Healthy Animals

Below, please find links to all of the clinical trials looking for healthy animals. 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.

Cats

Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (Dry Eye) or other tear film disorders: Understanding the Eye

Title: Ocular surface and tear film assessment in healthy cats and dogs

Purpose of Study: This study will examine new and current methods of assessing the tear film in normal cats.

Participation Requirements:

  • Healthy cats, and;
  • Cats with evidence of a tear film dysfunction

Initial Evaluation for Participation: The initial examination will occur at your cat's regular ophthalmic appointment.

Procedures:

  • Schirmer tear test
  • Phenol red thread test
  • Conjunctival impression cytology
  • Tear osmometry
  • Meibometry
  • Tearfilm break up time

Benefits: There are no direct benefits for enrolling your cat in this study; however, we hope that the data acquired in this study will allow us to understand the tear film in our veterinary patients.

Owner Responsibilities: The owner is only required to bring their cat in and sign the owner informed consent document.

Contact: Lionel Sebbag (sebbaglionel@gmail.com)

Dogs

Walking: Comparing the Way Different Breeds Walk

Title: Comparison of Trotting Gait in Normal Dachshund and Beagle Dogs

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study is to analyze the way clinically normal dogs walk (i.e., gait). We are focused on measuring kinetics, kinematics and sEMG (surface electromyography).

Participation Requirements: Healthy Dachshunds and Beagles that are/have

  • 1-8 years old
  • Weigh between 11-26 pounds (5-12 kg)
  • Free of significant dermatological diseases
  • No prior history of orthopedic/neurological problems
  • Well-mannered and can walk on a leash

Initial Evaluation for Participation: General physical, neurologic, and orthopedic examinations performed at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.

Procedures: If your dog is in good health, he/she will be trotted on a leash across a force plate instrumented with kinematic markers multiple times. The sEMG is optional. If you elect to have your pet included in the sEMG portion, we will need to shave a couple of small areas on your dog (e.g., on/near the joints).

Benefits: The potential benefit of participating in this study includes free orthopedic and neurological evaluations. This study will potentially serve as the basis for future studies that will benefit both breeds.

Owner Responsibilities: Owners need only bring their dog in for the evaluations and gait analysis.

Contact:

Printable Brochure

Corneal Endothelial Dystrophy: Understanding the Disease in Boston Terriers

Title: Phenotype and Genotype of Corneal Endothelial Dystrophy in Boston Terriers

Purpose of Study: Corneal endothelial dystrophy (CED) is a devastating disease in dogs that can result in blindness and severe ocular pain from secondary complications. The endothelial cells comprise the most inner aspect of the cornea and are responsible for maintaining a proper fluid balance. This function is critical to ensuring that the cornea remains transparent for vision. In many animals, including dogs, corneal endothelial cells have a very limited capacity to regenerate following injury. In canine patients with CED, the endothelial cells degenerate until the cells still remaining can no longer function properly. This results in swelling of the cornea (edema) which results in decreased vision as well as formation of small fluid-filled blisters (bullae) on the cornea which can rupture and cause ocular discomfort. There are palliative treatments such as hypertonic saline to decrease corneal bullae formation but the only definitive treatment for this condition is a corneal transplant (penetrating keratoplasty). Unfortunately, corneal transplants are rarely performed in canine patients with CED due to the expense of the surgery and follow-up care, relatively high risk of complications, and lack of appropriate donor tissue.

Several dog breeds, including Boston Terriers, are seen more commonly for CED in comparison to other breeds. This observation suggests that this disease may have a genetic component. A similar condition called Fuch’s endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD) exists in humans and several genes associated with FECD have been identified. We propose to identify the region of the dog genome associated with CED in the Boston Terrier. In order to do this, we will perform thorough eye examinations and use non-invasive advanced imaging techniques to examine Boston Terriers with CED and age-matched control dogs. We will collect blood from these dogs to obtain DNA. The entire canine genome will be evaluated for an association with CED. This work will be used to identify the gene(s) responsible for this condition in Boston Terriers. The ultimate goal will be to develop a genetic test for CED in Boston Terriers and possibly other breeds, such as Chihuahuas, Dachshunds, and German Short Haired Pointers with an increased risk of CED.

Participation Requirements:

  • Boston Terriers with Corneal Endothelial Dystrophy
  • Healthy Boston Terriers (>7 years of age)

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Dogs must receive a diagnosis by a veterinary ophthalmologist for corneal endothelial dystrophy.

Procedures:

  • Ophthalmic examination
  • Noninvasive advanced corneal imaging with confocal microscopy and spectral domain-optical coherence tomography

NOTE: Sedation is required for these procedures.

Benefits: Benefits include an ophthalmic examination at no cost with thorough characterization of disease to aid in monitoring for progression.

Owner Responsibilities: No ophthalmic medications can be administered 48 h prior to examination. Food cannot be given in the morning in preparation for sedation.

Contact: Dr. Sara Thomasy (smthomasy@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1770)

Corneal Endothelial Dystrophy: Understanding the Disease in German Shorthaired Pointers

Title: Phenotype and Genotype of Corneal Endothelial Dystrophy in German Shorthaired Pointers

Purpose of Study: Corneal endothelial dystrophy (CED) is a devastating disease in dogs that can result in blindness and severe ocular pain from secondary complications. The endothelial cells comprise the most inner aspect of the cornea and are responsible for maintaining a proper fluid balance. This function is critical to ensuring that the cornea remains transparent for vision. In many animals, including dogs, corneal endothelial cells have a very limited capacity to regenerate following injury. In canine patients with CED, the endothelial cells degenerate until the cells still remaining can no longer function properly. This results in swelling of the cornea (edema) which results in decreased vision as well as formation of small fluid-filled blisters (bullae) on the cornea which can rupture and cause ocular discomfort. There are palliative treatments such as hypertonic saline to decrease corneal bullae formation but the only definitive treatment for this condition is a corneal transplant (penetrating keratoplasty). Unfortunately, corneal transplants are rarely performed in canine patients with CED due to the expense of the surgery and follow-up care, relatively high risk of complications, and lack of appropriate donor tissue.

Several dog breeds, including German Shorthaired Pointers, are seen more commonly for CED in comparison to other breeds. This observation suggests that this disease may have a genetic component. A similar condition called Fuch’s endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD) exists in humans and several genes associated with FECD have been identified. We propose to identify the region of the dog genome associated with CED in the German Shorthaired Pointer. In order to do this, we will perform thorough eye examinations and use non-invasive advanced imaging techniques to examine German Shorthaired Pointers with CED and age-matched control dogs. We will collect blood from these dogs to obtain DNA. The entire canine genome will be evaluated for an association with CED. This work will be used to identify the gene(s) responsible for this condition in German Shorthaired Pointers. The ultimate goal will be to develop a genetic test for CED in German Shorthaired Pointers and possibly other breeds, such as Chihuahuas, Dachshunds, and Boston Terriers with an increased risk of CED.

Participation Requirements:

  • German Shorthaired Pointers with Corneal Endothelial Dystrophy
  • Healthy German Shorthaired Pointers (>7 years of age)

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Dogs must receive a diagnosis by a veterinary ophthalmologist for corneal endothelial dystrophy.

Procedures:

  • Ophthalmic examination
  • Noninvasive advanced corneal imaging with confocal microscopy and spectral domain-optical coherence tomography

NOTE: Sedation is required for these procedures.

Benefits: Benefits include an ophthalmic examination at no cost with thorough characterization of disease to aid in monitoring for progression.

Owner Responsibilities: No ophthalmic medications can be administered 48 h prior to examination. Food cannot be given in the morning in preparation for sedation.

Contact: Dr. Sara Thomasy (smthomasy@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1770)