Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
Patricia J. Provost

Colic, Adhesion Formation, Wound Healing, Large Animal Surgery

Director, Equine Sports Medicine Program
Chair, Companion Animal Health Fund

Whether it is through the development of future veterinarians, treating the sick or lame horses and other large animals, or performing research for the advancement of veterinary care, Dr. Patricia Provost enjoys being on the faculty at Tufts because of the opportunity it gives her to make a difference in the lives of animals. In addition to her clinical duties, Dr. Provost also lectures on a wide variety of surgical topics in horses, cattle, camelids, and small ruminants, and directs the third-year didactic courses in large animal medicine and surgery.

Prior to joining the faculty at Cummings, Dr. Provost spent a brief time first in private general equine practice and then at a thoroughbred racetrack. She left private practice to join Tufts to work with some of the finest horses in the country doing treadmill lameness and respiratory evaluations.

Dr. Provost's areas of clinical expertise and interests include musculoskeletal disorders in foals, uncommon lameness, neoplasia, and gastrointestinal surgery. Her area of research expertise includes wound healing, use of growth factors for soft tissue, ligament and corneal wound healing, skin tumors, and back disease. Her current research effort is directed at treatment of Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, in horses. She continues to dedicate much of her time to the improvement of healing in equine animals because it is an important component to all types of surgery. Dr. Provost is the author of several textbooks.

Dr. Provost had ambitions to become a veterinarian since she was a child growing up in rural Pennsylvania, and her parents' involvement with the equine industry influenced her decision to specialize in horses.

She currently lives with her 19 horses, which range in age from geriatric to weanling and include mares, geldings, and a breeding stallion. Most are standardbreds who have, do, or will race. The non-standardbred breeds include a Dutch warmblood mare that she is currently riding, a Rheinland Pfalz-saar yearling colt, and a 27-year-old quarter horse gelding named Tommy Two-Tone out of the mare she received for her sixth birthday. She also has four cats named Lucy Liu, Piper, Indy, and (double-pawed) Perkins.

Education

  • MS - Michigan State University - 1989
  • VMD - University of Pennsylvania - 1985

Board Certification

  • American College of Veterinary Surgeons (DACVS)
  1. Quinteros DD, Garcia-Lopez JM, Provost PJ. Complete caecal bypass without ileal transaction for caecal impaction in horses: seven clinical cases (1997-2007). Aust Vet J, 88(11):434-8, 2010.
  2. Jenei T, Garcia-Lopez J, Provost PJ, Kirker-Head C. Surgical Management of Small Intestinal Incarceration through the Gastrosplenic Ligament: 14 Cases (1994-2006). JAVMA, 231(8): 1221-4, 2007.
  3. Bellezzo F, Hunt RJ, Provost PJ, Bain FT, Kirker-Head C. Surgical Repair of Rib Fractures in 14 Neonatal Foals: Case Selection, Surgical Technique and Results. EVJ, 36(7):557-562, 2004.
  4. Chevalier H M, Provost PJ, Karas AZ. Effect of caudal epidural xylazine on intraoperative distress and postoperative pain in Holstein heifers. Veterinary Anesthesia & Analgesia, 31(1):1-10, 2004.
  5. Smith J, Provost PJ, Paradis MR. Bacterial meningitis and brain abscesses secondary to infectious disease processes involving the head in horses: seven cases (1980-2001). JAVMA, 224(5):739-742, 2004.

General Research Interests

  • Gastrointestinal pathophysiology of colic and adhesion formation
  • Pathogenesis and treatment of equine skin tumors
  • Wound healing
  • Treatment of equine back pain

Selected Research Projects

  • The significance of EGF, TGF-B, PDGF-BB, MMP 2 & 9 in the normal and ulcerated equine eye
  • Efficacy comparison of dressings on full thickness infected wounds
  • Prevention of post-operative abdominal adhesions in pigs and ponies using a biopolymer implant
  • EGF, PDGF-BB, TGF-beta 1 as potential mediators of equine corneal epithelial cell and keratocyte migration in cell and in organ culture
  • An assessment of an alternative method for the management of equine back pain
  • Prevention and treatment of equine MRSA infections

Teaching

  • Director - 4th Year Clinical Equine Surgery Rotation
  • Co-Director - 3rd Year Equine Medicine & Surgery Course
  • Director - 3rd Year Bovine Surgery Elective
  • Director - Equine Clinical Skills (Year 1 & 2)
  • Faculty Surgeon - Shelter Spay/Neuter Program

Research Interests by Area

Other Areas of Research
  • Mediators of corneal epithelial cells and keratocytes

Major Specialized Equipment

  • Video-endoscopy
  • High-speed treadmill
  • Digital Radiography
  • MRI
  • CT
  • Laser