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Gifts in Action


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Pediatric Puppy Leads Her Litter

English Bulldog Missy recently gave birth to her first litter. All puppies were healthy except one, who had a potentially mobility-limiting limb deformation. In just a few weeks, the tiny little bulldog would be the first of the brood to walk.

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Setting up Foals for Success: Ten Things to Do

From December to August, breeding and foaling season, Dr. Michelle Abraham has her hands full with pregnant mares and foals.      

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Cat-tastrophe

At only two months old, Bridget the kitten has had a lot of close calls. She was thrown from a stranger’s car off the South Street bridge in Philadelphia—where she landed, miraculously unharmed—and was rescued by her current foster owner, Ariel Smith, who named her after the ordeal. After a few weeks in the relative safety of Smith’s apartment, though, Bridget ran headfirst into yet another death-defying situation.

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A Pain in the Paddock

Stephanie Rzeplinski grew up around horses in rural Pennsylvania. Since age 4, she’s ridden and cared for the animals daily—so when her 13-year-old gelding, Robbie, fell ill, she immediately noticed something was wrong.

Surviving the Storms

Since Hurricane Katrina, displaced pets and their families have captured the attention of animal lovers everywhere. Some of the most heart-wrenching stories are of people separated from their four-legged family members. Penn Vet’s Dr. Sue McDonnell and Dr. Carlo Siracusa talked to Knowledge@Wharton SiriusXM Business Radio about how animals respond to weather emergencies and what owners, caretakers, and concerned citizens can do to keep them safe.

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Physical Rehab Helps "Rock Star" Ranger Walk Again

One day, your young dog is wagging and running around; the next, he’s barely able to move. Cory Laslocky lived through this nightmare a few months ago.

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Solving Sports Medicine's Trickiest Mysteries

Penn Vet’s Dr. Elizabeth Davidson loves a good horse mystery. She and her team of equine Sports Medicine experts at New Bolton Center have solved many cases of ‘just not right’ horses, athletic animals who aren’t performing well but don’t have any obvious clinical complaints.

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Equine Field Service on the Beat for Clydesdale Cops

Clydesdale cops Spartan and Julio help keep the peace in northern Delaware, so the horses’ massive bodies must always be up to the task. With their human riders, the equine officers police parks, neighborhoods, and community events as members of the New Castle County (NCC) Mounted Patrol Unit.  When recent eye issues bothered both horses, their sergeant called New Bolton Center’s Equine Field Service.

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Specialized Surgery Gets Goliath Back to the Farm

Steve and Leah Jefferson were looking for a way to protect their 38 chickens from roving coyotes on their 10-acre farm in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Goliath was their answer. The Great Pyrenees joined the family in the spring of 2017, when he was just eight weeks old. The Jeffersons quickly realized the “flock dog” would be spending as much time indoors as out.

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Big-hearted Quarter Horse Fights through EPM to Finish Strong

“Allie Kat is the friendliest, sweetest horse. She loves everyone,” said Tracy Barbeito about her six-year-old Quarter Horse. But the mare’s big-hearted nature isn’t always a good thing. Because the performance horse “loves to please,” her charming personality can make it hard to know when she’s not okay. It took an alarming head tilt a little more than a year ago to alert Allie’s caretakers that something was amiss with the horse’s health.

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What's Age Got to Do with It? Caring for Geriatric Horses

The idea that age is but a number is as true for animals as it is for humans. Horses, especially ponies, are routinely living to the mid-twenties and even thirties. Often, the equines still enjoy life, work, or performing into their third decade.

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Joey the Senior Cat Triumphs Over Illness with Help from Friends

For most of his life, Joey was a happy, healthy cat—never sick and always in charge. With nary a sniffle, the scrappy domestic short hair has lived with his owner Amanda Arrowood since he was found as a kitten in West Philadelphia. But, at the age of 13, Joey started losing weight and suffering from chronic diarrhea.

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VMD-PhD Program Leads in Training

Completing a veterinary degree—with four years of intensive classwork, clinical rotations, surgeries, community outreach, and more—takes perseverance. So does earning a PhD. It takes exceptional dedication to do both.

Ichthyosis-A Skin Disorder Affecting Dogs and Humans

Progress in addressing a severe skin disease that affects dogs and humans

Think of the skin as a kind of raincoat for the inner organs. With its densely packed layers of cells and lipids, it keeps foreign substances from leaking in and keeps water from leaking out, preventing dehydration. But in certain skin disorders, this barrier breaks down, and problems arise.

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Assets in the opioid epidemic, working dogs can also become its victims

It’s hard to overstate the magnitude of the nation’s opioid crisis, which claims more than 100 lives each day due to overdoses. The impact of opioids radiates beyond the direct users, however, as secondary exposure to drugs can harm first responders such as police officers, firefighters, and even working dogs, which can use their perceptive noses to find illicit drugs.

Dr. Chakrabarti's Lab at Penn Vet is studying stem cell signaling and its relationship to breast cancer.

Stem cell signaling drives mammary gland development and, possibly, breast cancer

The human body develops most tissue types during fetal development, in a mother’s uterus. Yet one only tissue develops after birth: the mammary gland. This milk-producing organ, a defining characteristic of mammals, is also the site of one of the most common cancers, breast cancer, which affects roughly one in eight women in the United States over the course of their lifetime.

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Innovative vaccine offers canine cancer patients a shot at a longer, happier life

Osteosarcoma is the most common bone cancer to affect dogs. It is a painful and aggressive disease. Affecting more than 10,000 dogs annually, predominantly larger breeds, it kills more than 85 percent within two years. 

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Immune cells involved in triple-negative breast cancer could offer future therapeutic target

 About 15 percent of breast cancers are classified as triple-negative, lacking receptors for estrogen, progesterone, and Her2. These cancers do not respond to targeted hormonal therapies, and they tend to be particularly aggressive, often resisting systemic chemotherapy and metastasizing to other tissues.

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Cutting-edge science moves to the clinic to help ‘our furry friends’ fight cancer

Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine has long been a scientific and clinical powerhouse. But the launch of an initiative last year is further bolstering those strengths in the areas of cancer research and care.

Dr. Mason Receives NIH Research Award

Penn Vet’s Nicola Mason Receives NIH Research Award to Target Therapies for Autoimmune Disease in Dogs

[October 2, 2018; Philadelphia, PA] – Nicola J. Mason, BVetMed, PhD, associate professor of Medicine and Pathobiology at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn Vet), and Aimee S. Payne, MD, PhD, the Albert M. Kligman Associate Professor of Dermatology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, have received the prestigious NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award.