Healthy and happy companion animals – University of Copenhagen

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Healthy and happy companion animals

The School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science performs research on treatment and prevention of the major health threats to companion animals.

The companion animals are often considered family members, and the veterinary clinics and the pet industry experience increasing growth despite the financial crisis. At the Danish Vetschool you find one of the largest Danish research groups and a new hospital to treat animals. Our research has focus on improved diagnostics, treatment and prevention of the most serious diseases for cats and dogs, which are also the diseases frequently seen in humans: diabetes, obesity, cancer, stroke, dementia and cardiovascular diseases.

The diseases show basic pathophysiological mechanisms, which can be studied across disciplines and species. To a large extend cats and dogs share the environment and life style with their families. Their short life span and natural ageing, makes it possible to study the disease mechanisms and the triggering factors, arising spontaneously and with the same complexity as in humans.

The environmental impact interacting with the molecular basis, genetic and epigenetic, can be studied over a short period. At the same time this approach offers a unique platform for new diagnostic modalities and treatment strategies that benefit both animals and humans without afflicting diseases upon the animals.

We are also entering a new research area, where we will investigate the economic and sociological importance of the family pet, including the companion animals’ impact on human quality of life, level of disease and general well being. Our goal is to establish an International Research Centre for Companion Animal Science which by 2020 will have contributed to identifying significant new translational biomarkers, diagnostic modalities and treatment and prevention strategies.

Contact: Professor Annemarie T. Kristensen, Department of Veterinary and Animal Science.