Saturday, June 9, 2018

Day 3 Equine Lab

By Allie Allsup

This morning, the campers got the chance to experience Equine lab. Equine, is all about horses, so the morning was full of learning all about these beautiful creatures. The campers were split into three groups and taken to three different rooms to observe and participate in an eye exam, an ultrasound and the viewing of Nick’s (the ‘painted’ horse) anatomy, both skeleton and internal organs.

In exam room #1 was Dr. Brashier who was giving an eye exam on Tigger. Similar to when a human gets an eye exam, Dr. Brashier dilated the eyes so as to get a better view of all of the ocular structures, more importantly the fundus. Unlike a human though, Tigger had to be lightly sedated in order for a thorough ocular exam to be performed. If you don’t know, a horse’s head weighs around one hundred pounds, so the doctor has to be extra careful when treating the patient. As he got started, Dr. Brashier instructed the kids on basic eye anatomy and the turned off the lights to get a better view of the pupil. He taught the campers a little bit about what happens when light touches the eye and what to expect from it when it did. Before light touches a horses eye it is round, but once light shines on it, the pupil turns horizontal. Next, the campers learned about the tapetum, which is a light reflective tissue in the eye. The tapetum has two basic parts, the upper two-thirds of the eye is a greenish reflective color and the bottom is one-third blue grey. Dr. Brashier instructed the campers on how to hold a light probe in order to see the fundus for themselves. Each camper got to hold the lens up to the horse’s eye, and using a transluminator, they were able to also see the horse’s optic disc.

In exam room #2 was Dr. Crabtree and the mare, Blackfoot. Here, the campers were shown, through ultrasound, Blackfoot’s internal organs. They were able to see the lungs, kidneys and the spleen to start. Each camper got to grab the probe and place it just in front of the last rib in order to see both the spleen and left kidney. Dr. Crabtree says this is what every first year doctor is taught when getting into the program, so getting this hands on experience and knowledge is very beneficial to the teens and gives them each a head start in their future studies. Hopefully if they stay the route, the campers will be ahead of the game and be able to point out exactly where to place the probe to find each of these internal organs.  

After the ultrasound, it was time to move on to Nick the horse and Dr. Light. Nick, who is a white horse, was painted head to toe on both sides. One side was his full skeletal image and the other side was his internal organs. Dr. Light was able to point out and discuss what each part of the body did and how the strong 

For more photos and daily posts follow 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Overnight Camp Day 2

By Allie Allsup
We are back in action this week with a second session of our summer veterinary camp program, as our Overnight Camp welcomed 26 young campers as they embark on new experiences of learning and understanding that will hopefully inspire them to pursue a future career in veterinary medicine.

Similar to the previous week’s day camp session, this group of campers will get to take part in some educational hands-on activities, happening Wednesday, June 6 through Sunday, June 10. The Overnight Camp session is a little different, though, because there are longer hours to each day. This allows the campers really get their fill of all that veterinary medicine has to offer. Today, we are going to take a deeper look into what is happening in some of the labs.

Before heading to Micro lab, the campers got the opportunity to hear Dr. James Brett, Associate Clinical Professor, speak about all the different career paths within Veterinary Medicine. This was a good opportunity for the campers to grasp the idea of what areas might interest them as well as giving them an understanding of what job opportunities await them within the field. This lesson highlighted what a particular career in this field would look like and all the many different areas one can pursue. He also discussed the admissions process to veterinary school, which was sure to be helpful to inquiring young minds setting their sights on the future. It is the perfect way to get the campers ready for the next experience to come after lunch, Micro Lab.

After taking a quick lunch break, the campers got to experience Micro Lab with Dr. Frank Austin in the MDL. This lab, also known as the “dog mouth swab lab,” consisted of swabbing the cheeks of dogs in order to get a culture to search for different types of bacteria. Each camper was able to grab a cotton swab and proceed to swab a dog’s cheek and then streak it on three otter plates. Afterward, all there is to do is wait until tomorrow so the bacteria have enough time to incubate. Tomorrow, the campers will be busy looking into their microscopes in search of bacteria.

As to what the kids can get out of this lab, Dr. Austin says it’s the introduction to the whole that really matters here.  “This lab is what first introduces the kids to Micro,” said Dr. Austin. “It’s their first opportunity to analyze different diseases.”

Dr. Austin also says that the importance of being a microbiologist is to understand the first step of the process, which is to establish a pure culture. Afterward, you put all three plates in an incubator and wait until tomorrow to see what grows over night.

Dr. Austin, who’s been at MSU-CVM for more than thirty years, said it’s his goal to make this lab educational and fun.  “I want it to be a good, fun experience for y’all,” said Dr. Austin.

Earlier in the day, campers experienced Pathology Lab and Critical Care Lab. Later in the afternoon, the campers will get to observe and participate in a Canine Physical Exam, a Bovine lab and a Suture Lab, to name a few. After a full day’s worth of fun and learning, campers are sure to be tired. But they’re also likely awaiting tomorrow’s activities with eager anticipation.  “Pathology lab was so cool,” said one camper. “I’m super excited to see how our bacteria turns out tomorrow.” 
For more photos and daily posts follow

CVM Clinical Instructor Matches with Patient in Need

Dr. Jesse Grady, a Clinical Instructor at MSU-CVM, has recently been selected to be a donor for an organization called Be The Match. This is a donor organization that offers hope to patients with blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, sickle cell anemia or other life-threatening diseases. By joining the Be The Match Registry, an individual volunteers to be a potential blood stem cell or bone marrow donor. It also means that if selected, the individual would be ready to save a patient in need of a transplant. Grady generously wanted to contribute to the organization and was miraculously matched with a patient in need.

“I’m a big supporter of Be The Match, and I will likely be donating bone marrow through them within the next 60 days,” Grady said. “I matched with a patient in need two months ago and am now moving on to medical screening.”
         One way to get involved with Be The Match is to first register online at their website Here, a series of questions will be asked about one’s medical history to see if each individual meets the basic criteria for donating. Next, a cheek swab kit will be sent in the mail. This is so the organization can obtain a sample of one’s DNA, and after swabbing the inner side of the cheek, the individual will send it back to them. Afterward, depending on the genetic complexity of matching donors to patients, it could be weeks, months or even years before any individual is contacted about a potential match.
         Grady touched on his own particular story detailing on how long it has taken to be contacted and what he hopes to get out of the process.
         “After I created my account and passed the screening questions, I received an envelope containing cheek swabs from Be The Match, swabbed my cheeks, and sent them back,” Grady said. “Ever since then I’ve simply waited for the past 6 years.”
By donating, the individual is representing a patient’s best possible genetic match and perhaps their only hope for a cure. If contacted, all that is left to do is to donate to a person in need and hopefully save a life.
 “I hope to help better promote Be The Match around campus and show that doctors from MSU-CVM don’t just care for animals, but people as well; albeit in a unique way in this instance,” said Grady.

Friday, June 1, 2018

DAY 2 of Vet Camp

By Allie Allsup
Day 2 of MSU-CVM’s Vet Camp had another early start to it, with the campers up and going by 8 a.m. this morning. After a fun first day, they were excited for the fun and learning to continue into yet another day of camp.
First on the agenda for today was Equine Lab, which entailed all things horses. Campers got to see Nick, a white horse painted on both sides with anatomy. On one side of him was the entire anatomy of his internal organs and on the other was his physical skeleton. The campers were able to observe a physical exam and an ultrasound, and in the MDL, the campers learned about GI anatomy with Dr. Nabors.
After observing and learning several things from the Equine Lab, the campers were led on to their next experiences, the Parasitology and Suture Labs. Dr. Andrea Varela-Stokes provided the campers with a lesson about parasitology and afterward each camper got to do their very own fecal float. Now, for those of you who aren’t familiar, a fecal float is when one collects the feces of a cat or dog, in this case a dog, and adds sodium nitrate to allow parasite eggs to float. With a cover slip and waiting for approximately ten minutes, the camper can then place the cover slip on a slide to check under the microscope for parasites. This is how a veterinarian can tell what parasites are affecting the particular animal, and this is a great opportunity for the campers to learn that information, too
After the topic of feces was thoroughly covered in the Parasitology Lab, campers moved on to Suture Lab, which provided each camper with a stuffed teddy bear in need of repair. With supervision of the counselors and Dr. Jesse Grady, each camper was provided their own instruments to learn and practice how to correctly place sutures and the proper hand motion techniques to tie the knots. It was a very hands-on activity and a lot of fun as each camper worked to put their teddy bear back together again.
Shockingly, all this fun happened within the first half of the day. The campers have many more fun adventures awaiting them after lunch. These include learning about several different career paths in veterinary medicine, an Exotics Lab, and learning how to do a canine physical exam. The campers this year have been excited about all of the opportunities they’ve had so far and continue to have here at camp to advance their knowledge of the field of veterinary medicine.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

DAY 1 of Vet Camp

By Allie Allsup
As we embark on this year’s summer veterinary camp, our eighth one since its inception in 2011, we have 43 young campers joining us to listen, learn and engage the field of veterinary medicine.
Once check-in concluded around 8:30 a.m., campers and their family members were invited to join camp staff in the First Year (DVM) Classroom for a welcoming ceremony. This included a meet and greet of all the camp staff members and a brief summary about what the camp entails.
After initial greetings etc., we had a surprise guest, our mascot Bully, who is also affectionately known as Jak, and his handler, Lisa Pritchard. Lisa got to share all the details about Jak and his many habits, while also sharing a little bit about the history of our beloved mascot. As parents said goodbye, each camper got to take a group picture with their counselor and Jak to officially start camp.
Kaitlyn Junkin, Student Camp Director, is in charge of making sure camp comes together and has been preparing for this day for weeks. When asked about what she was most looking forward to about the camp, she replied that it’s getting the kids better prepared for the future that keeps her going.
“I’m really looking forward to teaching kids more about veterinary medicine,” Junkin said. “I wish I had this knowledge and opportunity when I was 15 or 16 years old and it’s exciting because we get to do stuff that us second year veterinary students haven’t even gotten to do as students yet.” 
In addition to a camp staff comprised of veterinary students, MSU’s summer veterinary camp program also has a clinician or faculty member overseeing each of the labs students participate in, to provide added oversight and expertise.
With camp officially underway, campers got to play some fun icebreaker games to get to know one another better. One of which was ‘Guess the Pet’, a game where the campers tried to guess the pet of their counselor. It was a great way for the campers to get to know the counselors a little bit better and a fun-loving activity to get them warmed up to what’s to come.
Next, it was finally time for the campers to experience their first Critical Care Lab, taught by Dr. Brittany Moore-Henderson. Before they got to enjoy some hands-on experiences in the lab, Dr. Marc Seitz came in and gave a 40-minute interactive presentation about Heat Strokes in Dogs. This presentation got them better prepared for what they were about to experience and allowed them to have plenty of discussion before diving into the lab activities.
It’s here that we learned of campers coming from as far as Tennessee, Kentucky and North Carolina. It goes to show that these students are really focused on exploring a future career in the field of veterinary medicine, as well as how far they are willing to come to make that goal happen. In fact, between the two camp sessions – day camp, which just kicked off today, and overnight camp, which will kick off next week – there are campers from a total of fifteen different states (coast-to-coast) and two countries (U.S. and Norway) represented. 

Finished with the presentation, campers were led into one of the MSU-CVM labs where they experienced seven different stations with hands-on activities. Each camper got to experience some type of medical task whether it be pumping the chest of a coding dog (stuffed of course) or putting a catheter into a dummy dog. They were each tasked with very real situations with our counselors providing constant care, attention and participatory efforts for the students to really learn and understand what they are being taught today. They got to learn and review different techniques for helping a coding animal and got to observe certain techniques used by veterinarians.
Day Camp Coordinator Mekayla Mekara talked about what she is hoping to achieve and what she wants the campers to take away from this camp.
“My goal is for the campers to walk away with hands on knowledge that will prepare them for future job shadowing, internships or any field after high school, whether it be veterinary medicine, a veterinary technician or any medical or science field,” said Mekara.
If this morning has anything to say, it’s that this camp is jam packed with activities that are fun and essential for aspiring young veterinarians to encounter, all aimed at encouraging them to consider a career path in the field of veterinary medicine.

For more information about the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine’s summer veterinary camp program, visit

To see more photos please visit our facebook page.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine Conducts First-of-its-kind Survey on Dog Shelters

For Immediate Contact:
Katie Timmerman
PH: (662) 325-0465

Starkville, MS (May 3, 2018) – Mississippi State University (MSU) and its College of Veterinary Medicine announced today that it is conducting a first-of-its-kind survey of dog shelters in five states across the country.  The survey, which is funded by the Stanton Foundation, will provide valuable information about dog populations in shelters in key geographic regions across the country.  The goal of the survey, which will be one of the most comprehensive shelter surveys in U.S. history, is to gather detailed information on the number and physical characteristics of dogs entering shelters and what happens to them.

“The lack of reliable data makes it difficult to most effectively serve and help dogs in need. This survey will ultimately enable organizations that seek to promote canine welfare to help the greatest number of dogs,” said Dr. Kent H. Hoblet, Dean of MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “The information will be beneficial to shelter operators, policymakers and ultimately dog owners across the nation because it will provide vital insights into patterns and behaviors regarding dog ownership, adoption, transfers, outcomes and resource distribution.”

The team conducting the survey will be reaching out to more than 400 shelters in five states – Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Colorado and Oklahoma – that they have identified as eligible to participate. The five states were chosen because they each have a registry of shelters and provide a diverse geographical representation of the U.S.  The college is offering an honorarium of $100 to each participating shelter.

MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine will build on previous work measuring and assessing dog shelters. For this current study, MSU’s team of researchers and students will visit shelters in person to gather data, which will help ensure the quality of data is strong.  The individual data gathered will be kept confidential.  Additionally, the researchers are interested in hearing feedback from stakeholders and others about this initiative.

“People in all regions of the country care very much about canine welfare, and we believe that this study will help dog owners, elected and appointed officials, and shelter operators make informed decisions,” said Dean Hoblet.  “We appreciate the shelters that are partnering with us to help us acquire this data and are looking forward to working with them.”

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Friday, May 4, 2018

MSU-CVM Assistant Professor Barbara Kaplan elected Councilor for Society of Toxicology

Dr. Barbara Kaplan, an assistant professor in the Mississippi State University Center for Veterinary Medicine Department of Basic Sciences Center for Environmental Health Sciences, has been elected as 2018-2019 councilor for the Society of Toxicology.

According to its website, the Society of Toxicology is the largest toxicology society in the world with over 7,000 members from more than 60 countries. The goal of the Society is to further toxicological science in order to create “a safer and healthier world.”

Kaplan, whose research focuses on autoimmune disorders and environmental toxins, has been a member of the Society since 1997 and was nominated as councilor last November. As councilor, she will act as a liaison for the Society of Toxicology Council—the organization’s leadership group—and several of its committees, providing them with guidance. 

“I am honored to have been elected,” Kaplan said. “I’m looking forward to helping the Society achieve its goals for our members.”

Kaplan ran for councilor on a platform based on these goals. She said she will use her position to “support the Society’s efforts for recruitment and retention of students to toxicology at the undergraduate level, continue to learn about how best to communicate science and toxicology to the public, and promote the use of mentors at all career stages.”

Dr. Stephen Pruett, professor and head of the Department of Basic Sciences, said Kaplan’s new position will allow to have a positive impact in the advancement of toxicology and gain deserved prestige in her field.

“Getting elected to this leadership role in such a large organization is a great honor,” Pruett said. “It is very rare for someone as early in her career as Dr. Kaplan to be elected to the Council.”

Kaplan will begin acting as councilor on May 1, 2018.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Student Spotlight: Amber Chavez (DVM Class of 2018)

For as long as she’s been in school, Amber Chavez’s April 29 birthday has fallen on final exam week.
But this year, her birthday falls on a day she’s been working toward her whole life—her last day of school as a veterinary student in Mississippi State’s College of Veterinary Medicine before graduation.
She is about to become the first person in her family not only to graduate from college, but to have earned an advanced degree.
“Big things are happening that week,” Chavez said. “I’m a little nervous but mostly excited.”
Born in Mobile, Alabama, to parents who both worked two jobs to support their family, Chavez knew the value of hard work from a young age.
“I wouldn’t have the work ethic I have if it wasn’t for them,” she said. “They wanted something better, for them and for me, and they did what had to be done.”  Read More Here

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Annual Alpha Psi 5K Run/Walk sponsored by Nestle Purina

Students, participants and their pets braved the weather to participate in the annual Alpha Psi 5K Run/Walk sponsored by Nestle Purina. The course ran though the roads and parking areas around the Wise Center. Click Here for more images.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Sherry Blackmon and Audrey Anne Estess at AVMA Legislative Fly-In

Each year, MSU-CVM has a few of our very own students attend the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)'s Legislative Fly-In in Washington D.C. This year's Fly-In took place on March 26-27, and the two students representing us this year were Sherry Blackmon and AudreyAnne Estess.

AudreyAnne shares her exciting experience below from this year's Fly-In:

"I had the wonderful opportunity to represent MSU-CVM at the annual AVMA Legislative Fly-In. There were about 100 veterinarians and veterinary students meeting with U.S. Senators and Representatives on Capitol Hill. Among many topics, we discussed animal health/agriculture research, vaccine banks, and student loan repayment programs. It was so eye opening to learn about everything that happens in Congress that has a direct impact on animal health and the veterinary profession. At the Fly-In, I served as an advocate for companion animals, farm animals, pet owners, farmers, and veterinary professionals. It was so fulfilling to know that I was standing up for policy that would benefit such a wide array of humans and animals. I look forward to future opportunities in which I can be a voice for our profession."

#WeRingTrue #vetmed #students #outreach #congress #advocacy #policy #washingtondc

Thursday, March 8, 2018

MSU's College of Veterinary Medicine to host inaugural Shelter Educational Conference, sponsored by PetSmart Charities

STARKVILLE, Miss.— The Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine is hosting its first Shelter Educational Conference, funded entirely by PetSmart Charities. PetSmart Charities donated $16,050 for the conference, which will focus on ways in which animal shelters can improve their quality of care.

“PetSmart Charities has been one of the biggest supporters of our shelter medicine program,” Dr. Philip Bushby, professor emeritus and MSU College of Veterinary Medicine’s Marcia Lane Endowed Chair of Humane Ethics and Animal Welfare, said. “They fund a lot of the good work we do for shelter animals in Mississippi.”

The College of Veterinary Medicine’s shelter medicine program currently works with twenty-five shelters in the north Mississippi area. The program provides guidance in shelter management and safety, and combats overpopulation by offering high-volume, high-quality spay and neuter services through their mobile veterinary surgical units. These services are offered at no cost to the shelters.

“The idea for this conference came from seeing the constant needs of the shelters our program works with, but also recognizing that many shelters have similar needs,” Bushby said. “We want every shelter employee to leave the conference ready to make their shelters better than when they left them, regardless of their level of resources.”

The Shelter Educational Conference is open not just to veterinarians, but all people involved in shelter work, from managers and staff to volunteers.

“Shelters serve a key role in educating people to properly care for animals, and it is important that shelters understand not only how to properly care for animals, but also how to educate the people in their local communities on the proper care of animals,” said College of Veterinary Medicine dean, Dr. Kent Hoblet. “By opening the conference to such a broad group of attendants, it will serve as a multiplier for that important educational component.”

Speakers for the conference are all veterinarians and technicians from the College’s Shelter Medicine Program. They will cover topics ranging from capacity for care to shelter biosecurity to behavioral enrichment for dogs and cats.

Recognizing the limited resources of most shelters, the generous support of PetSmart Charities allows for registrants to attend the conference at no cost.

“PetSmart Charities’ continued support for the College’s shelter medicine program has been critical to enhance the program and broaden its reach throughout the community,” said Jimmy Kight, the College’s director of development. “By supporting grants such as this one, PetSmart Charities helps make possible critical training for shelter workers who directly address animal health and welfare needs on a daily basis.”

The Petsmart Charities Shelter Educational Conference will take place at the College of Veterinary Medicine on April 21 and 22. Registration is available through Friday, April 13, and individuals can register online:  Conference Registration click here.

Questions or requests for additional information about the conference can be directed to Dr. Philip Bushby at

Thursday, March 1, 2018

HAB Lecture Series at the Mill Conference Center Friday March 9th

Please RSVP to Karen Cook 662-325-1103, seats are still available.  Click Here to Download Poster

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Khaitsa Honored by the Pan African Medical Journal

Dr. Margaret Khaitsa, Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine professor of pathobiology and population medicine, has been honored by the Pan African Medical Journal (PAMJ).

Khaitsa’s work was highlighted in a special issue journal supplement dedicated to the research and graduate training Khaitsa and her collaborators conduct in Uganda. The issue reports on the accomplishments she and her collaborators have made in transboundary animal disease research.

The featured project is called “Capacity Building in Integrated Management of Transboundary Animal Diseases and Zoonoses” and is sponsored by the United States Agency of International Development.

The link to the special issue journal can be found online here: