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Veterinary Medicine

Yessenia Picha with an alpaca at WSU
Fall 2012

Yessenia Picha ’12—Of alpacas and affection

Yessenia Picha ’12 comes from a family of alpaqueros, or alpaca ranchers. She grew up around the curious, long-lashed creatures raised mostly for the fiber made from their soft, durable fleeces. With 80 percent of the world’s alpaca population residing in Peru, it’s no surprise that after completing her veterinary degree at the Catholic University of Santa Maria, she worked for an agricultural social services agency in the area of genetic improvement of the animal.

While the work was rewarding, “I felt there were important gaps in my knowledge,” says Picha. She knew she could obtain more rigorous veterinary training in the United States. Also, … » More …

Chancho, a puppy treated by World Vets in Nicaragua
Fall 2012

World vets

Quivering all over, a dirty yellow and white puppy with a large potbelly whimpers as a veterinarian injects it with saline fluids. The puppy is severely dehydrated and disoriented, unable to stand up on its own.

Chancho, as the veterinarians name him because of his pig-like round belly, initially had a grave prognosis. Found wandering along the street, and visibly weak with parasites and tremors, he did not have long to live.

The puppy spends the night on intravenous fluids and medication. When the veterinarians return the next morning, his condition has improved. By the following day, they are confident he will survive.

Chancho was … » More …

John Gorham
Spring 2012

John R. Gorham 1922-2011—Veterinary pathologist

In the early 1940s, John Gorham ’46 DVM, MS ’47 left his family home in Sumner to attend Washington State College as an undergraduate. He found a life here, marrying fellow student Mary Ellen Martin and staying on to earn his doctorate in veterinary medicine, at the same time serving in the U.S. Army. In 1948, he was the first student to earn a graduate degree from the veterinary college.

He then took a position as a U.S. Department of Agriculture researcher in 1949 and the next year made his first big contribution to the field of animal disease research with his major professor Donald … » More …

Gallery: Cougs and their dogs

A gallery of WSU alumni, faculty, staff, and family with their dogs.

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Darcie Wolfe ’88 and Jingee


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Ethan Wolfe, Betsy, and Max Wolfe


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Ace, Jonathan Roozen ’06, and Nya


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Jessica Gigot ’06, ’11 and Franny


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Ashley Bentley and Katie


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Summer 2011

The Things We Do for Our Dogs—and what they do for us

In 1974 between 15 and 18 million dogs and cats were killed in animal control centers. To address what he perceived as “wide-spread irresponsible animal ownership,” Leo Bustad ’49 DVM created the People-Pet Partnership and promoted research into the human-animal bond. Although it is impossible to assess the total impact of his work, the number of animals killed today is down to four million. And the pet-people bond manifests itself in ways beyond his comprehension.

» More ...
Spring 2010

Of honor and friendship

One of the most successful partnerships in WSU history began in failure.

It was the spring of 1975, Kansas State University. Guy Palmer was given a piece of ore in an analytical chemistry class and told to figure out how much nickel was in it. He got it wrong, earning an F.

This happened to be in the highly competitive environment of undergraduates vying for veterinary school. About one in ten applicants would gain admission, so it was not exactly in students’ interest to help each other out. But Terry McElwain saw Palmer struggling to redo the assignment while working on a second one. He … » More …

Fall 2003

World War II decision influenced Brimble's career

A single gunshot wound influenced Bob Brimble to change his career direction more than 50 years ago.

While serving with the U.S. Army in China during World War II, he was shot in the leg. The nearest doctor was 10 days away by pack mule. But after five days on the trail, he chose to be tended by a veterinarian who came to his aid.

The decision not to be treated by a physician, Brimble believes, cost him a Purple Heart, because an attending physician did not provide official certification of the battle-related wound. However, as a result of the veterinarian’s concern and care, Brimble … » More …