Using radiation therapy to treat arthritis pain
"Use of low dose radiation for the treatment of pain associated with
chronic arthritis in the canine elbow"
Purpose of Study
The purpose of this study is to determine whether low dose radiation
therapy can be used to reduce arthritis pain in dogs. Over 20% of
dogs suffer from arthritis, and while many surgical and pharmaceutical
options are available, some dogs still live with chronic pain that
decreases their quality of life. In Europe, radiation therapy has
been used to treat arthritis in humans for over 70 years and has been
intermittently used on arthritic dogs. It is not known exactly how
radiation benefits patients with arthritis, but experimental studies
have shown that radiation decreases joint inflammation.
If low dose radiation therapy proves to be successful, enrolled dogs
will have reduced pain due to arthritis, and will have helped in the
development of a new treatment for canine arthritis that could improve
the quality of life for other dogs. Dogs who participate will
receive a free examination from a veterinary surgeon. Radiation
therapy treatments and any necessary lab work (blood work, urinalysis)
will be covered by the study (approximate value = $800).
Dogs who qualify for this study must be diagnosed with arthritis in
one or both elbows, have a noticeable gait abnormality due to that
arthritis, and have minimal problems in other joints. They must be
more than four years of age and deemed healthy enough to undergo
anesthesia. Dogs must be willing to take part in gait analysis
through force plate examinations (where the dog is walked back and forth
over a metal plate that is level with the floor). Dogs who are
receiving other types of therapies will not be excluded, but they will
need to either continue those therapies throughout the study or
discontinue them one week prior to starting the study.
Dogs enrolled in the study will receive an orthopedic examination to
ensure they have elbow arthritis. They will then receive elbow
radiographs (x-rays) and blood and urine will be collected. After
completion of the exam, participating dogs will be walked across a force
plate to measure their limp. Dogs will then undergo anesthesia and
receive radiation treatment to the affected elbow(s).
Participating dogs will return to the WSU-VTH twice within five days of
the initial treatment to repeat the force plate walk and radiation
treatment. At both three and six weeks after initial treatment,
the dog will need to return for force plating to determine whether the
treatment improved their gait.
Owners are financially responsible for costs involved in the
diagnosis of their dog’s elbow arthritis. Once enrolled, dogs must
receive treatments on a set schedule and owners will be responsible for
bringing their dog to the WSU-VTH for 3 treatments during a 6 day period
and then again for 3 week and 6 week post-treatment checkups.
Owners will also be responsible for filling out a “Canine Brief Pain
Score” questionnaire to evaluate their dog’s lameness prior to starting
therapy and each time the dog returns for treatments and/or checkups.
For more information please contact Valorie Wiss, Clinical Studies
(Office: 509-335-0798, Cell: 509-432-5345 or firstname.lastname@example.org)