Winter 2019
UC Davis Performs First Ever PET Scan on Standing Horse
The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine has achieved another milestone in clinical equine imaging with the first successful use of positron emission tomography (PET) on a standing horse. Equine PET, pioneered at UC Davis with the first horse imaged in April 2015, has until now required patients to be under general anesthesia. The ability to utilize this technology on a standing horse under sedation instead of anesthesia will greatly expand the availability of this powerful imaging technique, allow for more routine use, and open it up to patients that are not able to undergo anesthesia.
Senior Dogs Can Suffer from Dementia Just Like People Do; Find Out If Your Older Pup Needs Help
Growing older can be tough – and that goes for all species. When it comes to age-related illnesses, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are some of the most notorious and least understood human afflictions. If you’ve noticed your senior dog has been increasingly irritable and disoriented, having sleep troubles (including sleeping all day) or having frequent accidents inside the house, he or she may be suffering from a disease that manifests very similarly to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in people.
Salmonella Outbreak Prompts Warning About Hedgehogs
Since October, 11 people across eight states have been infected with a particular strain of salmonella, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported, and all but one of those infected said they had contact with a hedgehog. Dr. Jane Sykes, our chief medical officer, recently discussed the situation with the New York Times.
Dogs Fed Some Popular Diets Could Be at Risk of Heart Disease 
Dr. Joshua Stern of the Cardiology Service, and current interim director of the Small Animal clinic, recently led a team of researchers that has found a link between some popular grain-free, legume-rich dog diets and a type of nutritional deficiency and canine heart disease known as taurine-deficient dilated cardiomyopathy. The study was recently published in the journal PLOS ONE.
Bulldogs’ Screw Tails Linked to Human Genetic Disease 
With their small size, stubby faces and wide-set eyes, bulldogs, French bulldogs and Boston terriers are among the most popular of domestic dog breeds. Dr. Danika Bannasch, chief of the Genetics Service and a professor in the Department of Population Health and Reproduction, led a team of researchers that have found the genetic basis for these dogs’ appearance, and linked it to a rare inherited syndrome in humans.
Welcome New Faculty Clinicians
Livestock Medicine and Surgery Service
Dr. Sarah Depenbrock joined the Department of Medicine and Epidemiology as an assistant professor with the Livestock Medicine and Surgery Service, effective January 2, 2019. Dr. Depenbrock received her veterinary degree from UC Davis in 2009 and worked in rural mixed private practice in Oregon for three years. She then completed a three-year residency in food animal medicine and surgery and a Master’s degree in Veterinary Clinical Sciences at The Ohio State University. Dr. Depenbrock became board certified in 2015 by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Large Animal). Following residency training, she became a clinical instructor for one year in Bovine Clinical Skills at the University of Calgary. She then held staff veterinarian positions in Field Service (Food Animal) at the University of Pennsylvania for one year, and with the VMTH’s Livestock Medicine and Surgery Service since 2017. Dr. Depenbrock brings nine years of clinical practice experience in livestock medicine and surgery; her appointment will help fulfill clinical instructional needs in this field. Her additional interests and expertise includes antimicrobial drug use and resistance in food producing animals.
Small Animal Internal Medicine Service
Dr. Brian Hardy joined the Department of Medicine and Epidemiology as a Health Sciences assistant clinical professor with the Small Animal Internal Medicine Service, effective January 2, 2019. Dr. Hardy received his veterinary degree from the University of Minnesota in 2007 and then completed a one-year internship in small animal medicine and surgery at The Ohio State University. He completed a residency at the University of Minnesota in small animal internal medicine in 2011, during which he also obtained a MS degree. Dr. Hardy became board certified in 2011 by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Small Animal). He worked for three years at the Santa Cruz Veterinary Hospital, and followed as the director of medical affairs for Infiniti Medical, LLC for one year. Since 2015, he served as an associate veterinarian at the VMTH. Dr. Hardy brings more than 10 years of small animal practice experience and expertise in the areas of interventional endoscopy of the urinary, gastrointestinal, and respiratory tracts. 
Dr. Melissa Bain Presents “The Importance of ‘Catifying’ Your Home”
In January, Dr. Melissa Bain of the Behavior Service, was the guest speaker for our monthly “An Evening with Vet Med” lecture series. These monthly lectures are free and open to the public. Look out for notices of upcoming lectures on our social media pages and on our website . Enjoy Dr. Bain’s lecture “The Importance of ‘Catifying’ Your Home.”
Hospital Adds Grief Counseling Services
The veterinary hospital now has a licensed support counselor in Florence Soares-Dabalos, MS, LMFT. Florence has been a support therapist since 2003, but has been providing counseling services since 1997 when she graduated with her Master’s in Counseling from California State University, Sacramento (CSUS). She uses humanistic, feminist, and narrative theoretical approaches to counseling. Florence was awarded a Narrative Therapy Certificate of Completion from the Vancouver School of Narrative Therapy in 2012 and has been in private practice since 2005, where she focuses on clients experiencing grief and loss, anxiety, and relationship problems. She is also an adjunct faculty member at CSUS and is a Clinical Supervisor for Registered Associates earning their hours towards becoming licensed mental health professionals. Florence enjoys community volunteer work in reducing the stigma of mental health. She supports the needs of UC Davis veterinary hospital clients experiencing loss and other emotional stressors in relation to their pet. Client support counseling offers short-term grief assessment consultations, advocacy, and counseling referral services to pet owners in order to improve the emotional well-being of pet owners as it pertains to pet loss, stress, caregiving, and communication between pet owners and veterinary staff. Supporting Florence is Soli Redfield, a long-time Large Animal Clinic staff member who is a certified Pet Loss Grief Recovery Specialist. Together, the two host monthly pet loss support group meetings at the hospital.
Cases of the Month
Burned Cat Reunited with Family Following Separation During Camp Fire
Pet parent Laci Ping had just 15 minutes to pack up her life—which included six cats, six chickens, three dogs, and three reptiles—as the Camp Fire approached her home in Paradise, California. She managed to secure all but one of her animals – 5-month-old Mayson, a male gray tabby cat. Scared of what was happening, Mayson escaped at the last minute. Ping tried frantically to catch him, but he ran away too quickly. Heartbroken, Ping was forced to leave without him.
UC Davis Veterinarians Team with Physician to Remove Tumor in Horse
Honesto, a 6-year-old Lusitano-Arabian cross gelding, was found to have a massive sinus osteoma (a benign tumor created from new bone growth), discovered as a generalized swelling and enlargement of the bone and soft tissues below his right eye. Radiographs and a CT scan taken at the UC Davis veterinary hospital revealed the mass was encroaching on his eye socket (causing consistent tearing) and blocking the right nasal cavity and numerous sinuses, including the frontal sinus, directly in front of the brain. To prevent the tumor from growing larger and injuring the eye and brain, a very delicate surgery was needed.
Cow’s Near Fatal Ingestion Prompts Surgery
Tag 1839, a 2-year-old Jersey dairy cow, was brought to the UC Davis veterinary hospital for suspected pneumonia. She had been treated appropriately by her primary veterinarian, but without significant improvement, so she was referred to the Livestock Medicine and Surgery Service for further diagnostics and treatment. A blood test showed evidence of severe chronic inflammation, and an ultrasound showed that she had fluid, inflammation, and an abscess in her chest cavity. Radiographs of her chest showed that she had a foreign body—a piece of wire—extending from the first compartment of her stomach toward her heart.
Did You Know?
…that the Behavior Service and behavior postdoc researcher Dr. Mikel Delgado were both selected to Companion Animal Psychology’s “Pet People to Follow in 2019” list? See the complete list .
…that the SeaDoc Society recently unveiled a new adventure series called Salish Sea Wild ? The show gives viewers an up-close exploration of the magnificent wildlife of the Pacific Northwest, and is hosted by SeaDoc Science Director Joe Gaydos. SeaDoc is a program of the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

…that third-year ophthalmology resident Dr. Bret Moore won the “Case Report Manuscript” award at the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists 2018 meeting? His paper, “A population study of common ocular abnormalities in wild-type C57BL/6N rd8 mice,” was featured at the annual meeting .
Featured Clinical Trial
Dr. Rob Rebhun is recruiting dogs diagnosed with osteosarcoma or melanoma that has spread to the lungs for a new clinical trial. The trial aims to determine the best dose and assess the effectiveness of an immunotherapy against metastatic osteosarcoma or melanoma growing within the lungs. Possible benefits to taking part in this trial include response to therapy, decreased tumor burden, reduced clinical signs, or improved survival time. For more information about this and other groundbreaking trials, please visit .
CE Calendar
Upcoming Veterinary Continuing Education Events:

  • April 6: Regenerative Medicine Symposium
  • April 27: Feline Symposium
  • July 20-21: 12th Annual Back to School RVT/Vet Tech CE Seminar, UC Davis
Help Advance Veterinary Care
With a simple online donation , you could make a difference for a hospitalized animal in need by supporting the hospital’s Compassionate Care Funds.
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