Why did you become a veterinary pathologist?
I became a pathologist to get answers for unknowns I treated as a veterinarian practitioner. I wanted more challenges, more understanding, and to be part of a team that worked to find answers to diseases we didn’t understand.
What is your role in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study and how long have you been involved with the project?
I’m relatively new on the study team. As a pathologist with cancer diagnostics and research experience, I’ll provide pathology support and assist the epidemiology team to transfer the pathology findings into the database and assure all types of tissues collected are routed and categorized accurately. Morris Animal Foundation has always valued training our next generation of animal care professionals and thus is funding two pathology residency training positions.
These residents will utilize the tissues generated from study dogs to develop pathology skills, support the goals of the study by assisting in generating the pathology database, and will ultimately work to become board certified in pathology. I’ll mentor these residents in their training.
What breakthroughs and benefits do you anticipate from this study?
We have never had the ability to follow any large set of dogs through their lifetime, tracking diseases and their outcome. Small research studies can be misleading. This study has the unique ability to have detailed lifetime follow-up in a large group of dogs in diverse geographic and life situations. It gives the opportunity to look at a multitude of factors that play a part in disease development and outcome. As a pathologist, veterinarian and dog owner, I’m excited to be even a small part of this endeavor!
What is your favorite thing about golden retrievers?
Simply stated, golden retrievers will love anyone, be anyone’s best friend, and never falter in their dedication to you. Everyone’s life can be enriched by a golden.
Give us one fun fact about you.
I love getting outdoors. Trail running, hiking, open water swimming, or exploring. It’s always fun to share that with a friend or my dog.
Thank you, Dr. Ehrhart! We are excited to have you on board and look forward to your contributions.