PetSavers Announces Three New Student Grant Awards

13 June 2024

BSAVA PetSavers is pleased to announce that it has awarded grants to three, new undergraduate student research projects. These projects are part of the vital work funded by PetSavers into diseases affecting companion animals and help give students the chance to experience a research environment as part of their studies.

Danielle Gunn-Moore at the University of Edinburgh was awarded a £500 PetSavers grant for a project to compare the perception and attitudes of different groups of people (e.g., veterinarians, animal shelter staff, and feline-owning public) towards feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) in cats against published literature. On its discovery, FIV was represented as a disease of high mortality and morbidity, so this undergraduate project aims to investigate whether the perception of and attitude towards FIV in different groups involved in feline care has changed alongside increased scientific understanding of the disease, to determine whether stigmatisation of FIV infection remains in the cat-care community.

Neutering by ovariohysterectomy (OVH) is reportedly the most common procedure and the one taught in vet schools; however laparoscopic techniques and neutering by ovariectomy (OVE) are increasing in frequency. This undergraduate study, which was awarded a PetSavers grant of £1,200 and is led by Gary England at the University of Nottingham, will examine differences in perioperative and post-operative outcomes when surgical neutering is performed by laparoscopic OVE compared to an OVH by celiotomy.

Little is known about feline cognitive dysfunction (FCD) and it is thought to be underdiagnosed. This undergraduate project, led by Gemma Walmsley at the University of Liverpool, was awarded a £1,250 PetSavers grant, and aims to use neurological and behavioural signs to identify reliable tools for assessing feline cognitive function. This will help FCD to be recognised earlier and differentiated from other neurological conditions, and for management strategies and treatments to be implemented.