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Penn Vet Faculty Experts


Looking for the right pundit for your story? Search our faculty experts by research area or clinical specialty, and then check out their information. Summer VETS program


Focus: Working Dogs

Dr. Cindy Otto, DVM, PhD, Penn Vet Working Dog Center

Want to know about detection dogs? Dr. Cindy Otto, DVM, PhD, heads up the Penn Vet Working Dog Center.

Read more about Dr. Otto...

CYNTHIA M. OTTO, DVM, PhD, BS
Research Director, Section of Critical Care, Department of Clinical Studies - Philadelphia , University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

Associate Professor of Critical Care, Department of Clinical Studies - Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

Graduate Group Member, Graduate Group in Pharmacological Sciences

Director Penn Vet Working Dog Center, School of Veterinary Medicine

American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care

Clinical Specialties: Critical Care,
Research Areas: Human-animal interaction, Behavior , Behavior–companion animal, Canine behavior, DNA Bank, Emergency medicine, Working dog center,
PubMed Link
Contact Information:
2066 Ryan Veterinary Hospital
3900 Delancy Street
 Phone (215) 898-3390
 Fax (215) 573-5060
 Email cmotto@vet.upenn.edu

Board certified in veterinary emergency and critical care, my main clinical responsibility is as an attending in the veterinary emergency service at the Ryan veterinary hospital. My primary clinical research interests encompass naturally occurring animal diseases as models of human and animal disease with an emphasis on inflammation, sepsis and trauma.

Current Research Interests are focused on the health, genetic and behavioral aspects of performance in detection dogs. I have been following the health and behavior of the search dogs following the 9/11 response. We have established the AKC CAR Detection Dog DNA Bank to study the genetics of complex behavior. We have a DOD funded field study of the effect of different hydration strategies on performance, hydration, and inflammation in detection dogs. Opening Sept 11, 2012, the Penn Vet Working Dog Center will integrate the science and field experience to breed, select, raise and train dogs to use their noses to detect things (e.g. explosives, drugs, people, and even cancer and infectious diseases). The Penn Vet Working Dog Center will be a resource for behavioral, nutrition, development and conditioning studies in dogs being trained for detection work. In addition, the interactions between dogs and humans will be studied, focusing on 3 major groups of volunteers/interns working with the program: homeless youth, veterans, and parolees from prison dog raising programs.

In addition, clinical research in emergency care of dogs and cats, sepsis and trauma continue to be of interest.

Keywords:

dog, performance, genetics, DNA bank, behavior, olfaction, development, hydration, working dogs, reproduction,

Previous Research Focus
-Regulation of nitric oxide synthesis.
-Intermittent hypoxia as an inflammatory stimulus.
-Acute lung injury

Previous Research Summary:

The effects of intermittent hypoxia on regulation of inflammatory mediators, acute lung injury and nitric oxide synthesis was the main interest of the laboratory, but the laboratory is no longer actively pursuing this direction.

Possible Lab Rotation Projects:

none currently available; however field research at the Working Dog Center is possible.

Alwood, AJ, Downend, AB, Brooks, MB, Slensky, KA, Fox, JA, Simpson, SA, Waddell, LS, Baumgardner, JE, Otto, CM Anticoagulant effects of low-molecular-weight heparins in healthy cats Journal Of Veterinary Internal Medicine 21: 378-387, 2007.

Syring, RS, Otto, CM, Spivack, RE, Markstaller, K, Baumgardner, JE Maintenance of end-expiratory recruitment with increased respiratory rate after saline-lavage lung injury Journal Of Applied Physiology 102: 331-339, 2007.

Otto, CM, Downend, AB, Serpell, JA, Ziemer, LS, Saunders, HM Medical and behavioral surveillance of dogs deployed to the World Trade Center and the Pentagon from October 2001 to June 2002 Journal Of The American Veterinary Medical Association 225: 861-867, 2004.

Slensky, KA, Drobatz, KJ, Downend, AB, Otto, CM Deployment morbidity among search-and-rescue dogs used after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks Journal Of The American Veterinary Medical Association 225: 868-873, 2004.

Baumgardner, JE, Otto, CM In vitro intermittent hypoxia: challenges for creating hypoxia in cell culture Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology 136: 131-139, 2003.

Baumgardner, JE, Markstaller, K, Pfeiffer, B, Doebrich, M, Otto, CM Effects of respiratory rate, plateau pressure, and positive end-expiratory pressure on Pa-o2 oscillations after saline lavage American Journal Of Respiratory And Critical Care Medicine 166: 1556-1562, 2002.

Pfeiffer, Birgit. Syring, Rebecca S. Markstaller, Klaus. Otto, Cynthia M. Baumgardner, James E. The implications of arterial Po2 oscillations for conventional arterial blood gas analysis. Anesthesia & Analgesia 102: 1758-64, 2006.

Otto CM Clinical Trials in Spontaneous Disease in Dogs: A New Paradigm for Investigations of Sepsis. J Vet Emerg Crit Care 17(4):359-367, 2007. 17: 359-367, 2007.

Otto, CM, Markstaller, K, Kajikawa, O, Karmrodt, J, Syring, RS, Pfeiffer, B, Good, VP, Frevert, CW, Baumgardner, JE Spatial and temporal heterogeneity of ventilator-associated lung injury after surfactant depletion Journal Of Applied Physiology 104: 1485-1494, 2008.

Robinson, MA, Baumgardner, JE, Good, VP, Otto, CM Physiological and hypoxic O-2 tensions rapidly regulate NO production by stimulated macrophages American Journal Of Physiology-cell Physiology 294: C1079-C1087, 2008.

DVM (Veterinary Medicine) The Ohio State University, 1986

PhD (Veterinary Physiology) University of Georgia, 1994

BS (Animal Science) Ohio State University, 1984