As Professor of Clinical Nutrition in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, he is a devoted teacher. He joined the faculty of the College of Veterinary Medicine at The Ohio State University in 1987. As an internationally recognized expert in the pathogenesis of Interstitial Cystitis (IC) in cats he has been able to apply what he has observed in cats to the syndrome in humans. His current area of research is exploring the role of epigenetic modulation of gene expression in FUS, IC, and other medically unexplained syndromes. Dr. Buffington’s work has been showcased in numerous autotutorial video presentations, abstracts and proceedings, 85 peer-reviewed publications, 18 editor-reviewed publications, 23 book chapters and most significantly, the Manual of Veterinary Dietetics, the first textbook of its kind and a major resource text for veterinary students and clinicians around the world.
Dr. Buffington has conducted numerous groundbreaking studies about nutritional support of hospitalized veterinary patients that have changed the way animals receive treatment in the hospital setting. He was the first to identify the role of acid-base balance in foods in urinary stone formation in cats. This data resulted in the reformulation of most cat diets and introduced the concept of relative supersaturation into veterinary stone research. Importantly, he was the first to propose that most cases of FUS (and probably IC) might be the result of a developmental disorder of the central nervous system affecting the bladder (and other organs) rather than a bladder disease. He was also the first to identify the commonalities between feline urological syndrome (FUS) in cats and interstitial cystitis (IC) in women. His work has resulted in the identification of more effective approaches to therapy for FUS and IC.
Through his research and studies, Dr. Buffington has revealed the role of indoor and other “confined” environments on disease risk in cats. The information from this investigation led him to create the Indoor Cat Initiative, a program to enrich the lives of indoor cats on the basis that indoor enrichment is as important as excellent diet and healthcare. The initiative concludes that a happy, healthy indoor cat has six basic needs: personal space, appropriately placed and managed food, water and litter containers, a bed or resting area where the cat will not be bothered, scratching and climbing opportunities, and cognitively stimulating toys. For more information about the Indoor Cat Initiative visit http://www.vet.ohio-state.edu/indoorcat.htm. Dr. Buffington is currently expanding his studies to investigate similarly “confined” dogs and horses.
Dr. Buffington received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of California Davis (UC Davis) in 1981 and completed his residency there as a Clinical Nutritionist in the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. He received his master’s degree in 1982 and his PhD in nutrition in 1988, both from UC Davis. Dr. Buffington served in the United States Coast Guard from 1968 to 1972 and was honorably discharged as a First Class (E-6) Quartermaster. He joined The Ohio State University School of Veterinary Medicine in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences as an Assistant Professor in 1987. He moved up through the ranks first as an Associate Professor in 1993 and then to Professor in 1997.
Dr. Buffington is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition (ACVN) and was president of the ACVN from 2001 to 2002. In addition, he is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, the American Society of Clinical Nutrition, the Society for Neurosciences, the International Association for the Study of Pain, the Hormesis Society and the Society for Developmental Origins of Health and Disease. As a member of the Board of the Ohio Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition since 1988, he has served in many roles including as president from 1990 to 1991. He also is a member of the Columbus (OH) Academy of Veterinary Medicine, and served as its president for 2008.
The list of awards and accolades that Dr. Buffington has received is extensive. He received his first national honor in 1982, the Hill’s Award for Veterinary Clinical Nutrition. In 2004, he received the World Small Animal Veterinary Association Hill’s Award for Excellence in Veterinary Healthcare. Throughout his professional career he also has received the Ohio Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition Service Award, the Veterinary Clinical Sciences Faculty Recognition Award, the Bourgelat Award of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine Dean’s Teaching Excellence Award for Graduate Election, and the Pfizer Animal Health Award for Research Excellence.