NC State Veterinary Medicine Research Roundup, April 2022
A look at some of the latest published studies from the CVM
NC State Researcher Wins Prestigious Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research Award
NC State’s Gustavo Machado is one of nine recipients of a New Innovator in Food & Agriculture Research Award, an award granted to early career scientists supporting research in one of FFAR’s Challenge Areas. Machado is partnering with commercial pig-producing companies, swine producers and local veterinary health officials to create a secure database of all swine farms in the country, their biosecurity plans and other potential risk factors for disease outbreaks.
Refining the Feline Musculoskeletal Pain Index
Four researchers from the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine – Duncan Lascelles, Margaret Gruen, Masataka Enomoto and James Robertson – ran four studies involving a total of 180 cats comparing the reliability and responsiveness of the original version of the Feline Musculoskeletal Pain Index, a method of measuring pain in cats with degenerative joint disease, with a shortened version of the index using nine items instead of 17. The result was that the reliability of both versions was good and that the responsiveness of the shortened version was actually better.
The study was published in The Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.
Learning More About the Role of Cytokines in Healing Injured Tendons
Cytokines are proteins secreted by certain cells in the immune system that can influence other cells as part of the healing process. Among other things, cytokines affect the growth of all blood cells and other cells that help the body’s immune and inflammation responses. While the role of cytokines in the healing process of some body functions is better understood, their role in the healing of injuries is not. This study, conducted by NC State researchers Lauren Schnabel, Ilene Ellis and Alix Berglund, reviews the unique challenges in learning about the role of cytokines in the healing of tendon injuries and proposes solutions to those obstacles.
The study was published in the Journal of Immunology and Regenerative Medicine.
Comparing Mitral Valve Disease in Yorkshire Terriers and Miniature Schnauzers
Eight NC State researchers participated in this study: Dylan DeProspero, Kerry O’Donnell, Teresa DeFrancesco, Bruce Keene, Sandra Tou, Darcy Adin, Clarke Atkins and Kathryn Meurs. Medical record data for each breed was collected, and the study period was January 2007 through December 2016. Compared with Yorkshire terriers, the prevalence of mitral valve disease was significantly higher in miniature schnauzers, and affected dogs were significantly younger at the time of diagnosis. Miniature schnauzers were significantly more likely to have mitral valve prolapse and syncope compared with Yorkshire terriers. Yorkshire terriers were significantly more likely to have coughing and to have had treatment with cardiac medications compared with miniature schnauzers. Future work should seek additional information regarding the natural progression of mitral valve disease in these dog breeds.
The study was published in The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Comparing Different Frequencies of Radiation Treatments in Dogs With Oral Melanoma
Three CVM researchers – Alexie Baja, Tracy Gieger and Michael Nolan – took part in a retrospective study of 101 dogs treated with a total of 36 radiation therapy doses at a frequency of either once or twice a week to see whether the frequency had any effect on disease progression or overall survival. The study found that radiation dose intensity had no measurable impact on survival.
The study was published in the journal Veterinary and Comparative Oncology.
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Conserving an Endangered Species: the Pink Land Iguana of the Galapagos Islands
Greg Lewbart and Hans Westermeyer of NC State were part of an international team of researchers who gathered baseline health data about the pink land iguana of the Galapagos Islands. These animals are classified as a critically endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The results reported in this research will provide baseline values that will be useful in detecting changes in health status among pink land iguanas affected by climate change, invasive species, anthropogenic threats or natural disturbances. The research will also influence strategies for actions to help preserve the species.
The study results were published in the journal PLOS ONE.