U veterinary hospital opens new trauma center

The Veterinary Medical Center is one of the largest in the country.

Jennifer Bissell

After being stabbed several times while on the job in early November, a Roseville Police Department dog was transported to the University of MinnesotaâÄôs new Animal Trauma Center.

“He was really in rough shape when we got here,” Roseville officer John Jorgenson said at a press conference. “I was really hoping we could just get him here with him breathing and being alive.”

Jorgenson had been partnered with the German Shepherd, Major, since 2003.

After undergoing surgery at the trauma center, part of the UniversityâÄôs Veterinary Medical Center, Major has begun to recover.

“He had no motor function to his hind limbs for about the first week after surgery,” veterinarian Nathan Rose said at the press conference. “This can be a career-ending injury to him, and weâÄôll just have to take it day by day.”

MajorâÄôs rehabilitation therapy has included underwater treadmill therapy, physical therapy, cold laser therapy to help with pain associated with spinal injuries and “e-stim,” which helps muscles regain strength through small electric currents, according to Roseville police.

Major was still recovering in the center as of Sunday.

The mission of the new trauma center is to assist animals that have suffered serious injuries. ItâÄôs the regionâÄôs first trauma center for animals and is in the process of being certified. With the certification, it will serve as a model for future animal trauma centers.

The UniversityâÄôs Veterinary Medical Center is one of the largest veterinary teaching hospitals in the country and serves more than 30,000 animal patients a year. Students enrolled in the College of Veterinary Medicine work extensively at the center. They start with observing doctors and later conduct physical examinations and discuss cases with doctors.

Jennifer Gallus, a student enrolled in the college and president of the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association, said she was looking forward to working in the new trauma center.

This is GallusâÄô second career, and she said the schoolâÄôs hands-on experience has helped assure her that this is what she wants to pursue.

“ItâÄôs truly what I want to do, and I know that from actually being out in the working world,” Gallus said.

“IâÄôve worked in health care for the last 11 years, and I liked being an [occupational therapist], but I couldnâÄôt imagine doing that the rest of my life,” she said.

“What I really wanted to do, and always wanted to be, was a vet.”