The Small Animal Teaching Hospital carries out ethically approved research in addition to its clinical work. With the key aim of benefitting patients and improving animal welfare, data is collected from cases as they are investigated and treated in the clinic. This data is sometimes numerical or descriptive such as clinical information extracted from the patient files (e.g. weight, body condition or heart rate). Data is also sometimes collected from analysis of surplus materials collected for diagnostic purposes, for example, the further analysis of blood samples. All clinical research is subject to ethical review and informed owner consent.
The hospital also works closely with the research institutions within the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences to further our understanding of health and disease. The hospital staff play an important role in supervising both undergraduate and postgraduate research projects, with the aim of improving animal welfare. Some projects also have a direct impact on human health and welfare, for example, providing information on comparative conditions in man, such as osteoarthritis.
Examples of previous and current research include the investigation of canine cruciate ligament disease, a common disease in the knee joint of dogs, stem cell research in tendons and ligaments and the clinical and physiological effects of obesity in companion animals. The impact of common medications on the cells of the gut is undergoing study, as well as the investigation of novel treatments for common canine tumours (such as mast cell tumours).