Evaluation of low dose radiation therapy for dogs with elbow arthritis

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Purpose and Brief Explanation of Study:

This clinical trial evaluates the safety and efficacy of low dose radiation therapy (LD-RT) for dogs with elbow arthritis. Osteoarthritis (OA) of the elbows is progressive and debilitating disease both in people and dogs. The doses of radiation therapy used to treat arthritis are much lower than those used to treat cancerous tumors, thus the designation “low dose radiation therapy.

Objective of the trial:

The exact mechanism for the effect of LD-RT in improving arthritis pain is still not clear. In the current study, we propose to further evaluate the safety and efficacy (response to radiation for pain control) of LD-RT for the treatment of pain associated with elbow osteoarthritis in dogs. We will also determine the impact of LD-RT on synovial fluid cellular and extracellular infiltrates and associated gene expression profiles in dogs with elbow OA.

What qualifies my dog for enrollment in this in this trial?

  • Dogs must be over 4 years of age
  • Weight more than 25 kgs
  • Confirmed diagnosis of elbow arthritis isolated to one or both elbows that is refractory (not responding to treatment) to standard of care medical and surgical management.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, if started more than 1 month prior to enrollment, will be allowed.
  • Glucosamine/chondroitin supplements are permissible.
  • All other alternative supplements must be discontinued 7 days prior to beginning of radiation therapy.
  • Dogs with suspected autoimmune, infectious or cancerous elbow arthritis will be excluded.
  • Additionally, patients with other significant illnesses or neurologic diseases interfering with force platform analysis, and those at risk for anesthetic complications will be excluded.

What does enrolling my dog in this clinical trial involve?

If the dog is deemed eligible to enter into the study, the following schedule of tests and radiation administration will be performed:

  • Pre-Study (Day 0): We will perform a number of tests including sedated elbow x-rays, blood draw, orthopedic examination, visual gait analysis, +/- force platform analysis, and joint fluid collection and analysis. You will be asked to fill out the Quality of Life Assessment and Orthopedic Pain Assessment form. Once recovered from sedation, your dog will be able to go home.
  • Day 1: Your dog will return to the Veterinary Medical Center and radiation therapy and joint fluid collection will be administered under general anesthesia. A physical examination, force platform analysis will be performed prior to general anesthesia. Once recovered from anesthesia, your dog will be able to go home. Alternately, you will be given the option for overnight boarding with an additional fee.
  • Day 2: Your dog will return to the Veterinary Medical Center and radiation therapy will be administered under general anesthesia. A physical examination will be performed prior to general anesthesia. Once recovered from anesthesia, your dog will be able to go home. Alternately, you will be given the option for overnight boarding with an additional fee.
  • Day 3: Your dog will return to the Veterinary Medical Center, blood draw and radiation therapy will be administered under general anesthesia.  A physical examination will be performed prior to general anesthesia. Once recovered from anesthesia, your dog will be able to go home. Alternately, you will be given the option for overnight boarding with an additional fee.
  • Day 10+/- 3 days: Your dog will return to the hospital for a re-evaluation that will include a physical examination, orthopedic evaluation, force plate analysis, blood draw, and sedated joint fluid collection and analysis. You will be asked to fill out the Quality of Life Assessment and Orthopedic Pain Assessment form. Once recovered from sedation, your dog will be able to go home.
  • Day 17 +/- 3 days: Your dog will return to the hospital for a re-evaluation that will include a physical examination, orthopedic evaluation, force plate analysis, and blood draw. You will be asked to fill out the Quality of Life Assessment and Orthopedic Pain Assessment form.
  • Day 33 +/- 3 days: Your dog will return to the hospital for a re-evaluation that will include a physical examination, orthopedic evaluation, force plate analysis, blood draw. You will be asked to fill out the Quality of Life Assessment and Orthopedic Pain Assessment form.

Client Compensation

The cost of the initial consult and sedated elbow radiographs (x-rays) of both limbs is NOT covered by the study. If they qualify the amount will be reimbursed. Following study enrollment, staging tests to ensure his/her general health and evaluate the degree of arthritis will be performed following entry into the study. This will include bloodwork, orthopedic examination, visual gait analysis, force platform analysis, and joint fluid collection and analysis.  These costs and the actual cost of radiation therapy under general anesthesia will be covered by the study.

The study will not cover cost of hospitalization due to any reason. The study will not cover cost of ICU caused due to any complication associated with the study, radiation therapy, and anesthesia. The study will not pay for initial blood work required to evaluate if the dog is a candidate for general anesthesia.

Client Contact

If you believe your pet may be eligible to enter this study, please click here to fill out a questionnaire. 

Dr. Noopur C Desai desai.339@osu.edu