Zoo & Wildlife Track

Welcome to the 2021 Zoo/Wildlife track! We will host lectures and wet-labs covering a wide variety of wildlife and zoo topics, featuring our very own Dr. Carpenter introducing Primate Medicine and Dr. Winter presenting Zoo Dentistry cases. You can learn Wildlife Parasitology diagnostic skills and references with Dr. Herrin and the basics of raptor species identification, handling tips, and wing wrapping techniques with Vanessa Avara at Mildford Nature Center. Experience a taste of the ever-expanding wild world of zoo and wildlife veterinary medicine!

Exotic Animal Dentistry
  • Douglas Winter, DVM, DAVDC, AVDC-ZWD
  • Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Description: Exotic dentistry is complicated due to the wide range of dental findings as to endodontic morphology, occlusal and root forms, tooth sizes, and numbers of teeth. Through a variety of case presentations, common pathology, diagnosis, and treatment planning will be introduced.
  • Bio: Dr. Winter is a graduate of Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He is a Diplomat of the American Veterinary Dental College specializing in dentistry and oral surgery. He has performed over 400 procedures on various exotic and zoo animals, which include root canals, periodontal surgery, fracture repair, and tumor removals.
Giraffe Anesthesia
  • Heather Arens, DVM
  • Sedgwick County Zoo
  • Description: This lecture will cover the current techniques, equipment, procedures, and drug protocols recommended for giraffe anesthesia events.
  • Bio: Dr. Heather Arens is a graduate of Ross University’s School of Veterinary Medicine. She was an intern at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas. She is currently at the Sedgwick County Zoo.
Zoo Pathology
  • Timothy Walsh, DVM, DACVP
  • Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Description: This lecture will cover multiple unique zoo pathology cases and describe the role and pathway to becoming a certified Zoo Pathologist.
  • Bio: Dr. Walsh is a Veterinary Pathologist (anatomic) at Kansas State’s Veterinary Diagnostic Lab. He was a veterinary medical officer with the Smithsonian’s National Zoo prior to coming to K-State.
Reptile Hematology
  • Linn Clarizio, DVM
  • Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Description: This lecture will cover how to perform and analyze reptile blood work accurately.
  • Bio: Dr. Clarizio is a Resident Pathologist in clinical pathology at the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Test. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
Primate Medicine Introduction
  • James Carpenter, MS, DVM, Dipl. ACZM
  • Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Description: This lecture will introduce students to primate medicine, including challenges and tips for physical examination and treatment.
  • Bio: Dr. Carpenter has been a clinical and research veterinarian for over 40 years in the field of exotic animal, wildlife (including endangered species), and zoo animal medicine. He has authored over 170 scientific papers, 40 book chapters, 240 article proceedings articles, and is co-editor of Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents: Clinical Medicine and Surgery (2012) and is the Editor of the Exotic Animal Formulary (2013). He received his DVM from Oklahoma State University. Dr. Carpenter teaches Exotic Animal Medicine and Zoological Medicine electives for 3rd years and the Exotic Animal, Wildlife, and Zoo Animal Medicine clinical rotation for 4th years.
Marine Mammal Medicine
  • Karissa Tang, DVM, MS, DACZM
  • Shedd Aquarium
  • Description: This lecture will introduce students to species, challenges, procedures, and basic techniques commonly encountered in marine mammal medicine.
  • Bio: Dr. Tang is a staff veterinarian at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois. She was an associate veterinarian at the Minnesota Zoo and a Medical Fellow at the Vancouver Aquarium. Dr. Tang earned her DVM from the University of California, Davis.
Sanctuary Veterinary Medicine and Cases
  • Kellyn Sweeley, DVM
  • Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge
  • Description: This talk will cover most aspects of veterinary medicine that one may encounter when working with an exotic animal sanctuary. Specifically, the talk will begin with a short background of why the need for sanctuaries exists and then cover the specifics of the veterinary medicine program at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, an exotic cat and bear sanctuary located in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Information given is mainly from the perspective of the veterinarian and her own personal experiences as well as support and consideration from the current literature in the zoo med field. She offers advice on what to expect and what may be most important to consider when working in this field with the hope that it will be helpful to those who find themselves wanting to pursue a career in sanctuary medicine. 
  • Bio:Dr. Sweeley completed three 6-month Animal Care internships at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge (TCWR). She then worked on the Animal Care Staff for 3.5 years before pursuing her DVM at the University of Georgia. She now splits her time as a Staff Veterinarian for TCWR and a contract veterinarian for a local mixed animal clinic (the same one that previously provided care for TCWR!).
International Conservation Concepts and Applications
  • Trent Shrader, DVM
  • Lincoln Children’s Zoo
  • Description: Dr. Shrader will discuss various research projects he has been a part of across the globe and the various challenges of international work and conservation research.
  • Bio: Dr. Shrader received his DVM from Kansas State University before completing the exotics, zoo, and wildlife internship at the University of Saskatchewan. He then both interned and worked as an associate veterinarian for Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. Dr. Shrader is currently the Director of Medicine and Conservation Projects at Lincoln Children’s Zoo in Lincoln, NE.
Zoo Veterinarians: The Ultimate General Practitioner
  • Danelle Okeson, DVM
  • Rolling Hills Zoo
  • Description: Dr. Okeson will discuss the challenges and rewards of a career in zoological medicine. What is a job in zoo medicine really like? How much does it differ from private practice on domesticated animals? How does one get into the field? What is the future of zoological medicine?
  • Bio: Dr. Okeson completed her DVM at Kansas State University. Post-graduation, she worked at Rolling Hills Zoo for a few years before completing an internship at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. She then worked for the National Wildlife Research Center on vaccine development for chronic wasting disease. Dr. Okeson then worked at the San Antonio Zoo as an Associate Veterinarian before returning to Salina, KS to take over as the Staff Veterinarian for the Rolling Hills Zoo. 
Managing a Large Avian Collection
  • Sandra Wilson, DVM, MS
  • Sedgwick County Zoo
  • Description: Sedgwick County Zoo is home to nearly 1000 representing 146 species maintained in a variety of naturalistic habitats. Learn how the Zoo’s veterinarians manage everything from sex determination in eggs to end-of-life care for the avian patient.
  • Bio: Dr. Sandy Wilson graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University. She completed her internship in Zoo, Wildlife and Exotic Animal Medicine at K-State, followed by a residency in Zoo Medicine and a Master’s degree at K-State and Topeka Zoo. She joined the staff at the Sedgwick County Zoo as an associate veterinarian in 1999, and now serves as Director of Animal Health.
Q Fever Epidemiology in Camels
  • Tess Rooney, DVM
  • Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Description: KSU’s own  Zoological Medicine Intern, Dr. Tess Rooney, will present her research on Q fever epidemiology in camels in Kenya.
  • Bio: Tess Rooney completed her DVM and MPH in 2019 through a collaborative program through the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and Tufts University School of Medicine. She completed a small animal rotating internship at Kansas State University in 2019-2020 and is currently the zoological medicine intern at Kansas State University. Her interests include zoological & conservation medicine and public health.
Zoo/Wildlife Parasitology
  • Brian Herrin, DVM, PhD, DACVM (parasitology)
  • Description: Lecture on parasite egg identification prior to lab. Fecal flotation demonstration on a variety of exotic species (pocket pets, wildlife species – whatever is available at the time). Parasite egg identification and strategy for identifying parasites in exotic animals.
  • Bio: Dr. Herrin teaches Clinical Veterinary Parasitology for 2nd year students and parasitology portions of 4th year clinical rotations at Kansas State’s College of Veterinary Medicine. He earned his DVM and PhD from Oklahoma State University. Dr. Herrin’s lab focuses on ticks and tick-borne diseases, and fleas and flea-borne diseases.
Introduction to Avian Handling and Exam
  • Julie Burge, DVM
  • Description: Demonstration of catching up and identifying venipuncture locations on Budgerigars. Nail trim and feather trim demonstration. Bird handling lecture.
  • Bio: Dr. Julie Burge earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1983 and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1987. She became interested in pet bird medicine while living in upstate New York where there were no veterinarians in the area that would treat birds.  Dr. Burge began adopting unwanted birds and started breeding cockatiels and parakeets in 1988.  After returning to Kansas City, she started Burge Bird Services in 1990.  She now owns about 85 parrots formerly used for breeding but now retired, and her practice treats birds exclusively.  Dr. Burge is the Association of Avian Veterinarians representative for the state of Missouri and has lectured at their conference twice about disaster response and animal rescue for the avian veterinarian.
Intro to Camel Handling & Medicine
  • Leslie Weaver, DVM and Valerie Crenshaw
  • Description: Demonstration on catching up and restraining Dromedary camels for physical exam. Demonstration of basic physical exam on Dromedary camels.
  • Bio: Valeri Crenshaw is the owner of Shamrock Farms in Manhattan Kansas. Shamrock Farms is home to registered Angus cattle, horses and camels.
  • Bio: Dr. Weaver is a clinical assistant professor for Livestock Services at Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She earned her DVM at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She teaches Livestock Services Local Practice and Livestock Services Medicine and Surgery 4th year rotations.
Approach to Reptile Emergencies and Reptile Clinical Techniques Lab
  • Julia Becker, DVM
  • Description: Instruction and demonstration on various emergency techniques on a variety of exotic reptile species.
  • Bio: Dr. Julia Becker earned her DVM from Purdue University and has a special interest in reptile medicine. She is the owner of Tippecanoe Animal Hospital, is a member of the Board of Directors for Almost Home Humane Society, and serves as Adjunct Assistant Professor at Purdue University CVM
Turtle Shell Repair Lab
  • Julia Becker, DVM
  • Description: Instruction and demonstration of various techniques to repair turtle shell injuries.
  • Bio: Dr. Julia Becker earned her DVM from Purdue University and has a special interest in reptile medicine. She is the owner of Tippecanoe Animal Hospital, is a member of the Board of Directors for Almost Home Humane Society, and serves as Adjunct Assistant Professor at Purdue University CVM
Raptor Rehabilitation Lab
  • Vanessa Avara
  • Description: Raptor species identification, physical exams, challenges of wildlife care and rehabilitation, ways to minimize stress in wildlife vs domestic bird species (advice for vets), wing wrapping demonstration and discussion.
  • Bio: Vanessa Avara has over 30 years of experience working with animals including 14 years as a zookeeper at Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita and 8 years doing wildlife abatement at McConnell Air Force Base and working part time as a naturalist at Great Plains Nature Center in Wichita, KS. She is a master falconer, practicing the sport since 1993. She has served as the Assistant Director of Milford Nature Center in Junction, City KS for the past 13 years.