Dogs

Below, please find links to all of the clinical trials currently accepting canine patients. The studies are organized by discipline 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.

Anesthesia & Pain Management

Osteoarthritis: 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 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)

Brain & Nervous System (Neurology & Neurosurgery)

Brain Tumors: Investigating Therapy Delivery Methods

Title: Convection enhanced delivery (CED) of murine leukemia virus (MLV) cytosine deaminase (CD) gene therapy in canine glioma

Purpose of Study: This clinical trial will investigate the delivery of a viral gene therapy for canine gliomas (brain tumors).

Participation Requirements:

  • Dogs with intracranial glioma
  • Ineligible:
    • Moderate or severe neurological deficits
    • Uncontrolled seizures
    • Rapidly deteriorating neurological status

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Dogs will be assessed for eligibility based on an MRI scan. A CT guided brain biopsy will be done to confirm the diagnosis and to concurrently deliver the gene therapy.

Procedures: Using CT and MRI scans, a needle will be placed into the brain tumor (previously diagnosed on MRI). A biopsy of the tumor will be taken and the viral gene therapy will be injected into the tumor through the same needle. 2-4 weeks following the injection, the tumor will be surgically removed or be bulked. Following surgery, further treatment may include radiation therapy and/or the experimental gene therapy drugs.

Benefits: The major benefit for the dog and owner is that the brain biopsy, surgery, radiation therapy and experimental gene therapy will be paid for up to an initial cost of $20,000 per case.

Surgical resection and radiation therapy are the standard of care treatment at this time for gliomas. Based on individual case assessment, the experimental gene therapy may be given and may have an additional benefit in treating any recurrent or residual tumor.

Owner Responsibilities: Owners are responsible for the small costs associated with any routine medications that the dog is currently prescribed. Treatment will be assessed based on recheck MRI scans at 2-3 month intervals.

Contact: Owners or referring veterinarians should contact the Neurology/Neurosurgery coordinator, Christy Chessman, at (530) 754-0606, (530) 752-1393, or cchessman@vmth.ucdavis.edu.

Myasthenia Gravis: Understanding the Genetics

Title: MHC Haplotyping of dogs with Acquired Myasthenia Gravis

Purpose of Study: Acquired myasthenia gravis is an immune mediated disease. In people, there is an association between genes (HLA DR3) and the myasthenia gravis. If the same is true in dogs, it may allow us to identify dogs at risk before the development of disease, and it may allow us to develop new treatments. The purpose of this study is to determine if dogs with acquired myasthenia gravis have a similar genes (MHC haplotype). We will use DNA collected from blood cells to do the genetic analysis. The genetic analysis will be done in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

Participation Requirements: Dogs with a confirmed diagnosis of acquired Myasthenia Gravis.

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures: The only procedure involved a DNA analysis of a blood sample submitted by the owner (at least 5 mls) in 1-2 EDTA tubes.

Benefits: There is no direct benefit of this study for you or your dog; however, the information may allow us to identify dogs that are at risk and develop new treatments.

Owner Responsibilities: The owner only needs to send in a blood sample that has been collected in 1-2 tubes of EDTA by over-night FedEx, Monday to Thursday.

Contact: Contact Dr. Vernau at (530) 752-1393, (530) 304-9450, or kmvernau@ucdavis.edu

Cancer (Oncology)

Anal Sac Gland Carcinoma: Using CT Lymphography to Assess Lymphatic Center

Title: Assessment of the iliosacral lymphatic center in dogs with anal sac gland carcinoma using indirect computed tomographic lymphography

Purpose of Study: Anal sac gland cancer is a locally aggressive cancer that has high rates of metastasis or spread through the regional lymph nodes. The use of surgery, chemotherapy and possible radiation therapy is recommended for patients with confirmed metastatic disease. Even when metastatic disease is present, reasonable survival rates have been achieved with aggressive treatment. The current gold standard for evaluation of lymph node metastasis in this disease is abdominal ultrasound of lymph nodes in the abdomen, however this technique misses lymph nodes in the pelvis that are actually closer to the primary tumor. We will evaluate the effectiveness of CT to evaluate the entire draining lymph node center in dogs with this cancer.

Participation Requirements: Dogs with an anal sac tumor that has not been surgically removed.

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Dogs must be evaluated by the UCDavis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) Soft Tissue Surgery or Medical Oncology Services and have an abdominal ultrasound performed by the UCDavis VMTH Radiology Service as part of normal pre-operative assessment for their dog’s disease.

Procedures: In addition to the standard contrast CT scans used to evaluate tumors and lymph nodes, a CT will be performed in which a small amount of contrast material will be injected subcutaneously (under the skin) very close to the primary tumor, which will help to highlight the lymphatic drainage of the region and identify the nearest lymph node to the tumor.

Benefits: The results of the CT evaluation will help determine the extent of additional disease (if present) in your dog. The CT will provide information that may improve our ability to make surgical recommendations for your dog. If disease is present in other lymph nodes that is not surgically removable for whatever reason, these procedures will still benefit your dog, as we will be able to make better post-surgical treatment recommendations, such as possible need for chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. Costs associated with the CT scans, including the imaging and contrast material, will be covered by the study.

Owner Responsibilities: The owner is responsible for standard costs of their dog’s care (surgical removal of the primary tumor removal and any lymph nodes if so desired by the client), other pre-operative diagnostics deemed medically necessary, histopathologic analysis, hospitalization, and management of any standard surgical complications that may occur.

Contact: Call (530) 752-1393 to talk to the Specialty Coordinators or Technicians in Soft Tissue Surgery or Oncology

Brain Tumors: Investigating Therapy Delivery Methods

Title: Convection enhanced delivery (CED) of murine leukemia virus (MLV) cytosine deaminase (CD) gene therapy in canine glioma

Purpose of Study: This clinical trial will investigate the delivery of a viral gene therapy for canine gliomas (brain tumors).

Participation Requirements:

  • Dogs with intracranial glioma
  • Ineligible:
    • Moderate or severe neurological deficits
    • Uncontrolled seizures
    • Rapidly deteriorating neurological status

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Dogs will be assessed for eligibility based on an MRI scan. A CT guided brain biopsy will be done to confirm the diagnosis and to concurrently deliver the gene therapy.

Procedures: Using CT and MRI scans, a needle will be placed into the brain tumor (previously diagnosed on MRI). A biopsy of the tumor will be taken and the viral gene therapy will be injected into the tumor through the same needle. 2-4 weeks following the injection, the tumor will be surgically removed or be bulked. Following surgery, further treatment may include radiation therapy and/or the experimental gene therapy drugs.

Benefits: The major benefit for the dog and owner is that the brain biopsy, surgery, radiation therapy and experimental gene therapy will be paid for up to an initial cost of $20,000 per case.

Surgical resection and radiation therapy are the standard of care treatment at this time for gliomas. Based on individual case assessment, the experimental gene therapy may be given and may have an additional benefit in treating any recurrent or residual tumor.

Owner Responsibilities: Owners are responsible for the small costs associated with any routine medications that the dog is currently prescribed. Treatment will be assessed based on recheck MRI scans at 2-3 month intervals.

Contact: Owners or referring veterinarians should contact the Neurology/Neurosurgery coordinator, Christy Chessman, at (530) 754-0606, (530) 752-1393, or cchessman@vmth.ucdavis.edu.

Bone cancer: Examining Metastasis Suppressor Drug

Title: Thiomolybdate as a Suppressor of Canine Osteosarcoma Metastasis

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this clinical trial is to evaluate the possibility of using a copper-inhibiting drug (tetrathiomolybdate, TM) to limit the spread of bone cancer (osteosarcoma) to other areas of the body. This medication may ultimately lead to improved treatment outcomes for both dog and human cancer patients.

Participation Requirements: Dogs following amputation of the primary bone tumor

Procedures:

  • Dogs will receive a standard-of-care treatment (IV doxorubicin chemotherapy every 2 weeks for 5 treatments) concurrently with either the test compound or a placebo pill. Dogs will be randomized to receive the test compound or placebo in a 1:1 ratio (equal chances of being assigned to either group). The oral treatments will be given 3 times daily, with the morning and evening doses given without food while the mid-day dose will be given with a meal. A blood sample of approximately 1-2 tablespoons will be taken from your dog on a weekly basis for 2-6 weeks and analyzed for levels of copper and a copper-carrying compound. A complete blood count and serum chemistry panel will also be performed to monitor for any potential side effects. Based on the copper levels, we will adjust the drug dose to minimize any side effects, which include anemia and (very rarely) nausea in the early phases of treatment.
    • Nausea is managed by the addition of an anti-vomiting medicine if needed.
    • Anemia is managed by discontinuing the compound until the blood count returns to normal, and then resuming treatment with a lower dose of the compound.
  • After the initial 2-6 week period, your dog will be monitored by monthly physical examinations and blood tests, supplemented by chest X-rays every 3 months to check for tumors in the lung (the most common site of metastasis). Monitoring will continue until metastasis is detected or for 1 year from the start of study. At the end of the study, dogs will have an abdominal ultrasound.
  • Dogs that benefit from the drug (i.e., no evidence of metastasis at 1 year or lung tumors that shrink or are stable) may continue to take the compound after the end of the study for up to 6 additional months. Dogs with cancer that spreads that were assigned to the placebo group can be transferred to the test drug at that time. Such dogs may continue to be monitored for evidence of stabilization or shrinkage of tumors for at least 6 months, unless further tumor growth is detected.

Benefits: While the exact benefits are not entirely known, these procedures may help treat your dog's cancer.

Owner Responsibilities: Partial costs associated with this study will be compensated as part of your participation. The study drug (or placebo), monthly radiographs (including appointment recheck fees), and any necessary additional blood tests are all covered by the study. You will be responsible for all other costs including routine chemotherapy costs, routine blood tests, and any costs associated with treatment of adverse effects. Doxorubicin treatments usually cost somewhere between $300-400 per treatment (depending on the size of your dog and whether blood tests are necessary). Therefore, the cost to you for participating in this study is expected to be approximately $1500-$2000 in the absence of side effects.

Contact: Teri Guerrero (530-752-0125 or tguerrero@ucdavis.edu)

Bone, Kidney, Head/Neck and Adrenal Gland Cancers: Cryoablation at the VMTH

Title: Tumor Cryoablation at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital

Purpose of Study: The diagnostic and treatment options available in veterinary medicine are advancing rapidly, and we now have the opportunity to perform many of the high-level techniques that are commonly performed in human medicine. A procedure that has gained acceptance in human medicine but is currently developing in veterinary medicine is cryoablation. Cryoablation involves killing cancerous tissue by freezing. In humans it is used most commonly for the treatment of prostatic cancer and kidney cancer, although it has also been used for the treatment of bone cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, and other soft tissue cancers.

Unlike peripheral cryoablation, which usually involves applying liquid nitrogen to a skin lesion, when performing percutaneous cryoablation large needles are placed into the affected tissue to administer the freeze – this is done either under direct visualization (surgery) or through tiny skin incisions but under the guidance of an imaging device (most commonly CT or ultrasound), allowing treatment of deep internal lesions. This procedure has been rarely reported in veterinary medicine but is offered by the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.

Participation Requirements: To be discussed on a case-by-case basis with Dr. Steffey

Initial Evaluation for Participation: To be discussed on a case-by-case basis with Dr. Steffey

Procedures: At a minimum, a small incision or incisions may be required under general anesthesia. Depending on the tumor location, open surgery or minimally invasive surgery for visualization/retraction of other organs may be needed. The treated tissue will die and be “cleaned up” by the body’s immune system. If discomfort following the surgery occurs, pain management will be provided. Your dog will need to be monitored closely post-cryoablation.

Benefits: This technique is considered to be more minimally invasive compared to standard techniques.

Owner Responsibilities: If the procedure is unable to be performed, the costs of anesthesia and equipment will still need to be considered.

Contact: Contact the scheduling coordinators in Soft Tissue Surgery (530) 752-1393.

Gastrointestinal (Colon & Rectum) Cancer: Evaluating New Diagnostic Tool

Title: Evaluation of CT pneumocolonography as a diagnostic tool in veterinary patients

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of imaging findings on surgical decision-making in dogs with colonic and rectal disease of any kind (cancer or non-cancer). This part of the body can be a very difficult region examine with current imaging methods, which also do not provide optimal spatial information important if a surgical procedure is needed. In early studies, we have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of the CT pneumocolonography procedure in normal dogs, but it is important that we learn to accurately interpret the imaging findings for a wide variety of disease processes in clinical patients so that our CT diagnoses are accurate. Our goal is to compare the imaging findings obtained with CT pneumocolonography with the current standard of care of colonoscopy and colonoscopic biopsies.

Participation Requirements: In order to participate in this study, a colonoscopic exam must have been recommended for workup of your dog’s problem, and your dog must be scheduled to receive a colonoscopic exam under general anesthesia at UC Davis.

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures: If you agree to participate, your dog will receive a CT scan (with and without intravenous contrast material) in conjunction with carbon dioxide gas insufflated into the rectal lumen. Following CT pneumocolonography, your dog will receive the scheduled colonoscopy, which is the current standard of care for assessment of these masses, and if clinically indicated for the care of your dog, biopsies will be obtained.

Benefits: In return for participation in this study, your dog will receive a free CT scan (an approximately $800 value to you), which may directly benefit your dog, as it can provide important information for treatment recommendations that other types of imaging cannot. CT evaluation of local lymph nodes is an additional benefit as CT has been demonstrated to be helpful in the evaluation of regional lymph nodes for metastatic disease in other types of cancer in other locations.

Owner Responsibilities: There is no additional cost to you for your dog’s participation in the study. You are financially responsible for hospital costs associated with the standard care of your dog, including abdominal ultrasound, general anesthesia, colonoscopy, hospitalization, biopsies, and any other diagnostic tests recommended for evaluation of your dog’s disease by your attending clinician.

Contact: Drs. Michele Steffey and Stanley Marks (530-752-1393)

Histiocytic Sarcoma: Evaluating a Chemotherapeutic Agent as a Treatment Option

Title: Phase II evaluation of vinblastine for the treatment of canine histiocytic sarcoma

Purpose of Study: Histiocytic sarcoma (HS) is a common and aggressive cancer in dogs that can arise from many sites including the lymph nodes, liver, spleen, lungs, or bone. If left untreated, disease progression is often rapid with a devastatingly high mortality rate. CCNU (Lomustine) is currently the only chemotherapy agent proven to be effective against this cancer; however, responses are often short-lived. In addition, CCNU may cause liver or bone marrow toxicity with continued use and is not tolerated in some patients. Thus, there is a desperate need to identify alternative agents that are effective against this disease. Vinblastine is a commonly used chemotherapeutic agent in dogs and is proven to be relatively safe and effective against other cancers, such as lymphoma and mast cell tumors. The purpose of this study is to determine whether vinblastine may have activity against canine histiocytic sarcoma.

Participation Requirements: Dogs diagnosed with histiocytic sarcoma

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures: Dogs will receive weekly vinblastine chemotherapy (given intravenously) at a standard starting dose with the intent to gradually increase this dose if it is well tolerated. Blood will be drawn before each dose to make sure it is safe to treat your dog that day. After 4 total doses, tumor lesions will be measured and response to vinblastine chemotherapy will be determined using standard criteria. If this measurement requires chest x-rays or ultrasound, those tests will be run at this time. After 4 doses, your dog will be considered “off-study”; however, you may choose to continue treatment with vinblastine if your dog has responded well to treatment.

Benefits: There is a $250 financial incentive meant to help cover the cost of repeat testing necessary to measure response to vinblastine treatment (required after 4 doses) or toward the costs of study treatments. Additionally, participation in this study could help treat your dog’s histiocytic sarcoma and advance veterinary medicine.

Owner Responsibilities: Owners are responsible for pre-enrollment bloodwork (CBC and chemistry screen) to determine eligibility, all costs of vinblastine treatment (drug and administration costs), cost associated with any side effects that may occur, and costs associated with non-study related medical conditions.

Contact: Teri Guerrero (530-752-0125 or tguerrero@ucdavis.edu)

Lymphoma (B-cell): Understanding the Effect of a Lymphoma Treatment on Cardiac Arrhythmias

Title: The Effect of IV Infusion of Doxorubicin on the Incidence of Cardiac Arrhythmias and Cardiac Troponin I Levels in Dogs

Purpose of Study: Doxorubicin is currently the mainstay of treatment for dogs with B-cell lymphoma. This drug is known to be toxic to cardiac muscle cells; however, this toxicity is unavoidable, as the drug is so critically important in treatment of the disease. Currently, the only method for monitoring this toxic effect is echocardiography, which is expensive and only able to identify toxic changes once they become severe. The aim of this study is to determine whether monitoring of arrhythmia or blood markers of cardiac cell death can provide an early warning system for detecting the toxic effects of the drug.

Participation Requirements:

  • Ineligible:
    • No evidence of pre-existing cardiomyopathy
    • Previous history of arrhythmia
    • Currently receiving anti-arrhythmic therapy
    • Previous history of thoracic radiation therapy

Initial Evaluation for Participation: B-cell lymphoma must be diagnosed at UC Davis.

Procedures: Once your dog has been diagnosed with lymphoma and is undergoing treatment with chemotherapy including doxorubicin, the dog will need to have a heart ultrasound (echocardiography), heart rhythm monitoring with a Holter monitor, and blood sample collected before treatment with doxorubicin and at each doxorubicin treatment. Approximately 1-2 tbsp of blood will be taken at your dog's appointment after doxorubicin treatment for the Troponin test. This testing will occur around the same time as each dose of doxorubicin. Heart rhythm monitoring will be collected for 24 hours after some visits (i.e., your dog will go home wearing the monitor) and for only 1 hour in the hospital at other visits. Holter monitoring provides a continuous recording of the heart rhythm during your dog's normal activity. The monitor is worn for 24 hours. Five electrodes (small conducting patches) are placed on the chest. We need to shave the skin to connect each corresponding electrode.  Once attached to the cables, electrodes will be taped onto the chest and attached to a small battery-operated recording monitor. Your dog will be fitted with a vest and the monitor carried in the pocket.

Benefits: Your dog will receive free screening for a heart condition at the beginning of the study at no cost to you and you will be informed of any abnormal findings. These results may be used to adjust the chemotherapy plan and/or recommend future monitoring of your dog. The findings of this study, if validated, may used to help improve the safety and monitoring during treatment for future patients receiving doxorubicin.

Owner Responsibilities: The owner is responsible for paying for all costs associated with the diagnosis and treatment of B-cell lymphoma ($5000-6000). Assessment and monitoring costs of the echocardiograph, arrhythmia (via Holter) and any cardiac cellular damage as will be paid for by the study (~$1200). The owner will also be responsible for repair or replacement of the monitor or cables if damaged by water or sharp objects, respectively.

Contact: Teri Guerrero (530-752-0125 or tguerrero@ucdavis.edu) or Pamela McInnis (530-752-4012)

Lymphoma (T-cell): Examining an Antibody as a Potential Treatment

Title: Bioavailability and Safety of a Canine Lymphoma Monoclonal Antibody Administered Intravenously to Dogs with T-cell Lymphoma

Purpose of Study: Lymphoma is one of the most common blood cancers affecting dogs of different type of breeds and ages with no known cure. Current treatments involve the use of extensive chemotherapy and/or associated radiotherapy, all of which may have side effects that could negatively impact your dog's quality of life. The antibody being used in this study is designed specifically for dogs to potentially treat lymphoma and was shown to be safe and effective at depleting lymphoma cells in laboratory studies. Antibodies are non-chemotherapeutic agents that were first used for treating lymphoma in humans. In fact, antibodies extended survival time and improved quality of life while significantly reducing toxicity in humans.

Participation Requirements: Dogs diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma that:

  • Are naïve to treatment
  • Have owners who have refused conventional treatment (surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy)

Initial Evaluation for Requirements: None.

Procedures:

  • Upon entry into the trial: The dog will undergo a physical exam and 2 lymph nodes will be measured.
  • First visit: Blood (1 tsp) will be drawn to measure the amount of the antibody in the blood and analyze lymphocyte population distribution. Aspirates of one lymph node will be obtained (for staining for absence or presence of the antibody). A catheter will be placed in a peripheral vein and the antibody will be administered by infusion over 10 minutes. The dog will be closely observed for 45 minutes to make sure that there are no allergic reactions. If there is an allergic reaction, dexamethasone (0.2mg/kg IV) and diphenydramine (2 mg/kg SQ) will be administered. Additional blood (1 tsp) will be drawn at 1, 4, 8, 24 and 48 hours (this visit corresponds with the second visit) after infusion.
  • Second visit: Blood (1 tsp) and lymph node aspirates will be obtained and target lymph nodes will be measured. Another dose of the antibody will be administered and the dog monitored as above. You can take your pet home after this visit.
  • Second, third, and fourth week: Your dog must come in twice weekly for infusions, measurement of lymph node size, blood draws (1 tsp each time), lymph node aspirates, and a physical exam.
  • At the completion of the first month of twice weekly therapy: IF there is response or stable disease AND the dog is feeling well, infusions can continue (once every 2-4 weeks, depending on the level of the antibody in the blood) for an additional 4 treatments.
  • At the completion of 4 treatments or 4 months of therapy (which ever comes first), you can elect to do nothing more or discuss starting prednisone, standard of care (if naïve), additional chemotherapy or comfort care (if refractory).

Benefits: While the exact benefits of this antibody are not entirely known, it may benefit your dog by shrinking his/her cancer, and/or by keeping your dog cancer-free for a longer period of time.

Owner Responsibilities: There is no cost for the antibody, but you will be responsible for the cost of the initial physical examination, initial blood work (prior to enrollment), management of possible side effects, and necessary staging tests.

Contact: Teri Guerrero (530-752-0125 or tguerrero@ucdavis.edu)

Malignant Melanoma (Oral): Tumor Collection

Title: Pfizer-CCOGC Biospecimen Repository study

Purpose of Study: UC Davis in collaboration with Pfizer-CCOGC Biospecimen Repository is collecting samples to populate a tissue bank for future research studies. The goal of the CCOGC and UC Davis will be to populate the Pfizer-CCOGC Biospecimen Repository with diseased tissues and specific normal tissues from dogs with cancer over the next three years. The study is guided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Participation Requirements:

  • Owner consent to allow collection of the clinical specimens and to comply with follow-up and treatment requirements
  • General clinical evaluation, including medical history, physical exam, complete blood count, biochemical profile, and urinalysis
  • Histological diagnosis
  • Complete staging evaluation, to include cytology or histology of submandibular lymph nodes, thoracic radiographs
  • Histology of primary site

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Dogs with a confirmed diagnosis of oral malignant melanoma

Procedures: After receiving consent from owners, a sample of the tumor is banked following the CCOGC criteria.

Benefits: There is no cost to the owner for participation in this study. The samples collected will be stored for future use of investigators with the ultimate goal of developing a treatment and prevention for the variety of cancers.

Owner Responsibilities: The owner only needs to consent to the sample being collected at the time of the visit.

Contact: Please talk to your oncologist at the time of your visit.

Nasal cancer: Evaluating Cryoablation as a Treatment Option

Title: Transnare Cryoablation of Nasal Tumors

Purpose of Study: The objective of this study is to evaluate alternative treatment options for patients with nasal tumors. Radiation therapy is still considered the gold standard of treatment for this disease, however clients who do not wish to pursue radiation therapy may be eligible for participation in this study.

Participation Requirements:

  • Inclusion Criteria:
    • Confirmed diagnosis via cytology or histopathology (biopsy). Only dogs with tumors INSIDE the nose are eligible. This may have been done by another veterinarian, but results need to be made available to Dr. Steffey
    • CT scan within 3 weeks of enrollment/treatment. It is highly preferred that the CT scan be performed at UCDavis, to ensure that all variables are evaluated and so that the safest treatment plan can be made. If you are coming to UCDavis for workup of your dog’s nasal mass, nasal discharge, or nasal bleeding, PLEASE contact Dr. Steffey or discuss your interest in this study with your attending clinician BEFORE your CT scan is scheduled. If a CT has already been done, it must be evaluated by Dr. Steffey to determine if your dog is appropriate for inclusion.
    • CBC, Chemistry Panel and Urinalysis all within two weeks of enrollment (referring blood work is acceptable as long as it was performed at a commercial lab)
    • Clients *must* be willing to return at 1 month, 4 months, and 8 months for study rechecks, including a CT scan under brief general anesthesia. There is no charge for these rechecks, but it is imperative that the patient return for re-evaluation.
  • Exclusion Criteria
    • Dogs that have disease that invades the cribriform plate or is otherwise too extensive to treat safely with chemoembolization are not eligible for this study.

Initial Evaluation for Participation: All dogs must be examined by a VMTH oncology, internal medicine, radiation oncology service or soft tissue surgery veterinarian, and require the baseline evaluations described above at the owners expense before a dog can be considered for enrollment in the trial.

Procedures: Cryoablation procedure is a minimally invasive procedure performed under general anesthesia. Special cryoablation needles are inserted through the nostrils, and freezing sufficient to kill the tumor is applied.

Benefits: THIS IS A PARTIALLY FUNDED STUDY. Dog owners participating in this study will be given special financial considerations. The cost of cryoablation procedure (excluding the costs of general anesthesia) will be covered by the study (an approximately $4000 benefit to the client). There will be no charge for the study rechecks at 1 month, 4 months, and 8 months. You will be financially responsible for the charges associated with the clinical care of your dog beyond the stipends provided.

Owner Responsibilities: The owner will be responsible for the individualized costs of the patient's care at the time of the treatment (anesthesia, hospitalization, medications, other individualized diagnostic tests needed to ensure the patient is safe for the procedure, etc – approximate total cost for treatment visit $800-1000), and for scheduling recheck appointments post-treatment and keeping those appointments as required by protocol. Owners also have the responsibility to cover the cost of the initial examination, pre-treatment workup, pre-treatment CT scan, and any additional diagnostic tests needed to determine their dog’s eligibility for the study, and medications prescribed. Lastly, the owner will need to cover the cost of treatment of any complications experienced as a result of this procedure.

Contact: Contact the scheduling coordinators in Soft Tissue Surgery or Medical Oncology (530) 752-1393.

Nasal cancer: Evaluating Chemoembolization as a Treatment Option

Title: Transarterial Chemoembolization of Nasal Tumors

Purpose of Study: The objective of this study is to evaluate alternative treatment options for patients with nasal tumors. Radiation therapy is still considered the gold standard of treatment for this disease, however clients who do not wish to pursue radiation therapy, or whose dog has failed radiation therapy may be eligible for participation in this study.

Participation Requirements:

  • Inclusion Criteria:
    • Confirmed diagnosis via cytology or histopathology (biopsy). Only dogs with tumors INSIDE the nose are eligible. This may have been done by another veterinarian, but results need to be made available to Dr. Steffey
    • CT scan performed by the UCDAVIS Radiology Department within 3 weeks of enrollment. If you are coming to UCDavis for workup of your dog’s nasal mass, nasal discharge, or nasal bleeding, PLEASE contact Dr. Steffey or discuss your interest in this study with your attending clinician BEFORE your CT scan is scheduled. If the correct pre-treatment CT parameters are not used, your dog cannot participate in the study.
    • CBC, Chemistry Panel and Urinalysis all within two weeks of enrollment (referring blood work is acceptable as long as it was performed at a commercial lab)
    • Clients *must* be willing to return at 1 month, 4 months, and 8 months for study rechecks, including a CT scan under brief general anesthesia. There is no charge for these rechecks, but it is imperative that the patient return for re-evaluation.
  • Exclusion Criteria
    • Dogs that have disease that invades the cribriform plate or is otherwise too extensive to treat safely with chemoembolization are not eligible for this study
    • Dogs that have pre-existing kidney disease that would exclude the use of radiographic contrast agents are not eligible

Initial Evaluation for Participation: All dogs must be examined by a VMTH oncology, internal medicine, radiation oncology service or soft tissue surgery veterinarian, and require the baseline evaluations described above at the owners expense before a dog can be considered for enrollment in the trial.

Procedures:

  • Chemoembolization procedure is a minimally invasive procedure. Chemotherapy and an embolic agent to obstruct the tumor blood supply are delivered directly to the tumor blood supply via special catheters
  • Recheck CT scans at 1 month, 4 months, and 8 months under general anesthesia

Benefits: THIS IS A PARTIALLY FUNDED STUDY. The procedure costs of this experimental procedure are covered by the study (an approximately $1500-2000 value to the client), but the individualized costs of the patient's care at the time of the treatment (anesthesia, hospitalization, medications, other individualized diagnostic tests needed to ensure the patient is safe for the procedure, etc) are the responsibility of the client. There will be no charge for the study rechecks at 1 month, 4 months, and 8 months. You will be financially responsible for the charges associated with the clinical care of your dog beyond the stipends provided.

Owner Responsibilities: The owner will be responsible for scheduling recheck appointments at 1 month, 4 months, and 8 months post-treatment and keeping those appointments as required by protocol. Owners also have the responsibility to cover the cost of the initial examination, blood work, pre-treatment CT scan, and any additional diagnostic tests and medications prescribed. Lastly, the owner will need to cover the cost of treatment of any complications experienced as a result of this procedure.

Contact: Contact the scheduling coordinators in Soft Tissue Surgery or Medical Oncology (530) 752-1393.

Nasal cancer: Comparing Imaging Techniques and Assessing Vascular Therapies

Title: Nasal Tumors: Comparison of CT and MRI Findings in the Characterization of Canine Sinonasal Neoplasia and Assessment of Outcome with Vascular-Based Therapies (Embolization/Chemoembolization)

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study is to prospectively evaluate dogs diagnosed with nasal tumors, including documentation of signalment, histologic diagnosis, treatment, and the results of a CT scan as compared to an MRI scan. We will also assess response to vascular-based therapies, such as embolization and chemoembolization.

Participation Requirements: Dogs with diagnosed nasal tumors

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Contact Dr. Culp for details at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393.

Procedures: If a CT scan is recommended to further characterize the dog’s suspected nasal tumor, an MRI scan will be performed immediately following the CT scan. The MRI scan will be performed under the same general anesthetic event as the CT scan. Additionally, options concerning vascular-based therapies (embolization and chemoembolization) will be discussed and offered.

Benefits: The MRI scan and the anesthesia associated with the MRI scan will be paid for by the study. The MRI scan will offer another imaging modality that your clinician can use to make therapeutic recommendations. 

Owner Responsibilities: The owner will be responsible for scheduling appointments (initial and 2-month follow-up) and keeping those appointments as required by protocol. Financial assistance for some treatments will also be discussed upon consent.

Contact: Contact Dr. Culp for details at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393.

Nasal cancer: Using a Combination of Therapies for Treatment

Title: Nasal tumors: Intra-arterial Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy to Treat Nasal Carcinoma

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study is to prospectively evaluate the response of nasal cancer to a combination of therapies (chemotherapy and radiation therapy) in dogs.

Participation Requirements: Dogs diagnosed with nasal tumors

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Contact Dr. Culp for details at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393.

Procedures: Dogs that are scheduled to receive radiation therapy for the treatment of nasal cancer can be enrolled in the study. Dogs will be placed into a group receiving radiation therapy alone or with chemotherapy.  Response to these treatments will be assessed with CT scans (done before and after treatment).

Benefits: The CT scans, chemotherapy administration, and part of the radiation therapy will be paid for by the study.

Owner Responsibilities: The owner will be responsible for providing follow-up information to the treating clinicians and returning the dog 4 weeks after initiation of radiation therapy for a second CT evaluation (the first is performed prior to treatment).

Contact: Contact Dr. Culp for details at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393.

Primary Pulmonary Tumor: Tumor Collection

Title: Pfizer-CCOGC Biospecimen Repository study

Purpose of Study: UC Davis in collaboration with Pfizer-CCOGC Biospecimen Repository is collecting samples to populate a tissue bank for future research studies. The goal of the CCOGC and UC Davis will be to populate the Pfizer-CCOGC Biospecimen Repository with diseased tissues and specific normal tissues from dogs with cancer over the next three years. The study is guided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Participation Requirements:

  • Owner consent to allow collection of the clinical specimens and to comply with follow-up and treatment requirements
  • General clinical evaluation, including the medical history, physical exam, complete blood count, biochemical profile, and urinalysis
  • Clinical presentation consistent with pulmonary tumor (Histological diagnosis confirmed post collection).
  • Surgical excision or collection immediately following euthanasia

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Dogs with a confirmed diagnosis of oral malignant melanoma

Procedures: After receiving consent from owners, a sample of the tumor is banked following the CCOGC criteria.

Benefits: There is no cost to the owner for participation in this study. The samples collected will be stored for future use of investigators with the ultimate goal of developing a treatment and prevention for the variety of cancers.

Owner Responsibilities: The owner only needs to consent to the sample being collected at the time of the visit.

Contact: Please talk to your oncologist at the time of your visit.

Primary Pulmonary Cancer: Using Lymphography to Identify Lymph Nodes

Title: Assessment of intraoperative lymphography as an aid to identification of regional lymph nodes in patients with primary lung tumors

Purpose of Study: Whether or not there is metastatic tumor in the regional lymph nodes is very important prognostic information for dogs with lung tumors, as dogs that do not have metastatic disease in their lymph nodes in general have a much longer lifespan. The aim of this study is to provide information that will allow us to better identify these lymph nodes at surgery to improve the safety of surgical dissection and minimize surgical time during removal of these lymph nodes.

Participation Requirements:

  • A diagnosis of a solitary lung tumor
  • Your decision to have a CT performed for staging and surgical planning of your dog’s disease
  • Your decision to pursue surgical removal of your dog’s lung tumor

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures: During surgery, surgical dyes will be injected into the lung around your dog’s tumor and uptake by the regional lymph nodes will be assessed.

Benefits: If your dog’s lung tumor is deemed safe to inject and you elect to take your dog to surgery, the study will retroactively pay for the CT scan ($800 value to the client). This benefits you as a thoracic CT is an important part of staging and surgical planning for any patient with a primary lung tumor. However if your dog’s tumor is not in a location that is safe to inject based on the initial plain CT scan, OR if you decide not to take your dog to surgery based on the initial plain CT scan (for example, because metastatic disease is found) then your dog cannot participate in the study and you must be prepared to pay for the CT.

Owner Responsibilities: There is no additional cost to you for your dog’s participation in the study. In return for your dog’s participation, the study will retroactively pay for the cost of your dog’s CT scan (and $800 value to you).  The study will not pay for the CT scan if you do not elect to have your dog’s lung tumor surgically removed.

Contact: Call (530) 752-1393 to talk to the Specialty Coordinators or Technicians in Soft Tissue Surgery or Oncology

Prostate cancer: Evaluating Embolization as a Treatment Option

Title: Evaluation of the Use of Embolization in the Treatment of Prostatic Neoplasia

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this project is to describe the procedure of prostatic artery embolization in a group of dogs with naturally-occurring prostate cancer. A secondary objective is to evaluate the effect that prostatic artery embolization has on clinical signs and the size of the tumor.

Participation Requirements: Dogs with prostate cancer

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Contact Dr. Culp for details at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393.

Procedures: Dogs will undergo prostatic artery embolization. Pre-procedural ultrasound imaging and computed tomographic findings will be compared to post-procedural ultrasound imaging and computed tomographic findings. Complications associated with the procedure will be recorded and owners will receive a questionnaire to assess the clinical signs of the dog both pre- and post-procedure.

Benefits: The benefits of enrolling in this study include financial support for both pre- and post-procedure diagnostics. Additionally, funding from this grant will be applied towards the procedure. We hope that the data acquired in this study will allow us to advance the treatment of cancer in both dogs and people.

Owner Responsibilities: The owner will be responsible for scheduling appointments (initial and 1 month follow-up) and keeping those appointments as required by protocol.

Contact: Contact Dr. Culp for details at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393.

Prostate, Urethra and/or Bladder Tumors: Evaluating Urodynamic Testing

Title: Prospective Evaluation of Urodynamic Testing in Dogs Undergoing Urethral Stent Placement to Relieve Malignant Urethral Obstruction

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this project is to determine the urethral and bladder pressures of dogs with cancer-induced urethral obstructions and in dogs with urethral stents.

Participation Requirements: Dogs with tumors causing obstruction of the urethra (bladder, urethra and prostate)

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Contact Dr. Culp for details at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393.

Procedures: Urodynamic studies will be performed at the time of stent placement. Following the urodynamic studies, a urethral stent will be placed. At 3 weeks post-stent placement, canine continence scores will be obtained from clients regarding the dog’s voiding habits and urodynamic studies will be performed again.

Benefits: The goal of placing the stent is to improve the dog’s quality of life. All anesthetic episodes (2) will be paid for by the study. Additionally, all charges associated with the bladder and urethral pressure assessment will be paid for by the study. There are 2 major study benefits:

  1. We will be able to inform clients of the pressures in their dog’s bladder and urethra and discuss the possible implications of this; and,
  2. Financial compensation.

Owner Responsibilities: The owner will be responsible for scheduling appointments (initial and 3 weeks after stent placement) and keeping those appointments as required by protocol. Additionally, the owner will need to fill out forms related to their dog’s continence status.

Contact: Contact Dr. Culp for details at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393.

Urethra/Bladder Tumors: Determining Tumor Size with Imaging

Title: Bladder/Urethra Tumors: Assessment and Comparison of Lower Urinary Tract Neoplasia Size and Location with Multiple Imaging Modalities

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study is to prospectively evaluate dogs with bladder and urethral tumors and assess the best means for determining tumor size. The overarching goal is to improve our ability to treat these tumors with urethral stenting.

Participation Requirements: Dogs with bladder or urethral tumors

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Contact Dr. Culp for details at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393.

Procedures: Dogs that are undergoing urethral stenting will undergo trans-rectal ultrasound (in addition to abdominal ultrasound) and MRI evaluation of the bladder/urethral tumor in order to determine tumor size and location.

Benefits: The MRI scan, the trans-rectal ultrasound and the anesthesia associated with these diagnostics will be paid for by the study. The MRI scan and trans-rectal ultrasound will offer additional imaging modalities that your clinician can use to make therapeutic recommendations.

Owner Responsibilities: The owner will be responsible for providing follow-up information to the treating clinicians.

Contact: Contact Dr. Culp for details at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393.

Eyes (Ophthalmology)

Corneal Endothelial Dystrophy: Understanding the Disease

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)

Glaucoma: Understanding the Disease

Title: Understanding Glaucoma in Dogs through Evaluation of the Trabecular Meshwork

Purpose of Study: Glaucoma exists in many forms, but the basic fundamentals of the disease are simple. Fluid goes into the eye and cannot drain out at the same rate it is produced. This causes an increase in intraocular pressure. The increase in pressure affects other functions in the eye (especially retinal function) and can cause blindness as well as pain. Our lab recently demonstrated that the biophysical properties of the trabecular meshwork (the primary drainage pathway from the eye) are markedly altered in human eyes with glaucoma. It is of great interest to us to determine if there is a similar relationship in dogs with glaucoma.

Participation Requirements: Dogs that have been diagnosed with glaucoma and are scheduled to have a routine enucleation (removal of the eye) at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH).

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Confirmed diagnosis of Primary Glaucoma

Procedures: At the time the eye is removed from the patient but before it is placed in a fixative, the eye will be evaluated and a small tissue section will be obtained from the drainage angle of the eye for tissue analysis. The sample collected will consist of a 3-5 mm section of the iridocorneal angle (including cornea and sclera) that contains the primary outflow pathway for fluid from the eye (the trabecular meshwork). Immediately following resection of this sample, the eye will be placed in fixative and submitted for histological evaluation as planned.

Benefits: Analysis of the sample will allow us to evaluate the drainage pathway of a blind painful eye with glaucoma and will greatly contribute to our understanding of glaucoma in dogs. It may also point to new treatment options for this common, blinding and painful disease in dogs. The cost of the histo-pathological exam of the enucleated globe will be paid for by the study (saving the client approx. $70).

Owner Responsibilities: The client’s bill will be reduced by the cost of the histo-pathologic evaluation.

Contact: Monica Motta (mjmotta@ucdavis.edu or 530-752-0926)

Glaucoma: Examining Instrumentation for Diagnostic Capabilities

Title: Evaluation of Ocular Imaging Instrumentation for use in Vision Sciences

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study is to evaluate ophthalmic imaging equipment and determine if the equipment can provide greater diagnostic capabilities and improve overall animal care and diagnostics.

Participation Requirements: Dogs that have been diagnosed with primary glaucoma and are scheduled to have a routine enucleation (removal of the eye) at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH).

Initial Evaluation for Participation: A complete ophthalmic exam.

Procedures: If an ocular contact instrument (Confocal, Pachymeter, A-Scan or Osmometer) is used for examination, a fluorescein stain will be done following the procedure to ensure an ulcer was not created. Sedation and/or anesthesia will be evaluated only if your dog is already undergoing sedation and/or anesthesia for routine care. Anesthetic time may be minimally (if at all) increased to complete the imaging examination.

Benefits: A better understanding of the use of ocular imaging instrumentation in various species will help provide a greater understanding of the diagnostic capability in those species and aid in improving patient care and diagnostics overall. Equipment that would provide a highly advanced diagnosis has the potential to minimize advancement in ocular disease/discomfort and detect severe or chronic conditions prior to severe complications.

Owner Responsibilities: Cost of additional imaging (Digital SL, OCT, Fundic, Confocal, Pachymetry, Osmometry or A-Scan U/S) beyond standard examination requirements will be covered by the study; however, the owner will be responsible for fees associated with the initial/examination visit and all sedation and/or anesthetic charges.

Contact: Monica Motta (mjmotta@ucdavis.edu or 530-752-0926)

Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (Dry Eye): Using Stem Cells as a Treatment

Title: Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy for the Treatment of Dry Eye in Dogs

Purpose of Study: Dry eye (keratoconjunctivitis sicca) is a common ocular disease in dogs that leads to discomfort and vision loss.  Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been proven to reduce inflammation and differentiate into a variety of cell types. Since the most common cause of dry eye in dogs is an immune-mediated inflammatory response targeted against tear producing glands, this study was designed to determine if treatment with MSCs will cause local, long term control of tear gland inflammation and dry eye.

Participation Requirements: Candidates for this clinical trial are those dogs who have confirmed dry eye with a starting Schirmer tear test level between 2-10 mm/min and whose tear production is currently well controlled on tear-stimulating medication (cyclosporine or tacrolimus).  Patients should be free of serious systemic disease. 

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Dogs must be evaluated at the VMTH and confirmed to have dry eye. In order to confirm dry eye, the tear-stimulating medication currently being used will be temporarily discontinued. Re-evaluation will occur weekly until it is determined that tear production levels drop accordingly. Once confirmed, therapy with tacrolimus or cyclosporine will be re-instituted.

Procedures: Serial Schirmer tear tests will be performed. This is a minimally invasive procedure to measure tear production. Patients undergo a minor surgical procedure during which a small sample of fat is obtained from the abdomen in order to harvest the stem cells. Under a separate sedation, these stem cells are injected into the lacrimal and third eyelid glands.

Benefits: If MSCs injected into the tear producing glands of dogs with immune-mediated dry eye results in increased tear production, this procedure may remove the need for life long topical supplemental therapies.

Owner Responsibilities: Owners are required to bring their dog in at the requested re-evaluations, which may be weekly prior to and immediately after the stem cell injection(s). Re-examination intervals will be extended based on response to therapy.

Contact: Monica Motta (mjmotta@ucdavis.edu or 530-752-0926)

Genetics

Brain Tumors: Understanding the Link Between Brachycephaly and Brain Tumors

Title: Genome wide association in canine primary brain tumors

Purpose: Brachycephaly, a trait characterized by a short muzzle and wide head, is associated with brain tumors and respiratory problems. This trait is found in several breeds, including Boxers, Bulldogs, and Boston Terriers We are attempting to uncover the genetic cause for brachycephaly in dogs while looking for genes linked to brachycephaly that may increase the risk of developing a brain tumor.

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Examination by Dr. Dickinson

Procedures: We are collecting DNA from dogs known or suspected to have a brain tumor. For information, please contact Dr. Dickinson (pjdickinson@ucdavis.edu) or Christy Chessman (530-752-1393 or 530-754-0606).

Benefits: There is no direct benefit to you or your dog; however, identification of these genes may allow for:

  • Selective breeding to reduce the frequency of brain tumors in brachycephalic dogs
  • Possible new therapies targeting defective genes

For dogs with confirmed tumors, we can discuss treatment options and available clinical trials that could help treat your dog's tumor.

Owner Responsibilities: Please contact Dr. Dickinson (pjdickinson@ucdavis.edu) or Christy Chessman (530-752-1393 or 530-754-0606).

ContactFor information, please email Dr. Dickinson at pjdickinson@ucdavis.edu or call Christy Chessman (530-752-1393 or 530-754-0606).

Brittanys: Documenting Genetic Diversity

For information, please visit the Brittany Genetic Research webpage through the UC Davis Center for Companion Animal Health.

Cleft Lip and/or Palate: Understanding the Genetics

Title: Understanding the genetic basis of cleft lip and/or cleft palate in dogs

Purpose of Study: Cleft lip and/or cleft palate are developmental defects that result in the failure of the roof of the mouth to properly form. This results in an inability to properly nurse and often leads to euthanasia. The aim of this study is to identify the genes responsible for these birth defects and prevent them in future litters.

Participation Requirements: Dogs must have a cleft lip and/ or cleft palate.

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures: Whole blood samples from dogs with cleft lip and/or cleft palate, parents, and littermates will be collected. The cleft will also be photographed.

Benefits: Understanding the genetic basis of such a defect will allow for the prevention of it in future litters. There are no direct benefits to participating in this study.

Owner Responsibilities: Owners need only to submit samples along with a signed consent form.

Contact: Zena Wolf (ztwolf@ucdavis.edu)

Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy: Identifying the Genes Responsible

Title: Identifying the genes responsible for hypertrophic osteodystrophy in Weiaraners and other susceptible breeds

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study is to identify the molecular basis for the bone disease, hypertrophic osteodystrophy.

Participation Requirements: Any dog diagnosed with HOD can be included.

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Radiographic images suggestive of a diagnosis of HOD, together with patient signalment, history and response to treatment are required in order to participate in the study.

Procedures: The only procedure involved a DNA extraction analysis of a blood sample submitted by the owner.

Benefits: There are no direct benefits for enrolling your dog in this study; however, there is a long-term benefit for susceptible breeds, such as the Weimaraner. Once the gene(s) and mutation(s) that predispose Weimaraners to HOD are identified, breeders will be able to select against HOD.

Owner Responsibilities: The owner only needs to submit a blood sample in an EDTA tube from their affected dog for DNA extraction.

Contact: Dr. Noa Safra (nsafra@ucdavis.edu)

Italian Greyhounds: Understanding Breed-Specific Autoimmune Diseases

For information, please visit the Italian Greyhound Autoimmune Study webpage through the UC Davis Center for Companion Animal Health.

Myasthenia Gravis: Understanding the Genetics

Title: MHC Haplotyping of dogs with Acquired Myasthenia Gravis

Purpose of Study: Acquired myasthenia gravis is an immune mediated disease. In people, there is an association between genes (HLA DR3) and the myasthenia gravis. If the same is true in dogs, it may allow us to identify dogs at risk before the development of disease, and it may allow us to develop new treatments. The purpose of this study is to determine if dogs with acquired myasthenia gravis have a similar genes (MHC haplotype). We will use DNA collected from blood cells to do the genetic analysis. The genetic analysis will be done in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

Participation Requirements: Dogs with a confirmed diagnosis of acquired Myasthenia Gravis.

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures: The only procedure involved a DNA analysis of a blood sample submitted by the owner (at least 5 mls) in 1-2 EDTA tubes.

Benefits: There is no direct benefit of this study for you or your dog; however, the information may allow us to identify dogs that are at risk and develop new treatments.

Owner Responsibilities: The owner only needs to send in a blood sample that has been collected in 1-2 tubes of EDTA by over-night FedEx, Monday to Thursday.

Contact: Contact Dr. Vernau at (530) 752-1393, (530) 304-9450, or kmvernau@ucdavis.edu

Sebaceous Adenitis: Finding the Link Between Genetics and Disease

Title: A search for possible genetic associations with sebaceous adenitis, an autoimmune disease that destroys hair follicles and leads to hair loss

Purpose of Study: Sebaceous adenitis is a skin disease that is seen in many breeds but most prevalent in the Standard Poodle, Havanese, Akita, and English Springer Spaniel. We aim to determine whether risk for sebaceous adenitis in Standard Poodles can be associated with a specific genetic makeup.

Participation Requirements: Dogs must have a confirmed diagnosis of Sebaceous Adenitis in addition to normal parents or siblings.

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures: The only procedure involved a DNA analysis of either 1) a whole blood sample (at least 5 mls) that is not clotted in a sterile tube, or 2) a buccal swab. Please contact Ms. Katy Roberston (krrobertson@ucdavis.edu) for a buccal swab kit. Directions for collection are included on the second page of the study form.

Benefits: There is no direct benefit of this study for you or your dog at this time; however, if a genetic association can be identified, a test could be developed that would predict which dogs carry the trait and may pass it on to their offspring and which dogs may develop the disease in their lifetime.

Owner Responsibilities: The owner only needs to send in the study form in addition to a blood sample or buccal swab per the instructions on the study form.

Contact:

Heart (Cardiology)

Aortic Thrombus: Comparing Efficacy of Medications

Title: Coumadin versus Clopidogrel in canine aortic thrombus

Purpose of Study: Aortic thrombus is a rare condition in dogs that occurs when a thrombus (blood clot) lodges within the aorta (main arterial blood vessel of the body) and cuts off the blood supply, usually to one or both hind legs. Currently, there is very little known about the appropriate way to treat dogs with aortic thrombus and the reports of treatment are sparse and conflicting.  In humans, the current recommendation is treatment with long-term Coumadin (Warfarin), which is a medication that prevents the blood from clotting. This treatment results in the clot dissolving of its own accord over time and also prevents clot recurrence.  Alternatively, treatment can be targeted at preventing platelets from sticking together and forming blood clots with mediations like clopidogrel (Plavix). The purpose of this study is to compare the effectiveness of Coumadin versus clopidogrel in treating aortic thrombus in dogs as well as to evaluate the degree to which the coagulation system and platelet activity is effected dogs with aortic thrombus. Finally, we aim to evaluate the effect of Coumadin on the coagulation system and Coumadin versus clopidogrel on platelet activity, and assess whether these factors effect outcome.

Participation Requirements:

  • Ineligible: Dogs already being treated with Warfarin (Coumadin), Plavix or aspirin

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None

Procedures:

  • First visit: Full workup will include abdominal ultrasound, routine bloodwork and urine analysis, blood clotting profiles including clotting tests (coagulation profile), thromboelastography (TEG, a blood clotting test) and PFA-100 (platelet clotting test), chest x-rays, and heart ultrasound.  These tests represent the minimum testing for dogs presenting with aortic thrombus formation and, as such, the owner would be responsible for this cost regardless of entry into the study. Following enrollment, patients will be randomly assigned to Group 1 (Coumadin) or Group 2 (clopidogrel).
    • (Group 1 ONLY): One week later, revisit, repeat physical examination and repeat clotting tests (requires blood draw for 3ml of blood) for monitoring the effect of Coumadin.  Continued repeat clotting tests to be performed at 1-2 week intervals until an appropriate level of anticoagulation has been achieved.
  • Second visit: One month after goal anticoagulation level achieved (group 1) or one month after initiation of therapy (group 2), revisit, physical examination, questionnaire, repeat PFA-100 (platelet clotting test, requires blood draw for 4 ml of blood) and repeat abdominal ultrasound (diagnostics funded by study).
  • Third visit: Three months after goal anticoagulation level achieved (group 1) or initiation of therapy (group 2), revisit, physical examination, questionnaire, PFA-100 (platelet clotting test, blood draw for 4ml blood), and abdominal ultrasound (diagnostics funded by study).
  • Fourth visit: Six months after goal anticoagulation level achieved (group 1) or initiation of therapy (group 2), revisit, physical examination, questionnaire, PFA-100 (platelet clotting test, blood draw for 4ml blood), repeat abdominal ultrasound (diagnostics funded by study).

Benefits: Regardless of the treatment, your dog will be receiving one of these 2 potentially beneficial drugs.  The information gleaned from this study is critical to improving the decision making process in terms of selecting appropriate treatment for these patients and will for the first time provide information regarding benefits of therapeutic intervention for dogs with aortic thrombus.

Owner Responsibilities: The cost of the subsidized consultation and echocardiograph, 6 month treatment with the study drug, monitoring, and ultrasounds beyond the initial ultrasound will be paid for by the study (~$1500); however, the owner is responsible for paying for all costs associated with the initial diagnosis and treatment, including the initial visit, echocardiograph, x-ray, initial abdominal ultrasound and blood work ($800-1000).

Contact: Contact the Speciality Coordinators for Cardiology (530-752-1393)

Mitral Valve Disease and Heart Failure: Examining a Drug Treatment

Title: Effect of pimobendan on the incidence of arrhythmias

Purpose of Study: Recent studies have demonstrated that treatment with the medication, pimobendan, provides a survival benefit for dogs with heart failure.  This finding has led to widespread use of pimobendan in veterinary patients. However, the optimal timing of use of pimobendan, as either an early adjunctive therapy for congestive heart failure or a rescue therapy for refractory heart failure is unknown.  The aim of this study is to assess the effect of pimobendan on the frequency of arrhythmias in dogs with heart failure.

Participation Requirements:

  • Dogs with congestive heart failure (CHF) due to valvular degeneration (abnormally thickened heart valves)
  • CHF must be controlled with conventional therapy prior to entry into the study  
  • Ineligible: Dogs already receiving Pimobendan

Initial Evaluation for Participation:

  • Dogs must be diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF) due to valvular degeneration (abnormally thickened heart valves)

Procedures:

  • First visit: Initial consultation and physical examination, baseline 24-hour ambulatory ECG (Holter), echocardiogram, blood pressure, and thoracic radiographs. Once the Holter monitor has been removed by the owner, they are to commence randomly assigned pimobendan or placebo. Both the owner and the primary investigators will be blinded as to which drug the dog is receiving.
  • Second visit: Two weeks later, revisit, repeat Holter monitor, and blood pressure. This will be followed by a two-week washout period (no pimobendan or placebo). The owner will then commence the alternative drug.
  • Third visit: After two weeks on alternate drug, revisit, repeat Holter monitor, and blood pressure.

Your dog will be closely monitored to see if there is a increase in presence of arrhythmia while taking the drug.

Benefits: If the patient is then deemed suitable for entry into the study, the client will receive free thoracic radiographs initially, and blood pressure monitoring and pimobendan for its duration. Hospitalization for treatment of heart failure and/or abnormal electrical activity is the responsibility of the owner. 

Most dogs with CHF and mitral disease are currently put on Pimobendan, so the study is not doing anything that would not otherwise happen to your dog. The American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) cardiology consensus statement actually recommends treatment of these diseases with the drug. It is possible that some dogs are particularly sensitive to this effect, and we will individualize the therapy for your dog.

We do not know when it is best to use this drug. If it does cause arrhythmia, then we would use it later in the course of heart disease than is being currently recommended. So, your dogs participation in this trial will help to clarify when to use the drug for thousands of dogs with CHF and Mitral Disease.

Owner Responsibilities: The owner is responsible for covering the initial appointment, echocardiogram, blood pressure monitoring, pimobendan costs after the trial period (4 weeks) and the costs of further follow-up and treatment.

Contact: Contact the Speciality Coordinators for Cardiology (530-752-1393)

Internal Medicine

Ectopic ureters: Evaluating Laser Ablation as a Treatment Option

Title: Evaluation of the Use of Cystoscopic-Guided Laser Ablation in the Treatment of Canine Ureteral Ectopia

Purpose of Study: To evaluate urethral pressure profiles (UPPs) in patients undergoing laser ablation of their ectopic ureters. The goal is to determine if pre-treatment UPP values can help to predict continence rates after laser ablation.

Participation Requirements: Any dog with ectopic ureters that will be undergoing laser ablation may be included in the study. Owners must give approval for pre-treatment UPP measurements to be performed.

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Patients must undergo evaluation and diagnostic workup for ectopic ureters and there must be a high clinical suspicion that the patient has an ectopic ureter.

Procedures: The procedures that will be performed as part of this study are currently utilized in the diagnostic workup and treatment of ureteral ectopia, and include:

  • Urethral pressure profilometry (UPP) - Performed in a manner similar to what has been described previously and involves the placement of a urinary catheter into the urethra via a transvulvar approach (non-invasive).
  • Cystoscopic-guided laser ablation procedure - Performed via a transvulvar approach and involves the use of a laser to ablate the intramural portion of ectopic ureteral tissue.

Benefits: The benefits of enrolling in this study include financial support for pre-procedure diagnostics as well as support towards the performance of the cystoscopic-guided laser ablation procedure. Additionally, funding from this grant will be applied towards the anesthetic event.

Owner Responsibilities: Owners will need to give their approval for urethral pressure profilometry evaluation.

Contact: Dr. Carrie Palm (cpalm@ucdavis.edu)

Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunts: Assessing a New Treatment Technique

Title: Assessment of Outcome in Dogs Undergoing Percutaneous Transvenous Coil Embolization to Treat Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunts

Purpose of Study: The purposes of this project are to:

  1. Evaluate serum bile acid concentrations and hepatic biochemical functional parameters (BUN, albumin, cholesterol, glucose, and bilirubin) in dogs with intrahepatic portosystemic shunts both pre- and post-treatment to objectively evaluate each patient for improvement in hepatic function.
  2. Assess the improvement in the clinical signs of dogs with IHPSS after the performance of PTCE.
  3. To perform imaging studies pre- and post-PTCE that provide objective assessment of outcome associated with the PTCE procedure.

Participation Requirements: Dogs with intrahepatic portosystemic shunts

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Contact Dr. Culp for details at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393.

Procedures: Dogs with a diagnosis of intrahepatic portosystemic shunts (IHPSS) will be enrolled in the study. The dog will undergo percutanous transvenous coil embolization (PTCE) to treat his/her IHPSS. Prior to and after this procedure, diagnostics including bloodwork, nuclear scintigraphy, abdominal ultrasound and computed tomography (CT) scan will be performed and compared.

Benefits: Enrolling a dog in this study results in a significant financial incentive towards diagnostics that would be recommended for the dog whether or not he/she is enrolled in the study. This benefit includes payment of the preoperative CT scan and the postoperative bloodwork (1 chemistry panel at 3 months postoperative), ultrasound (1 at 3 months postoperative), nuclear scintigraphy scan (1 at 3 months postoperative) and CT scan (1 at 3 months postoperative).

Owner Responsibilities: Return the patient 3 months after treatment for further assessment.

Contact: Contact Dr. Culp for details at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393.

Large Bowel Disease: Evaluating a New Diagnostic Tool

Title: Evaluation of CT pneumocolonography as a diagnostic tool in veterinary patients

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of imaging findings on surgical decision-making in dogs with colonic and rectal disease of any kind (cancer or non-cancer). This part of the body can be a very difficult region examine with current imaging methods, which also do not provide optimal spatial information important if a surgical procedure is needed. In early studies, we have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of the CT pneumocolonography procedure in normal dogs, but it is important that we learn to accurately interpret the imaging findings for a wide variety of disease processes in clinical patients so that our CT diagnoses are accurate. Our goal is to compare the imaging findings obtained with CT pneumocolonography with the current standard of care of colonoscopy and colonoscopic biopsies.

Participation Requirements: In order to participate in this study, a colonoscopic exam must have been recommended for workup of your dog’s problem, and your dog must be scheduled to receive a colonoscopic exam under general anesthesia at UC Davis.

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures: If you agree to participate, your dog will receive a CT scan (with and without intravenous contrast material) in conjunction with carbon dioxide gas insufflated into the rectal lumen. Following CT pneumocolonography, your dog will receive the scheduled colonoscopy, which is the current standard of care for assessment of these masses, and if clinically indicated for the care of your dog, biopsies will be obtained.

Benefits: In return for participation in this study, your dog will receive a free CT scan (an approximately $800 value to you), which may directly benefit your dog, as it can provide important information for treatment recommendations that other types of imaging cannot. CT evaluation of local lymph nodes is an additional benefit as CT has been demonstrated to be helpful in the evaluation of regional lymph nodes for metastatic disease in other types of cancer in other locations.

Owner Responsibilities: There is no additional cost to you for your dog’s participation in the study. You are financially responsible for hospital costs associated with the standard care of your dog, including abdominal ultrasound, general anesthesia, colonoscopy, hospitalization, biopsies, and any other diagnostic tests recommended for evaluation of your dog’s disease by your attending clinician.

Contact: Drs. Michele Steffey and Stanley Marks (530-752-1393)

Skeleton & Movement (Orthopedics & Orthopedic Surgery)

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

Soft Tissue Surgery

Imaging: Using New Imaging Techniques During Surgery

Title: Intraoperative Near-Infrared Fluorescent Imaging

Purpose of Study: Near-infrared fluorescent imaging utilizes light just out of the visual spectrum to generate additional imaging information in the treatment of a wide variety of diseases.  The near infrared light is generated by a special contrast agent (Indocyanine Green) that is injected into the patient.  When a near-infrared light source is used to illuminate the surgical site, any tissue in which this contrast agent is located will glow, aiding the surgeon in identifying the location or extent of disease.  Based on early experiments in rodents and human clinical trials, this very sensitive tool has the potential to improve surgical decision-making and improve overall treatment for a wide variety of diseases including various tumors, sentinel lymph node identification, assessing viability of skin flaps, identification of liver shunts, identification of urinary tract obstruction or trauma, identification of bilary tract obstruction or trauma, assessment of gastrointestinal perfusion, and treatment of difficult wounds.  The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of this imaging modality in veterinary patients presenting with natural disease processes.

Participation Requirements: Dogs scheduled for surgery.

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Evaluation by Dr. Michele Steffey on the Soft Tissue Surgery Service.

Procedures: Indocyanine Green will be administered, either subcutaneously or intravenously, at a dose and timing considered to be optimal by your attending veterinarian.

Benefits: There may or may not be a specific benefit to your dog by participating in this study.  Use of Indocyanine Green may or may not aid in the intraoperative decision-making by the veterinary surgeon.

Owner Responsibilities: If an allergic reaction should occur, immediate costs of treatment (diphenhydramine, support of blood pressure) will be covered by the study; however, the owner will be responsible for any treatment costs for prolonged or severe complications.

Contact: The scheduling coordinators in Soft Tissue Surgery (530) 752-1393.

Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunts: Assessing a New Treatment Technique

Title: Assessment of Outcome in Dogs Undergoing Percutaneous Transvenous Coil Embolization to Treat Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunts

Purpose of Study: The purposes of this project are to:

  1. Evaluate serum bile acid concentrations and hepatic biochemical functional parameters (BUN, albumin, cholesterol, glucose, and bilirubin) in dogs with intrahepatic portosystemic shunts both pre- and post-treatment to objectively evaluate each patient for improvement in hepatic function.
  2. Assess the improvement in the clinical signs of dogs with IHPSS after the performance of PTCE.
  3. To perform imaging studies pre- and post-PTCE that provide objective assessment of outcome associated with the PTCE procedure.

Participation Requirements: Dogs with intrahepatic portosystemic shunts

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Contact Dr. Culp for details at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393.

Procedures: Dogs with a diagnosis of intrahepatic portosystemic shunts (IHPSS) will be enrolled in the study. The dog will undergo percutanous transvenous coil embolization (PTCE) to treat his/her IHPSS. Prior to and after this procedure, diagnostics including bloodwork, nuclear scintigraphy, abdominal ultrasound and computed tomography (CT) scan will be performed and compared.

Benefits: Enrolling a dog in this study results in a significant financial incentive towards diagnostics that would be recommended for the dog whether or not he/she is enrolled in the study. This benefit includes payment of the preoperative CT scan and the postoperative bloodwork (1 chemistry panel at 3 months postoperative), ultrasound (1 at 3 months postoperative), nuclear scintigraphy scan (1 at 3 months postoperative) and CT scan (1 at 3 months postoperative).

Owner Responsibilities: Return the patient 3 months after treatment for further assessment.

Contact: Contact Dr. Culp for details at wculp@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393.

Large Bowel Disease: Evaluating a New Diagnostic Tool

Title: Evaluation of CT pneumocolonography as a diagnostic tool in veterinary patients

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of imaging findings on surgical decision-making in dogs with colonic and rectal disease of any kind (cancer or non-cancer). This part of the body can be a very difficult region examine with current imaging methods, which also do not provide optimal spatial information important if a surgical procedure is needed. In early studies, we have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of the CT pneumocolonography procedure in normal dogs, but it is important that we learn to accurately interpret the imaging findings for a wide variety of disease processes in clinical patients so that our CT diagnoses are accurate. Our goal is to compare the imaging findings obtained with CT pneumocolonography with the current standard of care of colonoscopy and colonoscopic biopsies.

Participation Requirements: In order to participate in this study, a colonoscopic exam must have been recommended for workup of your dog’s problem, and your dog must be scheduled to receive a colonoscopic exam under general anesthesia at UC Davis.

Initial Evaluation for Participation: None.

Procedures: If you agree to participate, your dog will receive a CT scan (with and without intravenous contrast material) in conjunction with carbon dioxide gas insufflated into the rectal lumen. Following CT pneumocolonography, your dog will receive the scheduled colonoscopy, which is the current standard of care for assessment of these masses, and if clinically indicated for the care of your dog, biopsies will be obtained.

Benefits: In return for participation in this study, your dog will receive a free CT scan (an approximately $800 value to you), which may directly benefit your dog, as it can provide important information for treatment recommendations that other types of imaging cannot. CT evaluation of local lymph nodes is an additional benefit as CT has been demonstrated to be helpful in the evaluation of regional lymph nodes for metastatic disease in other types of cancer in other locations.

Owner Responsibilities: There is no additional cost to you for your dog’s participation in the study. You are financially responsible for hospital costs associated with the standard care of your dog, including abdominal ultrasound, general anesthesia, colonoscopy, hospitalization, biopsies, and any other diagnostic tests recommended for evaluation of your dog’s disease by your attending clinician.

Contact: Drs. Michele Steffey and Stanley Marks (530-752-1393)

If you cannot find what you are looking for, please contact Chrissy Kinkade at (530) 752-5366 or vetclintrials@ucdavis.edu.