David Williams

  • Webinar recorded on Mon 21st March, 2016
  • 1 hours 0 mins
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This is part of Jane Armstrong Expertise Series. Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) is easily diagnosed with extreme accuracy in both dogs and cats by assay of serum trypsin-like immunoreactivity (TLI). Since the advent of these tests two or three decades ago the classical presentation of an emaciated animal with polyphagia has become increasingly rare for a variety of reasons, including the fact that in cats the presentation is more often than not “atypical”. Nonetheless, early testing of serum TLI rules this diagnosis in or out with almost complete certainty. Many affected animals will live for many years if effectively treated, and are subject to some acquired nutritional deficiencies, especially of selected vitamins, that may not be present at initial presentation. Careful long term monitoring to head off potential problems is therefore warranted. Adverse side effects of treatment are rare, and generally easily managed. Dietary needs of these patients tend to be variable. In many cases no special requirements are required, but in some patience careful trial and error may be required to find a diet that promotes optimal body condition and prevents diarrhea. Online support for owners and veterinarians managing these patients is available and can be very helpful in managing unusual problems in some individual patients.

David Williams founded the “GI Lab” in 1985 at the University of Florida, when he introduced assay of serum trypsin-like immunoreactivity (TLI) in the dog to the United States. His research has been focused on the development and application of new tests for gastrointestinal diseases, particularly those affecting the pancreas, small intestine, stomach and liver of dogs and cats. Students and staff working in his other GI Laboratories at Kansas State, Purdue, and most recently Texas A&M Universities established several other novel tests for gastrointestinal diseases for use by veterinarians internationally. These included feline serum TLI, canine and feline serum pancreatic lipase (PLI), canine and feline fecal alpha1-proteinase inhibitor, unconjugated serum bile acids, canine thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), and canine and feline serum cobalamin and folate assays. He received his veterinary degree from the University of Cambridge and his PhD from the University of Liverpool (where he first developed the canine TLI assay). He was an intern and resident at the University of Pennsylvania, and has held Faculty positions at the University of Florida, Kansas State University, Purdue University, Texas A&M University (where he served as Head of Small Animal Clinical Sciences), and currently at the University of Illinois (where he served as Head of Veterinary Clinical Medicine). He continues to work as an Adjunct Professor and consultant with the GI Lab at Texas A&M University, providing telephone consultations with veterinarians regarding management of patients diagnosed using the GI Lab services.

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