Research in companion animals, including avian and exotic pets, is a well-established strength of the School.

Project areas include:

  • UQ SVS researchers led by emergency clinician Dr Mark Haworth are investigating clinical management of tick paralysis in dogs to explore opportunities for improving the treatment and outcomes for this relatively common and life threatening condition.

  • Small animal surgeon - Dr Jayne McGhie - and colleagues are investigating the occurrence of gastric dilatation and volvulus (and associated complications) in working dogs after they have undergone prophylactic gastropexy surgery. A longitudinal study is following up to 120 police dogs having undergone this surgery throughout their working and retired life.  Another study is investigating the prevalence of a genetic mutations linked to Canine Degenerative Myelopathy and seven other genetic diseases in working shepherd dogs of the police and military defence forces in Australia and New Zealand.

  • UQ SVS researchers including Dr Erika Meler, Associate Professor Rowland Cobbold and Dr Justine Gibson are involved in antimicrobial resistance research in small animals through a study on the prevalence of antimicrobial resistant Staphylococcus spp in dogs and cats in the Brisbane region. Approximately 700 animals have been sampled. In collaboration with researchers at Washington State University, genotyping methods for Staphylococcus pseudintermedius are being evaluated.

  • Reproductive research in companion animals is being conducted by Natalie Fraser and colleagues who have identified a group of cytokines differentially expressed in seminal plasma of stallion. It is hoped that this work will lead to understanding of the role of cytokines in sperm cell function, modulation of post mating endometritis, and establishment of pregnancy.

  • The anaesthesia research team consists of Dr Margie McEwen, Dr Jo-Anne Rainger, Dr Wendy Goodwin, Dr Nick Cowling and Trish Farry. Current research projects in equine anaesthesiology include the comparison of the anaesthetic maintenance and recovery periods in horses anaesthetised with intravenous ketamine-medetomidine-midazolam versus ketamine-medetomidine-guiafensin, and the use of perineural thermal cooling for analgesia of the distal limb in horses. In small animals, projects include a study on the use of methodone for intra-operative analgesia in bitches undergoing caesarean section and resultant pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics in neonatal puppies. Mixed species studies include the comparison of the accuracy and precision of non-invasive and invasive blood pressure monitoring using the Bionet multiparameter anaesthetic monitor in dogs, horses and pigs, a comparison of medetomidine or acepromazine on tissue oxygenation during general anaesthesia using near infrared spectroscopy, and a retrospective analysis of complications occurring during anaesthesia of dogs, cats and horses and associated risk factors.

  • The Avian and Exotics Service led by Professor Bob Doneley, are collaborating with Dr Karen Jackson (UQ SVS Veterinary Laboratory Services), in developing haematology and biochemistry reference intervals for backyard poultry. This work was last done in 1967, using commercial poultry. We expect this work will be of immense value to veterinarians treating pet and backyard chickens around the world.