When we test these therapies in pet dogs, they can be viewed more like ‘small people’ rather than as ‘large rats’, because each dog has unique features about the nature of the injury – its size, location, precise mechanism of injury and the pattern of persistent deficits in function. This means that these dogs form an ideal group in which to test whether a therapy thought to be useful based on effectiveness in laboratory animals (that all have more-or-less identical injuries) might actually have sufficient impact to be useful for people. Both groups are clinical patients with all the variability and difficulties in detecting effects that implies.
Based on this idea of clinical comparability we have previously tested one promising therapy for spinal cord injury in people: olfactory ensheathing cell transplants, and we are currently testing another: injection of chondoitinase ABC. This presentation will show how the dogs are tested and the type of outcome that can be observed. Here is the Facebook Link to the Chondroitinase Dog Trial in Ames, Iowa.