Morris Animal Foundation awards $3M for studies in animal health

Published on October 30, 2019

Morris Animal Foundation announced this fall that it has awarded $1.1 million in grants for 17 studies on wildlife health, $1 million in grants for 16 studies on canine and feline health, and $940,000 in grants for 11 studies on the health of horses and alpacas.

As part of the wildlife studies, researchers will do the following:

  • Study how human activities, such as landscape changes, impact the health and reproduction of African forest elephants.
  • Evaluate factors affecting the delivery of a topically applied oral rabies vaccine for vampire bats in the wild.
  • Test a probiotic treatment strategy in wild boreal toads under threat from disease caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.
  • Study the relationship between gut bacterial communities and gastrointestinal health in maned wolves.
Wild boreal toad
Morris Animal Foundation announced grants including funding for a study to test a probiotic treatment strategy in wild boreal toads under threat from disease caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

As part of the canine and feline studies, researchers will do the following:

  • Evaluate the potential of a novel drug derived from the feverfew plant to treat aggressive cancers in dogs.
  • Develop an oral vaccine against feline enteric coronavirus to prevent its deadly mutated form, feline infectious peritonitis.
  • Develop a rapid cageside test to help gauge the severity and prognosis of injuries to the central nervous system in dogs.

As part of the studies on horses and alpacas, researchers will do the following:

  • Study equine herpesvirus-1 to better understand how the disease develops and spreads.
  • Investigate the safety and effectiveness of a novel vaccine to protect horses against strangles, the infection caused by the bacterium Streptococcus equi.
  • Gather baseline data on equine monocytes, important for fighting off infections and reducing inflammation.
  • Determine appropriate dosing in alpacas for the antifungal medication fluconazole, a treatment for coccidioidomycosis, or valley fever.