BSAVA PetSavers funded over £38,000 towards Clinical Research Projects in 2022

10 January 2023

Each year BSAVA PetSavers offers funding of up to £20,000 per grant with their Clinical Research Projects (CRPs).  The aim of the grants is to undertake a small-scale clinical research project in companion animals. The ultimate goal is to advance understanding of the causes and/or management of a clinical disorder.

The projects can last 1-3 years and the funds available can be used for research expenses and consumables, and up to 30% can be used for research-specific staffing costs. In 2022, over £38,000 was awarded towards five Clinical Research Projects across a range of subjects.

Here are some of the ongoing CRP’s that BSAVA PetSavers has awarded funding towards:

Evaluation of Synovial Cytokine Concentrations in Dogs with Degenerative Joint Disease, Immune Mediated Polyarthritis and Septic Arthritis – £2000 to Sebastian Griffin at Vet4Life, Teddington

The aim of the research project is to identify a biomarker or panel of biomarkers that can be measured in synovial fluid to distinguish between immune-mediated polyarthritis, septic arthritis and osteoarthritis. A secondary aim is to determine whether any of these biomarkers can be used for prognostication. The hypothesis is that there is a significant difference in the inflammatory biomarker profile in the synovial fluid of dogs with immune mediated polyarthritis, degenerative joint disease or septic arthritis.

The project will analyse concentrations of C-reactive protein, calprotectin, haptoglobin, lactoferrin, serum amyloid A and procalcitonin in synovial fluid samples from canine patients diagnosed with either septic arthritis, degenerative joint disease, or immune mediated polyarthritis by routine methods. The study findings will contribute to the evidence base around canine arthritides.

Assessing the effect of D-mannose on clinical outcome and microbiota composition in canine chronic inflammatory enteropathy £9409.36 to Dr Silke Salavati, University of Edinburgh

In dogs with CIE, the addition of mannose to their management regimen will lead to clinical improvement, and this goes along with an improved (less dysbiotic) composition profile of the gut microbiota. Mannose could become an important and readily available additional treatment for dogs with CIE, another ‘weapon’ in the arsenal to control this condition more efficiently.

Reusable vs disposable drapes: does their use affect post-operative wound complication rates in routine surgeries? – £9053 to Hannah James at VetPartners, York

This study will provide clear evidence as to whether reusable or disposable drapes are better for the outcome of the patient. This will enable practitioners to make the best choice of drapes for their surgeries in order to minimise the chances of post-operative infections and other wound complications. Should reusable drapes prove at least equivalent to disposable drapes, this would have the additional benefit of allowing practitioners to choose reusable drapes where appropriate, knowing that they have both less environmental impact and good patient safety.

Assessment of hypercoagulability in dogs with ischaemic cerebrovascular infarcts – £7566 to Sophie Wyatt, RVC

The study aims to explore the association between possible hypercoagulable state and canine stroke cases to better understand the underlying causes. This will improve disease management and the results of this study will offer insight into specific therapeutic options which can ultimately improve patient outcome.  Furthermore, the research project will provide information regarding potential prognostic indicators to better guide owners and clinicians when making difficult management decisions.

Effectiveness of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) for the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA)-associated pain in client-owned dogs – £10,000 (including £5000 from The Debs Foundation) to Chiara Adami, University of Cambridge

If the results will prove that LLLT is effective in treating OA-associated pain in dogs, this finding will promote advancement in veterinary practice by greatly improving pain management and quality of life of a large population of dogs worldwide. The pharmacological therapy – which is associated with side effects and ethical implications – could be greatly decreased, with benefits for both the study dogs and the population of dogs with OA.

Applications are currently open for the next round of BSAVA PetSavers CRP’s, more information can be found on the website here: https://new.bsava.com/petsavers/apply-for-funding/clinical-research-projects/. Applications for 2023 close on 31st January.