Spring 2018
Cardiologists Discuss One Health Approaches to Heart Disease
UC Davis continues to lead the way in a growing approach to medicine called One Health. Understanding that the health of humans, animals and the environment are all connected and may hold discoveries for each other is the foundation of One Health. A cornerstone of that approach is studying the diseases animals and humans share. One of those is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a heart disease that results in thickening of the walls of the heart ventricles, interfering with the flow of blood, and leading to sometimes fatal consequences. The condition can be difficult to study in humans due to its low rate of occurrence (about 1 in 500). However, veterinarians are proving to be a much welcomed addition to that research, for they see a condition that almost exactly resembles human HCM in approximately 10 percent of cats. 
Veterinary Open House on Picnic Day
The School of Veterinary Medicine will host an open house on UC Davis Picnic Day on Saturday, April 21, 2018. The event will feature tours of the veterinary hospital and other activities at the School of Veterinary Medicine from 1-4 p.m. Registration for tours begins at 12 p.m. on Picnic Day at the Information Tent located at the entrance to the Small Animal Clinic of the hospital. No prior reservations will be accepted. We strongly encourage you to come early to reserve your spot on a tour. Last year, all tours were booked within the first hour of registration.
House Officers Showcase Research Projects
UC Davis veterinary hospital house officers (interns, fellows, residents) presented their research studies at the 40th Annual Gerald V. Ling House Officer Seminar Day. The day-long event featured short presentations to fellow house officers, faculty, staff, students and guests.
Faculty Spotlight – Ronald Li, DVM, MVetMed, PhD, DACVECC
Dr. Ronald Li recently joined the Emergency and Critical Care Service as an assistant professor. He graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College (University of Guelph) in 2009 and completed a rotating internship in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Li then went on to pursue an emergency and critical care residency and a Master of Veterinary Medicine degree at the Royal Veterinary College in 2011. He became a Diplomate of American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care in 2014. Dr. Li received his Ph.D. from UC Davis in December 2017.
Resident Spotlight – Jenna Winer, DVM
Dr. Jenna Winer is a third-year resident in the Dentistry & Oral Surgery Service. She earned her veterinary degree from UC Davis in 2014. Dr. Winer then returned home to complete a rotating small animal internship at the Animal Specialty and Emergency Center, a private practice in Los Angeles. She developed an interest in dentistry when she published a manuscript on sea otter dental pathology during her third year of veterinary school. Her special interests include dentistry of wildlife/zoo species and maxillofacial surgery.
Foxtails Pose Serious Health Risks to Animals
Foxtails—a type of seed cluster found in a small group of weed plants—are commonly found in Northern California, including foxtail grasses, barley and millets. While these weeds may seem harmless, animal owners should be vigilant to keep their pets away from plant awns. Covered with microscopic projections, foxtails can pose severe health risks to animals, as they migrate into tissue causing abscesses and widespread infections. The physical make-up of the foxtail stops it from reversing direction and exiting the body. The most common access points foxtails utilize to enter the body are through the nose, mouth and ears, but they can also penetrate the skin causing wounds and subcutaneous abscesses.
Foaling Services Available at Large Animal Clinic
Foaling season is upon us. The hospital’s Large Animal Clinic can assist with a number of foaling options. UC Davis equine specialists provide a full range of foaling services with the highest quality of care anywhere in Northern California. Whether it is for high-risk pregnancies or pregnancies anticipated to be normal, the hospital can keep a watchful eye on expecting mares to give owners peace of mind.
Surgery Program Offers Community Benefit
The Community Surgery Service performs spays/neuters and other basic surgical procedures on dogs and cats, allowing 4th year veterinary students to gain hands-on surgical experience. In exchange for student participation, the service offers discounted surgery rates for clients and shelters. For more information and to schedule appointments, please call (530) 752-7631.
Laceration Repair Surgery Saves Horse’s Athletic Career
Nash, a 12-year-old American Quarter Horse gelding, is a roping horse in local competitions and also works for his family herding cattle. That career was in jeopardy recently after suffering a severe laceration to his lower lip that extended back to his jawline. His owners searched Nash’s stall for evidence of how the injury happened. While not certain it was the cause, the only possible culprit they could find was a rough edge on a food bowl that they hadn’t noticed before.
Champion Show Dog Undergoes Successful Hip Replacement Surgery at UC Davis
Swiss Star’s Chasing Moonbeams aka Luna, a 1-year-old female Bernese mountain dog, recently jumped out of the window of a moving car. After Luna immediately showed lameness in her pelvic limb, her co-owner Mary Beam had her examined by their primary veterinarian. X-rays showed a break in the head of Luna’s right femur, so she was referred to a local veterinary surgeon. After discovering that Luna was a champion show dog, the surgeon suggested Ms. Beam take her to see renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Denis Marcellin-Little at the UC Davis veterinary hospital.
Did You Know?
…that horses treated for sand colic at UC Davis have a 94 percent survival rate?
…that Drs. Catherine Gunther-Harrington and Maureen Oldach of the Cardiology Service recently published “Aberrant migration and surgical removal of a heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) from the femoral artery of a cat”? The paper was accepted by the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine and is based on a recent unique heartworm removal performed at the UC Davis veterinary hospital.
…that Drs. Boaz Arzi and Frank Verstraete from the Dentistry & Oral Surgery Service recently published “Craniomaxillofacial Disorders and Solutions in Humans and Animals” in the Journal of Dental Research? The paper describes the initiative, collaboration, and vision of the inaugural Craniomaxillofacial Disorders and Solutions in Man and Animals Conference held at UCLA in 2016.
Thanks & Praise from Grateful Clients
Dear UC Davis veterinary hospital,
I want to share my experience with the osteosarcoma canine clinical trial. My baby girl Cayla was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in June. I stumbled onto the UC Davis clinical trial, and she was accepted into the program. My first appointment was with (Oncology Service resident) Dr. Ji-In Lee. After a few treats, Cayla was comfortable (with her), and I was too. Dr. Lee was very thorough and patiently answered all my questions.

We went through amputation, four chemo rounds, x-rays, etc. This was an extremely overwhelming and stressful time for me, and Dr. Lee’s compassion and guidance helped so much. With our many appointments, we got to know Dr. Lee better, and Cayla was so excited to see her every trip. She gained my trust, and her love for Cayla was so evident.

I settled into my routine of resigning to cherish each day with my baby girl. She fought, was strong, chased the ball, walked, played and amazed me with her beautiful spirit. When it came time for me to think about Cayla’s end time, I was able to ask tough questions and get honest answers. Dr. Lee generously gave of her time and advice, which I can’t tell you how much I appreciated. Having such a smart and compassionate doctor in my corner was beyond comforting. I wanted Cayla’s goodbye to be with people she loved, so I asked Dr. Lee if she would be the one to help say goodbye. She gave generously of her heart and said yes.

Well, the day finally came when Cayla’s eating slowed, and then she couldn’t eat, and I knew something was wrong. Dr. Lee was there for me, answering my questions and offering to see her. I brought her in, and Dr. Lee felt a mass in her abdomen, and my worst scenario slammed me. The time had come, and even though I had been bracing myself for weeks, it was overwhelming.  

Dr. Lee made the wise suggestion to take a couple of hours and go for a nice long walk. I am beyond thankful she thought of that. I so cherish those final two hours doing what we both loved to do…walk, see horses and ducks, chase a stick and sit quietly with my arms around her, giving hugs and kisses, telling her she’s such a great and special girl. After our last precious walk, we went into the room to say goodbye. Dr. Lee gently told me the process. As my Cayla left this world, she left with our love, tears, kisses and hearing my special words whispered in her ear.

I’m so thankful that Cayla’s cancer journey brought us into the UC Davis clinical trial, and to Dr. Lee. She is a smart, wonderful and kind person and an excellent doctor. She gave so willingly of her time, effort, compassion and love. Sometimes in life, you are fortunate enough to cross paths with people who are truly exceptional gems in this world, and Dr. Lee is one of them. 


Deb S.,
Redding, California
Featured Clinical Trial
Dr. Jennifer Willcox is recruiting untreated dogs diagnosed with osteosarcoma in one of the legs for a new clinical trial. The trial aims to determine if adding the vaccine ADXS31-164c into the treatment protocol for dogs with osteosarcoma will be safe and improve efficacy of current standard therapies for osteosarcoma in dogs. Dogs will need chest x-rays, an abdominal ultrasound, and blood and urine collected at UC Davis to determine eligibility. For more information about this and other groundbreaking trials, visit the Veterinary Center for Clinical Trials website or email vetclintrials@ucdavis.edu.
CE Calendar
Upcoming Veterinary Continuing Education Events:

  • April 9-11 - Veterinary Society of Surgical Oncologists Meeting, Maui
  • April 28 - Translational Discoveries at Birth and End of Life: Featuring Dr. Temple Grandin, UC Davis
  • July 21-22 - 11th Annual Back to School Seminar, UC Davis
Help Advance Veterinary Care
With a simple online donation, you could make a difference for an animal – like Bentley, whose eyesight was restored thanks to donations to the hospital’s Compassionate Care Funds.
Vet Med Apparel Available
Looking for UC Davis Vet Med swag? Dozens of items are available online through the UC Davis bookstore. 
SVM Smartphone App
In January, the school launched a new mobile app. It includes information about the hospital and its services, upcoming continuing education events, the latest news from around the school, and up-to-date clinical trials information. Download it in the Apple and Android app stores by searching “UC Davis Veterinary Medicine”.