Clinical trials for Nutrition specialty

  • Description:

    Lymphoma is one of the most common cancers in the dog and is comparable to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in humans. Chemotherapy is the standard of care for treatment and can provide long term disease control but survival beyond 2 years is rare.

    There is active investigation into the utility of metabolic markers, such as insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), as a predictor of response to treatment in humans with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Additionally these markers may serve as a target for future therapy.

    The goal of this study is to assess levels of IGF-1 and other related blood biomarkers in canine patients with lymphoma. We will evaluate these markers for prognostic value and will determine whether they could serve as targets for therapy in the future.

    Inclusion Criteria:

    Dogs with a confirmed diagnosis of multicentric lymphoma (cytology or pathology), weighing more than 25kg. Dogs must be eating a commercial diet and be otherwise healthy.

    Exclusion Criteria:

    Dogs with other systemic diseases (diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, Cushing’s disease, kidney disease, liver disease, etc). Dogs eating a home-cooked or raw diet.

    Client Benefits:

    No direct benefits. Dog owners are financially responsible for the costs associated with cancer staging plus standard chemotherapy and recommended treatment monitoring (weekly complete blood counts).

    This study covers the cost of measurement of IGF-1 and other metabolites.

    Contact Information:

    Kelly Reed, Oncology liaison






  • Description

    We have started a new study to evaluate the use of ultrasound as a quick and non-invasive method of measuring muscle mass in dogs.  In many of the common diseases of dogs, such as heart failure, kidney disease, and cancer, a big problem that occurs is muscle loss.  This muscle loss is important because it can make dogs weak and can negatively affect their quality of life.  We have been studying methods of diagnosing and treating cachexia (the muscle loss that occurs with various diseases) for over 15 years. We are currently evaluating whether ultrasound, an non-invasive test, can be used to quickly and easily diagnose muscle loss in its early stages. 

    Inclusion Criteria

    To be eligible, dogs must be healthy 1-5 year old, neutered dogs (male or female) of the following breeds:



    *Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

    *Doberman pinscher



    Dogs must be purebred and should have no heart murmur or other medical problems. 

    Exclusion Criteria

    Dogs with heart murmurs or any significant medical conditions

    Client Benefits

    If eligible, the dog will get a free examination at Tufts, will have a small blood sample collected (less than ½ teaspoon; to measure red blood cell count, blood sugar, and an estimate of kidney function), an x-ray of the chest to measure bone size, and an ultrasound of the muscles over his or her back (no shaving required). 


    In addition to getting the free tests (blood test, x-ray, and ultrasound of the back muscles), this information will be beneficial in the future for dogs with heart disease, kidney disease, cancer, and other common diseases by validating an easy ultrasound test to measure muscle mass. 

    Contact Information

    Dr. Lisa Freeman Phone: (508) 887-4696

  • Description

    The Tufts Obesity Clinic for Animals is conducting a new study to evaluate the effect of diet on how full dogs feel. Different nutrient profiles of diets may help some dogs feel fuller than others and we are using online surveys and in-person appointments to gather information on how owners feel their dog is full on different diets.

    Inclusion Criteria

    To be eligible, dogs must be healthy and overweight (Body Condition Score 6/9 or greater). Owners must be able to come to Tufts in North Grafton for 4 visits and fill out a brief survey online daily.
    Dogs should not be on medication (other than monthly preventatives) and should not have current medical problems.

    Exclusion Criteria

    Dogs with any significant medical conditions. Dogs eating any of the trial diets currently will also be excluded (this will be determined by diet history prior to the first appointment).

    Client Benefits

    If eligible, the dog will get 4 free appointments at Tufts with a board-certified veterinary nutritionist and will have a small blood sample and urine sample collected (to screen for any medical conditions including kidney or thyroid disease). Dogs enrolled in the study will be fed multiple diets throughout the study (including a transition period between diets), while owners rate how full their dogs feel in an online survey. In between diets, dogs will need to come in for their 4 recheck visits. At the completion of the study, owners will have the option to continue with a weight management plan with the Tufts Obesity Clinic for Animals and receive up to 4 free bags of a selected pet food.

    In addition to getting the free tests (blood test, urine test) and free food and weight guidance with a board-certified veterinary nutritionist, this information will be beneficial in the future to increase our success in weight management plans.

    Contact Information

    Dr. Deborah Linder: 508-887-4696