University
Fall 2013

Letter from the Dean
Protecting Health, Improving Lives, and Transforming Communities

From the Laboratory to the Milking Parlor
Enhancing global food security, dairy food quality, and food safety by reducing mastitis and antimicrobial use on U.S dairy farms—that is the objective of an interdisciplinary project led by researchers at Michigan State University. Funded by a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the project aims to reduce antibiotic use among dairy cows by half and instances of mastitis in dairy cows by a third within five years.

Dr. Bruce and Diane Beachnau Create Endowment to Improve Heifer Health
For as long as he has been practicing, Bruce Beachnau (’67) has been trying to convince dairy farmers not to starve their cows. More than 40 years later, his work is not done. That is the reason he and his wife created the Dr. Bruce and Diane Beachnau Endowment for Proficiency in Dairy Medicine, Performance, and Heifer Raising.

A New Model for Primary Care Service
Students spend two and a half years in classrooms and labs before they begin seeing patients in clinical rotations. Rotations are where all that knowledge comes together to examine, diagnose, and treat animals—and the Primary Care Service is central to that process. It’s an integrated service that brings together primary care medicine with the Veterinary Medical Center’s specialty services.

Services Under the Umbrella of Primary Care
Behavior problems, weight issues, minor injuries, and a range of chronic problems are routinely seen in a primary care veterinary practice. Developing skills to provide care, make referral decisions, and communicate clearly and gently with clients are all important skills for primary care providers as well as specialists. The structure of the VMC Primary Care Service ensures that students have exposure to these issues and develop these skills.

Human and Canine Veterans Share a Special Bond
Veterans share a bond—whether they served side by side or on different continents. When DVM student Phillip Ryan (’14) conducted intake for search and rescue dog Kaiser this spring, he knew they shared that special something.

MSU Alumnae: Leaders in Forensic Veterinary Medicine
Drugs, guns, and gambling—these are criminal activities that often accompany dog and cock fighting. Pets with recurrent signs of abuse, including fractures and broken bones, often point to domestic violence. Animal neglect may signal child or elder neglect. Forensic veterinarians have helped solve crimes, provided data used to advocate for stronger animal cruelty laws, and trained law enforcement officials and veterinarians.

Shelter Medicine: MSU Alumnae at the Heart of an Emerging Discipline
Population medicine, infectious disease, public health, animal welfare, and small animal overpopulation are pervasive problems, yet there remains a lack of expertise, services, resources, and research available to tackle the problems. MSU alumni have played an important role in the emergence of shelter medicine as a discipline and the effort to make shelter medicine a specialty recognized by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP).

MSU Alumna Pursues Knowledge and Looks for Challenges
When Elizabeth Alvarez (DVM ’03) graduated, her plan was to pursue a career in internal medicine. She is now section head and clinical instructor in the Primary Care Service at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine (UW).

An Open Letter from Robyn Barbiers
Robyn Barbiers (DVM ’82) is the president of The Anti-Cruelty Society, Chicago’s oldest and largest animal welfare organization. An established leader in animal health and well-being and in shelter medicine, she spent 21 years in zoological medicine before joining The Anti-Cruelty Society in 2008. She shares her thoughts and experience in this letter.

DCPAH Helps Fight Bovine TB in Michigan
Bovine TB was once a staple in veterinary education curricula. However, with successful eradication, it faded from texts and classrooms. Earlier this year, testing at the Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health confirmed bovine TB positive cattle in the southern part of Michigan—for the first time in more than 30 years. Quick diagnostic testing is critical to the rapid development of an appropriate management plan.

The College Launches a New Shelter Medicine Program
Detroit is in the process of remaking itself. In the face of its complex problems, interesting and creative projects are taking place throughout the city. One such project is the new partnership between MSU College of Veterinary Medicine and the Michigan Humane Society (MHS), one of the largest and oldest shelter organizations in the country. The two are launching a new shelter medicine program—a project that will have ripple effects benefiting the community as well as students, patients, and clients.

Beyond the Shelter: Addressing Cruelty and Abuse
The MSU Shelter Medicine Program will provide veterinary students opportunities to work with the Cruelty Investigation Department at MHS. One of the largest of its kind, the seven-person investigation team responds to more than 5,000 cases each year.