April 20, 2023 – For 75 years, Morris Animal Foundation has been a global leader in funding studies to advance animal health. With the help of generous donors like you, we are improving the health and well-being of dogs, cats, horses and wildlife around the world.
Approximately 4 million dogs in the United States suffer from brain cancer, and even more from intracranial disease and injury. Many important diagnostic tests used in patients with intracranial disease, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), require general anesthesia. North Carolina State University researchers found a drug called alfaxalone showed promise as a safe and effective option for canine patients with intracranial disease needing anesthesia. (The Veterinary Journal, December 2022)
Feline herpesvirus (FHV-1) is the most common cause of infectious eye disease in shelter cats and can lead to blindness. Many cats respond well to antiviral medications, but drug response is highly variable from cat to cat, making it hard to establish an effective strategy in shelter environments. Louisiana State University researchers compared three common antiviral medications in shelter cats with FHV-1- associated eye disease. Only one, topical ophthalmic cidofovir, significantly reduced viral load in infected cats. (Veterinary Ophthalmology, October 2022)
Researchers from the University of Central Lancashire in the United Kingdom are studying how horses adapt muscle function as well as limb and upper body movements to cope with lameness. The team discovered that a noninvasive technique called surface electromyography (sEMG) can effectively measure muscle adaptations in horses with forelimb and hindlimb lameness. Findings will inform the development of tools to assist with clinical lameness assessment in horses. (Frontiers in Veterinary Science, November 2022; Equine Veterinary Journal, December 2022)
CANCER IN WILDLIFE
In earlier studies, researchers from the University of California, Davis, in partnership with the Catalina Island Conservancy, helped identify a strategy to reduce severe ear inflammation linked to ear cancer in Catalina Island foxes. Continued collaborative research with Texas A&M University recently identified genetic regions that may predispose the foxes to developing ear cancer. This new information will inform conservation and repopulation efforts to help save the Catalina Island fox. (Genes, August 2022)