1920 to 1928 Timeline
Dourine (also called 'Covering Sickness') is a serious and sometimes chronic parasitic, venereal disease that affects horses. Dourine is a very old disease, the oldest reference to what was likely dourine was made in 400 A.D. by the Byzantines. In first appeared in the United States in the late nineteenth century and its first appearance in Canada was in 1904.
Dr. Edward Watson (OVC '04) was appointed to the Department of Agriculture Biological Laboratory in 1905, one year after the first reported case of dourine in Canada. Through his research on the disease, Watson identified Trypanosoma equiperdum as the cause of dourine North America in 1919. Furthermore, Watson developed a complement fixation test to identify horses that carried the disease, leading to the eradication of the disease in Canada in 1920.
In 1920 the OVC was accredited by the AVMA. This represented a significant recognition by the veterinary community of the sophistication of the OVC and its ability to train current and future veterinary researchers and practitioners. That same year, the Ontario Government created the New Veterinary Science Act. This legislation "grandfathered" in untrained individuals who had practised for at least five years and required that anyone professing themselves to be a veterinarian had to have been trained at a formal veterinary institution. This legislation was a significant recognition of the profession of veterinary science.
Approval was granted by the Ontario Government to re-locate the OVC from Toronto to its current location in Guelph. The relocation was largely the result of the widespread embrace of the automobile, replacing horses as the favoured means of transportation and labour. The move provided an opportunity for the OVC to build stronger connections to the Ontario Agricultural College and livestock industry. The new College buildings officially opened on Gordon Street in Guelph in 1922.
In the early twentieth century a hemorrhagic disease, hemorrhagic diathesis, affected numerous cattle housed in barns during the winter months. The disease, which was the result of a defective clotting mechanism, caused spontaneous bleeding. Upon his return to Canada from Korea in 1919 and rejoining the faculty of the OVC in 1921, Dr. Frank Schofield began investigating the disease, his interest and specialization in comparative diseases convincing him that the disease was not infectious. Through his meticulous research, it was determined that the disease was indeed not infectious, rather it was caused by mold attached to sweet clover silage which was fed to cattle while they were kept indoors. While these findings were tremendously helpful in abating the disease in cattle, it was the implications of moldy sweet clover for human health that would have a profound effect on the medical community. During the process of investigating cattle's consumption of sweet clover, dicoumnarol, an anticoagulant, was identified. This identification of dicoumnoral led to the development of the drug Warfarin, a drug still commonly used to encourage the clotting of blood during events such as cardiac surgery, heart attacks, strokes, and a host of diseases.
Dr. Ronald Gwatkin graduated from the OVC shortly after World War I after serving in the Canadian Army. He joined the faculty of the OVC in 1919 eventually becoming Professor of Bacteriology, Milk Hygiene and Poultry Diseases. A prolific researcher throughout his career, Gwatkin performed one of the earliest experimental studies within the newly formed Department of Pathology at the OVC shortly after the College moved to Guelph. His experiments led to the 1923 discovery of a vaccine for the Fowlpox virus, a slow-spreading viral disease of poultry that causes skin lesions. Gwatkin left the OVC in 1938 to join the Dominion Department of Agriculture and took charge of its Veterinary Research Laboratory in Lethbridge, Alberta. During that period, his principal research focused on swine diseases and encephalomyelitis of horses. He transferred to the Animal Diseases Research Institute in 1943 where he continued research on poultry and swine diseases.
Small animal medicine teaching at the OVC began in 1928 when Dean C.D. McGilvray hired Dr. Frank Cote (OVC '26) to give one lecture and teach one clinic per week. Professor Tom Batt, Head of Physiology, programmed all classes. Dr. Cote used animals from his own established mixed veterinary practice to teach with. As small animal specialization became more popular, Dr. Cote gave up his private practice. In 1958, Dr. Cote left his position and hired Dr. Archibald to replace him.
For much of its early history, veterinary education was the exclusive domain of men. This would change in the 1920s when the first women were admitted to the OVC. The first woman to graduate from the OVC was Elizabeth Barrie Carpenter in 1928. Carpenter came to the OVC from Michigan and upon graduation is known to have relocated to California with her husband, H.C. Collins, a fellow OVC graduate. The first Canadian woman (and third woman) to graduate from the OVC was Jean Rumney in 1939. After graduation she practiced in Hamilton.