Photo: Katriana Van Woudenberg.
Photo: Katriana Van Woudenberg.

Fund invests in pet health research and training

An investment of more than $150,000 from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) Companion Animal Health Fund (CAHF) will benefit scientists and graduate students whose research work focuses on improving pet health.

This year, nearly $78,000 of the CAHF funding will support the work of six research teams whose members include WCVM faculty, graduate students, and collaborators on the University of Saskatchewan (USask) campus and elsewhere.

In addition, the CAHF is allocating $72,500 toward tuition awards for 11 graduate students who are investigating pet health questions as part of their training programs. One of the tuition award recipients is veterinary ophthalmology resident Dr. Shayna Levitt, who was also awarded the 2023 Michael Powell Award of Excellence.

The $1,000 award, named in memory of Dr. Michael Powell, recognizes WCVM graduate students who excel in their academic and research work that focuses on companion animal health. 

The CAHF, which was established by the WCVM in 1978, annually provides financial support for companion animal health research, specialized training and public outreach. Regular donations from veterinarians, humane societies, pet health companies and individuals in support of pet health research have all contributed to the CAHF’s longevity. For more information, visit cahfpets.ca.

RESEARCH PROJECTS

Can an anti-nausea drug help to treat adverse effects of chemotherapy in dogs?

Drs. Arata Matsuyama and Valerie MacDonald-Dickinson, WCVM

Is methadone effective in managing ferrets’ pain?

Drs. Barbara Ambros, Jane Shin, and Isabelle Desprez, WCVM; Dr. Heather Knych, University of California, Davis

How can we treat opioid-induced nausea and vomiting in dogs?

Drs. Barbara Ambros, Jane Shin and Bruna Hech, WCVM

What are the most effective sedation protocols in ferrets?

Drs. Isabelle Desprez,  Barbara Ambros and Jessie Vandenbruggen, WCVM; Dr. Hughes Beaufrère, University of California, Davis

Are there affordable ways to detect urinary biomarkers in dogs receiving chemotherapy?

Drs. Valerie MacDonald-Dickinson, Arata Matsuyama, Al Chicoine, Sheri Ross and Ryan Dickinson, WCVM

What’s the most effective way to detect platelet function in cats with blood clotting disorders?

Drs. Kevin Cosford and Anthony Carr, WCVM

TUITION AWARDS

Dr. Shayna Levitt is a Master of Sciences (MSc) student and ophthalmology resident whose work is supervised by Dr. Lynne Sandmeyer (Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences). Research focus: pigmentary uveitis in golden retrievers.

Dr. Mathieu Paulin is a MSc student and internal medicine resident who is supervised by Dr. Liz Snead (Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences). Research focus: canine adrenal deficiency and water dysregulation in pets. 

Dr. Kylie Pon is a MSc student who is supervised by Dr. Melissa Meachem (Department of Veterinary Pathology). Research focus: feline infectious peritonitis.

Shabnam Abdi is a PhD student who is supervised by Dr. Behzad Toosi (Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences). Research focus: canine and human melanoma and lymphoma. 

Dr. Bruna Hech Pereira de Souza is an anesthesiology resident and MSc student who is supervised by Dr. Barbara Ambros (Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences.). Research focus: treatments for opioid-induced vomiting in dogs.

Nicole Rose is a MSc student who is supervised by Dr. Bruce Wobeser (Department of Veterinary Pathology). Research focus: pathology associated with anesthetic death in cats and dogs.

Elise Bokshowan is a MSc student who is supervised by Dr. Lynn Weber (Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences). Research focus: grain-free, legume-based diets for dogs.

Dr. Jane Shin is an anesthesia resident who is supervised by Dr. Barbara Ambros (Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences). Research focus: treatments for opioid-induced vomiting in dogs and ferret pain management.

Alexandra Foley-Eby is a PhD student who is supervised by Dr. Maarten Voordouw (Department of Veterinary Microbiology). Research focus: Borrelia burgdorferi.

Dorsa Mehrabanpour is a MSc student who is supervised by Dr. Jaswant Singh (Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences) and Dr. Liz Snead (Department of Small Animal Clinical Services). Research focus: non-invasive diagnosis of feline infectious peritonitis with the use of PET-CT technology. 

Dr. Jessie Vandenbruggen is a MSc student and a zoological, exotic and wildlife medicine (ZEW) resident who is supervised by Dr. Isabelle Desprez (Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences). Research focus: sedation protocols in ferrets.

 

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