Meet the Agility Dog Health Network Team

We are a small group of experienced veterinary researchers who have developed a passion for agility. We quickly recognized that there is very little evidence-based research on which we can make health decisions specific for our agility dogs. A small number of individual researchers, scattered around the globe, are making valiant contributions to the effort as they work independently on specific projects but they are often limited by lack of access to information. Our goal is to develop a network of researchers, competitors, veterinary professionals, and others who will collaborate in the discovery dissemination of new information for the advancement of canine agility dog health.

Dr. Debra Sellon and Denver

Dr. Debra Sellon is Professor of Equine Medicine and a faculty member in the Washington State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital Equine Medicine and Critical Care services. She graduated from the School of Veterinary Medicine at Louisiana State University. She completed a large animal rotating internship at Texas A M University followed by a residency in large animal internal medicine and a PhD studying viruses and immunology at North Carolina State University. She has authored numerous peer-reviewed veterinary publications on topics including equine infectious diseases, equine pain management, and canine agility dog health. She has competed in agility for more than 20 years with 6 Border Collies, a Sheltie, and a Papillon. Read more at this link from Washington State University.

Dr. Denis Marcellin-Little

Dr. Denis Marcellin-Little teaches companion animal orthopedic surgery at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis and is an adjunct clinical faculty member of the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. Dr. Marcellin-Little graduated from the National Veterinary School in Toulouse, France. He is board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and is a charter Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. He currently spends approximately half of his professional time engaged in research. He has been active in clinical research for more than 25 years, investigating clinical problems such as hip dysplasia, cranial cruciate ligament injury, injury to digits, osteoarthritis and similar orthopedic problems affecting dogs actively engaged in sporting activities and companion dogs of all types. His research profile may be found at this link.

Dr. Dianne McFarlane and Nellie

Dr. Dianne McFarlane is Chair of the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida. After earning her veterinary degree from the University of California, Davis, she completed a Large Animal Rotating Internship at the University of Georgia and an Equine Medicine Residency at North Carolina State University. She completed a PhD at the University of Prince Edward Island and developed a research interest in aging, age-related disease, and endocrine disease. She has been actively competing in agility for many years with Bull Mastiffs and Border Terriers. Learn more about Dr. McFarlane at this link.

Dr. Molly McCue with Panda and Torin

Dr. Molly McCue is the Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Equine Internal Medicine and Genomics at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. She is a veterinarian with specialty training in large animal internal medicine and is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Her graduate education (MS and PhD) and subsequent research efforts have focused on genetics and genetic epidemiology. Dr. McCue is an expert in hereditary muscle-related disorders. She has a diverse research portfolio ranging from studies of single-gene mutations affecting disease and performance in horses, to the unraveling of complex conditions such as metabolic syndrome and obesity. Dr. McCue’s lab also applies these methods to complex genetic traits in the dog including the genetic underpinnings of service dog behaviors and success and diseases impacting agility and other sporting dogs. She and her family compete in agility with Doberman Pinschers. Read more about Dr. McCue at this link from University of Minnesota.

Dr. Arielle Pechette Markley

Dr. Arielle Pechette Markley is a Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation veterinarian at The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center. She graduated from Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and completed certification in veterinary pain acupuncture, pain management (IVAPM), and canine rehabilitation (Canine Rehabilitation Institute). In 2018 Dr. Pechette Markley moved to The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center to help start their Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation program. Research interests include biomechanics, pathophysiology, prevention. and treatment of sport-specific injuries in dogs competing in agility competitions. She currently competes in agility with her 2-year-old Border Collie, Jax. Her research profile may be found at this link.

Dr. Abigail Shoben is an Associate Professor of Biostatistics in the College of Public Health at The Ohio State University. She completed her PhD in biostatistics at the University of Washington and has been at Ohio State since 2010. She teaches courses in clinical trial design and analysis of longitudinal data and investigates statistical methods to improve the design and analysis of cluster randomized trials. She has active research collaborations in a variety of areas but is especially enthusiastic about collaboration in agility research due to her interest in dog sports. She has trained and competed in multiple dog sports with her dogs (Toby, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and Echo, a Golden Retriever) and currently teaches agility to youth in 4-H. More information about her research can be found at this link.