Associate Professor Nick Cave staff profile picture

Contact details +6469518128

Associate Professor Nick Cave

Group Leader - Academic

School of Veterinary Science

Nick Cave graduated from Massey University (NZ) in 1990 with a BVSc, and worked in general practice for 6 years until 1997, when he returned to Massey for a residency in small animal internal medicine, and attained membership in the Australasian College of Veterinary Scientists by examination. He graduated with a Masters in Veterinary Science in 2000, entitled "The nutritional management of food hypersensitivity in dogs and cats: an assessment of a protein hydrolysate". In 2004 he moved to the University of California, Davis, where he attained a PhD in nutrition and immunology, with his thesis entitled "The role of estrogen in controlling food intake, and the efficacy and immunological effects of genistein as a surrogate estrogen, in cats following gonadectomy." At the same time, he completed a residency in small animal clinical nutrition, and became a diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Nutrition by examination in 2004. In late 2005, he returned to Massey University as senior lecturer in small animal medicine and nutrition. He has authored more than 30 peer-reviewed publications, is on the editorial board for the Veterinary Quarterly and Veterinary Education International, and has authored chapters in several international veterinary textbooks. He is a founding member of the WSAVA Nutritional Guidelines Committee.

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Contact details

  • Ph: 64 6 3505329
    Location: Feline Unit, IVABS
    Campus: Turitea

Research Expertise

Research Interests

Current research projects include:

The effect of site of injection on vaccine responses in cats

The effect of dietary moisture food intake, activity, and health

Acute infectious tracheobronchitis in dogs

The influence of cooking on the immunogenicity of dietary proteins

The efficacy of varying lysine concentrations on the inhibition of feline herpes virus in vitro

The significance of subtype variants on FIV pathogenicity and efficacy of vaccination

•Asymptomatic urinary tract infections in cats

•Canine leptospirosis in New Zealand

The efficacy in dogs of a killed, 3-component lepto vaccine licensed for use in cattle.

The incidence of suboptimal hydration following routine anaesthesia in dogs

Diets used in translocation of Greyfaced petrels and other shore birds

Cell free DNA in health and disease

Optimising nutrition for working dogs

Efficacy of single dose endoparasite treatments in dogs

Development of a diseases surveilance system for companion animals in New Zealand


Health and Well-being, Future Food Systems

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences (070000): Veterinary Sciences (070700)


Clinical and basic nutrition of dogs and cats

Medicine of dogs and cats

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 1 35
Team Member 0 1

Teaching and Supervision

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Main Supervisor 2 2
Co-supervisor 6 5

Current Doctoral Supervision

Main Supervisor of:

  • Becca Leung - Doctor of Philosophy
    Using intermittent fasting and a ketogenic diet to improve nutritional and clinical outcomes in long-stay, hospitalised canine spinal patients
  • Margreet Hekman - Doctor of Philosophy
    The physiological effects of dietary moisture on cats and dogs

Co-supervisor of:

  • Alisha Hobbs - Doctor of Philosophy
    The ontogeny and phylogeny of dog behaviour (Canis familiaris) in relation to avian avoidance training protocols, with emphasis on native New Zealand species
  • Ivayla Yozova - Doctor of Philosophy
    Methods for assessment of endothelial glycocalyx integrity in cats
  • Katja Isaksen - Doctor of Philosophy
    TeamMate: A longitudinal study of health in working farm dogs on the South Island of New Zealand
  • Nina Butowski - Doctor of Philosophy
    Assessment of the effects of dietary fibre and animal-derived fermentable substrates on the gastrointestinal microbiome and associated faecal paramete
  • Hiroki Sano - Doctor of Philosophy
  • Mark Roberts - Doctor of Philosophy
    Macronutrient self-selection in dogs and the impact on markers of health.

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Main Supervisor of:

  • 2018 - Gauri More - Doctor of Philosophy
    Canine respiratory viruses in New Zealand dogs
  • 2018 - Alison Stickney - Doctor of Philosophy
    Relevance of the Variability of the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus in regard to Pathogenicity and Vaccination in New Zealand

Co-supervisor of:

  • 2020 - Jonathan Bray - Doctor of Philosophy
    Understanding the prognosis and progression of soft tissue sarcoma in the dog
  • 2019 - Kathryn Strang - Doctor of Philosophy
    The ecology of feral cats (Felis catus) on a New Zealand offshore island: Considerations for management
  • 2018 - Hayley Hunt - Doctor of Philosophy
    Epidemiological, pathological and metabolomic characterisation an unexplained myopathy of dogs in New Zealand
  • 2010 - Shay Hill - Doctor of Philosophy
    Changing the metabolism of dogs (Canis familiaris) and cats (Felis catus) at rest and during exercise by manipulation of dietary macronutrients
  • 2009 - Katherine Bell - Doctor of Philosophy
    The role of dietary isoflavones in the reproductive system of domestic and non-domestic felid species.

Media and Links

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