Advanced veterinary medical care may be available for your dog at no cost
A new clinical trial is under way with clinical investigators (veterinarians) in several cities across the United States, and if your dog qualifies, participation is free. Clinical trial is the scientific term for a study that evaluates a medication or medical device. In this case, the trial is evaluating a new drug for the treatment of dogs with idiopathic epilepsy.
In many cases, seizures in dogs may be caused by another underlying medical condition, such as a tumor or other problem. With idiopathic epilepsy, seizures result when neurons in the dog's brain are randomly activated, possibly caused by genetic mutations, an imbalance in brain chemicals, or birth-related injuries. Today, veterinarians are better able to rule out other problems and diagnose idiopathic epilepsy, but there are limited options to treat the condition. It is hoped that clinical trials like this one, will ultimately provide additional treatment options.
Clinical trials offer access to advanced medical care, and the information gathered through clinical trials builds evidence-based medical research and may lead to improvements in patient health. Building a body of research is much like putting the pieces of a puzzle together. Each piece helps researchers have a more complete understanding of the medical condition and how to develop the best treatments.
The medication given to dogs in the trial may or may not help their seizures. As with all medications, there are risks and benefits—all of which will be discussed with you prior to enrolling your dog.
What dogs are eligible?
To qualify, dogs must:
Benefits to dog owners who volunteer their dogs for this trial include the following:
- Be suspected of having idiopathic epilepsy
- Be at least 4 months of age
- Have not received more than 7 days of anti-seizure medication
- Weigh 3.3 pounds or more
- Have no previous history of seizure clusters or status epilepticus
- Not be lactating, pregnant, or suspected to be pregnant
Why should my dog participate in this study?
- Free* diagnostic tests and evaluation: All tests required by the study protocol, such as blood work, are free.
- Free** treatment: Your dog will either be given the test drug or a placebo; however, patients in the study are twice as likely to receive the test drug.
- Up to $150 in gift cards: By participating in the study, dog owners may also receive up to $150 in gift cards.
Clinical trials (for both animals and people) are a key way the medical community learns more about diseases and medical conditions. Trials are generally conducted to determine whether a new treatment is safe and effective. This specific trial for dogs with idiopathic epilepsy is regulated by the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and therefore held to strict standards to ensure that dogs are treated as safely as possible. Each trial site has a veterinarian in charge and each of these doctors follows the exact same procedures in treating the patients in the trial. Once an FDA trial is completed, information from all the sites will be combined and compared, then submitted to the FDA for review.
Participation in a clinical trial can offer your pet some of the most advanced medical care available, while advancing medical knowledge. Today, better treatments for all kinds of conditions are due in large part to the valuable information gained through clinical trial research (treatment studies). The evidence-based medical knowledge gained though trials can help lead to better treatments, increased survival rates, and sometimes even a cure.
How can I learn if there is a clinical trial site near me?
If you live near a trial site, your veterinarian may already be aware of the location of a trial site in your area. Or, either you or your veterinarian may call our toll-free number, 1-888-598-7125 ext. 207, to learn if there's a trial site near you. Even if there is not a site currently in your area, there may be one soon, so we encourage you or your veterinarian to call us to learn if your dog may qualify.
© 2012, Visionaire Research and Education