William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital

Large Animal Ultrasound

Large Animal Ultrasound Fellowship

Notice to Candidates:

The 2014-15 Large Animal Ultrasound Fellowship position has been filled. We'd like to thank each applicant for their interest in our program. Recruitment for the 2015-16 fellowship position will open in the Fall of 2014 and will be announced here and on our Facebook page.

The goals of the fellowship are to produce veterinarians with advanced technical and interpretative skills in this important clinical discipline. The species emphasis is equine but fellows will gain exposure to other large animal species. This position is an 80% clinical appointment with 20% time for off clinic pursuits (see below). Annual salary is $28,308 with medical benefits included. Housing is not provided. The fellowship begins August 1, 2014 and ends July 31, 2015. This webpage is designed to provide potential applicants with detailed information regarding our program, including overall service information, faculty and previous fellow information, case numbers, case distribution and application information. Please check the box at right for important announcements regarding the application process. Graduates of our program have gone on to secure faculty positions in large animal ultrasound, residency programs in radiology and equine surgery and established regional ultrasound consulting services.

UC Davis Large Animal Ultrasound Service

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The Large Animal Ultrasound Service provides diagnostic imaging services 5 days per week. The majority of the service caseload is supported by the equine surgery service, therefore, a large percentage of ultrasound exams are musculoskeletal in nature; however, a wide variety of ultrasound exams are performed. The intern will receive training in sonographic evaluation of all areas, including the abdomen, thorax, cardiac, ophthalmologic and high speed treadmill evaluations of poor performance racehorses. The equine caseload consists of a variety of performance horses, including dressage, hunter/jumpers, endurance horses, western performance horses (cutting, reining, roping, barrel racing), pleasure horses and specialty breeds such as Peruvian Pasos. A working knowledge of performance horses is beneficial. There is little to no emergency duty. Emergency colic ultrasound evaluations are performed by the surgery resident on call. The large animal medicine service performs medical emergency ultrasound evaluations.

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The UCD Large Animal Ultrasound Service has a full range of equipment available for all aspects of equine, food animal and small ruminant ultrasound. We are fortunate to have two Biosound Technos ultrasound systems that allow us to evaluate 2 patients simultaneously with machines that excel at musculoskeletal and abdominal imaging. Transducers available include two 8-14 MHz linear transducers and a 5-10 MHz linear transducer for musculoskeletal use, a 4-8 MHz microconvex transducer for neonatal and small ruminant abdominal/thoracic imaging and two 2-5 MHz curvilinear transducers for adult equine abdominal and thoracic imaging. We continue to use the GE Vingmed System 5 ultrasound system, primarily for cardiac imaging for its unbeatable color Doppler imaging and excellent depth of penetration (30cm). The Vingmed also produces high quality musculoskeletal and abdominal images. Transducers available for this machine include a 2.5 MHz phased array transducer for cardiac imaging, 3.5 MHz and 5.0 MHz curvilinear transducers for abdominal imaging and a 10 MHz linear transducer for musculoskeletal and small parts imaging. The Ausonics Impact machine shown in the image is no longer used on clinical cases.





Mary Beth Whitcomb, DVM, MBA (Section Head); Associate Member, ECVDI (European College of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging)
Betsy Vaughan, DVM

Current & Previous Interns

2012 - 14 Fellow: Georgette Shields, DVM
2011 - 12 Fellow: Rachel Gottlieb (Kaplan), DVM
2009 - 11 Fellow: Beth Biscoe, DVM
2008 - 10 Fellow: Alex Young, BVSc
2007 - 08 Intern: Karine Pader, DVM
2006 - 07 Intern: Suzanne Brenner, DVM
2005 - 06 Intern: Wade Tenney, DVM
2003 - 05 Intern/Resident: Betsy Vaughan, DVM
2002 - 03 Intern: Agustin Almanza, MV
2001 - 02 Intern: Katie Flynn, BVMS, MRCVS

Where are they now?

Dr. Betsy Vaughan has been a faculty member in the Large Animal Ultrasound Service at UC Davis since completing her residency at UCD in 2005. Dr. Wade Tenney (05-06) is now an Assistant Clinical Professor at Tufts University where he is in charge of their Large Animal Ultrasound Service. Dr. Suzanne Brenner (06-07) has focused exclusively on equine ultrasound and regularly consults at Pioneer Equine Hospital in Oakdale, CA and with other veterinarians in the area. Dr. Karine Pader (07-08) completed a large animal surgery residency at Purdue and is now a clinician in surgery and lameness at the University of Montreal. Dr. Alex Young (09-10) is a 4th year resident in Radiology & Imaging at UC Davis, and Dr. Beth Biscoe (10-11) has begun her third year as a Radiology & Imaging resident at Washington State University. Dr. Rachel Gottlieb (11-12) has taken her ultrasound skills to Northwest Equine Performance in Mulino, Oregon as an associate veterinarian. Dr. Katie Flynn (01-02) is a veterinarian with the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

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Large Animal Ultrasound Caseload (Academic Years)

Musculoskeletal 00-01 01-02 02-03 03-04 04-05 05-06 06-07 07-08 08-09 09-10 10-11 11-12 12-13
     Metacarpal 262   199   155   124   131   118   135   126   110 176   147 157 93
  Metatarsal 118   102   93   100   77   93   89   92   92 102   98 80 101
  Pastern 139   126   116   110   136   149   135   124   104 97   118 117 76
  Tendon Sheath/Joints 212   250   240   232   287   322   255   208   239 206   203 245 230
Spine/Sacroiliac/Pelvis 47   73   89   68   67   105   125   97   102 100   89 97 102
Thoracic (includes cardiac) 22   34   34   20   25   34   30   31   9 19   6 12 13
Abdominal 115   165   122   137   135   146   137   139   137 102   86 103 107
Ophthalmologic 17   6   ---   ---                  
Food Animal ---   ---   26   18   49   52   74   49   53 75   73 70 61
Miscellaneous Exams 60   100   56   72   44   96   110   94   81 96   106 118 89
U/S Guided Procedures ---   ---   37   53   64   93   143   141   158 201   226 196 218
Total Ultrasound Scans 992   1055   968   934   1015   1208   1233   1101   1085 1174   1155 1195 1090
Acoustic Shock Wave Treatments 321   153   83   114   53   63   51   41   93 95   52 42 33
Total Annual Cases 1313   1208   1051   1048   1068   1271   1284   1142   1178 1269   1207 1237 1123





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Acoustic Shock Wave Therapy

Acoustic shock wave treatments are also performed by the large animal ultrasound service. Shock wave therapy is thought to stimulate healing and potentially reduce layup time in horses with musculoskeletal injuries such as stress fractures, bucked shins, suspensory ligament desmitis and distal sesamoidean ligament desmitis. Treatments are generally performed by the ultrasound fellow. We are currently using the Duolith Vet shock wave machine manufactured by Storz Medical. The Duolith has both focused and nonfocused capabilities. Focused shock wave is most commonly used to treat musculoskeletal injuries. Nonfocused shock wave has been used to break up cystoliths (bladder stones) to facilitate their removal during surgery.

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Fellow Clinical Responsibilities

Perform and interpret ultrasound examinations on patients presenting to the Large Animal Ultrasound Service under the direction of faculty from the Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences.

  • The fellow will be involved in the clinical instruction of fourth year veterinary students during their senior year rotations.
  • The fellow will be involved in the laboratory instruction of third year veterinary students in various veterinary courses.
  • The fellow will assist with weekly Combined Imaging Rounds in conjunction with the large animal radiology resident(s) and students.
  • The fellow has the option to complete a 2-3 week small animal ultrasound clinical rotation in the final months of their fellowship. This rotation will give exposure to comparative ultrasonographic anatomy.
  • The fellow will attend weekly Known Case Conference (KCC) with the Radiology Service, and will interpret one Large Animal Ultrasound case weekly.

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Fellow Off-Clinic Time (approximately 20%)

  • Off clinic time is provided to allow the fellow to pursue his/her individual research interest(s) under the guidance of faculty in the Department of Surgical & Radiological Sciences with the expectation of eventual publication in a refereed journal.
  • The fellow will also have the opportunity to rotate through other departments, according to the fellow's interests.
  • Attend veterinary courses in small and large animal ultrasound.
  • Vacation - fellow accrues 16 hours per month (24 days in a one year period)

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Requirements for Application

  • DVM or equivalent degree from a school of veterinary medicine (AVMA accredited preferred)
  • At least one year of equine related private practice or internship experience
  • Working knowledge of performance horses
  • Demonstrated interest in large animal ultrasound
  • Application materials (see below)
  • Visitation is strongly recommended for qualified applicants. Visits are limited to 1-2 days and are arranged by Dr. Whitcomb during the recruitment period only (September through December).
  • Foreign nationals must be eligible for J1 visa with no bars or home country requirement.
  • NAVLE is not a requirement of the program

Application Materials - All application materials are due by December 9, 2013.

  • Application Form - Application
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Letter of Intent
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Veterinary Academic Transcript(s)

By email:

All application materials including letters of reference (on letterhead, with signature), may be emailed to the Resident Affairs Coordinator at dcgomez@ucdavis.edu.

By mail:

Send applications to:
Diana Gomez, Resident Affairs Coordinator
Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
University of California
One Shields Ave.
Davis, CA 95616-8747

We will notify the successful candidate by January 10, 2014 before the VIRMP applicant withdrawal deadline of January 17, 2014.

Additional information regarding large animal ultrasound and the fellowship program may be obtained by contacting Dr. Whitcomb at mbwhitcomb@ucdavis.edu.

Related page: Diagnostic Ultrasound & Musculoskeletal Injuries in the Horse