Retrospective multicentric study
With the AVTRW Jubliee Grant, I carried out a project titled ‘Retrospective multi centric study on the prevalence of meningoencephalitis of unknown origin (MUO) in the UK canine population from 2017 to 2021’. This study aimed to evaluate the incidence rate of MUO in the UK canine population from 2017 to 2021 through multi centric data acquisition spanning 13 referral centres across England. Through detailed analysis of case signalments, this study also aimed to provide additional information that can help further stratify the diagnosis of MUO.
MUO is an idiopathic, non-infectious, inflammatory central nervous system disease. Over the five years, the incidence rate of MUO was 2.29%. With regards to breed, the French Bulldog (12.1%) and Chihuahua (10.5%) displayed the highest incidence rate among purebreds. The age of diagnosis peaked at the age of 3 and 4. Interestingly, we observed two groups within the data, largely divided into early onset and late onset. Small breeds (weight less than 14kg) occupied almost 75% of all MUO cases. This is the first multi centric study to look at the incidence rate of MUO, which provides extensive epidemiological parameters of MUO in England.
As a second-year undergraduate veterinary student, it was a great opportunity to get involved in a research project overviewing a specific disease and communicate with specialists in several referral centres. I also enjoyed the chance to share my work with other veterinary colleagues at the annual AVTRW conference. This grant has given me the opportunity to experience numerous aspects of veterinary medicine that is difficult to obtain from coursework alone, and hopefully will be a great stepping stone for my future career as a vet.