Center for Companion Animals

Our mission is to foster interactions between clinical specialists, translational researchers, and basic researchers in the area of companion animal studies that will directly result in improved quality of life for animals and indirectly improve human health through interactions with their companion animals.

By coordinating the clinical research strengths with expertise in companion animal medicine and surgery, our center aims to advance the teaching of professional veterinary medical students, clinical interns, clinical residents, and graduate students in the Department of Clinical Sciences by involving these professionals in the design and conduct of clinically relevant research projects.

As many of our projects are associated with new diagnostic tests, new treatments, and new vaccines for common diseases seen in veterinary clinics, the use of research animals is minimized. Many of the Center studies have involved animals in need that are housed in shelters which are helped by performance of positive control studies (all animals get treated).

The Center also coordinates the “Young Investigator Awards.” This program is designed to generate funds to help young investigators achieve their clinical research goals. Each of these seed money grants needs to include a DVM student as a scientific investigator.

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) research

Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) has been a challenge for veterinarians and a devastating disease among cats for over half a century and there is currently no legally available treatment option for FIP.

This study seeks to determine in a pilot trial whether a new, unapproved immunotherapy compound may be effective in slowing or reversing disease progression in cats with the effusive (wet) form of FIP that are being treated with an antiviral (EIDD-2801) therapy that is currently not approved but available under FDA Emergency Use Authorization for use in people. The immunotherapy compound has been shown to be effective in eliciting effective antiviral immune responses and suppression of FIP infection in tests done in the laboratory. The compound has also been administered safely to cats previously by injection under the skin and orally without inducing significant side-effects. This study will therefore seek to determine if oral administration of the immune stimulant will cause a faster resolution of clinical signs and bloodwork abnormalities and lower rate of FIP relapse post treatment.

Dr. Michael Lappin

Section Head & Professor, Infectious Disease

Office: (970) 297-0313

Dr. Alison Manchester

Postdoctoral Fellow, Small Animal Internal Medicine