As a result of an exciting cooperative relationship with the new world-class World Equestrian Center in Ocala, the college opened the UF Veterinary Hospital at WEC, a 40,000 square-foot hospital facility, in May 2022. The hospital is now providing leading-edge patient care for horses and small animals — including those that live near or are visiting WEC and/or are brought there to participate in equestrian events.
Animals in need of veterinary care are able to access the broad array of expertise in diagnostic and patient care offered by UF veterinary specialists working across a variety of disciplines. The equine hospital is focused on providing care in sports medicine, rehabilitation and advanced diagnostic imaging, while small animal care is focused on primary care and urgent care. We hope to expand specialty services to all patients at the UF Veterinary Hospital at WEC in the future.
A novel vaccine developed by two UF College of Veterinary Medicine researchers for use against a devastating strain of brucellosis that affects small ruminants has shown groundbreaking effectiveness in conferring long-term immunity in mice. In a new report in Frontiers in Immunology, Dr. David Pascual and Dr. Zakia Goodwin share that they have demonstrated the vaccine’s ability to generate a robust population of disease-fighting T cells in the lungs and spleen that helped to control systemic infection.
The new live, attenuated mucosal vaccine was tested using an oral delivery method followed by an intranasal boost — an approach few studies have investigated. Although brucellosis is not a new disease and is believed to have existed since the domestication of livestock, the lack of effective vaccines has renewed efforts to develop more effective animal vaccines as well as human vaccines. The investigators hope to develop a better vaccine for animals and to ultimately develop a vaccine for humans as well.
Mindful of the national shortage of veterinarians, the University of Florida approached the Florida Legislature for additional funding to increase the class size of our professional (D.V.M.) students.
With $3 million in funding successfully obtained, the college was able to expand the class to 150 slots, including 104 state-funded and 46 self-funded, starting with the fall semester. Average salaries for the Class of 2022 exceeded the national mean in private clinical practice, public practice and advanced training.
In a collaboration between the UF College of Veterinary Medicine and Alachua County, students at the college have gained an opportunity for hands-on learning in the field of shelter medicine and the college has enhanced the offerings of its shelter program to better serve the local community. In 2022, 56 veterinary students performed the rotation, conducting a total of 821 dog and cat spay-neuter surgeries, along with other procedures.
The student clerkship at Alachua County’s Animal Resources & Care shelter is one of three shelter medicine clerkship programs offered to UF veterinary students. Through the Alachua County clerkship and rotations offered at Miami-Dade Animal Services and the Veterinary Community Outreach Program on the UFCVM campus, the college provides one of the most robust combined training opportunities in the country to veterinary students interested in shelter medicine, and benefits the community by providing these unowned animals with high-quality care under the guidance of experts in their field.
This year, the college kicked off the USDA-funded Vet Start Mentoring program, the first at any institution. This program targets underrepresented high school students and provides a combination of hands-on experiences and mentor-mentee training to bridge the path into veterinary school.
Participating students will shadow D.V.M. faculty and will participate in veterinary and animal-related interactive experiences that use many of the science and math skills obtained in middle and high school.