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NC State University’s Comparative Pain Research Lab Seeks Canine Participants for Clinical Trial

Clinical scientists with North Carolina State University’s Comparative Pain Research Laboratory are inviting owners whose dogs show signs of osteoarthritis to have their pets participate in a study of a new medication being considered to control chronic canine arthritis pain.

Estimates are that more than half of  some dog breeds suffer with canine osteoarthritis for a total number approaching 10 million–about 20 percent of dogs over the age of two. Many owners may not realize their dogs has osteoarthritis until it results in a noticeable change in their activity. The warning signs include:

  • Lameness or abnormal gait;
  • Stiffness, especially after waking up;
  • Difficulty sitting, standing,  running,  jumping,  getting into the car, or climbing stairs;
  • Changes in behavior with decreased interest in walks or playing;
  • Withdrawal from family members;
  • Licking area of a specific joint or joints;
  • Sensitivity and soreness when joints are touched;
  • Trouble getting comfortable/restlessness;
  • Sleeping more than usual.

The Comparative Pain Research Lab, or CPRL, at the College of Veterinary Medicine is investigating the effectiveness of a canine version of a new biological compound that is being tested to control arthritis pain in people. The medication is not a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) but an antibody against nerve growth factor, which means this antibody provides pain relief.

Study participants must be older  than one year, weigh more than 33 pounds, and have decreased mobility but no other significant disease. The study covers the cost of screening for eligibility and includes free veterinary medical services such as physical, orthopedic, and neuologic examinations, radiographs, gait analysis, blood tests, urinalysis, and medication.

The duration of the blinded, placebo-controlled pilot study is 16 weeks with treatment administered twice. Each dog will be evaluated during the study period for changes in pain and mobility using various owner assessments, activity monitors, kinetic variables, and veterinarian-assessed joint pain. Owners must have a predictable and stable environment, maintain their dog’s basic and consistent exercise routines, and agree to help evaluate their dog throughout the study period.

Interested owners may contact Beth Case at 919.513.6853 or

For more information:

Comparative Pain Research Laboratory