1960 to 1968 Timeline


Dr. H.C Rowsell, Dr. H.G. Downie, Dr. J.F. Mustard, Dr. J.E. Leeson, and Dr. J.A. Archibald identified a disease that was reported in dogs of the Cairn Terrier breed. They found the disease was genetically and pathologically similar to haemophilia B (FVII deficiency) or Christmas Disease in humans. The disease affected canine blood coagulation due to a serum factor that affects thromboplastin formation. They discovered that the disease was inherited as a sex-linked recessive character and only occurred in male dogs. Furthermore, they discovered that bleeding in these affected male dogs could be treated by the administration of blood plasma or serum from normal, healthy dogs. As a result of this research, Rowsell, Downie, Mustard, Leeson and Archibald were pioneers in the area of coagulation, thrombosis, and experimental atherosclerosis research.


 Pioneering research in cytogenetics was performed by OVC faculty members Dr. Parvathi Basrur and Dr. J. Gilman.


In 1964, the OVC, with the Ontario Agriculture College, Macdonald Institute, and Wellington College of Arts and Science, was a founding college of the University of Guelph. At that time, academic links with the University of Toronto ceased, since the University of Guelph was an independent degree-granting institution. Arguably the most significant transformation for the OVC was a shift in the culture of the College. Prior to 1964, as one of the federated colleges of the Ontario Department of Agriculture, the direction and operation of the college was overseen by the government and the OVCís main objective was to educate veterinarians and provide extension service.

Western College of Veterinary Medicine



The Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, admitted its first incoming class of thirty-three students. Dr. David Lawrence (Larry) T. Smith, an OVC graduate and faculty member in pathology was named the college's first dean.


The Specific Pathogen Free Pigs (SPF) program was started by Dr. Tom Alexander and Dr. C.K. Rowe. They sought to redevelop herds of pigs that had a chronic, debilitating disease that delayed weight and growth. Specific pathogen free animals were often developed for laboratory testing or for the creation of new herds of animals free of disease. In Alexander and Rowe's work, piglets were taken from sows and reared in a controlled environment. In raising piglets artificially, the pigs were born with minimal diseases. Often piglets were delivered by Caesarean section as numerous diseases were potentially passed during birth. Today, laboratories worldwide produce other gnotobiotic laboratory animals such as mice, rats, dogs, and calves.

1967Dr. D. Barnum

Dr. C. Gyles and Dr. D. Barnum discovered that plasmids could carry both the genes for enterotoxins. Plasmids are DNA strands existing separately from bacterial chromosomes and can replicate independently of chromosomal DNA. Enterotoxins can implore resistance to antibiotics and such make animals like pigs and cattle susceptible to E. Coli. Gyles and his co-workers were also the first to sequence the toxin genes and purify the toxin itself. His lab also discovered the mechanism of disease for another class of pathogenic E. Coli that produces Shiga toxins or verotoxins, associated with edema disease in pigs.


Dr. R. Willoughby played a lead role in developing an apparatus for the continuous administration of IV fluids and electrolytes to minimally restrained animals. The apparatus came to be known as the Willoughby Apparatus for IV fluid therapy in calves. The Willoughby Apparatus consists of a coiled nylon tube that allows large, minimally restrained animals to move around while fluids and electrolytes are being continuously administered from a drip chamber to a polyethylene intravenous catheter tube that is inserted into the jugular vein. A Touhy-Borst adapter is also attached to prevent the backflow of the fluids.



Dr. Dennis Howell was named Dean of the OVC in 1968 following the resignation of Dr. Trevor Jones. Under his direction, the OVC experienced considerable growth and expansion. His term as Dean ended in 1979 and he retired from the College in 1986. He was named to the Order of Canada in 1986 and died in 1987. Howell graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 1951 with a BSc in Veterinary Science. He subsequently received an MSc and PhD in 1952 and 1956, respectively. During his decade as Dean, a number of new initiatives were pursued at the OVC. In 1969, the teaching hospital program was created as well as the inception of an intern-residency program. In 1970, graduate diplomas at the OVC were approved and in 1972, a new Honours Program in Biomedicine, given jointly by the Biomedical Sciences Department and the OVC began.