Dogs

Photo: Dog

Below, please find links to all of the clinical trials currently accepting canine patients. The studies are organized by discipline and include a multitude of information, including (but not limited to) the study’s purpose, benefits for participating, and financial incentive information.

If you have any questions, please contact the individual outlined at the end of each trial summary.

Cardiology

Myxomatous Mitral Valve Disease: Evaluating the Effects of Pimobendan on Kidney Function

Title: Effect of standard-dose and high-dose pimobendan on renal function in dogs with moderate-to-severe preclinical myxomatous mitral valve disease

Purpose: Myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) is the most common heart disease in dogs. Pimobendan is a drug that has been shown to substantially delay the onset of congestive heart failure (CHF) and cardiac related deaths in dogs with MMVD. Unfortunately, many dogs managed for MMVD have concurrent kidney disease, which can adversely impact their quality of life and make their heart disease more difficult to manage. There is some evidence to support that pimobendan may enhance kidney function. The purpose of this clinical trial is to determine the effect of standard and high-dose pimobendan on the kidney function in dogs with MMVD prior to the onset of CHF.

Contact: sterngenetics@ucdavis.edu for questions related to enrollment or Pam McInnis at pjmcinnis@ucdavis.edu for scheduling an appointment

Participation Requirements:

  • Dogs between 2.5 to 20 kilograms (5-44 lbs) with a moderately loud murmur or moderate cardiac enlargement on chest x-rays but without evidence of congestive heart failure.
  • Ineligible dogs include those that:
    • Have received certain medications affecting heart or kidney function at least 14 days prior to enrollment.
    • Have evidence of heart failure on chest x-rays
    • Have an identifiable systemic disease (ie. pre-existing kidney disease) or severely elevated blood pressure
    • Have abnormally fast or slow heart rhythms that require antiarrhythmic therapy
    • Have evidence of moderate pulmonary hypertension (elevated blood pressure within the lungs)

Initial Evaluation for Participation:  A complete cardiology work-up will be performed, including a cardiovascular exam, cardiac ultrasound, blood pressure measurement, chest x-rays, and blood sample for analysis for kidney values, symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA) and electrolyte assessment.

Procedures: If your dog is deemed eligible by our initial evaluation and if you agree to let your dog participate in this study, the following will happen:

  • Visit 1
    • Baseline cardiovascular exam, cardiac ultrasound, blood pressure measurement, chest x-rays, and bloodwork
    • Intravenous catheter placement and administration of a contrast agent for kidney function assessment
    • Blood draws at 2, 3, and 4 hours after injection
    • Completion of a brief questionnaire
    • Random assignment to one of three groups to receive a placebo, standard dose or high dose of pimobendan by mouth twice daily (every 12 hours) for 1 week at home. This is a medication we would likely recommend if your pet qualifies for the study regardless of whether or not you choose to enroll.
  • Visit 2 (1 week after group assignment)
    • Follow-up cardiovascular exam, cardiac ultrasound, blood pressure assessment, and blood collection
    • Intravenous catheter placement and administration of a contrast agent for kidney function assessment
    • Blood draws at 2, 3, and 4 hours after injection
    • Completion of a brief questionnaire

Benefits: The study will cover all costs associated with the study, which includes routine tests we would recommend for any dog with significant heart disease (valued at approximately $900, which will be paid for by the study) . Results of the study will help us better understand how pimobendan works in dogs with heart disease and concurrent kidney disease. Results from this trial may help us to better guide medical care for your dog and future dogs affected with this same disease.

Owner Responsibilities:

  • Fasting your dog 12 hours prior to the first and last visit.
  • Administering the medication to your dog twice daily for 7 days, until re-evaluation
  • Monitoring your dog closely for health changes at home
  • Keeping your dog on its normal diet consistently throughout the study period (ie, no abrupt changes in diet during the 1 week duration of the clinical trial)
  • Bringing your dog back to the UC Davis Cardiology Service in approximately 1 week for re-evaluation
  • Completion of a questionnaire about your dog’s health at the first and last visit

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Myxomatous Mitral Valve Disease: Assessing Different Methods of Measurement of Heart Chamber Size

Title: Reliability of different methods to measure of left atrial chamber size in dogs with myxomatous mitral valve disease

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to critically evaluate different methods of measuring the size of one of the heart chambers (i.e. the left atrium) that is associated with severity of disease, treatment decisions, and prognosis.

Contact: Weihow Hsue at whsue@ucdavis.edu

Participation Requirements: Dogs:

  • Must be at least 6 years of age
  • Weigh less than 20 kg (44 pounds)
  • Have a heart murmur
  • Cannot be taking any cardiovascular medications

Initial Evaluation for Participation:  Before your pet begins the study, your pet will need to have a cardiovascular exam, routine echocardiogram (heart ultrasound) and chest X-rays to find out if he/she can be in the study.

Procedures: If your pet qualifies, and you choose to enroll them, your dog will undergo 4 echocardiograms (two in the morning and two in the afternoon) for 3 nonconsecutive days ie, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (totaling 12 echocardiograms).

Benefits: The study will cover the cost of the initial physical examination, chest x-ray, and all echocardiograms in the study.

Results will help guide diagnostic, therapeutic, and prognostic decisions in other dogs with this myxomatous mitral valve disease, the most common heart disease in our canine population.

Owner Responsibilities: You will be responsible for paying for any additional diagnostics/treatments as recommended by the attending cardiologist and bringing your dog in (with no overnight stay) on a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday within the same week.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis: Understanding the Genetics in Bullmastiffs

Title: Genetic Investigation of Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis in Bullmastiffs

Purpose: Subvalvular aortic stenosis (SAS) is the second most common heart defect diagnosed in dogs, and the Bullmastiff breed is over-represented in incidence of SAS. Moderate and severely affected cases are at risk for developing severe cardiac complications, and have an average lifespan of 19 months. Furthermore, there is no surgical treatment available that results in an increased life expectancy for affected cases. The aim of this study is to identify genes/variants associated with SAS in Bullmastiffs that can be used to develop a genetic test.

Contact:

Participation Requirements:

  • Bullmastiffs that have been diagnosed with SAS; or
  • Parents and/or littermates of dogs with SAS

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures: 

  • If you decide to enroll your dog in this clinical trial, an echocardiogram performed by a board certified cardiologist is required.
  • Collection and submission of 2-3ml of whole blood by the owner or a veterinarian

Benefits: Results from this study can be utilized to produce an SAS genetic test for Bullmastiff. A genetic test can be used to screen predispose Bullmastiffs and guide breeding practices to reduce disease prevalence in this breed.

Owner Responsibilities: Submission of the following items:

  • 2-3ml of whole blood
  • A copy of the 3-generation pedigree (if available)
  • A copy of the veterinary report
  • Filled out enrollment form (contact Dr. Stern or Eric Ontiveros for this form)

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Atrial Fibrillation: Understanding the Genetics in Irish Wolfhounds

Title: Genetic Determinants of Atrial Fibrillation in Irish Wolfhounds

Purpose: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is an arrhythmia in which the heart beats fast with no identifiable pattern of atrial activation. Although AF affects a wide variety of animals, it has a particularly high prevalence in Irish Wolfhounds suggesting a genetic predisposition. We are conducting a genetic investigation into the cause of AF in Irish Wolfhounds in order to improve our understanding of this disease and thus inform prevention and treatment practices.

Contact:

Participation Requirements:

  • Irish Wolfhounds that are older than 8 years old with or without atrial fibrillation.
  • If your Irish Wolfhound has already had a completed cardiology evaluation (exam, echocardiogram and EKG), you may be able to participate by simple submission of a blood sample.

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures: If you agree to let your dog participate in this study, the following will happen:

  • Complete cardiology evaluation, including a focused cardiovascular physical examination, an electrocardiogram (non-invasive measure of heart rhythm), and an echocardiogram (heart ultrasound) without the use of sedatives to determine if atrial fibrillation and/or other cardiac diseases are present.
  • Blood collection for DNA extraction, which will be used for the genetic analysis of atrial fibrillation

Benefits: All costs associated with the study will be paid for by the study. Adverse effects are not expected from a cardiac screening. If adverse events occur directly as a result of the study and your dog requires further care (e.g. hospitalization, monitoring, treatment/medications etc.) the study will cover up to $3,000 of your dog’s care.

Identification of genes will allow us to better understand and guide medical care for your dog and future dogs affected with atrial fibrillation.

Owner Responsibilities: If you allow your dog to participate in this study, you will be responsible for coordinating a scheduled visit with the laboratory and bringing your dog to the scheduled appointment. Participants are responsible for paying any costs incurred that are not related to the study. The study appointment and procedures are anticipated to take approximately 2 hours and will consist of a single visit.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Dentistry and Oral Surgery

NEW! Discolored Teeth: Evaluating Pulp Vitality

Title: Thermal assessment of pulp vitality of discolored canine teeth in dogs

Purpose: To date, we relied on clinical assessment and dental radiographs of discolored teeth to decide whether or not those teeth require treatment. Both modalities have limitations. With the use of a newly developed diagnostic tool called the TOTEM device, we will hopefully be able to assess tooth vitality much more accurately via tooth temperature. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to evaluate the clinical application of the TOTEM device to assess tooth vitality.

Contact: Monica Calder or Megan Loscar at dosclinicaltrials@ucdavis.edu or 530-752-2470

Participation Requirements: Dogs with discolored canine teeth

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Physical examination, awake oral examination and pre-anesthetic blood and urine analyses to determine eligibility

Procedures: Beyond the standard procedures to care for the necessary discolored teeth (e.g., extraction or root canal treatment while under anesthesia), the study would involve your dog receiving a thermal assessment of pulp vitality of the discolored canine tooth (approximately 10 minutes) while under anesthesia if you agree to let your dog participate in this study.

Benefits: There is no charge to allow your dog to participate in this clinical trial.

We hope that this diagnostic tool will help to increase the accuracy of future treatment planning in regards to discolored teeth, no matter the species.

Owner Responsibilities: If you agree to have your dog participate in this trial, you will be responsible for keeping all scheduled visits, and covering all costs for the necessary, standard procedures to care for the discolored teeth as well as any medical treatment should an adverse event occur while participating in this trial.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Jaw Joint Pain: Evaluation of PET/CT as a Diagnosis Tool

Title: Evaluation of dual 18F-NaF/18F-FDG PET/CT as a Diagnosis Tool for Pain of Unknown Origin at the Temporomandibular Joint Region of Dogs

Purpose: Dogs that are presented with the vague complaint of pain at the jaw joint region, for which an obvious cause is not observed, typically pose a diagnostic challenge because there are several disorders that can cause pain in that region. Therefore, it is necessary to find a diagnostic imaging modality that will better identify possible sources of pain. In this clinical trial, we aim to examine the yield of positron emission tomography (PET) combined with computed tomography (CT) as compared to conventional CT with and without contrast in the diagnosis of pain of unknown origin at the jaw joint region.

Contact:

Participation Requirements: Dogs exhibiting pain of unknown origin at the jaw joint (TMJ) area and that do not have an obvious clinical diagnosis (for example, cancer or trauma)

Initial Evaluation for Participation: To determine eligibility, your pet will need to have a complete physical and oral exam as well as blood and urine analyses.

Procedures: If the exams, tests, and procedures show that your pet can take part in the study, and you choose to enroll them, then as part of this study, your dog will receive the same diagnostic tests and care that any other dog with pain of unknown origin at the jaw joint region. In addition, your dog will also receive a PET scan, which involves the injection of small amounts of two medical grade radioactive tracer to your dog and a hospital stay for one night.

Benefits: If you agree to have your dog participate in this study, the study will cover the anesthesia, CT and the PET scans.

Participation in this trial will give your dog access to the most advanced imaging techniques to look for the source of pain.

Owner Responsibilities: You will be responsible for keeping all scheduled appointments and covering costs of the initial examinations, any blood and urine collection and analyses, hospitalization and any costs for medical treatment of any adverse events that occur during the study.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Oral Tumors: Optimizing the Identification of Tumor Spread To Lymph Nodes

Title: Preoperative sentinel lymph node mapping in dogs

Purpose of Study: Successful treatment of many cancers depends on the extent of disease present at the time of diagnosis, and on accurate detection of that disease. Some oral cancers commonly spread from the mouth to nearby lymph nodes. Lymph node metastasis, if present, can influence the prognosis and treatment recommendations made for a patient. Currently, however, our standard veterinary staging protocol (aspiration cytology of the geographically nearest lymph node) misses a diagnosis of lymph node metastasis in a concerning number of patients. Because lymphatic pathways and lymph nodes of the head are very complicated and the closest lymph node is not necessarily the most likely to show disease, it is possible to miss disease because we do not know which is the best lymph node to evaluate. Lymph node mapping, a technique to visualize the lymphatic drainage of tumors, is increasingly used to improve cancer staging and treatment protocols in the treatment of cancer in people. Mapping allows identification of the “sentinel lymph node,” or lymph node that is most likely to demonstrate evidence of metastatic disease. This lymph node can then be aspirated or surgically removed with the primary tumor to be evaluated microscopically for spread of cancer. This trial is being performed to optimize a method of sentinel lymph node mapping that can be accessible to a greater number of veterinary practitioners in an effort to improve the accuracy of cancer diagnoses and treatment recommendations we make for our veterinary patients, improving their quality of life and length of time with us following diagnosis with this cancer.

Contact: If you are interested in determining whether your dog is eligible for the trial, please schedule an appointment for evaluation with one of the participating clinical services by calling the Small Animal Clinic at (530) 752-1393 and following the prompts for either Soft Tissue Surgery, Dentistry and Oral Surgery or Oncology. For general questions not related to your own dog’s eligibility, please contact Dr. Steffey (530-752-3799, masteffey@ucdavis.edu).

Participation Requirements:

  • Dogs diagnosed with an oral tumor with owners that have elected to surgically remove the tumor.
  • Ineligible: Dogs with pre-existing, palpably very large lymph nodes

Initial Evaluation for Participation: If you choose to enroll your dog, your dog will receive two CT scans on separate days: the first done for standard diagnostic/surgical planning, and the second done immediately prior to surgery. Both CT scans will be performed with contrast while under general anesthesia.

Benefits: All costs associated with this study, including the second CT scan and the 1 hour of extra anesthesia time associated with each CT scans will be paid by the sponsor. Additionally, a financial benefit of $500 will be credited to your VMTH account after your dog completes the second CT scan on the day of his/her surgery.

Owner Responsibilities: If you allow your dog to participate in this study, you will be responsible for bringing your dog to the UC Davis VMTH for his/her scheduled appointments, covering costs associated with the standard diagnostic workup of your dog’s tumor, the first (diagnostic/surgical planning) CT scan, and standard costs associated with surgical removal of the oral tumor, and allowing him/her to be hospitalized for the required length of time pre- and postoperatively.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Oral Melanoma: Assessing a Treatment

Title: OMX-4.80 (Zox) a novel protein oxygen transporter and radiation sensitizer for dogs with oral melanoma

Purpose: One reason tumors can be resistant to radiation therapy because of low levels of oxygen in the tumors. Another reason is that low levels of oxygen leads to local immune suppression. We anticipate that the treatment will carry oxygen to the tumor and hopefully restore normal oxygen levels to the tumor and make it more responsive to treatment.

Contact: The Oncology Clinical Trial Coordinators by completing this form or giving them a call at 530-752-0125 or 530-752-9759

Participation Requirements: Dogs diagnosed with a biopsy confirmed melanoma

Initial Evaluation for Participation:  Prior to enrollment your dog must have a physical examination, a CBC, a Chemistry Panel and Chest X-rays to make sure they are eligible for the trial.

Procedures:  It is important to note that radiotherapy treatments are being done as part of the normal treatment of this disease. If your dog is enrolled in the study, the following will be done:

  • On Day 1, On Day 1, we will administer a drug to mark oxygen levels, collect and analyze blood, biopsy your dog’s tumor under anesthesia, and do a CT scan to plan for radiation therapy and administer the oxygen carrier.
  • On Day 2, we will administer another oxygen marker and biopsy of your dog's tumor under anesthesia.
  • On Day 4, we will take blood, anesthetize your dog for an additional biopsy and begin your dog’s radiation treatment which will be once a week for four weeks.
  • After the second radiation treatment, we will collect another biopsy.
  • We will collect blood after the third and fourth radiation therapy session (each one week apart as part of the normal course of treatment).
  • In the event of death, we would strongly encourage you to allow a necropsy to be performed so we can try to determine the cause of death.

Benefits: The study will cover costs associated with study drugs, drug administration, day hospitalizations for the study, the radiation planning CT scan and the associated anesthesia, blood work for the study, and biopsies.  Additionally, the study will also cover up to $2,000 in medical costs if there is an unanticipated side effect from the study and up to $2,000 credit onto your dog’s medical bill at the end of the study to be used for the cost of radiation therapy.

Results from this study may lead to an improvement of your dog’s response to treatments such as radiotherapy.

Owner Responsibilities: We expect that participation in this clinical trial will take 5 weeks and anticipate each visit taking 6-8 hours. If you decide to have your dog participate in the trial, you will be responsible for keeping each scheduled appointment, ensuring that your dog has not eaten food for at least 12 hours prior to any anesthetic procedure, and covering costs associated with the radiation therapy required to enter the study.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Genetics

NEW! Intervertebral Disc Disease in Poodles

Title: Intervertebral Disc Disease in Poodles

Purpose: Some breeds of dogs are at an increased risk of type 1 Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), which is described by herniation of the calcified nucleus pulposus into the intervertebral column. Type 1 IVDD causes severe pain and neurological dysfunction and requires prompt corrective surgery. While a genetic cause for chondrodystrophy (CDDY) has recently been identified, not all chondrodystrophic dogs suffer an intervertebral herniation event in their lifetime, suggesting that there may be additional factors that increase risk for type 1 IVDD.

While CDDY is fixed in some breeds, such as Dachshunds and Beagles, CDDY is variable within poodles, making them ideal for studying IVDD. Studying IVDD in poodles could allow us to determine the relative risk for IVDD associated with 1 or 2 copies of CDDY, as well as determine any other factors which could contribute to increased risk of IVDD within the breed.

Contact: Kevin Batcher at klbatcher@ucdavis.edu

Participation Requirements: Any poodles that have received corrective surgery for IVDD

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None

Procedures:  The only procedure required is the collection and submission of a blood sample for DNA extraction. Please contact Kevin Batcher for details.

Benefits: There are no direct benefits but results from this study could be very helpful to the breed.

Owner Responsibilities: If you decide to participate in this study, you (or your veterinarian) would be responsible for collecting and submiting a blood sample and necessary documentation (including consent form) to us.

Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis: Understanding the Genetics in Bullmastiffs

Title: Genetic Investigation of Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis in Bullmastiffs

Purpose: Subvalvular aortic stenosis (SAS) is the second most common heart defect diagnosed in dogs, and the Bullmastiff breed is over-represented in incidence of SAS. Moderate and severely affected cases are at risk for developing severe cardiac complications, and have an average lifespasn of 19 months. Furthermore, there is no surgical treatment available that results in an increased life expectancy for affected cases. The aim of this study is to identify genes/variants associated with SAS in Bullmastiffs that can be used to develop a genetic test.

Contact:

Participation Requirements:

  • Bullmastiffs that have been diagnosed with SAS; or
  • Parents and/or littermates of dogs with SAS

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures: 

  • If you decide to enroll your dog in this clinical trial, an echocardiogram performed by a board certified cardiologist is required.
  • Collection and submission of 2-3ml of whole blood by the owner or a veterinarian

Benefits: Results from this study can be utilized to produce an SAS genetic test for Bullmastiff. A genetic test can be used to screen predispose Bullmastiffs and guide breeding practices to reduce disease prevalence in this breed.

Owner Responsibilities: Submission of the following items:

  • 2-3ml of whole blood
  • A copy of the 3-generation pedigree (if available)
  • A copy of the veterinary report
  • Filled out enrollment form (contact Dr. Stern or Eric Ontiveros for this form)
Atrial Fibrillation in Irish Wolfhounds

Title: Genetic Determinants of Atrial Fibrillation in Irish Wolfhounds

Purpose: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is an arrhythmia in which the heart beats fast with no identifiable pattern of atrial activation. Although AF affects a wide variety of animals, it has a particularly high prevalence in Irish Wolfhounds suggesting a genetic predisposition. We are conducting a genetic investigation into the cause of AF in Irish Wolfhounds in order to improve our understanding of this disease and thus inform prevention and treatment practices.

Contact:

Participation Requirements:

  • Irish Wolfhounds that are older than 8 years old with or without atrial fibrillation
  • If your Irish Wolfhound has already had a completed cardiology evaluation (exam, echocardiogram and EKG), you may be able to participate by simple submission of a blood sample.

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures: If you agree to let your dog participate in this study, the following will happen:

  • Complete cardiology evaluation, including a focused cardiovascular physical examination, an electrocardiogram (non-invasive measure of heart rhythm), and an echocardiogram (heart ultrasound) without the use of sedatives to determine if atrial fibrillation and/or other cardiac diseases are present.
  • Blood collection for DNA extraction, which will be used for the genetic analysis of atrial fibrillation

Benefits: All costs associated with the study will be paid for by the study. Adverse effects are not expected from a cardiac screening. If adverse events occur directly as a result of the study and your dog requires further care (e.g. hospitalization, monitoring, treatment/medications etc.) the study will cover up to $3,000 of your dog’s care.

Identification of genes will allow us to better understand and guide medical care for your dog and future dogs affected with atrial fibrillation.

Owner Responsibilities: If you allow your dog to participate in this study, you will be responsible for coordinating a scheduled visit with the laboratory and bringing your dog to the scheduled appointment. Participants are responsible for paying any costs incurred that are not related to the study. The study appointment and procedures are anticipated to take approximately 2 hours and will consist of a single visit.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Primary Glaucoma in American Cocker Spaniels

Title: Proteomics and genomics of primary glaucoma in the dog

Purpose of Study: Glaucoma is a disease that is a common cause of blindness worldwide in human and canine patients. We are interested in characterizing this disease better with hopes of identifying protein biomarkers or the genetic components of this disease.

Contact: Monica Motta at mjmotta@ucdavis.edu or 530-752-6967

Participation Requirements: 

  • Healthy American Cocker Spaniels that are at least 10 years old with normal eyes
  • American Cocker Spaniels diagnosed with primary glaucoma

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures:

  • Limited Diagnostic Testing
    • A full ophthalmic examination
    • An eye pressure test prior to and after dilation
    • Dilation of the eyes to examine the back of the eyes
    • Corneal thickness measurements via ultrasonic pachymetry
    • Fluorescein staining to assess for corneal ulcers
    • Digital photographs of the eye
    • Gonioscopy to assess the drainage angles in the eye
    • Non-invasive A-Scan/B-Scan to determine the length of the ocular globe
    • Blood collection for genetic analysis
  • Advanced Diagnostic Imaging
    • If required, advanced ocular imaging, including digital slit lamp photography, spectral domain optical coherence tomography (non-contact imaging), ultrasound biomicroscopy and fundus photography to image the retina
    • Sedation may be required for some of the advanced diagnostic testing procedures.

Benefits: The study will cover cost associated with the ophthalmic examination, ocular diagnostic testing, sedation, advanced ophthalmic imaging and blood collection. In addition, the study will cover costs of any complications from the ophthalmic examination, diagnostic testing, gonioscopy, sedation, or blood sampling will be covered by the study up to $200.

Results from this study may lead to our improved ability to better predict the onset and progression of this disease. If a gene or effect through diagnostics that causes this disease is found, then we may be able to develop a genetic test or future diagnostic tests to know identify which dogs have or do not have this disease.

Owner Responsibilities: Although we expect to gain the majority of information from your dog in a single visit, we may want to do additional tests if your dog has a glaucomatous attack. We anticipate a maximum of 4 visits over a 2-year period for your dog. You will be responsible for filling out a questionnaire and survey regarding your dog’s history, monitoring the well-being of your dog at home and report any changes or side effects to us, and withhold food from your dog the morning prior to the appointment so that your dog can be sedated for advanced ocular examination. You will also be responsible for covering any costs (beyond $200) related to complications, diagnostic testing, gonioscopy, sedation or blood sampling.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Old Age (Longevity) in Golden Retrievers

Title: Venous Blood Sample Collection for DNA Extraction and Analysis in Aged Large Breed Dogs

Purpose: Many current studies are aimed at trying to identify genes associated with diseases in dogs, but we are looking to see if there might exist ‘protective genes’ that could help protect against these same life-limiting diseases in the dog.

Contact: bannaschlab@ucdavis.edu 

Participation Requirements: Large breeds that are over 50 lbs and 12 years old (or older) with particular interest in Golden Retrievers

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures: The only procedure required is the collection and submission of a blood sample for DNA extraction. Download documents below to submit samples. For questions, please contact Kalie or Dan (see contact information above).

Benefits: Identification of such genes may help us understand why some dogs or dog breeds live longer, and hopefully lead to lengthening the lifespans for our faithful companions.

Referring Veterinarian Responsibilities: To collect and submit a blood sample and medical records.

To submit samples, complete and send in the following documents:

  • Sample Information Form (XLS)
  • Blood Collection and Shipping Information (DOC)

Printable Flyer (PDF) - Golden Retrievers

Fungal Infections (Aspergillus spp) in German Shepherds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, and Hungarian Vizslas

Title: Genetic analysis of the susceptibility to systemic Aspergillus infections in dogs

Purpose: Systemic fungal infections such as aspergillosis are rare in animals with a competent immune system; however, certain dog breeds (namely the German shepherd, Rhodesian ridgeback and Hungarian vizsla) are reported to have a higher risk of this uncommon disease. A genetic etiology is suspected to cause this over-representation. We propose to use a technique called genome-wide association analysis to evaluate the differences in the genetic material of affected dogs (dogs infected with Aspergillus spp.).

Contact: Dr. Jonathan Dear, DVM, DACVIM at jddear@ucdavis.edu

Participation Requirements:

  • German Shepherds with systemic Aspergillus spp. infections
  • Rhodesian Ridgebacks with systemic Aspergillus spp. infections
  • Hungarian Vizslas with systemic Aspergillus spp. infections

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures: The only procedure required is the collection and submission of a blood sample for DNA extraction. For more information about submitting samples, please contact Dr. Jonathan Dear (details above).

Benefits: Results from this study will hopefully lead to the development of DNA tests that would identify dogs at risk for developing systemic aspergillosis. These tests would help simplify the diagnosis of the disease by identifying at risk individuals and allow breeders to avoid producing affected dogs. Furthermore, if the genetic traits responsible for this disease in dogs are shared with human patients, precision medicine can be used to help develop targeted therapies to treat this life-threatening disease.

Owner Responsibilities: You or the referring veterinarian need to collect and submit a blood sample and medical records.

Printable Flyers

  • German Shepherds (PDF)
  • Vizslas (PDF)
  • Rhodesian Ridgebacks (PDF)
Addison's Disease in Multiple Breeds

Title: Canine Genetic Disease Project - Addison's Disease

Purpose: Addison’s Disease or Hypoadrenocorticism is a deficiency in the secretion of both glucocorticoids and mineralcorticoids from the adrenal cortex. The cause is unknown; however, there appears to be an immune mediated destruction of the adrenal gland in most cases. Symptoms include inappetance, vomiting, lethargy and weakness. An ACTH stimulation test to evaluate the ability of the adrenal gland to secrete cortisol can be used for diagnosis. Affected dogs show low cortisol concentrations, and no increase in cortisol following the ACTH test. Treatment for this disease includes fluid therapy, replacement of glucocorticoids and mineralcorticoids, and hormone therapy.

The overall purpose of this study is three-fold:

  • To evaluate the mode of inheritance of canine diseases;
  • To identify the genes responsible for disease expression; and,
  • To join the tools of statistics with the promise of molecular genetics.

Contact: For more information, please contact Dr. Anita Oberbauer amoberbauer@ucdavis.edu), Dr. T.R. Famula (trfamula@ucdavis.edu), or Janelle Belanger (jmbelanger@ucdavis.edu).

Participation Requirements:

  • Bearded Collie, Great Dane, Leonberger, Portuguese Water Dog, Standard Poodle & West Highland White Terrier of all ages diagnosed with Addison’s Disease
  • Healthy dogs of the above-mentioned breeds (> 7 years old)

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures: The only procedure required is the collection and submission of a blood sample for DNA extraction. Forms and instructions can be found the Canine Genetic Analysis Project - Addison's Project website.

Benefits: There is no guarantee that your dog will benefit from its participation in this study. However, such participation may provide veterinarians and researchers with additional information and a better understanding of canine diseases, which could ultimately influence the course of treatment or genetic testing to help your dog and other animals in the future.

Owner Responsibilities: The owner or referring veterinarian needs to collect and submit a blood sample.

Publication

Corneal Endothelial Dystrophy in Boston Terriers, German Shorthaired Pointers and German Wirehaired Pointers

Title: Phenotype and Genotype of Corneal Endothelial Dystrophy in Boston Terriers, German Shorthaired Pointers and German Wirehaired Pointers

Purpose of Study: Corneal endothelial dystrophy (CED) is a devastating disease in dogs that can result in blindness and severe ocular pain from secondary complications. The endothelial cells comprise the most inner aspect of the cornea and are responsible for maintaining a proper fluid balance. This function is critical to ensuring that the cornea remains transparent for vision. In many animals, including dogs, corneal endothelial cells have a very limited capacity to regenerate following injury. In canine patients with CED, the endothelial cells degenerate until the cells still remaining can no longer function properly. This results in swelling of the cornea (edema) which results in decreased vision as well as formation of small fluid-filled blisters (bullae) on the cornea which can rupture and cause ocular discomfort. There are palliative treatments such as hypertonic saline to decrease corneal bullae formation but the only definitive treatment for this condition is a corneal transplant (penetrating keratoplasty). Unfortunately, corneal transplants are rarely performed in canine patients with CED due to the expense of the surgery and follow-up care, relatively high risk of complications, and lack of appropriate donor tissue.

Several dog breeds, including Boston Terriers, German Shorthaired Pointers and German Wirehaired Pointers, are seen more commonly for CED in comparison to other breeds. This observation suggests that this disease may have a genetic component. A similar condition called Fuch’s endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD) exists in humans and several genes associated with FECD have been identified. We propose to identify the region of the dog genome associated with CED in Boston Terriers, German Shorthaired Pointers and German Wirehaired Pointers. In order to do this, we will perform thorough eye examinations and use non-invasive advanced imaging techniques to examine Boston Terriers, German Shorthaired Pointers and German Wirehaired Pointers with CED and age-matched control dogs. We will collect blood from these dogs to obtain DNA. The entire canine genome will be evaluated for an association with CED. This work will be used to identify the gene(s) responsible for this condition in Boston Terriers, German Shorthaired Pointers and German Wirehaired Pointers. The ultimate goal will be to develop a genetic test for CED in Boston Terriers, German Shorthaired Pointers and German Wirehaired Pointers and possibly other breeds, such as Chihuahuas and Dachshunds, with an increased risk of CED.

Contact: Monica Motta at mjmotta@ucdavis.edu or 530-752-6967

Participation Requirements:

  • Boston Terriers, German Shorthaired Pointers and German Wirehaired Pointers with Corneal Endothelial Dystrophy
  • Healthy Boston Terriers, German Shorthaired Pointers and German Wirehaired Pointers (>7 years of age)

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Dogs must receive a diagnosis by a veterinary ophthalmologist for corneal endothelial dystrophy.

Procedures:

  • Blood collection for DNA analysis
  • Ophthalmic examination, including digital slit lamp biomicroscopy, Schirmer tear test followed by dilation and staining of the eye wtih fluroescein and digital photography
  • Noninvasive advanced corneal imaging with ultrasonic pachymetry, confocal biomicroscopy and spectral domain-optical coherence tomography (all of which will require sedation)

Benefits: Benefits include an ophthalmic examination at no cost with thorough characterization of disease to aid in monitoring for progression.

Owner Responsibilities: No ophthalmic medications can be administered 48 h prior to examination. Food cannot be given in the morning in preparation for sedation.

Printable Flyer for Boston Terriers (PDF)
Printable Flyer for German Shorthaired Pointers (PDF)

Epilepsy in Multiple Breeds

Title: Canine Genetic Disease Project - Epilepsy

Purpose: Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes abnormal bursts of electrical activity in the brain (lasting from seconds to minutes). Seizures are characterized by jerking of the limbs, anxiety, salivation, vocalizing, and loss of bodily functions (urination/defecation). Epilepsy can be caused by metabolic disorders, infectious diseases, brain injury, toxins, or brain tumors. A genetic seizure condition in dogs can occur called idiopathic (of unknown cause) or inherited epilepsy. Since a dog with idiopathic epilepsy shows no recognizable abnormalities, it is assumed to be an inherited condition in most breeds and demonstrated to be heritable in some breeds. Treatment of seizures is usually two-fold which includes treatment of the underlying problem (infection, tumor, injury) and reducing or eliminating the seizure episodes with anticonvulsant medication.

The overall purpose of this study is three-fold:

  • To evaluate the mode of inheritance of canine diseases;
  • To identify the genes responsible for disease expression; and,
  • To join the tools of statistics with the promise of molecular genetics.

Contact: For more information, please contact Dr. Anita Oberbauer amoberbauer@ucdavis.edu), Dr. T.R. Famula (trfamula@ucdavis.edu), or Janelle Belanger (jmbelanger@ucdavis.edu).

Participation Requirements:

  • Belgian Tervuren, Belgian Sheepdog, English Mastiff, Giant Schanuzer, and Poodles (Standard, Miniature, and Toy) of all ages diagnosed with Epilepsy
  • Healthy dogs of the above-mentioned breeds (> 7 years old)

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures: The only procedure required is the collection and submission of a blood sample for DNA extraction. Forms and instructions can be found the Canine Genetic Analysis Project - Epilepsy Project website.

Benefits: There is no guarantee that your dog will benefit from its participation in this study. However, such participation may provide veterinarians and researchers with additional information and a better understanding of canine diseases, which could ultimately influence the course of treatment or genetic testing to help your dog and other animals in the future.

Owner Responsibilities: The owner or referring veterinarian needs to collect and submit a blood sample.

Symmetrical Lupoid Onychodystrophy in Bearded Collies

Title: Canine Genetic Disease Project - Symmetrical Lupoid Onychodystrophy

Purpose: Symmetrical Lupoid Onychodystrophy (SLO) is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes a loss of toenails in many breeds, including Bearded Collies. The age of onset is typically between 3-8 years of age affecting 1-2 nails and eventually progressing to all nails. Scientists believe that heredity may be one of the contributing causes of this disease.

The overall purpose of this study is three-fold:

  • To evaluate the mode of inheritance of canine diseases;
  • To identify the genes responsible for disease expression; and,
  • To join the tools of statistics with the promise of molecular genetics.

Contact: For more information, please contact Dr. Anita Oberbauer amoberbauer@ucdavis.edu), Dr. T.R. Famula (trfamula@ucdavis.edu), or Janelle Belanger (jmbelanger@ucdavis.edu).

Participation Requirements:

  • Bearded Collies of all ages diagnosed with SLO
  • Healthy Bearded Collies (> 8 years old)

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures: The only procedure required is the collection and submission of a blood sample for DNA extraction. Forms and instructions can be found the Canine Genetic Analysis Project - SLO Project website.

Benefits: There is no guarantee that your dog will benefit from its participation in this study. However, such participation may provide veterinarians and researchers with additional information and a better understanding of canine diseases, which could ultimately influence the course of treatment or genetic testing to help your dog and other animals in the future.

Owner Responsibilities: The owner or referring veterinarian needs to collect and submit a blood sample.

Dry Eye Syndrome (Keratoconjunctivitis sicca) in West Highland White Terriers

Title: The Genetics of Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca in West Highland White Terriers

Purpose of Study: Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) or dry eye is a devastating disease that causes ocular pain and potentially blindness. It is seen more frequently in West Highland White Terriers in comparison to many other breeds. We are interested identifying the genetic components of this disease as well as characterizing this disease better with examination and testing of the tear film and ocular surface and in select patients using advanced imaging techniques.

Contact: Monica Motta at mjmotta@ucdavis.edu or 530-752-6967

Participation Requirements:

  • West Highland White Terriers with Dry Eye Syndrome (affected); or,
  • West Highland White Terriers >7 years of age with no ocular abnormalities (control)

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Affected patients must receive a diagnosis by a veterinary ophthalmologist for dry eye. Dogs without ocular disease (controls) require no prior initial examination.

Procedures:

  • Routine ophthalmic examination and tear film tests
  • Blood collection for DNA analysis
  • Tears will be collected from the conjunctival sac using a blunt-tip needle attached to a syringe from both eyes. Tear collection will be performed at a separate time from the initial ophthalmic examination and tests.
  • Conjunctival biopsy: Two (2) minutes after regional anesthesia is applied, a small (approximately 5 mm x 2 mm) piece of conjunctiva will be removed from inside the lower eyelid.
  • Select patients only:
    • Advanced imaging: Spectral domain optical coherence tomography (non-contact imaging) and confocal biomicroscopy (imaging in which a gel on the instrument contacts the cornea) will also be performed to carefully image the cornea along with digital slit lamp photography.
    • Sedation for advanced imaging: In order to keep dogs relaxed and comfortable but awake for the advanced imaging, your dog will be given a mild sedative. The sedation chosen for your pet will depend on your dog’s age and health status.

Benefits: There will be no cost to you for your participation in this study and your dog will receive a very thorough eye examination at no charge. If a corneal ulcer occurs at the time of evaluation, the cost of medications, recheck examinations, and procedures (e.g., cotton-tipped applicator or Diamond burr debridement, grid keratotomy) will be performed at no cost to you if they are performed at UC Davis. If a surgical procedure is required, you will receive $200 of compensation towards the procedure if it is performed at UC Davis. If your dog has KCS, you will be compensated for taking part in this study with 2 months worth of immunosuppressive medication (e.g., cyclosporine/tacrolimulus) ointment or drops. The study will also cover the costs of any complications from the sedation, blood sampling or imaging up to $200.

Results from this study will allow us to better predict the onset and progression of this disease. If a gene that causes this disease is found, then we may be able to develop a genetic test to know which dogs have or do not have this disease.

Owner Responsibilities: Although there is no cost to participate in the study, you will need to cover any costs due to complications from sedation, blood sampling, or examination (including corneal ulceration) beyond $200. Additionally, please do not administer any medications to treat your dog’s dry eye for one week prior to the appointment other than the lubricant provided to you. If your dog is participating in the advanced imaging, please do not feed your dog the morning of the appointment (water is fine), as the sedation administered can cause vomiting.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Sebaceous Adenitis in Multiple Breeds

Title: A search for possible genetic associations with sebaceous adenitis, an autoimmune disease that destroys hair follicles and leads to hair loss

Purpose of Study: Sebaceous adenitis is a skin disease that is seen in many breeds but most prevalent in the Standard Poodle, Havanese, Akita, and English Springer Spaniel. We aim to determine whether risk for sebaceous adenitis in Standard Poodles can be associated with a specific genetic makeup.

Contact:

Participation Requirements: Dogs must have a confirmed diagnosis of Sebaceous Adenitis in addition to normal parents or siblings.

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures: The only procedure involved a DNA analysis of either 1) a whole blood sample (at least 5 mls) that is not clotted in a sterile tube, or 2) a buccal swab. Please contact Ms. Katy Roberston (krrobertson@ucdavis.edu) for a buccal swab kit. Directions for collection are included on the second page of the study form.

Benefits: There is no direct benefit of this study for you or your dog at this time; however, if a genetic association can be identified, a test could be developed that would predict which dogs carry the trait and may pass it on to their offspring and which dogs may develop the disease in their lifetime.

Owner Responsibilities: You or the referring veterinarian need to send in the study form in addition to a blood sample or buccal swab per the instructions on the study form.

Publication

Ectopic Ureters in Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Newfoundlands and Siberian Huskies

Title: Ectopic Ureters in Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Newfoundlands and Siberian Huskies

Purpose: The ureters are the tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder for the purpose of moving urine out of the body. Sometimes when a puppy is developing during embryogenesis, the ureters do not connect properly into the bladder. When this occurs the ureters are called ectopic. We propose to identify the region of the dog genome associated with ectopic ureters. In order to do this, we will collect blood samples.

ContactEric Ontiveros (esontiveros@ucdavis.edu)

Participation Requirements: Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Newfoundlands and Siberian Huskies diagnosed with ectopic ureters

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures: The only procedure required is the collection and submission of a blood sample for DNA extraction. For more information about submitting samples, please contact Miriam Aguilar (miraguilar@ucdavis.edu) for Labrador Retrievers, Newfoundlands and Siberian Huskies, and Eric Ontiveros (esontiveros@ucdavis.edu) for Golden Retrievers.

Benefits: Although there is no direct medical benefit to your dog, results from this study will benefit science and the discovery of inherited ectopic ureters in the Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Newfoundlands and Siberian Huskies. Results from this study may lead to the development of a DNA based test that will allow breeders to make informed breeding decisions.

Owner Responsibilities: The owner or referring veterinarian needs to collect and submit a blood sample and medical records.

Printable Flyer for Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers and Newfoundlands(PDF)

Printable Flyer for Siberian Huskies (PDF)

Internal Medicine

Hyperlipidemia: Assessing a New Treatment

Title: Efficacy and safety of fenofibrate in treating hyperlipidemia (increased blood fat levels) in dogs

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of fenofibrate for the treatment of hyperlipidemia (increased serum cholesterol, triglycerides, or both) in dogs

Contact: Dr. Matthew Munro at mjmunro@ucdavis.edu 

Participation Requirements: Dogs diagnosed with hyperlipidemia with no changes in diet or medication in the last month (NOTE: Patients with either primary or secondary hyperlipidemia and no diabetes mellitus can be enrolled.)

Initial Evaluation for Participation: To determine eligibility, your dog will need blood and urine analyses (complete blood count, chemistry panel including cholesterol and triglycerides, comprehensive thyroid panel, urinalysis and urine protein creatinine ratio) and an abdominal ultrasound.

Procedures: If the exams, tests, and procedures show that your pet is eligible to participate in the study, and you choose to enroll them, the following procedures will occur:

  • Physical examination;
  • Administration of fenofibrate by mouth once a day for 21 days (three weeks);
  • Blood and urine collection repeated after 21 days (three weeks) of treatment; and,
  • Repeated physical examinations, blood/urine tests, and an increase in drug dose every 3 weeks (maximum of 63 days after the first visit) if hyperlipidemia has not resolved and adverse effects have not occurred.

Benefits:  The study covers the cost of the fenofibrate for the duration of the study.

Participation in this trial may help improve or resolve your dog’s hyperlipidemia and reduce the risk of hyperlipidemia-associated complications (e.g. reduce risk of pancreatitis, elevated liver values, gallbladder changes, urine protein loss, ocular disease and even neurologic signs).

Owner Responsibilities: If you choose to participate in this trial, you will be responsible for:

  • Keeping all scheduled appointments;
  • Administering fenofibrate tablet/s, once daily, in the morning, with food;
  • Maintaining your pet on the same diet, medications or supplements throughout the study period; and,
  • Covering costs of the initial consultation and diagnostics in order to determine eligibility, recheck diagnostics, and costs of any medical care required because of an adverse event during the study.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Fungal Disease: Exploring New Diagnostics

Title: Evaluation of two point of care tests for detection of crytococcal antigen in dogs and cats

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate new, rapid diagnostic tests for fungal diseases.

Contact: Dr. Krystle Reagan at 530-752-1393 and make an appointment with Internal Medicine 

Participation Requirements: Dogs with a suspected Cryptococcus infection

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Make an appointment with Internal Medicine at the VMTH.

Procedures: If you agree to let your dog participate in this study, we will collect a blood sample and analyze the blood using the standard Cryptococcus test and two new fungal tests.

Benefits:  The study will cover the costs of the Cryptococcus latex agglutination blood test.

Owner Responsibilities: If you allow your dog to participate in this study, you will be responsible for:

  • Keeping all scheduled appointments
  • Covering costs of all other recommended diagnostics and therapies recommended by your veterinarian beyond the Cryptococcus latex agglutination test

Printable Flyer (PDF)

HypothyroidismEvaluating Current Treatment Strategies

Title: Crossover clinical study to evaluate two doses of levothyroxine for thyroxine replacement therapy in hypothyroid dogs

Purpose:  Hypothyroidism is a commonly diagnosed hormonal disease in the dog. Thyroid hormone supplementation is the treatment of choice for this disease and is routinely started at a dose of 0.02 mg/kg administered every 12 hours. Recent clinical experience suggests that some dogs may respond to lower doses of thyroid hormone supplementation. We are currently investigating whether dogs with hypothyroidism can be successfully treated using a lower dose of thyroid hormone and the best way to monitor this treatment.

ContactDr. Sean Hulsebosch at shulsebosch@ucdavis.edu 

Participation Requirements: Dogs diagnosed with hypothyroidism

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures: If you are willing to have your dog participate in this study, the following will happen:

  • You will need to administer one dose of thyroid hormone orally twice a day for a month.
  • A month after initiating treatment, you will need to bring your dog back to the VMTH to spend a 12-hour day in the hospital. During this time, we will be obtaining a blood sample upon arrival, and then multiple blood smaples through the day following administration of the thyroid hormone.
  • A new 30-day supply of thyroid hormone supplement will be dispensed. You will need to administer this dose twice a day for one month. The same blood sampling will be performed 30 days later as outlined above.

Benefits:  If you choose to enroll your dog, the study will cover the cost of all tests discussed above (thyroid panel, additional subsequent TSH and T4 levels for two months while enrolled in the study), and day case hospitalization. Upon completion of the study, a six month supply of thyroid hormone supplement at the appropriate dose for your dog will be dispensed to you and covered by the study.

Results from this study may help to improve assessment and treatment of hypothyroidism and allow for a customized dose adjustment thereby preventing unnecessary overdosing of medication.

Owner Responsibilities: If you allow your dog to participate in this study, you will be responsible for:

  • Giving oral thyroid supplementation at home twice daily (every 12 hour)
  • Bringing your dog in for the scheduled study visits
  • Covering the cost of the initial exam and any necessary lab work deemed necessary to determine if your dog is eligible

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Urinary Incontinence: Using a New Device for Treatment

Title: Use of radiofrequency urethral thermoplasty for the treatment of urinary incontinence

Purpose: Medical therapy using either phenylpropanolamine or synthetic estrogen, alone or in combination is currently considered first line medical therapy for urinary incontinence. While studies have shown that these medications are effective in some patients, both have potential side effects and life-long therapy is generally required. Various surgical treatment options have also been described for those dogs that do not respond to medical management or experience adverse effects from medications; however, these procedures are invasive, require considerable surgical skill to perform and are not always successful. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to test a new device, which uses heat to alter the structure of collagen in the wall of the urethra and thereby strengthen the wall and decrease leakage), to treat urinary incontinence in female dogs.

Contact: Dr. Bill Culp (wculp@ucdavis.edu), Dr. Carrie Palm (cpalm@ucdavis.eduor make an appointment by calling (530) 752-1393

Participation Requirements: Female dogs demonstrating signs of urinary incontinence

Initial Evaluation for Participation: To be performed by Dr. Palm or Dr. Culp

Procedures: 

  • Testing related to urinary incontinence, including bloodwork, abdominal ultrasound and possibly cystourethroscopy (camera evaluation of the urethra and urinary bladder)
  • Urethral procedure under general anesthesia once your dog is deemed a candidate

Benefits: The study will cover costs associated with anesthesia, the urethral procedure and hospitalization.

We hope that the data acquired in this study will allow us to advance the treatment of our canine patients.

Owner Responsibilities: This study requires 1-year time commitment, although future follow-up may be recommended. You will be responsible for covering costs associated with initial diagnostics including bloodwork, abdominal ultrasound and cystourethroscopy, keeping all scheduled appointments and follow-up visits, and filling out a urination diary throughout the study.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Fungal Infections (Aspergillus spp) in German Shepherds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, and Hungarian Vizslas

Title: Genetic analysis of the susceptibility to systemic Aspergillus infections in dogs

Purpose: Systemic fungal infections such as aspergillosis are rare in animals with a competent immune system; however, certain dog breeds (namely the German shepherd, Rhodesian ridgeback and Hungarian vizsla) are reported to have a higher risk of this uncommon disease. A genetic etiology is suspected to cause this over-representation. We propose to use a technique called genome-wide association analysis to evaluate the differences in the genetic material of affected dogs (dogs infected with Aspergillus spp.).

Contact: Dr. Jonathan Dear, DVM, DACVIM at jddear@ucdavis.edu

Participation Requirements:

  • German Shepherds with systemic Aspergillus spp. infections
  • Rhodesian Ridgebacks with systemic Aspergillus spp. infections
  • Hungarian Vizslas with systemic Aspergillus spp. infections

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures: The only procedure required is the collection and submission of a blood sample for DNA extraction. For more information about submitting samples, please contact Dr. Jonathan Dear (details above).

Benefits: Results from this study will hopefully lead to the development of DNA tests that would identify dogs at risk for developing systemic aspergillosis. These tests would help simplify the diagnosis of the disease by identifying at risk individuals and allow breeders to avoid producing affected dogs. Furthermore, if the genetic traits responsible for this disease in dogs are shared with human patients, precision medicine can be used to help develop targeted therapies to treat this life-threatening disease.

Owner Responsibilities: You or the referring veterinarian need to collect and submit a blood sample and medical records.

Printable Flyers

  • German Shepherds (PDF)
  • Vizslas (PDF)
  • Rhodesian Ridgebacks (PDF)

Neurology and Neurosurgery

NEW! Inflammatory Brain Disease: Assessing a Stem Cell Therapy

Title: Mesenchymal stem cells for treatment of canine inflammatory brain disease

Purpose: Inflammatory central nervous system disease is a severe inflammatory disease in dogs, which can cause severe disease in the brain and spinal cord, causing dogs to become very sick. None of the current treatments are ideal, predictable and without possible complications. In recent years, stem cells have shown some promise as a potential treatment option for chronic inflammatory diseases, therefore, the purpose of this study is to assess the efficacy of stem cell therapy on dogs with inflammatory brain disease.

Contact: Dr. Karen Vernau at kmvernau@ucdavis.edu

Participation Requirements: Dogs diagnosed with inflammatory brain disease

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures: If you choose to enroll your dog in the study, the following will happen as part of the study:

  • Chest xrays and abdominal ultrasound at the initial visit;
  • Collection of blood and urine before the treatment and at the 4 and 8 week recheck visits;
  • MRI of the brain and/or spinal cord while under anesthesia and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis performed at the initial visit, and the 4 and 8 week recheck visits;
  • Administration of stem cells either:
    • Intravenously at the initial visit and potentially at the 4 and 8 week visits (Group A); or,
    • Intravenously and directly injected into the spinal fluid at the initial visit and potentially at the 4 week and 8 week visits (Group B).
    • NOTE: Your dog will hospitalized for 1-3 days after every stem cells administration.

Benefits: The study will cover the costs for the blood work, urinalysis, chest xray, abdominal ultrasound, hospitalization, MRI, CSF analysis, stem cell administration, and visit fees. Additionally, the study will also pay up to $2500 for medical treatment to cover any adverse events that occurred as a result of participating in the study.

Participation in this trial will hopefully change the quality of life of your dog. If this study will prove to be beneficial, it will have important clinical applications for other dogs with the same condition. Moreover, it is possible that if proven beneficial, this treatment can be introduced to human medicine for similar indications.

Owner Responsibilities: If you allow your dog to participate in this study, you will be responsible for keeping all scheduled appointments and covering any costs beyond the $2500 credit towards medical treatment of adverse events.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

NEW! Spina Bifida: Assessing a Stem Cell Therapy

Title: Stem Cell-based Treatment of Spina Bifida in English Bulldogs

Purpose: Spina bifida (SB) occurs due to malformation of the spinal cord and/or vertebrae during pregnancy. It markedly affects the quality of a dog’s life. They have difficulties walking, or cannot walk at all, and are incontinent, predisposing them to repeated skin and urinary tract infections. As such, they do not make good pets for people and most often they are euthanized at a young age. The purpose of this study is to assess the efficacy of stem cell therapy for spina bifida in dogs and compare the effects of reparative surgery only to surgery plus gel matrix and surgery plus a gel matrix and stem cell therapy for these dogs.

Contact: Dr. Beverly K. Sturges via email (bksturges@ucdavis.edu) or phone (530-752-7545 or 530-752-1393)

Participation Requirements: Dogs with spina bifida that:

  • Are less than 9 weeks of age;
  • Have clinical signs compatible with spina bifida (including difficulty walking and/or incontinence);
  • Have radiographs taken to confirm the presence of spina bifida in the lower lumbar region; and,
  • Are deemed healthy in all other respects.

Initial Evaluation for Participation: To determine eligibility, we need to see a video of the puppy OR examine the puppy AND review radiographs of the lower lumbar region of the spine.

Procedures: If you choose to enroll your puppy in the study, the following will happen as part of the study:

  • A physical exam, baseline labwork (CBC, chemistry panel, urinalysis), gait analysis with video recording and assessment of his/her incontinence (diaper-free trials, urodynamic studies);
  • X-rays of vertebral column, an MRI and a spinal tap (collection of cerebral spinal fluid or CSF), multiple electrodiagnostic studies to evaluate the integrity of the nerves and muscles of the hindlimbs, tail, and bladder all while under anesthesia;
  • Surgery 2 to 5 days after the diagnostic tests to repair the spina bifida (SB) defect;
    • If your puppy is in group 1, he/she will only receive the surgery to repair the SB defect.
    • If your puppy is in group 2, he/she will also have gel matrix implanted into the SB defect before surgical closure.
    • If your puppy is in group 3, he/she will have gel matrix with transplanted stem cells implanted into the SB defect prior to surgical closure.
  • Repeat all the initial tests (physical exam, labwork, gait analysis with video recording, incontinence assessment, MRI, CSF, and electrodiagnostic studies) 6-8 weeks after the surgery; and,
  • Physical exam, labwork, gait analysis with video recording, and assessment of incontinence 6 months and again at 12 months after surgery.

Benefits: The study will cover costs for:

  • The surgical procedure and post-operative care for a routine recovery of up to 7 days, associated laboratory data, MRI, CSF collection and analysis, electrodiagnostic tests, gait and incontinence analysis;
  • All routine medications including anesthetic drugs, routine antibiotics, fluids, and routine supportive care;
  • Post-operative recheck examinations, including diagnostic studies as outlined; and,
  • Complications that are associated with the procedure up to a limitation of $1,000 and would include infections and/or inflammation (‘reactions’) to the implanted gel matrix or cells.

Participation in this trial will hopefully increase your dog’s ability to walk more normally and improve urinary and fecal incontinence.

Owner Responsibilities: If you allow your dog to participate in this study, you will be responsible for keeping all scheduled appointments and covering any costs extending beyond routine recovery from surgery and anything beyond the $1000 credit towards medical treatment of any adverse events.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

NEW! Epilepsy: Assessing a New Treatment

Title: Chronic Wireless Electrophysiology and Modulation in Epileptic Dogs

Purpose: Epileptic seizures can significantly alter the quality of your dog’s life, especially when they don’t respond well to classical treatment with anti-seizure medication. The purpose of this trial is to investigate the efficacy of a new device to determine when your dog is likely to have a seizure, thereby allowing us to treat pre-emptively.

Contact:

Participation Requirements:

  • Dogs with epilepsy:
    • Having at least 2 identifiable seizures per month (separated by at minimum 8 hours and maximum of 60 days) that are poorly controlled with any of the typical medications or treatment (e.g., anticonvulsant medications with or without diet or nutraceuticals interventions);
    • That have shown resistance to at least two anti-epileptic drugs with therapeutic blood levels;
    • Taking anti-epileptic drugs for the past 3 6 months prior to the study; and,
    • Otherwise medically normal and neurologically stable between seizures.
  • Not eligible: Dogs –
    • Having seizures because of another disease/condition (e.g., brain tumors, infections, immune-mediated disease or congenital malformation)
    • That have had previous brain surgery
    • With other systemic diseases that could influence brain function

Initial Evaluation for Participation: To determine eligibility, we need a detailed history of your dog’s seizure disorder and/or a log tracking your dog’s seizure activity for the past 6-12 months, routine laboratory tests recently performed (including complete blood count, serum biochemistry profile, and urinalysis), recent thoracic radiographs, a recent abdominal ultrasound, and a recent MRI of the brain.

Procedures: If the exams, tests, and procedures show that your dog can take part in the study, and you choose to enroll them, then the following will happen as part of the study:

  • A repeat MRI of your dog’s head
  • Brain surgery to implant electrodes
  • CT scan of your dog’s head after surgery to make sure the electrodes are in the right place
  • A surgery at the same time to implant a radio device under the skin near the shoulder blades
  • Recheck physical and neurological examinations and evaluation of device function every 2 months for up to 2 years

Benefits:

  • This study will cover the following costs:
  • The surgical procedure, post-operative care for a routine recovery of up to 5 days, associated laboratory data, MR/CT imaging associated with implant placement, CSF collection and analysis;
  • All implanted devices;
  • All routine medications including anesthetic drugs, routine antibiotics, anticonvulsants (in hospital), fluids, and routine supportive care. Post-operative recheck exam;
  • Regular maintenance recheck exams every 2 months for 2 years;
  • You will be provided with an estimate of the costs that are likely to be incurred during the treatment of your dog. If there are any significant changes to this estimate that arise during treatment, these will be discussed with you prior to proceeding with medical care of your dog; and,
  • Complications that are associated with the procedure up to a limitation of $5,000 (e.g., seizures and complications from seizures (such as brain swelling); infection around the implant).

Participation in this trial will help predict when you dog is going to have a seizure so we can treat pre-emptively and prevent the seizure, as well as use brain stimulation to try to treat your dog’s seizures. The number and severity of the seizures may be noticeably reduced while participating in the trial.

Owner Responsibilities: Participation in this clinical trial will last for up to 2 years maximum. If you allow your dog to participate in this study, you will be responsible for keeping all scheduled visits, learning to care for and maintain the implanted device, commiting to recharging of the ‘radio’ and transmission of data into storage, and covering the following costs:

  • Diagnostics, treatment, or increased costs of hospitalization for unrelated illness that may develop during the 2 year course of the study;
  • Veterinary care costs relating to treatment and hospitalization of chronic breakthrough seizure episodes, during the 2 year course of the study, unless it is likely to be related directly to the implanted device (infection or migration);
  • Costs of complications from the implanted device above $5,000; and,
  • Costs associated with rechecking, maintenance, or explanting of the device after the study is completed at 2 years.
  • NOTE: At the completion of the study (24 months), the implanted device will be removed. If you think it is helping your dog’s seizures and you would like to keep the device, it will be donated to you for the life of the device. However, ongoing recheck examinations will not be considered part of the study. Neither will the device be supported technically by the research personnel or grant money following the completion of the study. If you decide to keep the device after study completion, and it stops working, you will be responsible for paying for it’s removal. Conversely, it may be left in place but non-functional. If you do not want to keep the implanted device at the end of the study (i.e. at 2 years), it will be surgically removed, and paid for by the study.

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Brain Tumors: Assessing a New Drug Delivery System

Title: MPR nanoparticles to define brain tumor margins in canine primary brain tumors: Phase I pilot study

Purpose: This clinical trial is being done to investigate whether small particles called nanoporhphyrins can be used to better visualize tumors during surgery and potentially to see if they will be a useful method to deliver drugs into brain tumors for treatment.

ContactContact Lisa Winn (Neurology Scheduling Coordinator) at llwinn@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393 and follow the prompts for Neurology/Neurosurgery

Participation Requirements: Dogs provisionally diagnosed with a brain tumor

Procedures: If you agree to let your dog participate in this study, the following will happen:

  • Administration of nanoparticles approximately 12-36 hours, collection of blood and urine for analysis prior to surgery
  • Brain surgery to remove the tumor (standard therapy for brain tumors)
  • Blood collection 1-week post-administration of nanoparticles

Benefits: The study will provide up to $5,000 credit towards your dog’s treatment. 

We hope that this technique will help us to better visualize the tumor on MRI, allowing for better planning of the surgery. Information obtained from your dog's treatment may help to further develop this type of treatment for both dogs and humans and could improve the treatment in both species in the future.

Owner Responsibilities: If you allow your dog to participate in this study, you will be responsible for keeping all scheduled appointments, and covering the costs of your dog’s standard treatment during the clinical trial and any complications arising from that treatment or from the clinical trial procedures. 

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NEW! Intervertebral Disc Disease in Poodles: Understanding the Genetics

Title: Intervertebral Disc Disease in Poodles

Purpose: Some breeds of dogs are at an increased risk of type 1 Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), which is described by herniation of the calcified nucleus pulposus into the intervertebral column. Type 1 IVDD causes severe pain and neurological dysfunction and requires prompt corrective surgery. While a genetic cause for chondrodystrophy (CDDY) has recently been identified, not all chondrodystrophic dogs suffer an intervertebral herniation event in their lifetime, suggesting that there may be additional factors that increase risk for type 1 IVDD.

While CDDY is fixed in some breeds, such as Dachshunds and Beagles, CDDY is variable within poodles, making them ideal for studying IVDD. Studying IVDD in poodles could allow us to determine the relative risk for IVDD associated with 1 or 2 copies of CDDY, as well as determine any other factors which could contribute to increased risk of IVDD within the breed.

Contact: Kevin Batcher at klbatcher@ucdavis.edu

Participation Requirements: Any poodles that have received corrective surgery for IVDD

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures:  The only procedure required is the collection and submission of a blood sample for DNA extraction. Please contact Kevin Batcher for details.

Benefits: There are no direct benefits but results from this study could be very helpful to the breed.

Owner Responsibilities: If you decide to participate in this study, you (or your veterinarian) would be responsible for collecting and submiting a blood sample and necessary documentation (including consent form) to us.

Nutrition

Assessing Amino Acid Concentrations in the Urine of Healthy Dogs

Title: Amino Acid Concentrations in the Urine of Healthy Dogs

Purpose:  Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. We are trying to establish normal reference ranges for urinary amino acids in healthy dogs consuming dry, canned or commercial raw diets or home-prepared diets.

Contact:

Participation Requirements:

  • Healthy dogs consuming dry, canned or commercial raw diets or home-prepared diets
  • Ineligible:
    • Beagles and Greyhounds
    • Dogs consuming foreign or domestic jerky treats in the past 12 months

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Before your pet begins the study, you will need to complete the Feeding  History Form  asking about your pet and what they currently eat at home to find out if he/she qualifies to be in the study.

Procedures: You will need to complete a questionnaire about your dog and what your dog is currently eating at home, collect a small amount of urine (a minimal amount of 15 ml or 1 TB) in a clean cup we provide, and submit 2-3 photographs of the label of the diet you are currently feeding your dog.

Benefits: 

  • There is no cost to you to participate in this trial.
  • Results from this study may contribute to the development of a reference range for urinary amino acids in canine urine that will be used as part of a larger study to understand the severity and duration of urinary amino acid loss in dogs that develop acquired Fanconi syndrome.

Owner Responsibilities: If you wish to have your pet participate in this study, you will be responsible for completing the questionnaire to the best of your ability, collecting a small urine sample, taking 2-3 photographs of the label of your pet’s food and submitting those to the study investigators.

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Oncology

NEW! Advanced Stage Osteosarcoma and Melanoma: Evaluating a New Immunotherapy

Title: Inhaled IL-15 Immunotherapy for Treatment of Lung Metastases

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to determine the maximum tolerated dose and efficacy of an immunotherapy protocol against metastatic osteosarcoma or melanoma growing within the lungs.

Contact: The Oncology Clinical Trial Coordinators by completing this form or giving them a call at 530-752-0125 or 530-752-9759

Participation Requirements: Dogs diagnosed with osteosarcoma or melanoma that has spread to the lungs

Initial Evaluation for Participation:  To determine eligibility, your dog will need a physical exam, blood tests (including a complete blood count and serum chemistry panel), urinalysis, and chest x-rays. If the type of cancer is unknown, additional tests may be required in order to confirm the type of cancer before being allowed to take part in the study.

Procedures:  It is important to note that radiotherapy treatments are being done as part of the normal treatment of this disease. If your dog is enrolled in the study, the following will be done:

  • We will provide you with a nebulizer set to facilitate training for delivery of inhaled IL-15 at home.
  • If your dog tolerates nebulization and meets inclusion criteria, you will have the option to enroll your dog.  If you elect to enroll your dog, we will collect blood, get additional chest x-rays, and perform an ultrasound-guided fine needle aspirate of a lung mass while under sedation.
  • 3 days later, your pet will begin therapy with inhaled IL-15 twice daily for 14 days with the first session performed here at the VMTH.
  • Your dog will return once weekly during the first month for routine physical examinations and blood tests to ensure that they are tolerating the therapy well.
  • After completing the treatments, we will perform another fine needle aspirate and repeat blood tests.  Chest x-rays will be repeated monthly.  Sedation may be required to obtain chest x-rays.

Benefits: The study will provide you with the nebulizer and supplies. If adverse events occur while participating in this trial, the study sponsors will cover up to $2000 for medical treatment at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (the study cannot cover costs incurred at other clinics).

Owner Responsibilities: The study may last up to 14 weeks. You will be responsible for tests to determine eligibility and keeping all scheduled appointments. Once your pet has been determined as eligible the study will cover the cost of the appointment including, physical exams, thoracic radiographs, bloodwork (CBC and Chemistry) the IL-15, and anything specifically related to the trial. In the event of an adverse event that is directly related to the trial, the study will cover up to $2000 for medical treatment. The owner will be responsible for filling out several reporting forms to let us know how your pet has been doing at home and returning the nebulizer and leftover supplies at the end of treatment.

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Lung Tumors: Evaluating a New Contrast Delivery Device

Title: Biodistribution of Ultrasound- and CT-Guided Delivery of Contrast Agents to Canine Lung Tumors

Purpose of Study: Lung tumors are an important disease in dogs that require further investigation into diagnostic and therapeutic options. The purposes of this study are to assess: 1) the use of different dye injection devices and 2) the distribution of dye within a lung tumor after injection.

Contact: The Oncology Clinical Trial Coordinators by completing this form or giving them a call at 530-752-0125 or 530-752-9759

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Bloodwork (CBC, Chemistry Panel), chest x-rays, and thoracic ultrasound are needed to determine eligibility.

Participation Requirements: Dogs diagnosed with lung tumors

Procedures: As part of this study, your dog will receive the same diagnostic tests and care that any other dog with lung tumors presented to the UC Davis VMTH would receive. If you agree to enroll your dog in the trial, your dog will be randomly assigned to a particular device which will be used to inject dye into the lung tumor; additionally, your dog will undergo a contrast CT scan while under anesthesia. After the CT scan, your dog will be taken to surgery as per standard of care for lung tumors.

Benefits: The study will pay for the CT scan and associated anesthesia, all costs associated with the contrast agent and its delivery, the initial thoracic ultrasound, blood and urine collection and analyses, as well as provide a $2500 UC Davis VMTH credit that will go towards your dog’s surgery and up to $2000 towards medical treatment if your pet experiences adverse event(s) as a result of taking part in this study.

Owner Responsibilities: You will be responsible for keeping all scheduled appointments and covering costs associated with the diagnosis of your dog’s cancer prior to enrollment as well as any costs outside of the provided credits. Your dog’s participation ends after the CT scan has been completed.

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Oral Melanoma: Assessing a Treatment

Title: OMX-4.80 (Zox) a novel protein oxygen transporter and radiation sensitizer for dogs with oral melanoma

Purpose: One reason tumors can be resistant to radiation therapy because of low levels of oxygen in the tumors. Another reason is that low levels of oxygen leads to local immune suppression. We anticipate that the treatment will carry oxygen to the tumor and hopefully restore normal oxygen levels to the tumor and make it more responsive to treatment.

Contact: The Oncology Clinical Trial Coordinators by completing this form or giving them a call at 530-752-0125 or 530-752-9759

Participation Requirements: Dogs diagnosed with a biopsy confirmed melanoma

Initial Evaluation for Participation:  Prior to enrollment your dog must have a physical examination, a CBC, a Chemistry Panel and Chest X-rays to make sure they are eligible for the trial.

Procedures:  It is important to note that radiotherapy treatments are being done as part of the normal treatment of this disease. If your dog is enrolled in the study, the following will be done:

  • On Day 1, On Day 1, we will administer a drug to mark oxygen levels, collect and analyze blood, biopsy your dog’s tumor under anesthesia, and do a CT scan to plan for radiation therapy and administer the oxygen carrier.
  • On Day 2, we will administer another oxygen marker and biopsy of your dog's tumor under anesthesia.
  • On Day 4, we will take blood, anesthetize your dog for an additional biopsy and begin your dog’s radiation treatment which will be once a week for four weeks.
  • After the second radiation treatment, we will collect another biopsy.
  • We will collect blood after the third and fourth radiation therapy session (each one week apart as part of the normal course of treatment).
  • In the event of death, we would strongly encourage you to allow a necropsy to be performed so we can try to determine the cause of death.

Benefits: The study will cover costs associated with study drugs, drug administration, day hospitalizations for the study, the radiation planning CT scan and the associated anesthesia, blood work for the study, and biopsies.  Additionally, the study will also cover up to $2,000 in medical costs if there is an unanticipated side effect from the study and up to $2,000 credit onto your dog’s medical bill at the end of the study to be used for the cost of radiation therapy.

Results from this study may lead to an improvement of your dog’s response to treatments such as radiotherapy.

Owner Responsibilities: We expect that participation in this clinical trial will take 5 weeks and anticipate each visit taking 6-8 hours. If you decide to have your dog participate in the trial, you will be responsible for keeping each scheduled appointment, ensuring that your dog has not eaten food for at least 12 hours prior to any anesthetic procedure, and covering costs associated with the radiation therapy required to enter the study.

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Lymphoma: Assessing a New Treatment

Title: Evaluation of Fermented Wheat Germ Protein in Canine Lymphoma

Purpose of Study: Fermented wheat germ protein (FWGP) has been shown to be a potent immune modulator that could activate immune cells called Natural Killer (NK) cells. The purpose of this trial is to determine if FWGP promotes anti-cancer immunity and to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the FWGP product when administered orally in dogs with lymphoma.

Contact: The Oncology Clinical Trial Coordinators by completing this form or giving them a call at 530-752-0125 or 530-752-9759

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Prior to treatment, your dog will undergo a physical examination, routine blood tests, urinalysis, abdominal ultrasound, and a sample of the lymph node will be obtained (fine needle aspirate).

Participation Requirements: Dogs diagnosed with lymphoma

Procedures:

  • At Enrollment: We will do a physical exam, measure lymph node, will collect a blood sample, and send you home with FWGP capsules to be given daily by mouth until the completion of the study or unless directed otherwise by the veterinarian.
  • Days 7, 14, and 21: We will do a physical exam, collect a blood sample and measure tumor size.
  • Day 28: We will measure tumor size.
  • There will be re-evaluations every 14 days, which will involve a physical examination and tumor measurements, until Day 56.

Benefits: Upon enrollment, the study will cover the costs associated with appointments, blood tests, and FWGP capsules. In addition, the study will provide up to $1,000 to cover medical interventions from study-related adverse events, however, treatment of adverse events can only be covered at the UC Davis VMTH.

FWGP may help treat for your dog’s lymphoma. If the clinical trial is successful, there may be additional clinical trials for dogs (and possibly humans) in the future.

Owner Responsibilities: We expect that participation in this clinical trial will last for 56 days. During the study period, you are responsible for administering the FWGP daily at home, bringing your dog to all scheduled appointments, notifying the investigator or the oncology trials service if you suspect any adverse side effects, as well as covering any costs associated with disease progression and those exceeding $1,000 for study-related adverse events.

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Anal Sac Adenocarcinoma: Using New Technology to Assess Tumor Extent

Title: PET/CT for staging of canine apocrine gland anal sac adenocarcinoma

Purpose of Study: Apocrine gland anal sac adenocarcinoma is the most common malignant tumor of the anal sac in dogs. Currently, fine needle aspirates or histopathology with surgical removal of local lymph nodes is necessary to definitively diagnose tumor spread. Multiple imaging modalities have been used to evaluate for metastasis in anal sac adenocarcinoma, but no standardized approach has been established. The aim of this study is to determine whether the combination of CT and PET is is more accurate for identification of tumor as well as tumor spread than CT alone.

Contact: The Oncology Clinical Trial Coordinators by completing this form or giving them a call at 530-752-0125 or 530-752-9759

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Before your pet begins the study, your pet will need to have a physical examination, complete blood count, chemistry panel, and chest x-rays to find out if he/she can be in the study. This can be performed locally or with the VMTH.

Participation Requirements: Dog diagnosed with an anal sac adenocarcinoma with owners that are pursuing a computed tomography (CT) scan for either surgical or radiation planning

Procedures: If your dog has anal sac adenocarcinoma diagnosed in the anal sac or local lymph node and the baseline exam/diagnostics show that your pet can take part in the study, and you choose to enroll them, then the following will happen as part of the study:

  • A PET scan followed by a CT scan under anesthesia
  • Sampling (either by fine needle aspirate or submission of surgically removed tissues for histopathology) of abnormalities identified on the PET and/or CT scans when possible
    • NOTE: The CT scan for surgical or radiation planning purposes and sampling of abnormalities are standard for this cancer type.

Benefits: The study will cover costs of the CT and the PET scans as well as the associated anesthetic episode.

By participating in this trial your dog will have the most advanced imaging techniques used to assess local tumor extent and lymph node metastasis (spread). Benefits to other dogs include an improved knowledge of what information the combination of CT and PET scans can provide and potentially limit unnecessary sampling and/or removal of lymph nodes if CT and PET are found to be accurate predictors of metastasis. This could allow us to better guide medical care for your dog and future dogs affected with the same disease.

Owner Responsibilities: You are responsible for keeping all scheduled appointments, allowing your dog to stay overnight at the VMTH following the PET scan, and covering costs associated with the overnight stay, baseline diagnostics prior to enrollment including obtaining a diagnosis and any additional recommended diagnostics (such as lymph node fine needle aspirates) or therapy such as surgery, radiation, and/or systemic therapy as well as patient care as these costs are not a part of this study. If an adverse event does occur during the study, you will be responsible for covering those costs.

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Osteosarcoma: Using a Vaccine to Improve Efficacy of the Standard Treatment

Title: Evaluation of a recombinant, attenuated Listeria monocytogenes expressing a chimeric human HER2/neu protein in dogs in the adjuvant setting for osteosarcoma

Purpose of Study: Standard therapy for dogs diagnosed with osteosarcoma has long been amputation of the affected limb followed by chemotherapy to delay the spread of cancer. With this form of treatment, survival times of dogs diagnosed with osteosarcoma is on average about 10 to 12 months with little improvement in survival occurring over the past two decades. ADXS31-164c is a vaccine that is designed to cause the immune system to inhibit an important receptor that may aid in cancer progression known as HER2/neu. The purpose of this study is to determine if adding the vaccine ADXS31-164c into the treatment protocol for dogs with osteosarcoma will be safe and improve efficacy of current standard therapies for osteosarcoma in dogs.

Contact: The Oncology Clinical Trial Coordinators by completing this form or giving them a call at 530-752-0125 or 530-752-9759

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Blood and urine collection, chest x-rays, and abdominal ultrasound at UC Davis

Participation Requirements: Untreated dogs diagnosed with osteosarcoma in one of her/his legs (for more details, please discuss contact the clinical trial coordinators)

Procedures: Most of the exams, tests, and procedures your pet will have within the first 15 weeks of the trial are part of the usual approach for your dog’s treatment for osteosarcoma including blood collection, amputation of the affected limb and carboplatin chemotherapy given once every three weeks for 4 doses followed by monitoring using chest x-rays once every two months.

Beyond that, dogs will receive/need:

  • Vaccine administration (3 doses)
  • Blood and urine samples collected throughout the trial
  • Tumor collection at the time of amputation
  • Body temperature and heart rhythm monitoring in the hospital for 8 hours following each vaccine administration
  • Rectal temperature monitoring at home 12 hours after the vaccine’s administration and reassessment the following day

Benefits: Following amputation and carboplatin, the study will cover the cost of follow-up examination, diagnostics, and all study costs associated with the ADXS31-164c Vaccine Phase of the trial. If your dog experiences adverse events related to the vaccine, a total of $500 will be allotted toward coverage of required care at UC Davis.

Benefits of standard therapy include removal of the painful cancerous tumor in your dog’s bone and delay of spread of cancer by providing chemotherapy with carboplatin.

Owner Responsibilities: If you allow your dog to participate in this study, you will be responsible for having the limb amputated at UC Davis, bringing your dog to all required study appointments, recording their rectal temperature 12 hours after your pet receives each vaccine, reporting any side effects, and covering costs of the initial examination with the UC Davis Oncology Service, the screening diagnostic tests, which includes blood and urine collection and analysis, chest x-rays and abdominal ultrasound and amputation, the four doses of carboplatin (as well as the associated tests, which includes bloodwork and chest x-rays), any costs associated with management of side effects from the Standard Therapy Phase of this study (amputation and carboplatin chemotherapy).

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Liver Tumors: Using a New Technique to Shrink Tumors

Title: Prospective Evaluation of the Use of Transarterial Embolization in the Treatment of Liver Neoplasia

Purpose: When liver tumors in dogs cannot be removed with surgery, treatment options are limited or non-existent. In humans, one of the standard treatments for those cases is transarterial embolization (TAE), which eliminates the blood supply of the tumor and may decrease tumor size. Therefore, the objectives of this study are to 1) describe the procedure of TAE in a group of dogs with naturally-occurring liver cancer, and 2) evaluate the effect that liver TAE has on clinical signs and the size of the tumor.

Contact: Dr. Bill Culp (wculp@ucdavis.edu) or make an appointment by calling (530) 752-1393

Participation Requirements: Dogs diagnosed with liver cancer that has been determined to be non-removable or in a location with great surgical risk

Initial Evaluation for Participation: To be performed by Dr. Culp

Procedures: If you agree to have your dog participate in this study, the following procedures will occur:

  • An abdominal ultrasound scan
  • CT scan, PET scan and TAE while under anesthesia
  • A second ultrasound scan, CT scan and PET scan approximately 4 weeks post-TAE
  • Hospitalization for 1-2 days post treatment pending response to treatment
  • Completion of questionnaires

Benefits: The study will cover costs associated with the ultrasounds, CT scans, PET scans and anesthesia.

We hope that the data acquired in this study will allow us to advance the treatment of cancer in both pets and people.

Owner Responsibilities: If you allow your dog to participate in this study, you will be responsible for keeping all scheduled appointments, completing several questionnaires, and covering costs associated with the TAE procedure and any complications that may occur as part of that procedure.

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Prostate/Bladder/Urethra Tumors: Assessing the Outcome Associated with Urethral Stents and Utilizing New Techniques for Placement

Title: Prospective Evaluation of Outcome and the Use of Transrectal Ultrasound Associated with Urethral Stent Placement in Dogs with Lower Urinary Tract Neoplasia

Purpose of Study: Cancer resulting in obstruction of the lower urinary tract of dogs is most commonly found in the prostate, urinary bladder and urethra (tube responsible for draining urine out of the body). Unfortunately, cancer of the lower urinary tract often results in complete blockage of the urethra, causing a patient to be unable to pass urine. The inability to urinate is a life-threatening emergency.

The placement of urethral stents is generally performed with fluoroscopic-guidance (use of “real-time” x-rays). While fluoroscopy is useful for stent placement, there may be other techniques that could be considered. Traditionally, ultrasonographic assessment of tumor size and location has been performed by transabdominal ultrasound (where the ultrasound probe is placed on the abdominal wall to allow for visualization of organs within the abdomen), but this method can be inaccurate. The use of transrectal ultrasound (where an ultrasound probe is placed into the rectum) circumvents these previously discussed problems, and therefore, the purpose of this study is to evaluate this technique for efficacy.

Contact: Dr. Bill Culp at wculp@ucdavis.edu or make an appointment by calling (530) 752-1393

Participation Requirements: Dogs with a diagnosis of prostatic, bladder or urethral cancer and secondary urethral obstruction for whom a stent is being offered/recommended and believed to be clinically beneficial

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Consultation with Dr. Culp

Procedures:

  • Transrectal ultrasound (TRUS), fluoroscopy (real time “x-rays”) and urethral stent placement under anesthesia
  • Completion of questionnaires pre-stent placement, 2-weeks post-stent placement and 3-months post-stent placement to assess outcome

Benefits: The study will cover the fluoroscopy, ultrasound, and anesthesia.

Benefits of enrolling in this study include financial support for the ultrasound, stent placement and anesthesia. We hope that the data acquired in this study will allow us to advance the treatment of cancer in both pets and people.

Owner Responsibilities: You will be responsible for covering equipment costs associated with the urethral stent placement and any complications of the procedure, keeping all scheduled appointments and completing a questionnaire pre-stent placement, 2 weeks after stent placement and 3 months after stent placement.

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Oral Tumors: Optimizing the Identification of Tumor Spread To Lymph Nodes

Title: Preoperative sentinel lymph node mapping in dogs

Purpose of Study: Successful treatment of many cancers depends on the extent of disease present at the time of diagnosis, and on accurate detection of that disease. Some oral cancers commonly spread from the mouth to nearby lymph nodes. Lymph node metastasis, if present, can influence the prognosis and treatment recommendations made for a patient. Currently, however, our standard veterinary staging protocol (aspiration cytology of the geographically nearest lymph node) misses a diagnosis of lymph node metastasis in a concerning number of patients. Because lymphatic pathways and lymph nodes of the head are very complicated and the closest lymph node is not necessarily the most likely to show disease, it is possible to miss disease because we do not know which is the best lymph node to evaluate. Lymph node mapping, a technique to visualize the lymphatic drainage of tumors, is increasingly used to improve cancer staging and treatment protocols in the treatment of cancer in people. Mapping allows identification of the “sentinel lymph node,” or lymph node that is most likely to demonstrate evidence of metastatic disease. This lymph node can then be aspirated or surgically removed with the primary tumor to be evaluated microscopically for spread of cancer. This trial is being performed to optimize a method of sentinel lymph node mapping that can be accessible to a greater number of veterinary practitioners in an effort to improve the accuracy of cancer diagnoses and treatment recommendations we make for our veterinary patients, improving their quality of life and length of time with us following diagnosis with this cancer.

Contact: If you are interested in determining whether your dog is eligible for the trial, please schedule an appointment for evaluation with one of the participating clinical services by calling the Small Animal Clinic at (530) 752-1393 and following the prompts for either Soft Tissue Surgery, Dentistry and Oral Surgery or Oncology. For general questions not related to your own dog’s eligibility, please contact Dr. Steffey (530-752-3799, masteffey@ucdavis.edu).

Participation Requirements:

  • Dogs diagnosed with an oral tumor with owners that have elected to surgically remove the tumor.
  • Ineligible: Dogs with pre-existing, palpably very large lymph nodes

Initial Evaluation for Participation: If you choose to enroll your dog, your dog will receive two CT scans on separate days: the first done for standard diagnostic/surgical planning, and the second done immediately prior to surgery. Both CT scans will be performed with contrast while under general anesthesia.

Benefits: All costs associated with this study, including the second CT scan and the 1 hour of extra anesthesia time associated with each CT scans will be paid by the sponsor. Additionally, a financial benefit of $500 will be credited to your VMTH account after your dog completes the second CT scan on the day of his/her surgery.

Owner Responsibilities: If you allow your dog to participate in this study, you will be responsible for bringing your dog to the UC Davis VMTH for his/her scheduled appointments, covering costs associated with the standard diagnostic workup of your dog’s tumor, the first (diagnostic/surgical planning) CT scan, and standard costs associated with surgical removal of the oral tumor, and allowing him/her to be hospitalized for the required length of time pre- and postoperatively.

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Prostate Cancer: Assessing New Method to Identify Bacterial Infections in Male Dogs

Title: Use of prostatic aspirate culture to identify bacterial infection in dogs with prostatic neoplasia

Purpose: Urinary tract infections are known to be common in dogs with urinary tract cancer so regular urine cultures are recommended. Male dogs and dogs with prostatic cancer are known to be less likely to have positive urine cultures than females with cancer in their bladder or urethra. This may be because male dogs are less prone to infection or because the prostate contains an infection that is not also present in the urine or bladder. The purpose of this study is to determine whether it is possible to obtain useful bacterial culture samples from prostates in dogs with prostate cancer and to determine whether results of these cultures correlate with urine cultures collected directly from the bladder.

Contact: The Oncology Clinical Trial Coordinators by completing this form or giving them a call at 530-752-0125 or 530-752-9759

Participation Requirements: Dogs diagnosed with or is suspected to have prostate cancer

Initial Evaluation for Participation:  The cost of the initial exam to determine if your dog has presumed or confirmed prostatic neoplasia is your responsibility.

Procedures:  If you agree to let your dog participate in this study, the following will happen:

  • An ultrasound to locate your dog’s bladder and prostate
  • Insertion of a small needle to collect urine from the bladder and two small needles into his prostate to collect prostatic samples
  • Sedation may be used if deemed necessary by the veterinarian

Benefits: The sponsor will cover cost associated with sedation (including drugs), ultrasound-guided urine and prostatic sample collection, lab tests to analyze urine and prostatic samples, and a credit of $75 that will be taken off of your dog’s medical bill if you agree to have your dog participate in the trial.

Results from this study may lead to the detection of a bacterial infection that would not have been detected with urine culture alone. This trial may also help us understand whether dogs with prostate cancer should undergo regular prostate culture to look for these types of secondary infections.

Owner Responsibilities: If you allow your dog to participate in this study, you will be responsible for bringing your dog to the clinic for the study procedures. We expect that participation in this clinical trial will be complete within one day and take one hour or less to complete all study related procedures.

Brain Tumors: Assessing a New Drug Delivery System

Title: MPR nanoparticles to define brain tumor margins in canine primary brain tumors: Phase I pilot study

Purpose: This clinical trial is being done to investigate whether small particles called nanoporhphyrins can be used to better visualize tumors during surgery and potentially to see if they will be a useful method to deliver drugs into brain tumors for treatment.

ContactContact Lisa Winn (Neurology Scheduling Coordinator) at llwinn@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393

Participation Requirements: Dogs provisionally diagnosed with a brain tumor

Procedures: If you agree to let your dog participate in this study, the following will happen:

  • Administration of nanoparticles approximately 12-36 hours, collection of blood and urine for analysis prior to surgery
  • Brain surgery to remove the tumor (standard therapy for brain tumors)
  • Blood collection 1-week post-administration of nanoparticles

Benefits: The study will provide up to $5,000 credit towards your dog’s treatment. 

We hope that this technique will help us to better visualize the tumor on MRI, allowing for better planning of the surgery. Information obtained from your dog's treatment may help to further develop this type of treatment for both dogs and humans and could improve the treatment in both species in the future.

Owner Responsibilities: If you allow your dog to participate in this study, you will be responsible for keeping all scheduled appointments, and covering the costs of your dog’s standard treatment during the clinical trial and any complications arising from that treatment or from the clinical trial procedures. 

Nasal cancer: Using a Combination of Therapies for Treatment

Title: Nasal tumors: Intra-arterial Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy to Treat Nasal Carcinoma

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study is to prospectively evaluate the response of nasal cancer to a combination of therapies (chemotherapy and radiation therapy) in dogs.

Contact: Dr. Culp for details at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393

Participation Requirements: Dogs diagnosed with nasal tumors

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Contact Dr. Culp for details at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393.

Procedures: Dogs that are scheduled to receive radiation therapy for the treatment of nasal cancer can be enrolled in the study. Dogs will be placed into a group receiving radiation therapy alone or with chemotherapy.  Response to these treatments will be assessed with CT scans (done before and after treatment).

Benefits: The CT scans, chemotherapy administration, and part of the radiation therapy will be paid for by the study.

Owner Responsibilities: The owner will be responsible for providing follow-up information to the treating clinicians and returning the dog 4 weeks after initiation of radiation therapy for a second CT evaluation (the first is performed prior to treatment).

Prostate cancer: Assessing Blood/Urine

Title: Evaluation of miRNA Concentrations in Dogs with Prostate Neoplasia

Purpose of Study: Collection of blood and urine samples for research purposes may allow us to better understand the causes of cancer in pets and may lead to improvements in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of canine tumors.

Contact: Dr. Culp at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393

Participation Requirements:

  • Healthy dogs
  • Dogs diagnosed with prostate cancer with owners that have elected to do prostate embolization
  • Ineligible: Dogs with significant anemia (low red blood cells) or in patients that are dehydrated or have an impaired ability to clot their blood

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Contact Dr. Culp for details at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393.

Procedures:

  • For normal dogs, we will do a physical examination and collect blood and urine for evaluation.
  • For dogs with prostatic neoplasia, we will collect blood and urine before and then 1-2 days and 1 month after the prostatic artery embolization treatment.

Benefits: You will not be responsible for any costs associated with blood or urine sampling.

Participation in this trial will help us better understand cancer in pets through improvements in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer in pets.

Owner Responsibilities: If you agree to have your dog participate in this study, you will be responsible for keeping all scheduled appointments.

Ophthalmology

NEW! Retinal Degeneration: Understanding the Disease in Greyhounds

Title: Investigation of the progression, mechanics and genomics of Retinal Degeneration in Greyhound Dogs

Purpose of Study: This trial is being conducted to better characterize retinal degeneration syndrome in greyhounds with hopes of identifying the genetic components of this disease.

Contact: Dr. Sara Thomasy at smthomasy@ucdavis.edu or 530-752-6967

Participation Requirements: Greyhounds diagnosed with retinal degeneration

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures: If your dog is determined to be eligible and you choose to enroll him/her, then the following will be performed (some of the imaging may be performed under sedation if needed):

  • A routine opthalmic examination
    • Dilation of the eyes to examine the backs of the eyes Staining of the eye withfluorescin to look for corneal ulcers
  • Advanced diagnostic ocular imaging including spectral domain optical coherence tomography (non-contact imaging) and fundus photography
  • Blood collection for DNA analysis
  • Electroretinogram (ERG) to measure retinal function

Benefits: The study will cover all costs associated with the study and may pay up to $200 for medical treatment of adverse events incurred because of participation in this trial.

Your pet will benefit from the thorough ocular examination included in this trial. Results from this study will hopefully help us identify a gene associated with this disease in greyhounds.

Owner Responsibilities: If you choose to enroll your dog in the trial, you will be responsible for Comitting to at least one appointment, fasting your dog for procedures that may require sedation, keeping all scheduled appointments, monitoring the well-being of your dog at home, and reporting any changes or side effects.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Corneal Endothelial Dystrophy: Evaluating a New Surgical Technique and Drug Combination

Title: A new surgery, Descemetorhexis Without Endothelial Keratoplasty, and Topical Ripasudil for Corneal Endothelial Dystrophy in Dogs

Purpose of Study: Corneal endothelial dystrophy (CED) is a devastating disease that causes blindness and discomfort. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of a new surgical technique – Descemetorhexis Without Endothelial Keratoplasty (DWEK) – in combination with a new regenerative drug (ripasudil) to treat corneal endothelial dystrophy in dogs.

Contact: Monica Motta at mjmotta@ucdavis.edu or 530-752-6967

Participation Requirements: 

  • Dogs diagnosed with acute corneal endothelial dystrophy with focal edema
  • Ineligible: Dogs with severe cardiopulmonary or neurologic disease

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Prior to enrollment, a complete physical examination will be performed. A complete ophthalmic examination will be performed including a Schirmer Tear Test (STT) to assess tear production, Ultrasound pachymetry (USP) to measure corneal thickness and tonometry to measure intraocular pressure. Dogs may be sedated for the imaging procedures. Imaging parameters to follow sedation may be; external photography, digital slit lamp photography, Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography (FD-OCT), and in vivo confocal biomicroscopy (IVCM) scans of the anterior segment may be performed. Eyes will be dilated with topical tropicamide to examine the back of the eye, then the patient’s eyes will be stained with fluorescein to ensure no corneal ulcers developed following imaging and examination.

Procedures: If the exams, tests, and procedures show that your pet can take part in the study, and you choose to enroll them, then the following will be performed prior to and at 1, 3 and 6 weeks, and then 3, 6 and 12 months after surgery as part of the study:

  • A full ophthalmic examination including digital slit lamp photography, tear production measurement, eye pressure tests, eye dilation followed by ultrasonic pachymetry, fluorescein staining and digitally photography
  • Advanced ocular imaging while under sedation, including digital slit lamp biomicroscopy, spectral domain optical coherence tomography and confocal biomicroscopy
  • Blood collection and analysis
  • Corneal surgery in one eye while under anesthesia
  • Administration of topical ripasudil administration 4 times a day to both eyes for 1 year after surgery
  • Client questionnaires
  • Monitoring for any side effects for 6 months following discontinuation of ripasudil

Benefits: The study will cover the cost of the ophthalmic examination, ocular diagnostic testing, sedation, advanced ophthalmic imaging, blood collection, and medications, and offer to pay for medical treatment for injuries up to $1000 as long as the care is performed at UC Davis. In addition, you will receive a $1000 credit towards your dog’s pre-operative bloodwork, general anesthesia, corneal surgery, and hospitalization.

It is expected that this corneal surgery and the topical ripasudil will decrease the thickness of your dog’s cornea, improve vision and decrease the frequency of corneal ulcers that your dog has.

Owner Responsibilities: If you choose to enroll your dog in the trial, you will be responsible for:

  • Bringing your dog in for scheduled appointments
  • Covering costs of the diagnosis and anything beyond of the two above mentioned $1000 credits
  • Filling out questionnaires
  • Keeping a log book of when the medication was given
  • Giving multiple eye and oral medications several times a day for several weeks after surgery for 1 year
  • Monitoring the well-being of your dog at home and reporting any changes or side effects to us

You can choose to continue administering topical ripasudil after your dog completes the study but you will be responsible for the cost after the study ends.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Primary Glaucoma: Understanding the Genetics in American Cocker Spaniels

Title: Proteomics and genomics of primary glaucoma in the dog

Purpose of Study: Glaucoma is a disease that is a common cause of blindness worldwide in human and canine patients. We are interested in characterizing this disease better with hopes of identifying protein biomarkers or the genetic components of this disease.

Contact: Monica Motta at mjmotta@ucdavis.edu or 530-752-6967

Participation Requirements: 

  • Healthy American Cocker Spaniels that are at least 10 years old with normal eyes
  • American Cocker Spaniels diagnosed with primary glaucoma

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures:

  • Limited Diagnostic Testing
    • A full ophthalmic examination
    • An eye pressure test prior to and after dilation
    • Dilation of the eyes to examine the back of the eyes
    • Corneal thickness measurements via ultrasonic pachymetry
    • Fluorescein staining to assess for corneal ulcers
    • Digital photographs of the eye
    • Gonioscopy to assess the drainage angles in the eye
    • Non-invasive A-Scan/B-Scan to determine the length of the ocular globe
    • Blood collection for genetic analysis
  • Advanced Diagnostic Imaging
    • If required, advanced ocular imaging, including digital slit lamp photography, spectral domain optical coherence tomography (non-contact imaging), ultrasound biomicroscopy and fundus photography to image the retina
    • Sedation may be required for some of the advanced diagnostic testing procedures.

Benefits: The study will cover cost associated with the ophthalmic examination, ocular diagnostic testing, sedation, advanced ophthalmic imaging and blood collection. In addition, the study will cover costs of any complications from the ophthalmic examination, diagnostic testing, gonioscopy, sedation, or blood sampling will be covered by the study up to $200.

Results from this study may lead to our improved ability to better predict the onset and progression of this disease. If a gene or effect through diagnostics that causes this disease is found, then we may be able to develop a genetic test or future diagnostic tests to know identify which dogs have or do not have this disease.

Owner Responsibilities: Although we expect to gain the majority of information from your dog in a single visit, we may want to do additional tests if your dog has a glaucomatous attack. We anticipate a maximum of 4 visits over a 2-year period for your dog. You will be responsible for filling out a questionnaire and survey regarding your dog’s history, monitoring the well-being of your dog at home and report any changes or side effects to us, and withhold food from your dog the morning prior to the appointment so that your dog can be sedated for advanced ocular examination. You will also be responsible for covering any costs (beyond $200) related to complications, diagnostic testing, gonioscopy, sedation or blood sampling.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Article (HTML)

Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome (SARDS): Understanding the Disease

Title: Proteomics and genomics of canine sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome

Purpose of Study: Sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome (SARDS) is a common cause of permanent blindness in dogs. Dogs usually present with rapid onset of blindness with no obvious abnormalities in the retina; however, the underlying cause for SARDS is unknown and no treatment exists. We are interested in characterizing this disease better with hopes of identifying protein biomarkers and/or the genetic components of this disease.

Contact: Monica Motta at mjmotta@ucdavis.edu or 530-752-6967

Participation Requirements:

  • Dogs diagnosed with Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome (SARDS)
  • Dogs with healthy retinas

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures:

  • Routine ophthalmic examination
    • Dilation of the eyes to examine the back of the eyes
    • Staining of the eye with fluorescein to assess for corneal ulcers
  • Digital photography of the eye (fundus photography)
  • Blood collection for DNA analysis and serum storage
  • Electroretinogram (ERG) to measure retinal function

Benefits: Costs of any complications from the ophthalmic examination, diagnostic testing, ERG, sedation, or blood sampling will be covered by the study up to $200.

Results from this study will hopefully lead to a better ability to predict the onset and progression of this disease. If a gene that causes this disease is found, then we may be able to develop a genetic test to know which dogs have or do not have this disease.

Owner Responsibilities: You will be responsible for the cost of the ophthalmic exam and all diagnostic tests performed.

For most dogs, we expect that participation in this clinical trial will last for one visit for the ophthalmic exam, diagnostic testing and blood collection. However, we may ask you to come back for repeated blood sampling. We will also ask you to fill out a questionnaire regarding your dog’s history.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Corneal Endothelial Dystrophy: Understanding the Disease in Boston Terriers, German Shorthaired Pointers and German Wirehaired Pointers

Title: Phenotype and Genotype of Corneal Endothelial Dystrophy in Boston Terriers, German Shorthaired Pointers and German Wirehaired Pointers

Purpose of Study: Corneal endothelial dystrophy (CED) is a devastating disease in dogs that can result in blindness and severe ocular pain from secondary complications. The endothelial cells comprise the most inner aspect of the cornea and are responsible for maintaining a proper fluid balance. This function is critical to ensuring that the cornea remains transparent for vision. In many animals, including dogs, corneal endothelial cells have a very limited capacity to regenerate following injury. In canine patients with CED, the endothelial cells degenerate until the cells still remaining can no longer function properly. This results in swelling of the cornea (edema) which results in decreased vision as well as formation of small fluid-filled blisters (bullae) on the cornea which can rupture and cause ocular discomfort. There are palliative treatments such as hypertonic saline to decrease corneal bullae formation but the only definitive treatment for this condition is a corneal transplant (penetrating keratoplasty). Unfortunately, corneal transplants are rarely performed in canine patients with CED due to the expense of the surgery and follow-up care, relatively high risk of complications, and lack of appropriate donor tissue.

Several dog breeds, including Boston Terriers, German Shorthaired Pointers and German Wirehaired Pointers, are seen more commonly for CED in comparison to other breeds. This observation suggests that this disease may have a genetic component. A similar condition called Fuch’s endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD) exists in humans and several genes associated with FECD have been identified. We propose to identify the region of the dog genome associated with CED in Boston Terriers, German Shorthaired Pointers and German Wirehaired Pointers. In order to do this, we will perform thorough eye examinations and use non-invasive advanced imaging techniques to examine Boston Terriers, German Shorthaired Pointers and German Wirehaired Pointers with CED and age-matched control dogs. We will collect blood from these dogs to obtain DNA. The entire canine genome will be evaluated for an association with CED. This work will be used to identify the gene(s) responsible for this condition in Boston Terriers, German Shorthaired Pointers and German Wirehaired Pointers. The ultimate goal will be to develop a genetic test for CED in Boston Terriers, German Shorthaired Pointers and German Wirehaired Pointers and possibly other breeds, such as Chihuahuas and Dachshunds, with an increased risk of CED.

Contact: Monica Motta at mjmotta@ucdavis.edu or 530-752-6967

Participation Requirements:

  • Boston Terriers, German Shorthaired Pointers and German Wirehaired Pointers with Corneal Endothelial Dystrophy
  • Healthy Boston Terriers, German Shorthaired Pointers and German Wirehaired Pointers (>7 years of age)

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Dogs must receive a diagnosis by a veterinary ophthalmologist for corneal endothelial dystrophy.

Procedures:

  • Blood collection for DNA analysis
  • Ophthalmic examination, including digital slit lamp biomicroscopy, Schirmer tear test followed by dilation and staining of the eye wtih fluroescein and digital photography
  • Noninvasive advanced corneal imaging with ultrasonic pachymetry, confocal biomicroscopy and spectral domain-optical coherence tomography (all of which will require sedation)

Benefits: Benefits include an ophthalmic examination at no cost with thorough characterization of disease to aid in monitoring for progression.

Owner Responsibilities: No ophthalmic medications can be administered 48 h prior to examination. Food cannot be given in the morning in preparation for sedation.

Printable Flyer for Boston Terriers (PDF)
Printable Flyer for German Shorthaired and Wirehaired Pointers (PDF)

Publications: Thomasy, S.M., Cortes, D.E., Hoehn, A.L., Calderon, A.C., Li, J.Y., & Murphy, C.J. (2016). In Vivo Imaging of Corneal Endothelial Dystrophy in Boston Terriers: A Spontaneous, Canine Model for Fuchs' Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 57(9): 495-503. (DOI:10.1167/iovs.15-18885)

 

Dry Eye Syndrome (Keratoconjunctivitis sicca): Understanding the Genetics in West Highland White Terriers

Title: The Genetics of Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca in West Highland White Terriers

Purpose of Study: Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) or dry eye is a devastating disease that causes ocular pain and potentially blindness. It is seen more frequently in West Highland White Terriers in comparison to many other breeds. We are interested identifying the genetic components of this disease as well as characterizing this disease better with examination and testing of the tear film and ocular surface and in select patients using advanced imaging techniques.

Contact: Monica Motta at mjmotta@ucdavis.edu or 530-752-6967

Participation Requirements:

  • West Highland White Terriers with Dry Eye Syndrome (affected); or,
  • West Highland White Terriers >7 years of age with no ocular abnormalities (control)

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Affected patients must receive a diagnosis by a veterinary ophthalmologist for dry eye. Dogs without ocular disease (controls) require no prior initial examination.

Procedures:

  • Routine ophthalmic examination and tear film tests
  • Blood collection for DNA analysis
  • Tears will be collected from the conjunctival sac using a blunt-tip needle attached to a syringe from both eyes. Tear collection will be performed at a separate time from the initial ophthalmic examination and tests.
  • Conjunctival biopsy: Two (2) minutes after regional anesthesia is applied, a small (approximately 5 mm x 2 mm) piece of conjunctiva will be removed from inside the lower eyelid.
  • Select patients only:
    • Advanced imaging: Spectral domain optical coherence tomography (non-contact imaging) and confocal biomicroscopy (imaging in which a gel on the instrument contacts the cornea) will also be performed to carefully image the cornea along with digital slit lamp photography.
    • Sedation for advanced imaging: In order to keep dogs relaxed and comfortable but awake for the advanced imaging, your dog will be given a mild sedative. The sedation chosen for your pet will depend on your dog’s age and health status.

Benefits: There will be no cost to you for your participation in this study and your dog will receive a very thorough eye examination at no charge. If a corneal ulcer occurs at the time of evaluation, the cost of medications, recheck examinations, and procedures (e.g., cotton-tipped applicator or Diamond burr debridement, grid keratotomy) will be performed at no cost to you if they are performed at UC Davis. If a surgical procedure is required, you will receive $200 of compensation towards the procedure if it is performed at UC Davis. If your dog has KCS, you will be compensated for taking part in this study with 2 months worth of immunosuppressive medication (e.g., cyclosporine/tacrolimulus) ointment or drops. The study will also cover the costs of any complications from the sedation, blood sampling or imaging up to $200.

Results from this study will allow us to better predict the onset and progression of this disease. If a gene that causes this disease is found, then we may be able to develop a genetic test to know which dogs have or do not have this disease.

Owner Responsibilities: Although there is no cost to participate in the study, you will need to cover any costs due to complications from sedation, blood sampling, or examination (including corneal ulceration) beyond $200. Additionally, please do not administer any medications to treat your dog’s dry eye for one week prior to the appointment other than the lubricant provided to you. If your dog is participating in the advanced imaging, please do not feed your dog the morning of the appointment (water is fine), as the sedation administered can cause vomiting.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Nasolacrimal Apparatus Blockage: A multidisciplinary, minimally invasive treatment

Title: Stenting as a Treatment for Nasolacrimal Apparatus Obstruction

Purpose of Study: Tears from the ocular surface are drained from the eye through several important structures collectively known as the nasolacrimal apparatus (NLA). This frequently becomes blocked and sometimes infected leading to discomfort, tear staining, eye discharge, and skin inflammation, all of which are associated with a decreased quality of life. Clinically, NLA obstructions can be very frustrating to treat and can often lead to permanent obstruction.

We have established a team at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital consisting of specialists with expertise in Ophthalmology, Internal Medicine, Endoscopy, Diagnostic Imaging, and Interventional Radiology and have utilized fluoroscopy to successfully treat NLA obstruction in dogs. We have utilized fluoroscopy, CT, and endoscopy and capitalized on improvements in instrumentation and minimally invasive techniques developed for catheterization of other challenging locations such as the ureters to successfully treat NLA obstruction.

Based upon the success of this initial pilot study, we have initiated a clinical trial to recruit and treat more cases and to evaluate more objective outcome measures.

Contact: Please call 530-752-3937 to schedule your initial visit to the UC Davis Veterinary Ophthalmology Service.

Participation Requirements: Dogs demonstrating signs of nasolacrimal apparatus (NLA) blockage

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None

Procedures: After an initial examination at the UCD VMTH to ensure the patient meets study entry criteria, owners will provide informed consent and complete a questionnaire concerning their dog’s signs. Patients will then undergo initial testing including CT scanning of the NLA, and NLA stenting using endoscopy and fluoroscopy. The stent will be left in position for at least 6 weeks. After stent removal, similar testing including CT scanning will again be performed, and owners will repeat the same questionnaire. Diagnostic test results from before and after stenting will be compared. Some financial subsidization of case management costs is available through the clinical trial.

Benefits: The study will subsidize costs associated with the second CT scan. Based upon results from the 6 patients in the pilot study, it is possible but not assured that your pet will have reduction or resolution of signs associated with NLA obstruction. Information acquired during this study will allow us to advance the treatment for NLA blockage for veterinary patients worldwide.

Owner Responsibilities: You will be responsible for all costs except those associated with the repeat CT scan following stent removal. Additionally, you will need to bring your dog to the VMTH for all scheduled appointments including a follow-up visit at least 6-8 weeks after the procedure. Lastly, you will be required to complete questionnaires prior to and after the NLA stenting procedure.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Orthopedic Surgery

Elbow Dysplasia: Assessing a New Diagnostic Tool

Title: A novel micro-invasive needle arthroscopy system for the diagnosis of elbow dysplasia in dogs

Purpose of Study: Elbow dysplasia is the most common cause of pain and lameness in young large breed dogs. Because elbow dysplasia is such a devastating disease, it is essential that clinicians accurately identify and diagnose the different lesions in the joint to make appropriate decisions about how best to treat elbow dysplasia and predict surgical outcome. Currently, the gold standard for diagnosis is arthroscopy; however, this technique requires general anesthesia and is an invasive procedure. A new micro-invasive needle arthroscopic system has recently became available for human patients to diagnose rotator cuff injuries and ACL tears as an outpatient procedure. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to evaluate the use of a micro-invasive arthroscope system for the diagnosis of elbow dysplasia in dogs.

Contact:

Participation Requirements: Dogs with front limb lameness associated with the elbow joint. The source of lameness must be confirmed by an orthopedic surgeon at UC Davis and scheduled for treatment of elbow dysplasia at UC Davis.

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Lameness evaluation by an orthopedic surgeon at UC Davis

Procedures: While under sedation, a needle arthroscope (camera) will be inserted into your dog’s elbow joint (needle arthroscopy) and images will be acquired. This procedure will occur prior to the previously scheduled anesthesia for traditional arthroscopy and treatment of elbow dysplasia.

Benefits: The study will cover your orthopedic examination fee and the needle arthroscopy procedure. Your dog’s elbow will be examined two times with two different cameras which could reduce the possibility of missing lesions. You will have detailed documentation of the lesions in the joint in two different techniques (needle and traditional arthroscopy). If needle arthroscopy accurately identifies lesions in the elbow joint, this technique could be used as an outpatient procedure to re-evaluate the elbow joint after treatment and possibly improve treatment and better surgical outcomes for dogs with elbow dysplasia in the future.

Owner Responsibilities: You will be responsible for all cost associated with standard elbow arthroscopy, including but not limited, to anesthesia, arthroscopy, imaging, medications and hospitalization.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Soft Tissue Surgery

Lung Tumors: Evaluating a New Contrast Delivery Device

Title: Biodistribution of Ultrasound- and CT-Guided Delivery of Contrast Agents to Canine Lung Tumors

Purpose of Study: Lung tumors are an important disease in dogs that require further investigation into diagnostic and therapeutic options. The purposes of this study are to assess: 1) the use of different dye injection devices and 2) the distribution of dye within a lung tumor after injection.

Contact: The Oncology Clinical Trial Coordinators by completing this form or giving them a call at 530-752-0125 or 530-752-9759

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Bloodwork (CBC, Chemistry Panel), chest x-rays, and thoracic ultrasound are needed to determine eligibility.

Participation Requirements: Dogs diagnosed with lung tumors

Procedures: As part of this study, your dog will receive the same diagnostic tests and care that any other dog with lung tumors presented to the UC Davis VMTH would receive. If you agree to enroll your dog in the trial, your dog will be randomly assigned to a particular device which will be used to inject dye into the lung tumor; additionally, your dog will undergo a contrast CT scan while under anesthesia. After the CT scan, your dog will be taken to surgery as per standard of care for lung tumors.

Benefits: The study will pay for the CT scan and associated anesthesia, all costs associated with the contrast agent and its delivery, the initial thoracic ultrasound, blood and urine collection and analyses, as well as provide a $2500 UC Davis VMTH credit that will go towards your dog’s surgery and up to $2000 towards medical treatment if your pet experiences adverse event(s) as a result of taking part in this study.

Owner Responsibilities: You will be responsible for keeping all scheduled appointments and covering costs associated with the diagnosis of your dog’s cancer prior to enrollment as well as any costs outside of the provided credits. Your dog’s participation ends after the CT scan has been completed.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Hiatal Hernias: Assessing a Minimally-Invasive Surgical Treatment

Title: Prospective evaluation of laparoscopic treatment for hiatal herniation in dogs

Purpose: Hiatal herniation (HH) and gastroesophageal reflux (GER) can lead to clinical signs including regurgitation, esophageal stricture formation, and aspiration pneumonia, which can all have significant detrimental effects on quality of life. The purpose of this study is to evaluate laparoscopic surgery for treatment of dogs with these conditions and assess how it affects the severity or clinical signs of GER and/or HH.

Contact: Dr. Philipp Mayhew (philmayhew@gmail.com) or make an appointment with Soft Tissue Surgery by calling (530) 752-1393

Participation Requirements: Dogs with clinically significant and diagnosed gastroesophageal reflux (GER) and/or hiatal herniation (HH)

Initial Evaluation for Participation: To enter the study dogs will undergo a physical examination and barium esophagram to diagnose GER and/or HH.

Procedures: If you agree to let your dog participate in this study, the following will happen:

  • Day 1: Imaging your dog using a fluoroscope (dynamic x-ray machine) after he/she swallows water and food boluses (barium esophagram)
  • Day 2: Placement of an Endoflip catheter to inflate a very low pressure balloon within the lower esophagus while under anesthesia
  • Day 60-90 (after surgery): Repeat of barium esophagram
  • Owners will need to complete a brief questionnaire on Days 1 and 60-90.

Benefits: The study will pay for all of the diagnostic tests and procedures associated with the study, including the fluoroscopy and endoscopic studies, Endoflip measurements, and the examination fee for the second visit (at 60-90 days post-operatively).

Results from this trial will hopefully allow us to better understand the presence or absence of hiatal herniation in your dog, which may help in the long-term management of this component of your dog’s clinical signs, and potentially that of other dogs with similar conditions in the future.

Owner Responsibilities: We expect that participation in this clinical trial will last for 60-90 days. If you allow your dog to participate in this study, you will be responsible for keeping all scheduled appointments and completing the owner questionnaires.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Chylothorax: Assessing a New Treatment

Title: Treatment of chylothorax in dogs

Purpose: The traditional combination of thoracic duct ligation and pericardectomy has been performed for many years. However, without good evidence of pericardial disease, the pericardectomy may not be necessary. This study aims to assess the effectiveness of doing a complete thoracic duct ligation alone in resolving chyle accumulation and provide a better understanding of the physiological response to thoracic duct ligation in dogs with idiopathic chylothorax.

Contact: Dr. Philipp Mayhew (philmayhew@gmail.com) or make an appointment with Soft Tissue Surgery by calling (530) 752-1393

Participation Requirements:

  • Inclusion Criteria: Dogs diagnosed with idiopathic chylothorax
  • Exclusion Criteria: Dogs that have been diagnosed with any significant degree of pericardial disease or other underlying etiologies (non-idiopathic chylothorax)

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Prior to being accepted into the study, patients will have to have undergone a thorough diagnostic assessment to rule out underlying causes and confirm a diagnosis of idiopathic chylothorax (IC), which must include a complete blood count and biochemistry screen completed within a month from the date of surgery. Triglyceride levels assayed in the serum and in the pleural effusion must confirm the diagnosis of IC and a heart worm antigen test must be negative. Patients must also have undergone thoracic radiographs and abdominal ultrasonography.

Procedures: 

  • A computed tomography (CT) study under anesthesia to assess your dog’s lymphatic anatomy and then cardiac catheterization procedure and echocardiogram to rule out significant pericardial disease
  • If no significant pericardial disease is present, your dog will be enrolled in the study.
    • On the following day: Complete thoracic duct ligation, near-infrared fluorescence imaging and a second CT study under anesthesia to confirm complete occlusion of all thoracic duct chyle flow
    • Follow-up visits:
      • Three to 6-months post-surgery for a follow-up CT study
      • Nine months to 1-year post-surgery for chest x-rays

Benefits: The study will cover costs for some of the diagnostic tests and a portion of the surgical procedure, including the echocardiogram, near-infrared intraoperative imaging, cardiac catheterization procedures, all CT studies, hospitalization for the second visit to the hospital, and the anesthesia fees at the second visit (at 3-6 months post-operatively). Additionally, the study will provide a $1000 credit towards the cost of the surgical procedures.

Results from this study will provide us with a better understanding of your dog’s lymphatic anatomy and disease state, aid in longer-term management of this component of his or her clinical signs, and may influence treatment of other dogs with chylothorax in the future.

Owner Responsibilities: If you allow your dog to participate in this study, you will be responsible for bringing the dog to the VMTH for all study-related visits. Additionally, you will need to cover any costs related to complications and some of the costs associated with the surgical procedure (e.g., surgical procedure and related fees, anesthesia for surgery, ICU fees and hospitalization fees associated with the first visit).

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Liver Tumors: Using a New Technique to Shrink Tumors

Title: Prospective Evaluation of the Use of Transarterial Embolization in the Treatment of Liver Neoplasia

Purpose: When liver tumors in dogs cannot be removed with surgery, treatment options are limited or non-existent. In humans, one of the standard treatments for those cases is transarterial embolization (TAE), which eliminates the blood supply of the tumor and may decrease tumor size. Therefore, the objectives of this study are to 1) describe the procedure of TAE in a group of dogs with naturally-occurring liver cancer, and 2) evaluate the effect that liver TAE has on clinical signs and the size of the tumor.

Contact: Dr. Bill Culp (wculp@ucdavis.edu) or make an appointment by calling (530) 752-1393

Participation Requirements: Dogs diagnosed with liver cancer that has been determined to be non-removable or in a location with great surgical risk

Initial Evaluation for Participation: To be performed by Dr. Culp

Procedures: If you agree to have your dog participate in this study, the following procedures will occur:

  • An abdominal ultrasound scan
  • CT scan, PET scan and TAE while under anesthesia
  • A second ultrasound scan, CT scan and PET scan approximately 4 weeks post-TAE
  • Hospitalization for 1-2 days post treatment pending response to treatment
  • Completion of questionnaires

Benefits: The study will cover costs associated with the ultrasounds, CT scans, PET scans and anesthesia.

We hope that the data acquired in this study will allow us to advance the treatment of cancer in both pets and people.

Owner Responsibilities: If you allow your dog to participate in this study, you will be responsible for keeping all scheduled appointments, completing several questionnaires, and covering costs associated with the TAE procedure and any complications that may occur as part of that procedure.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Urinary Incontinence: Using a New Device for Treatment

Title: Use of radiofrequency urethral thermoplasty for the treatment of urinary incontinence

Purpose: Medical therapy using either phenylpropanolamine or synthetic estrogen, alone or in combination is currently considered first line medical therapy for urinary incontinence. While studies have shown that these medications are effective in some patients, both have potential side effects and life-long therapy is generally required. Various surgical treatment options have also been described for those dogs that do not respond to medical management or experience adverse effects from medications; however, these procedures are invasive, require considerable surgical skill to perform and are not always successful. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to test a new device, which uses heat to alter the structure of collagen in the wall of the urethra and thereby strengthen the wall and decrease leakage), to treat urinary incontinence in female dogs.

Contact: Dr. Bill Culp (wculp@ucdavis.edu), Dr. Carrie Palm (cpalm@ucdavis.eduor make an appointment by calling (530) 752-1393

Participation Requirements: Female dogs demonstrating signs of urinary incontinence

Initial Evaluation for Participation: To be performed by Dr. Palm or Dr. Culp

Procedures: 

  • Testing related to urinary incontinence, including bloodwork, abdominal ultrasound and possibly cystourethroscopy (camera evaluation of the urethra and urinary bladder)
  • Urethral procedure under general anesthesia once your dog is deemed a candidate

Benefits: The study will cover costs associated with anesthesia, the urethral procedure and hospitalization.

We hope that the data acquired in this study will allow us to advance the treatment of our canine patients.

Owner Responsibilities: This study requires 1-year time commitment, although future follow-up may be recommended. You will be responsible for covering costs associated with initial diagnostics including bloodwork, abdominal ultrasound and cystourethroscopy, keeping all scheduled appointments and follow-up visits, and filling out a urination diary throughout the study.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Prostate/Bladder/Urethra Tumors: Assessing the Outcome Associated with Urethral Stents and Utilizing New Techniques for Placement

Title: Prospective Evaluation of Outcome and the Use of Transrectal Ultrasound Associated with Urethral Stent Placement in Dogs with Lower Urinary Tract Neoplasia

Purpose of Study: Cancer resulting in obstruction of the lower urinary tract of dogs is most commonly found in the prostate, urinary bladder and urethra (tube responsible for draining urine out of the body). Unfortunately, cancer of the lower urinary tract often results in complete blockage of the urethra, causing a patient to be unable to pass urine. The inability to urinate is a life-threatening emergency.

The placement of urethral stents is generally performed with fluoroscopic-guidance (use of “real-time” x-rays). While fluoroscopy is useful for stent placement, there may be other techniques that could be considered. Traditionally, ultrasonographic assessment of tumor size and location has been performed by transabdominal ultrasound (where the ultrasound probe is placed on the abdominal wall to allow for visualization of organs within the abdomen), but this method can be inaccurate. The use of transrectal ultrasound (where an ultrasound probe is placed into the rectum) circumvents these previously discussed problems, and therefore, the purpose of this study is to evaluate this technique for efficacy.

Contact: Contact Dr. Culp at wculp@ucdavis.edu or make an appointment by calling (530) 752-1393

Participation Requirements: Dogs with a diagnosis of prostatic, bladder or urethral cancer and secondary urethral obstruction for whom a stent is being offered/recommended and believed to be clinically beneficial

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Consultation with Dr. Culp

Procedures:

  • Transrectal ultrasound (TRUS), fluoroscopy (real time “x-rays”) and urethral stent placement under anesthesia
  • Completion of questionnaires pre-stent placement, 2-weeks post-stent placement and 3-months post-stent placement to assess outcome

Benefits: The study will cover the fluoroscopy, ultrasound, and anesthesia.

Benefits of enrolling in this study include financial support for the ultrasound, stent placement and anesthesia. We hope that the data acquired in this study will allow us to advance the treatment of cancer in both pets and people.

Owner Responsibilities: You will be responsible for covering equipment costs associated with the urethral stent placement and any complications of the procedure, keeping all scheduled appointments and completing a questionnaire pre-stent placement, 2 weeks after stent placement and 3 months after stent placement.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Oral Tumors: Optimizing the Identification of Tumor Spread To Lymph Nodes

Title: Preoperative sentinel lymph node mapping in dogs

Purpose of Study: Successful treatment of many cancers depends on the extent of disease present at the time of diagnosis, and on accurate detection of that disease. Some oral cancers commonly spread from the mouth to nearby lymph nodes. Lymph node metastasis, if present, can influence the prognosis and treatment recommendations made for a patient. Currently, however, our standard veterinary staging protocol (aspiration cytology of the geographically nearest lymph node) misses a diagnosis of lymph node metastasis in a concerning number of patients. Because lymphatic pathways and lymph nodes of the head are very complicated and the closest lymph node is not necessarily the most likely to show disease, it is possible to miss disease because we do not know which is the best lymph node to evaluate. Lymph node mapping, a technique to visualize the lymphatic drainage of tumors, is increasingly used to improve cancer staging and treatment protocols in the treatment of cancer in people. Mapping allows identification of the “sentinel lymph node,” or lymph node that is most likely to demonstrate evidence of metastatic disease. This lymph node can then be aspirated or surgically removed with the primary tumor to be evaluated microscopically for spread of cancer. This trial is being performed to optimize a method of sentinel lymph node mapping that can be accessible to a greater number of veterinary practitioners in an effort to improve the accuracy of cancer diagnoses and treatment recommendations we make for our veterinary patients, improving their quality of life and length of time with us following diagnosis with this cancer.

Contact: If you are interested in determining whether your dog is eligible for the trial, please schedule an appointment for evaluation with one of the participating clinical services by calling the Small Animal Clinic at (530) 752-1393 and following the prompts for either Soft Tissue Surgery, Dentistry and Oral Surgery or Oncology. For general questions not related to your own dog’s eligibility, please contact Dr. Steffey (530-752-3799, masteffey@ucdavis.edu).

Participation Requirements:

  • Dogs diagnosed with an oral tumor with owners that have elected to surgically remove the tumor.
  • Ineligible: Dogs with pre-existing, palpably very large lymph nodes

Initial Evaluation for Participation: If you choose to enroll your dog, your dog will receive two CT scans on separate days: the first done for standard diagnostic/surgical planning, and the second done immediately prior to surgery. Both CT scans will be performed with contrast while under general anesthesia.

Procedures: If you choose to enroll your dog, your dog will receive two CT scans on separate days: the first done for standard diagnostic/surgical planning, and the second done immediately prior to surgery. Both CT scans will be performed with contrast while under general anesthesia.

Benefits: All costs associated with this study, including the second CT scan and the 1 hour of extra anesthesia time associated with each CT scans will be paid by the sponsor. Additionally, a financial benefit of $500 will be credited to your VMTH account after your dog completes the second CT scan on the day of his/her surgery.

Owner Responsibilities: If you allow your dog to participate in this study, you will be responsible for bringing your dog to the UC Davis VMTH for his/her scheduled appointments, covering costs associated with the standard diagnostic workup of your dog’s tumor, the first (diagnostic/surgical planning) CT scan, and standard costs associated with surgical removal of the oral tumor, and allowing him/her to be hospitalized for the required length of time pre- and postoperatively.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Colorectal Masses: New Minimally-Invasive Approaches to Surgical Planning

Title: Assessment of colorectal masses in dogs

Purpose of Study: Although the prevalence of rectal cancer in dogs is low, it still proves a significant problem for diagnosis and treatment when it occurs. Definitive diagnosis can be challenging at times because current imaging tools have their limitations. The current gold standard imaging method for evaluation of rectal masses by colonoscopy. The purpose of this portion of the study is to evaluate two different novel minimally invasive approaches to pre-operative imaging and surgical planning.

In addition to assessing new diagnostic imaging techniques, the other portion of the study intends to assess two protocols for bowel preparation prior to imaging. Traditional bowel preparation for a colonoscopy procedure (the current usual method of surgical planning for masses of the colon/rectum) requires a full cathartic in-hospital bowel preparation, which can be expensive and requires hospitalization. Both of the new bowel cleansing protocols evaluated in this study will allow for sufficient pre-operative planning to facilitate surgical removal, but will be less expensive, and we hope will be less unpleasant for the patient than standard fully cathartic bowel preparation protocols. Additionally, the less intensive bowel cleanses required for study participation would mean that diagnostic evaluation, imaging and surgery could be performed under the same anesthetic episode, thus decreasing hospitalization time for the patient, and costs to the owner.

Contact: Dr. Jeffrey Mitchell (Small Animal Surgery) via email (jwmitchell@ucdavis.edu) or call (530) 752-1393 to make an appointment

Participation Requirements: Dogs diagnosed with rectal mass(es) with owners who have elected to proceed with further diagnostic imaging and surgical removal of these masses

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Prospective candidates will require an appointment with and evaluation by the UC Davis VMTH Soft Tissue Surgery, Internal Medicine, Oncology, or Community Practice Services to evaluate their eligibility to participate.

Procedures: If you agree to let your dog participate in this study, the following will happen:

  • After an in-person appointment and consultation with the Soft Tissue Surgery Service to ensure that your dog is a safe candidate to participate in this study, an at-home bowel cleansing protocol will be initiated 2 days prior to the scheduled surgical procedure in which removal of your dog’s rectal mass is planned. The bowel cleansing protocol will involve a special diet for 2 days and may include a special radiographic contrast agent and potentially an orally administered cathartic laxative, depending on which group of the study your dog is enrolled. The allocation of patients to the different bowel preparation study groups is randomized.
  • On the day of the diagnostic imaging, your dog will be anesthetized and then undergo a CT scan one of the imaging procedures. Your dog will then proceed to the operating room where a rigid endoscope will be used to evaluate the mass just prior to surgical removal.
  • If surgery is necessary, your dog will undergo the surgery as determined by the attending Soft Tissue Surgery clinician with your permission.

Benefits: All costs associated with the study, including the bowel preparation protocol medications, CT scan, and rigid endoscopic exam will be paid by the sponsor/department.

Results from this study may lead to improved methods of diagnosis of large bowel disease and/or improved surgical planning for focal large bowel problems.

Owner Responsibilities: If you allow your dog to participate in this study, you will be responsible for:

  • Bringing your dog to any scheduled appointments
  • Covering the standard costs of pre-operative bloodwork, additional diagnostic imaging (chest x-rays, abdominal ultrasound, etc), anesthesia, surgery, and hospitalization for your dog’s disease, as explained by your attending clinician

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Hiatal Hernia / Brachycephalic Obstructor Syndrome: Assessing a Surgical Treatment

Title: Effect of Surgical Treatment of Brachycephalic Obstructor Syndrome on the Lower Esophageal Area of Brachycephalic Dogs with Evidence of Hiatal Herniation and Gastroesophageal Reflux

Purpose of Study: We believe that brachycephalic dogs have a tendency to develop hiatal herniation (HH) with greater frequency than non-brachycephalic dogs. Dogs with relative obstruction of the upper airways may generate a decreased pressure in their chest during inspiration (breathing in) that results in the upper part of the stomach being sucked into the chest (HH). This can lead to clinical signs including regurgitation, esophageal stricture formation and aspiration pneumonia if severe. We hypothesize that, if the upper airway obstruction in these dogs can be alleviated, improvement in their respiratory compromise might be seen as well as a reduction in the severity of their HH.

Contact:

  • Please call (530) 752-1393 to make an appointment with Soft Tissue Surgery or Internal Medicine for Dr. Phil Mayhew's study
  • Email Dr. Phil Mayhew directly at philmayhew@gmail.com

Participation Requirements:

  • Brachycephalic breed (dogs with broad short skulls)
  • No evidence of other upper airway obstructive pathology (especially tracheal collapse and hypoplastic trachea)
  • No previous brachycephalic surgery
  • Evidence of hiatal herniation on fluoroscopic imaging (performed pre-operatively)

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Initial evaluation and discussion for entry into the study can be arranged by making an appointment with our Internal Medicine or Soft Tissue Surgery or by contacting Dr. Phil Mayhew directly (contact information below).

Procedures: Both visits outlined below require hospitalization for 2-4 days at the VMTH.

  • First visit:
    • Day 1: You will be asked to fill out a questionnaire about your dog’s clinical signs. We will give your dog a local anesthetic, place a small catheter down your dogs nose, and give your dog a small amount of water to swallow, so we can trace the pressure profile of your dog’s esophagus (known as high-resolution manometry or HRM study). We will then perform a barium esophagram, which involves imaging of your dog using a fluoroscope (moving x-ray machine) after he/she swallows water and food boluses. Finally, we will place a small pH-monitoring probe in you dog’s nose that will remain in place for no longer than 24-hours for continuous monitoring of the esophageal pH and will be removed prior to surgery the following day.
    • Day 2: Your dog will be prepared for surgery and given general anesthesia. Prior to surgery, we will take measurements of your dog’s lower esophageal area (impedance planimetry or Endoflip), which involves inflation of a very low-pressure balloon within the lower esophagus, and perform an upper gastrointestinal endoscopic study immediately before upper airway surgery.
  • 30 – 60 days post-surgery visit: You will need to bring your dog in for another visit between 30 and 60 days after surgery. During this visit, we need to repeat the questionnaire and the procedures outlined above to gauge the response to surgery.

Benefits: The trial will pay for all of the diagnostic tests associated with the study, including costs associated with the HRM and esophagram studies, Endoflip measurements, pH impedance studies, endosocopic studies, biopsy procedures, pathology fees as well as the hospitalization and anesthesia fees associated with the second visit to the hospital at 30-60 days post-operatively. The owner will have to cover the surgical procedure, hospitalization and any possible complications associated with the surgical procedure and recovery during the first visit.

We cannot promise any benefits to your dog or other animals from your taking part in this clinical trial; however, possible benefits include a better understanding of your dogs presence or absence of hiatal herniation which may aid in longer-term management of this component of his or her clinical signs. Results from this study may influence treatment of other dogs with similar conditions going forward.

Owner Responsibilities: If you allow your dog to participate in this study, you will be responsible for bringing the dog to the VMTH for the study-related visits for the duration of the time stipulated and for providing the clinical information stipulated.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunts: Assessing a New Treatment Technique

Title: Assessment of Outcome in Dogs Undergoing Percutaneous Transvenous Coil Embolization to Treat Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunts

Purpose of Study: The purposes of this project are to assess the response to treatment of a relatively new treatment option (coil embolization) for intrahepatic portosystemic shunts that has shown tremendous potential.

Contact: Contact Dr. Bill Culp at wculp@ucdavis.edu or call (530) 752-1393 to make an appointment

Participation Requirements: Dogs with intrahepatic portosystemic shunts

Initial Evaluation for Participation, Procedures, Benefits and Owner Responsibilities: Contact Dr. Culp for details at wculp@ucdavis.edu or call (530) 752-1393 to make an appointment.

Procedures: Dogs with a diagnosis of intrahepatic portosystemic shunts (IHPSS) will be enrolled in the study. The dog will undergo percutanous transvenous coil embolization (PTCE) to treat his/her IHPSS.

Nasal cancer: Using a Combination of Therapies for Treatment

Title: Nasal tumors: Intra-arterial Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy to Treat Nasal Carcinoma

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study is to prospectively evaluate the response of nasal cancer to a combination of therapies (chemotherapy and radiation therapy) in dogs.

Contact: Dr. Bill Culp at wculp@ucdavis.edu or make an appointment by calling (530) 752-1393

Participation Requirements: Dogs diagnosed with nasal tumors

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Contact Dr. Culp at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393

Procedures: Dogs that are scheduled to receive radiation therapy for the treatment of nasal cancer can be enrolled in the study. Dogs will be placed into a group receiving radiation therapy alone or with chemotherapy.  Response to these treatments will be assessed with CT scans (done before and after treatment).

Benefits: The CT scans, chemotherapy administration, and part of the radiation therapy will be paid for by the study.

Owner Responsibilities: The owner will be responsible for providing follow-up information to the treating clinicians and returning the dog 4 weeks after initiation of radiation therapy for a second CT evaluation (the first is performed prior to treatment).

Prostate cancer: A New Treatment and Assessment of Outcome Using Blood and Urine

Title: Evaluation of miRNA Concentrations in Dogs with Prostate Neoplasia Before and After Prostate Embolization

Purpose of Study: Collection of blood and urine samples for research purposes may allow us to better understand the causes of cancer in pets and may lead to improvements in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of canine tumors. Additionally, evaluation of blood and urine can help us to determine efficacy of novel procedures such as prostate embolization.

Contact: Dr. Culp at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393

Participation Requirements:

  • Healthy dogs
  • Dogs diagnosed with prostate cancer with owners that have elected to do prostate embolization
  • Ineligible: Dogs with significant anemia (low red blood cells) or in patients that are dehydrated or have an impaired ability to clot their blood

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Contact Dr. Culp at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393.

Procedures:

  • For normal dogs, we will do a physical examination and collect blood and urine for evaluation.
  • For dogs with prostatic neoplasia, we will collect blood and urine before and then 1-2 days and 1 month after the prostatic artery embolization treatment.

Benefits: You will not be responsible for any costs associated with blood or urine sampling.

Participation in this trial will help us better understand cancer in pets through improvements in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer in pets.

Owner Responsibilities: If you agree to have your dog participate in this study, you will be responsible for keeping all scheduled appointments.

Nasolacrimal Apparatus Blockage: A multidisciplinary, minimally invasive treatment

Title: Stenting as a Treatment for Nasolacrimal Apparatus Obstruction

Purpose of Study: Tears from the ocular surface are drained from the eye through several important structures collectively known as the nasolacrimal apparatus (NLA). This frequently becomes blocked and sometimes infected leading to discomfort, tear staining, eye discharge, and skin inflammation, all of which are associated with a decreased quality of life. Clinically, NLA obstructions can be very frustrating to treat and can often lead to permanent obstruction.

We have established a team at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital consisting of specialists with expertise in Ophthalmology, Internal Medicine, Endoscopy, Diagnostic Imaging, and Interventional Radiology and have utilized fluoroscopy to successfully treat NLA obstruction in dogs. We have utilized fluoroscopy, CT, and endoscopy and capitalized on improvements in instrumentation and minimally invasive techniques developed for catheterization of other challenging locations such as the ureters to successfully treat NLA obstruction.

Based upon the success of this initial pilot study, we have initiated a clinical trial to recruit and treat more cases and to evaluate more objective outcome measures.

Contact: Please call 530-752-3937 to schedule your initial visit to the UC Davis Veterinary Ophthalmology Service

Participation Requirements: Dogs demonstrating signs of nasolacrimal apparatus (NLA) blockage

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None

Procedures: After an initial examination at the UCD VMTH to ensure the patient meets study entry criteria, owners will provide informed consent and complete a questionnaire concerning their dog’s signs. Patients will then undergo initial testing including CT scanning of the NLA, and NLA stenting using endoscopy and fluoroscopy. The stent will be left in position for at least 6 weeks. After stent removal, similar testing including CT scanning will again be performed, and owners will repeat the same questionnaire. Diagnostic test results from before and after stenting will be compared. Some financial subsidization of case management costs is available through the clinical trial.

Benefits: The study will subsidize costs associated with the second CT scan. Based upon results from the 6 patients in the pilot study, it is possible but not assured that your pet will have reduction or resolution of signs associated with NLA obstruction. Information acquired during this study will allow us to advance the treatment for NLA blockage for veterinary patients worldwide.

Owner Responsibilities: You will be responsible for all costs except those associated with the repeat CT scan following stent removal. Additionally, you will need to bring your dog to the VMTH for all scheduled appointments including a follow-up visit at least 6-8 weeks after the procedure. Lastly, you will be required to complete questionnaires prior to and after the NLA stenting procedure

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Healthy Dogs

Assessing Amino Acid Concentrations in the Urine of Healthy Dogs

Title: Amino Acid Concentrations in the Urine of Healthy Dogs

Purpose:  Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. We are trying to establish normal reference ranges for urinary amino acids in healthy dogs consuming dry, canned or commercial raw diets or home-prepared diets.

Contact:

Participation Requirements:

  • Healthy dogs consuming dry, canned or commercial raw diets or home-prepared diets
  • Ineligible:
    • Beagles and Greyhounds
    • Dogs consuming foreign or domestic jerky treats in the past 12 months

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Before your pet begins the study, you will need to complete the Feeding  History Form  asking about your pet and what they currently eat at home to find out if he/she qualifies to be in the study.

Procedures: You will need to complete a questionnaire about your dog and what your dog is currently eating at home, collect a small amount of urine (a minimal amount of 15 ml or 1 TB) in a clean cup we provide, and submit 2-3 photographs of the label of the diet you are currently feeding your dog.

Benefits: 

  • There is no cost to you to participate in this trial.
  • Results from this study may contribute to the development of a reference range for urinary amino acids in canine urine that will be used as part of a larger study to understand the severity and duration of urinary amino acid loss in dogs that develop acquired Fanconi syndrome.

Owner Responsibilities: If you wish to have your pet participate in this study, you will be responsible for completing the questionnaire to the best of your ability, collecting a small urine sample, taking 2-3 photographs of the label of your pet’s food and submitting those to the study investigators.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Old Age (Longevity) in Golden Retrievers

Title: Venous Blood Sample Collection for DNA Extraction and Analysis in Aged Large Breed Dogs

Purpose: Many current studies are aimed at trying to identify genes associated with diseases in dogs, but we are looking to see if there might exist ‘protective genes’ that could help protect against these same life-limiting diseases in the dog.

Contact: bannaschlab@udavis.edu 

Participation Requirements: Large breeds that are over 50 lbs and 12 years old (or older) with particular interest in Golden Retrievers

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures: The only procedure required is the collection and submission of a blood sample for DNA extraction. Download documents below to submit samples. For questions, please contact Kalie or Dan (see contact information above).

Benefits: Identification of such genes may help us understand why some dogs or dog breeds live longer, and hopefully lead to lengthening the lifespans for our faithful companions.

Referring Veterinarian Responsibilities: To collect and submit a blood sample and medical records.

To submit samples, complete and send in the following documents:

  • Sample Information Form (XLS)
  • Blood Collection and Shipping Information (DOC)

Printable Flyer (PDF) - Golden Retrievers

On Hold Until Further Notice

Cystine Bladder Stones: Investigating an Oral Nutraceutical Treatment

Title: The effects of an oral nutraceutical on the solubility of cystine in canine urine

Purpose: 

  • Cystine bladder stones are common in both dogs and humans. This disease occurs due to a genetic predisposition, which occurs in many breeds of dogs. Therapeutic preventive strategies are limited.
  • Clinical signs can be mild or result in urethral obstruction in male dogs.
  • In a collaborative effort between the University of California San Francisco and The Buck Institute, the aim of this study is to evaluate the effects of an oral nutraceutical on cystine solubility in the urine.
Lymphoma: Evaluating a Novel Formulation of Chemotherapy

Title: Phase 1 Evaluation of Nanomicelle Encapsulated Doxorubicin in Dogs with Lymphoma

Purpose of Study: Doxorubicin is a highly effective drug for the treatment of lymphoma, both in people and in dogs. However, doxorubicin administration is associated with some well-known side effects. These toxicities limit the dose of doxorubicin that can be administered to patients and less toxic formulations of this doxorubicin are needed to improve the health of dogs and people undergoing cancer treatment.

Doxorubicin can be loaded into nanoparticles, such as liposomes and micelles, which may allow for better penetration of the drug into the tumor, decrease tumor resistance to doxorubicin and decrease the frequency and severity of side effects of doxorubicin. A micelle-encapsulated formulation of doxorubicin has been developed and through this clinical trial, we are evaluating the dose that can be administered and the safety of the micelle formulation of doxorubicin when given to dogs with lymphoma.

Intervertebral Disc Herniation: Understanding the Condition in Dachshunds

Title: Phosphorylated heavy chain neurofilament as a biomarker in dogs with intervertebral disc herniation

Purpose: Intervertebral disc herniation commonly results in compression and bruising of the spinal cord in dogs, and is commonly seen in dachshunds. Surgery to remove disc material compressing the spinal cord leads to recovery of function in almost all dachshunds that still have pain sensation in their pelvic limbs but the outcome is much more variable when pain sensation has already been lost. Additionally, about 10% of the most severely affected dogs develop a fatal destruction of their spinal cord (myelomalacia) regardless of our attempts to intervene. For dogs that have lost pain sensation, we know that approximately half of them, if surgery is performed promptly, will recover the ability to walk on their own, but we do not have a good means of predicting which dogs will improve following surgery, and how quickly or completely this will happen. The purpose of this study is to assess the utility of pNF-H, a biomarker released from damaged axons of the spinal cord into the bloodstream, to predict return of function following surgery in dachshunds without pain sensation in their hind limbs due to disc herniation.

Lung Tumors: Identifying Lymph Node Metastasis

Title: Assessment of methods of improving identification of regional lymph nodes in patients with lung cancer

Purpose of Study: Knowing whether or not there is metastatic tumor in the regional lymph nodes is very important prognostic information for dogs with lung tumors, as dogs that do not have metastatic disease in their lymph nodes in general have a much longer lifespan. Chemotherapy is often recommended for patients who have metastatic disease, but is not recommended for dogs who do not have metastatic spread. The aim of this study is to provide information that will allow us to better identify these lymph nodes at surgery, to improve the safety of surgical dissection, and to minimize surgical time during removal of these lymph nodes.

Ectopic ureters: Evaluating Laser Ablation as a Treatment Option

Title: Evaluation of the Use of Cystoscopic-Guided Laser Ablation in the Treatment of Canine Ureteral Ectopia in Dogs

Purpose of Study: To evaluate urethral pressure profiles (UPPs) in patients undergoing laser ablation of their ectopic ureters. The goal is to determine if pre-treatment UPP values can help to predict continence rates after laser ablation.

Spinal Cord Injuries: Finding a Treatment in Dogs

Title: Transplantation and Tracking of Autologous Epidermal Neural Crest Stem Cells into the Spinal Cord of Dogs with Acute Severe Spinal Cord Injury

Purpose of Study: Dogs that have suffered spinal cord trauma due to a disc herniation are typically treated with decompressive surgery and medication of various kinds. Most dogs do very well with this treatment. However, dogs that have suffered an injury severe enough to cause complete paralysis and loss of feeling to the hind legs often do not recover with conventional treatment. In these dogs, stem cell therapy may improve the ability of the dog to use his/her hind legs and/or to have control of his/her bladder. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine the efficacy of stem cell therapy as a potential treatment for acute severe spinal cord injuries in dogs.

Variety of Tumors: Assessing Minimally Invasive Tumor Ablation

Title: Thermal ablation of cancer in dogs and cats

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the outcome of treating veterinary patients with minimally invasive tumor ablation technologies including cryoablation and microwave ablation. These methods are growing in the treatment of a variety of cancers in the human medical field, but information in veterinary patients is currently very limited. To date we have completed a study on cryoablation in nasal tumor patients, and this technique has been very successful in reducing tumor volume in nasal tumor patients – although there are no more spots in the formal nasal tumor study, because of this success, we continue to offer this technique as a clinical service to nasal cancer patients, and are expanding the types of cancer that we are evaluating.

Variety of Tumors: Sentinel Lymph Node Mapping

Title: Identification of sentinel lymph nodes with intraoperative fluorescence

Purpose of Study: Near-infrared fluorescent imaging utilizes special wavelengths of light to identify important structures, and is used in surgery to improve surgical decision making. The fluorescent light is generated by a special contrast agent (a “fluorophore”) that is injected into the patient. When a special light source is used to illuminate the surgical site, any tissue in which this fluorophore is located will glow, aiding the surgeon in identifying the location or extent of disease. Based on early experiments in rodents and human clinical trials, this very sensitive tool has the potential to improve surgical decision-making and improve overall treatment for a wide variety of diseases. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of this imaging modality in veterinary patients presenting with natural disease processes.

Variety of Tumors and Diseases: Improving Operative Detection of Tumors

Title: Fluorescent imaging of cancer

Purpose of Study: Near-infrared fluorescent imaging utilizes special wavelengths of light to identify important structures, and is used in surgery to improve surgical decision making. The fluorescent light is generated by a special contrast agent (a “fluorophore”) that is injected into the patient. When a special light source is used to illuminate the surgical site, any tissue in which this fluorophore is located will glow, aiding the surgeon in identifying the location or extent of disease. Based on early experiments in rodents and human clinical trials, this very sensitive tool has the potential to improve surgical decision-making and improve overall treatment for a wide variety of diseases. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of this imaging modality in veterinary patients presenting with naturally occurring neuroendocrine tumors disease processes.

If you cannot find what you are looking for, please email us or call (530) 752-5366.