Patient safety, access to care central to livestock center renovation

K-State’s updated facility includes a rotational chute to help examine large animal patients with lameness

Cattle, pigs, sheep, and other livestock now have improved access to care at Kansas State University (K-State).
Officials from Kansas State University’s Veterinary Health Center and Merck Animal Health cut the ribbon at the university’s newly renovated livestock receiving and treatment area.
Photo courtesy K-State

Cattle, pigs, sheep, and other livestock now have improved access to care at Kansas State University (K-State).

The university’s Veterinary Health Center is celebrating the renovation of its livestock receiving and treatment area. The facility boasts many updated features aimed at streamlining care and improving patient safety.

“With the renovations made, we can process patients safely and efficiently,” says Matt Miesner, DVM, MS, DACVIM, section head and clinical professor in livestock services at the Veterinary Health Center. “It’s a beautiful facility and extremely functional.”

Upgrades include:

  • New drive-thru unloading feature to improve patient drop-off and pickup.
  • Holding pens, alleyways, sweep, and bud tub handling of cattle to improve output and safer movement of patients.
  • Installation of a rotational chute, which provides increased versatility to examine large animal patients with lameness.
  • Improved obstetrics handling area aimed at enhancing services for pregnancy-related disorders.

“The livestock receiving area had been virtually unchanged since 1978,” says Bonnie Rush, DVM, MS, DACVIM, Hodes Family Dean of the K-State College of Veterinary Medicine. “We needed to build cattle-handling facilities that are more cattle- and student-friendly.”

Dr. Miesner agrees, adding improvements not only came from a need for structural repair, but a need to raise to the standards of modern, safe, efficient, and low-stress animal handling methods.

“[The facility] is a great benefit for us and the students, and our clients,” he says. “We just saw an example yesterday. We had a couple of bucking bulls brought in to be vaccinated. In the old days, this would not be simple, but now we can handle it with ease.”

The renovation was made possible thanks to support from Merck Animal Health, K-State alum Kip Lukasiewicz, DVM, and Temple Grandin, PhD, a prominent expert on livestock handling systems.

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