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University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital                                                                December 2015

 Ginger Passalacqua
 Ginger Passalacqua, Referral Coordinator

I’m pleased to announce that I’m getting each and every one of you a gift! It’s the gift of being connected to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital in every manner possible. You can even choose the gift that fits you best! Choose from:

Feeling like you’ve been extra good and deserve more? I agree! You can also download the hospital and diagnostic lab phone app. It’s called “Illinois DVM” and it’s the gift that keeps on giving all year. Happy holidays to you all!  

Contact me if you would like to schedule a visit at your clinic with one of our veterinary specialists.


Open through the Holidays

During the holiday season, if your practice closes or has limited hours, you can refer patients to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Our ER is open 24/7/365.


Pieper Passes Dermatology Boards

Congratulations to Dr. Jason Pieper, who recently passed the American College of Veterinary Dermatology certification examination. Dr. Pieper became an assistant professor of dermatology in July after completing his residency at the hospital.


Dianna Black

Regulatory Updates from the Pharmacist

Read updates on hydrocodone, ketamine, drugs on wheels, Form 41, and pharmacy education from Dianna Black, RPh.

Dianna Black was recently a co-presenter in a free, case-based webinar covering common scenarios faced by retail pharmacists fulfilling veterinary prescriptions. Register to view it at


Whittington and student

Avian Influenza Review and Update

Influenza viruses can be classified as type A, B, or C. Influenza A viruses, the type responsible for most influenza outbreaks, are further classified by subtypes based on their surface proteins, hemagglutinin and neuraminidase. There are 16 types of hemagglutinin and 9 types of neuraminidase. Most influenza viruses are highly adapted to a single species or type of animal. Avian and swine influenza viruses, however, commonly affect other species, including humans.

Read more about highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak and surveillance, and the importance of veterinarians and avian caregivers to be alert for signs of HPAI in wild and domestic birds.



Faculty Spotlight: Laura Garrett, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology), Hospital Chief of Staff


Laura Garrett has been a faculty member at the University of Illinois since 2006. 

Will you be speaking anywhere in the near feature?

I am speaking at the Midwest Veterinary Conference in Columbus, Ohio, at the end of February. I spoke there a few years ago and was impressed by what a well-run, friendly, and large (> 6,000 attendees) meeting it was. I’m giving six talks in one day; the topics include cytology, osteosarcoma, and communication.

Are there any new studies oncology will be performing?

We are leading a multi-institutional clinical trial investigating an anti-metastatic agent for canine osteosarcoma. This trial includes the standard of care therapy of amputation and chemotherapy for all enrolled dogs; after finishing the chemotherapy protocol, the patients are randomized to follow-up monitoring or rapamycin therapy. The vast majority of dogs tolerate amputation and chemotherapy excellently, and minimal side effects are expected with the rapamycin. The trial is partially funded and covers roughly half of the cost of amputation and almost all of the costs associated with chemotherapy treatment. Please give us a call to find out more about this exciting new approach to extending survival in dogs with osteosarcoma!

What do you enjoy about being an oncology faculty doctor?

I am grateful, almost every day, that I became an oncologist. I’ve had many people ask me how I can work in such a depressing field, and I answer that it really isn’t depressing. Being able to work with dedicated pet owners and provide answers and options at a scary time is very rewarding. We get to see clients and patients repeatedly and build relationships over weeks, months, and even years of treatments—something that occurs naturally in general veterinary practice but rarely in many of the speciality areas. And we also get to work with a fantastic referring veterinarian population and help to build the critical triangle of client/pet–trusted general practitioner–specialist.

In taking on the additional role as chief of staff, I hope to continue to reach out to our referring veterinarians and create even more connections to help them and their patients through all of the services our hospital provides.



Equine Journal Features Several Illinois Articles

Dr. Pamela Wilkins edited the December 2015 issue of Veterinary Clinics of North America: Equine Practice, focused on equine neonatology. It included articles by several Illinois faculty members:

Defining the Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome in Equine Neonates
—David M. Wong and Pamela A. Wilkins

Diagnostic Imaging of the Lower Respiratory Tract in Neonatal Foals: Radiography and Computed Tomography
—Kara M. Lascola and Stephen Joslyn

Anesthesia of the Equine Neonate in Health and Disease
—Berit Fischer and Stuart Clark-Price


Clinical Trials

Zymox Otic Plus Solution for Treatment of Otitis Externa in Canines

Comparison of Echocardiography and Computed Tomography for Characterization of Cardiac Clots in Cats with Heart Disease

Evaluation of Orally Administered mTOR Inhibitor Rapamycin in Dogs in the Adjuvant Setting with Osteosarcoma


CE Opportunities

Canine and Feline Dental Techniques
January 22-23, 2016

Executive Veterinary Program in Swine Health Management: Module 9
February 18, 2016