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  Home > Current Clinical Trials > Small Animal Medicine

Small Animal Medicine

CVM Mickelson Westie 2

Welcome to the Small Animal Medicine Studies Page!

If you would like more information about a study, or think you would like to enroll your pet, contact the person listed under the study. You may also Contact Us at the CIC.


Clinical Features and Genetic Basis of Pulmonary Fibrosis in Dogs

Current Status:  Active and enrolling.
Principal Investigator: Ned Patterson, DVM, PhD
Contact: Amber Winter, CVT, 612-624-1352 E-mail:

In that past 15 years, a form of Pulmonary (lung) Fibrosis (scarring) has been recognized in some dogs, almost exclusively in West Highland white terriers (WHWT). We do not know currently what causes this or what genetics might contribute to it. A genetic predisposition in WHWT is suspected because only this breed has been reported to have confirmed pulmonary fibrosis (PF). We also do not have a known specific treatment to offer and therapy at best is to relieve the symptoms but does not affect disease progression.

We are looking for blood samples from WHWT with PF and healthy WHWT dogs over 8 years old, and chest x-rays on WHWT with low blood oxygen (determined from the blood sample). The blood samples will be used for DNA so we can compare affected dogs with unaffected dogs to see if we can detect gene mutations. We hope to identify gene mutations that might predispose dogs to PF. If these are found and verified, they could be used as a test to diagnose PF in the future and as a help in breeding decisions to help decrease the number of WHWT with PF. 

Some of the dogs with low blood oxygen in this study will have the opportunity of a CT scan which will help in full diagnosis of possible PF.

Benefits to the owner: no charge for study procedures and free physical exam. If your dog has low blood oxygen, X-rays will help in further diagnosis. Some dogs will recieve a CT at no charge. No other compensation is available, however, you will be contributing to discoveries that could help diagnose and eventually treat PF in dogs, and possibly people.

To participate, please contact Amber Winter above.

Genetic determinants of hyperlipidemia in Miniature Schnauzers

Current Status:  Active and enrolling.
Principal Investigator: Eva Furrow, VMD, PhD, Dipl ACVIM
Contact: Dr. Eva Furrow  Phone: 612-625-7493 E-mail:

Primary/familial hyperlipidemia, high blood lipid levels, is a common problem in Miniature Schnauzers, affecting more than 75% of the breed by age 10. The disorder has been associated with pancreatitis, gall bladder mucoceles, lipid deposits in the eyes, and neurological abnormalities in dogs. We are investigating genetic risk factors for hyperlipidemia. We recently identified a mutation in a major lipid metabolism gene. Our goal is to determine if this mutation increases risk for hyperlipidemia and/or has other negative consequences. We also aim to discover additional mutations that contribute to hyperlipidemia in the breed. Ultimately, we hope to obtain information that will aid in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of the disease.

We are seeking purebred Miniature Schnauzers that are at least 8 years of age. They cannot have hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, Addison's disease or Cushing's disease, though we may be interesting in recruiting your dog for a different study if one of these conditions is present. They also cannot be on steroid medications (prednisone, prednisolone, methylprednisone, dexamethasone, etc). Dogs will need to be fasted on the morning of the appointment.

All study participants will receive a thorough health screening consisting of a biochemistry panel, complete blood count, triglyceride (lipid) level, thyroid level, urinalysis, and urinary protein determination. There is also $50 compensation per dog for participating in the study. Study enrollment is anticipated to run from January - December 2015.

If you are interested in the study, please contact Dr. Furrow at 612-625-6222 or

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For more information on our Small Animal Medicine Department, please click here .





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