University’s Large Animal Clinic to undergo renovations


A graduate student wraps a horse’s shins with adhesive to prevent further injuries at the Large Animal Clinic on Monday.

By Fatima Farha

At first sight, ward four of the Large Animal Clinic in the University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital looks like any regular clinic, except for its dirty, unstable floors and old wooden stalls. To make the ward feel safer and more accessible to its patients, the clinic will begin renovations in January with funds from the state of Illinois.

The Large Animal Clinic is divided into four wards, three of which have already been renovated.

With the $2.1 million grant from the Capital Development Board, the clinic will implement renovations on the fourth ward, said Jonathan Foreman, professor of veterinary clinical medicine and the teaching hospital. The renovations will include installing metal fixtures as stalls and leveling the floors, making them easier for horses to run and walk on.

“The weather is either too hot or too cold a lot in the summertime or wintertime, we do a lot of examinations in this space so it’s a really heavily used space,” Foreman said. “So if we can make it safer for the patients and for the students around the patients, then that’s our real goal.”

Foreman said these renovations will allow for better and more comfortable treatment of the animals by students. Many of the floors in the facility are not level and have sticky textures that prevent horses from running freely during examinations.

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    New metal bars for stalls will not only make the clinic look more professional, it will also protect the horses inside, which the current wooden stalls do not, Foreman added.

    There will also be more space for the animals and their caretakers.

    “We don’t use this space as much as we would like to, so if we could get in here more and have it be reliable and know that when we use it that it’s safer, we see that as a bonus for everybody,” Foreman said.

    Melody Martychenko, graduate student in veterinary medicine, said the renovations will give horses better treatment and let the students figure out what is wrong with them more efficiently. She also pointed out that the floors will become much easier to clean, making the clinic more sanitary.

    “It’ll make the environment working with the horses and around the horses much more safe,” Martychenko said.

    The Capital Development Board is also providing funds for additional renovations to the classrooms in the veterinary school. Foreman said he hopes the new renovations to the classrooms will allow for larger spaces, along with a more comfortable classroom setting. The funds will not apply to audio and visual renovations, which the University plans to pay for on its own.

    Michael Manthey, graduate student in veterinary medicine, added that the clinic will put on a more professional look that will attract more students to the veterinary program in the University, while providing a necessary service to the community.

    “I think it’s important, because as a part of this community, we are providing a service and with the older facility, we’re not providing that good of a service,” Manthey said. “It’s also an aesthetic to help make the facility look more professional.”

    In the end, Foreman said that these renovations will give the clinic more flexibility with the areas in which they can place their patients and will be more beneficial and safer for everybody involved with the animal clinic, horses and all.

    Fatima can be reached at [email protected].