State Fair is showtime for Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine

August 2, 2012  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Cats and dogs will help give lessons in animal health, including the benefits of spaying and neutering, during the Indiana State Fair.

For the 28th year, the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine is working with the Indiana Veterinary Medical Association to demonstrate surgical procedures daily during the fair, which runs Friday (Aug. 3) through Aug. 19 in Indianapolis.

The surgeries will be in a new location this year, the Ag/Hort Pavilion. The spaying and neutering surgeries are done in a glass-enclosed operating room that allows fairgoers to watch from seats outside. Overhead cameras in the room feed outside monitors that give observers an up-close view.

Surgeries will be done at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day except Aug. 8, 13 and 15. On the fair's Purdue Day, Aug. 10, Purdue veterinarian Lyn Freeman will perform laparoscopic spaying, a minimally invasive surgery that involves three small punctures rather than an incision. A tiny camera is utilized to enable the surgeon to see inside and remove the ovaries with a special surgical instrument.

IVMA veterinarians will do most of the surgeries. Assisting at each surgery will be a senior veterinary student and an anesthesia technician from Purdue, and a surgery technician from either Purdue or IVMA.

A veterinarian or veterinary technician from either IVMA or Purdue will be stationed outside to provide details on what's happening and answer questions.

The cats and dogs being spayed and neutered will come from the Humane Society of Indianapolis. The animals have been adopted but must be spayed or neutered before they are released from the shelter.

On the Aug. 10 Purdue Day, the College of Veterinary Medicine will host an 11:30 a.m. special demonstration on the Purdue Main Stage by Jonathan Townsend, assistant professor of dairy production medicine. The demonstration will involve a cow and is designed to complement the state fair theme of "The Year of Dairy Cow."

Source: Kevin Doerr, director of alumni relations and public affairs for the College of Veterinary Medicine, 765-494-8216, 765-414-0028,

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