Clinical trials for Orthopedics specialty

  • Status: Not currently enrolling


    Injuries of the flexor tendons and suspensory ligament (the flexor apparatus) are a common occurrence in equine athletes. Unfortunately, the tendon and ligament healing response in both horses and humans is slow and often inadequate.  In some sporting activities, 23–67% of horses with tendon injury treated using conservative methods re-injure their tendons within 2 years. Surgical intervention provides little added benefit.

    These authors consider that sub-optimal rehabilitation programs often impede a timely return to soundness. While equine veterinarians are increasingly aware of the need for carefully controlled early re-introduction of exercise following injury, precisely how and when to implement activity is the subject of debate. If flexor apparatus loads are introduced too soon, or if they are of excessive magnitude or frequency, healing can be delayed or re-injury may occur.

    Our goal is to develop protective leg wear that will facilitate early safe return to rehabilitative exercise. The legwear is worn bilaterally. It is designed to mechanically limit peak fetlock extension. This allows us to limit peak flexor apparatus loads (stress) and corresponding flexor strains (stretch) to within physiologic norms (for that point in the horse’s rehabilitation). This will effectively prevent over-extension and/or over-loading of the injured tissue(s) and, at the same time, promote symmetric weight-bearing by reducing motion- and load-related pain.

    In this specific phase of the overall study we propose to assess weight-bearing at the walk and trot in horses with unilateral (single limb) flexor apparatus injury in the absence and presence of the protective legwear. We expect that the leg wear will allow increased loading of the injured limb as determined by force plate gait analysis. Reduction in clinical lameness should occur simultaneously.

    Inclusion Criteria:

    • Horses will have confirmed unilateral forelimb flexor apparatus injury (a ‘suspensory’, ‘tendinopathy’ ‘tendonitis’, etc.) of known dimension and severity, as characterized by ultrasound or MRI.
    • Horses will have confirmed unilateral forelimb lameness emanating from the flexor injury on the affected limb.


    Exclusion criteria:

    • Horses with asymmetric conformation of the forelimbs.
    • Horses with concurrent disease or injury.
    • Horses with greater than a lameness grade 2.5 (this corresponds to a horse with lameness that is difficult to observe at a walk, but is consistently mildly lame at the trot). This will allow us to effectively exclude horses that are still experiencing an acute or severe injury (lameness reflects pain that generally reflects injury extent and severity).

    Client Benefits:

     This gait analysis study will be performed at no cost to you, the client. Additionally, you will be given a check for $400 to help cover any costs associated with your horse’s routine treatment for its injury at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.  Your horse’s participation will allow us to gain information which will help in the rehabilitation of yours and others’ horses with flexor apparatus injury through the use of our leg wear. You understand that your horse’s participation in this study may not alleviate or cure his/her injury.

    Contact Information:

    For questions regarding the clinical trial please email the clinical trials technician, Diane Welsh at:  clinicaltrials@tufts.edu







  • Status:  Currently enrolling

    What is osteoarthritis?

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is a progressive degenerative disease of the joints. The body parts making up the joint become worn out and can be swollen, stiff, and painful. Osteoarthritis is a common condition in dogs. Signs of osteoarthritis often develop slowly. Dogs may develop increased stiffness, especially after rest, or during cold weather. Dogs with osteoarthritis pain may become less active during play, during walks, when going up or down stairs, or jumping. These can be signs of osteoarthritis, and can reduce the quality of your pet's life.

    Objective of the clinical trial: 

    The objective of this study is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of two investigational drugs in dogs diagnosed with pain due to osteoarthritis of joint(s) of the legs (shoulder, elbow, hip, and knee).

    What qualifies my dog for enrollment in this in this trial?

    To participate in this clinical trial, your dog must have:
    •    Diagnosis of pain due to osteoarthritis of joint(s) in hind and/or forelimb(s). At least one joint must be affected.
    •    Dogs at least two years of age and weighting between 15-50 kg at visit 1.
    •    Generally healthy dogs with no evidence of other serious chronic disease.
    •    Owner must be able and willing to comply with the visit schedule, dosing instructions and other responsibilities during the study.
    •    Must have been on the same diet for at least one month before visit 1, and remain on same diet throughout study.
    Other specific inclusion and exclusion criteria will be used to determine eligibility for enrollment.

    What does enrolling my dog in this clinical trial involve? 

    If your dog qualifies for the study, and you agree to participate, your dog will be randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups. You will be required to administer study medication twice daily for approximately 14 days, as capsules that are given to the dog by mouth. Each dog will receive, either an investigational drug, carprofen (a traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) or a placebo. Treatment groups will be is randomly assigned. Neither you, nor the veterinarian, will know your dog's treatment group.

    Client Compensation

    All study procedures, including the study’s required radiographs (and associated sedatives if needed), office visits, and laboratory tests are provided free of charge. In return for your dog’s enrollment and your participation in the study, you will be eligible to receive a $150 Visa gift card provided your dog is not withdrawn due to non-compliance and you complete the study. If your dog is withdrawn due to other factors, you would be compensated for the portion for the study you did complete.

    Client Contact

    For questions regarding the clinical trial please email the clinical trials technician, Diane Welsh at: clinicaltrials@tufts.edu