Flyer for cystine bladder stone clinical trial in dogs

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Below, please find links to all of the clinical trials involving nutrition. The studies 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 Nutrition service webpage at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) if you would like to learn more about the amazing things that our nutritionists can do for you and your animal.


NEW! Healthy Cats: How Do Healthy Cats Eat?

Title: Foraging Behavior Under Threat and Enrichment in Confined Cats

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study is to evaluate feeding behaviors and activity levels of cats under different household conditions.

Contact: Dr. Mikel Delgado, Dr. Tony Buffington or Dr. Melissa Bain at

Participation Requirements: Households with one or two cats who live indoors only, or who only go outdoors with supervision

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Your cat needs to:

  • Be between 1 and 10 years of age
  • Have been seen by a veterinarian in the last year
  • Not currently be under any medical treatment


  • We will review your cat’s current diet, environment, general health, and behavior, and then loan you a camera and other equipment to measure your cat’s activity and feeding behavior during the study.
  • You will introduce one or two enrichment item(s) to your cat(s) in the middle of the study. We will provide the enrichment item(s).
  • We will meet with you to pick up the loaned equipment and ask you to complete a short questionnaire to share your opinions about the study at the time of completion.
  • You will be asked to complete questionnaires/forms about your cat’s behavior.

Benefits: You will be provided with one or two enrichment items for your cat, which you may keep.

Participation may result in an improved quality of life for your cat due to environmental enrichment recommendations, which may reduce boredom and negative behaviors, and an increase in your cat’s general health and welfare.

Owner Responsibilities: From start to finish, your cat will be in this study for approximately one month. If you wish to have your cat in this study, you will be responsible for setting up equipment, maintaining records at home, and returning all applicable materials provided to you.

If you agree, we will ask you to participate in a second, one-week study approximately six months after the initial study.

Printable Flyer (PDF)


Healthy Dogs: Assessing Amino Acid Concentrations in Urine

Title: Amino Acid Concentrations in the Urine of Healthy Dogs

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


Participation Requirements:

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

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

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


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

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

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Cystine Bladder Stones: Investigating an Oral Nutraceutical Treatment

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


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

Contact: Jodi L. Westropp DVM PhD DACVIM at, Sean Hulsebosch DVM DACVIM at, or make an appointment by calling (530) 752 – 1393.

Participation Requirements:

  • Dogs with a history of cystine stones
  • Healthy dogs with no history of cystine stones of similar breeds

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Known documented history of cystine stones


  • A physical exam, abdominal ultrasound, blood and urine testing will be performed.
  • No follow-up visits will be required; however, urine samples will need to be collected at home after receiving the oral nutraceutical for one week.


  • Free screening and diagnostic testing for your pet, including abdominal ultrasound, bloodwork and urinalyses
  • We hope that the data acquired in this study will allow us to advance the prevention of cystine bladder stones in both pets and people.

Owner Responsibilities:

  • Keeping the scheduled appointment
  • Administering the oral nutraceutical for 7 days
  • Three, at-home, urine collections while administering the medication to your dog

Printable Flyer (PDF)

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