|OSU Veterinarian’s Research credited with Lowering Dog Mortality|
(March 31, 2011 Stillwater, OK) – Dr. Michael Davis has been researching the effects of strenuous exercise in humans, horses and dogs for nearly 20 years. A veterinarian and professor at Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, Davis is the director of the center’s Comparative Exercise Physiology Laboratory. One of the funded research projects he is most known for studies the development of gastrointestinal disease, including diarrhea, cramping and ulceration, in racing sled dogs.
“Racing sled dogs have been found to have a 50 percent prevalence of subclinical gastric ulcers, and complications from those ulcers are a leading cause of death in these dogs” explains Davis. “Three years ago, our research showed that an acid suppressant, when properly administered, could nearly eliminate ulcers in the dogs.”
According to a Los Angeles Times article (LATimes), for the second consecutive year, no dogs died during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. The article cites Stu Nelson, Iditarod chief veterinarian, as giving credit to Davis’ research, which recommends giving an acid suppressant to help control ulcers to the sled dogs, as being the reason for the drop in mortality.
“We are quite proud of the fact that we were able to offer the sled dog owners a preventative measure they could take to ensure their dogs are healthy and able to do what they love to do – run,” says Davis.
Davis does off-season research on sled dogs in cooperation with kennel owners. He earned his DVM degree at Texas A&M University, a MS in Veterinary Science at Virginia Tech, and a PhD in Physiology at John Hopkins University. Davis is the senior author on more than 30 publications related to stress physiology in companion animals.
The Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences is one of 28 veterinary colleges in the United States and is fully accredited by the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association. The center's Boren Veterinary Medial Teaching Hospital is open to the public and provides routine and specialized care for small and large animals. It also offers 24 hour emergency care and is certified by the American Animal Hospital Association. For more information, visit www.cvhs.okstate.edu or call (405) 744-7000.