Pets and Vets: Burned horse receives critical care at Ohio State


See pictures of Northstar, plus find more state-by-state news on the world of veterinary care.

Ohio State University's Galbreath Equine Center specialists treated a 6-year-old American paint horse that was badly burned in August in Crawford County, Pa. The horse, named Northstar (below), was deliberately doused in an unknown accelerant and set on fire, according to an OSU press release. The horse sustained first-, second- and third-degree burns to approximately 40 percent of his body.

“A burn victim with injuries this severe will need a minimum of four weeks of healing before infection is under control and graft surgery can be considered, but I am impressed with how he is progressing,” says Samuel Hurcombe, DVM, BSc, BVMS, MS DACVIM and ACVECC, assistant professor of equine emergency and critical care at the Galbreath center. “Northstar is bright and interactive with people and his pain is manageable, but he has a long way to go to recovery.”

Northstar's medical bills will top $10,000. The College of Veterinary Medicine has created the Northstar Equine Emergency Critical Care Fund in his honor. Donations to the fund will be used to support equine patients in need of critical veterinary care and provide financial support for the Galbreath Equine Center.

See the following pages for more pictures of Northstar and details about his treatment (photos courtesy of The Ohio State University).

Dr. Samuel Hurcombe, DVM, Bsc, BVMS, MS, DACVIM, DACVECC, assistant professor of equine emergency and critical care at OSU's Galbreath Equine Center, cares for Northstar, treating him for burns on 40 percent of his body.

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Hurcombe said Northstar it would take at least a month of healing before infection was under control and graft surgery could be considered. Despite the horse's severe wound, Hurcombe was impressed with how Northstar was progressing.

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Jayne May visits Northstar during his recovery. WARNING: The next two images are graphic.

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Northstar's wound is believed to be the result of being set on fire after being doused with an unknown accelerant.

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Donations will cover the cost of Northstar's recovery which the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine estimates at more than $10,000.

More state news on the next page.

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According to a university press release, the Arizona Board of Regents approved a $3 million state budget request to study the feasibility of the Arizona Veterinary Medical Education program at the University of Arizona in Tucson. The university will be the first and only in the state to offer a full veterinary program if Governor Janice Brewer approves the motion. The university presently offers only a pre-veterinary program for its students.


According to published reports, Roger and Sandi Jenkins of Frederick, Md., were awarded $600,000 by a Frederick County jury for pain and suffering in addition to $20,000 for veterinary expenses after their Labrador retriever was shot by a Frederick County sheriff's deputy in January 2010. The dog was shot when officers attempted to serve a warrant at the residence and the dog bounded out of the home. An attorney for the Frederick County Sheriff's office asked Montgomery County Judge Marielsa Bernard to either set aside the verdict or grant his motion for a new trial. Judge Bernard heard the case after Frederick county judges recused themselves.

Bernard said it would be inappropriate to substitute her judgement for the jury's verdict, but did reduce the $20,000 awarded for veterinary bills to $7,500, as Maryland law caps damages for veterinary bills at that amount. The case is one of the first in Maryland to recognize pets as more than property.


Colleen Conlon of Gardner, Mass., says her cat went to veterinarian Muhammad Malik, DVM, for a flea bath at Broadway Animal Hospital but was mistakenly euthanized, according to the Associated Press. Apparently Conlon's son unknowingly authorized the cat to be put to sleep after he says he was handed the wrong forms. Conlon is claiming veterinary negligence.


In an effort to increase the overall return rate of veterinary students to Montana, specifically to large animal or food animal practices, Montana State University (MSU) is seeking approval of a veterinary medical education program in cooperation with Washington State University. A specific cooperative regional veterinary program within the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) would allow MSU to engage its own faculty in education, maintain connection with students and engage the state's veterinary professional workforce in the education, recruitment and retention of the future veterinary workforce.

The proposal would allow for more control over student acceptance into the program in order to focus on those willing to work in rural communities where veterinary shortages are greatest. The Cooperative Veterinary medical Education Program would be located on the MSU campus in Bozeman. The proposal will come to the Board of Regents for action at the November meeting.

New Jersey

Gov. Chris Christie has signed a law making it illegal to slaughter horses for human consumption in New Jersey. The law also prohibits the sale of horse meat for human consumption, the transport of live horses for the purpose of slaughter and the transport of horse meat for human consumption. Assemblyman Ronald Dancer and Sen. Raymond Lesniak introduced the bill.

New York

Commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have approved plans for a $32 million animal handling facility at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) that will handle roughly 70,000 domestic and wild animals annually. The center will set new national airport standards for comprehensive veterinary, kenneling and quarantine services. According to the Port Authority, the new facility, dubbed ARK, will offer a state-of-the-art veterinary hospital, animal daycare services and more efficient ways to transport animals including exotic species, worldwide. Officials say it will create 190 jobs, $12.3 million in wages and $50.5 million in economic activity during the span of the project's 20-year lease.

ARK Development will take over the currently vacant Building 78 at JFK and 14.4 surrounding acres and will invest approximately $30 million in a 108,650-square-foot center and another $2 million in a 63,515-square-foot cargo handling facility. The center also will include a three-day equine quarantine area, dog and cat kenneling and grooming services, an aviary, lawn space for exercising animals and a veterinary hospital and rehabilitation center for horses and other large animals.


The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has eliminated its full-time dog law veterinarian position. According to reports, the staff veterinarian will work only on a per diem basis as needed.


The $20.9 million renovation and expansion of the Equine and Farm Animal Hospitals at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine is under way. The 85,000-square-foot project is scheduled for completion in February 2013. A release from the college says, “The expansion will help us protect the food supply from farm to fork, provide the most advanced technologies and medical therapies available, meet all the medical needs of our equine owners and industries in one location (eliminating the need to trailer horses out of state) and ensure we are able to maintain our responsibility to provide a strong teaching program for our veterinary students.”


A woman in Harrison County, Texas, is suing William Boyd, DVM, for not euthanizing her Chinese pug, Chester, at Patchwork Pet Resort and Veterinary Clinic during September 2010. According to reports, the dog's eye had come out of its socket and the client could not afford to have it repaired. The client chose to leave the animal with the clinic for euthanasia; however, the dog was instead given veterinary care for its injury and adopted by a clinic employee. The former client is suing for breach of contract, fiduciary duty and mental anguish.


Volunteer students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine worked to verify the health status of each animal entering the World Dairy Expo at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison Oct. 1-6. According to a university press release, more than 60 students worked in eight-hour shifts during a period of 52 hours to check in all 2,500 of the show's cows. The experience gives first-time student volunteers course credit after attending an orientation and working two eight-hour shifts and gives all volunteers real world experience. The World Dairy Expo is Oct. 2g to 6.

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