Equine Referral Center Added to University of Wisconsin Vet School Offerings

The Morrie Waud Equine Center, a new affiliate to the University of Wisconsin's School of Veterinary Medicine, opened in August.

"The first thing newcomers notice about the new Morrie Waud Equine Center is the spaciousness," said Mike Hastings, the center's business manager. "The parking area accommodates even the biggest horse trailers, making it easy for clients to access the state-of-the-art veterinary care facilities."

He said that visitors are invariably awed by the size of the main surgery suite, equipped with huge picture windows that allow clients to watch surgery from above.

Owned and operated by a non-profit corporation (the Friends of the University of Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Teaching Program, Inc.), this new equine veterinary referral practice is affiliated with the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine for the purpose of training veterinary medical students. It offers equine surgery (including colic and orthopedic), ophthalmology, digital radiography, lameness diagnosis, 24-hour intensive care, and more.

The center, located east of Janesville, Wis., includes a covered sand arena for lameness exams, additional surgery suites, a reproduction area, and private exam rooms.

The center is named for the major donor to the Friends group that owns and operates the facility.

Morrie Waud, who raises Suffolk draft horses on his farm near Long Grove, Ill., said his donation was motivated by a desire to attract more veterinary students with a strong interest in equine practice.

"I want to put the Wisconsin veterinary school at the forefront of equine medicine, like New Bolton Center in Pennsylvania, where Barbaro went," Waud said. "It's a chance for the students to see different cases than they would see just in Madison."

He also admitted that the convenience of having a facility that's more accessible for his trailer rig, which hauls seven draft horses, factored into his decision.

"It's an opportunity to be on the ground floor of something really big," said Britany Benson, DVM, a staff veterinarian at the center. She said she is excited to be working for a facility that couples the personal touch of private practice with the teaching environment of a university.

"It's the best of both worlds," she said. "I really enjoyed teaching while I was at the University of Illinois, and I'll get to continue to interact with students, interns, and residents. But clients appreciate seeing the same doctor each time they come, which isn't possible in the university environment."

According to Dale Bjorling, DVM, MS, a member of the Board of the non-profit organization, veterinary medical students from the University of Wisconsin with a strong interest in equine practice will get a chance to sign up for an elective rotation at the clinic.

"We're very excited about the educational possibilities," he said.

More information about the new clinic is available at its Web site, www.mwequinecenter.com.

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