NWCF Added to Paw Wall at WSU

NWCF Added to Paw Wall at WSU

In the lobby of Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, North West Camelid Foundation has been added to the Paw Wall in recognition as one of the people or organizations who have given $10,000 or more to the school.

NWCF 2022 WSU Scholarship Winner: Rachel Hanson

NWCF 2022 WSU Scholarship Winner: Rachel Hanson

April 2022

Dear North West Camelid Foundation,

I am honored to have been considered for the NWCF Scholarship and am extremely gateful for your contributions to our continued growth in the field of veterinary medicine.

I grew up in southeastern Idaho and was active e in my local 4-H clubs and rodeo. I continued my passion for agriculture and rodeo in to my undergraduate education at Utah State University by completing my bachelor’s in Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Science, and competing on the USU Rodeo Team. During those three years I made the Dean’s list each assister and served as the Bice President of the rodeo team for two years. I continued my time at USU by completing the first two years of the DVM program there before moving up to Pullman in the fall of 2020.

2022 WSu scholarship recipient NWCF Rachel Hanson

During my time in Logan I was fortunate to be involved in the veterinary school by being a Cache Veterinary Practitioners Association representative, Vice President of the Student Chapter of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, and a USU School of Veterinary Medicine Ambassador. My priorities in school have revolved around maintaining a high standard of academic performance while also gaining as much practical experience as I can manage to accommodate. My determination paid off and I was selected to be the 2019 USU SVM Summer Large animal Intern, which allowed me further invaluable time with the three clinical veterinarians on staff. By the end of my second year, I finished third in my class of 30 students while amassing over 180 hours of clinical experience at the farm.

2020 proved difficult due to the pandemic and the subsequent changes to what our vet school education would look like. The move to Pullman in this situation left me feeling secluded, burned out, and anxious, especially knowing that my normal outlet of hands-on experience would be extremely limited. The turn of the year to 2021 brought new opportunities though and I found myself busy assisting with overnight lambing and traveling with a CVM professor to perform bull breeding sourness exams and routine herd work for beef producers in rural Washington. My passion for large animals theriogenology also led me to join the WSU palpation team, and we were lucky enough to be able to compete in the 2021 SAVMA competition and finish third.

During my clinical year of rotations, I enrolled in every theriogenology oration that would fit in my schedule which included two traveling beef cattle rotations, an equine rotation at USU, and a comparative large animal theriogenology rotation at WSU with Dr. Ahmed Tibary. During the latter, I was able to perform complete breeding soundness exams on multiple alpacas. I was able to visualize and diagnose common anatomical defects that make breeding difficult-to-impossible and formulate recommendations for the producer in terms of next steps for those animals. Throughout these experiences, I have continued to expand my clinical skill set and my appreciation for the discipline of theriogenology.

I have accepted a position as a rural mixed animal practioner in Blackfoot, Idaho, which poses some concern to me as far as paying off my student loans. Your generosity will help take some of that weight off my shoulders and allow me to pursue my dream without hesitation. Thank you again, and I am sincerely grateful to have the support of the North West Camelid Foundation.

Rachel Hanson
Pullman, WA

NWCF 2022 OSU Scholarship Winner: Lane Beu

NWCF 2022 OSU Scholarship Winner: Lane Beu

Lane Beu winner NWCF scholarship 2022

Why I chose veterinary medicine:
To be able to provide small farms a comprehensive source of care and continue the shift of large animal medicine toward humane practices.

My career plans:
Hoping for a mobile, mixed animal practice serving a rural community. Plan is to provide a one-stop shop to see the barn cats, the livestock guardian dog, the horses, pigs, sheep, alpacas, cows etc.

Fun fact:
Working at the large animal hospital has been a great experience, learning how to behave around animals who are stressed/in pain. Also being lifting completely off the ground by the neck of an alpaca who was just as surprised as I was.

Lane Beu, Class of 2024
Hometown: Bloomfield, CO
Undergraduate degree: Colorado State University

NWCF 2021 OSU Scholarship Winner Kelsey Woolsey

NWCF 2021 OSU Scholarship Winner Kelsey Woolsey

Kelsey Woolsey recipient NW Camelid Foundation Scholarship 2021

Why I chose veterinary medicine:
I grew up on a small hobby farm with a lot of animals. We had horses, goats, llamas, rabbits and many more. I have always loved animals; I find great joy in training and caring for them. I chose veterinary medicine because it will allow me to help improve the quality of life of animals and strengthen the human-animal bond through the promotion of species-specific husbandry, enrichment, training, behavior, and health care.

My career plans:
I am still not completely sure about my career plans. I love working with large animals: horses, camelids, sheep and goats. I am also very interested in veterinary behavior.

Words of appreciation:
Thank you so much for your support of my veterinary school journey. Camelids were an important part of my childhood and I hope to make them a part of my veterinary career.

Kelsey Woolsey, Class of 2022
Hometown: Grants Pass, OR
Undergraduate degree: Oregon State University
Fun fact: My favorite bird is an albatross.

Spit Happens: Learning Camelid Healthcare in the Field

Spit Happens: Learning Camelid Healthcare in the Field

OSU’s Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine: Veterinary Pulse

September 21, 2021
by Jens Odegaard

In the image above: Catherine Skinner examines an alpaca as Dr. Christopher Cebra teaches during the camelid course.

Catherine Skinner has gone two weeks without getting spit on. That’s hopefully a normal occurrence for most of us. But most of us aren’t working with alpacas and llamas on a daily basis.

Skinner just finished the Camelid Medicine and Surgery course, a two-week elective, at Oregon State University’s Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine. It covers all things alpaca and llama.

“I really thought [getting spit on] was going to be the biggest challenge for me,” Skinner chuckled. “And that was way low on my list. There were things that were way more challenging.”

Skinner is in her fourth year of veterinary school, and “I’m technically on the small animal track,” she said. With most of her coursework focused on cats and dogs, she decided to seize her chance at some large animal experience with the camelid elective.

“I felt like this was the safest place to learn about something I knew nothing about. I really like llamas and alpacas, but I’ve never owned any, and I’ve never worked with people who own any,” Skinner said. “So, I felt like the opportunity was there. I needed some elective credits, and I should fill it in with stuff that I’m probably not going to get at any other point.”

One of the things Skinner learned in the course is to read camelid behavior. It turns out that taking a direct spit hit usually only happens if you’ve really annoyed an animal and then stand right in the line of fire. A huge part of providing veterinary care is understanding the behavior of the animals you’re caring for and how to make their care experience as comfortable as possible for them.

Dr. Christopher Cebra, Glen Pfefferkorn and Morris Wendorf Endowed Professor in Camelid Medicine, and his faculty colleagues teaching the course, have the expertise and experience to impart this knowledge. “Dr. Cebra is really great to learn from,” Skinner said. “He is a wonderful teacher, very, very approachable … And he is like a wealth of information.”

Cebra has been running the camelid course for the last 15 years. Each year, an average of 18 people enroll. They’re not all CCVM students like Skinner. Students from other veterinary programs, both in the United States and abroad, as well as some practicing veterinarians take the course. “At Oregon State, we were very advanced in a lot of ways in our thinking as far as camelid medicine goes, and I just wanted to make sure that we organized it in such a way that we gave people useful information,” Cebra said.

During the course, those enrolled take a deep dive into the world of camelid healthcare. Course topics include herd health, medicine, castrations, reproduction, imaging, lab analysis, necropsy, parasites, surgery, limb fracture setting and medical procedures. In addition, students visit local farms where they put what they’ve learned into practice.

“We’ve done two field trips to different alpaca farms. We did a lot of pregnancy checks with ultrasound, trimmed nails and castrated a bunch of animals,” Skinner said. “I knew there was going to be hands-on experience, but I didn’t realize how much hands-on experience. So, I feel very satisfied by it. I feel very comfortable doing what I need to do if I was ever in a situation where somebody needed me to [provide veterinary care to] their alpacas.”

This level of comfort is exactly what Cebra hopes the course will provide. “It has the ability to turn somebody who maybe was involved in one or two cases during their senior year in the clinic, and maybe learned how to draw blood once or something, into somebody who actually is confident and might actively solicit calls,” Cebra said.

“And so that’s ultimately my goal, to spread our information as wide as we can, and to try to elevate camelid health care as far and in as many places as we can … I mean, camelids deserve it.”

We look forward to Camelid Owners Meet ‘n Greet
when we can safely gather together once more.

What topics are you, Camelid Owners, interested in?
Contact NWCF with suggestions for future classes.