Special diet to treat syringomyelia pain

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Purpose and Brief Explanation of Study:

The goal of this study is to test whether feeding a special diet might help to improve pain in dogs with Chiari malformation/syringomyelia (SM). In particular, we are interested in how feeding a diet high in medium chain triglycerides (MCT) might help.

Which patients are eligible to participate in this clinical trial? Cavalier dog sitting

  • Dogs must be Cavalier King Charles Spaniels with an MRI diagnosis of SM. Some partial support for diagnostics is available for dogs with suggestive clinical signs.
  • Dogs must have persistent clinical signs of SM as determined by an initial neuropathic pain questionnaire, despite being on a stable dose of pain medications for 4 weeks prior to enrollment.
  • They may not receive dietary supplements of any kind for 4 weeks prior to study enrollment.
  • Dogs will not be enrolled if they have significant kidney, liver, or other hormonal diseases, are unable to be fed a prescribed diet dictated by the study, or are currently eating a diet supplemented with MCT.

What will happen if my dog participates in this clinical trial?

Dogs will be randomized to one of two diets which will be fed for 12 weeks. Owners will not know which diet their pet is receiving. Owners and their dogs will be asked to visit the OSU VMC at initial enrollment, and again at 2, 4, and 12 weeks for study-related procedures.

What financial incentives will be provided for my dog’s participation?

All study-related visits will be paid for by the study, once enrollment eligibility is verified. Partial support is available for MRI screening in dogs with appropriate clinical signs who have not previously had an MRI.


If you believe your pet may be eligible to enter this study,
please fill out a pre-screening questionnaire.

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