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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Hoof Pathologist and Educator Dr. Roy Pool Honored by American College of Veterinary Pathologists

Dr. Pool Bestowed Honorary Membership by the ACVP Today the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP) will bestow an honorary membership to Roy R. Pool Jr., PhD DVM, director of the Surgical Pathology Service and director of the Osteopathology Specialty Service at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM).

This award -- only given to a select few individuals -- will be presented to Dr. Pool for his many important contributions to his professional discipline over his more than 40-year career as a veterinary musculoskeletal pathologist at the ACVP's annual meeting.

Honorary membership is bestowed upon a nonmember by a majority vote of the Council, and confirmed by a majority vote of the membership of the College.

Over the years Pool has contributed a great deal to the understanding of the causes and pathological diagnosis of musculoskeletal diseases of domestic animals. A list of his research topics includes research on many species and especially the pathogenesis of biomechanical lesions of bone, joints, tendons, and ligaments of athletic horses.

Pool is the last of the original five veterinary musculoskeletal pathologists still active today in academic practice in this country. He has taught numerous courses, in several veterinary institutions across the United States and Europe including the University of California at Davis, Cornell University, and Mississippi State University.

Dr. Pool was recruited by the Texas A&M seven years ago where, in addition to his diagnostic duties, he teaches lectures in his specialty to professional students in the veterinary curriculum.

"Although I am a clinical professor of pathology with primary diagnostic and teaching responsibilities, I continue to be involved in orthopedic research (e.g. healing of defects in articular cartilage and in tendons facilitated by stem cells)," said Pool.

I will never forget meeting Dr. Pool. He was so interested in Hoofcare and Lameness, and I was so interested in a project he was working on, related to navicular disease. One of the first sentences out of his mouth was, "I just love the navicular bone!" and I could tell he meant it. He went on to tell me that he had collected hundreds of them, and that he never tired of looking at them. Over the years, he also has never seemed to tire of answering my questions, and offering advice for deeper reading or where to find someone who might know the answer to my question.

Dr. Pool opened his lecture at the AAEP convention in San Francisco with one of the best lines ever: "Some people collect stamps. I collect navicular bones!"

Hoofcare and Lameness has tried to keep up with Dr. Pool's research. In 1996, Hoofcare published a summary of 15 years of his equine research, Equine Joint Mechanics: An AAEP/H&L Report, after his presentation at the AAEP convention in Lexington, Kentucky.

In the 1980s, Dr. Pool was the first to notice the incidence of what was then called degenerative suspensory ligament desmitis (DSLD) when he was at the University of California at Davis. What may have been an observation on his part helped veterinarian Jan Young DVM formulate the first articles on the conditon, which were published in Hoofcare and Lameness. In 2002, he was the co-author with Dr Jeanette Mero of the paper, Twenty Cases of Degenerative Suspensory Ligament Desmitis in Peruvian Paso Horses, presented at that year's AAEP Convention in Orlando, Florida.

Not only students and the research community have benefited from Dr. Pool's research, his studies and his affection for the navicular bone--we all have benefited from his generosity and his curiosity. We should all give him an award for helping us understand what happens when something goes wrong with the musculoskeletal systems of athletic horses.

Thanks to Texas A&M University for assistance with this article.

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