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Veterinary Health Center

Clinical Trials Office
Phone: 785-532-3046

Veterinary Health Center
1800 Denison Ave.
Manhattan, KS 66506

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For appointments call:
Small Animal Desk
785-532-4309 fax

Large Animal Desk
785-532-4989 fax

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Effect of a therapeutic diet on daily mobility of overweight, osteoarthritic adult dogs

The purpose of this clinical study is to determine if a commercial diet with enhanced Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants will improve activity of overweight, arthritic dogs.

Clinical Protocol:

  • Initial visit:  Dogs will be evaluated by a veterinarian for general health and have osteoarthritis confirmed by a radiograph of the affected joint. If a radiograph has been taken within 6 months, and radiographs are available, it will not be necessary to repeat radiographs. Blood and urine will also be collected for complete blood count, serum chemistry, and urinalysis. To monitor mobility, a non-invasive kinetic gait analysis on a Tekscan pressure mat will be performed. Mobility and pain will be also be evaluated on scoring forms by the owner (COAST, LOAD, and CBPI surveys). Enrolled dogs will be fitted with a collar-wearable activity monitor that will be connected to a proprietary app on the owner's mobile device with information transmitted through the owner's home Wi-Fi system, and collected through the Prelude electronic data capture system. Dogs will then return home for 4 weeks of normal activity. It is important there are no deviations of feeding or activity while baseline home activity is recorded.
  • Week 0 (Visit 2):  Four weeks after initial visit, enrolled dogs will return to the VHC for repeat testing of all parameters evaluated at initial visit. Each dog will be randomly assigned to either the test diet or a macronutrient-comparable control diet without enhanced levels of these additives.
  • Week 6 (Visit 3):  All tests performed at initial visit will be repeated.
  • Week 12 (Visit 4):  All tests performed at initial visit will be repeated. Study is complete and owner may keep the activity monitor. 
Inclusion Criteria:
  • Overweight dogs (body fat index ≥30%) weighing more than 11.4kg (25lbs).
  • With naturally-occurring arthritis in one or more joints.
  • Are accustomed to wearing a collar.
  • Owner must have a home Wi-Fi system that the activity monitoring collar can connect to, and a mobile device that they can download an app on for data collection.
Exclusion criteria:
  • Dogs will not qualify for this study if:
  • They are currently on an Omega-3 (fish oil) enhanced diet.
  • They are currently being treated with corticosteroids, NSAIDS, or antibiotics.
  • They have had an intraarticular joint injection within 90 days or surgery within 180 days. 

Client Compensation:
The study will cover the costs of the exam, radiographs of affected joint, mobility analysis, and blood and urine analysis. The study test diets will also be provided free of charge. Owners will receive completion incentives that will be outlined by the investigators at the time of enrollment if all visits and forms are completed and all data has been collected. Owners will also be able to keep the activity monitor used in the study as a benefit if the dog fully completes the study. Owners will be responsible for fees that are unrelated to the study that occur while the dog is enrolled.

Contact Information:
For more information, please contact Kris Richardson, Clinical Trials Coordinator:
Phone: (785) 532-3046; Email: ClinicalTrials@vet.k-state.edu