Fund Supports 18 New Studies to Enhance Companion Animal Health

Closeup of a hedgehog face, held with blue surgical glove.


Thanks to grants from the school’s Companion Animal Fund, faculty and residents at the UW School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) will launch 18 new research projects aimed at improving animal health care.

Over $171,000 in grants are being distributed in 2018. SVM researchers will explore a variety of subjects including the clinical management of tracheal intubation and reflux in dogs; ways to combat equine gastric ulcer syndrome; stem cell creation for disease modelling, drug testing, and patient-specific cellular therapies; and the management of cyclic, antibiotic resistant urinary tract infections. View study descriptions.

Special species health is represented with a study of pain management in African pygmy hedgehogs, an increasingly common household pet. The project will evaluate the analgesic efficacy of the opioid drug buprenorphine with the goal of developing species-specific dosage protocols to help veterinarians provide an effective, safe pain control option in ill and post-operative hedgehog patients.

“There is a huge knowledge gap in hedgehog medicine, especially when it comes to how to best provide pain relief,” says Grayson Doss, who is leading the research with Christoph Mans, both zoological medicine faculty members. “The drug dosages that are currently recommended for hedgehogs are based on what works in other unrelated species, like ferrets or rodents. We need better evidence and this grant is a first step towards learning more.”

The Companion Animal Fund is made possible by donations from veterinary medical clinics with strong ties to the school as well as individual donors, including many whose animals have been patients at UW Veterinary Care. Through a competitive annual process, the school awards the funds to faculty to further research that will enhance the care of companion animals. This year, because of an increase in gifts, the school funded six more research projects than in 2017 and twice as many as in 2016.

In addition to bolstering research, funds support facility and equipment improvements that help UW Veterinary Care clinicians provide enhanced diagnostics and treatments for patients.

“The response from our donors this year was amazing,” says Kristi Thorson, associate dean for advancement and administration. “Investigators, residents and students appreciate the Companion Animal Fund grants because they support early research projects and often serve as preliminary studies for larger grant applications. They’re a cornerstone of our commitment to foster academic excellence.”

Denise Garlow

Principal Investigators for Companion Animal Fund Projects in 2018

Heidi Barnes Heller
Clinical Associate Professor, Medical Sciences

Grayson Doss
Clinical Instructor, Surgical Sciences

Tatiana Ferreira
Clinical Assistant Professor, Surgical Sciences

Cristina de Miguel Garcia
Clinical Instructor, Surgical Sciences

Robert Hardie
Clinical Professor, Surgical Sciences

Rebecca Johnson
Clinical Associate Professor, Surgical Sciences

Stephen Johnson
Associate Professor, Comparative Biosciences

Christoph Mans
Clinical Associate Professor, Surgical Sciences

Fernando Marques
Clinical Associate Professor, Medical Sciences

Gillian McLellan
Associate Professor, Surgical Sciences

Peter Muir
Professor, Surgical Sciences

Amelia Munsterman
Clinical Assistant Professor, Surgical Sciences

Xuan Pan
Assistant Professor, Medical Sciences

Jessica Pritchard
Clinical Assistant Professor, Medical Sciences

Lesley Smith
Clinical Professor, Surgical Sciences

Masatoshi Suzuki
Associate Professor, Comparative Biosciences

Katrina Viviano
Clinical Associate Professor, Medical Sciences

Michael Wood
Assistant Professor, Medical Sciences

View study descriptions.

Donate to the Companion Animal Fund at

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