Appeals

We have built the buildings and bought the equipment and now the Langford Trustees see a need to help our young veterinary surgeons to utilise these wonderful facilities and improve the health and welfare of animals in the future with a series of innovative projects.

We support clinical research projects to advance science and ensure that the decisions vets make are evidence based. General Practitioners look to vet schools for such information.

Clinical research is based on the collection of data from patients but relies on the collaboration of clinical staff and basic scientists. The studies are designed to increase the knowledge of naturally occurring diseases and their treatments by the ethically approved research projects with the fully informed consent of the owner. This is relevant research, which will ultimately make a difference to the health and welfare of all animals.

We are appealing for help with our PhD projects

Reducing use of veterinary medicines through farmer learning groups

Pressures to reduce medicines, particularly antimicrobials, used in food animals are likely to increase from consumers and policy makers, including retailers. Reducing medicine use is not just about ‘stopping veterinary treatments’, but about shifting the balance from treatment to prevention and by using medicines strategically, based on evidence of the actual pathogen and disease status on farms. To achieve all this a comprehensive, and especiallya participatory approach, is needed. To gain a holistic picture, farm management and veterinary data must be systematically integrated and evaluated to produce a plan for each farm that satisfies all stakeholders.

In recent years successful farmer-led approaches have shown their usefulness in minimising the use of medicine in organic dairy herds. It is vital that we can now apply these approaches to UK farms to try and control the unnecessary use of antimicrobials.

The Langford Trust is supporting this PhD project, will you help us?

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Towards prompt diagnosis and prevention of haemoplasmosis – an important cause of anaemia in companion animals

Haemoplasmas are cell wall-deficient mycoplasmal bacteria that adhere to erythrocytes and induce severe haemolysis in many species including cats, cows and pigs. Mycoplasma haemofelis is the most pathogenic feline haemoplasma species. Haemoplasma-induced anaemia can be fatal and rapid diagnosis is problematic as organisms are often not visible on cytology and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays cannot be performed in-house. Development of a rapid serological assay that could be used in-house would help rapid diagnosis, and thus treatment, of haemoplasmosis. However, whilst antibiotics can alleviate clinical signs, they do not reliably clear infection, so strategies to prevent haemoplasma infections are required.

See the news section for information on the progress being made in investigating feline coronavirus – FIP

The Langford Trust is supporting this PhD project, will you help us?

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Understanding post-prescription medicines use in cattle – addressing the knowledge gap

This project will develop and validate data collection platforms to inform future national policies on medicines use in cattle, while ensuring that any proposed restrictions are in the best interests of human and animal health and welfare. The project will begin by examining differences between current medicines auditing tools (veterinary drug sales and prescription data) and post-prescription data (evidence of how medicines are actually used on farms). Using in-depth information about amounts of medicines delivered to farms, it will examine how they are then distributed, integrating this knowledge with reliable, fit-for purpose software, and developing and validating methods of recording or estimating on-farm medicines usage.

Antimicrobial resistance is at the forefront of the minds of policy makers and the medical community. The Chief Medical Officer of the UK categorises the problem as “a catastrophic threat”.

The Langford Trust is supporting this PhD project, will you help us?

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Developing tissue matched implantable hydrogels for delivery of olfactory ensheathing cells into sites of spinal cord injury in domestic dogs

Spinal cord injury causes paralysis and incontinence in dogs, which is irreversible in severe cases. It is the most common canine neurological disease affecting the spinal cord. We demonstrated recently in a first-in-kind clinical trial that a cell transplant originating from the nasal mucosa ) could lead to recovery of walking function in paralysed dogs, when injected as a solution in the spinal cord . However, this treatment is effective in less than a quarter of dogs, possibly because of cell loss during transplantation We are therefore facing the problem that despite having a cell transplant with major potential for spinal cord injury repair, our method of cell delivery is not refined enough to be clinically applicable with a sufficiently good success rate. We propose to address this limitation by developing an implantable veterinary construct that could protect, vehicle and distribute homogeneously neural cells throughout the lesion.

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