Then & Now

Farm Disease Control Programs

Then: Dairy Herd Health Programming started in 1960 by Dr. J.F. Cote. The program began with only 6 participating herds, however, over time 72 herds participated. Dr. R.A. Curtis (OVC'61) and many other clinicians also became involved over the years. Reproduction, Mastitis Control, Calf Management, Vaccination and Nutrition were examined and discussed on monthly visits to each herd. As part of the program evening lectures for herd owners were given to inform owners on topics ranging from care of the new-born to housing orientation.

Farm Service

Now: The OVC's Ruminant Field Service consists of four faculty members, one staff veterinarian, two DVSc students, and one animal health technician. The field service provides educational opportunities for all DVM students in the veterinary college, including hands-on experience at farms in the area. Ruminant Field Service provides clients in the area with expertise and herd health management, while providing an exceptional opportunity to students to visit herds, practice clinical medicine, implement herd health protocols, and conduct research that will continue to benefit producers of food animals worldwide.

Small Animal Medicine

Then: Dr. Archibald was considered something of an oddity because of his desire to specialize in small animal medicine and surgery. His specialty preference made him a suitable choice to assist Dr. Frank Cite and later Dr. Wilfred L. Rumney in running OVC's small animal clinic. Under Dr. Archibald's direction a new surgery suite was established in the Clinical Studies addition built in 1948. It was tiled, well lit and air-conditioned. Air-conditioning was extremely rare in animal surgery in North America at the time. Dr. Archibald introduced pre- and post-operative care and monitoring. Under his watch the whole process of scrubbing up, gowning, masking, and use of sterile gloves, wraps and instruments became standard. Under his influence the small animal section brought in trained X-ray technicians and better, safer equipment. OVC was to be the first veterinary college in North America to perform all surgery in aseptic conditions.

Small Animal Clinic

Now: The small animal clinic now has the expertise of over 10 faculty members specializing in small animal medicine and surgery, in addition to numerous faculty members specializing in areas such as cardiology, neurology, and dermatology. In 2004, the department of clinical studies acquired an MRI facility, to further improve diagnostic imaging for all animals, from cats to horses. In 2010, the OVC opened the Hill's Pet Nutrition Primary Health Care Centre, with a new vision of teaching and leadership in the area of companion animal primary health care and wellness.

OVC Alumni Association

Then: The OVC Alumni Association was formed in 1951.

OVC Crest

Now: The OVC Alumni Association offers annual awards for alumni who volunteer and contribute significantly to their field. The organization also supports student-run projects and initiatives, sponsors University and College events, and coordinates alumni events at major veterinary conferences as well as at the University of Guelph.

 Research at OVC

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


Now: In 2011, Professor Patricia Shewen in the Department of Pathobiology was honoured at the YMCA-YWCA of Guelph's Women of Distinction Awards. Among her many achievements, Dr. Shewen was a key player in the development of a vaccine for Shipping Fever, a complex respiratory disease that causes significant losses to beef producers. 

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