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For Immediate Release
September 29, 2005

Contact For Reporters:
Derinda Lowe, APR
OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences
(405) 612-4019

OSU conference spotlights vet-med advancements

The expansion and enhancement of the national identification system for food animals, including its implementation in the state, are among current developments in veterinary medicine that will be highlighted next week at Oklahoma State University.

The OSU College of Veterinary Medicine Fall Veterinary Conference will be held October 6 – 7 at the Wes Watkins Center on the Stillwater campus. The event welcomes veterinary doctors and technicians from Oklahoma and throughout the nation, according to Dr. Michael Lorenz, dean and professor at OSU’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences.

“The conference primarily serves to provide quality, continuing education for practicing veterinarians in Oklahoma,” Lorenz said. “We bring in board certified, distinguished individuals from across the country to lead sessions and help ensure that, in transferring knowledge to the profession, we provide the most practical, relevant program we can for our constituents.”

“The conference also doubles as the College of Veterinary Medicine homecoming so it’s our pleasure to welcome back to campus our alumni from all corners of the world,” Lorenz said.

Concerns about agriterrorism and, to a much greater extent, infectious diseases such as mad cow disease have led to the utilization of computer microchips to track cattle, according to Dr. Carolyn MacAllister, CVHS coordinator of continuing education.

“Animal identification systems are a fairly new development but are rapidly becoming mandatory,” MacAllister said. “The idea is to know where cattle are and have been ‘from birth to the plate’ as a way to protect our food supply.”

“Sessions of the conference will provide an overview for veterinarians of what to expect from the system and how it will be used in the event of, for instance, a Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy scare or an agriterror attack,” she said.

Dr. Becky Brewer, state veterinarian, and Dr. Scott Dewald on Friday will describe the implementation of the national animal identification system in Oklahoma. Other presentations will focus on technologies behind the system and their optimization.

“Because microprocessors are implanted into animals, the system has a number of cattle management applications,” MacAllister said. “A session will involve the system’s use in health monitoring and how practitioners may use various kinds of software to assist their customers and clients.”

In addition to the food animal symposiums, the conference includes sessions on medical breakthroughs in the care and treatment of equine and small animals. Highlights include new developments in the neonatal care of foals, the management of skin ailments for dogs and the diagnosis of respiratory disease in dogs and cats.

Following education sessions Thursday morning, Dr. Stephen Sundlof, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, will give the conference keynote speech at 11:30 a.m. Sundlof will detail his agency’s approval and regulation of drugs used in veterinary medicine. His appearance is sponsored by the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 1963.

The 2005 Fall Veterinary Conference is a presentation of OSU’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, its Alumni Affairs and College Outreach offices and the Department of Veterinary Technology at OSU-OKC.

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