CSU Center for Companion Animal Studies Partners with Belgium Company to Help Dogs, Cats

The Colorado State University Center for Companion Animal Studies is collaborating with Belgium-based company Viyo International on a study meant to save dogs with parvovirus infection whose low-income families cannot afford the animals’ medical care.

The study is supported with a $100,000 donation from Viyo International as part of a research and training collaboration called “Partners in Clinical Excellence.” The project will provide sick dogs with complete treatment from clinicians and veterinary students at CSU’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital, said Dr. Michael Lappin, the veterinarian leading the study and director of the CSU Center for Companion Animal Studies.

Dogs with canine parvovirus infection often suffer severe intestinal illness. Vaccination prevents spread of the contagious and often-fatal disease, but once dogs have contracted parvovirus they typically require hospitalization.

The Center for Companion Animal Studies will provide dogs in the study with free needed treatment, including administration of Viyo Recuperation Diet, a liquid formulation marketed by Viyo International that is designed to help pets recover after surgery and severe gastrointestinal disease. The center will evaluate the effectiveness of Viyo Recuperation Diet, which is designed as a palatable and low-calorie recovery fluid.

In another study, the Center for Companion Animal Studies will evaluate use of Viyo Recuperation Diet in the treatment of cats with chronic kidney disease, a significant cause of death in older cats. Cats with the disease often are difficult to manage because of appetite loss, a problem the liquid formula is meant to improve.

Earlier CSU research, led by Dr. David Twedt, a professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences, found Viyo Recuperation Diet to be highly palatable and well-tolerated by a group of dogs recovering from parvovirus infections in 2012. Dogs in the randomized, placebo-controlled study had no adverse side effects after ingesting the veterinary formula.

The CSU Center for Companion Animal Studies work to improve the quality of life for animals and indirectly improve human health through interactions with their companion animals. The center specializes in studying naturally occurring diseases, particularly in animals that have limited levels of financial support, such as those that become ill while housed in animal shelters. For information, visit www.csuvets.colostate.edu/companion.