MR spectroscopy: Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), also known as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, is a non-invasive analytical technique that has been used to study metabolic changes in brain tumors, strokes and other diseases affecting the brain. Dr. March is currently leading a clinical trial to evaluate the use of the technique for the definitive diagnosis of primary brain tumors and strokes.
Stem cell therapy for immune-mediated meningoencephalitis: Dr. March is conducting a trial designed to determine whether after initial stabilization with current treatment approaches, stem cell therapy allows dogs to remain in clinical remission.
Intervertebral disk disease:Dr. Faissler recently completed a clinical trial evaluating the use of trophic factors such as platelet rich plasma and erythropoietin for stimulating spinal cord repair in paraplegic dogs with loss of pain perception in both hind legs – analysis of the results is pending. We are planning and continuing to explore novel treatment options for dogs with severe spinal cord damage, including stem cell transplantation. Under the supervision of Dr. Faissler, Dr. Sutton is investigating prognostic factors for paralyzed dogs with intervertebral disk herniation. Our hypothesis is that the degree of dispersion of extruded disk material correlates with outcome.
Brain surgery: Dr. Faissler has introduced intracranial pressure (ICP) during and, most importantly, after brain surgery. Knowledge of ICP has improved patient outcomes. Dr. Faissler has also developed a technique for closing large skull defects resulting from cranioectomies which uses a combination of titanium and bone cement. Because titanium is non-ferromagnetic, MRI for assessment of tumor control can be performed during the postoperative period.
Dr. Graham is currently seeking cases of avian squamous cell carcinoma for a project to establish avian tumor cell lines. If you have diagnosed any pet birds with squamous cell carcinoma that could potentially participate in this project please contact Dr. Graham at email@example.com or by phone at 508-887-4745.
Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy for Labrador Retriever Chronic Hepatitis
Labrador retrievers develop a breed-specific chronic hepatitis (CH) that progresses to cirrhosis and hepatic failure. Vague clinical signs include decreased appetite, lethargy, PU/PD and vomiting. Median age at diagnosis is between 6.4-9.3 years (range: 2-15 years). A female predominance is noted in some, but not all reports. Dogs typically have increases in serum ALT and AST with more modest and variable increases in ALP and GGT. Some dogs also have renal tubular disease manifested by the presence of normoglycemic glucosuria. Definitive diagnosis is by hepatic histopathology, which shows varying degrees of necrosis/apoptosis with centrolobular to periportal mononuclear inflammation (lymphocytes, plasma cells and histiocytes), regeneration and fibrosis (Fig 3). In some dogs cirrhosis is present at diagnosis. Median survival is 374 days (range:1-2,645 days).
Figure 3: Hepatic biospy from a 5-year-old spayed female Labrador that presented for anorexia, weight loss, and PU/PD. H and E stains (A, B) show marked portal inflammation consisting of lymphocytes, plasma cells and macrophages. Multifocal lipogranulomas are present. Siruis Red stains (C, D) highlight the abundant fibrosis with prominent bridging between portal areas. Low (A C, 100X)) and high (B, D 400X) power.
As veterinarians gain experience in the discipline of interventional endourology we find that there are challenges in some of our patients that are not experienced in human endourology. One of these challenges is the feline ureter. In the healthy state it is a very thin and narrow structure averaging about 0.4mm in diameter. Ureteral stents for felines are avialbale as small as 2 and 2.5 Fr and for dogs as large as 6 Fr. The obstructed ureter may distend to perhaps a centimeter at its widest point, but usually it is less than that and is often tortuous in nature. Additionally the cause for ureteral obstructions is often calcium oxalate uroliths which may become embedded in the wall of the ureter making removal impossible, and also making passage of a stent around the stone quite challenging. Another cause of ureteral obstruction is a stricture at a previous site of urolith lodgment or urolith removal. Continue reading →