Inaugural Referring Veterinarian Issue 2020
A New Heartbeat
Heartbeat is now an exclusive referring veterinarian publication. With this issue, we are launching a new phase in communications with our referral community. Every quarter, you will continue to receive this electronic version of Heartbeat , but it will now contain more detailed information geared toward keeping you updated on the latest veterinary news from the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. We are eager to hear your feedback on this new format – please contact us with your comments and suggestions.
Additionally, we hear your concerns about the referral process and have implemented more support for referring veterinarians. We now have eight referral coordinators that you can reach directly , bypassing the main VMTH phone line. We also created a call center with several new representatives answering the main VMTH phone line, so your clients get quicker, more efficient services.
Please enjoy this issue of Heartbeat , and thank you for your support.
Due to developing circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, including adhering to physical distancing and limiting public gatherings, the VMTH is currently altering its patient receiving schedule.
As of 8am March 19, the VMTH is OPEN FOR EMERGENCIES and CRITICAL CASES ONLY . Currently, this status is scheduled to stay in place until at least May 4, when the VMTH plans to start expanding services in a staged manner. Based on the mandatory shelter in place order for Yolo County, the hospital’s receiving is currently restricted to emergent medical conditions, follow up of current patients with urgent medical needs, and ongoing chemotherapeutic and radiation therapy treatments. Veterinary facilities are considered essential during these times, and our aim is to remain open in order to provide patient care to animals with life threatening medical conditions.
Most appointments scheduled for the near future have been rescheduled. Clients have been contacted regarding cancellations and rescheduling.
Our Emergency Room remains open 24/7 for emergent medical concerns. Please call 530-752-1393 if you need help assessing the urgency of an animal’s condition.
If you feel you have an emergent referral, please follow your normal protocol and continue to refer that patient to the VMTH. Please contact our referral coordinators as normally to schedule those referrals.
If your referral is not emergent and can wait until after May 4, please refer those patients for appointments beyond that date.
We have compiled a Coronavirus Resources page for you and your clients that includes FAQs for pet owners .
Thank you for your continued support and patience during this time.
Referral Contacts
Referral veterinarians have dedicated client service representatives at the VMTH that they can reach directly – bypassing the main telephone number. Please utilize these contacts for faster, more efficient connections to make your referrals. These referral coordinators have intimate knowledge of their particular services, and can facilitate your needs and also connect you with a veterinarian should you need consultation on a case.
Clinical Advancements
Veterinarians Use Artificial Intelligence to Aid in the Diagnosis of Addison’s Disease
Veterinarians at UC Davis have developed an algorithm utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) to detect Addison’s disease. The researchers teamed with an electrical and computer engineer to develop the AI algorithm, which has an accuracy rate greater than 99 percent. The team touts the program to be superior to any other screening tool that utilizes routine blood tests available to veterinarians. The program is anticipated to be available for commercial use by the end of 2020.
Veterinary Scientists Successfully Advance Treatment for Feline Chronic Gingivostomatitis
Veterinary scientists at UC Davis have completed a multicenter clinical trial testing the use of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ASCs) to treat a debilitating oral disease in cats. Having previously found positive results in a trial performed exclusively at UC Davis, the team of veterinarians and researchers found similar positive results when expanding the trial to another veterinary school and two private veterinary clinics. This further verification establishes protocol for the safe and effective use of fresh, allogeneic and autologous ASCs to treat feline chronic gingivostomatitis.
Equine Videoendoscopy
Equine veterinarians at UC Davis are now able to utilize overground videoendoscopy to help diagnose upper airway respiratory disorders in horses.
Current Clinical Trials
Drs. Allison Zwingenberger and Michele Steffey are recruiting dogs with osteosarcoma for a clinical trial. The trial aims to demonstrate the feasibility of performing dual tracer PET/CT imaging in dogs affected by osteosarcoma and to quantify PET/CT data and correlate these data with pathology specimens. Dogs must be at least one year old, weigh 15kg or more, and have osteosarcoma based on tissue biopsy and/or imaging characteristics. The study will cover all study drugs, drug administration, the PET/CT scan, and the associated anesthesia. The study will pay up to $2000 towards the dog's veterinary care at the VMTH.
Drs. Jodi Westropp and Craig Sutter are recruiting dogs with bacterial urinary tract infections (UTIs) for a clinical trial. The trial aims to confirm that a single dose of the antimicrobial, Fosfomycin, will be effective and well tolerated in dogs with a UTI compared to enrofloxacin. The Investigators are looking for dogs greater than nine months of age with clinical signs such as pollakiuria, stranguria, hematuria and/or urinary incontinence.
Drs. Luke Wittenburg and Jenna Burton are recruiting cats diagnosed with cancer for which vinblastine has been deemed an appropriate drug choice by the study veterinarian. The trial aims to describe the pharmacokinetic profile of vinblastine in cats and to identify which characteristics or traits (e.g., age, kidney function, liver function) influence how vinblastine is distributed and eliminated in cats. The study will cover costs for the bloodwork on Day 0 and Day 14, drug administration fees, vinblastine chemotherapy and overnight hospitalization.
Dr. Carrie Palm is recruiting cats with anemia caused by chronic kidney disease for a clinical trial. The trial aims to check the safety and effectiveness of a novel drug in cats with anemia caused by chronic kidney disease. The Investigator is looking for cats diagnosed with anemia and IRIS Stage 2 to early Stage 4 chronic kidney disease. Cats must also be at least one year old, not require daily fluid administration, FeLV/FIV negative, and have never been treated previously for anemia. The study covers the cost of the novel drug and recheck examinations and urine/bloodwork done as part of the study.
Upcoming Continuing Education Events
Due to developing circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, including adhering to physical distancing and limiting public gatherings, the UC Davis Center for Continuing Professional Education is currently altering its course offerings. All on-site CE events scheduled through August have been postponed.
We look forward to welcoming you to these CE events moved online or scheduled on-site for the fall:
Please contact us with any suggestions or questions you might have regarding our programs.
Latest Research Achievements
Evaluation of a Ventral and a Left Lateral Approach to Coelioscopy in Bearded Dragons
In a randomized crossover design involving 2 surgical approaches, anesthetized bearded dragons first underwent coelioscopy with a ventral approach (left lateral of midline next to the umbilicus; animal positioned in dorsal recumbency) or left lateral approach (intercostal; animal positioned in right lateral recumbency) and then with the alternate approach. A 2.7-mm × 18-cm, 30° oblique telescope with a 4.8-mm operating sheath and CO2 insufflation at 2 to 5 mm Hg were used. Ease of entry into the coelom and ease of visual examination of visceral structures were scored.
Cats with Thermal Burn Injuries from California Wildfires Show Echocardiographic Evidence of Myocardial Thickening and Intracardiac Thrombi
Recent increases in the prevalence and severity of wildfires in some regions have resulted in an increased frequency of veterinary burn patients. Few studies exist regarding diagnostics and management of burn wounds in veterinary patients and current knowledge is extrapolated from human literature and research models. Post-burn cardiac injury is a common finding and predictor of mortality in human patients and echocardiography is an important tool in monitoring response to therapy and predicting outcome. We describe the notable findings from cats naturally exposed to California wildfires in 2017 and 2018.
A Multicenter Experience Using Adipose-derived Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy for Cats with Chronic, Non-responsive Gingivostomatitis
The ability of mesenchymal stem cells to modulate immune responses inspired a series of clinical trials addressing oral mucosal inflammation. We previously reported on the safety and efficacy of fresh, allogeneic and autologous, adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ASCs) to treat feline gingivostomatitis (FCGS), an oral mucosal inflammatory disease that shares similarities with human oral lichen planus. To meet clinical demand and goals for future commercialization, we determined the feasibility of shipping fresh ASCs to distant clinics and extended our pilot studies to expand safety and efficacy data for shipped and non-shipped ASCs in a cohort of 18 FCGS cats enrolled locally and at a few different locations within the USA.
A Novel Surgical Technique for Enucleation in Rabbits to Reduce the Risk of Intra- and Post-operative Orbital Hemorrhage
A 10-year-old male castrated Holland Lop rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) was presented for severe ulcerative stromal keratitis of the right eye and a luxated hypermature cataract and glaucoma of the left eye. Staged bilateral enucleation was elected. A LigaSure™ electrosurgical bipolar vessel-sealing device was used as a means to minimize intraoperative and post-operative hemorrhage, especially that associated with the orbital venous plexus. The LigaSure™ was used to ligate and transect all extraocular muscles, the optic nerve bundle, and the base of the third eyelid with no complications encountered. Overall, the LigaSure™ was easy to use, resulted in minimal hemorrhage, and reduced surgery time.
Clinical Success Stories
Surgery Reverses Puppy’s Heart Failure
When Ernesto and Chelsea Torres received Riley as a young puppy, they had no idea she had a congenital heart defect. The 4-month-old German shepherd was getting her first immunizations when her veterinarian discovered she had a loud heart murmur. He immediately referred Riley to the Cardiology Service at the UC Davis veterinary hospital.
Sports Medicine Specialists Help Horse Reach Peak Performance
Fred, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding, had a successful 2019 show season in three-day eventing at the “preliminary” level. With the goal of moving up to the “intermediate” and then the “advanced” levels next season, Fred’s owner proactively sought to have him evaluated by the specialists in the Equine Integrative Sports Medicine Service at the UC Davis veterinary hospital.
Bearded Dragon’s Oral Diseases Treated
Rex, a 5-year-old male bearded dragon, was brought to the UC Davis veterinary hospital following a period of inappetence, lethargy, and dehydration. His mouth appeared very unhealthy, and his owners were concerned that it was the primary cause of his lack of desire to eat and drink. They hoped that the veterinarians in the Companion Exotic Animal Medicine and Surgery Service could help.
Multiple Specialists Collaborate to Remove Cancerous Tumor from Cat’s Chest
When Martin and Elisa Edwards of Berkeley, California visited an animal shelter ten years ago looking for a cat to adopt, one eager kitten took it upon himself to speed up the process and jumped on Elisa’s lap to introduce himself. The Edwards had found their new cat, along with his sister, and adopted them both. Tilden and Tess, now 10 years old, have enjoyed good lives with the Edwards. That is until about a year ago when Tilden started to get picky about his food.
New Clinicians
Dr. Bret McNabb has been appointed as director of the Large Animal Clinic, effective April 1 for a five-year term. An assistant professor of clinical livestock reproduction in the Department of Population Health and Reproduction, Dr. McNabb has been service chief for the Livestock Herd Health and Reproduction Service since 2013.
Honor Your Patients and Make a Difference
The Center of Companion Animal Health and the Center for Equine Health are grateful to the veterinary clinics for their donations to the Companion Animal Memorial Fund and the Equine Tribute and Memorial Fund . Participating veterinary clinics and practitioners honor their patients and clients who have recently lost an animal. Each year, hundreds of clinics contribute through memorial gifts for clinical health research to improve treatment for diseases affecting their clients’ animals. If you’d like to learn how to become a participant, call our Office of Advancement at 530-752-7024. Thank you.
Looking To Hire?
Is your clinic looking to hire? Our 4 th year students and recent graduates would love to hear from you. We have resources on our Career, Leadership and Wellness Center website to will help you post jobs and connect with us about advancing your clinic. Please discover the website’s job board. The center’s director, Janel Lang, can help you navigate it. Contact her at or 530-752-5130.