Accomplished Veterinarian Johnson Dies At The Age Of 81

Dr. Jerry H. Johnson, longtime veterinarian well known in academic and private practice, died Nov. 9 at the age of 81.

Born March 7, 1939 in Gough, Ga., to Julian and Martha Kitchens Johnson, Johnson was raised on his parents’ working farm and attended the University of Georgia, where he received both his undergraduate and veterinary degrees. He went on to spend seven years in the U.S. Army Reserves before being discharged in 1963 with the rank of staff sergeant.

Johnson became a boarded equine surgeon and taught for 16 years at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, Auburn University, and the University of Missouri.

After encouragement from well-known racetrack practitioner Dr. Alex Harthill, Johnson left academia to begin private practice in 1979 in the Central Kentucky area. He is credited with introducing the use of furosemide into racing to prevent incidence of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH), as well as being the first veterinarian to use an endoscope to examine the airway of horses at auction. Johnson was also well known as an advocate to end of the practice of soring and “Big Lick” movement in the Tennessee Walking Horse world.

Johnson’s work also included field trial studies for pharmaceutical companies, including Merck, Merial, and Schering-Plough. He scoped more than 2,000 horses as part of field trials for the omperazole treatment now commonly known by its trade name of GastroGard.

According to his obituary, Johnson’s patients included many Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup winners, as well as grand prix jumpers, Paso Finos, Friesian carriage horses, the Budweiser Cydesdales, Belgian pulling drafts, and the occaisonal stable dog or cat.

Johnson was a published author in the American Association of Equine Practitioners Proceedings, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, and Journal of Equine Medicine and Surgery, and was a member of AVMA, AAEP, ACVS, NAARV, KVMA, KAEP, FAEP, The Thoroughbred Club, The Keeneland Club.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 30 years, Patricia White Johnson, and daughter Julee Johnson, longtime friend Jo Ann Johnson, daughter Kaitlyn Hildenbrand (Maury), sister-in-law Barbara White Crockett, nieces Jennifer Knight (Mark) and Elizabeth Erickson (Nils) (daughters of his late sister-in-law Jacqueline White), nephew Major Roy B. Crockett, USMC (Anais), adopted daughter Elizabeth Connolly (Jim), grandchildren Juel Johnson; Ty, Alexa, and Ashley Hildenbrand; Christopher and John Connolly.

A memorial will be held sometime in 2021. In lieu of flowers, the family has established a memorial fund in Johnson’s honor at the University of Georgia, where friends may contribute to the UGA Foundation (note: The Jerry H. Johnson, DVM Memorial Fund) or online here.

Read an extended obituary of Johnson here.

The post Accomplished Veterinarian Johnson Dies At The Age Of 81 appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

DYFD Winter - 300x90

Comments are closed.