Today our challenge is to fundraise for pioneering clinical research projects.
Clinical research will advance veterinary science and help ensure the decisions that vets make are evidence based. This vital knowledge can be used to relieve suffering and further animal welfare.
The trust is pleased to announce two PhD projects as the focus of our fundraising efforts for 2021.
Antimicrobial Resistance on Smallholder Farms
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a topic of global health concern, both for human and animal health. AMR research at Bristol Veterinary School is coordinated through the research group, AMR Force, initiated and led by Dr. Kristen Rehyer.
AMR within the commercial farm environment has previously been studied but there has been little analysis of smallholder farms. Smallholdings are the fastest-growing sector of the UK farming industry. This study examines the relationships of smallholding farmers with their animals as well as with animal health, with a distinct focus on antimicrobial use and resistance.
Endothelial Glycocalyx Damage in Dogs with Myxomatous Mitral Valve Disease
Myxomatous mitral valve disease is the most common canine cardiac disease, which is extremely common in middle-aged and older small to medium sized dogs. Millions of dogs are affected worldwide every year. In some dogs the disease is benign, but in other dogs the disease progresses, resulting in heart failure and premature death.
Currently we do not understand what drives these differences. Research taking place at the University of Bristol Veterinary School seeks to change this. Our eventual goal is to develop new treatments aimed at slowing down disease progression.
A research team led by Dr Melanie Hezzell, a world expert in myxomatous mitral valve disease, is investigating the contribution of damage to the lining of the cardiovascular system (the endothelium) on disease progression. The team is studying the disease in pet dogs – this longitudinal study will monitor dogs according to gold standard clinical guidelines every 6 months at no cost to their owners, enabling optimal health care to be delivered. Monitoring these dogs for the rest of their lives will allow us to identify the factors that lead to rapid disease progression, heart failure and death. The results of the study could improve the lives of millions of dogs.