Dogs

Clinical trials for dogs

  • Description

    The goal of this study is to determine if TK isoenzymes are good biomarkers for the early detection of HSA in dogs and to identify a threshold for detecting HSA from the presence of TK isoenzymes.

    HSA is a malignant and rapidly growing cancer that is difficult to detect. HSA is a tumor derived from blood vessels, and thus the tumor is filled with blood. A frequent cause of death from HSA is the rupturing of the tumor, causing the patient to rapidly hemorrhage to death. HSA is common in dogs, and more so in certain breeds of dogs such as German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers. Dogs with HSA rarely show clinical signs until the tumor has become very large and has metastasized. Typically, clinical signs are due to hypovolemia after the tumor ruptures, causing severe bleeding. Owners of the affected dogs often discover that the dog has HSA only after the animal has collapsed secondary to bleeding. The HSA tumor often appears on the spleen, right side of the heart or liver.

    There are currently no commercially viable screening mechanisms for detecting HSA in dogs. Most dogs present with HSA as emergencies and major decisions about treatment must be made without a definitive diagnosis. A screening test that would allow the detection of HSA would be very valuable in the planning of treatment and earlier detection of the disease. Preliminary data in dogs suggests that TK is significantly increased in dogs with some types of cancer, specifically HSA and thus TK may be useful in detecting, staging and monitoring disease in dogs with HSA.

    Inclusion Criteria

    Any dog (any age, sex or breed) with a hemoabdomen that undergoes exploratory surgery.

    Exclusion Criteria

    Dogs with pre-existing, previously diagnosed neoplastic conditions other than hemangiosarcoma will be excluded.

    Client Benefits

    There are no direct benefits to the client. The indirect benefit is that this research will aid in the development of a point-of-care test for the diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma in dogs which will help owners of dogs with hemoabdomen make decisions regarding the best management for their dogs.

    Contact Information

    Dr. Claire Sharp
    Phone: (508) 839-5302

  • Description: Congenital heart defects occur in a variety of dog breeds, with the most common being the patent ductus arteriosus (PDA).  Although this is a correctable disorder in most puppies, it requires surgery or a catheter-based procedure which can be expensive and is not without risk.  Therefore, determining the genetic cause of PDA in dogs would be highly desirable so that dogs could be screened and the genetic mutation could be eventually bred out of the canine population.  Corgis are a breed at increased risk for PDAs, so the goal of this study is to evaluate Corgis with and without PDAs in order to identify the gene mutation for this heart problem.

    Inclusion Criteria:                                      

    Pembroke Welsh Corgis with a documented PDA will be studied.

    Exclusion Criteria:

    Breeds other than Pembroke Welsh Corgis.

    Client Benefits:

    The study will cover the cost of an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) as well as a blood sample for DNA testing.

    Contact Information:

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

     

  • Description: Acute radiation-induced dermatitis (ARID) is a common sequela of radiation therapy in both humans and dogs, arising in greater than 80-90% of patients undergoing definitive intent radiotherapy. Although relatively short-lived, skin reactions can be painful and itchy (which promotes secondary self-trauma in veterinary patients) and occasionally may necessitate dose reductions or treatment delays, which carry the potential to compromise tumor control. Another complication of radiation dermatitis is secondary infection. Although antibiotic use in the management of canine ARID is common practice amongst veterinary radiation oncologists, this management practice lacks evidence to support its use. The primary objective of this study is to evaluate the effect of prophylactic cephalexin antibiotics on rate of bacterial infection in ARID in dogs undergoing definitive-intent radiotherapy of the skin or subcutaneous tissues. Secondary objectives include characterization of the bacterial pathogens encountered in ARID as well as their antibiotic susceptibility.

    Inclusion Criteria

    1. All dogs must have a histologically or cytologically confirmed skin or superficial soft tissue cancer, including soft tissue sarcomas, mast cell tumors, cutaneous melanoma, plasma cell tumors, infiltrative lipomas, and carcinomas.
    2. All dogs must be treated with definitive intent radiotherapy, defined as dose ≥45 Gy or higher.
    3. Prior surgery or chemotherapy is acceptable with a 2-week washout.
    4. Prior glucocorticoid therapy is allowed if the patient has been on this therapy for a minimum of 2 weeks prior to Day 0.
    5. Prior antibiotic therapy is acceptable within a 1-week washout from the start of radiotherapy.
    1. Dogs should be otherwise in good health, a candidate for daily anesthetic episodes, and must have adequate organ function as determined by blood work and urinalysis.
    2. Any homeopathic/alternative therapies for cancer must be discontinued prior to enrollment.

    Exclusion Criteria

    1. Tumors located in the oral or nasal cavities, on the muzzle, or in the perineal region.
    2. Dogs that had a surgical flap procedure at the radiation site.
    3. Dogs that experienced a post-operative surgical infection.
    4. Dogs that require concurrent chemotherapy.
    5. Dogs that have received prior radiation therapy to the tumor site.
    6. Dogs that are currently on antibiotic therapy.
    7. Dogs with pre-existing dermatopathies.

     

    Client Benefits

    The study will cover the costs associated with skin culture and impression cytology. In addition, the exam fee for the recheck at 1 week post-radiation therapy is at no cost. The client will be responsible for all other costs associated with the radiotherapy course as well as the cost of all medications. The client is expected to make and keep all appointments, according to the clinical trial protocol once enrolled.

     

    Have a case?  

    Contact Dr. Michele Keyerleber at (508) 887-4682 or   Michele.Keyerleber@tufts.edu

  • Description:

    Recent studies in the human literature have documented that quicker lactate clearance is associated with improved survival in trauma patients.  It is currently unknown if a similar trend exists in canine trauma patients.  Our goal is to examine lactate clearance in canine trauma patients; samples will be taken at admission, and 2 and 4 hours after admission.

    The purpose of the study is to determine whether lactate predicts how well dogs that have experienced trauma will do overall and whether or not they will need blood transfusions.

    Inclusion Criteria:

    Dogs presenting with trauma (any kind) AND a lactate of ≥4 mmol/L at time of admission.  Prior treatment is allowed.

     Exclusion Criteria:

    Dogs presenting with trauma but having a lactate < 4 will be excluded; dogs that have a physiologic or pathophysiologic cause of hyperlactatemia that is not related to trauma will be excluded.  Such patients could include those with neoplasia, those with hepatic disease, those who are taking steroids, or those which have had a seizure in the 6 hours prior to presentation.

     Client  Benefits:

    The study will cover the costs of the three blood tests. Your pet’s participation will also allow us to gain information which will help in the diagnosis/management/treatment of other dogs that have experienced trauma

     Contact information:

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

     

     

  • Description:         

    Carcinomas are a common form of malignancy in both dogs and humans. As a category of cancer, carcinomas tend to be both locally invasive as well as carry a high risk of locoregional metastasis. In cases diagnosed in early stages, long term survival is often possible with a combination of surgery, definitive radiation therapy, and conventional chemotherapy, but such multimodality therapy is often cost prohibitive for many clients. Furthermore, surgery may not be an option for some patients. Therapy is often limited to palliative radiation therapy (PRT) +/- conventional chemotherapy.  The purpose of this study is to evaluate therapy with toceranib (Palladia®), an oral anticancer agent, in combination with palliative radiation therapy for tolerability, toxicity, and efficacy in a population of dogs with measurable carcinomas.

    Inclusion Criteria:

    1. Age: At least one year old on Day 0.

    2. Body weight: Dogs must weigh at least 5.0 kg on Day 0

    3. All dogs must have a histologically or cytologically confirmed carcinoma, including anal sac adenocarcinoma, ceruminous gland carcinoma, mammary gland carcinoma, nasal carcinoma, prostatic carcinoma, salivary gland carcinoma, sebaceous adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, rectal carcinoma, thyroid carcinoma, or transitional cell carcinoma of the urethra.

    4. The patient must have measurable disease at the primary tumor site and/or metastatic lymph nodes.

    5. Prior surgery or chemotherapy is acceptable with a 2-week washout.

    6. Prior NSAID therapy is allowed if the patient has been on this therapy for a minimum of 2 weeks prior to Day 0.

    7. Dogs must have adequate organ function as indicated by standard laboratory tests: (hematology (CBC), clinical chemistry and urinalysis). Specifically, dogs must have:

    a. Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) > 2,000 cells/μL

    b. Hematocrit > 25%

    c. Platelet count > 100,000/μL

    d. Serum creatinine < 2.5 mg/dL

    e. Bilirubin ≤ the upper normal limit

    f. Transaminases ≤ 3 times the upper normal limit or if > 3 times the upper normal    limit then serum bile acids must be ≤ the upper normal limit

    8. The animal must have a performance status of either 0 or 1 on Day 0, according to the      activity; 1, restricted [decreased activity from predisease status]; 2, compromised [ambulatory for only vital activities, urinates and defecates in appropriate areas]; 3, disabled [requires force feeding, unable to urinate and defecate in appropriate areas]; 4, dead.

    9. The animal must be a fair to excellent anesthetic candidate for 10 daily anesthesias, defined as an anesthetic risk status of I to III on the following scale:

    I. Excellent anesthetic risk: This includes normal, healthy patients.

    II. Good anesthetic risk: This includes patients with mild systemic disease, such as    geriatric or neonatal patients, localized or compensated disease.

    III. Fair anesthetic risk: This includes patients with moderate systemic disease including those with low to moderate fever, moderate dehydration, anorexia/cachexia, chronic cardiac disease, chronic renal disease.

    IV. Poor anesthetic risk: These patients have severe systemic disease that is a constant threat to life, including shock, high fever, toxemia, severe dehydration, severe anemia, diabetes, decompensated cardiac/renal/hepatic disease, severe pulmonary disease affecting gas exchange.

    V. Guarded anesthetic risk: This includes moribund patients not expected to survive 24 hours including those with advanced multiorgan system failure, severe shock, DIC.

    10. The owner must have provided written, informed consent prior to enrolling in the study.

    Exclusion Criteria:

    1. Dogs with adrenocortical carcinoma, gastrointestinal carcinoma, hepatic carcinoma, pulmonary carcinoma, renal carcinoma, or transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder.

    2. Dogs that have received chemotherapy within 2 weeks of Day 0.

    3. Dogs that have received prior radiation therapy to the tumor site.

    4. Concurrent malignancy or other serious systemic disorder (renal disease, cardiac disease, respiratory disease) incompatible with this study.

    5. Dogs that are on homeopathic/alternative therapies for their cancer. These should be discontinued on Day -1. Supplements such as chondroitin sulphate, essential fatty acids and glucosamine are permitted during the trial period.

    6. Dogs with protein-losing nephropathy (UPC > upper limit ref range).

    7. Dogs with an anesthetic risk status of IV or V on the above scale.

    Client Benefits:

    The study will cover the following costs associated with your participation in this clinical trial: the cost of Palladia for 12 weeks, $1250 towards radiation therapy, one set of chest x-rays (at week 12), and recheck exam fees at week 3, 4, 6, and 12 of the study. This amounts to a total financial benefit of approximately $2200. You will be responsible for general anesthesia and costs for the CT scan (if required); all radiation therapy costs beyond $1250; all costs associated with monitoring blood work and urinalyses during the study period and beyond; and any diagnostic tests (x-rays, abdominal ultrasound, etc.) and recheck exam fees beyond week 12. Your pet’s participation will allow us to gain information which will help in the treatment of other dogs with carcinoma.

    Contact Information:

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

     

  • Sponsor:  Private Foundation

    CSRC Protocol #: 030-14

    Status: Not currently enrolling

    Description:

    The purpose of the study is to determine whether the administration of canine umbilical cord derived mesenchymal stem cells (UC-MSCs) is safe, and if it will reduce kidney injury to a greater extent than the current standard of care. The study will measure kidney values to see if they stay in or return to a normal range as well as overall survival. Secondarily, the study will monitor for any changes in your dog’s likelihood to form blood clots.

    Inclusion Criteria:

    Dogs presenting with protein-losing nephropathy, hypoalbuminemia (<2.0 g/dl), azotemia (creatinine >2.0), thrombocytopenia (platelets < 160,000), and a hypercoaguable state.

    Any gender, and any breed, weighing > 4 kg (8.8 pounds).

    Able to come back for recheck appointments on days 2, 7, 14, 30 and 3, 6 and 12 months post injection.

    Exclusion Criteria:

    Dogs weighing less than 4 kg (8.8 pounds)

    Dogs not expected to live greater than 48 hours, those with cardiac disease, and those with neoplasia.

    Also excluded will be those dogs with an active bacterial urinary tract infection, and those suspected or confirmed to have leptospirosis.

    Client Benefits:

    The study will cover some of the costs that are typically acrued in the diagnostic evaluation of dogs with protein-losing kidney disease including complete blood count, chemistry profile, urinalysis, urine culture, urine protein creatinine ratio, thromboeslatograph (a clotting profile), antithrombin level (to see if your dog is at risk for forming blood clots), ANA (looking for lupus, an autoimmune disease) , serology for tick borne diseases and leptospirosis. It will also cover an abdominal ultrasound examination and the cost of a kidney biopsy. Kidney biopsy is part of the standard diagnostic workup for dogs with protein-losing kidney disease permits it (not too anemic, platelet count adequate, and not hypertensive). The risks associated with kidney biopsy are blood loss from the biopsy site. Your dog will be monitored closely for 4 hours after the biopsy to make sure that any bleeding stabilizes. Heart rate, respiratory rate, mucus membrane color, and blood count will be monitored hourly. Should there be any evidence of sustained bleeding, your dog will be administered intravenous fluids and if needed a blood transfusion. The cost of the blood transfusion will be the responsibility of the owner. The study will also cover the cost for follow up blood work at the scheduled rechecks during the 365 days of the study. Your pet’s participation will also allow us to gain information which will help in the diagnosis/management/treatment of other dogs with this condition. You understand that your animal’s participation in this study may not alleviate or cure his/her ailment.

    Contact Information:

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

  •  Sponsor:  Private Foundation

    CSRC Protocol #: 026-14

    Status: Not currently enrolling

    Description:

    Dogs get a disease of the intestine called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in which the normal lining of the intestine is replaced by inflammatory white blood cells. This inflammation results in poor digestion,  often manifesting as diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss, and in some cases, loss of protein through the feces. This leads to a severe protein deficiency in the body, called a protein losing enteropathy (PLE). PLE is typically an indication of very severe intestinal inflammation and dogs with this condition may not respond well to typical medications used to treat IBD. In addition the PLE itself can cause fatal complications such as edema, fluid in the abdominal cavity, and blood clots. There is a need for new therapies to treat dog with PLE secondary to IBD. Based on evidence in the literature from pre-clinical and clinical trials in humans, we hypothesize that treatment of dogs with a PLE from IBD with stem cells isolated from the umbilical cords of dogs will modulate the inflammatory response in the intestine and induce clinical remission.

    The purpose of the study is to determine whether intravenous administration of cells called mesenchymal stem cells can improve your dog’s clinical signs as well as their blood protein levels. It is believed that the benefit of these stem cells is related to their ability to suppress inflammation.

    Inclusion Criteria:

    Dogs will have had incomplete response to therapy with prednisone, budesonide and/or cyclosporine (defined by a clinical score (CCECAI) >5), have intolerable side effects on medication, or have the administration of cyclosporine or chlorambucil be financially unreasonable for the owner, as these are the patients who require alternative therapeutic options.

    Dogs with biopsy confirmed IBD and bloodwork confirmed panhypoproteinemia

    (total protein <5.5 mg/dl) will be enrolled. The biopsies may be performed at Tufts if they are not already available for pathologist review.

    Both male and female dogs weighing greater than 11 pounds and any age will be considered for the study.

    Exclusion Criteria:

    Dogs with a urine protein:creatinine (UPC) ratio of >0.5, a baseline cortisol < 2 ug/dL, and a post- prandial bile acids of > 30 uM will be excluded from the study. This will eliminate dogs with protein loss through the kidneys, abnormal production of protein from the liver, or Addison’s disease. These tests can be performed at Tufts.

    All dogs will have an abdominal ultrasound and those with signs of intestinal or extra-intestinal masses will be excluded.

    Yorkshire Terriers, Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers, and Boxers will be excluded, as these dogs have unique IBD features that respond differently from the general population of dogs.

    Dogs with congestive heart failure, Cushing’s disease, diabetes mellitus, or cancer will also be excluded.

    Client Benefits:

    Expenses associated with giving the injection of stem cells and in evaluating your dog after the injection will be covered. Some initial testing, recheck examinations, and follow-up blood work will be covered. Your pet’s participation will also allow us to gain valuable information which will help in the management and treatment of other dogs with this condition.

     

    Contact Information:

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

     

  • Description:

    The purpose of the study is to determine if increasing levels of the hormone progesterone found in the serum (bloodstream) of female dogs during their reproductive cycle leads to hypercoagulability (excessive blood clotting).

    Inclusion Criteria:

    Female dogs will be recruited in the following groups.

    1) Healthy, spayed females

    2) Healthy intact female in anestrus

    3) Healthy non-pregnant dogs in diestrus (estimated in 6-8 weeks post ovulation)

    4) Healthy pregnant dogs (45-60 days pregnant)

    5) Dogs during labor and delivery (C-section/dystocia)

    6) Dogs with pyometra occurring during diestrus

    Client Benefits:

     

    The study will cover a test measuring progesterone levels and thromboelastography, a test that evaluates the entire clotting process in a patient. Your pet’s participation will also allow us to gain information which will help in the management and treatment in dogs with this condition.

     

    Contact Information:

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

     

  • Sponsor:  Private Foundation

    CSRC Protocol #: 027-14

    Fully enrolled

    Description:

    Currently, no medical treatments have been shown to delay the progression of chronic valvular disease (CVD) in dogs, which is a very common heart disease in dogs. In this disease, heart valves become thickened and can no longer keep blood from leaking backwards, leading to fluid accumulation in the lungs (congestive heart failure, CHF). Surgical repair of the valves has shown potential in reversing some changes from the heart disease and prolonging survival time, but this remains a relatively high-risk surgery that very few veterinary hospitals are capable of performing. The cost of the procedure is also financially prohibitive to most dog owners.

    If we can show that mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) treatment is not only safe but can delay the progression of CVD in dogs, this would be the first non-surgical treatment option available to our canine patients. Our results would also have particular relevance for those human patients who cannot undergo valve repair surgery due to unacceptable anesthetic or surgical risks.

    We hypothesize that MSC therapy is safe when administered intravenously (IV) to dogs in CHF, and MSC therapy will result in improved cardiac function as assessed by echocardiography, cardiac biomarkers, or the quality of life of the patient.

    Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria:                                                                      

    A total of 10 client-owned dogs of any sex or age with active CHF secondary to CVD to the Tufts Foster Hospital for Small Animals will be recruited for this clinical trial. Congestive heart failure will be confirmed on chest x-rays to verify the presence of pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs).

    Dogs with chronic kidney disease, liver disease, uncontrolled hypothyroidism, cancer, high blood pressure, active infection, metabolic disorders, and autoimmune disease will be excluded from the study.

    Client Benefits:

    The study will cover all of the costs associated with echocardiograms, chest x-rays, bloodwork analysis, blood pressures, ECG monitoring, and recheck exam fees. It will not cover the initial hospitalization cost for congestive heart failure stabilization. It will also not cover any medication costs or costs related to disease of other organ systems. Your pet’s participation will allow us to gain information which will help in the treatment of other dogs with this CVD and CHF. You understand that your animal’s participation in this study may not alleviate or cure his/her ailment.

    Contact Information:

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

     

  • Sponsor:  Private Foundation

    CSRC Protocol #: 029-14

    Enrollment beginning in February 2015

    Description:

    Cardiomyopathy is a common affliction of the Boxer breed that is manifested by serious ventricular arrhythmias, dilation and reduced vigor of contraction of the heart, or both. The arrhythmic form of the disease bears a striking resemblance to arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) in people, an important cause of sudden cardiac death in young human athletes that is characterized by replacement of the normal heart muscle by fat, scar tissue, and inflammation.

    Current treatment strategies focus on controlling symptomatic arrhythmias, however no medical treatment has been shown to prevent sudden cardiac death. Current therapies also fail to address the underlying structural changes in the heart muscle that inexorably progress, resulting in worsening arrhythmia, cardiac dilation and, in some patients congestive heart failure.

    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) exert anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic effects that may prove useful in attenuating the inflammation and remodeling of the heart muscle that characterizes the disease, in turn improving arrhythmia frequency and potentially quality of life or survival times of dogs with ARVC. The major goal of this study is to evaluate preliminary safety of intravenous administration of MSCs in Boxers with ARVC, and to assess their effect on arrhythmia frequency, improving cardiac structural abnormalities, or prolonging survival in affected animals by reducing inflammation or deposition of scar tissue in the heart.

    Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria: 

    A total of 12 client-owned Boxers of any sex or age with cardiomyopathy will be enrolled in this study. Dogs with advanced congestive heart failure, clinically significant congenital heart disease, kidney or liver disease, cancer, active infection, or autoimmune disease will be excluded from the study.

    Client Benefits:

    The study will cover the costs for your dog’s bloodwork, echocardiogram, blood pressure measurement, ECG and Holter monitoring, 4 hours of observation and continuous ECG monitoring following the injection, and recheck visits during the 6 month study period. The study will also cover up to $500 of any costs incurred due to complications from the study; it will not cover any other medication or hospitalization costs. Your pet’s participation will allow us to gain information which will help in the treatment of Boxers and potentially people with this condition. You understand that your animal’s participation in this study may not alleviate or cure his/her ailment

    Contact Information:

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

  • Description:

    Lymphoma is a common cancer in dogs that can be treated with good success, but can rarely be cured. We are trying to develop new ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat lymphoma in dogs. To do this, we plan to study the molecular and cellular biology of canine lymphoma in the laboratory. For these studies, we need to collect small amounts of tissue from a lymph node affected by lymphoma.

    Our goal is to collect canine lymph node, both normal and tumor-bearing (lymphoma) from dogs that present to the Foster Hospital For Small Animals for in vitro investigations of the biology and treatment of this disease. Samples will be collected either via post-mortem collection (normal or lymphoma), at biopsy (lymphoma), or using a fine needle aspirate (lymphoma).

    Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria:                                             

    Normal Lymph nodes:

    Inclusion –

    1. Dogs that are euthanized at the FHSA and the body is available for donation or necropsy.

    Exclusion –

    1. Dogs with metastatic cancer, systemic infectious or inflammatory disease will be excluded.

    Lymphoma:

    Inclusion –

    1. Any dog with newly diagnosed, suspected, or relapsed lymphoma.

    2. The owner consents to sample collection.

    Exclusion (For premortem sample collection) –

    1. Dog objects strongly to FNA or restraint and will not be sedated for other procedures.

    2. Concern for coagulopathy based on:

    a) Physical or historical evidence of petechia, unexplained bleeding or hematomas.

    b) Laboratory or historical evidence increased risk for hemorrhage including thrombocytopenia < 50,000/ul

    Client Benefits:

    There is no monetary compensation for participating in the study nor is there any charge associated with the procedures. The most important benefit to participation is that these studies may help dogs in the future by allowing us to find better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat lymphoma.

    Contact Information:

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

     

  • Description:                                                                                                                                                                                The purpose of this study is to better understand what causes gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV) in dogs. GDV, or bloat, is a common condition in large and giant breed dogs. Due to the importance of GDV in many dog breeds, several large previous studies have investigated potential risk factors for the development of GDV.It is known that there is no single cause for GDV, rather its occurrence is multifactorial, with both genetic and environmental factors contributing. As well as a genetic analysis we want to see if dogs with GDV have different types or amounts of proteins, hormones and other molecules in their blood and tissue, or different bacteria in their gastrointestinal tract.

    We will enroll dogs in five groups:

    1. Dogs with acute GDV
    2. Dogs with chronic bloat and/or gastric instability
    3. Dogs with acute gastric outflow or small intestinal obstruction secondary to foreign material
    4. Healthy control dogs
    5. Euthanized control dogs; and
    6. Euthanized dogs with GDV or gastrointestinal foreign body obstruction

    Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria:

    Group a)  Dogs with Acute GDV

    Inclusion criteria:  Dogs with GDV confirmed via a right lateral abdominal radiograph

    Exclusion criteria:  none

    Group b)  Dogs with chronic bloat

    Inclusion criteria:  Clinical signs consistent with chronic bloat

    Exclusion criteria:  GDV at any time

    Group c) Dogs with acute GI obstruction secondary to foreign material

    Inclusion criteria:  Dogs with GI obstruction secondary to foreign material that require exploratory laparotomy.

    Exclusion criteria:  History of GDV. GI perforation.,  Non-obstructive foreign body that does not require surgery

    Group d) Healthy control dogs

    Inclusion criteria:  Healthy

    Exclusion criteria:  History of GDV

    Group e) Euthanized control dogs

    Inclusion criteria:  Euthanized donated dogs

    Exclusion criteria:  History of GDV

    Group f) Euthanized dogs with GDV or GI foreign body obstruction

    Inclusion criteria:  Dogs that will be euthanized after a diagnosis of GDV confirmed via a right lateral abdominal radiograph, or GI obstruction secondary to foreign material confirmed via abdominal radiographs or ultrasound.

    Exclusion criteria: Surgical treatment of GDV or GI obstruction

    Client Benefits:

    This study will not cover any of the costs associated with treating your dog; although all study related sample collection and analysis is covered by the study. As such, the cost of treatment is the same regardless of whether your dog is enrolled in the study. Your dog’s participation will allow us to gain information which will help us to develop a better understanding of why some large and giant breed dogs develop GDV.

    Contact Information:

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

     

     

  • Sponsor: Private Foundation

    CSRC Protocol #: 007.15

    Enrollment anticpated to begin June 2015

    Description:

    The goal of this study is to develop a new treatment for perianal fistulas in dogs.  The current treatments for this severe condition (steroids and cyclosporine) are ineffective in a high percentage of patients and the disease relapses frequently.  Also, cyclosporine is expensive and has many side effects, so a major goal is to develop a therapy which reduces the need for immunosuppressive agents, such as cyclosporine. Previous trials using intralesional injections of stem cells have shown very encouraging results.

    Inclusion Criteria:                               

    • Adult dogs, any breed and either gender, with a clinical diagnosis of anal fistulas (presence of chronic peri-anal fistula(s) with clinical signs of tenesmus, dyschezia)and present with partial or complete relapse from cyclosporine A therapy
    • Age range 1-12 years
    • Weight range 2-100 kg

     

    Exclusion Criteria:

    • Dogs younger than 1 year or older than 12 years
    • Other severe diseases ( severe osteoarthritis, cardiac disease, neoplasia, skin disease)
    • Dogs that have had surgery (cryosurgery, anal sac resection, tail amputation) to treat the anal fistulas

     

    Client Benefits:

    The study will cover all the costs of the examinations (once your dog is found eligible) and stem cell treatments including sedation.  The study will provide $300 to participants toward purchase of cyclosporine during the 1 year study.

    Contact information:

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

  • Sponsor: Private Foundation

    IACUC protocol#: G2015-56

    Currently Recruiting

    Description:

    The goal of this study is to evaluate biomarkers in urine as measures of cardiac health.  Specifically, we will compare extracellular miRNA (‘micro RNA’) content of urine from healthy dogs, dogs with mitral valve disease, and dogs with renal disease (see criteria below).

    These studies will improve our knowledge of how extracellular miRNA reflects damage to the heart, versus damage from heart medications to the kidney.

    Inclusion Criteria:

    There will be four populations in this study:

    Group 1: Healthy adult dogs (8+ years) with no cardiac disease (no murmur)

    Group 2: Dogs with mitral valve disease and not in congestive heart failure

    Group 3: Dogs with mitral valve disease in congestive heart failure

    Group 4: Dogs with kidney injury but without cardiac disease (azotemia and no heart murmur)

    Client Benefits:

    The owner’s participation in this study will allow us to gain information about the benefits of using urine (a readily available, non-invasive source) to screen for heart disease and associated renal damage. In addition, the biomarkers (signals) we find may help veterinarians determine the effectiveness of treatments in their patients over time.  You understand that your animal’s participation in this study may not alleviate or cure his/her ailment.

    Contact Information:

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

     

  • Sponsor: Private Foundation

    IACUC protocol#: G2015-58                                                                                                                                 Currently Recruiting

    Description:

    The goal of this study is to compare plasma biomarkers in the form of extracellular RNA in dogs with mitral valve disease presenting with versus without congestive heart failure.

    This study will be an important step towards making exosome analysis a useful and readily available tool for evaluating the progression, the molecular basis for remodeling, and development of specific therapies for mitral valve disease.

    Inclusion/exclusion criteria:

    All dogs should be over eight years of age in order to control for age related differences.

    Healthy: for controls the dogs will be defined as a healthy animal with a normal physical exam, normal CBC/chemistry panel/UA and no evidence of a heart murmur as documented by a veterinarian

    There will be four populations that will be included in this study:

    • Group 1: Healthy dogs with no cardiac disease
    • Group 2: Dogs with mitral valve disease not in congestive heart failure.
    • Group 3: Dogs with mitral valve disease in congestive heart failure.

    Contact Information:

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

     

  • Sponsor: Private Foundation                                                                                                                   CSRC Protocol#: 002.15                                                                                                              Recruitment beginning July 2015

    Description:

    Cardiomyopathy is a common affliction of Boxer dogs that is manifested by serious ventricular arrhythmias, cardiac dilation and reduced pump function, or both. The arrhythmic form of the disease bears a striking resemblance to arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) in people, an important cause of sudden cardiac death in young human athletes that is characterized by replacement of the normal heart muscle by fat, scar tissue, and inflammation. ARVC can be challenging to diagnose.  Genetic testing is imperfect and ARVC screening usually entails a combination of family history, genetic testing, electrocardiographic and echocardiographic findings.

    The development of blood-based cardiac biomarkers has revolutionized the way in which we screen for certain types of heart disease. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that play important roles in modifying gene expression. MiRNA gene expression patterns are altered in several types of cardiac disease in people and miRNA-based therapeutics are an area of active research. MiRNAs are uniquely suited to serve both as non-invasive biomarkers of disease and also potential therapeutic targets.

    The goals of this pilot study are twofold: 1) to determine the feasibility of measurement of miRNAs from circulating exosomes in canine peripheral blood samples; and 2) to compare expression patterns of candidate miRNAs between normal Boxers and Boxers affected with ARVC. We hypothesize that measurement of miRNAs from within exosomes circulating in canine plasma will be feasible, miRNA will be enriched in the exosome rather than the non-exosomal fractions, and furthermore that Boxers affected with ARVC will have altered miRNA expression patterns relative to age- and breed-matched healthy controls.

    16 Boxers – 8 Normal, 8 with ARVC

    Inclusion Criteria:

    Normal boxers:           > 5 years of age

    < 50 VPCs/24 hr on Holter monitor

    Boxers with ARVC:      Any age with ≥500 VPC/24 hr on a Holter monitor or

    Ventricular ectopy sufficiently severe to begin antiarrhythmic therapy

    Exclusion criteria:

    Dogs with ACVIM Class C or D congestive heart failure, and those with clinically significant congenital heart disease, advanced renal or hepatic disease, diabetes mellitus, malignant neoplasia, active infection, or autoimmune disease will be excluded from the study.

    Administration of antiarrhythmics or other cardiac medications deemed necessary by each dog’s clinical condition will not preclude enrollment in the study.

    Client Benefits:

    The study will cover the costs for your dog’s bloodwork, echocardiogram, ECG, and Holter monitor today. Your pet’s participation will also allow us to gain information which will help in the diagnosis and treatment of other Boxers with this condition. You understand that your animal’s participation in this study may not alleviate or cure his/her ailment.

    Contact Information:

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

  • Description:

    The primary goal of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of diphenoxylate hydrochloride plus atropine sulfate (Lomotil) as treatment for diarrhea in dogs receiving treatment with toceranib phosphate (Palladia) for cancer. Toceranib is an increasingly commonly used drug in veterinary oncology since it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2009. Diarrhea is often a dose-limiting side effect and negatively impacts patient quality of life.

    To date, there are no standard or evidence-based protocols for supportive care to mitigate the adverse events while patients receive toceranib.  Toceranib is being used with increasing frequency in veterinary oncology, but this treatment is associated with a relatively high rate of adverse events. The most common adverse event described is diarrhea, which can lead to drug holidays and dose reductions. If diphenoxylate + atropine is effective at controlling diarrhea, it is anticipated that more dogs would be able to receive appropriate doses that reliably achieve therapeutic drug levels with fewer drug holidays, thereby enhancing tumor control while preserving good quality of life

    Inclusion Criteria:

    Canine patients presenting the Foster Hospital of Small Animals who will be prescribed toceranib at a target dose.

    Exclusion Criteria:

    • History of chronic diarrhea
    • Gastrointestinal upset (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, inappetence) within three days prior to the start of toceranib
    • Patients may not have received any medication for nausea or diarrhea within 7 days of starting toceranib
    • Patients may be on concurrent medications associated with gastrointestinal toxicity (prednisone, NSAIDs, cyclophosphamide) as long as they have been on the medication for at least two weeks without gastrointestinal upset.
    • Patients receiving monoamine oxidase inhibitors will be excluded due to possible drug interactions
    • Creatinine above the upper limit of the normal reference range
    •  Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) >3 times the upper limit of normal, icterus or increased bile acids
    • Hypoadrenocorticism.

    Client Benefits:

    The study will cover the cost of the anti-diarrhea medication and the examination fee at the 4-week recheck visit. You are responsible for the cost of the initial consultation, 2-week recheck examination, all blood tests and Palladia. Your pet’s participation will also allow us to gain information which will help in the management of other dogs with similar disease.

    Contact Information:

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

  • Description:

    Acute traumatic coagulopathy (ATC) is a recognized phenomenon in human medicine following severe trauma. The etiology of coagulopathy is likely multifactorial and may include the effects of platelet dysfunction and factor consumption, shock, hypothermia, acidemia, systemic inflammation from tissue trauma, and hemodilution.  Hyperfibrinolysis has been identified in severely injured human patients and has been associated with both tissue injury and shock. This overt coagulopathy affects at least 25% of severely traumatized human patients and is directly correlated to injury severity, massive resuscitation, and transfusion requirements. Humans with ATC are known to have a worse outcome than those with similar trauma and the same injury severity score and no disorder of coagulation. Identification of ATC in human trauma patients is a predictor of devastating complications including multi organ failure, sepsis and death.

    Early identification of these patients will enable clinicians to better counsel owners regarding prognosis and help them make difficult decisions regarding treatment.  Also, identification of hyperfibrinolysis in trauma patients will enable further clinical studies to be conducted regarding early anti-fibrinolytic therapy, a readily available and inexpensive medication.

    Inclusion Criteria:

    Dogs weighing > 5 kg (10 pounds) presenting to the Emergency Service following acute trauma with evidence of shock and or long bone fractures will be included.  Dogs that develop instability (shock) following admission for treatment or management for their trauma can also be included.

    Client Benefits:

    The study will cover the cost of initial ER blood testing and all the clotting tests performed. Your pet’s participation will also allow us to gain information which will help in the diagnosis and management/treatment of other dogs with severe trauma in the future.

    Contact Information:

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

  • Sponsor: Private Foundation

    CSRC Protocol #: 009.15

    Enrollment beginning September 2015

    Description:                               

    Atopic dermatitis (AD) affects approximately 10% of the canine population globally and is likely the most prevalent skin disease in the dog requiring medical intervention. Current treatment options for canines include antihistamines, corticosteroids, cyclosporine A, oclacitinib, and allergen-specific immunotherapy (ASIT) administered subcutaneously or sublingually, as well as adjunctive treatments such as topical and systemic antimicrobial therapy. Avoidance of implicated allergens is impractical or impossible in most cases. The problem with the above treatment options is that they are not entirely reliable therapeutic modalities, have potential for adverse reactions, or they come with significant financial burden. There is a great need for finding a novel, safe, and effective treatment for the management of canine AD.

    Multipotent mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been extensively evaluated in human medicine for their clinical applications in the repair of damaged tissues and in the treatment of chronic, degenerative inflammatory diseases because of their diverse wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties.

    Our primary goal is to investigate the safety and biological activity of canine placental (fetal) derived MSCs in alleviating the clinical signs associated with canine atopic dermatitis. Our secondary goal is to investigate the feasibility of this protocol for future applications in larger scale randomized controlled double-blinded clinical trials.

    Inclusion Criteria:

    1. Males or females, neutered or intact, greater than one year of age
    2. Have a minimum body weight of 5 kg
    3. Have a diagnosis of AD made based on history, clinical signs, exclusion of all other pruritic disease, meeting the de facto established criteria by Willemse and Prelaud. Cutaneous adverse food reaction will have been ruled out using a novel protein elimination diet trial for 8 weeks with no subsequent change in pruritus level following a provocation trial.
    4. Must be on and remain on ectoparasite preventatives for the duration of the trial.

    Exclusion Criteria:

    1. Dogs with other systemic diseases (severe osteoarthritis, cardiac disease, neoplasia, skin diseases) apart from atopic dermatitis will be excluded
    2. Inadequately treated skin infection

    Client Benefits:

    The study will cover all of the costs associated with this study. If an adverse event, such as an allergic reaction should occur, the study would cover the cost of treatment up to a limit of $500; adverse reactions or other complications will be managed by our ICU staff.

    Your pet’s participation will allow us to gain information, which will help in the diagnosis/management/treatment of other dogs/cats/horses/others with this condition. You understand that your animal’s participation in this study may not alleviate or cure his/her ailment.

    Contact Information:

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

     

     

  • Description:

    The success of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is very low, in veterinary (as well as human) patients. Even after successful return to spontaneous circulation, sequela to CPR include repeated cardiac arrest, brain disease, and multi-organ system failure. Low oxygen levels to the brain is the major factor contributing to these poor outcomes. There is a critical gap in our understanding of the physiology and prognosis after CPR, which has led to failure to substantially improve our success in dealing with this problem.

    An important goal of this study is to understand how chemicals called nucleic acids (RNA) are altered in post-CPR canine patients. The study will focus on very small RNA (miRNA). The specific objective of this study is to understand which miRNA are released into the circulation of canine patients after cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) versus non-CPR patients hospitalized in the ICU for other reasons.

    There is tremendous potential value in identifying circulating miRNA after CPR. First, miRNA may assist in predicting outcome (prognosticating) in individual patients in the future. Second, miRNAreleased into the circulation are indicators of major epigenetic disturbances as a consequence of hypoxia-ischemia.    Knowledge of these miRNA may lead to the design of novel therapies to counteract these effects, for example employing stem cells that release mitigating miRNA.

    Inclusion Criteria:

    Group 1:  Six dogs that have undergone CPR according to standard protocols in the TCSVM emergency room and have returned to spontaneous circulation for a minimum of 1 hr.

    Group 2:  Six dogs hospitalized in the ICU that have not experienced CPR or significant hypoxemia or ischemia (e.g. GDV, hemorrhage, stroke) will be selected for sampling at the same time (AM vs. PM). Dogs will be similar age and gender as post-CPR patient.

    Any breed is acceptable.

    Exclusion Criteria:

    • Dogs < 10 kg
    • Dogs with prior hypoxemia insult (prior arrest or CPR, GDV, stroke, hemorrhagic shock, congestive heart failure, etc).
    • Dogs with a diagnosis of cancer
    • Dogs with hemolytic disease
    • Dogs for which blood sampling is contraindicated (recent fluid/colloid resuscitation)

     

    Client Benefits:

    The study will cover the cost of a blood panel (NOVA) at the same time the sample is being collected; this is testing that is normally performed every few hours during recovery from CPR, it is also testing that is normally performed in sick dogs. Your pet’s participation will also allow us to gain information which will help in the treatment of other dogs with this condition. You understand that your animal’s participation in this study may not alleviate or cure his/her ailment

    Contact Information:

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

     

  • 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

  • Description:

    The purpose of the study is to determine the safety and efficacy of a novel anti-cancer agent, BKM120 in dogs with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This drug is unique in that it targets a particular pathway that is often abnormal in many types of cancer, including lymphoma. BMK120 has been shown to have efficacy in treating numerous human cancers with an acceptable safety profile.

    If you decide to participate in this study, your dog will be treated by a group of veterinarians specializing in clinical cancer research. Blood specimens and biopsy samples are an integral part of the treatment program and will be done at intervals at the recommendation of the veterinarian in charge and in accordance with the study protocol. As part of a cancer clinical trial, it is important to obtain information about the effectiveness of the drug therapy given to your dog.

    Inclusion Criteria:

    1. Species: Canine / various pure and mixed breeds
    2. Sex: male and female, intact and neutered
    3. Age Range: at least one year old on day 0
    4. Weight Range: greater than 10 kg on day 0
    5. Dogs diagnosed with histologically or cytological confirmed B or T cell lymphoma leukemia are eligible to be enrolled. The patient may have failed standard therapy or there may be no other known effective antineoplastic therapeutic options, or the owner may elect to enter the patient in lieu of standard therapy (e.g. Dogs will offered participation in this trial if they failed conventional therapy or if the owner is unable or not interested in pursuing conventional therapy).
    6. All dogs must have a histologic or cytologic diagnosis of lymphoma confirmed. Documentation through immunohistochemistry, immunocytochemistry or flow cytometry, or monoclonal immunoglobulin gene rearrangement by PCR for antigen receptor rearrangement must be performed. These tests are routine/standard of care, but immunophenotyping is not always completed since it is not necessary for treatment. If immunophenotyping has not been previously completed, then the investigators may provide funds for the necessary testing.

    Exclusion Criteria:

    1. Dogs with confirmed diabetes.
    2. Dogs that have received chemotherapy within 1 week of Day 0.
    3. Dogs that have received radiation therapy within 3 weeks of Day 0.
    4. Use of any other investigational drug within 1 week of study entry.
    5. Concurrent malignancy, other than NHL, or other serious systemic disorder incompatible with this study.
    6. Dogs receiving homeopathic/alternative therapies for their NHL – unless these therapies are discontinued on or prior to Day -1. Supplements such as chondroitin sulphate, vitamins, essential fatty acids and glucosamine are permitted during the trial period.
    7. Concurrent use of complementary or alternative medicines that in the opinion of the principal investigators would confound the interpretation of toxicities and/or antitumor activity of the study drug.

    Client Benefits:

     The study will cover all of the costs associated with your participation in the clinical trial including examination fees, blood work, biopsy fees, anesthesia, immunophenotyping (if indicated) and cost of study drug. Your pet’s participation will allow us to gain information, which will help in the treatment of other dogs with this condition. You understand that your animal’s participation in this study may not alleviate or cure his/her ailment.

     Contact Information:

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

  • Sponsor: Private Foundation

    CSRC Protocol #: 117.15

    Enrollment: Current

    Description:

    Dogs presenting with acute, concussive disk herniations share many similarities with human spinal cord injury patients. The prognosis for return to normal function is very guarded in dogs with acute onset of paraplegia and loss of pain perception in hind legs. The likelihood to regain ambulatory status is within the range of 43-69%. Fecal incontinence was observed in 41% and urinary incontinence in 32% of dogs regaining pain perception and ambulatory function. In dogs which fail to regain pain perception and ambulatory function after surgery, fecal and urinary incontinence will persist and frequent urinary tract infections are common. In addition, in some dogs this dysfunction can progress to the level of ascending urinary tract infection and sepsis.    New therapies are needed to improve these outcome.

    We propose to transplant allogeneic Wharton’s Jelly (umbilical cord matrix) mesenchymal stem cells (WJ-MSC) into the spinal cord of dogs admitted to the Foster Hospital at Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University because of severe spinal cord injury secondary to intervertebral disc herniation/compression in order to study their potential as neuroprotective and regenerative agents.

    Our hypothesis is that chondrodystrophic dogs with an acute onset of paraplegia and loss of pain perception caudal to a thoracolumbar disk extrusion treated with decompressive surgery and subdural allogeneic WJ-MSC will have a significantly higher likelihood of a functional recovery than dogs treated with decompressive surgery alone.

    In this prospective study, paraplegic dogs with absent pain perception will be randomly assigned to WJ-MSC (in Cryostor) plus surgery or vehicle (Cryostor) plus surgery. Parameters of interest include time to return of pain perception, motor function, ambulation and urinary/fecal continence. A successful outcome will be defined as return to ambulatory function, normal pain perception caudal to the lesion and full urinary and fecal continence within 3 months post-surgery.

    A positive functional outcome as a result of stem cell transplantation would be a tremendous benefit and step forward for dogs being affected with concussive disk herniations. Determining such efficacy, along with an assessment of any related complications, would provide an ideal naturally occurring disease model in dogs could also be utilized in human therapeutics of spinal cord injury.

    Inclusion Criteria:

    Dogs of any age, sex weighing less than 25 kg with the following:

    ° Complete medical history

    ° Owner consent for inclusion into study

    ° Paraplegia with absent pain perception in hind legs and tail at admission

    ° Extradural compression between T3 – L3 diagnosed with CT or MRI

    ° Acute disk extrusion confirmed at surgery

    ° Follow up performed at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University by neurology service

    Exclusion criteria:

    ° Unable to confirm disk extrusion intraoperatively

    ° Concurrent disease that could interfere with neurologic recovery

    ° Inability to obtain in-hospital follow-up performed at Tufts University by the neurology service

    ° No owner consent

    Client benefits:

    The study will cover all of the costs of stem cells treatment and follow-up appointments up to 3 months after the surgery, as well as contribute $1100 towards the cost of surgery. Your pet’s participation will also allow us to gain information which will help in the diagnosis/management/treatment of other dogs with this condition. You understand that your animal’s participation in this study may not alleviate or cure his/her ailment.

    Contact information:

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

     

  • Description:

    This clinical trial led by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and sponsored by the Morris Animal Foundation seeks to evaluate in dogs with osteosarcoma the safety and effectiveness of Standard of Care therapy, with or without adjuvant rapamycin administration. Standard of Care is defined as definitive surgery, being amputation of the affected limb, followed by 4 doses of intravenous carboplatin chemotherapy given on a q21 day schedule. Carboplatin has been safely and effectively used to treat appendicular osteosarcoma in dogs for > 20 years, but the potential for unforeseen potentially life-threatening side effects from surgery, chemotherapy, and/or progressive cancer does exist. ALL dogs enrolled onto study will receive Standard of Care therapy; however, through a randomization process, some dogs entered into study will also receive additional therapy with oral rapamycin.

    Rapamycin is a drug currently approved for immunosuppression during preparatory and maintenance regimens for organ and bone marrow transplant in human patients. Early work with rapamycin suggests that this agent might also have anti-cancer properties by inhibiting (reducing the effects of) an important pathway in cancer progression known as mTOR. Preclinical studies of rapamycin in mice, as well as recent data using analogous drugs in human patients (rapalogs), suggest that mTOR blockade might be effective in the treatment of several cancers. In a recently completed study of rapamycin in dogs with cancer, a dose and schedule for rapamycin administration have been defined which appears to be safe and tolerable by most dogs.

    Within this study, dogs will undergo surgical amputation of the affected limb. Dogs will return to Cummings Veterinary Medical Center every 3 weeks for 15 weeks for evaluation. On weeks 3, 6, 9 and 12, dogs will receive treatment carboplatin chemotherapy. After 15 weeks of Standard of Care, based upon initial study randomization, dogs will either receive oral rapamycin on a 4 day on/3 day off schedule for 4 months or will not be treated with any additional medications and simply be monitored every 8 weeks.

    Eligibility Criteria:          

    1. Histologically or cytologically (inclusive of alkaline phosphatase positivity) confirmed osteosarcoma
    2. Measurable disease that is amenable to surgical removal via amputation (No evidence of metastasis based upon physical exam, chest x-rays, and abdominal ultrasound).
    3. Favorable performance status: Grade 0 or 1 (modified ECOG [Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group] criteria) – Briefly, Grade 0 means that the animal’s activity level is completely normal; Grade 1 allows for mild lethargy but the animal is still able to perform all “activities of daily living.”
    4. ONLY newly diagnosed dogs are eligible with no prior therapy (conventional or metronomic chemotherapy, ionizing radiation, bisphosphonates) for osteosarcoma
    5. Dogs receiving analgesics including NSAIDs, gabapentin, tramadol, or other will be eligible for study inclusion
    6. Informed owner consent for trial (approved by CSRC/IACUC) – Client’s informed consent includes permission for dogs to undergo full post-mortem examination (necropsy) if the dog dies while on study

    Exclusion Criteria:

    1. Weight < 25 kg (55 pounds)
    2. Dogs without measurable disease (appendicular osteosarcoma) at presentation to Tufts
    3. ANY prior therapy for osteosarcoma (conventional or metronomic chemotherapy, ionizing radiation, bisphosphonates)
    4. Concurrent medications deemed incongruent with this study; to be determined by NCI COTC investigators.
    5. Significant co-morbid illness, which includes but is not limited to renal or hepatic failure, history of congestive heart failure or clinical coagulopathy
    6. Creatinine > 3.0 mg/dL
    7. Bilirubin > 2.0 mg/dL or elevated bile acids
    8. HCT < 25%, platelets < 150,000 cells/ul
    9. Any hematologic/biochemical abnormality > grade 1 ( According to the Veterinary Cooperative Oncology Group – Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events [VCOG-CTCAE] v1.1 – which appears in Appendix II in the COTC protocol)

    Client Benefits 

    Costs associated with this study (including carboplatin and rapamycin administration and study-related evaluations will be covered by the study. In addition, $1,000 will be provided towards the cost of surgical amputation

    Contact Information:

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

     

     

  • Description:

    Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a genetically predisposed inflammatory skin condition affecting approximately 10% of dogs globally and is probably the most prevalent skin disease in canines.1 Affected dogs manifest with itchy skin and ears and secondary infections.

    Current treatment options include antihistamines, corticosteroids, cyclosporine, oclacitinib, and allergen-specific immunotherapy (ASIT), as well as adjunctive topical and antimicrobial therapy.

    Antihistamines are effective in ≤25% of dogs. Corticosteroids are extremely efficacious; however, adverse reactions are common, thus long-term use is strongly discouraged. Cyclosporine is effective in many dogs with few serious adverse effects, but cost can be a limitation in large breed dogs. Oclacitinib has been shown to have good efficacy, but long term side effects have not been studied, nor is the drug available currently in a consistent basis due to manufacturing issues. ASIT appears as the only treatment that is able to induce a clinical cure. However, the percentage of atopic dogs that respond to this treatment is only 60-70% and in many, the response is only partial.4-9

    It has been proposed that subcutaneous ASIT is less than ideal because of the limited ability of the skin to stimulate the immune system. This study proposes an alternative route of administration for ASIT. Direct administration of allergens into a peripheral lymph node may be more effective in stimulating an immunologic reaction thereby increasing the response rate and potentially the cure rate for canine atopic dermatitis.

    Inclusion criteria:

    1. Males or females, neutered or intact, greater than one year of age

    2. Have a minimum body weight of 10.0 kg

    3. Have a diagnosis of AD made based on history, clinical signs, exclusion of all other pruritic disease, meeting the de facto established criteria by Willemse and Prelaud. Cutaneous adverse food reaction will have been ruled out using a novel protein elimination diet trial for 8 weeks with no subsequent change in pruritus level following a provocation trial.

    4. Dogs with secondary superficial infections such as Malassezia dermatitis and bacterial folliculitis will be allowed and will be treated with systemic and topical antimicrobial therapy as needed

    Exclusion criteria:

    1. Dogs with other systemic diseases (severe osteoarthritis, cardiac disease, neoplasia, skin diseases) apart from atopic dermatitis will be excluded.

    2. Current immunosuppressive therapy

    Client Benefits:

    The study will cover all of the costs of this study with the exemption of complications in which you will remain financially liable for the cost of such care. Your pet’s participation will also allow us to gain information which will help in the treatment of other dogs with atopic dermatitis. You understand that your animal’s participation in this study may not alleviate or cure his/her ailment.

    Contact Information:

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

     

     

  • Tufts researchers are studying what pet owners think about pet health and treatment. Will you take an 8 minute survey to help us provide better care for pets in the future? 

     

    Survey Link: http://bit.ly/21UWPa0

     

     

     

  • Description

    Bisphosphonates, such as pamidronate and more recently zoledronate, are commonly used for palliation of pain related to malignant osteolysis. Acute systemic inflammatory responses, cardiac arrhythmias, ocular toxicity and significant elevations in pro-inflammatory cytokines have been observed in association with bisphosphonate therapy in humans, although the frequency is uncertain. The primary objective of this study is to investigate if there is an increase in biomarkers of inflammation and myocardial injury after zoledronate administration in dogs with malignant osteolysis. A secondary objective is to assess body temperature and to determine if there is an association between zoledronic acid-induced rise in temperature and elevation in inflammatory biomarkers.

    Inclusion Criteria

    • All dogs must be at least one year old on Day 0.
    • All dogs must weigh at least 5kg on Day 0.
    • All dogs must have complete baseline cancer staging involving physical exam, chemistry profile and urinalysis prior to enrollment.
    • Dogs must have adequate organ function as indicated by standard laboratory tests: hematology (CBC), clinical chemistry and urinalysis.
    • All dogs must have either radiographic or advanced imaging to confirm the presence of a lytic bone lesion.
    • All dogs must be intended to receive intravenous zoledronate to alleviate associated bone pain as part of their therapeutic plan.

     Exclusion Criteria

    • Dogs that had received prior bisphosphonate (pamidronate or zoledronate) administration.
    • Evidence of severe kidney dysfunction.
    • Dogs that are receiving corticosteroids for at least 7 days prior to enrollment.

    Client Benefits

    The study will cover the costs associated with one administration of one dose of zoledronate, three CBCs, and the costs of blood tests involved in the study. This amounts to a total financial benefit of approximately $550.  The client will be responsible for all other costs associated with the cancer staging (initial consult, chemistry profile, urinalysis, and radiographic or other advanced imaging evidence of a lytic bone lesion) as well as any additional treatments with zoledronate or other cancer therapy during and after completion of the study. Each patient’s participation will allow us to gain information which will help in the side effect management of future dogs undergoing treatment with zoledronate.

    Have a case?  

    Contact Drs. Michele Keyerleber or Molly Holmes at (508) 887-4682, Michele.Keyerleber@tufts.edu or Molly.Holmes@tufts.edu            

  • Description:

    The purpose of the study is to investigate ways to monitor dogs that have been diagnosed with chronic inflammation in their liver so called chronic hepatitis in dogs. We are performing this study to evaluate whether these blood tests correlate with the severity of the dog’s liver disease.

    Inclusion Criteria:

    • Dogs weighing greater than 6 kg (13 lbs)
    • Dogs with histologically confirmed chronic hepatitis

    Exclusion Criteria:

    • history of use of corticosteroids, ursodeoxycholate, NSAIDs, omega-3 or vitamin D supplementation within 2 weeks of enrollment or the use of DDAVP within 24 hours
    • degenerative mitral valve disease, renal disease (Creat >2.0 mg/dL), concurrent active infection, neoplasia, IBD, immune mediated hemolytic anema, pnacreatitis or immune mediated polyarthropathy

    Client Benefits:

    The study will cover the costs of the vitamin D, CRP and von Willebrand factors as well as a complete blood count and serum chemistry at the first recheck appointment.

    Contact information:

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

     

     

     

  • Description:

    Degenerative mitral valve disease (DMVD) is the most common form of heart disease in the dog, accounting for more than 70% of cardiac disease and affecting at least 11% of all dogs (and up to 90% of certain breeds, such as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel). Some breeds of dogs are genetically predisposed to DMVD, but genetics do not completely explain the disease and its progression. Research on factors that may increase the risk for heart disease in genetically predisposed individuals is underway in both people and companion animals, and includes factors such as diet, exercise, and hormones. This is particularly important in people where heart disease is a leading cause of death.

    Recently, a compound called trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) has received a great deal of attention due to its association with heart disease in people. Trimethylamine N-oxide is produced when the bacteria in people’s intestines metabolize nutrients in the diet, such as choline and L-carnitine. High levels of TMAO, choline, and L-carnitine in the blood have all been shown to be associated with increased risk of heart disease and death from heart disease in people.

    Based on the recent research on TMAO in people, the investigators have begun evaluating its role in canine heart disease.  It is unknown if blood levels of TMAO, choline, or L-carnitine are different in dogs with DMVD compared to healthy controls. Nor is it known if these levels differ in dogs with DMVD with and without congestive heart failure (CHF). Therefore, the goal of the proposed study is to identify whether the higher blood levels of TMAO, choline, and L-carnitine found in people with heart disease also occur in dogs with DMVD, and if the levels in dogs with CHF are higher than in those without CHF.

    Inclusion Criteria:

    • Dogs with asymptomatic DMVD
    • Dogs with DMVD and CHF
    • Age- and breed-matched healthy control dogs.

    Exclusion Criteria:

    • Dogs currently receiving other non-cardiac medications (except monthly parasite preventative medication, which will be allowed),
    • Dietary supplements containing carnitine, choline, precursors of carnitine or choline, or supplements that might modify gut microflora (e.g., probiotics) will be excluded.
    • Dogs in the control group and in the asymptomatic DMVD group with a serum creatinine >2.1 mg/dL will be excluded
    • Dogs in the DMVD CHF group with a serum creatinine > 2.4 mg/dL will be excluded.
    • Dogs with other major diseases (e.g., cancer, diabetes mellitus) will also be excluded.

    Client Benefits:

    The study will cover the costs of hospital registration, a cardiology consultation or appointment, and echocardiogram, blood testing (complete blood count, biochemistry profile, and measurement of TMAO, choline, and carnitine). Your dog’s participation will also allow us to gain information about the cause of this disease which will help in the treatment of other dogs with this condition. You understand that your dog’s participation in this study may not alleviate or cure his or her ailment.

    Contact Information:

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