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Posts Tagged ‘Faculty of Veterinary Science’

Monday, May 26th, 2014

About the Sydney Centre for Veterinary Education

The Post Graduate Committee in Veterinary Science was formed in 1961 by a group of forward-thinking veterinarians—university lecturers, professional association members and those from associated industries who recognised during the 1950s the growing need for continuing veterinary education.

Sydney Veterinary School

Study veterinary science at Sydney

This led in 1965 to the formation of the Post Graduate Foundation in Veterinary Science (PGF) at the University of Sydney, which was established under the authority of the university’s Senate and governed by a Council elected by its members. Its aim of funding continuing education for the profession led to the expansion many more services.

These initiatives of 40 years ago established the world’s first and leading organisation dedicated to postgraduate veterinary education. The first activity was organizing the delivery of regular refresher courses of two to five days’ duration. In the first year, two courses were held and by 1996 there were 68. In 1997 this grew to 94, and by 1998, 102 courses were held. There has been comparable growth in our other activities covering publishing, technical information search and dissemination, distance and online education.

From its inception the PGF enjoyed the support and participation of our New Zealand colleagues. Veterinarians from many other countries around the world also use our resources and attend our courses. With the expansion of veterinary practice and new communications technology we are looking forward to increasing involvement in fulfilling the continuing education requirements of veterinarians everywhere.

On August 4, 2008 the Post Graduate Foundation in Veterinary Science officially became the Centre for Veterinary Education.

Sydney Centre for Veterinary Education

As an established and recognized leader in continuing veterinary education, the Centre for Veterinary Education has been a worldwide provider of continuing professional development to the veterinary community for over 40 years. Formerly the Post Graduate Foundation in Veterinary Science (PGF), we officially became the Centre for Veterinary Education (CVE) on August 4, 2008.

The centre provides up-to-date education and information to veterinarians, vet nurses, technicians, carers, support staff and all those involved in the care of animals, and are committed to helping improve the health, well-being and welfare of all animals.

Education and information streams include a variety of innovative educational deliveries, from distance education and online courses to events and publications.

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Learn more about the Sydney Veterinary School and about Australian Veterinary Schools.

Do you have questions about Sydney Veterinary School and about studying veterinary programs at Australian universities? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Veterinary Schools Officer Rachel Brady by emailing rachel@oztrekk.com or by calling 1 866-698-7355 (toll free in Canada).

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Koala Health Hub established at Sydney Veterinary School

Koalas throughout NSW and potentially nationwide will benefit from the establishment of the Koala Health Hub at the Sydney Veterinary School.

University of Sydney Veterinary School

Study vet science at the University of Sydney

The funding of $400,000 for the Hub is money contributed by members of the public in the 1980s, including bags of five-cent coins from thousands of school children.

“The Koala Health Hub is dedicated to supporting koala hospitals, veterinarians and researchers working to improve koala health and welfare, including the 950 sick or injured koalas hospitalized in NSW each year,” said hub director Dr Damien Higgins from the Sydney Faculty of Veterinary Science.

The Koala Infectious Diseases Research Group and the Wildlife Health and Conservation Clinic in the Sydney Faculty of Veterinary Science have more than 40 years of combined expertise in koala health and disease.

Their investigations into the diagnosis and treatment of infectious koala diseases that can cause respiratory and neurological disease, blindness, infertility and death, as well as management of burns and trauma, have created new knowledge and diagnostic methods.

“The Koala Health Hub brings the results of this research to the organizations and hospitals that care for koalas, supporting them with better access to quality diagnostic tests and clinical expertise,” said Dr Higgins.

The funding will also directly support continuing specialist clinical care for koalas from the Sydney region at the University of Sydney’s Wildlife, Avian, Reptile and Exotic Pets Hospital at Camden.

Koala carers and veterinarians devote considerable time, effort and expense to koala care, but there are many challenges. Among these are that koalas respond in unusual ways to drugs used to treat some diseases in other species including not absorbing drugs in the same way.

Also, most tests used to diagnose diseases are not available to many carers due to their cost, or are difficult to apply to koalas because normal ranges for results may not be known.

The Koala Health Hub is also supported by the faculty’s Veterinary Pathology Diagnostic Service, who are donating pathology expertise, and record-keeping systems to ensure that information from testing can be retrieved and used to keep an eye on changes in disease patterns over time, or develop a better idea of what is a “normal” test result.

The funds for the Koala Health Hub come from dormant funds originally collected by the Koala Park Sanctuary in West Pennant Hills. In the 1980s the sanctuary appealed to the general public to contribute funds for a new koala hospital and research centre, and local residents, including school children, were among those to respond generously.

“We are delighted these funds can now be used to advance the care of our vulnerable koala populations. We also hope the links between the koala care, research and veterinary communities that will be created by the Koala Health Hub will assist the great work of other koala research and wildlife disease surveillance groups at the University of Sydney and nationwide,” said Dr Higgins.

About the Sydney Veterinary School

The Faculty of Veterinary Science has a strong commitment to provide students with an exceptional learning environment. This ensures the very best start to a fulfilling, diverse and successful veterinary career.

Sydney Veterinary School’s aim is to ensure students are able to view issues from a population health framework, with a strong animal welfare consciousness, and provide influence and expertise at a local, national and global level.

Sydney Veterinary School has planned to offer a 4-year, graduate-entry Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) for the March 2015 intake.  Dr Peter White of the Sydney Faculty of Veterinary Science has stated that while options for entry requirements (e.g., GPA only or combination of other factors) are currently being finalized by the faculty, it is likely that the applications for this program will be open in 2014. This DVM program will be a stand-alone, graduate-entry degree, aimed at students who have already attained a bachelor degree and who are accustomed to the challenge of university studies.

Find out more about the the University of Sydney’s new veterinary science program. Check out our blog “New Sydney Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program for 2015.”

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Do you have questions about Sydney Veterinary School and the new Doctor of Veterinary Medicine for the 2015 intake? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Veterinary Schools Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or 1-866-698-7355.

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Sydney Veterinary School helps save the Tasmanian devil

An American zoo is partnering with the University of Sydney to save the Tasmanian devil in the wild.

University of Sydney Veterinary School

Tasmanian devils in the wild face extinction

San Diego Zoo Global and the University of Sydney are collaborating to assist the endangered marsupial, through the reintroduction and management of a disease-free population. Tasmanian devils have become increasingly threatened in the wild by the spread of a fatal cancer.

“These populations will be managed in the best possible way to maintain the genetic diversity of the species,” said Professor Kathy Belov, Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney.

The Tasmanian devil faces extinction in the wild within 25 years because of “Devil Facial Tumour Disease,” which has already wiped out 85 percent of Tasmanian devils since 1996.

“Ultimately the disease will wipe out devils in the wild but these newly created disease-free populations will be used to repopulate the wild once it is safe to do so.”

An important part of the project will be the reintroduction of 50 devils to Maria Island, off the east coast of Tasmania. The group will be carefully managed, much as it would be in a zoo, by selecting disease-free individuals and preserving genetic diversity.

“The cancer is spread through physical contact of one Tasmanian devil with another and unfortunately no cure has been discovered,” said Bob Wiese, Chief Life Sciences Officer for San Diego Zoo Global. “By managing a genetically diverse population safe from the disease we hope to save the species.”

The University of Sydney is well known for its leadership in the genetic sequencing of the devil and this expertise will be used to capture a snapshot of genetic variation in the devils being bred in zoos and breeding facilities.

San Diego Zoo Global is contributing $500,000 to the project including funding the employment of conservation geneticist, Catherine Grueber, at the university.

San Diego Zoo Global has a long history of interest in Australian wildlife. It hosts the largest koala population outside of Australian zoos and it recently acquired Tasmanian devils.

The other institutions collaborating in the Devil Tools and Tech project are The Save the Tasmanian Devil Program and the Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia.

“To save this species we are combining our expertise,” Sydney Veterinary School Professor Belov said. “To manage existing populations and to boost devil numbers we will be using all the available tools, from GPS tracking to microchipping and the latest genetic sequencing technology.”

Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the goal of San Diego Zoo Global. As a leader in conservation, San Diego Zoo Global includes the work of the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy, onsite wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, and international field programs in more than 35 countries.

Proposed Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Sydney Veterinary School

The University of Sydney has offered a five-year, Bachelor of Veterinary Science in past years. The university is now transitioning its vet program from a Bachelor of Veterinary Science to a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program. In 2013, the Sydney Veterinary School offered its last Bachelor of Veterinary Science intake. In 2015, it is planned that the faculty will offer a four-year, graduate-entry Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.

OzTREKK will post information regarding the new DVM program as soon as it is received from the University of Sydney Veterinary School.

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Do you have questions about Sydney Veterinary School and about studying veterinary programs at Australian universities? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Veterinary Schools Officer Rachel Brady by emailing rachel@oztrekk.com or by calling 1 866-698-7355.

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Sydney veterinary science researchers study crocodile immune system

The immune systems of crocodiles and alligators have remained relatively unchanged for centuries despite their worldwide distribution, as revealed for the first time by University of Sydney researchers. This new knowledge could assist in the conservation and breeding strategy of Australian freshwater and saltwater crocodiles.

University of Sydney Veterinary School

Sydney veterinary researchers study crocodiles

Dr Jaime Gongora, research project leader from the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Veterinary Science said, “Alligators and crocodiles occupy an evolutionary mid-point between mammals and birds so they provide a unique link. Our research helps address fundamental questions about how evolution drives and maintains genetic diversity of the immune genes.

“The study looked at the diversity and evolutionary mechanisms of two primary gene classes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), key components of the immune system. The study investigated twenty species of crocodilians including the two Australian crocodile species; freshwater and saltwater crocodiles.

“This research helps to close a gap in our knowledge of immune gene evolution particularly since the crocodilian families (crocodiles and alligators) diverged from a common ancestor ninety million years ago.”

The MHC is a group of genes that help the immune system identify microbes and parasites. They play an important role in disease resistance, as diverse genes allow animals to resist a wider range of diseases. The research published recently in the journals PLOS ONE and Immunogenetics shows that some of the genes involved in the fight against viruses, bacteria and parasites have remained the same across all crocodilian species while other immune genes seem to have diversified in crocodiles.

“The diverse environments occupied by many crocodilians, whether saltwater crocs in the Northern Territory or alligators in Florida, appear to have exposed crocodilians immune genes to a wide range of germs,” Dr Gongora said.

Researchers found multiple instances of crocodilians losing and/or duplicating genes showing that their immune system is still responsive to evolutionary changes.

“We now have a genetic resource to understand the immune system in crocodilians, thanks to this research. It will enable genetic investigations of how these animals respond to local conditions including susceptibility to disease,” said lead author of the article Weerachai Jaratlerdsiri, who recently completed his PhD at the University of Sydney.

“In an agricultural context, crocodiles are produced for their skins as part of a very successful sustainable-use conservation strategy. Part of this strategy is to place an economic value on the wild population, in this case the crocodile eggs, which are collected and artificially incubated before rearing the offspring in captivity. However, since these animals are not domesticated, no selection against bugs has occurred. Thus, understanding the genetic regulation of disease susceptibility will provide crocodile producers with selection tools and lessen the reliance on vaccinations and antibiotics,” said Dr Sally Isberg, honorary associate at the University of Sydney and Managing Director of the Centre for Crocodile Research which consults to the Australian crocodile industry.

“The innovative and fundamental knowledge generated from this research serves as the base for further research into the immunological fitness of wild and farmed populations, especially to explain how they maintain the health of their immune system to deal with parasites and microbes.”

The researchers suggest that throughout crocodilian evolution, immune gene diversity responded to disease-causing organisms in the environment. This might provide further insights into disease resistance by explaining how immune genes evolve in other vertebrates, in particular reptiles.

University of Sydney colleagues including Dr Damien Higgins, Dr Lee Miles and Dr Simon Ho contributed to these studies.

Proposed Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Sydney Veterinary School

The University of Sydney has offered a five-year, Bachelor of Veterinary Science in past years. The university is now transitioning its vet program from a Bachelor of Veterinary Science to a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program. In 2013, the Sydney Veterinary School offered its last Bachelor of Veterinary Science intake. In 2015, it is planned that the faculty will offer a four-year, graduate-entry Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.

OzTREKK will post information regarding the new DVM program as soon as it is received from the University of Sydney Veterinary School.

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Learn more about the Sydney Veterinary School and about Australian Veterinary Schools.

Do you have questions about Sydney Veterinary School and about studying veterinary programs at Australian universities? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Veterinary Schools Officer Rachel Brady by emailing rachel@oztrekk.com or by calling 1 866-698-7355 (toll free in Canada).

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Sydney Veterinary School Histopathology

Veterinary Pathology Diagnostic Services

Sydney Veterinary School

Love pets? Consider vet science at Sydney!

The Veterinary Pathology Diagnostic Service operates within the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney and provides high-quality biopsy and necropsy services to the veterinary profession, servicing the University of Sydney’s Veterinary Hospitals and large private-referral practices. They offer a service that entails a strong review process, with all specimens being reviewed by multiple pathologists, and a personalized interaction with the veterinarian.

Pathologists are readily available for comment on individual cases and can help veterinarians bring their clinical research to publication standard. In addition, the organization offers a high-quality, reliable service to researchers in histopathological specimen processing, immunohistochemistry, and processing of unusual specimens. The highly skilled technical staff are available for consultation about unusual or difficult specimens.

The laboratory has a special interest in histopathology of the diseased eye and has a strong relationship with specialist ophthalmologists.

Monthly ocular histopathology rounds with specialist ophthalmologists supports this activity and allows correlation between clinical and pathological findings.

Service to Researchers

  • histopathological specimen processing
  • immunohistochemistry
  • laboratory animal haematology
  • serum biochemistry
  • processing of unusual specimens

About the Sydney Veterinary School

The Faculty of Veterinary Science has a strong commitment to provide students with an exceptional learning environment. This ensures the very best start to a fulfilling, diverse and successful veterinary career.

Sydney Veterinary School’s aim is to ensure students are able to view issues from a population health framework, with a strong animal welfare consciousness, and provide influence and expertise at a local, national and global level.

To achieve this, the veterinary science program is designed with five broad competency themes:

  1. Veterinary Sciences
  2. Individual Animal Health and Welfare
  3. Population Health, Welfare and Production
  4. Professional Practice
  5. Research

Program title: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM)
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intake: March 2015
Program duration: 4 years
Application deadline: TBC by the faculty. In previous years, the application deadline for the vet science program was Oct. 31.

Find out more about the the University of Sydney’s new veterinary science program. Check out our blog “New Sydney Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program for 2015.”

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Do you have questions about Sydney Veterinary School and the new Doctor of Veterinary Medicine for the 2015 intake? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Veterinary Schools Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or 1-866-698-7355.

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Sydney Veterinary School: Size matters for dog’s behaviour

A variation of Short Man’s syndrome applies to man’s best friend, new evidence from the University of Sydney suggests.

Sydney Veterinary School

Study at Sydney Veterinary School

The shorter the dog, regardless of breed, the more likely it is to march to the beat of its own drum, according to the University of Sydney-led research on the relationship between a dog’s shape and its behaviour.

“There will always be exceptions but these data on large numbers of dogs help to define a ‘new normal.’ What is normal in terms of dog behaviour clearly depends on more than simply its breed,” said Professor Paul McGreevy from the university’s Faculty of Veterinary Science. Professor McGreevy is lead author of a journal article on the findings published in PLOS ONE recently.

“The most comprehensive study undertaken to date, our research shows that certain physical characteristics in dogs are consistently associated with certain types of behaviour. Essentially, the shorter the dogs the less controllable their behaviour is for their owners.”

The study used owners’ reports on the behaviour of more than 8,000 dogs from across 80 breeds and related them to the shape of 960 dogs of those breeds, revealing strong relationships between height, body weight, skull proportions (relative width and length) and behaviour.

The study discovered that 33 out of 36 undesirable behaviours considered were associated with height, body weight and skull shape.

For example, as a breed’s average height decreased, the likelihood of behaviors such as mounting humans or objects, owner-directed aggression, begging for food and attention-seeking increased.

“The only behavioral trait associated with increasing height was ‘trainability.’ When average body weight decreased, excitability and hyperactivity increased,” said Professor McGreevy.

“The ratio of skull width to length was an interesting case. Long-skulled dogs—such as Afghans, salukis and whippets—appear to be a product of selection for hunting/chasing characteristics as they excelled on those indicators.

“According to owners’ reports, they flunked on fear of strangers, barking persistently, and stealing food. Given hunting dogs have not traditionally been companion animals sharing close quarters with humans, this may not be surprising.”

In contrast, the results confirmed short-skulled dogs, such as pugs and boxers, the result of generations of selective breeding, retain some “puppyish” characteristics as adults but have lost many of their hunting traits entirely.

“Undesirable behaviours such as owner aggression, or mounting, occur more often among small dogs. This suggests that, in small dogs, these behaviours are tolerated more than they would be in larger dogs where such behaviours are more unwelcome and even dangerous. Equally, such behaviours in small dogs may be a result of their being overindulged and overprotected,” said the Sydney Veterinary School professor.

“These findings will interest dog owners, breeders, veterinarians and evolutionary biologists. They remind us that domestic dogs are an extremely useful model for exploring the biological forces that produce diverse animal structures and their related behaviours.
The latest report follows previous studies by the same group that showed dogs’ eye and brain structure depends on skull shape and that skull shape depends on sex.

“The interaction of nature and nurture in producing the relationships we have described in this study creates a raft of fascinating questions that further studies will address.”

Proposed Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Sydney Veterinary School

The University of Sydney has offered a five-year, Bachelor of Veterinary Science in past years. The university is now transitioning its vet program from a Bachelor of Veterinary Science to a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program. In 2013, the Sydney Veterinary School offered its last Bachelor of Veterinary Science intake. In 2015, it is planned that the faculty will offer a four-year, graduate-entry Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.

OzTREKK will post information regarding the new DVM program as soon as it is received from the University of Sydney Veterinary School.

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Learn more about the Sydney Veterinary School and about Australian Veterinary Schools.

Do you have questions about Sydney Veterinary School and about studying veterinary programs at Australian universities? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Veterinary Schools Officer Rachel Brady by emailing rachel@oztrekk.com or by calling 1 866-698-7355 (toll free in Canada).

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Clinical pathology at Sydney Veterinary School

There’s more to studying veterinary science than just spay and neuter. Veterinarians have to be on the cutting edge of the latest veterinary research, and that includes veterinary pathology.

Sydney Veterinary School

Study vet science at Sydney

Veterinary Pathology Diagnostic Services (VPDS) operates within the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney. The VPDS provides high-quality services to the University of Sydney, veterinary profession and research organizations. Their pathologists and highly skilled technical staff ensure a reliable and exceptional service to their clients.

Services offered include the disciplines of haematology, serum biochemistry, clinical microbiology, cytopathology, histopathology, immunohistochemistry, parasitology and specimen processing for research purposes.

The Clinical Pathology Lab is equipped to carry out diagnostic haematology, biochemistry, microbiology and cytology. The lab predominantly services the UVTH-Sydney, running routine diagnostic tests on companion animals.

Clinical Pathology is also in a position to offer research groups, from the University of Sydney and external institutions, biochemistry and haematology on its state-of-the-art analyzers. This service is available for lab animals and wildlife on request.

About the University of Sydney Veterinary School

The Faculty of Veterinary Science opened its doors on the March 22, 1910. Sixteen students enrolled in this premier Australian university course in veterinary science. These students learned from skilled practitioners and world-class academics, with access to the know-how of a nation, which was already an emerging power in animal health and production.

Today, Sydney Veterinary School students have the ambition, compassion and integrity that it takes to make great veterinarians; faculty members have the spirit of innovation and leadership that is required to make a leading university; and the school is still based in the heart of Sydney with the university’s own rural facilities on the outskirts of the city.

It has been reported that the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney will introduce a 4-year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program for the 2015 intake. Dr Peter White of the University of Sydney Faculty of Veterinary Science has stated that while options for entry requirements (e.g., GPA only or combination of other factors) are currently being finalized by the faculty, it is likely that the applications for this program will be open in 2014. This DVM program will be a stand-alone, graduate-entry degree, aimed at students who have already attained a bachelor degree and who are accustomed to the challenge of university studies.

OzTREKK will post detailed information about this program as soon as it becomes available from the University of Sydney Faculty of Veterinary Science.

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If you’d like more information about the University of Sydney’s proposed Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program and about Sydney Veterinary School, and would like veterinary school updates emailed to you, please contact OzTREKK’s Australian Veterinary Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or by calling toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Sydney Veterinary Science researcher encouraged by first Blue Mountains koala sighting in 70 years

A koala has been seen crossing the Great Western Highway near Wentworth Falls, the first record of koalas in the upper Blue Mountains since the 1940s.

Sydney Veterinary School

Koalas are listed as “vulnerable to extinction”

The sighting is encouraging news for Dr Kellie Leigh, from the Sydney Veterinary School, who is currently mapping koalas in and around the Blue Mountains.

“If you asked a local this time last year they might have told you there were no longer any koalas in the Blue Mountains; however, during the recent bushfires koalas have appeared on the edges of urban areas, including three koalas coming out of the bush to sit in buckets of water near the Springwood fire,” said Dr Leigh.

The Sydney Veterinary School researcher explained that the fires have forced koalas to move out of their normal home ranges and habitats, and this movement is taking them into developed areas where they are being seen by people. Unfortunately, koalas are vulnerable to both fire and heat so the bushfires and extreme weather are likely to have had an impact on them. What’s exciting about it is that it was uncertain whether or not koalas still existed in many of these areas.

Although koalas are not normally seen on the high altitude ridgelines in the Blue Mountains, they used to be abundant in the valleys either side. There are historical records advertising koala hunting opportunities in the Megalong Valley, back in the days of the koala fur trade. Since then koala numbers have dropped dramatically.

Dr Leigh says it’s critical to find what is left of koalas after such a massive drop in numbers. “Many Sydneysiders don’t realize we still have koala populations around, in areas such as Campbelltown, and west right through to Bathurst. Even more people are not aware that koalas in New South Wales are now federally listed as vulnerable to extinction. Koalas are picky eaters and adapt to their local habitats, so if we’re going to hang on to this iconic species we need to find and conserve all the surviving koala populations.”

The recent Great Koala Count run by the National Parks Association of NSW has shown the power of citizen science for finding koalas, with 900 koalas reported throughout NSW and beyond; however, the next step of assessing low density populations in rugged terrain is more challenging.

The information being collected is part of a larger national scale koala study led by the University of Sydney together with researchers from James Cook University and San Diego Zoo Global. The project is using new technology whole-genome DNA to prioritize koala populations for conservation management, right across the species range.

Dr Kellie Leigh is also director of Science for Wildlife Inc, a research partner with the University of Sydney that will undertake the regional koala mapping using innovative research methods such as a koala detection dog. The resulting data will be used in the university’s genome research.

Koalas in the Blue Mountains are thought to be particularly important for conservation of the species due high levels of genetic diversity, and the large World Heritage Area might be an important habitat refuge for other populations under pressure from climate change. There is also a need to understand more about the impacts of bushfires on koalas in different habitats, which is even more urgent since the Blue Mountains bushfires.

About the Sydney Veterinary School’s  Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (BVetBiol/DVM) program

Program title: Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (BVetBiol/DVM)
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intake: March
Program duration: 6 years
Find out more about the the University of Sydney’s new veterinary science program. Check out our blog “New Sydney Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program for 2015.”

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Learn more about the Sydney Veterinary School and about Australian Veterinary Schools.

Do you have questions about Sydney Veterinary School and about studying veterinary programs at Australian universities? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Veterinary Schools Officer Rachel Brady by emailing rachel@oztrekk.com or by calling 1 866-698-7355 (toll free in Canada).

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Sydney Veterinary School research proves working dogs provide fivefold return on investment

Working dogs make a considerable financial contribution to Australia’s rural sector, providing an impressive fivefold return on investment.

This is just one insight into working dogs that was presented at the inaugural Australian Working Dog Conference held at the University of Sydney at the beginning of November.

Sydney Veterinary School

Dog lover? Study vet science at Sydney!

The conference, featuring the latest research from the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Veterinary Science, brought together working dog breeders, trainers, veterinarians, research scientists, advocacy groups and government representatives from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and America.

“We know we can get even more out of working dogs, and best of all, in the process, give the dogs a better life,” said conference co-founder Professor Paul McGreevy, from the university’s Faculty of Veterinary Science. “We aim to improve communication and collaboration between scientific researchers and industry professionals.”

Research presentations from the faculty included a study on the economic impact of farm dogs. Using data from more than 800 farmers, the study estimated the value of the typical Australian herding dog.

Researchers found the median cost involved in owning a herding dog is $7,763 over the period of its working life, with work performed by the dog throughout this time having an estimated median value of $40,000.

Sydney Veterinary School Prof McGreevy said that herding dogs typically provided their owners with a 5.2 fold return on investment. Interestingly, given the value of their work, the median amount owners would consider spending on veterinary care for their most valued working dogs was between $1,000 and $2,000.

“There are an estimated 273,000 working dogs in Australia, mainly on cattle and sheep farms, so this is a fascinating insight into the financial contribution they make to the rural sector.”

“By detailing the value of the typical herding dog, we hope to equip producers with information that may be used to improve on-farm labour efficiency and profitability,” said Liz Arnott, lead researcher on the study and a country vet.

The University of Sydney’s Faculty of Veterinary Science has also developed a tool to assess a dog’s emotional state. By judging how dogs respond to a series of trained tasks it is possible to assess their emotional state and open a window on their overall personality. The tests could identify dogs with emotional attributes suitable for service work and could help customize their training.

The conference also included an update on ongoing University of Sydney research on the genetic basis to dogs’ anxiety, especially distress experienced when they are separated from their owners, and an update on the Australian Farm Dog survey that identified valuable behavioural working attributes and personality traits in Australian herding dogs. It has found that farm dog handlers consider “boldness” as one of the most important attributes in a dog.

The research on working dogs was funded by the Working Kelpie Council of Australia, the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation and Meat and Livestock Australia.

Professor McGreevy is the co-founder of the Working Dog Alliance.

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Learn more about the Sydney Veterinary School and about Australian Veterinary Schools.

Do you have questions about Sydney Veterinary School and about studying veterinary programs at Australian universities? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Veterinary Schools Officer Rachel Brady by emailing rachel@oztrekk.com or by calling 1 866-698-7355 (toll free in Canada).

Monday, November 4th, 2013

University of Sydney Veterinary Science Alumni Awards

Equine specialist David Hutchins, television’s Dr Harry, wildlife conservationist Russell Dickens, and global health pioneer Charles Mackenzie were this year’s recipients of the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences Alumni Awards.

The Alumni Awards recognize outstanding achievements made to the community and the veterinary profession.

Sydney Veterinary School

Learn more about the University of  Sydney Veterinary School

Associate Professor Hutchins, who graduated with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) in 1947, was honoured with the Alumni Award for Special Achievement.

One of the pre-eminent veterinarians of his generation, Professor Hutchins’s 65-year career has seen him pioneer equine surgery techniques and evidence-based approaches to equine medicine. He helped plan and launch the University of Sydney‘s veterinary teaching hospital and has taught and mentored more than 3,000 students.

The internationally acclaimed researcher was also responsible for breakthroughs ranging from equine colic to peritonitis, to the use of flotation tanks. His findings have appeared in almost 100 articles and scholarly presentations.

Still active in retirement, Professor Hutchins is an official veterinarian at Sydney meetings for Racing NSW and is renowned throughout the horse racing industry for his expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of thoroughbreds.

He was made an Honorary Fellow of the Australian College of Veterinary Science (Medicine and Surgery) in 1997 and was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2000.

The Alumni Award for Community Achievement went to someone readily recognized by many Australians—Dr Harry! Dr Harold Cooper was recognized for his efforts to increase public understanding of pet care and animal welfare in his role as the nation’s best known television vet. He has said that one of his main aims is to teach children a love, understanding and respect for animals that they will carry through to adult life.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science in 1966, Dr Harry practiced as a veterinarian in both Sydney and the UK where, in his late twenties, he became a regular guest on a morning talk show.

Returning to Australia he joined Don Burke on radio before launching his television career on the high rating show Burke’s Backyard. He then presented his own series Talk to the Animals and Harry’s Practice. Dr Harry continues to appear on Better Homes and Gardens, winner of 10 Silver Logies for Australia’s most popular lifestyle program.

Dr Cooper’s reputation as a caring and skilled veterinarian has greatly enhanced the credibility of the entire profession.

For his landmark efforts to protect Australian wildlife, and his 50 years of service to the people of western Sydney, Dr Russell Dickens received the Alumni Award for Community Achievement.

Described as the father of koala medicine, Dr Dickens graduated in 1954 with a BVSc before being awarded a Master of Veterinary Science in 1975. In the 1970s he was one of the first to study diseases of the koala systematically and provide advice on their clinical management. His pioneering research is the basis for today’s expanding discipline of wildlife medicine.

Dr Dickens has also served the pet owners, farmers and wildlife carers of the Blacktown area as a veterinarian and an independent member on the local council for the past 33 years. A vocal advocate for responsible pet ownership, he recently helped Blacktown City Council improve the control and treatment of stray animals and collaborated with the University of Sydney Veterinary School to secure their participation in the council’s desexing program.

His dedication to the welfare of animals, especially the koala, was recognized with a Medal of the Order of Australia in 1992.

Veterinary pathologist Professor Charles Mackenzie was presented with the Alumni Award for International Achievement for his exceptional contribution to global health. His efforts to combat crippling disease caused by parasitic worms in equatorial areas is changing the lives of millions of people. Professor Mackenzie, who was awarded a doctorate in 1975 following a BSc in 1969 and Bachelor of Veterinary Science in 1972, today leads Michigan State University’s participation in the Global Alliance for the Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis which aims treat three billion people worldwide with anti-parasitic drugs.

He has made a lasting impact across a range of research areas including immunopathology, tropical pathology and parasitology.

In 2012 Professor Mackenzie received the Order of Australia for distinguished service to veterinary pathology and to medical science through his significant contributions to disease eradication as well as a researcher and educator.

Professor Rosanne Taylor, Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences welcomed the Alumni Award recipients and guests at a reception at the University of Sydney on September 13. Emeritus Professor Paul Canfield and Dr Garth McGilvray AM congratulated and presented the winners with their awards.

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About the Sydney Veterinary School’s  Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (BVetBiol/DVM) program

Program title: Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (BVetBiol/DVM)
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intake: March
Program duration: 6 years
Application deadline: TBA

Apply to Sydney Veterinary School!

Find out more about the the University of Sydney’s new veterinary science program. Check out our blog “New Sydney Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program for 2015.”

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Learn more about the Sydney Veterinary School and about Australian Veterinary Schools.

Do you have questions about Sydney Veterinary School and about studying veterinary programs at Australian universities? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Veterinary Schools Officer Rachel Brady by emailing rachel@oztrekk.com or by calling 1 866-698-7355 (toll free in Canada).