Illinois equine researchers garnered two of the 16 equine grants approved by the Morris Animal Foundation for the 2016 funding cycle.Dr. Santiago Gutierrez-Nibeyro received funding to evaluate the effectiveness of a new surgical suture technique to repair upper airway obstruction in horses with a common upper respiratory disease called recurrent laryngeal neuropathy.Dr. Annette McCoy’s study will look at risk factors for osteochondrosis, a disease that affects the progress of bone growth by killing bone tissue and that has a high prevalence in Standardbred horses. This examination will include biomechanical forces in different horse gaits as well as genetic risk factors in pacers and trotters.
Both faculty members are boarded equine surgeons who see patients at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
The 16 equine grants, which totaled $1 million, went to investigators at 13 institutions across the United States, and one each in Switzerland and New Zealand, according to a Morris Animal Foundation press release.
The scope of the studies funded covers a diverse set of equine health challenges including infectious diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, respiratory illnesses, and more. Morris Animal Foundation’s Equine Scientific Advisory Board reviewed all grant applications and selected, based on scientific merit and impact, the studies that had the greatest potential to advance equine veterinary care and wellness.
“Each of these studies has the potential to improve the lives of horses in significant ways, and we are incredibly proud to support these enterprising researchers in their endeavors,” said Barb Wolfe, DVM, PhD, chief scientific officer at Morris Animal Foundation, in the press release.