Pets and Vets: Oakland Zoo unveils new veterinary hospital


A state-by-state look at the world of animal health.

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The Oakland Zoo opened the doors to a 17,000-square-foot state-of-the-art veterinary medical hospital in October. The new facility replaced an aging 51-year-old clinic that only measured 1,200 square feet. “The immediate benefit to the healthcare of animals in the zoo's collection is only the beginning of the hospital's applications,” said Andrea Goodnight, associate veterinarian at Oakland Zoo, in a release. “This facility will be utilized in the Oakland Zoo's missions, educating veterinary students and animal health professionals and supporting scientists in their conservation endeavors, and will truly be a center for lifelong learning.”

Besides certification as a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building, the Oakland Zoo Veterinary Hospital features a radiology suite, an aquatic animal area with an indoor pool, climate-controlled rooms, a quarantine area with its own airflow system and a diagnostic lab with a blood chemistry and CBC analyzer to provide results in minutes. The facility will work in partnership with the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and regional organizations such as the California Condor Recovery Team.

The entrance to the new 17,000 square foot Oakland Zoo Veterinary Hospital.

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The new LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building includes solar panels, extensive day lighting, renewable materials, recycled content materials, high performance materials, water conservation, in-slab radiant heating and an electric vehicle charging station.

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Visitors tour the new Oakland Zoo Veterinary Hospital Oct. 11.

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The facility was designed to accommodate a variety of zoo animals and their specific needs – from sun and humidity-loving reptiles, to tiny birds, to cold-adapted grizzly bears.

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The state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission solved the mystery of a softball-sized blue eyeball found on Pompano Beach, Fla. Despite varied speculations, experts say it was cut from a swordfish hauled in by a deep-sea angler. The fish can reach a maximum of 1,100 pounds and are frequently found in the Florida Straits off south Florida in the fall. The commission will perform genetic testing on the specimen to confirm identification.

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The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in Athens, Ga., broke ground on the University of Georgia Veterinary Medical Learning Center in November. The facility will feature a new teaching hospital, laboratories and classroom space. The current teaching hospital was built in 1979 and serves more than 18,000 patients per year in one of the smallest teaching hospitals in the United States.

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The view of the Emergency Room entrance, facing East.

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The view of the entry to the Large Animal Hospital, facing East.

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The view of the courtyard, facing Northwest.

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The view of the East Porch, facing Northeast.

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The view of the Large Animal barns, facing Northwest.

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The Iowa State University Swine Medicine Education Center (SMEC) received a three-year $713,847 Higher Education Challenge Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture. The grant is aimed to transform SMEC into a one-of-a-kind national center of excellence and a resource for providing hands-on opportunities to veterinary students specializing in swine. The grant will help the SMEC develop curriculum, provide practical experience for students, and offer new courses in pharmacology, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRSSV) diagnosis and management, production, business management and basic medical skills.


Gov. Tom Corbett signed into law a ban on animal euthanasia by carbon monoxide gassing in October. Pennsylvania is now the 20th state to ban the practice. The state now requires that euthanasia be conducted by injection by a veterinarian or euthanasia technician licensed by the state board of veterinary medicine.

Rhode Island

Susie, a white poodle hit by a Toyota sedan on a Massachusetts highway, remained in the car's grille for 11 miles before a passing motorist alerted the driver. The driver reportedly hit the brakes when he saw the dog run into the road but didn't see the dog after he stopped and drove on. East Providence Animal Control Center supervisor William Muggle has reported that Susie suffered a concussion and a minor rupture of the bladder but is doing fine now. The dog's owner was identified and Susie is home safe and sound.


A cat in Temple, Texas, is reported to have survived for at least three days without food and water after someone shot an arrow through its nose. The arrow entered the cat's right nostril, went through the roof its mouth, knocked out a fang, split the tongue and left a hole in the animal's throat, neck and side. The cat was taken to Temple Veterinary Hospital of Western Hills near where it was found by a local citizen. Keith Gudgel, DVM, performed surgery on the cat, which is now awaiting adoption.

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