Canine Health Project

Photo of dog in the grass

We are investigating the microbes (bacteria & fungi) living on dog skin and examining how the community of microbes at a wound site change as it heals. This involves examining microbe samples taken before and after routine soft tissue or orthopedic surgery in dogs.

Citizen scientists recruited to the study have dogs scheduled for abdominal or stifle (knee) surgery and assisted in the collection of study samples from admission at the clinic to six weeks post-surgery.

This information has the potential to positively impact veterinary and human medicine in the future.

Skin microbes were collected at the site of surgery as well as a non-surgical control site using sterile swabs.

The microbes were identified by sequencing a section of their DNA that works like a fingerprint. [16S, V4 in bacteria & ITS in fungi]. This provides a snapshot of the microbial community present at each time point.

Image of double-tipped swabs

We would like to thank the citizen scientists who donated their time and dogs’ microbes for this project.

This sample collection was approved by NC Central University IACUC Protocol JH-08-02-2016.

A portion of the funding was provided through a seed grant  from the Triangle Center for Evolutionary Medicine (TriCEM)
and the Canine Health Foundation Grant #02299-A and through the NCSU Comparative Medicine Institute.

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