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AAVA Veterinary Acupuncture Education and Research Fund Grant Awards

Your donations DO help!

Thanks to the generosity of all those who have donated to the Veterinary Acupuncture and Research Fund, we have reached a point where we have begun funding desperately needed education and research. It is essential to understand the mechanisms of actions of acupuncture on animal patients and scientifically substantiate the therapeutic effects of acupuncture treatment in animals. In recent years, there has been an increasing and concerted effort by individuals and groups opposed to non-allopathic medical treatment, to severely restrict and even eliminate access to acupuncture treatment for animals. Research to demonstrate and substantiate the effects of acupuncture in animals is vital to keep acupuncture available as a treatment option for animals. Educational grants are essential to establish acupuncture and traditional Oriental medicine programs within the colleges and universities of veterinary medicine to eliminate opposition argument that acupuncture and its related modalities are not valid because it is not taught in these institutions.

2013 Education Grant Recipient

University of Tennessee, College of Veterinary Medicine Small Animal Integrative Medicine Fellowship program. $4,000.

University of Tennessee thank you letter

A $4000 grant, restricted to the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine’s Small Animal Integrative Medicine Fellowship, was made from the AAVA Pet Memorial Fund (renamed the Veterinary Acupuncture Education and Research Fund) to the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation (AHVMF) during the Foundation’s annual matching fundraiser, resulting in a total of $8000 going towards funding the new fellowship.
UTCVM’s two-year fellowship is designed to bring AAVA, CIVT, and IVAS into the academic halls of veterinary education, and will provide advanced clinical training in small animal integrative medicine. The fellow will work under the direct supervision of senior faculty members in integrative medicine, but will receive additional training in at least Nutrition, Neurology, Internal Medicine, and Rehabilitation. Daily interactions with the daytime emergency service, soft-tissue surgery, orthopedic surgery, neurology/neurosurgery, dermatology, ophthalmology, anesthesiology, radiology, and oncology will be provided during the program.

The Small Animal Fellow in Integrative Medicine will receive an academic certification from The University of Tennessee Veterinary Medical Center upon completing all requirements. The fellow will receive an accredited CAVM certification upon completion of CIVT or IVAS requirements. Research mentorship as well as attending and presenting a research abstract at a large conventional meeting i.e. ACVIM or equivalent (if accepted) is provided.

2007 Research Grant Recipients
Changes of cytokine profiles in dogs with allergic diseases after acupuncture treatment $7,500
Songhua Hu, Ph.D
Professor of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine
Department of Veterinary Medicine
Zhejiang University
Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310029

Canine dermatitis is very common and has been estimated with a prevalence of 3–15% in various dog populations (Griffin, 1993; Saunders, 1977). Most of the dogs with dermatitis are associated with allergic diseases, and in a study where more than 30,000 dogs were examined almost 9% were diagnosed having allergy (Lund et al., 1999). Allergy thereby constitutes a serious medical problem in veterinary medicine. Allergic disease involves both inflammatory cells and structural cells such as fibroblasts and endothelium. Cytokines produced in response to specific antigens/allergens are important in regulation of the inflammatory cells and the isotype of antibodies produced by B-cells (Finkelman et al., 1990; Paul and Seder, 1994). Therefore, these cytokines are likely to be important in the pathogenesis of allergic disease. A number of studies have suggested that T-cells producing Th2 cytokines are responsible for the induction and maintenance of the allergic response (Romagnani, 1994). Furthermore, it is well known that MC (monocytes) and eosinophils are key players in allergic disease. MC are stimulated via IgE receptor to release proinflammatory mediators such as TNF-α, reactive oxygen species, such as nitric oxide, proteases and lipid-derived mediators. Furthermore, MC specific proteases, particularly tryptase and chymase, are involved in the pathogenesis of allergic diseases in man (Harvima et al., 1990, 1988) and in dogs (Welleet al., 1999a,b). The most important effector function of eosinophils in allergic disease is the release of reactive oxygen species and toxic eosinophilic granule proteins that result in local propagation of inflammation and tissue damage (Elsner and Kapp, 1999; Rothenberg, 1998). In addition, eosinophils produce cytokines that are involved in the regulation of allergic inflammation (Kay et al., 1997; Rothenberg, 1998). According to the traditional Chinese veterinary medicine, Lung is responsible for the skin and fur (Xie, 2002). Dysfunction of the Lung is the major cause of the skin diseases. Allergic diseases may be attributed to a deficiency of the Lung or the aftermath of a Liver, Blood, and/or Yin deficiency. Invasion of Wind-Heat or Wind-Damp into the Lung system is believed to be the common etiological reasons. Therefore, the treatment should be to disperse pathogenic factors from the skin and eliminate Heat and Damp in blood. Stimulation of the acupoints such as LI-11 (Qu Chi), LI-4 (He Gu), BL-40 (Wei Zhong), SP-10 (Xue Hai) and SP-6 (San Yin Jiao) is believed to be effective (Schoen, 2000). How does the profile of cytokines change during the acupuncture treatment in dogs with allergic diseases? No scientific research is available as of yet to answer this question.

It is hypothesized that acupuncture treatment could modify the cytokine secretion and improve the cytokine profiles in allergic diseases. Better understanding of the cytokine changes in diseased dogs may help us to improve acupuncture treatment, select proper acupoints and effectively treat allergic diseases.

The purpose of this project is to investigate the cytokine profile before initiating and after terminating acupuncture treatment in dogs with allergic dermatitis, and elucidate the mechanism of acupuncture treatment for the diseases.