UC Davis Veterinary Clinical Trials

Circulating DNA in cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and cardiogenic arterial thromboembolism

Help us look for a screening test to prevent clot formation in cats

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common heart disease in cats. About 20% of cats will develop clinical signs due to HCM. Of these complications, the most devastating is cardiogenic arterial thromboembolism (clot formation), otherwise known as, “saddle thrombus”, which is one of the most distressing emergencies for cat owners. This disease is complicated by the fact that most cats that develop saddle thrombus appear healthy and do not have heart murmurs. Veterinarians currently have limited abilities to test and treat cats at the greatest risk of forming saddle thrombus. For this reason, we hope to look for protein markers and free circulating DNA in the blood of cats with HCM and saddle thrombus. Free circulating DNA has been shown in humans, mice and dogs to promote clot formation and can be used as a treatment target. We, therefore, hope to further understand these findings by seeing if free circulating DNA in cats contribute to saddle thrombus in cats with HCM. This information will enable us to establish a screening test that will guide clinicians in identifying cats at risk of clot formation.

Any, age > 1 year old

VACCS: Vaccination Against Canine Cancer Study

Help us prevent cancer in dogs with a new vaccine!

Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs, accounting for approximately 30% of all deaths. Certain breeds have much higher likelihoods of cancer than others. “Tumor antigens” are proteins that can be recognized by the immune system as foreign and result in the attack of tumors by the immune system. Researchers have identified a series of new tumor antigens that appear to be produced in multiple types of cancer very early in tumor development and are produced in cancers from many species (humans, dogs and mice). Vaccination of mice with these antigens can delay or prevent multiple types of cancer without side effects. The purpose of this study is to determine whether vaccination with these novel tumor antigens is capable of reducing the likelihood of cancer in dogs.

Preventative vaccine study

Assessing and managing megaesophagus in dogs

Help us find better ways of treating dogs with megaesophagus!

Megaesophagus literally means large or giant esophagus and refers to a syndrome in which the muscles of the esophagus lose their tone and are no longer able to propel food and water from the mouth into the stomach. This disease is common in large-breed dogs in particular and can occur at any age. While some other diseases can cause megaesophagus, in over 50% of dogs no underlying or treatable cause is identified (known as idiopathic-acquired megaesophagus). As such, no targeted therapy can be implemented. Few advancements have been made in recommendations for disease management with current suggestions documented to be inadequate. We are assessing esophageal and lower esophageal sphincter (LES) function to optimize management of megaesophagus (ME) using novel medical therapies.