Texas Tech University

TTU School of Veterinary Medicine’s Palpation Team Competes at Symposium

Weston Brooks

March 24, 2023

TTU SVM Palpation Team

Five Texas Tech veterinary students competed as the inaugural palpation team at a bovine palpation competition.

On March 15-19, veterinary schools from across the United States came together at the Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA) Symposium in Champaign, Illinois. One of the veterinary schools well represented there was the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo

The school's inaugural palpation team included Jenna Roth, Lacey Hodges, Lyric Waugh, Dylan Fishbeck, Dylan Bostick, Dalton Deckert, and Emily Lashaway. All seven traveled together as a team to the SAVMA Symposium, but only five got to represent the team during their first-ever bovine palpation competition. 

Leading the team was associate professor of Food Animal Medicine and Surgery Jennifer Koziol

“This competition is one of the most elite competitions at the SAVMA Symposium,” she said. “It is highly competitive amongst veterinary schools.”

The competition was divided into three components. First, the team completed a written test about their knowledge of bovine reproduction and palpation. Second was a practical portion in which students watched videos of reproductive ultrasounds, examined different types of reproductive tracts identifying stage of pregnancy and any pathology, evaluated the potential breeding status of a bull and determined types of equipment for obstetrics. Finally, the competition narrowed down to the top five teams who elected two students from each team to compete in the third leg of the competition: palpating cows. 

This inaugural team represents another milestone in the on-going development of the School of Veterinary Medicine, and the impact its students are already having on society. They may have finished eighth place, but this opportunity allowed them to learn and grow as a team and prepare for their next competition.    

“Being part of the inaugural palpation team here at the School of Veterinary Medicine is about so much more than the competition,” Roth said. “Not only do I get to learn about bovine reproduction and palpation up close and personal, but my team and I get to lay the foundation for every palpation team coming after us.”

This isn't the first time Koziol has coached a bovine palpation team. In fact, at previous institutions her team finished in the top three multiple times. Her goal is to get this team in the top five so they eventually can win this competition.  

“I have worked very closely with this team to increase their knowledge regarding all aspects of bovine reproduction and to continue to improve their bovine palpation skills,” Koziol said.  

The palpation team also has had great support from the community. In fact, Barber Ranch, Hereford Vet Supply, Texas Cattle Feeders Association, Salt Creek Veterinary Hospital, and others pitched in a total of $4,000 to support the team's success. 

“It is terrific that our students are participating at this stage with only their second year being a little over halfway complete,” said John Dascanio, senior associate dean for academic and student affairs. “It attests to their dedication and the faculty dedication to represent our program. They will literally be arm deep into this competition!”