Spring 2020
The VMTH now has 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 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.
Due to developing circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, including adhering to social distancing and limiting public gatherings, the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital is currently altering its patient receiving schedule.
In May, the UC Davis veterinary hospital began a phased resumption of regular services. Some specialty services will initially be more available than others, and priority will be given to more urgent cases as well as existing clients. As we have been since the Yolo County shelter in place order of mid-March, the hospital remains open 24/7 for emergency medical conditions, follow-up of current patients with urgent medical needs, and ongoing chemotherapeutic and radiation therapy treatments when applicable. 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.

Our  Emergency Room  will remain 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 the hospital resumes normal operations, please schedule with a referral coordinator for a convenient appointment at a later 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.
Continual Care Available Throughout COVID-19 Crisis Saves Dog’s Life
Because of the pandemic, the UC Davis veterinary hospital transitioned to an “emergency only” basis on March 16, which included the continuation of critical care appointments such as chemotherapy and radiation treatments that were already in progress. (Starting May 13, the hospital began a phased re-opening of other services.) Many referred patients benefitted from the VMTH’s ability to stay open 24/7 throughout the crisis, including Max, a 4-year-old male Large Munsterlander, who had a run-in with foxtails.
Clinical Advancements
UC Davis leads the way in advancing clinical care as one of the largest and most comprehensive veterinary hospitals in the world. As the school boldly looks to the future with its Veterinary Medical Center project, UC Davis will construct an entirely new hospital, expanding the size and scope of its current Large and Small Animal Clinics. This will allow clinicians to expand their cutting-edge procedures and continue to push the limits of veterinary medicine. With the help of benefactors and dedicated clients, UC Davis veterinarians will be able to realize their visions, as they integrate teaching, research, and clinical activities into compassionate care that will transform lives.
Current Clinical Trials
Dr. Peter Dickinson is recruiting dogs with brain tumors for a clinical trial. The trial aims to look at whether a novel treatment that alters the immune system within a brain tumor may be safe and possibly effective in shrinking the size of the tumor. The study will cover costs of the experimental drug and study procedures, as well as the cost of standard treatment up to $7,000. To take part in this study, dogs must have a brain tumor and be healthy enough to benefit from the treatments (either experimental or standard). The dog must be healthy enough to undergo anesthesia, MRI scans, biopsy, and infusion of the brain tumor, follow up imaging and standard treatment. Standard treatment often involves radiation treatment but may include surgery and/or chemotherapy.
Dr. Michael Kent is recruiting dogs planning to be treated with any course of radiation therapy. The study aims to collect sets of CT images to develop artificial intelligence machine learning tracking organ motion caused by breathing. Predicting organ motion in animals receiving radiotherapy by observing breathing could make targeting abdominal organs for radiotherapy safer and more accurate and could benefit dogs, cats, people, and others being treated for cancer in the future. There are no costs associated with enrolling in the study, and owners will receive a $1000 credit towards care at the VMTH, which can be applied to the dog's current treatment after completion of the trial.
Dr. Bill Culp is recruiting dogs diagnosed with prostate cancer that are planning to undergo prostatic artery embolization. The purpose of this trial is to see if administering Glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) or clevidipine before computed tomography (CT) will allow for better evaluation of the blood supply to the prostate tumor. Dogs will be randomly assigned to receive GTN or clevidipine. Owners are responsible for the cost of all appointments including diagnostics, hospitalization, medications, general anesthesia, and the prostate embolization procedure. The cost of the CT scan is covered by the study.
Dr. Stanley Marks is recruiting dogs with itching and chronic diarrhea and/or vomiting to examine whether a new diet makes dogs less itchy and reduces vomiting and diarrhea. Dogs cannot participate if they are receiving antibiotics or probiotics within two weeks of enrollment, receive systemic anti-inflammatory or immunomodulatory therapy within six weeks of enrollment, have endocrine disease, have lost more than 10% of their body weight within two months of enrollment, or have intestinal parasites detected on fecal flotation. Owners are expected to bring their dog to three visits, and only feed their dog the diet provided by the study. The trial covers the cost of food and a $500 owner incentive.
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 q uestions you might have regarding our programs.
Latest Research Achievements
Unraveling the Genetics Behind Equid Cardiac Disease
There have been some advances in understanding the genetic contribution to ventricular septal defects in Arabians, sudden death in racehorses, and atrial fibrillation in racehorses. No genetic analyses have been published for aortic rupture in Friesians or atrioventricular block in donkeys despite strong evidence for a genetic cause. To date, no genetic mutation has been identified for any equid cardiac disease. With the advancement of genetic tools and resources, we are moving closer to discoveries that may explain the heritable basis of inherited equid cardiac disease.
Ultrasound-guided Arthrocentesis of the Temporomandibular Joint in Healthy Adult Horses Is Equivalent to Blind Arthrocentesis
Equine temporomandibular joint (TMJ) diseases are increasingly recognized as a problem for the well-being and performance of horses. Diagnosis is confounded by overlap of clinical signs associated with pathology of the oral cavity, poll, and cervical vertebrae. Arthrocentesis for intra-articular analgesia, sampling of synovial fluid, and medication is needed for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Ultrasound features of the normal TMJ and a blind arthrocentesis technique have been described, but a systematic approach to ultrasound-guided (USG) arthrocentesis has not been reported. Ultrasound guidance allows visualization of the TMJ that may prove beneficial in cases when pathology, abnormal anatomy, or clinician inexperience make blind arthrocentesis difficult.
Percutaneous Radiologically Guided Gastrostomy Tubes: Procedural Description and Biomechanical Comparison in a Canine Model
Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tubes, low-profile PRG tubes, and standard PRG tubes were each placed in five canine cadavers. Body wall and stomach (with attached gastrostomy tube constructs) were harvested and biomechanically tested. Data regarding the maximal load to failure and procedure time were statistically analyzed. Due to the increased load to failure as well as decreased placement time recorded for PRG tubes relative to PEG tubes, PRG tubes may be considered as an alternative minimally invasive gastrostomy option in large breed canine patients.
Genetic Testing in the Horse
Genetic testing in horses began in the 1960s, when parentage testing using blood group markers became the standard. In the 1990s, parentage testing shifted from evaluating blood groups to DNA testing. The development of genetics and genomics in both human and veterinarian medicine, along with continued technological advances in the last 2 decades, has helped unravel the causal variants for many horse traits. Genetic testing is also now possible for a variety of phenotypic and disease traits and is used to assist in breeding and clinical management decisions.
Clinical Success Stories
Successful Clinical Trial Added Years to Dog’s Life
Jack the Shih Tzu was 7 years old when he traveled from Ontario, Canada to the UC Davis veterinary hospital in 2015. Given a cancer diagnosis with only a few months to live and with limited immediate treatment options, Jack’s family started a frantic search for help elsewhere. The search was a quick one, though, as one of the first items that appeared in their online hunt was a first-of-its-kind clinical trial at UC Davis to treat his exact condition.
Neurosurgery and a Dedicated Owner Help Paralyzed Dog Walk Again
Goldie, 14-year-old female spayed rat terrier, was living the good life on a horse farm with plenty of open land to run free. Her owner, Renee Johnson, describes her as full of vigor, rambunctious, and enthusiastic, with too much energy for city life in a small yard. Her duties as a barn dog kept her busy minding the 14 horses in her guard, not being afraid to bark orders when the horses were out of line or misbehaving. Unfortunately, that comfortableness around the horses got her in trouble, getting severely injured when one of them accidentally stepped on or kicked her.
Three Equine Specialties (and a Dedicated Family) Come Together to Heal Horse
Cooper, a 16-year-old quarter horse gelding, was brought to the UC Davis veterinary hospital after his owner, Robyn Armstrong, noticed spooking behavior over the past few months. Her normally friendly horse was not letting her near him. The hospital’s ophthalmologists noticed an obstruction in Cooper’s vision, but also noticed an unrelated abnormality on his face. The two separate conditions initially concerned Armstrong and set Cooper back a few months, but ultimately, he emerged a much healthier, happier horse.
Dog Continues to Fight Cancer Following Treatment to Avoid Amputation
In 2019, Whoudini, a 14-year-old male Jack Russell terrier, developed a mass in his left shoulder area that was confirmed to be a soft tissue sarcoma. His owner brought him to see the specialists in the Oncology, Diagnostic Imaging, and Soft Tissue Surgery Services at the UC Davis veterinary hospital. Due to the type of cancer and the positioning of the tumor, the most aggressive treatment is amputation of the limb and follow-up therapy, such as chemotherapy.
New Clinicians
Dr. Pouya Dini joined the Equine Reproduction Service as an assistant professor, effective June 1, 2020. Dr. Dini received his DVM (2009) from Karaj Azad University (Iran). This was followed by a combined PhD and residency (2013) at Azad University. In 2012-2013, Dr. Dini moved to Ghent University (Belgium) as a visiting scientist, where he also completed a residency in 2018 while completing a second PhD in May 2020. With his wealth of training and experience, he is board certified by the European College of Animal Reproduction (2018) and the American College of Theriogenologists (2019). Dr. Dini moved to UC Davis from the Gluck Equine Research Center, University of Kentucky, where he was a visiting scholar (2015-2020). His research interests and expertise are in the genomics of reproduction that is largely focused on the use of genomics, gene expressions, and biochemistry for clinical outcomes in equine reproduction.
Veterinary Genetics Laboratory Launches New Website, DNA Tests
The Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL) at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine has launched an updated and advanced website along with several new tests for veterinary community. As the VGL is one of the foremost genetic testing laboratories in the world, the new site and tests will bring yet another level of global impact to the top-ranked veterinary school.
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.
Philanthropy At Work
Presidential Endowed Chairs Enhance Clinical Innovation and Patient Care
Thanks to the generosity of donors, the school established its first presidential endowed chairs – one of the most prestigious honors a faculty member can receive.
Leading the Way in Livestock Health
As the top-ranked veterinary school in the world, UC Davis sets the bar for innovation – even when it comes to breeding sheep from embryos half way around the globe. When Snazzy Duckworth wanted to incorporate the hardy Awassi breed into her existing herd, she turned to Dr. Bret McNabb and the Livestock Herd Health and Reproduction Service.
Philanthropic Fund Helps Pit Bull Fight Cancer
Mugsy, 12-year-old male pit bull terrier, was diagnosed with mast cell tumors in mid-2019. Owner Sarah Robinson—who adopted Mugsy 11 years prior while in nursing school—knew the prognosis wasn’t good, but wanted to seek the expertise of the cancer specialists at the UC Davis veterinary hospital, since oncology services were not available in her hometown of Reno.
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 jalang@ucdavis.edu or 530-752-5130.