The Animal Health Trust is actively involved in the investigation of animal diseases. Our aim is to gain a clear understanding of diseases in small animals through clinical and scientific investigations, and to apply this knowledge in improving the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of infectious, non-infectious and inherited diseases. Through our work at the Animal Health Trust, we are constantly trying to improve the health and welfare of animals, and an important part of the Trust’s mission is also to educate and disseminate this information to others.
Within the Small Animal Clinic we have a highly dedicated and caring veterinary team. The primary focus of this team is the health and welfare of the individual animals referred to our clinic. However, part of our aim is also to undertake clinical studies to better understand disease. This does not mean that we ‘experiment’ on patients referred to us, but rather that we gather and collect information about our patients in a systematic way so that we can learn new information and, for example evaluate the efficacy of new and emerging treatment options. We call this ‘clinical research’. Our aim is also to publish this information for the wider benefit of other animals. Our efforts in clinical research are stewarded by the Trust’s Clinical Research Group, overseen by the Clinical Ethics Committee, and coordinated by our Clinical Research Co-Ordinator.
I Am an Owner of a Patient - How Can I help?
By having your cat or dog referred to the Animal Health Trust for investigations or treatment you will already be helping, as information from your pet will be collected, along with others, to help us better understand disease. Samples (e.g. blood samples) are often taken as part of the routine investigation into an animal’s condition, and we usually ask that if there is any excess sample left after normal tests have been done, this may be kept at the Animal Health Trust for future use in disease investigation. We ask too that during the ongoing investigations and/or treatment performed at the Trust that the clinical details and response to treatment may be used as part of our ongoing studies of animal diseases.
We do not use any experimental animals in our research, but rather we rely on clinical records and obtaining samples that are collected from patients by veterinary surgeons as part of the normal diagnostic clinical procedures.
I am a Veterinary Surgeon – How Can I Help?
The Trust has a number of ongoing Clinical Research studies. In some cases, it has been extremely helpful for us to have received referral cases in disease areas we have been actively investigating. We are indebted to patients and their owners who have contributed towards our clinical research.