LSU vet students named #1 palpating team at SAVMA Symposium



Palpation team


BATON ROUGE —LSU veterinary students were named the #1 palpating team at the SAVMA Symposium held at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine from March 16-18, 2017. The LSU team has been preparing for this competition for six months. The preparation included attending lectures, conducting research, preparing presentations and practicing palpating on Saturday mornings at 6 a.m.


The students on the palpating team, all in the Class of 2018, are Megan Bouvier from Golden Meadow, La; Alexandra Carter from Lafayette, La.; Sarah Cook from Alexandria, La.; Summer Gilbert from Mandeville, La.; Wesley McMullen from Heber Springs, Ark.; Sofia Raldiris from San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Darby Shope from Longville, La. Seventeen (17) veterinary schools sent teams to participate in the 3-day competition, which included a written examination and a practical (palpating a cow). The LSU team took home first prize and a plaque, while Sarah Cook received a belt buckle as the team member who did the actual palpating.


“There are so many demands on veterinary student’s time that the fact that they gave up countless Saturdays mornings to drive 90 miles to palpate cows speaks volumes to their commitment and character,” said Dr. Clare Scully, DVM, MA, MS, DACT, assistant professor of Food Animal Medicine in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences (VCS). “It has been an honor to witness their progress and a privilege to see them succeed.”


This is the first time that LSU has won this competition.


“I could not be more proud of a group of people that I have worked with. These students came early and stayed late for 18 months of intense training,” said Dr. Chance Armstrong, DVM, MS, DACT, assistant professor of Food Animal Medicine in VCS. “The LSU Food Animal Theriogenology (reproduction) Program will benefit from the example set forth by this group.  The students that will be a part of future palpation teams see that hard work and determination can reap great rewards.”


Bovine palpation is very important when diagnosing pregnancy in cattle. Cattle can bring a substantial return to cattle owners and cattle operations; therefore, cattle that do not become pregnant during the breeding season, and thus do not have any calves, do not bring any return to cattle operations in the form of beef or dairy. Bovine palpation is also important in diagnosing possible infectious or degenerative diseases. Only veterinarians with proficient palpation skills know what to look for and when to recognize it.


The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine is one of only 30 veterinary schools in the U.S. and the only one in Louisiana. The LSU SVM is dedicated to improving the lives of people and animals through education, research and service. We teach. We heal. We discover. We protect.




Photo: The LSU SVM Palpating Team with Dr. Chance Armstrong (left) and Dr. Clare Scully (far right), both assistant professors of food animal medicine. The team members (pictured left to right) are Summer Gilbert, Darby Shope, Sarah Cook (holding the plaque and belt buckle), Wesley McMullen, Megan Bouvier, Sofia Raldiris and Alexandra Carter.