New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
Emergencies & Appointments:
Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA


Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care

Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

Professor of Working Dog Sciences & Sports Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

Director, Penn Vet Working Dog Center, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

Graduate Group Member, Graduate Group in Pharmacological Sciences

Clinical Specialties: Canine Sports Medicine, Physical Rehabilitation, Canine Behavior, Critical Care
Research Areas: Canine sports medicine Human-animal interaction, Behavior , Behavior–companion animal, Canine behavior, DNA Bank, Emergency medicine, Working dog center,
PubMed Link
Contact Information:
PennVet Working Dog Center
3401 Grays Ferry

Current Research Interests are focused on the health, genetic and behavioral aspects of performance in detection dogs. I followed the health and behavior of the search dogs following the 9/11 response. We established the AKC CAR Detection Dog DNA Bank to study the genetics of complex behavior. We conducted a DOD funded field study of the effect of different hydration strategies on performance, hydration, and inflammation in detection dogs. Opened Sept 11, 2012, the Penn Vet Working Dog Center integrates 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 is a resource for behavioral, nutrition, development and conditioning studies in dogs being trained for detection work. In addition, the interactions between dogs and humans are being studied.

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


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.

Board certified in veterinary emergency and critical care and canine sports medicine and rehabilitation, my main clinical responsibility is to oversee medical care of the dogs at the Penn Vet Working Dog Center and to provide rehabilitation to working dogs after illness or injury. My primary clinical research interests encompass the impact of exercise on canine performance.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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, 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.

DVM (Veterinary Medicine) The Ohio State University, 1986

PhD (Veterinary Physiology) University of Georgia, 1994

Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care

Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

University of Pennsylvania (1986 to 1987)

University of Georgia (1987 to 1990)

University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine (1990 to 1991)
American Heart Association Research Fellow