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Dear MAAA,

On behalf of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine’s Small Ruminant and Camelid Club (SRCC) and Dr. Anna Firshman, I would like extend a sincere thank you to you and the Mid America Alpaca Foundation for your generous support and funding of our Camelid Medicine Lunch event on Friday, March 25.

We have heard outstanding feedback from attendees and the overall attendance at this meeting by faculty, staff and veterinary students proved to be a top event for our Club. The guest speaker, Dr. Erica McKenzie, associate professor of large animal internal medicine at Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine presented on the topic of “Causes of Recumbency in Camelids.” Her presentation was very practical and thorough as she discussed cardiac, neurologic and metabolic diseases as well as the current treatment options. She also discussed common clinical signs of these diseases and how to best manage them in both a hospital and field setting. It was very much evident that Dr. McKenzie has a true passion for these animals and her knowledge shined through the presentation. It was a great learning opportunity for all who attended and we have you and the foundation to thank for making it possible.

With the work done by SRCC, we have expanded camelid-related opportunities such as, shearing events, camelid handling wet-labs that encourage students to learn and practice body conditioning scoring, proper injection sites, nutrition, toe nail trimming and much more. As a result, we have well over 50% of our club members interested in pursuing camelid medicine as it pertains to mixed animal private practice or as a part of their large animal studies. Therefore, we continue to work on supporting the mission of the Mid America Alpaca Foundation by exposing more students to these animals and helping them to develop confidence in working with alpacas and llamas after graduation.

I enjoyed working with you in making this event possible and we look forward to collaborating with you and the foundation in the future.

Best regards,
Kirstyn M. Heino
University of Minnesota
College of Veterinary Medicine
SRCC President
DVM Candidate, Class of 2017

Small Ruminant/Camelid Club hosts guest speaker

The Small Ruminant/Camelid Club hosted a guest speaker and lunch meeting sponsored by the Mid America Alpaca Foundation (MAAF) on March 25. Dr. Erica McKenzie, associate professor of large animal internal medicine at Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine, gave a presentation on the causes of recumbency in camelids, focusing on cardiac, neurologic, and metabolic diseases in llamas and alpacas and current treatment options.

“The Small Ruminant/Camelid Club and I thank the Mid America Alpaca Foundation for this great opportunity and Dr. McKenzie for sharing her knowledge and experience in camelid veterinary medicine,” says Dr. Anna Firshman, the club’s advisor. MAAF has provided University of Minnesota veterinary students with scholarship opportunities since 2013, in addition to supporting the University of Minnesota Camelid Health Conference. The mission of MAAF is to improve the quality of health care for alpacas by introducing veterinary students to alpacas and providing educational opportunities on alpaca care and knowledge to students and practicing veterinarians.

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