Physicians and Vets Working Together is Beneficial for Animals and People
Physicians and veterinarians are working closer together than ever before. Read more below!Published September 17, 2012
An article recently published in the Science section of the New York Times unveils the unique collaboration between physicians and veterinarians. Their joint effort is targeted at research parallels which potentially can lead to far more effective treatment for both humans and animals.
Researchers from the Vascular Birthmark Institute at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in Manhattan have been visiting the Animal Medical Center to study rare abnormalities in veins and arteries which rarely occur in humans but are common to canines.
At the same time, veterinarians from the Animal Medical Center have been interacting with physicians at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to start trials of a noninvasive device using electrical impulses to remove tumors in the urinary tract.
According to the article, at this time the lines of communication between doctors and veterinarians are becoming more open with vital information being exchanged frequently. One of the reasons for this growing trend is the exasperation researchers experience while working on rodent models which tend to be inefficient. Since the results obtained using this method often fail to effectuate the desired outcome in human patients, researchers are frustrated.
Some of the examples of this budding partnership between physicians and veterinarians are fascinating. To facilitate his work, Dr. John Ohlfest, an immunotherapist at the Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center, began working with the University of Minnesota’s veterinary school in 2005 to study canine brain cancers. He said, "The drugs cure the mice and keep failing when we try them on humans. The whole system is broken."
Dr. Laurence J. N. Cooper is developing immune-based therapies at Houston's M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. In the work he is doing in lymphoma research, he has started making canine T cells at Texas A&M's veterinary school. Dr. Cooper said, "There's got to be a better way. Canine biologies look like ours, and the treatment look like ours."
Unable to heal a post-surgery wound after a toe amputation on the foot of a 200-pound Irish Wolfhound in 2005, a veterinary surgeon at the University of Wisconsin's school of veterinary medicine consulted with the orthotics lab at the university's medical school. After making a cast of the dog's foot, the orthotics team fashioned a foam-lined plastic boot closing with Velcro straps. This invention will be of help to many large dogs who tend to put weight on foot wounds, making it very difficult to effect proper healing. The veterinary surgeon later worked with the orthotics team in developing special braces for tendon injuries.
These continued collaborative efforts between veterinarians and physicians most assuredly will lead to the innovative and improved techniques which both of these healing disciplines will utilize. This allows animal and human patients to reap the rich rewards from a partnership that is truly visionary.
What do you think about veterinarians and physicians working together? Tell us in a comment.