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Valery Scharf

Assoc Professor

DVM, MS, DACVS

CVM Main Building NA

Bio

Dr. Scharf earned a Bachelor of Science in Earth Systems from Stanford University and her DVM degree from Texas A&M University prior to completing a rotating internship at The Ohio State University. She completed a surgical residency and earned her MS focusing on translational oncology at the University of Florida. Her research interests include minimally invasive surgery, spontaneous pneumothorax, surgical oncology and endocrine neoplasia, and the role of companion animals as models of environmental exposure. She also has a strong interest in teaching and developing new strategies for surgical education.

Education

Diplomate American College of Veterinary Surgeons

Small Animal Surgery Residency University of Florida

Small Animal Rotating Internship The Ohio State University

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Texas A&M University

Bachelor of Science Stanford University

Area(s) of Expertise

SPONTANEOUS ANIMAL DISEASE MODELS, VETERINARY CANCER CARE
Development of novel minimally invasive surgical modalities.
Role of companion animals as models of environmental exposure and disease.
Thyroid neoplasia and dysfunction.
Etiology and treatment of spontaneous pneumothorax.
Surgical education.

Publications

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Grants

Date: 08/01/22 - 7/31/25
Amount: $16,020.00
Funding Agencies: American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, Inc.

Primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP) is defined as the presence of air within the pleural space without an obvious precipitating factor. This disease presents as a life-threatening emergency causing shortness of breath, exercise intolerance, and possible collapse or sudden death, affecting an average of 13 dogs per year at our institution. Although the overall prevalence is fairly low, PSP is of great importance due to the impact on the individual dog. Treatment of PSP in dogs remains challenging. Current standard of care dictates full thoracic exploration via an invasive median sternotomy followed by resection of affected lung lobes. Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) is preferred over open thoracotomy in human medicine as it is associated with lower morbidity and reduced post-operative pain, making it a desirable alternative to the current standard in veterinary medicine. Historical limitations in correctly identifying pulmonary bullae associated with spontaneous pneumothorax in dogs has limited the usefulness of VATS. Investigators have recently established the efficacy of using a variable angle endoscope to thoracoscopically identify pulmonary bullae in dogs. Additionally, autologous blood injection has been demonstrated in people to seal leaking lung tissue. Thus, this pilot study aims to prospectively evaluate the efficacy of minimally invasive autologous blood injection to treat primary spontaneous pneumothorax in dogs. We hypothesize that thoracoscopic autologous blood injection will effectively seal pulmonary bullae and blebs in dogs with primary spontaneous pneumothorax, facilitating minimally invasive treatment of this disease in dogs with potential extension to treating primary spontaneous pneumothorax in people.

Date: 05/01/22 - 5/01/23
Amount: $15,000.00
Funding Agencies: American College of Veterinary Surgeons Foundation (ACVS)

The objective of this study is to describe and assess a novel intraoperative NIRF imaging technique using aerosolized ICG to visualize healthy pulmonary parenchyma thoracoscopically, and to evaluate clinical feasibility of this technique in a canine model. A secondary objective is to determine the optimal dosage and timing of administration and to assess acute and delayed effects of inhalational ICG on postoperative pulmonary function and tissue histology.

Date: 05/01/21 - 5/01/23
Amount: $7,747.00
Funding Agencies: American College of Veterinary Surgeons Foundation (ACVS)

The objectives of this study are to 1) evaluate a novel minimally invasive approach for attenuation of PA shunts in dogs via thoracoscopic placement of ARCs, and to 2) prospectively evaluate the efficacy of thoracoscopically placed ARCs to attenuate PA shunts based on clinical assessment, biochemical values, and diagnostic imaging results.

Date: 01/01/20 - 12/31/22
Amount: $13,829.00
Funding Agencies: American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, Inc.

Primary spontaneous pneumothorax is defined as the presence of air within the pleural space without an obvious precipitating factor. Large breed, deep-chested dogs, particularly Huskies and hunting breeds, are most commonly affected. Development of this disease is associated with the presence of pulmonary bullae. The diagnosis and localization of pulmonary bullae in dogs remains challenging; thus the objective of this study is to evaluate the feasibility of a minimally invasive diagnostic procedure (variable-angle thoracoscopy) for identification and localization of pulmonary bullae.


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