Surgery resident receives key award at national meeting

Dr. Laura Cuddy

Dr. Laura Cuddy is shown tending to a dog in the small animal surgery treatment area in 2010.

Dr. Laura Cuddy,  a second-year resident in small animal surgery at the UF College of Veterinary Medicine, received top honors for her presentation in the resident small animal research category during the annual symposium of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, held Nov. 5 in Chicago.

Cuddy’s research was a biomechanical study of a new procedure to unload the medial compartment of the elbow in dogs with medial compartment disease.

Fragmented medial coronoid process of the ulna is the most common cause of forelimb lameness in dogs, Cuddy said.

“This orthopedic condition occurs most commonly in medium to large breed dogs, usually around 5-7 months of age,” she said, adding that many dogs subsequently develop full thickness erosions of the medial compartment of the elbow, a condition referred to as medial compartment disease, resulting in osteoarthritis and debilitating lameness.

“We developed a new procedure to unload the medial compartment of the elbow in these dogs by reorienting the ulna and therefore altering how they bear weight through the forelimb so that load is shifted away from the medial compartment of the elbow,” Cuddy said. “By reducing load through the medial compartment, we hope this will ameliorate pain associated with the disease in that region.”

Cuddy’s study of cadaveric limbs showed that a shift in load was detected from the medial to the lateral elbow compartment following this procedure.

“We are excited about the prospect of trying this procedure in clinical cases in the near future,” Cuddy said.

Receiving second place in the resident small animal clinical category was Dr. Michelle Giuffrida, the current oncology fellow.

Other representatives from the department of small animal clinical sciences who presented during the ACVS meeting were  Dr. Caleb Hudson, third-year surgery resident; Dr. Stanley Kim, assistant professor of small animal surgery; and Dr. Antonio Pozzi, assistant professor of small animal surgery.

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