Plan B

Clinical trials offer new treatment possibilities for dogs that have not responded to existing medicine.

By Meredith Wargo |

Modern medicine has impacted the quality and longevity of dogs’ lives to a great extent. Many of the medical therapies that are now considered conventional treatments were originally tested in canine clinical trials.

"One of the benefits of a clinical trial is that a dog can receive a treatment modality that may offer more hope than traditional treatment and usually at a reduced cost,” says David M. Vail, D.V.M., Dipl. ACVIM (Oncology), director of the Center for Clinical Trials and Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Veterinary School of Medicine.

If your dog is diagnosed with a life-threatening disease and conventional treatment is either cost prohibitive or might not dramatically increase its life, consider enrolling your pet in an investigational trial. Clinical trials focus on discovering new treatments for many conditions, including cancer, heart disease, spinal cord injuries, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and osteoarthritis.

Understanding clinical trials
In canine clinical trials, animals help doctors research ways to improve health and cancer care, both in the veterinary world as well as in human medicine. Each study tries to answer scientific questions and find better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat life-threatening diseases.

Most clinical research involves testing new drugs; other trials focus on experimental treatments or new approaches to surgery. Some examples include evaluating therapeutic pet food for treating inflammatory bowel disease or using external beam low-dose radiation therapy for cancer treatment.

Want to read the full story? Pick up the July 2012 issue of DOG WORLD today, or subscribe to receive the best dog articles, dog news, and dog information every month!


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