Dr. Karen Rosenthal Named 2012 Oxbow Exotic Mammal Health Award Winner

Exotics veterinarian Karen Rosenthal received the 2012 Oxbow Exotic Mammal Health Award for her many years of work in exotic mammal medicine.

“No one gets an award like this because they worked in a bubble,” said Karen Rosenthal, DVM, MS. “Ideas, hard work, cooperation, teaching, patient care, etc. are all things that come about because of a group of dedicated people, not just one person.”

Rosenthal was named the 2012 Oxbow Exotic Mammal Health Award winner recently, and she credits her mentors, colleagues, interns, residents, students, clients and patients for the honor. She said that receiving the award made her feel humble and slightly embarrassed. “It was not me that deserved this,” she said, “but all of the people that I have ever interacted with over the last two decades.”

The Oxbow Exotic Mammal Health Award was first presented in 2009 and has been awarded every year since to an animal health professional who advances the field of exotic mammal medicine and care. Rosenthal was presented with the award at the 2012 AAZV/AEMV/ARAV Conference in Oakland, California, on October 24th, followed by a reception in her honor.

“Dr. Rosenthal has devoted her life to educating others in the realm of exotic mammal veterinary medicine – students, residents, and colleagues alike,” said John Miller, president and CEO of Oxbow Animal Health. “As a result, she is held in the highest esteem by all she encounters. To recognize her legacy with this year’s Oxbow Exotic Mammal Health Award is a great honor.”

Rosenthal said her greatest accomplishments in exotic mammal medicine involve communication and education, and she mentioned some highlights. “Helping the veterinary community better understand ferret adrenal gland disease. Helping to communicate to veterinarians and the public about exotic animal medicine and being one of many people that has tried to lift the care given to exotic pets,” she said. “Finally, being one of many people who has attempted to make the veterinary community understand that exotic pets need and deserve the same care and attention that other companion animals receive.”

Rosenthal hopes that in the future exotic mammal medicine continues to move forward and find more ways to improve the lives of exotic mammals.

Although Rosenthal received the award in late October, she has yet to get it home. She was worried that it might get damaged if she tried to fly home with it, so she’s waiting for it to be shipped to her. “It is a work of art, almost, more than it is an award,” she said. She’s eagerly awaiting its arrival.

Rosenthal is the associate dean of Academic Affairs at the St. Matthews Veterinary School, located on the Grand Cayman Island in the Caribbean. Her veterinary career includes serving as associate professor, and founding director and section chief of Special Species Medicine at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Previous awards include the Daniels Award for Excellence in Small Mammal Endocrinology and the Exotic DVM of the Year (2010). She writes on numerous scientific topics and speaks at national and international veterinary conferences. Additionally, she is a reviewer for many scientific journals and associate editor for the Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine. Rosenthal was a founding member of the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians and the Small Mammal Program Chair for the North American Veterinary Conference from 1996 to 2003. She served as president of the Association of Avian Veterinarians from 2008 to 2009.

The Oxbow Exotic Mammal Health Award is based on excellence in one or more of the following areas: exhibiting leadership in the field of exotic mammal health, advancing the understanding of clinical diseases and treatments in exotic mammal pets, promoting the field of exotic mammal medicine, promoting the field of exotic mammal nutrition or providing innovation to the field of exotic mammal medicine. Nominations are made by submitting a CV and letter of recommendation describing the individual and how they exemplify the above qualities.

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