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Canine Clinical Trials

Clinical research trials are helping pave the way to new medications, procedures and therapies in specialties such as cardiology, oncology, behavior, dermatology and neurology, among others. Clinical trials listed below are currently enrolling canine patients. If you are interested in a study or want more information, please contact the trial conductor listed at each description.

Name of study: “Knee kinematics, kinetics and neuromuscular patterns in Labrador Retrievers either at low risk or predisposed to cranial cruciate ligament disease”
Recruitment Start Date: Fall 2008
Description of Study: To characterize the gait of normal Labrador Retrievers and identify predisposing factors to cruciate disease. Normal Labrador Retrievers with no history or clinical signs of orthopedics or neurological disease that are older than one year of age are needed for the study. The goal is to find preventative measures, such as physical therapy, that will help future generations of dogs.
Trial conductor / institution: Dr. Chantal Ragetly; University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine
Contact info: cimbs2@uiuc.edu
Notes: There are no painful or invasive procedures. Dogs will need to be sedated for radiographs and clipped for gait analysis. Normal dogs volunteering for the study qualify for a free orthopedic examination. If the dog meets criteria for gait analysis, owners will receive $220.

Posted July 10, 2008

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Name of study: Liposomal Clodronate as a Novel Treatment for Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia in Dogs
Recruitment start date: Immediate
Recruitment end date: Dec. 31, 2008
Description of study: Immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA) is the most common cause of hemolytic anemia in dogs. Disease results from the extravascular removal of opsonized red blood cells (RBCs) by macrophages in the spleen and liver, or from intravascular RBC destruction. Reported mortality rates for IMHA are alarmingly high, ranging from 20 percent to 70 percent. Survival data for dogs with IMHA indicate that the most severely affected patients often die within 1 week of diagnosis, and patients surviving 10-14 days after initiation of treatment have improved survival times. Therefore there is a compelling need for safe, immediately effective immunosuppressive therapies for the management of IMHA. A treatment that could rapidly eliminate macrophages and block RBC destruction would allow time for conventional therapy with glucocorticoids and other immunosuppressive agents to take effect. Intravenous administration of liposome-encapsulated clodronate (LC) shows considerable promise in this area. This drug formulation has been shown to deplete macrophages in mice, and has been used as a novel agent for the treatment of IMHA in a mouse model. Recent studies have shown that LC induces killing of canine splenic macrophages and dendritic cells in vitro, and that infusion of LC inhibits clearance of opsonized RBCs in normal dogs. Most significantly, a preliminary study has shown that LC infusion is well tolerated in dogs, and survival rates were improved in a small group of patients with IMHA. This proposal describes a prospective randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial to assess the effects of LC on RBC indices and survival times in dogs with IMHA. Dogs that are newly diagnosed with IMHA will receive standard medical therapy together with LC or placebo. Patients can be managed at CSU or by the primary care or referring veterinarian. Financial incentives are available.
Trial conductor / institution: Dr. Katharine Lunn, Department of Clinical Sciences, Colorado State University
Contact info: kathy.lunn@colostate.edu
Notes: This study is being funded by the Morris Animal Foundation.

Posted July 10, 2008

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Name of study: “Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Syringomyelia Pain Study”
Date(s): Currently enrolling until October or until study quota is reached
Description of study: The hospital is recruiting Cavalier King Charles Spaniels over the age of one with clinical signs of syringomyelia, such as scratching, pain or sensitivity to touch. The goal is to learn more about SM and investigate a new drug for the treatment of pain associated with it.
Trial conductor / institution: Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Contact info: Veterinary Clinical Investigation Center, 215-573-0302, vcic@vet.upenn.edu, www.pennvcic.org
Notes: Eligible participants will receive two free neurological consultations, pre-anesthetic blood profile (CBC and chemistry), magnetic resonance imaging and CSF analysis to confirm diagnosis if this has not been performed in the last 12 months. In addition owners will receive payment towards further treatment and to reimburse for time and travel expenses. 

Posted July 10, 2008

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Name of study: “Canine Bone Caner Pain Trial”
Date(s): Currently enrolling until study quota is reached
Description of study: The hospital is currently enrolling dogs that have been diagnosed with bone cancer. This trial is aimed at managing pain and loss of function associated with this disease. Dogs eligible for the trial include those with a bone tumor in one leg and where amputation is not being considered. Traditional oral pain medication, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and opioids, will be used during the trial along with one of two new medications for pain relief (RTX/SAP). These are given by a single injection into the spinal fluid. Once enrolled, each dog will be followed for as long as possible to ensure optimum long term pain management.
Trial conductor / institution: Molly Love, Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Contact info: Veterinary Clinical Investigation Center, 215-573-9029, vcic@vet.upenn.edu, www.pennvcic.org 

Posted July 10, 2008

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Name of study: Comparative Effects of Pacing Site in Dogs with Complete Heart Block
Recruitment start date: January 1, 2007
Recruitment end date: January 2009
Description of study: Pacemaker implantation for complete heart block has been performed since 1958. Since that time, significant advances in pacemaker therapy have been made. The conventional pacing site, the right ventricular apex (RVA), is responsible for a dysynchronous right to left activation sequence that may cause a decrease in left ventricular function long term. Long-term RVA pacing has been found to be associated with depressed left ventricular (LV) pump function and an increased risk of developing heart failure. Moreover, there is increasing evidence that chronic pacing at the RVA is associated with pathological changes in the heart. Preliminary work in this area has found evidence that newer techniques involving placement of pacing leads along the LV free wall (LVF) or synchronous biventricular activation (BiV) pacing is superior to pacing from the RVA.
This study investigates the importance of pacing site in dogs with naturally occurring complete heart block. We are evaluating acute and chronic hemodynamic data comparing transvenous dual chamber RVA versus LVF versus BiV pacing. Standard echocardiographic and tissue Doppler evaluation of ventricular synchronization and function are monitored and compared in 10 dogs for each pacing modality.
Trial conductor / institution: Amara Estrada, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM (cardiology), assistant professor and service chief, Section of Cardiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida
Contact info: estradaa@vetmed.ufl.edu 
Notes: This study is being funded by the Morris Animal Foundation.

Posted July 10, 2008

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Name of Study: Evaluation of the Effects of Deramaxx and Rehabilitation on Hindlimb Function in Lame Juvenile Dogs with Canine Hip Dysplasia
Recruitment end date: May 30, 2009, or first 30 dogs
Description of study: To test the effects of Deramaxx and rehabilitation on return to function after diagnosis of canine hip dysplasia. Dogs between 6 months and 12 months of age with rear limb lameness caused by canine hip dysplasia are needed.
Trial Conductor / institution: Dr. Ann Johnson, Kim Knap, University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine
Contact info: Kim Knap, 217-265-5314, knap@uiuc.edu
Notes: All rehabilitation and Deramaxx related expenses will be fully reimbursed upon successful completion of trial. Enrollees will also receive a $200 credit towards future services at the Teaching Hospital.

Posted July 10, 2008

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Name of study:  Effect of Body Condition on Postoperative Recovery in Dachshunds with Intervertebral Disc Disease Treated with Surgery and Aggressive Physical Rehabilitation
Recruitment end date: May 31, 2009, or first 40 dogs
Description of study: Evaluate effects of post-operative rehabilitation and weight loss in return to function. Dogs must be nonambulatory paraparetic or paraplegic.
Trial conductor / institution: Dr. Ann Johnson, Kim Knap, University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine
Contact info: Kim Knap, 217-265-5314, knap@uiuc.edu
Notes: Reimbursement of rehabilitation, hospitalization and other directly related charges accrued during the study.

Posted July 10, 2008

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Name of study: “Effect of Oral Care on Glycemic Regulation in Dogs with Diabetes Mellitus” (This is a Two Phase Study)
Date(s): Currently enrolling until June 2009 or until study quota is reached
Description of study: Looking for well regulated dogs with diabetes mellitus that have no other concurrent diseases. For inclusion, these dogs must be fed a high insoluble-fiber diet like Hill’s W/D and have evidence of periodontal disease. The study involves these dogs being fed a nutritionally complete premium food for two months and will require three visits for testing at Penn’s Ryan Veterinary Hospital (two overnight stays).
Trial conductor / institution: Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Contact info: Veterinary Clinical Investigation Center, 215-573-0302, vcic@vet.upenn.edu, www.pennvcic.org
Notes: Owners receive routine blood work for their pet, UA/culture, three 8-12 hour glucose curves, chest films and abdominal ultrasound, as well as a free dental cleaning (extractions are not included in study) and two months worth of a nutritionally complete premium dog food free.

Posted July 10, 2008

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Name of study: “Study to Evaluate the Toxicity of Clostridium Novyi-NT Spores in Dogs with Spontaneous Tumors”
Date(s): Currently enrolling until December 2009 or until study quota is reached
Description of study: The hospital is looking for client-owned dogs with spontaneous tumors that have failed standard therapy or whose owners have declined such therapy. Dogs will undergo a complete staging and will have a CT scan of their tumor performed under anesthesia. This is a dose escalation study, meaning that all dogs will not receive the same dose of the spores. Dogs enrolled early in the trial will receive a low dose of the drug, and that dose will be increased (or decreased) based on the side effects seen. Each dog will receive one dose of Clostridium novyi-NT spores, after which the dog will be hospitalized for IV fluids and monitoring for three days. Dogs will then be evaluated weekly to monthly basis. Dogs must be 15 kg with primary/metastatic tumors greater than two cm in diameter. Dogs must be considered to be in good health with the exception of their tumor. Dogs must not have evidence of an active bacterial infection and must not be receiving antibiotic therapy. If patients have been treated previously with chemotherapy or radiation therapy, these must be completed at least three weeks prior to the patient’s enrollment.
Trial conductor / institution: Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Contact info: Veterinary Clinical Investigation Center and the Ryan Veterinary Hospital Oncology Dept., 215-746-2607, cancertrials@vet.upenn.edu, www.pennvcic.org

Posted July 10, 2008

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Name of study: Methylprednisolone Sodium Succinate and Polyethylene Glycol in Canine Spinal Cord Injury
Recruitment start date: March 2008
Recruitment end date: December 2009
Description of study: Intervertebral disc herniations are common in certain breeds of dog and can cause severe spinal cord injuries resulting in permanent paralysis. Herniated disc causes contusion and compression of the spinal cord and surgical decompression by removal of this disc material is a standard method of treatment. Adjunctive medical management of the contusive injury to the spinal cord is frequently advocated but the choice of drug is controversial and reports of efficacy are anecdotal. A high dose regimen of methylprednisolone sodium succinate (MPSS) has been adopted by some clinicians based on evidence of minor benefit from human trials, while many others disagree with this approach. More recently, a Phase I trial of polyethylene glycol (PEG) showed promise in dogs with acute disc herniations but efficacy has yet to be established. The aim of this multicenter, blinded clinical trial is to compare the functional outcome of dogs with acute disc herniations decompressed surgically when treated adjunctively with MPSS, PEG or placebo. The study will recruit 180 dogs to take part at 12 different veterinary neurology centers across the US.
Participating dogs will have suffered the most severe grade of spinal cord injury (causing paralysis and loss of sensation to the hind limbs) due to an acute disc herniation and will receive one of the three possible therapies in addition to surgery. They will be re-evaluated at regular intervals over the three months that follow their treatment to determine their outcome.
All data will be forwarded to North Carolina State University for final analysis. The results of this study will address the long-standing controversy over the medical treatment of acute canine spinal cord injury, and will represent the first objective data on the optimal medical therapy for this common and serious problem.
Trial conductor / institution: Dr. Natasha Olby, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University
Contact info: Natasha_olby@ncsu.edu; or Click here for more information
Notes: This study is being funded by the Morris Animal Foundation.

Posted July 10, 2008

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Name of study: Radiation Therapy + Local Hyperthermia in Canine Soft Tissue Sarcomas - Thermal Dose Study
Recruitment start date: January 2006
Recruitment end date: May 2010
Description of study: This study evaluates the impact of differing hyperthermia dosing regiments and radiation therapy in canine soft tissue sarcomas. Eligible dogs will have soft tissue sarcomas (FSA, liposarcoma, myxosarcoma, HPC, etc.). These tumors must be accessible, 10 to 400 cm3 and not have extensive bony involvement.
Trial conductor / institution: Principal investigator: Dr. Don Thrall, North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Study coordinator: Beth Case
Contact info: Beth Case, 919-513-6593, beth_case@ncsu.edu

Posted July 10, 2008

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Name of study: Does Preemptive Gabapentin Administration Reduce Pain and Opioid Requirements after Spinal Surgery in Dogs?
Recruitment start date: Current
Recruitment end date: When 50 cases have been recruited
Description of study: Canine patients presenting for spinal surgery are often painful. These dogs typically receive opioids in an attempt to relieve pain; however opioids may not have optimal efficacy on pain due to neural damage as likely present in most of these patients. Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant drug that has been shown to produce analgesia in several models of chronic pain. Three recent clinical studies in people showed that the preemptive administration of gabapentin to patients undergoing spinal surgery improved pain relief compared to the administration of opioids alone, and allowed a reduction in opioid consumption associated to a decrease in adverse effects. In this study, the researchers propose to determine whether preemptive gabapentin administration improves post-operative analgesia after spinal surgery in dogs.
Trial conductor / institution: Bruno H Pypendop, University of California, Davis
Contact info: Drs. Vernau, Sturges or Pypendop, 530-752 1393

Posted July 10, 2008

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Name of study:  Diagnosis and Treatment of Radio-Ulnar incongruity in Large Dogs with Medial Compartment Elbow Disease
Recruitment end date: Trial ends once 15 dogs are found
Description of study:  The University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine is recruiting large breed dogs under 4 years of age diagnosed with disease of the medial aspect of the elbow. Dogs with angulation of the forelimb or ununited anconeal process cannot enter the study.
Trial conductor / institution: Dr. Dominique J. Griffon, University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine 
Contact info: Carrie Bubb, 217-265-5533, cbubb@uiuc.edu
Notes: Clients will receive a research adjustment equivalent to $700 worth of services applied to the diagnosis and treatment.

Posted July 10, 2008

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Name of study: Chemotherapy and NSAIDS in the Treatment of Canine Osteosarcoma
Recruitment end date: Ongoing
Description of study: Clinical trial evaluating Piroxicam in the treatment of naturally occurring osteosarcoma.
Trial conductor / institution: Dr. Laura Garrett, University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine
Contact info: Nancy George of the Oncology Service at 217-244-7789
Notes: Study will pay for chemotherapy treatments, including CBC, doxorubicin, drug administration fees, and placebo or piroxicam. Dogs must have no evidence of metastatic disease or concurrent illness requiring medication. Dogs must have appendicular osteosarcoma with amputation within 2 weeks prior to entering study. 

Posted July 10, 2008

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Date(s): Recruitment ends Aug. 1
Name of study: “Multi-Drug Resistance in Herding Dogs”
Trial conductor / institution: The North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Description: The college is recruiting collies, Australian shepherds and Shetland sheepdogs for this MDR-1 study. Dogs must have epilepsy and be on therapeutic levels of anticonvulsants.
Contact info: julie_osborne@ncsu.edu 
Notes: The study offers medical treatments, diagnostic and other compensation for participation.

Posted April 15, 2008

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Name of study: A Canine Clinical Trial: Analgesic Efficacy of Liposomal Hydromorphone for Thoracotomy
Recruitment start date: July 15, 2008
Recruitment end date: TBD
Description of study: Eligible participants will be dogs that require thoracotomy for primary lung tumors or other primary lung pathology. Dogs that have cardiovascular disease as a reason for thoracotomy (e.g. PDA) will be excluded. After informed owner consent, dogs will be randomly divided to receive either a fentanyl constant rate infusion OR a single subcutaneous dose of liposome-encapsulated hydromorphone prior to surgery. The lab has data to show that a single subcutaneous dose of liposome-encapsulated hydromorphone will provide up to three days of steady-state therapeutic drug levels in healthy dogs. Dogs will be monitored continuously during surgery by a trained anesthetist and will recover for the first 48 hours in the Critical Care Unit. Pain scoring will be performed before surgery, at extubation, and at frequent pre-determined time points after extubation by blinded observers who are trained in pain scoring of dogs. Rescue analgesia will be administered as needed based on pain score. Clients who choose to enroll their animal in this study will receive a $500 discount from their hospital bill.
Trial conductor / institution: Lesley J. Smith, DVM, Dipl. ACVA, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin
Contact info: Lesley J. Smith, DVM, Dipl. ACVA, 608-265-9181, fax 608-263-7930, smithl@svm.vetmed.wisc.edu
Notes: This study is sponsored by a grant from the Morris Animal Foundation.

Posted July 10, 2008

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Name of study: Evaluation of the Efficacy of Potassium Channel Blockers in the Therapy of Chronic Canine Spinal Cord Disease
Recruitment Start Date: June 29, 2006
Recruitment End Date: Open
Description of Study: Due to the poor regenerative potential of the central nervous system, serious spinal cord injuries can cause permanent neurologic deficits that range in severity from mild gait abnormalities to complete paralysis. The group of drugs that are to be tested alter the excitability of damaged axons, allowing conduction to be restored at sites of injury. The aim of this project is to test both an established drug, (4-aminopyridine) and novel derivatives of this drug, for their efficacy in treating dogs with chronic spinal cord injuries. If successful, these drugs will potentially be used widely to treat dogs with chronic spinal cord diseases, and the work will provide evidence for further development of the drugs for use in humans.
Trial Conductor / institution: Natasha Olby, VetMB, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM (neurology), associate professor of Neurology/Neurosurgery at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Study Sponsor: The Center for Paralysis Research, 408 South University St., West Lafayette, IN 47907; 765-494-7600
Contact info: Pragna Mehta, 919-513-7235, pragna_mehta@ncsu.edu

Posted July 10, 2008

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Name of study: “Atopic Dermatitis Study”
Date(s): Ongoing
Description of study: The college is looking for dogs that have been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis to participate in a 12-week study.
Trial conductor / institution:  University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine
Contact Info: Sandy Grable, 217-244-8303
Notes: Costs of the study will be paid and a $50 credit will be given for use at the teaching hospital if pet completes the entire study. Owners must be able to do a recheck appointment every 2 weeks for 12 weeks.

Posted July 10, 2008

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Canine Clinical Trials

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Reader Comments
Canine DM id there any studies on this disease or possible treatments?
Jen, Shavertown, PA
Posted: 9/5/2013 3:40:56 PM
Are there any trials for spinal cord injuries? My five month old deerhound had an FCE in October 20120 at 5 months old. Is anyone working on this type of injury
Harriet, San Diego, CA
Posted: 11/30/2012 5:03:18 PM
Are there any clinical trials for Canine Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). They do focal laser treatment on humans but I can't find any treatment on dogs.
Annette, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posted: 10/26/2010 11:42:52 PM
My Rottweiler, Zooga, was 1 year on July 22, 2010. She has ruptured ACL in both legs and needs surgery. She was not covered by pet health insurance because, loop hole, cruciate ligament injuries are excluded for the first year of coverage. She also has complications due to her bone structure.. causing TPLO not a good match for her. TTA could be.. IF I could afford it… which I currently cannot. Previcox was too harsh on her stomach and she is currently on Tramadol to manage her pain. I am also hoping to assist researchers in ways to help further understand this in Rottweilers. Do I have anything.. That might be helpful to you? blood samples, radiographs? Please help me make zooga"s short life have meaning
Deborah, Dallas, TX
Posted: 8/31/2010 11:02:32 PM
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