PULLMAN, Wash. — People who have dogs suffering from the discomfort of
arthritis can now participate in a study seeking to find relief for the condition.
Dr. Steve Martinez, a veterinary orthopedic surgeon at Washington State
University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, is asking for help from the public
and their dogs that have osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint condition that can cause lameness in
dogs. It is similar to osteoarthritis in humans. Martinez is conducting a study
to determine the effectiveness of a new drug to relieve discomfort in dogs that
suffer from this condition.

The drug under investigation is a new non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.
New drugs in this class are known to provide both pain relief and
anti-inflammatory action with minimal side effects (e.g. gastrointestinal upset,
bleeding abnormalities). NSAIDs are preferred for pain relief because, unlike
narcotic drugs, they do not have a sedative effect.

“Our goal is to evaluate this drug as a new alternative for pain management,”
said Martinez. “Owners of arthritic dogs can see a difference when their pets
feel better. We want to make them comfortable enough to improve their quality
of life. No animal should have to live with chronic discomfort.”

For dogs to be eligible for the study, they must be medically diagnosed with
osteoarthritis but be otherwise healthy. They must show a persistent and
obvious lameness, weigh more than 14 pounds, be withheld from any current
NSAID treatment 14 days preceding the study and any neutriceutical treatment
(e.g. chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine) 30 days preceding the study.
Additionally, they should not have had surgery on any joint in the last 6
months.

As an incentive, all participants who successfully complete the study will
receive a $500 honorarium.

Referred dogs will be screened prior to enrollment with a thorough physical
examination, clinical laboratory tests, force plate analysis (gait analysis) and
x-rays — all at no charge to the owner.

If, during the study, any dog shows adverse reactions or is determined to be in
excessive pain, it will be withdrawn and the owner will still receive a portion of
the honorarium.

Further information can be obtained by visiting the study’s Web site at
http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/depts-vcs/research/martinez2.html. For further
details, possible pet enrollment, or questions pertaining to the study, please
contact Martinez and associates at 877/874-1429 or by e-mail at
martinez@vetmed.wsu.edu.

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