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Animal Care

Winter News and Updates: Innovators, Life-Changers and Problem-Solvers in Action

Stay up to date on how the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine has been exceptional in saving lives, devising innovative programs and winning awards. 

Elf spends some time outside with his clinical care team
Elf spends some time outside with his clinical team near the end of his time in isolation.

In the Spotlight

FROM PRAYING TO BRAYING. First pneumonia. Then C. diff., diarrhea and an autoimmune reaction. Elf the donkey survives a potentially deadly cascade of crises because of the problem-solving and compassionate care of our exceptional equine team. Elf’s owner knew NC State was the only chance Elf had to survive. “What we can do is try our hardest,’ and that’s what we did,” our professionals told her.  READ THE STORY:

Professor Korinn Saker
NC State College of Veterinary Medicine Professor Korinn Saker is one of fewer than 100 board-certified veterinary nutritionists in the country.

ABSOLUTELY STUNNED.’ Professor Korinn Saker, one of fewer than 100 board-certified veterinary nutritionists in the country, has devised a liquid nutrition option for critically ill animals. Saker envisioned using a computer program that would let veterinarians answer questions about a particular patient – disease state, weight, age – and get in return a liquid diet formula based on the animal’s specific needs. Her marketing partner says the product amazed veterinarians at a conference last fall. “Why didn’t someone do this sooner?” READ THE STORY:

The NC State team cares for Rusty the Corn Snake during his cancer treatments.
The NC State team cares for Rusty the Corn Snake during his cancer treatments.

CANCER CARE FOR CORN SNAKE: For a quarter-century, Carter Lewis and her pet Rusty were companions. When the snake stopped eating, Lewis sought help at the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine, which found that Rusty had a tumor. With the help of the Petco fund and our amazing clinicians, Lewis could give Rusty a fighting chance. READ THE STORY:

LIFE-SAVING CARE. Our expert and compassionate NC State Veterinary Hospital emergency team was thrilled to be able to help Bianca the Therapy Goat get back to comforting others. “Gray called the N.C. State veterinary hospital, Bianca’s last chance. Doctors removed 8 pounds of scar tissue from Bianca’s udders after draining the milk.”


WELCOME TO THE WORLD! Meet Ursula and her much quieter twin, Tito, two of the newest members of the NC State Veterinary Medicine family. We get to see many babies born in winter and early spring on our working, teaching farm known as the Teaching Animal Unit. 

Vet student Isla Farrow talks with a Marbles visitor
Vet student Isla Farrow talks with a Marbles visitor

FULL CIRCLE. We were at the Marbles Kids Museum in downtown Raleigh participating in Black History Month festivities in our joint Ready, Set, Vet exhibit. NC State College of Veterinary Medicine students Imani Anderson, Isla Farrow and Xavier Crumel volunteered to share their time with aspiring young veterinarians and their parents.  WATCH IT HERE:

MORE LIKE MATE-OROLOGY. When the large rodents emerge from their winter slumber, let’s just say it won’t be their shadows they’re searching for. We talked with our exotic animal expert Tara Harrison about the tradition of Groundhog Day.

ADMISSIONS UPDATE. We sat down with Jeff Huckel, director of Recruitment and Outreach, to see where we are in the admissions process and to find out what applicants can expect over the next few months. 

Faculty and Staff

Dr. Ben Callahan, Dr Margaret Gruen and Dr. Santosh Misra

FACULTY SCHOLARS. Representing each of NC State College of Veterinary Medicine’s three departments, faculty members Benjamin Callahan, Margaret Gruen and Santosh Mishra have been named to this year’s class of NC State University Faculty Scholars. Callahan is an assistant professor of microbiomes in the Department of Population Health and Pathobiology, Gruen is an associate professor of behavioral medicine in the Department of Clinical Sciences and Mishra is assistant professor of neuroscience in the Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences.

SHIELDING THE LUNGS. Researchers led by Professor Ke Cheng have developed an inhalable powder that could protect lungs and airways from viral invasion by reinforcing the body’s own mucosal layer. The powder, called Spherical Hydrogel Inhalation for Enhanced Lung Defense, or SHIELD, reduced infection in both mouse and nonhuman primate models over a 24-hour period, and can be taken repeatedly without affecting normal lung function. Patent pending.

WORLD’S OLDEST DOG. “Dogs are very much like people,” says Natasha Olby, our NC State College of Veterinary Medicine neurology professor. “They need healthy diets, exercise, community, engagement and regular health care.” Check out the recent article from The Washington Post featuring Dr. Olby, the leading veterinary voice on aging dogs.

Laura Castro with dog
Laura Castro

OUR CHAMP! The Student American Veterinary Medicine Association has chosen Laura Castro, director of counseling services, as its Champion of Student Wellbeing for fall 2022. “She is an innovative leader who is always looking for new ways to provide support,” Dean Kate Meurs says.

CONGRATS X 2! Dr. Drew Koch and Dr. Bethanie L. Cooper have won research grants from the American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation for the Horse. Koch is studying equine tendon injuries, and Cooper is working on equine asthma.


Dr. Tracey Rossi, a 2003 NC State DVM graduate, is a hero to Elsa's owner, Dr. Stephanie McEwan
Dr. Tracey Rossi, a 2003 NC State DVM graduate, is a hero to Elsa’s owner, Dr. Stephanie McEwan

EXCEPTIONAL ALUM. Cat owner Stephanie McEwan, a medical scientist, says her cat Elsa survived a potentially fatal infection because NC State College of Veterinary Medicine alumni Tracey Rossi went above and beyond the obvious to provide extraordinary care. “There is no doubt in my mind that my cat is alive, and thriving, due to the medical expertise and professional skills of Dr. Rossi,” McEwan says. “Dr. Rossi is an exceptional veterinarian.”