FIN-SAGAS – Finnish Small Animal Gastroenterology
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FIN-SAGAS investigates chronic disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, liver and pancreas of dogs in order to improve their understanding with the primary aim to simplify their diagnostic recognition and to increase the knowledge about pathophysiological processes, leading to new possibilities for disease treatment or prevention.
With our co-operation partners from human medicine and basic sciences we study spontaneous diseases of the digestive tract of dogs which can serve as models for similar conditions in people. Under the motto “humans help dogs and dogs help humans” we aim at improving the knowledge about chronic digestive tract diseases in dogs, for better diagnosis and treatment options in both species, dogs and humans.
Small Animal Gastroenterology in Finland
The unit of Small Animal Internal Medicine at the Veterinary Faculty, University of Helsinki has a long and internationally recognized tradition of investigating canine digestive tract disorders. It started with the research group of prof. Elias Westermarck in 1990 and has continued since 2005 under the leadership of prof. Thomas Spillmann, Diplomate ECVIM-CA.
Previous projects investigated important immune mediated disorders such as pancreatic acinar atrophy of German shepherd dogs and rough coated collies and chronic hepatitis of Doberman pinschers.
The group has also contributed new insight into the influence of diet composition, probiotics, antibiotics, and targeted recombinant beta-lactamase on intestinal microbiota and has developed an improved assessment of intestinal permeability in dogs using the contrast medium iohexol as a permeability marker.