DENVER/Sept. 26, 2023 — Morris Animal Foundation announced that researchers at Iowa State University are the recipients of funding for a new study focused on inflammatory bowel disease in dogs.
The team, led by Dr. Albert Jergens, will investigate the role of gut microbial changes in IBD and explore potential dietary solutions.
"This study holds great promise for improving the well-being of dogs suffering from chronic intestinal diseases, and builds upon a well-established research program in veterinary inflammatory bowel disease,” said Kathy Tietje, Chief Program Officer at Morris Animal Foundation. “We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Jack and Megan Czerwinski, whose generous support has made this project possible."
The Czerwinskis created the fund in memory of Zinnie, their beloved dog lost to inflammatory bowel disease at only 3 years old. The pair worked closely with the Foundation to develop the criteria for project selection. The study is part of a broader donor-inspired initiative to fund studies that lead to positive impacts and achievements for animals, benefiting both scientific and non-scientific stakeholders.
Canine chronic enteropathy, or IBD, is akin to Crohn’s disease in humans and is a common cause of gastrointestinal disease in dogs. IBD is characterized by the influx of large numbers of inflammatory cells into the GI tract. The inflammation damages the digestive tract lining, hindering proper food digestion, and causing pain and discomfort. IBD is a life-long problem that, in the most serious cases, can be fatal.
“This was a very difficult journey to take together, but we wouldn't trade our time with Zinnie and (we) know how blessed we are to have had even a few years with him,” the Czerwinskis said in a statement. “With this study, we know that Zinnie's impact won't end with his life and will extend far beyond just the people and pups who knew him.”
About Morris Animal Foundation
Morris Animal Foundation’s mission is to bridge science and resources to advance the health of animals. Founded in 1948 and headquartered in Denver, it is one of the largest nonprofit animal health research organizations in the world, funding nearly $160 million in more than 3,000 critical animal health studies to date across a broad range of species. Learn more at morrisanimalfoundation.org.
Media Contact: Annie Mehl