Contact Dr. Narda Robinson to find out more about ongoing research studies and how to enroll your animal companion in a study.
Read the information below or consult our one-page summary to find out about this study and whether your dog is eligible to enroll.
Clinical trials are research studies that help evaluate new types of treatment. This one has been designed to assess the benefits and side effects of an anti-arthritis pain herbal product. Your regular veterinarian should already have discussed with you standard treatment options and this clinical trial. It is your decision whether or not you want your dog to participate. If you have any questions, please ask Dr. Robinson for more information.
Research shows that anti-inflammatory medications reduce arthritis pain, but only minimal information is available on pain-relieving herbal supplements for dogs, which is why we are performing this study. As this is a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, we will be comparing the herbal product to a placebo. Neither you nor your CSU clinician will know whether the product your dog is taking is the herbal product or the placebo, as they will be indistinguishable.
We are interested in enrolling dogs who, although lame, have not yet received any pain medications for their lameness. Dogs are eligible if they 1) have clinical evidence of lameness in one or more limbs, 2) have radiographic (x-ray) evidence of osteoarthritis in one or more joints in that limb, and 3) bear significantly less weight on the affected limb, compared to the contralateral (opposite) limb, as determined by force plate evaluation.
Dogs of any age, breed, or gender can qualify, though they must weigh at least 15 kg (33 pounds). The diet must stay constant throughout the trial, and the dog must not be started on any weight loss programs during the study. The dog cannot be pregnant and cannot receive any pain medicine drugs or herbs, or other natural products for arthritis, for the duration of the study. Dogs with history of liver, kidney, heart, or gastrointestinal diseases will not be eligible to participate, nor will dogs with bleeding disorders or known hypersensitivity (allergy) to any of the active product ingredients. If the dog has had orthopedic surgery within the past year, they will also not be eligible for the trial.
For a full listing of inclusion criteria, download this one-page summary.
The trial will last about four weeks. On the day your dog starts participating in the study (Day 1), we will obtain baseline values consisting of a lameness evaluation and pain score. In addition, we will perform a gait analysis test, known as force plate evaluation (FPE), and collect blood (about 8-10cc) and urine. The FPE measures the amount of weight placed on each limb as your dog walks along a platform. The laboratory will run two tests on the blood drawn. The complete blood count (CBC), tells us whether your dog is anemic and how the platelets are functioning, while the small animal diagnostic panel (SADP) indicates how various organs are functioning. Analysis of blood levels of the herbal or placebo product will also be taken. We also will collect, or will ask that you obtain, a free-catch urine specimen obtained on the day of each laboratory evaluation.
Once the trial starts, your dog will need to return weekly for lameness evaluation and pain scoring, for a total of five times (i.e., baseline plus weekly for 4 weeks). At that time you can ask any questions that have arisen in the interim.
The FPE, CBC, SADP, and blood level of herbal or placebo product will take place biweekly, for a total of three times (i.e., baseline plus every other week).
You will also be expected to fill out a brief questionnaire about your dog’s progress each week, so we can keep track how you feel your dog is doing.
The herbs contained in the supplement may cause gastrointestinal discomfort or increase the risk of bleeding. Please contact Dr. Narda Robinson immediately, at Narda.Robinson@colostate.edu or 970-297-4202 if you have any concerns, or if your dog begins acting painful or nauseated, or if she or he starts vomiting or has diarrhea, and especially if you see blood in the stool or vomitus, or if the stool becomes black or otherwise discolored.
If, during the course of the trial, you become concerned about your dog’s pain (i.e., if the test product is inadequately controlling the arthritis pain), please contact Dr. Narda Robinson (Narda.Robinson@colostate.edu or 970-297-4202). Because no pain medications or newly added herbs or supplements are allowed while your dog is on this clinical trial, you or we may decide to withdraw your dog from the trial if pain worsens significantly. At that time, we will refer you back to your regular veterinarian for re-evaluation. We have predetermined that a dog will be eliminated from the trial if his or her pain worsens by one level on the 0-4 pain score or the 1-5 lameness grade, or by 20% on the FPE.
This study will last approximately 5 weeks, with 4 weeks being the actual clinical testing phase.
You may decide to withdraw your dog from the clinical trial at any time. Please contact Dr. Narda Robinson at Narda.Robinson@colostate.edu or 970-297-4202 if you are considering withdrawing your dog from the trial.
As noted above, the CSU clinician may stop your dog from continuing to participate in the clinical trial at any time if s/he considers it to be in your dog’s best interest, or if the trial is discontinued or if the trial protocol is not followed.
If you complete the trial, your dog will receive $100 toward continued treatment for your dog’s pain control at CSU. This amount may be applied to medication or acupuncture treatment provided by Dr. Narda Robinson. In addition, if your dog completes the trial and you so choose, your dog will also receive 12 bottles (60 tabs ea) at no charge. This is approximately one year’s worth of nutraceutical product.
You are expected to make and keep all appointments according to the study protocol and complete brief weekly assessments concerning how you feel your dog is doing. You are financially responsible for paying for the radiograph prior to the study that will document the eligibility and evidence of arthritis.
Please do not hesitate to ask if you have further questions. Dr. Narda Robinson is the Principal Investigator and can be reached at 970-297-4202, or Narda.Robinson@colostate.edu.