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Texas A&M and Purina Petcare are working together to improve pet health

Texas A&M University and Purina Petcare are teaming up to improve microbiome pet health thanks to a $2 million research fund.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — A new partnership between Nestlé Purina Petcare Global Research and the Gastrointestinal Laboratory at Texas A&M's School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is set to make breakthroughs in pet microbiome health.

"The microbiome is actually important for people and animals. The microbiome is a recently discovered new organ system," Texas A&M Veterinary professor, Jan Suchodolsk said. "In the past, we always focused on bad bacteria. In the last five to 10 years, we discovered that we have normal bacteria, which is actually part of our physiology."

Thanks to a $2 million research fund that will run from 2023 through 2028, the research lab at Texas A&M will continue developing diagnostics testing for GI disease of dogs and cats that veterinarians can utilize.

"We discovered that once we detect early detection of intestinal disease, it's also much easier that ultimately there can be nutritional interventions," Suchodolsk said. "I think it is a perfect partnership and, so it really helps us foster our work in the right direction."

As well as supporting the laboratory, Purina has created a newly endowed chair position, the Purina Petcare endowed chair for microbiome research, at the Texas A&M GI laboratory, with Dr. Suchodolski as the recipient.

"Very exciting from working with clinicians here, we are going to partner with many universities overseas in other countries," Suchodolsk said. "I think we need to collaborate to get enough cases and to really change the fields not only for Texas A&M but also for the whole population of dogs and cats worldwide."

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