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Veterinary professionals’ views on biomarker use wanted for student research project

Posted 22 March

A young woman - Tarnia Jordan – looks at the camera.

The views of veterinary professionals are being sought on the use of a synthetic biomarker as part of a Harper Adams University student’s research project.

Final year BSc (Hons) Veterinary Nursing with Companion Animal Behaviour student Tarnia Jordan is asking them to complete a short questionnaire to discover their views on the way of symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA) is used as a biomarker. Biomarkers are a measurable indicator of the severity or presence of a disease state, and some – such as SDMA – can be introduced into the body as a means to examine organ function or other aspects of health.

Tarnia’s questionnaire examines views and understanding surrounding the use of SDMA as a renal biomarker in practice and the practicality of its use in pre-anaesthetic bloods.

Replies to the questionnaire are needed from vet surgeons and registered vet nurses who are or have recently been in practice in the UK by end of March.

The survey can be found here.

She said: “SDMA is a relatively new kidney test available for dogs and cats. Through using SDMA to assess the glomerular filtration rate of the kidneys, it can detect kidney disease as early as just 25 per cent loss of kidney function.

“As a renal biomarker, it is used in animals to detect that loss in kidney function - however not all get clinics use it, and it can help diagnose and prevent kidney disease early.

“My goal is to determine the use of SDMA in practice and if it would be beneficial to use as part of pre-anaesthetic bloods.

“Kidney disease is a common disease in practice so using SDMA, or creating an awareness of SDMA testing, could help prevent or prolong life spans through catching kidney disease early.”

Tarnia, who is originally from Worcester, said: “I chose my course as I am passionate about the care and welfare of animals.

“From a young age, I have been used to working with injured wildlife and rehabilitating animals back to health to rerelease.

“I love the community feel to Harper Adams and its rural background – it feels like home.

“The veterinary nursing course has given me the knowledge and confidence needed to grow within this profession - and with help from staff members and fellow students, I’m over the moon to say I have passed my OSCE exams and I am closer to achieving my dreams of becoming a registered veterinary nurse.”

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