In Short - Jan. 15, 2022

Updated January 14, 2022

$30M gift aids Cornell Canine Health Center

A $30 million donation will hasten expansion of the Canine Health Center at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

The research-focused center will now be known as the Cornell Margaret and Richard Riney Canine Health Center in honor of the donors. University officials said in an announcement they hope the center will become a trusted source of public information on canine health.

Dr. Lee
Dr. David Lee (Courtesy of Carol Jennings/Cornell)

“The gift positions the Cornell Riney Canine Health Center to become a leading source of research-based information about dogs,” the announcement states. “The funding will initially endow a significant internal grants program for canine health–related research, with particular emphasis on studying cancer, genetics and genomics, infectious diseases and immunology—building on Cornell’s current program strengths.”

Dr. David Lee, associate dean for external programs, is the center’s founding director.

Dr. Lorin D. Warnick, dean of the Cornell veterinary college, said he and others within the university started the groundwork on the canine health center in 2019, and a foundational gift in 2020 from Dr. Don and Rita Powell helped spur the center’s development.

Dr. Warnick said the $30 million gift from the Riney family is a game changer in terms of expanding canine research at Cornell.

The veterinary college also hosts the Cornell Feline Health Center, and university information indicates the feline health center produces research on diseases of cats, provides outreach when diseases emerge, and educates veterinary professionals, cat owners, cat breeders, and conservationists on feline health and feline issues.

Survey probes how veterinary oncology is practiced globally

The most common tumor types seen in veterinary practice worldwide are mammary tumors (81%), followed by skin tumors (75%), abdominal tumors (40%), malignant lymphomas (39%), and other tumors (5%). The results come from a survey from the newly formed Oncology Working Group of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association. Respondents were almost 2,000 veterinary professionals from around the globe, 95% of them veterinarians, who completed the survey in 10 languages during September and October 2021.

Because limited numbers of North American, African, and Oceanic veterinary professionals participated in the survey, the results do not fully reflect regional differences. For instance, the incidence of mammary tumors is lower in the U.S. because of a culture of early spaying and neutering.

A mast cell tumor in a dog

Surgery was the most common treatment for tumors used in private practice, at 55% of cases, followed by surgery and adjuvant therapy in 30% of cases, chemotherapy in 7%, and palliative care in 4%. Immediate euthanasia was recommended in 1% of cases.

When respondents were asked which educational resources would be most valuable to them, 82% requested chemotherapy protocols.

The results will help the working group prioritize its efforts to educate and support WSAVA members globally in raising standards of care for veterinary oncology patients. The WSAVA Oncology Working Group was established in 2021 under chairmanship of Dr. Martin Soberano, a veterinary oncologist working in Mexico City. Resources for practitioners and more information about the working group are available at the WSAVA Oncology Working Group website.

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Correction: A previous version of this article misstated who would lead the center.

A version of this article appears in the Jan. 15, 2022, print issue of JAVMA.