Friday, September 27, 2019

Training Beyond Borders

Beyond the classroom and laboratory, MSU CVM students pursue learning opportunities across the globe, combining foreign travel and cultural immersion with veterinary training, gained experience, and outreach.

Thanks to generous alumni and friends who support international travel funds, in 2019, CVM students traveled to Belize, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, South Africa, and Kenya.  The purpose of each student’s trip varied. Many students visited isolated areas to provide basic veterinary care and owner education while being exposed to how local veterinarians approach veterinary care, herd management, and wildlife and large animal health. Collaborations with educational institutions and communities facing difficult conditions exposed students to the importance of idea sharing and working together on large scale issues that affect the entire globe.

Support for student trips is available through a competitive application process. To be considered to receive travel support, students must be enrolled at MSU CVM in the professional program.  Students are required to submit an application, and they must meet any guidelines set forth for each specific fund. Currently, the CVM offers students support from five travel funds including:

·       Paul Eggert International Education Travel Fund
This fund was established by Mrs. Diane Eggert in memory of Paul Eggert. The award is given to a full-time student enrolled in the professional program in the CVM who has demonstrated academic achievement, maintaining a minimum 3.0 GPA. The student must be of good moral character. Preference is given to a student pursuing an experience related to animal agriculture or global food safety and security.  

·       International Veterinary Humanitarian Endowed Fund
This fund is endowed by a gift from Dr. John and Carolyn Thomson.
The award is given to a student with a demonstrated interest in humanitarian work in underdeveloped countries.

·       Dr. Paul Farmer Memorial and Nutramax Laboratories Student Travel Support Fund
This fund was established by Nutramax Laboratories and Dr. Todd Henderson in memory of Dr. Paul Farmer. The award is available to a full-time CVM student in good academic standing who has demonstrated leadership ability and a desire to improve the quality of life for others. The recipient must be an active member of Christian Veterinary Fellowship.

·       Pegasus Partners Fund
This fund is endowed by many generous “Pegasus Partners” who fulfilled a gift of $10,000 toward the Pegasus Partners Endowment which can be used to provide critical support for various supplemental activities that complement, enhance or expand the mission of the CVM, including scholarships or travel for students and faculty.

·       Rural Practice Externship Travel Grant
This fund was established by a gift from an anonymous donor. The award is available to students participating in experiences with rural practice or public practice located outside of the state of Mississippi.

“I enjoyed learning about new species that I have never worked with before, and I experienced how to be resourceful and think outside of the box,”  Peter N. McGinn

Here’s what CVM students say about their international experience:
“I improved my ultrasound skills and my clinical mind. We had to treat animals with limited supplies and resources. I could not be happier with my experience, and I’m grateful that donors support this experience. I feel that international veterinary work, public health, and agriculture should be experienced by every veterinarian at some point,” says Peter N. McGinn who traveled to Peru.
“I enjoyed learning about new species that I have never worked with before, and I experienced how to be resourceful and think outside of the box,” says Kiley Walker who traveled to Belize.
“I was taught by amazing veterinarians, and I saw firsthand that having compassion for a hurting animal knows no cultural boundaries. A trip like this gives you a greater appreciation for your country, for the education available, and for the people who entrust their animals to you. It will give you renewed resolve and vigor to work hard to become the best veterinarian you can possibly become to be able to serve your clients,” says Lea Burns who traveled to Haiti.

The opportunities are endless for alumni and friends to support MSU CVM students. For more information on how to establish a fund or make a gift to a current travel fund, please contact Jimmy Kight at 662-325-5893 or jkight@

Monday, August 5, 2019

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Vet Camp Expands

MSU CVM Vet Camp has been well attended since its inaugural session in the summer of 2011; however, due to its increased popularity, Camp age categories were expanded and sessions were added to accommodate 2019’s record registration. This year’s campers— aged 10 to 17— came from as far away as the west coast and represented 13 different states! While visiting the CVM for a one-day camp or a week-long session, campers had the opportunity to experience a variety of hands-on veterinary activities, including canine and equine physical exams, parasitology and critical care procedures.

While all campers received one-on-one instruction in key areas, one camper, 10-year-old Zachary Hoblet from North Carolina had a special visitor: MSU CVM Dean Kent Hoblet (aka Grandpa) during his aquaculture lab experience. For more photos visit Vet Camp Facebook page, click here.
For additional information about VetCamp, CLICK HERE, or contact Dr. Brittany Moore-Henderson at

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

World’s Smallest Bull, Lil’ Bill, Succumbs to Infection

Starkville, MS, May, 28, 2019—Lil’ Bill, the tiny bull that captured the hearts of social media followers around the world, died Monday [May 27] at Mississippi State’s College of Veterinary Medicine from complications associated with his prematurity. 

Provided advanced medical care by the university’s veterinarians for the past seven months, Lil’ Bill faced a number of obstacles as a result of his prematurity and suspected dwarfism, but was able to overcome many of them, according to CVM’s Dr. Gretchen Grissett. 

Despite her team’s best efforts, the bull—at birth weighing less than one-tenth of the average newborn bull—succumbed to organ failure as a result of significant infection. “He had a strong will to survive, and with our help, found a way to overcome virtually every hurdle he faced. However, for the last few weeks, his health consistently deteriorated,” said the assistant clinical professor of pathobiology and production. “As with most preemies, Lil’ Bill faced significant
developmental issues, and in the end, his underdeveloped gastrointestinal system and immature lungs contributed significantly to his death.”

According to CVM Dean Kent Hoblet, Grissett and her team stand to be commended for the outstanding work they did with this one-of-a-kind case. “Lil’ Bill was far from a typical patient. Dr. Grissett and the entire CVM team worked extremely hard to provide him the very best care and best possible chance of surviving,” Hoblet said. “The fact that he not only survived, but enjoyed a good quality of life for almost seven months, is a significant achievement on their part. I’m proud of our team’s dedication to him and of their commitment to doing what was best for him.”

“We all learned so much from this tiny bull,” Grissett said. “He challenged us and inspired us, and he will definitely be missed.”

The Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine is one of only 30 accredited veterinary colleges in the U.S. and is one of only a few colleges that provides two full years of clinical experience in addition to coursework and labs. 

The college boasts a 99% North American Veterinary Licensing Exam
(NAVLE) pass rate. For more information, visit

For more information contact:
Mel Thurlow, CVM Outreach Director
Office of the Dean
Phone: (662) 325-0465
Fax: (662) 325-1498

Press Release

Earlier Story

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Friday, January 25, 2019

Nineteen Named to Serve on Inaugural Dean’s Council

L-R-Dr. Mac Huddleston, Dr. Kent Hoblet, Dr. Bob Filgo, Dr. Rebekah List, Lynn Spruill, Karen McCord, Dr. Mikell Davis, Dr. Susie Taylor, Stephen Imes, Dr. Mike Johnson, Dr. Wanda West, Dr. David Dale, Dr. Betsy Lipscomb, John Lewis, Dr. Kevin Smith, Mike McCormick, Dr. Ron McLaughlin, Dr. Paula Schuerer.

In the fall of 2018, MSU CVM Dean Kent Hoblet announced the initiation of nineteen distinguished members to the first-ever CVM Dean’s Council. The council was established to assist the dean in key areas of promotion, growth, and sustainability of the college by providing strategic, non-binding advice regarding vision, direction, and long-term planning of the college, as well as assisting in acquiring resources from private, corporate, state and federal levels and assisting with the student recruitment efforts of the college. In addition, the council will serve in an advisory capacity for the marketing and public relations efforts of the college and as an advocate of the college to university administration, the State of Mississippi, and as appropriate, on a national level.

“Having guidance, support and feedback from a group of individuals with a strong connection to the college, genuine interest in its mission and sincere concern for its continued success is most certainly beneficial to all of us in leadership roles here at the CVM,” Dr. Hoblet said. “We’re thankful for their willingness to serve and the input they will provide.”

Selected by the dean in consultation with his senior leadership team, plans are for council members to serve five-year terms (with the initial group serving staggered terms to avoid complete turnover), and the council chairman serving a two-year term. The council will meet in the fall and spring each year, and members can be reappointed indefinitely by mutual agreement between them and the dean.
According to Dr. Hoblet, the council’s initial meeting was held October 11-12, 2018. Members were greeted with a reception the evening they arrived and received an informative overview of the CVM presented the following day by the dean, associate dean, development staff, communications team, faculty members and students.

The council will meet again in March, when they will hear about the CVM’s recently awarded $15M USAID grant for the Feed the Future Fish Innovation Lab, tour the Veterinary Specialty Center and receive an update on the interview and admissions process for the incoming DVM class.
For additional information about the Dean’s Council, call (662)325-1131. Individual members will also be featured in future issues of Pegasus Press.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Lil’ Bill Defies the Odds with Help from MSU-CVM

Lil' Bill (Photos by Tom Thompson)
Lil’ Bill, a calf born weighing less than one-tenth of what most calves weigh, has a story unlike any other. Delivered on Oct. 27, at what veterinarians guesstimate to be about a month premature, Lil’ Bill has already defied the odds by staying alive. He is thought to be the world’s smallest bull, and is currently under the care of the bovine experts at the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine (MSU-CVM) in Starkville, MS.

Lil’ Bill came to the MSU-CVM after his owners discovered him in their pasture and had attempted to care for him for a couple days. As a family with much cattle experience, having raised Simmental cattle for many years, Lil’ Bill’s owners knew he was in need of advanced care and sought help from the MSU-CVM on Nov. 1. They had brought cattle to MSU-CVM before, but this situation was unlike any previous visit.

Dr. Grissett replaces bandages on Lil' Bill's legs
Lil’ Bill was having trouble breathing, so Dr. Gretchen Grissett and her veterinary team sprang into action, doing what was necessary to keep him alive!

“The calf’s owners really wanted us to save him, and I think they really wanted to keep him, but he was in really tough shape with a lot of respiratory issues when he came to us,” said Dr. Grissett, explaining that just like with premature babies, it is very common for premature calves to not have matured lungs.

When it was time for treatment options to be discussed, the owners decided to treat him initially and then take a wait-and-see approach before electing to pursue further care. Although Lil’ Bill began to improve-- and has done so considerably over the course of the last month—according to Dr. Grissett, he still isn’t out of the woods, and his owners came to the realization they couldn’t properly care for him. Therefore, they allowed the CVM to adopt him.

Dr. Grissett with Lil' Bill
At this point, Lil’ Bill is being carefully monitored, 24/7, and his prognosis is undetermined. He is no longer on therapeutic oxygen; his feeding tube has been removed, and subsequent radiographs and bloodwork show that his lungs have improved. However, there are still some unknowns about his actual condition.

Normally, calves weigh around 50-80 pounds at birth, depending upon their breed. With that said, it’s obvious that Lil’ Bill, weighing just 7.9 pounds when he was first brought in, is far from the norm. Dr. Grissett and her team have ordered extensive DNA tests, believing that the calf may have some form of dwarfism, in addition to being premature.
Lil' Bill with splints to provide adequate support.

Because he was born too early, Dr. Grissett explained that the team is also having to carefully monitor his joints. “Right now, Lil’ Bill’s bones are not fully developed so we have his legs splinted to provide adequate support. Allowing too much activity on his joints could lead to long-term orthopedic issues for this little guy,” she said. “Many of the issues we are facing with him are, in fact, very similar to those experienced with premature babies. It often takes them months to grow and become as strong as they should have been at birth, and they commonly face development delays and other such problems— if they’re fortunate enough to survive.”

There is some good news, though, according to Dr. Grissett. As Lil’ Bill continues to grow and get stronger, he is behaving much like a typical calf. “Other than sleeping a lot, which is normal for preemies, Lil’ Bill behaves much like most five-week old calves,” she said. “Once awake, he trots around looking for attention, often head-butting team members to demand more milk!”

Dr. Grissett poses with Lil' Bill
“I’m feeling much more confident that he will make it, but we definitely still have some hurdles to jump over for him to make a full recovery,” Dr. Grissett said. “We’ll know much more when we have the results of the genetic testing and the other detailed lab work we completed.”

“Most of the time, calves more than three to four weeks premature, don’t have a great chance of survival,” Dr. Grissett said. “Lil’ Bill has beat the odds by making it past his one-month mark. He certainly has the will to survive. Our goal is to make sure he has the very best opportunity to do so!”

Veterinary medicine students that were on rotation to help with Lil Bill. 
Lil’ Bill may still have a long road ahead of him, but with the advanced care provided by the MSU-CVM, the odds are in his favor! And, he certainly isn’t lacking for fans to provide well wishes. In addition to all the TLC he’s receiving from MSU-CVM students, the tiny calf has garnered more than 100,000 “likes” since his debut on social media, and he has also been featured on FOX News and The Sun.

So, “moooove over and make room, Bully; Lil’ Bill just might be here to stay!”

For updates on Lil’ Bill’s progress, visit