Pain Management

Below, please find links to all of the clinical trials investigating pain management. The studies are organized by species 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.

Please visit the Anesthesiology service webpage at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) if you would like to learn more about the amazing things that our anesthesiologists do for you and your animal.

Cats

Osteoarthritis (#1): Examining a New Pain Relief Medication

Title: Analgesic evaluation of tramadol in osteoarthritic geriatric cats

Purpose of Study: The objective of this study is to increase the available options for pain relief in cats with osteoarthritis, which should directly impact their health and well-being.

Participation Requirements:

  • Cats must be indoor-only, with owner-identified mobility impairment
  • Cats whose owners have noticed altered activity, with radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis and decreased muscle mass (for non-axial joints), with no detectable systemic disease and no clinically significant abnormalities on blood work
  • Ineligible:
    • Female cats cannot be pregnant
    • Cats must not receive any anti-inflammatory or other analgesic medications. Administration of glucosamine-chondroitin sulphate or similar medication (e.g., chondroprotectants) is acceptable as long as they have been administered for at least 10 weeks and the administration does not change during the study period.

Initial Evaluation for Participation:

  • Cats will be evaluated via general physical, orthopedic and neurological examinations, complete blood cell count and serum biochemical analyzes
  • Orthogonal radiographs will be taken of joints suspected to have osteoarthritis based on history and physical examination.

Procedures:

  • Tramadol will be given orally at four different doses (0 mg/kg or placebo, 1 mg/kg, 2 mg/kg and 4 mg/kg) twice per day during five consecutive days per dose to senior cats (10 years old or older). Each cat will receive all doses in random order with a space of two days between each dose.
  • Owners will evaluate the pain relief on a weekly basis through a questionnaire tailored specifically for their cat.
  • Cats will wear an activity monitor device (e.g., a type of “pedometer”) on their neck to measure their activity level at home.

Benefits: This is a fully funded study, so the owner will not pay for any procedures required for the animal to participate in the study.

Owner Responsibilities: Owners must have a stable routine of daily living that is unlikely to change during the proposed study period (e.g., no impending changes, such as moving to a new location, vacations, introduction of new pets or people into the household). Additionally, cats will be excluded if they miss more than one tramadol dose per week.

Contact: Dr. Alonso Guedes (agclintrials@gmail.com; please add "cat tram pain study" in the subject line)

Printable Flyer

Osteoarthritis (#2): Examining a New Pain Relief Medication

Title: Analgesic evaluation of gabapentin in osteoarthritic geriatric cats

Purpose of Study: The objective of this study is to increase the available options for pain relief in cats with osteoarthritis, which should directly impact their health and well-being.

Participation Requirements:

  • Cats must be indoor-only, with owner-identified mobility impairment
  • Cats whose owners have noticed altered activity, with radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis and decreased muscle mass (for non-axial joints), with no detectable systemic disease and no clinically significant abnormalities on blood work
  • Ineligible:
    • Female cats cannot not be pregnant
    • Cats cannot be receiving any anti-inflammatory or other analgesic medications. Administration of glucosamine-chondroitin sulphate or similar medication (e.g., chondroprotectants) is acceptable as long as they have been administered for at least 10 weeks and the administration does not change during the study period.

Initial Evaluation for Participation:

  • Cats will be evaluated via general physical, orthopedic and neurological examinations, complete blood cell count and serum biochemical analyzes.
  • Orthogonal radiographs will be taken of joints suspected to have osteoarthritis based on history and physical examination.

Procedures:

  • Gabapentin at a dose of 10 mg/kg or placebo will be given orally twice per day for two weeks to senior cats (10 years old or older). Each cat will be treated with gabapentin or placebo in random order.
  • Owners will evaluate the pain relief on a weekly basis through a questionnaire tailored specifically for their cat.
  • Cats will wear an activity monitor device (e.g., a type of “pedometer”) on their neck to measure their activity level at home.

Benefits: This is a fully funded study, so the owner will not pay for any procedures required for the animal to participate in the study.

Owner Responsibilities: Owner must have a stable routine of daily living that is unlikely to change during the proposed study period (e.g., no impending changes such as moving to a new location, vacations, introduction of new pets or people into the household).  In addition, cats will be excluded if they miss more than one gabapentin dose per week.

Contact: Dr. Alonso Guedes (agclintrials@gmail.com; please add "cat tram pain study" in the subject line)

Printable Flyer

Dogs

Osteoarthritis in the Elbow: Examining a New Pain Relief Medication

Title: Novel Analgesic For Dogs with Osteoarthritis

Purpose: This study is an effort to increase the available options for pain relief in small companion animals with pain due to osteoarthritis and other painful inflammatory diseases. The specific objectives are:

  1. To determine the plasma concentration of arachidonic acid metabolites representing the three branches of its metabolic cascade in healthy and osteoarthritic dogs;
  2. To determine the effect of t-TUCB on measures of pain and activity level in osteoarthritic dogs;
  3. To demonstrate sEH inhibition (i.e., target engagement) by t-TUCB; and
  4. To correlate the changes in arachidonic acid-derived lipid profiles with changes in pain behavior and activity in osteoarthritic dogs.

Participation Requirements:

  • Healthy adult dogs with confirmed "elbow" osteoarthritis and lameness/impaired mobility for over 30 days
  • Cannot be on any other analgesics/joint supplements for at least the past 10 days (joint diet is allowed)
  • No surgery within last 6 months
  • Ineligible: Dogs cannot:
    • Be pregnant
    • Have other systemic diseases
    • Dependent on other pain medications

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Dogs must have:

  • Recent radiographs of suspected joint(s) affected by osteoarthritis
  • Blood sample for laboratory tests

Procedures: This study will last for three weeks. Throughout the study, your dog will need to wear an activity monitor on a neck collar (similar to a pedometer). At the initial appointment, you will also need to fill out a form assessing your dog’s pain level and then again at the end of the study. The procedures are as follows:

  • First week: Your dog only needs to wear the activity monitor (i.e., no medications needed).
  • Second and third week: The owner will be asked to give the drug or placebo to their dog by mouth once a day.
  • End of the Study: Your dog needs to come back to the hospital for a blood draw and to return the activity monitor.

Benefits: Your dog will potentially be relieved of pain associated with arthritis and inflammation. The knowledge gained from this study has the potential to benefit science and other dogs in the future.

Owner Responsibilities: The study drug or placebo, orthopedic exam, the appointment fee and laboratory tests to analyze the blood sample are covered by the study. The owner will be responsible for all remaining costs including any costs associated with any adverse events or complications. Additionaly, owners will be held responsible for loss of the activity monitor ($500.00).

Contact: Dr. Caitlin Tearney (cctearney@ucdavis.edu)