OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

college of veterinary medicine

OSU veterinary students to treat neglected animals in Nicaragua

CORVALLIS, Ore – A group of veterinary students from Oregon State University will travel to Nicaragua this summer to conduct six days of free clinics on a rural island that has no regular veterinary care.

The contingent, members of the OSU chapter of the International Veterinary Students’ Association, will pay their own way to spend the first week of August on Ometepe Island, home to an estimated 10,000 people and 50,000 animals.

The clinics include physical exams, deworming, vaccinations, spays, neuters and public health education. 

The Ometepe residents rely on pigs, cows, donkeys, horses and chickens for food, transport and work. In addition, there is a large population of stray dogs and cats that can spread disease.

OSU students, under the supervision of volunteer veterinarians, spay and neuter hundreds of dogs and cats on Ometepe every summer. This is the 10th year of the program, and it’s made a difference, said Sue Tornquist, the Lois Bates Acheson Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and a longtime volunteer on the trip. 

“We now see many dogs that come to the clinic and only need preventive care, since so many have been spayed and neutered already,” she said.

In addition to funding their own travel costs, students raise money to purchase veterinary supplies such as vaccines, needles, syringes, gauze and sutures. The total averages about $1,500 per student.

Anyone interested in helping to support the students can “adopt” a Nicaraguan animal for $20.

“In exchange, you will receive a photo and story about the animal that was in our care, including a description of the type of care provided for the animal,” said Kristin Wineinger, co-chair of Oregon State’s IVSA chapter.

For more information or to donate, visit http://stuorgs.oregonstate.edu/ivsa/donate.

Media Contact: 

Lyn Smith-Gloria, 541-737-3844

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Treating a cow in 2016

OSU vet college to host popular Pet Day celebration on Saturday, May 6

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The College of Veterinary Medicine at Oregon State University will host its popular annual Pet Day celebration on Saturday, May 6, at Magruder Hall on campus. The facility is located at 30th Street and Washington Way in Corvallis.

Pet Day is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., though a handful of activities including the Fun Run and Dog Wash have nominal fees. 

The event annually draws more than 3,000 people for tours, activities and education, including numerous activities aimed at children. Among the highlights are a petting zoo, teddy bear surgery, the dog wash, dog agility demonstrations, tours of the veterinary hospital and more.

Numerous booths staffed by vendors and volunteers provide information on animal health and wellness, nutrition, adoption and therapy. Other booths will be selling animal-related products and gifts. 

Also on display will be llamas, goats, greyhounds, reptiles and other animals.

The 5K Fun Run will begin at 9 a.m. Registration information is available online at: http://bit.ly/2oJ344F. Other events include a pet costume contest and a cat photo contest participants can enter via email

Pet Day was created by students in OSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and continues to be organized and staffed by students.

Industry partners supporting the event include Banfield Pet Hospital, Hills Pet Nutrition, Nestlé Purina Pet Care Company, Bayer Animal Health, and the Oregon Animal Health Foundation.

For more information on Pet Day, go to: http://vetmed.oregonstate.edu/pet-day

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Lyn Smith-Gloria, 541-737-3844, lyn.smith-gloria@oregonstate.edu

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Teddy Bear Surgery

Natural carbohydrate shows promise as weapon against food poisoning

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Chitosan, a natural carbohydrate derived from crustacean shells, is showing promise as a weapon against a bacterium that annually sickens more than a million people in the United States.

After salmonella poisoning, the second-most common bacterial foodborne illness in the U.S. is Clostridium perfringens food poisoning.

Present in soil, decaying vegetation and the intestinal tracts of vertebrates, C. perfringens typically infects humans when they eat meat that hasn’t been thoroughly cooked or properly stored, allowing the bacteria to multiply.

Symptons of C. perfringens food poisoning include abdominal pain, stomach cramps, diarrhea and nausea; patients often mistake it for a 24-hour flu.

“People aren’t dying, but they’re getting sick,” said Oregon State University researcher Mahfuzur Sarker. “And many times people don’t report it, so there are likely way more people getting infected than we know about.”

Sarker and OSU graduate student Maryam Alnoman were part of an international collaboration that studied the effect of chitosan on C. perfringens. Chitosan is a linear polysaccharide that results from treating the exoskeletons of shrimp and other crustaceans with an alkaline compound.

The tests involved both laboratory growth medium – bacteria in solution – and cooked, contaminated chicken meat left for several hours at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The study looked at the full life cycle of the C. perfringen bacterium, which produces tough, metabolically dormant spores that are able to survive many food processing approaches.

Results were recently published in Food Microbiology.

The researchers found chitosan blocked C. perfringens growth in cooked chicken and also found chitosan inhibits:

  • Spore germination and outgrowth;
  • The spore core from releasing dipicolinic acid, which is associated with an early step of spore germination;
  • The growth of vegetative cells – cells that are actively growing as opposed to producing spores. 

“In lab conditions, low concentrations of chitosan were effective,” said Sarker, professor of microbiology in OSU’s colleges of science and veterinary medicine. “In meat, the concentration needs to be higher because there are a lot of ingredients in the cooked meat that can inhibit the activity of the antimicrobial chemicals.

“But the larger dose of 3 milligrams per gram of food is still a good dose that can be used in making food products. This is the first time chitosan was shown to work consistently both in lab conditions and in chicken meat.”

Sarker said the next steps are researching chitosan’s effectiveness in other types of meat and meat products and optimizing the conditions for using it. It’s possible, for example, that chitosan may work best when combined with other food preservative chemicals such as sorbate and benzoate.

“It could be a combination of multiple agents,” he said “There are options we can try."

The OSU researchers collaborated with scientists at Taibah University in Saudi Arabia and Kasetsart University in Thailand.

Oregon State’s Agricultural Research Foundation supported the study. Funding also came from the U.S. Army Research Office.

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Steve Lundeberg, 541-737-4039

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Clostridium perfringens cells

OSU Pet Day planned for May 7

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University will hold its 29th annual Pet Day on Saturday, May 7, when the College of Veterinary Medicine opens its doors for tours, demonstrations, displays, a petting zoo, and other family-friendly events.

Pet Day is created, organized and staffed by students in the College of Veterinary Medicine at OSU. It is their way of giving back to the community and continuing a legacy of public service at the college. It is held rain or shine and attracts 3,000-4,000 visitors.

Vendors and volunteers from organizations will staff booths at the event and provide information on animal health and wellness, nutrition, adoption and therapy.  Many also provide free samples and other resources, spanning the four-legged gamut from pet food to shelter medicine.

Among the returning activities will be dog agility demonstrations, live reptiles, a petting zoo, tours of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, a dog wash and nail trim booth, a pet costume contest, and more. Koenig’s Llamas, Cascade Pack Goats, and the Oregon Herpetological Society provide opportunities to meet animals that are not typical pets.

Participants and their pets may join the Fun Run/Walk event at 9 a.m.; online preregistration for that event is requested by April 18.

Pet Day runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Magruder Hall, located on 30th Street in Corvallis just south of Washington Way, and adjacent to the athletic department’s Truax Indoor Center. Admittance and most activities are free, but there is a small charge for a few of the events.

More detailed information on the various events and registration for the fun run/walk and costume contest is available online at http://vetmed.oregonstate.edu/pet-day

Pet Day is sponsored by the Classes of 2018 and 2019 in the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine, and supported by Banfield Pet Hospital, Royal Canin, Zoetis, Nestle Purina Pet Care Co., Hills Pet Nutrition, Pet King Brands, and the Oregon Animal Health Foundation.

Source: 

Lyn Smith-Gloria, 541-737-3844

lyn.smith-gloria@oregonstate.edu

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Teddy Bear Surgery
Teddy bear surgery

Veterinary hospital managing a case of equine influenza

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Oregon State University will not accept horses for anything but emergency services until at least Monday, Oct. 26, due to a diagnosed case of equine influenza virus at the hospital.

One horse has been tested and found to be infected with this virus, and has been moved to an animal isolation facility for treatment. Other horses at the hospital are being monitored for any signs of infection, and if one or more are found to be infected, it could further delay the opening of the facility, officials say.

Equine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory disease in horses that typically is not fatal, but is a particular concern to foals and pregnant mares. Other than equine species, the situation will not affect the care of any other small or large animals at the hospital.

Officials wish to emphasize that this is equine influenza virus, not equine herpes virus-1, a far more serious disease that is often confused with the influenza virus.

Equine influenza is endemic in the United States, and outbreak situations occur intermittently. It’s not transferable to humans or other animal species, but can spread rapidly among horses and other equine species. It is the most common contagious respiratory pathogen of horses, and most infected horses show mild clinical signs from which they fully recover. However, young, elderly or pregnant animals are more vulnerable to viral diseases such as equine influenza, which can cause abortion in pregnant mares.

“We acted quickly to diagnose and isolate the horse that was showing signs of the disease, and hopefully no more animals will be found to be infected,” said John Schlipf, a large animal internal medicine specialist in the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. “We will be able to accept emergency cases if needed.”

The first clinical sign of influenza in horses is typically a fever, followed by cough, nasal discharge and lethargy. Horses with a rectal temperature of greater than 102.5 degrees, cough or nasal discharge should be evaluated by a veterinarian.

Infected horses can “shed” or transmit the virus for up to 10 days after incubation, although the peak of shedding occurs three to five days after infection. Horses that show signs of the disease should be isolated from other horses for 10 days after clinical signs first appear. Testing of nasal swab samples can be used to identify influenza infection in horses and to determine when horses infected with the virus are no longer a risk to others.

The influenza virus is easily killed by a variety of disinfectants, and thorough cleaning of stalls and equipment can help prevent the virus from spreading. Vaccination of horses during an outbreak in a training facility or barn can be beneficial, and should be performed in consultation with a veterinarian, since it may have implications for influenza test results.

Anyone with concerns about their animals may contact their veterinarian or the Lois Bates Acheson Veterinary Teaching Hospital at OSU, at 541-737-2858 or http://vetmed.oregonstate.edu

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John Schlipf, 541-737-2858

Oregon State research reaches record, exceeds $308 million

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Oregon State University research funding reached $308.9 million, its highest level ever, in the fiscal year that ended on June 30. A near doubling of revenues from licensing patented technologies and an 8.5 percent increase in competitive federal funding fueled OSU research on a range of projects including advanced ocean-going research vessels, the health impacts of pollution and sustainable materials for high-speed computing.

“This is a phenomenal achievement. I've seen how OSU research is solving global problems and providing innovations that mean economic growth for Oregon and the nation,” said Cynthia Sagers, OSU’s vice president for research who undertook her duties on August 31. “OSU’s research performance in the last year is amazing, given that federal funds are so restricted right now.”

The overall economic and societal impact of OSU’s research enterprise exceeds $670 million, based on an analysis of OSU’s research contributions to the state and global economy that followed a recent economic study of OSU’s fiscal impact conducted by ECONorthwest.

Technology licensing almost doubled in the last year alone, from just under $6 million in 2014 to more than $10 million this year. Leading investments from business and industry were patented Oregon State innovations in agriculture, advanced materials and nuclear technologies.

OSU researchers exceeded the previous record of $288 million, which the university achieved in 2010. Although federal agencies provided the bulk of funding, most of the growth in OSU research revenues over the past five years stems from nonprofit organizations and industry.

Since 2010, total private-sector funding from sponsored contracts, research cooperatives and other sources has risen 60 percent — from $25 million to more than $40 million in 2015. Oregon State conducts research with multinationals such as HP, Nike and Boeing as well as with local firms such as Benchmade Knife of Oregon City, Sheldon Manufacturing of Cornelius and NuScale Power of Corvallis.

By contrast, federal research grants in 2015 were only 0.2 percent higher than those received in 2010, a year in which American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds gave university research a one-time shot in the arm across the country. According to the National Science Foundation, federal agency obligations for research have dropped from a high of $36 billion in 2009 to $29 billion in 2013, the last year for which cumulative figures are available. The Department of Health and Human Services accounted for more than half of that spending.

“We’ve worked hard to diversify our research portfolio,” said Ron Adams, who retired as interim vice president for research at the end of August. “But it’s remarkable that our researchers have succeeded in competing for an increase in federal funding. This speaks to the success of our strategic initiatives and our focus on clusters of excellence.”

Economic impact stems in part from new businesses launched this year through the Oregon State University Advantage program. Among them are:

  •  OnBoard Dynamics, a Bend company designing a natural-gas powered vehicle engine that can be fueled from home
  •  Valliscor, a Corvallis company that manufactures ultra-pure chemicals
  • eChemion, a Corvallis company that develops and markets technology to extend battery life

Altogether, 15 new companies have received mentoring assistance from Oregon State’s Advantage Accelerator program, part of the state-funded Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network, or RAIN. Six new companies are working with the Advantage program this fall.

Additional economic impact stems from the employment of students, post-doctoral researchers and faculty. According to the OSU Research Office, about a quarter of OSU undergraduates participate in research projects, many with stipends paid by grant funds. In addition, grants support a total of 843 graduate research positions and 165 post-doctoral researchers.

The College of Agricultural Sciences received the largest share of research grants at Oregon State with $49.4 million last year, followed by the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at $39 million and the College of Engineering at $37 million. The College of Science saw a 170 percent increase in research funding to $26.7 million, its largest total ever and the biggest rise among OSU colleges. Among the largest grants received in FY15 were:

  •  $8 million from the NSF to the Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry (College of Science) for new high-speed information technologies
  •  $4 million from the Department of Energy to reduce barriers to the deployment of ocean energy systems (College of Engineering)
  •  $4 million from US Agency for International Development to the AquaFish Innovation Lab (College of Agricultural Sciences) for global food security
  •  $3.5 million from the USDA for experiential learning to reduce obesity (College of Public Health and Human Sciences)
  •  $2.3 million from the NSF for the ocean observing initiative (College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences)
  •  $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Education for school readiness in early childhood (OSU Cascades)

 

Editor’s Note: FY15 research totals for OSU colleges and OSU-Cascades are posted online.

College of Agricultural Sciences: http://agsci.oregonstate.edu/story/osu%E2%80%99s-college-agricultural-sciences-receives-494-million-research-grants 

College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences: http://ceoas.oregonstate.edu/features/funding/

College of Education: http://education.oregonstate.edu/research-and-outreach 

College of Engineering:  http://engineering.oregonstate.edu/fy15-research-funding-highlights

College of Forestry: http://www.forestry.oregonstate.edu/research/college-forestry-receives-near-record-grant-awards-fy-2015

College of Liberal Arts: http://liberalarts.oregonstate.edu/cla-research/2015-research-summary

College of Pharmacy: http://pharmacy.oregonstate.edu/grant_information

College of Public Health and Human Sciences: http://health.oregonstate.edu/research 

College of Science: http://impact.oregonstate.edu/2015/08/record-year-for-research-funding/

College of Veterinary Medicine: http://vetmed.oregonstate.edu/research-highlights

OSU-Cascades: http://osucascades.edu/research-and-scholarship 

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Cynthia Sagers, vice president for research, 541-737-0664; Rich Holdren on OSU research trends, 541-737-8390; Brian Wall on business spinoffs and commercialization, 541-737-9058

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Surface chemistry research

Masters students at OSU worked to improve the performance of thin-film transistors used in liquid crystal displays. (Photo courtesy of Oregon State University)

OOI mooring

The Oregon shelf surface mooring is lowered to the water using the R/V Oceanus ship's crane. (photo courtesy of Oregon State University). Wave Energy

The Ocean Sentinel, a wave energy testing device, rides gentle swells near Newport, Ore. (Photo courtesy of Oregon State University) Hernandez3-2

An undergraduate student at the Autonomous Juarez University of Tabasco, Mexico, is working with cage culture of cichlids in an educational partnership with the AquaFish collaborative Support Program. (Photo: Tiffany Woods)

Veterinary team to volunteer services

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A team of Oregon State University students, alumni, and local veterinarians is visiting the island of Ometepe, Nicaragua, from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5 to volunteer much-needed veterinary medical services for the island livestock and pets.

 

The 30 students from OSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine will also disseminate information to island residents about animal wellness and the prevention of zoonotic diseases. The trip is being coordinated by the International Veterinary Student Association at OSU.

 

Six veterinarians also will go on the trip to supervise and assist the students, including one from Seattle and one from Idaho.

 

The student group raised funds for the trip, which they pay for themselves, through sponsorships. One effort included an adopt-a-dog program, through which American donors can help care for a Nicaraguan dog for $20. One of the students on the trip will send a photo and story about the animal and the care it was provided. For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NicaraguaVeterinaryBrigade?fref=ts.

 

“Animal over-population is a problem on the island,” said Susan Tornquist, dean of the college. “Many of the animals are undernourished or sick.”

 

Last year the OSU volunteers spayed or neutered 81 dogs and cats, and castrated 22 horses and pigs.

 

The island has no veterinarians, so animals routinely lack even the most basic care. The OSU students acquired all of the supplies for the trip, including vaccines, medications, gauze, bandages, sutures, needles and other supplies. During the trip, they will hold eight days of clinics, where under the supervision of a veterinarian, they will perform examinations, conduct spays and neuters, treat a wide range of illness, and hold educational seminars.

 

“Because we have more volunteers this year, we hope to treat over 400 large and small animals,” said Ariana Borba, secretary for the student organization at OSU.

  

Media Contact: 

Lyn Smith-Gloria, 541-737-3844

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Susan Tornquist, 541-737-6943

McDonald Forest open, not found to pose any special risk to pets

CORVALLIS, Ore. – After further evaluation, officials at Oregon State University say there is no apparent geographic connection that would link dogs that had recently become ill with visitation to the McDonald Forest area north of Corvallis, and the area remains open for public use as usual.

Veterinarians and researchers from the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, College of Forestry and Research Forests have examined these cases, following public reports that one or more dogs may have become ill after drinking from water in the area.

Upon closer examination of all cases, including communication with pet owners, they found no geographic link between the cases, no consistent symptoms of ill health and no way to attribute illnesses to any known toxin.

“After reviewing these cases, we could find no evidence that suggests something in McDonald Forest is posing a special risk to animals,” said Jana Gordon, an assistant professor in the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine and expert in small animal internal medicine. “In light of that, the forest will remain open for public use and pets will continue to be welcome there.”

OSU officials said that pet owners should continue to take ordinary precautions as they would anytime they bring pets into a forest or wildlife area. Pets are at risk of injury from falls, encounters with wildlife, or consuming unclean water, plants, animals and animal matter that may cause illness. Pets that aren’t physically fit or have some medical conditions may also be more susceptible to exercise or heat-induced illness.

Routine precautions when visiting a forested or wild land area should include:

  • Pets should be kept on a leash and under supervision at all times;
  • Encounters between pets and other wildlife should be avoided;
  • Water should be carried in for the pets, or water purification systems used;
  • A veterinarian should be consulted if a pet has any medical conditions, exercise restrictions or other precautions;
  • A pet should be kept well-hydrated and cool when exercising in warm weather.

If a pet shows any signs of illness following outdoor activities, a veterinarian should be contacted immediately.

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Jana Gordon, 541-737-4808

OSU treats horse with Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1)

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University this week has diagnosed a horse with the neurologic form of Equine Herpes Virus 1 (EHV-1), a naturally occurring virus that can cause serious illness in horses when activated.

The horse is isolated at the Lois Bates Acheson Veterinary Teaching Hospital, and all activities and services in the College of Veterinary Medicine are continuing.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture has quarantined the property where the affected horse was housed in Marion County.

No other horses that attended these events have shown clinical signs of EHV-1. Owners of horses that attended these events are encouraged to monitor their horses for any signs of respiratory or neurologic disease. EHV-1 is not transmissible to people.

“This is not the neurotropic or mutated form of the virus, which can really cause problems,” said John Schlipf, a large animal internal medicine specialist with the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. “This form of EHV-1 can still have serious consequences.”

Schlipf said that clinical signs of the neurologic form of EHV-1 often begin with the hind limbs and include:

  • Uncoordinated, stumbling movements;
  • An unusual gait;
  • A weak tail tone;
  • Difficulty urinating, and dribbling of urine;
  • Nasal discharge, frequently accompanied by a fever.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture recommends horses that attended the Albany or Eugene events avoid contact with other horses and have their temperatures monitored twice daily. Temperatures over 101.5 degrees may indicate illness.

Horses with signs listed above should be isolated from other animals, and owners should contact their veterinarians immediately. EHV-1 can also affect alpacas and llamas, Schlipf said.

EHV-1 can cause abortions in animals, thus pregnant mares should not co-mingle with horses returning from those shows.

“Horse owners should be aware that although EHV-1 is not transmissible to humans, people can spread the virus on their hands and clothing if in contact with an infected horse,” Schlipf said.

Additional information regarding Equine Herpes Virus and biosecurity recommendations is available from the American Association of Equine Practitioners: http://www.aaep.org/info/horse-health?publication=753.

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 John Schlipf, 541-737-6962;  john.schlipf@oregonstate.edu

OSU names Susan Tornquist dean of veterinary medicine

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Susan Tornquist, who has been interim dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine  at Oregon State University since October of 2013, has been named dean of the college.

Tornquist has been on the faculty at Oregon State since 1996 and previously was associate dean of student and academic affairs in the college, where she also is a professor of clinical pathology.

“Sue Tornquist has been a very effective leader for the College of Veterinary Medicine over the past 17 months, and has demonstrated that she has the very best interests of the college at heart and the skill set for enhancing the college’s education, clinical services, research and outreach,” said Sabah Randhawa, OSU’s provost and executive vice president.

While Tornquist was interim dean, the college surpassed its fund-raising goal of $47 million through The Campaign for OSU; again received full accreditation in 2014 from the American Veterinary Medicine Association; launched a new graduate program in comparative health sciences; and saw the class of 2014 achieve a 100 percent pass rate for the national board exam for veterinarians.

Tornquist said the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine has a bright future.

“We are looking forward to great opportunities for research and strengthened clinical capabilities in oncology and infectious diseases and continued collaboration with Oregon Humane Society in providing experiential learning opportunities for veterinary students while providing needed veterinary services for animals in need,” Tornquist said.

“There are also new opportunities and initiatives in One Health for undergraduate students,” she added. “We hope to see expansion in both instructional and clinical facilities in the next five years.”

As associate dean, Tornquist helped the college grow its enrollment, coordinate student internships, build partnerships with the Oregon Humane Society and other organizations, and make student experiential learning a hallmark of the program.

Tornquist received her veterinary medical degree from Colorado State University and her doctorate in veterinary pathology from Washington State University. Her research interests have focused on immune responses to infectious and metabolic diseases in animals, particularly llama and alpacas.

Before coming to Oregon State, she was on the veterinary medicine faculty at Washington State University from 1990-96. She also has been a research associate in New Mexico’s Veterinary Diagnostic Services office; an associate veterinarian in private practice in New Mexico; and a teaching and research assistant at the University of New Mexico.

Tornquist succeeds Cyril Clarke as dean, who resigned in 2013 to become dean of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.

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Sabah Randhawa, 541-737-2111, Sabah.randhawa@oregonstate.edu

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