UNL Vet School Uses Greyhounds as Learning Tool

A dog

May 1, 2014


LINCOLN, Neb. — The University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine is using greyhounds to teach students how to give dogs physical exams.

The dogs, three males and one female, are donated each year from licensed breeders in Iowa who breed greyhounds for racing.

All dogs in the program come from USDA licensed facilities and greyhound breeders and meet the requirements of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

Other Midwest veterinary programs use animals from similar sources.

The dogs are given new homes at the end of the semester. All of the dogs have already been adopted.

Adam Bassett is a second year veterinary student who oversees their care.

"We have the dogs for the purpose of furthering our education as future veterinarians with the ultimate goal of getting the dogs adopted out to new, loving families," Bassett said, emphasizing that no research is done using the dogs.

The dogs arrive unaltered and the veterinary students learn about spaying and neutering by watching a professor spay or neuter the dogs while also learning about how to properly anesthetize a dog and how to intervene if anything goes wrong.

Bassett said that it is helpful for veterinary students to learn about what a healthy animal looks like.

The dogs also have been beneficial to him personally.

 "Having these greyhounds here and using them as a learning tool has helped me realize the human/animal bond," Bassett said, referring to the time spent caring for the dogs.

 Bradley Jones, assistant professor of practice in the ISU/UNL Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine, said having the greyhounds allows students to learn important basic skills.

"Our small program allows emphasis in core skills in diagnostic thought process and communication," Jones said. "The teaching greyhounds in addition to interactions with other species complete this process."

He talked about finding the greyhounds new homes.

"I prefer owners that have adopted greyhounds before," Jones said. He said this was due to their high energy needs and temperament.

Jones said that the dogs shouldn't be kept entirely outdoors due to their thin coats.

Students in UNL's Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine spend two years at UNL and then continue their education at Iowa State University.

For more information, visit: http://vbms.unl.edu/

Bradley Jones Ph.D.
ISU/UNL Coop. Vet Med Education Program

Heather Haskins
Student Writer

Sandi Alswager-Karstens
IANR News Service

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