Three surgeons from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine recently joined a growing list of faculty members at the school who are Founding Fellows or Fellows in the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and other specialty colleges.
There are many similarities between the usage, and consequent injury, in knee joints and the jaw’s temporomandibular joint (TMJ). However, knee orthopedics are better researched and funded, resulting in tissue-engineered products and other ways to improve the lives of those affected. Dr. Boaz Arzi, professor and dentist/maxillofacial surgeon with the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, joined biomedical engineers and orthopedic surgeons from UC Irvine, orthopedic surgeons from Harvard University, oral/maxillofacial surgeons from the University of Texas, and oral/maxillofacial radiologists to research the subject further.
“My personal aim with stem cells is not to improve: I use it to cure. It’s ambitious, but that’s where we need to be,” said Dr. Boaz Arzi, director of the UC Davis Veterinary Institute for Regenerative Cures. “Stem cells do offer promise for many disorders that were previously not considered curable. But giving any regenerative therapy should be based on proper science and proper clinical trials. I think this is what we need to convey to the pet owner: not to be at full expectation, but also not to lose the excitement and the promise that it offers.”
Riley, a 14-year-old Irish terrier, was referred to the UC Davis veterinary hospital for a dental examination in December 2015. Upon examination by the Dentistry and Oral Surgery Service, a pea-sized black mass was discovered on the roof of his mouth. Veterinarians suspected the mass to be an oral melanoma tumor—a cancer that could be fatal within 3-6 months if not treated aggressively—and submitted a tissue sample for biopsy.
Kevin, a 3-year-old male domestic longhair cat, required a CT scan to determine the extent of his maxillofacial injuries. Like with all cases in the Dentistry and Oral Surgery Service (DOSS) that need this imaging, Kevin was wheeled to the cone-beam CT machine by registered veterinary technicians (RVTs) Monica Calder and Megan Loscar. While this sounds like an easy enough task, it’s actually quite labor intensive due to the vastness of the UC Davis veterinary hospital.
Initiatives in 3D printing are currently being utilized at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, where the work is complemented by the university’s Department of Biomedical Engineering expertise. The unique combination of disciplines provides opportunities to advance health that few other universities in the world are able to pursue.
Two UC Davis oral surgeons are now Founding Fellows of the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS). Drs. Frank Verstraete and Boaz Arzi, of the UC Davis veterinary hospital’s Dentistry and Oral Surgery Service (DOSS), were recognized at the 2018 Veterinary Dental Forum.
Arai, a 5-year-old female pit bull terrier, loves to chew on balls. Her owners describe her as a “100 percent ball dog.” So when she had a ball in her mouth for a few hours, they didn’t think much was out of the ordinary. When Arai wouldn’t drop the ball when it was time to eat, however, they knew something was wrong.
Kabang, a shepherd mix dog, was brought to UC Davis from the Philippines in October 2012 for surgery to repair massive facial wounds caused when her snout was torn from her face after being hit by a motorcycle.