Click here to download the study flyer
Purpose and Brief Explanation of Study:
Neuropathic pain affects 90% of people living with spinal cord injury (SCI). This pain can be severe, debilitating, and has a major impact on quality of life. Neuropathic pain is also likely to occur in veterinary patients with SCI, although its existence has been largely ignored. Given the frequency of neuropathic pain in people with SCI, developing strategies to diagnose and manage neuropathic pain in dogs should be a high priority for veterinarians and owners of dogs with SCI. Additionally, dogs provide a valuable spontaneous model through which to study treatments aimed to improve neuropathic pain in both human and veterinary patients with SCI.
Objective of the trial:
The purpose of this study to monitor dogs for the development of neuropathic pain after SCI, and to test medication effects and inter-observer agreement of a technique to quantify neuropathic pain. We will correlate these results with force plate data from dogs at the same visit.
Which patients are eligible to participate in this clinical trial?
- Dogs with normal orthopedic and neurologic examinations (these dogs will serve as our control group)
- Those with spinal cord injury severe enough to affect their ability to walk but not eliminate their ability to feel their toes.
- Weigh less than 20 kilograms
What does enrolling my dog in this clinical trial involve?
Your dog will undergo a brief orthopedic and neurologic examination to document any spinal cord, bone or joint problems that may be present. Next, your dog will be asked to lay quietly on his or her side while the level to which he can feel a pressure stimulus is tested. Minimal restrain may be used, but if your pet protests to lying on his side or becomes stressed by the testing, he may not continue in the study.
We will use an electronic device called a von Frey anesthesiometer to apply steady pressure to your dog’s paw until he feels the pressure and pulls his foot away. The amount of pressure (in grams) required for your dog to pull his foot away will be recorded. We will test both paws on your dog’s back legs and the entire process will take approximately 20 minutes. Your dog will also stand on a force plate for approximately 5 minutes to assess weight bearing.
SCI- affected dogs will receive free recheck examinations at 10, 30, and 90 days following surgery and will receive a $200 bill credit for participation in the study. If your dog does not return for scheduled recheck appointments, or is disqualified from the study, this credit will be removed from your bill.
If you believe your pet may be eligible to enter this study, please click here to fill out a questionnaire.
Dr. Sarah Moore DVM, Diplomate ACVIM