The RVC undertakes a large number of clinical studies involving veterinary patients who return to the care of their owners at the end of each procedure.
In all cases, owner informed consent is obtained to allow the animal to be involved in research and owners are free to withdraw their animals from the study at any point.
Refusal to allow their animal to be involved in any study does not influence the standard of care offered to the animal.
See below for information on the these types of study.
Treatment of Canine IBD in veterinary medicine
The trial is being undertaken to evaluate the clinical efficacy of a test compound in reducing the clinical signs associated with canine IBD. The test compound has been seen to have some effect on relieving symptoms of IBD in humans and this trial aims to establish whether this can be transferred to canine sufferers. Blood samples and endoscopic biopsies are collected from canine patients with IBD after obtaining written owner consent.
It is hoped that the individual animals receiving the test compounds will benefit in the current clinical trial. If the compounds are proven to be efficacious then all dogs with IBD will benefit in the future. Furthermore, the results of the study will have important clinical implications for the understanding of the pathogenesis of canine IBD. The results may be relevant for the treatment of human IBD, for which the canine disease may be considered a naturally occurring model.
Ultimately, the aim of this work is to advance the treatment of canine IBD in veterinary medicine.
Collection of blood from healthy dogs for control purposes
Blood collected from the neck vein from healthy canine blood donors after written informed consent was granted by their owners was used in a variety of experiments in the lab to investigate cells that regulate the immune response as a part of a research programme into both cancer and autoimmune diseases of pet dogs presenting as veterinary patients.
We hope that such studies will not only identify novel ways of making a diagnosis, thus allowing the most appropriate treatments to be used in individual dogs, but will also yield novel treatments to improve canine welfare on a global scale.
Investigation of the safety and efficacy of SG2000 in dogs with spontaneous malignancies
Client owned dogs were enrolled in a clinical trial investigating the safety and efficacy of a novel anti-cancer drug.
To be enrolled in the study dogs had to have a measurable malignant tumour (diagnosis confirmed by cytology or histopathology) and to have either failed recognised treatment for their cancer, or conventional treatment was not suitable for other reasons.
Informed owner consent was obtained to participate in the study. Patients were monitored carefully for toxicity (recording adverse events) and efficacy via tumour measurements, either made clinically with calipers or typically by CT scans.
Blood samples were collected to study the rate at which the drug was excreted from the body in these clinical patients
Uncovering the Recipe for Diabetic Remission in the Cat
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is an increasingly-common endocrinopathy in both cats and humans, and causes significant morbidity and mortality in pet cats.
Equine Laminitis Research
Prospective studies examining tests that predict the likelihood that a pony will develop laminitis in the future are ongoing and we have recruited over 200 ponies to this study through local livery yards.
This is a four year prospective study that involves six monthly visits to the stables.
For more information see Summary of Recent Laminitis Research at the RVC (Case Study).
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) in Cats
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a common disease of heart muscle in cats, and is inherited in some pedigree breeds.
In two separate studies we have been screening pedigree cats and Norwegian Forest cats for HCM using ultrasound scanning (echocardiography), a noninvasive test carried out without the need for sedation or anaesthesia.
At the same time we took blood samples to evaluate the use of two commercially available blood tests (NT-proBNP and troponin-I) for the detection of early HCM.
The study was performed under Home Office licence because the analysis of the blood tests was delayed (to allow us to analyse all the samples together), and so the results were not immediately available to the owner and referring vet of each cat.