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Your gifts help save animal lives

The end of the year is a great time to reflect on and celebrate our successes. Your contributions have helped us fund life-saving animal health research in 2016, and improve the health and veterinary care for dogs, cats, horses and wildlife around the world. Here are a few study highlights from the past year, made possible by your generous support:

New drug tested for incurable cat disease
Researchers at Kansas State University, Wichita State University and University of California, Davis, reported promising preliminary results of a new antiviral drug against feline infectious peritonitis, a fatal viral disease of cats.

Genetic screening test for heart defect
North Carolina State University researchers identified a genetic mutation involved in subvalvular aortic stenosis (a congenital heart disorder) in Newfoundland dogs that has led to the development of a breed-specific screening test.

Melanoma vaccine for horses
Researchers from Lincoln Memorial University, Merial Ltd., and the University of Tennessee showed a vaccine currently used to treat melanomas in dogs also is effective in horses. The majority of the treated horses showed dramatic tumor shrinkage and developed antitumor immune responses following vaccination.

Tuberculosis test for elephants
Colorado State University researchers developed a new rapid screening test that provides earlier and more reliable tuberculosis diagnosis in elephants. This new test will help reduce the risk of disease spread to other elephants as well as other species, including humans. 

Probiotics to reduce chemotherapy complications
North Carolina State University researchers found supplementing dogs with probiotics prior to and during chemotherapy reduces gastrointestinal inflammation and lowers the severity and frequency of gastrointestinal disorders.

Pain relief for cats undergoing spay surgery
University of Montreal researchers showed that a novel drug delivery method using bupivacaine, in conjunction with opioid drugs, provided postoperative pain relief in cats after spay surgery. Bupivacaine is a cost-effective choice for shelters and rescue groups that spay millions of cats each year.

New diagnostic strategy for fatal parrot disease
Texas A&M University researchers developed a more effective diagnostic strategy for proventricular dilatation disease, a fatal neurological and gastrointestinal condition in parrots. The new strategy allows earlier intervention before the onset of severe disease, helping to prevent disease transmission to other birds.

Rescue therapy for horses with acute respiratory distress
Intravenous administration of magnesium sulfate solution is used to treat acute asthma attacks in people. Mississippi State University researchers found magnesium sulfate is also a safe and inexpensive therapy for managing horses in accute respiratory distress due to asthma-like diseases.

Improved cancer surgery imaging
University of Illinois researchers found that a new imaging technology, successfully used in human breast cancer surgery, also is valuable for pets undergoing cancer surgery for soft tissue sarcomas. This real-time imaging helps veterinary surgeons rapidly delineate normal tissue from diseased tissue during surgery, improving the success of surgical removal of these aggressive tumors.

Diagnostic tools for recovering sea turtles
Cold-stunning, caused by sudden seasonal water temperature drops, is a debilitating and often fatal condition of sea turtles and other aquatic species. New England Aquarium researchers discovered hormone monitoring helps track the recovery of endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles during rehabilitation from cold stunning. This new diagnostic technique also helps flag recovering turtles in need of more intensive care to improve their chances of survival and return to the wild.

Thank you to everyone who supported the Foundation and our funded scientists in 2016. We could not do our critical work without you.

As the year closes, please consider making a donation to the Morris Animal Foundation to earn a year-end tax deduction and help us extend the gift of health to even more animals in 2017. All donations, big and small, have the power to improve the health and welfare of companion animals and wildlife around the world.

Categories: Animal studies
December 27, 2016