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Page 1
n their native mountains of central Asia, snow leopards have been
known to leap distances of 50 feet.
Not Pasha, an eight-year-old, male snow leopard at the Kansas City Zoo.
Both of Pasha’s hips had degenerated due to a form of osteoarthritis
called hip dysplasia. Untreated, the disease would eventually cripple and
kill the cat.
Hip dysplasia is common in dogs and humans, and replacement of the
defective hip is an increasingly common cure. However, the disease is so
rare in cats that hip replacement surgery had been performed only once
before on a snow leopard. Pasha was to be the second.
A Legendary
Snow Leopard’s
Leap of Faith
One of the world’s rarest and most beautiful big cats comes to MU
for a demanding surgical procedure that could help save the species.
The focus of this issue of Arkeology
is the increasingly critical area of cancer
in companion animals. Beginning on
page four, Arkeology looks at how the
College is building a world-class oncology
center. A state-of-the-art infrastructure
for healing and advanced research is in place,
and the College is becoming nationally
recognized for its contributions. Making
the gains even more dramatic is the College’s
role in comparative oncology advances
that hold high promise for conquering
human as well as animal cancers.
News and trends on veterinary medicine and the human
animal bond.
Te a c h i n g
D i s c o v e r i n g
H e a l i n g
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Missouri-Columbia
continued on page 7
The Next Big Step
At the MU College of Veterinary
Medicine, success doesn’t mean a
time to rest. It’s a time to build. And
tremendous opportunities continue
to present themselves.
Toward Leadership
in a New Century
With help from its friends, the
College is now laying a cornerstone
that will give shape to its efforts
for the next 50 years.
How To Build a
World-Class Veterinary
Oncology Program
The College’s pioneering efforts
in animal cancer research and
treatment prove that top-notch
professionals working in a state-of-
the-art veterinary hospital can put
breakthroughs on a fast track.
Getting Real Results
in the War on Animal
For animal cancer patients brought
to MU, the prognosis is changing
from grim to promising for many
tumor types. Here’s a look at the
actual ground that’s being gained.

Page 2
ince my initial column for Arkeology,
I have been named Dean of the University of
Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. This is a
tremendous honor for me.
Many of you know my background. After
graduating from Texas A&M in 1973, I spent
three years in private practice before completing
residency and graduate training at the University
of Georgia. An 11-year stint as a faculty member
at North Carolina State University followed.
I came to Missouri six years ago as Chairman
of the Department of Veterinary Medicine
and Surgery and Director of the Veterinary
Medical Teaching Hospital.
Times have certainly changed in those six
years! In 1994, the College faced a funding crisis.
Up to three million dollars was to be cut from
what was then an eight million dollar state
appropriation. Some saw this as the first step
towards closure of the College.
A number of you helped rally support and the
proposed budget cut was rescinded. Instead,
new funding has allowed renovation of facilities.
Six new professorships have been endowed.
We enjoy strong support from key constituency
groups, extending from animal owners to state
legislators. This “miracle recovery“ was recently
celebrated in a full-page St. Louis Post-Dispatch
article. The celebration is well deserved.
We owe thanks to so many people who have
stood by the College through thick and thin.
But where do we go from here? What is the
next step?
I’ve sensed a gradual change in attitude at
the College over the past six years. We’ve
evolved from a bunker mentality borne of the
proposed budget cut, to a sense of near eupho-
ria over recent gains, to a more mature realiza-
tion that much remains to be done. Recruitments
of four endowed professorships and two depart-
ment chairs are underway. A recent review
of the curriculum provided a forum for the
exchange of ideas, but no clear consensus
on the need for change. Although new funding
is potentially available through the university’s
mission enhancement program and our own
50th anniversary endowment campaign,
a great deal of work will be required for this
to become a reality.
Our students just keep getting better. At the
same time, however, student debt continues to
rise and now threatens the profession. We face
the challenge of increasing scholarship and
reaching out to key external constituency
groups, while maintaining our commitment
to teaching and service and ensuring that
critical needs within the College are met.
So, in a way, the next step is to consolidate
recent gains and continue to address the
day-to-day challenges confronting all colleges
of veterinary medicine. Is that all there is?
In a word, no. The next step has to involve more.
Upon coming to Missouri, I was impressed
by the general acceptance of the belief that the
College could not be all things to all people.
That we simply did not have the resources to
offer the breadth of programs found at some
other colleges. That resources must be
focused to develop a few truly outstanding
programs. This philosophy has been critical to
our overall success and continues to guide
resource allocation.
But this attitude has also led us to sometimes
think of ourselves as a small college with limited
potential. It’s now important that we think bigger
and expand our dreams. That we aspire to be
the finest college of veterinary medicine in the
country. Not necessarily the biggest, but certainly
the best! A college committed to teaching, heal-
ing, and discovering. And, importantly, a college
that capitalizes on the natural synergy that
exists among these three academic missions.
Actually, we’re well on our way to being
the best. The success of any organization
depends principally on the quality of its people.
This has always been true of MU’s College of
Veterinary Medicine.
Our staff, faculty, students, alumni, and key
friends have sustained the College over the years.
Now, with the endowed professor recruitments
and the state’s mission enhancement program,
we have opportunities to add key faculty and staff
who share our commitment to excellence. They
will play a critical role as we move forward.
What will they find at MU? There are out-
standing new facilities, including our teaching
hospital, Clydesdale Hall, and newly-renovated
classrooms and laboratories. But more than that,
they’ll find a true family that has learned the
importance of sticking together.
A family that is now ready to take the
next step.
—Dr. Joe N. Kornegay
C O M M E N TA R Y: D R . J O E N . K O R N E G AY
The Next Big Step
Celebrating the College of Veterinary Medicine’s recent achievements
should help us to achieve even more in the years ahead.
News of the College’s emergence as a world-class
institution is beginning to spread. Major articles in the
St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Kansas City Star have
recently drawn attention to the College’s achievements
in a variety of different areas.
C o l l e g e o f Ve t e r i n a r y M e d i c i n e , U n i v e r s i t y o f M i s s o u r i - C o l u m b i a • S p r i n g 2 0 0 0
Dr. Joe N. Kornegay
College of
Veterinary Medicine

Page 3
The MU Collage of Veterinary Medicine graduated its first class in 1950.
C o l l e g e o f Ve t e r i n a r y M e d i c i n e , U n i v e r s i t y o f M i s s o u r i - C o l u m b i a • S p r i n g 2 0 0 0
Leadership in
a New Century
The College’s 50th Anniversary Endowment Campaign is
not only its blueprint for the future, but an acknowledge-
ment of friends, great and small.
en years ago, Thelma Zalk of St. Louis brought
her black Labrador retriever, Lucy, to the College
of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri
for hip replacement surgery. Mrs. Zalk expected
competent care. She got a great deal more.
The faculty and staff were kind and helpful. Lucy was treated not just as
another case, but as a new-found friend. Mrs. Zalk and Lucy felt that they
were being welcomed into an extended family of true animal lovers.
Impressed with the skill, care, and attention given to Lucy, Mrs. Zalk
determined that someday she would show her gratitude.
That day came this year with the announcement that Mrs. Zalk was
giving the College $300,000 to endow the Thelma P. Zalk Scholarship.
“It costs so much for students to attend veterinary medical school these
days,” she says. “We want people who really care for animals to be able
to get the education they need to become veterinarians. I hope this will
help some of them reach their goals.”
“The generosity of this gift demonstrates the extraordinary depth of
Mrs. Zalk’s commitment both to animals and to student education,”
College Dean Joe Kornegay commented. “It doesn’t get any better
than that.”
The Next 50 Years
The MU College of Veterinary Medicine
opened its doors in 1946, and graduated its first
class in 1950. Its growth came slowly, and some-
times painfully. At times the very existence of
veterinary education in the state was at risk.
But over the years the College built a solid
reputation for producing some of the nation’s
best prepared veterinarians for clinical practice.
And in the past five years, with the opening of an
outstanding new teaching hospital and the
refurbishment of other facilities, the College has
begun to be recognized as an emerging leader—
and an institution that can attract world-class
professionals in veterinary medicine.
To ensure that it could sustain this kind of
achievement, the College announced its plan for
funding the next chapter in its history—the
50th Anniversary Endowment Campaign. This
$10-million effort will establish financial aid for students and underwrite
facilities improvements and hospital programs. It will be the cornerstone
of the College’s journey into the 21st Century.
A $10 million endowment effort is a daunting goal, however, and it helps
to have friends. Campaign commitments now total $8.1 million. All gifts
and pledges received since July 1, 1996 are included in the campaign.
Four new professorships have been endowed:
the Ralston Purina Professor of Small Animal
Nutrition, the Tom and Betty Scott Professor of
Veterinary Oncology, the E. Paige Laurie
Professor of Equine Lameness, and the Charles
and Charlene McKee Professorship in
Microbial Pathogenesis.
“The giving opportunities at the MU College
of Veterinary Medicine mean a chance to make a
real and lasting difference; to empower the
teachers, scientists, and healers we need for
today and tomorrow,” says David Horner, Jr.,
Director of Development for the College. “It’s
a solid investment to get behind the young
people who will be the future protectors and
keepers of the human-animal bond.”
The Campaign
at a Glance
Total campaign commitments as of November 15,
1999 were $8.1 million. New leadership gifts and
pledges to the 50th Anniversary Endowment
Campaign include:
A $750,000 gift from the Research Animal Diagnostic and Investigative
Laboratory to establish the Joseph E. Wagner Fellowship in Laboratory
Animal Medicine.
Estate of Colonel Charles and Charlene McKee, Hereford, Arizona,
$570,000 to endow the Charles and Charlene McKee Professorship.
Kenneth and Barbara Levy, St. Louis, endowment to support residency
training in veterinary ophthalmology.
Thelma P. Zalk, St. Louis, $300,000 to endow the Thelma P. Zalk Scholarship
for financially-needy students.
Theodore G. Short, Springfield, Missouri, $255,000 trust for students in need
with high scholastic standing.
Andrew Love, DVM ‘64, St. Louis, $250,000 to endow programs directed by
Associate Dean for Student and Alumni Affairs.
Dennis H. Miller, Webster Groves, $220,000 to establish an endowed schol-
arship fund in memory of daughter and son-in-law, Ann Miller-Roth, DVM ‘88
and Jerome E. Roth, DVM ‘74.
Richard G. Brooker, St. Louis, $100,000 pledge to endow scholarship in
memory of “Needles” and in gratitude for the compassion and generosity
of her veterinarians.
Mrs. Thelma Zalk with Lancelot, her Weimaraner
and a frequent companion for outdoor romps, at
their home in St. Louis.

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C o l l e g e o f Ve t e r i n a r y M e d i c i n e , U n i v e r s i t y o f M i s s o u r i - C o l u m b i a • S p r i n g 2 0 0 0
The vision was an oncology center that could offer
companion animals the same advanced cancer fighting
techniques used in human medicine. The College of
Veterinary Medicine has been building it, brick by brick,
and now it’s getting dramatic results.
va Rich of Jefferson City loves her mastiff Cu.
Cu is named after Cu’Chulain, an ancient Celtic
chieftain who drove mastiffs ahead of his army.
Like his forebears, Cu is a born protector, with
his massive size and a deep gruff “woof, woof ” that
he can summon to great effect.
In reality, however, the 150-pound Cu is a gentle
giant. Kids climb all over him and he gently herds
the family to bed at night, making sure they are safe
before falling asleep himself.
On a hot July day last year, a swelling developed
beneath the soft fawn-and-black fur on Cu’s neck.
Within two weeks, he had lost his appetite and was
starting to lose weight.
A Death Sentence for Cu?
The diagnosis from Cu’s veterinarian was about as bleak as it could be:
the mastiff had multicentric lymphoma which had spread throughout the
lymph nodes in the neck, chest, and limbs. Later an ultrasonic examination
would reveal that the deadly cancer had also invaded his liver and spleen.
The veterinarian told Mrs. Rich that Cu would be dead within a week
without treatment. “Death was in his eyes,” Mrs. Rich says.
But against all odds, Eva and her husband Skip wanted another option.
That led them to MU’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Dr. Carolyn
Henry, Assistant Professor of Veterinary Medicine and a respected veteri-
nary oncologist.
On a scale of one to five, with five indicating a broad-scale spread of
cancer to organs and the bone marrow, Cu was a four. Still, 80 percent of
dogs with this type of lymphoma respond to chemotherapy, and Dr. Henry
advised the administration of an array of pharmaceuticals that would work
in tandem.
A Lasting Reprieve
Cu was initially hospitalized for five days. Four types of drugs designed
to kill the cancer cells flowed from an IV drip into his blood stream. At the
end of the hospitalization, Cu had gone into partial remission. His appetite
and good nature returned.
Cu went home and for the next six months made regular return visits as
an outpatient carefully tended by Dr. Henry and her team. One year after
his diagnosis, Cu visits the hospital once a month and remains in remis-
sion—even though he still has cancer.
For now, this will do for Mrs. Rich. “He’s the only pet that I ever
allowed in the house,” she says.
The Birth of a Vision
About five years ago, coincidentally about the time of Cu’s birth, a
decision was made to develop a world-class veterinary medical oncology
center at the College’s Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.
At that time no such facility existed in the Midwest. The alternatives
were to suffer with the disease, use the limited treatment options then
available, travel to another part of the country for more sophisticated
management, or have the animal euthanized.
Growing a center of excellence in veterinary oncology is not an
overnight endeavor. In fact, as Dr. Cecil Moore, Interim Clinical
Department Chair and Director of the Teaching Hospital puts it, it’s
like constructing a building, brick by brick.
Cancer therapy has been available at the MU Veterinary Medical
Teaching Hospital for a number of years. But the vision of an oncology
center with international standing was born out of a sequence of develop-
ments, some planned, some fortuitous. And one by one, the bricks have
gone steadily into place.
Today, on the brink of the fifth anniversary of the decision to become a
leader in oncology, the teaching hospital at MU is beginning to be recog-
nized as one of the world’s best. A place where animals have the best
How To Build a World-Class
Veterinary Oncology Program
Cu is a fearsome-looking mastiff with the heart and demeanor of a gentle giant. His
prognosis was bleak until he came to the MU Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital,
Dr. Carolyn Henry, and the oncology team.

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C o l l e g e o f Ve t e r i n a r y M e d i c i n e , U n i v e r s i t y o f M i s s o u r i - C o l u m b i a • S p r i n g 2 0 0 0
chance of beating a devastating disease. Where the next generation of
veterinarians will learn critical new skills. And a place where cutting-edge
research provides new hope.
Such a center is important because many companion animals will
develop cancer in their lifetimes. An advanced, centrally-located Missouri
referral center is in a unique position to supplement routine chemotherapy
and surgery with sophisticated radiation treatments, photodynamic ther-
apy, and other advanced healing modalities.
An Infrastructure for Healing and Advanced Research
The foundation for the oncology program was laid in the 1980’s
when key faculty members such as Drs. Lou Corwin, Jimmy Lattimer,
and Dudley McCaw began oncology work at the hospital. Then, in 1995,
working with these and other faculty, Director of the MU Veterinary
Medical Teaching Hospital (now Dean) Dr. Joe Kornegay and former Dean
Dr. Richard Adams made a long-term strategic decision to establish one of
the top clinical and research oncology facilities in the veterinary world.
For a college that had battled budget cuts and inadequate facilities
for virtually all of its history, the plan looked extremely ambitious.
But a crucial cornerstone for the new center had been put in place in
1993 when Clydesdale Hall, the College’s new teaching hospital, opened.
The state-of-the-art facility was a $21 million, 144,000-square-foot brick
and mortar testament to the commitment of Missouri’s animal owning
public. At last, the College had the space and technology to devote to the
treatment of major diseases, including cancer.
Another key component was the commitment of space in the hospital
to accommodate a piece of equipment available at only a few veterinary
hospitals—a linear accelerator. Designed to focus cancer-killing radiation
on tumor cells while minimizing damage to healthy tissue, the accelerator
was installed in 1997. A giant step, it represented a major technological
investment and was a clear signal that the veterinary college was committed
to developing a world-class program.
The accelerator works in tandem with a sophisticated computed
tomography (CT) scanner. Installed only a few steps away from the accel-
erator, the scanner gave oncologists as well as surgeons and researchers
sophisticated, precise, three-dimensional images of tumors and other
medical disorders.
The oncology support team began to take shape, too. Dr. Lattimer,
who had played a role in the College’s oncology program for 15 years,
earned his credentials as a radiation oncology specialist. Drs. Dudley
McCaw and Eric Pope continued their advanced research on photody-
namic therapy, in which laser light is focused on tumors. The effort picked
up speed with the arrival of Dr. Henry, a board-certified veterinary
With the infrastructure and the technology in place, the caseload of
Missouri animals suffering with cancer began to grow.
The Search for Leadership
The next step is just now taking form with the initiation of an inter-
national search for an endowed professor in veterinary oncology.
A Kansas City couple, Tom and Betty Scott, have endowed a professor-
ship in oncology. The Scotts became associated with the College more than
Comparative oncology addresses cancers in companion animals and in humans.
Getting Real
Results in the War
on Animal Cancers
As the reputation of the MU College of
Veterinary Medicine oncology program has
grown, so has the caseload. And so have the
positive results. Some examples:
In the past two years, the number of cancer patients at the Veterinary
Medical Teaching Hospital has doubled, and may do so again by the
year 2000.
More than 160 patients have received radiation treatments in the last
two years using the linear accelerator.
Nearly 80% of the Hospital’s lymphoma cases now go into remission. “Ten
years ago,” Dr. Henry notes, “many of these animals would have been eutha-
nized because their owners knew little of the available treatment options.”
The outlook for dogs with osteosarcoma has improved with surgery and
chemotherapy. One-year survival rates are now approaching 60 percent.
In the past, animals with the disease were almost always immediately
euthanized because there was so little hope.
Many types of tumors that cannot be cured with surgery can now be
successfully managed with radiation, photodynamic therapy, or
chemotherapy. Other patients, like those suffering from feline leukemia,
are also enjoying a better prognosis.
Through clinical trials being conducted at the teaching hospital, oral
melanomas in dogs are managed by using promising new tumor vaccines
and gene therapy. This study is being done in association with the University’s
Ellis Fischel Cancer Center. If successful in dogs, the
treatment may be modified for human use.
Another joint clinical study will determine if a new radiopharmaceutical
can stimulate an antibody response that will target carcinoma cells. The
same University-wide team that developed the bone cancer radiopharma-
ceutical Quadramet is conducting this effort.
Clinicians at the MU Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital are investigating
new treatment options for cats with vaccine-associated sarcoma. This
tumor was first recognized in the early 1990’s.
Many cancers are addressed through a collaborative effort by veterinarians with
differing specialties. Dr. Carolyn Henry (left), oncologist, regularly teams with Dr. Eric
Pope (center), small animal surgeon, and Dr. Dudley McCaw, an expert in small animal
medicine and photodynamic therapy.
continued on page 6

Page 6
A World-Class Veterinary Oncology Center
continued from page 5
30 years ago when they brought their family basset, Smiley, to the
Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital for treatment of a fractured
vertebra. Tom Scott is now National Volunteer Chair for the College’s
50th Anniversary Endowment Campaign.
An endowed professorship is one of the most prestigious acknowledge-
ments a researcher, teacher, and clinician can achieve at a university.
It allows the professor to focus talent and financial resources to address
major issues in a designated area. Often, groundbreaking discoveries are
made under the leadership of endowed professors.
Photodynamic Therapy: A New Tool With New Promise
Another indication that the MU Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
is emerging as one of the world’s best is the addition of a therapy so new
that it has been implemented by only a handful of human hospitals, and
only one other veterinary hospital.
Photodynamic therapy is a two-part process. First, a compound that
selectively localizes in tumor cells and is activated by a particular wave-
length of light is administered to the patient. Then laser light of the
relevant wavelength is used to destroy the tumor cells. Because the laser
focuses mostly on cancer cells, little healthy tissue is affected. Side effects
are dramatically reduced.
“Neither the compound nor laser alone does anything, but when you put
them together, it can be an effective treatment for cancer,” says Dr. Henry.
“Not only does this procedure help destroy cancer cells, it’s also a one-
time treatment as compared to multiple radiation treatments over three to
four weeks.”
To date, photodynamic therapy has been effective against many tumor
types in dogs and cats.
The Comparative Medicine Concept
While helping animals survive cancer is the focus of the effort to build a
distinguished international program, it is not the only goal. Human cancer
patients will benefit too, under a concept known as comparative oncology.
In comparative oncology, clinicians and researchers from medicine, vet-
erinary medicine, and other fields integrate their research on the causes
and potential treatments for cancer. It’s an approach that makes profound
sense from several standpoints. Our companion animals today typically live
in the same environment, eat some of the same foods, and are subject to the
same toxins and stresses as their owners. Dogs in particular share a similar
genetic structure and suffer from many of the same cancers as humans.
Working with dogs with cancer offers priceless insights into how similar
tumors in humans might respond. Another plus of comparative oncology:
because dogs and cats have shorter life spans, treating their cancers can
provide greatly accelerated results for application to human patients.
The University of Missouri-Columbia is unique worldwide in having
human and veterinary medical teaching hospitals, a nuclear research
reactor, and other bioscience resources in the same location. Collaborative
efforts among these groups have already borne fruit—including bringing
important new radiopharmaceuticals to market.
Enhancing this effort at MU will be the Scott professor and another
expert in tumor biology, now being sought by the College. Funded through
the University of Missouri’s mission enhancement program, this position
will work with other experts in both human and animal biology at the
University to develop additional special radiopharmaceutical agents to
diagnose and treat cancer.
“Advances like these in comparative oncology epitomize the one-medi-
cine concept, whereby advances in animal health also benefit humans,” says
Dr. Joe Kornegay, Dean of the College.
Increasingly recognized for its leadership in comparative medicine, the
College sees oncology as an area where veterinarians can work with their
colleagues from other disciplines to really make a difference.
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Peanut, a retired racing greyhound, dreams of his days on the track while Dr. Dudley
McCaw, associate professor of veterinary medicine and surgery, prepares to administer
the laser portion of photodynamic therapy.
The College’s successes with comparative oncology make it possible for veterinary
medical advances to help cure cancer in humans. Dr. Clay Anderson, Assistant
Professor of Hematology at MU’s respected Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, and Dr. Carolyn
Henry are working together on clinical trials involving both tumor vaccines and gene
therapy for oral melanomas in dogs.

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A Legendary Snow Leopard
continued from page 1
A Species at Risk
There are only 200 snow leopards in captivity in the United States. In
the wild, the species is truly endangered. Scientists estimate that only 6,000
are left on the planet. Their numbers have continued to decline even after
being placed on the endangered species list. Poachers trap the animals for
their beautiful coats, and human encroachment on their natural habitats
has caused the roaming cats to fragment into small colonies, making them
susceptible to inbreeding and the ravages of contagious diseases.
The 85-pound Pasha was born in captivity and came to Kansas City
from the Little Rock Zoo. His hip condition was discovered in a routine
radiograph during his quarantine.
Given the rarity of the cat, its importance in the species survival pro-
gram, and the unique nature of the surgery, a search was made for a really
outstanding veterinary orthopedic surgery team. That search ended with
Dr. James Cook and his team at the College of Veterinary Medicine’s
Teaching Hospital at the University of Missouri.
With a successful hip replacement, the spotted predator could survive
his disease, thrive, produce new litters of rare snow leopards, and live pain
free for the rest of his life.
But the tawny cat had no knowledge of the surgical risks or the potential
for miracle cures. For him, the experience would be an unwitting leap
of faith.
Pain, Immobility—and Worse
Dr. Kirk Suedmeyer (Senior Staff Veterinarian for the Kansas City Zoo,
MU DVM class of ’87, and an adjunct assistant professor in veterinary
medicine at the College) says Pasha’s osteoarthritis was fairly advanced
when it was first discovered, and already causing mobility problems. Pain,
in fact, may explain why Pasha had not successfully bred with the zoo’s
other snow leopard, Fisher.
“This line is so valuable to the population,” says Dr. Janis Joslin,
Veterinary Advisor for the National Snow Leopard Species Survival
Program. “If the arthritis gets too bad, the animal would have to be eutha-
nized. This hip replacement procedure can extend his life. I think it is
something we have an obligation to do.”
Hip replacement surgery of this type normally costs approximately
$2,000. Fortunately, the procedure was funded by the SeaWorld and Busch
Gardens entertainment divisions of the Anheuser-Busch Companies as part
of their commitment to preserving wildlife.
A Surgeon’s Commitment
Dr. James (Jimi) Cook is an MU-trained DVM, magna cum laude class
of ’94 with a Ph.D. in pathobiology. An assistant professor in small animal
orthopedics and board-certified by the American College of Veterinary
Surgeons, Dr. Cook has performed approximately 2,000 orthopedic surg-
eries and almost 200 hip replacements. As an intern, Dr. Cook assisted in
the care of mountain lions and their cubs.
His background is particularly suited for Pasha’s arthritis surgery.
In addition to his surgery and teaching duties, Dr. Cook is the principal
investigator on three research grants focused on arthritis. He and his team
are creating a laboratory model of arthritic cartilage, for instance, to allow
for quick and efficient testing of new therapies.
Another of Dr. Cook’s research studies explores new ways to regrow
damaged knee cartilage. This procedure surgically places bio-modified pig
intestines against the damaged cartilage (called the meniscus) between the
upper and lower knee bones. Normally, this cartilage cannot grow back
because it has no natural blood supply. The implanted intestinal tissue
stimulates the damaged meniscus to grow, and the introduced material
is absorbed. The process has regenerated the meniscus completely in 80
percent of dogs studied thus far.
If later tests prove as successful, the procedure could someday ease the
suffering of millions of people and animals with osteoarthritis.
Predator as Patient
Dr. Cook initially consulted with Dr. Suedmeyer in Kansas City.
Radiographs were shared and discussed. The bone and muscle structure
of the animal was reviewed. A decision was made to replace the right
hip first, since it was the most damaged.
The veterinarians would use the same techniques and prostheses used
in successful hip replacements for large dogs. Almost 98 percent
of these operations are successful. Still, Dr. Cook noted, Pasha is an
exotic predator and can’t be given routine post-operative therapy.
“We can’t control him like we can a dog,” Cook said. “We can’t put
him on a leash and walk him.”
In dogs, normal post-operative therapy includes “towel walking.” Here,
an assistant walks the animal, lifting a towel slung under the dog’s
belly. This allows the animal to exercise, without putting full weight on
the healing bones. No one volunteered to towel walk Pasha.
Profile of an Insidious Disease
Hip dysplasia is a hereditary disease. Pasha’s hips probably began
to degenerate shortly after birth. If so, the ball at the top of each femur was
never snugly seated in the hip socket. As the animal grew and became more
active, stress caused small cracks in the bone. Further loosening
of the ball and socket connection caused more cartilage and bone to
degenerate. In advanced stages, the femoral ball can actually pop out of the
hip socket entirely, crippling the animal.
Only a few thousand snow leopards remain on the planet.
Dr. Jimi Cook is a veteran of more than 200 hip replacement surgeries, but this was only
the second in history to be performed on a snow leopard. Arthritis is a special research
focus for Dr. Cook, who is leading a promising study on implanting biomodified tissue in
canine joints to stimulate arthritis-damaged cartilage to regrow. The results could have
profound implications for human medicine as well as for companion animals.
continued on page 8

Page 8
Because animals are more important today than ever
before in our history, the MU College of Veterinary
Medicine is dedicated to preserving, protecting, and strengthening the human-
animal bond. Arkeology, as its name implies, is a medium for bridging between
the role of the college as a protector of the animal kingdom (a kind of modern
ark) and as a place where science, medicine, learning, and teaching can flour-
ish (logia is the old Latin and Greek word for study or discipline). Continuously
embarking on voyages of teaching, healing, and discovery, the College invites
you on board this vessel to journey with us.
Arkeology is published twice a
year by the College of Veterinary
Medicine at the University
of Missouri in Columbia.
Arkeology Offices:
W-203 Veterinary Medical Building
University of Missouri-Columbia
Columbia, Missouri 65211
(573) 884-2215
Editorial Board:
Dr. Joe Kornegay • Dean
College of Veterinary Medicine
David Horner • Director of Development
Tom Scott • National Volunteer Chair,
50th Anniversary Endowment Campaign
Dr. C.B. Chastain
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Randy Mertens • Editor
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origin, ancestry, sex, age, disability, or status as a disabled veteran of the Vietnam era. For more information, call
Human Services at (573) 882-4256 or the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights.
University of Missouri-Columbia
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Columbia, MO 65211
A Legendary Snow Leopard
continued from page 7
And hip dysplasia is painful. Left untreated, the
pain can become so overwhelming that the animal
refuses to move or eat.
As Pasha’s disease progressed, his body tried to
compensate by creating new but unstable bone
that grew haphazardly around the joint. This led
to more inflammation of the surrounding joint
capsule and cartilage. And more pain for Pasha.
A Cluster of Surgical Challenges
This condition is very similar to human osteo-
arthritis. And the snow leopard’s surgery would
closely resemble the procedures used to help
people. One sig n i f icant difference, Dr. Cook
s aid, is the bones.
Snow leopard bones and muscles are very simi-
lar to those of domestic cats, although much
larger. The bones of cats are generally straighter
than those of dogs or humans. As leapers who
must contend with hard landings, cats have extra
thick cortical bone around their marrow.
Anesthesia is another special consideration. These high-altitude cats have
unique blood oxygenation systems. Expert care is critical during sedation.
On the Operating Table
In beginning the surgery, to ease post-operative pain and speed healing,
Dr. Cook chose an approach that went between the muscles rather than
cutting into them.
The degree of hip damage was determined by pulling the femur away
from the hip socket. Dr. Cook then sawed away the damaged top of the
femur and hip, along with the extra bony growth.
Pasha’s femur was much thicker and harder to saw than expected. The
extra effort added a half-hour to the typical one-hour procedure.
Surgical cement was then applied to the hip area and the replacement
socket cup was placed in position. It takes about 10 minutes for the cement
to harden around the artificial hip implant. While the cement was drying,
Dr. Cook drilled a hole into the top of the femur and
implanted a stem with the replacement hip ball.
Art and Science
“Aligning the ball and socket is the art of this
procedure,” Dr. Cook said. “We place a long rod
into the hip socket cup to measure its alignment.
It has to be perfectly aligned. You have to do a
number of these procedures to know what they are
supposed to look like.”
The ball and socket employed was a standard
prosthesis, the same as used on a medium-to-large
dog. Dr. Cook often performs hip replacements on
dogs weighing up to 150 pounds.
With the socket cup cemented into place in
the hip, and the ball and stem in the femur, the
new hip was snapped together. A range-of-motion
test revealed no problems. Stitches closed the
wound and the patient was moved to the intensive
care unit.
Waiting for Results
After careful initial observations, both Drs. Cook
and Suedmeyer were pleased with Pasha’s condition, and he was moved
from the ICU to his transport cage. Three hours after the operation, Pasha
was wide awake on the way home to Kansas City for recuperation. Within a
few days, the cat was up and walking around his zoo enclosure.
But Pasha’s hip replacement is only half done. He is already scheduled
for replacement of his left hip at the MU Veterinary Medical Teaching
Hospital. And Dr. Cook and his team are ready.
Pasha’s x-rays, before and after. In the larger
image, the snow leopard’s hip dysplasia is evi-
denced by the wide gap between the top of the
right femur and the hip (on the left in the photo).
Untreated, Pasha’s pain might have become life
threatening. The insert shows the new artificial
hip joint snugly in place.
Breaking News!
As Arkeology went to press, Pasha’s second surgery replicated the original
miracle right on schedule. With the big cat benefiting from healthy weight gains
following the first surgery, Dr. Cook reviewed x-rays of the second hip replace-
ment and pronounced the results "awesome."