Clinical Trial: Evaluation of a low dose medication for chronic pain relief in cats suffering from degenerative joint disease (arthritis)
This is a 100 day (14 week) double blinded, placebo controlled clinical trial. Potential cats will be screened and if accepted, will wear a light weight activity monitor for the duration of the study on a collar. This monitor will measure activity under the premise that cats feeling less pain will be more active. Owners need to be willing to visit the NCSU Veterinary Health Complex for scheduled appointments to complete paperwork, and to medicate their cat once daily with a palatable flavored liquid for the duration of the study (medication may be dosed orally or placed on food). Owners will be asked to complete a short weekly assessment of their cat’s activity online.
1. Is degenerative joint disease/arthritis common in cats?
Up to 45% of cats may suffer from arthritis/degenerative joint disease (DJD), a condition which may be painful and debilitating, and may cause behavioral changes.
2. What is a clinical trial?
Just like medications approved for human use, medications for animals must be evaluated for safety and effectiveness in veterinary patients prior to approval. There are currently no FDA-approved treatments for cats with arthritis, and this clinical trial is evaluating a flavored liquid medication for this use.
3. How can I tell if my cat has arthritis?
Because cats are particularly skilled at hiding their pain—a natural feline survival strategy—diagnosis of arthritis (also called degenerative joint disease) in cats can be quite difficult. In fact, cat owners who see differences in their cats’ behaviors may think their cats are just slowing down as they get older. Here are some signs of arthritis to look for in your cat:
4. What are the benefits of participating in the trial?
- Free medical benefits valued at $750: Cats that are enrolled receive free medical services, including physical, orthopedic and neurological exams, blood tests, urinalysis, and X-rays of every joint.
- Free treatment: All cats receive both the test medication and a placebo. Both are palatable liquids that may be placed on your cat’s food or directly into your cat’s mouth.
- $50 in gas cards: After your cat is enrolled, you will receive $50 in gas cards to help with study-related travel expenses.
5. Who is conducting the trial and where does it take place?
The study is led by Dr. Margaret Gruen, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist and Dr. B. Duncan X. Lascelles, a
world-renowned expert in feline pain and director of the Comparative Pain Research Laboratory at NCSU’s College
of Veterinary Medicine. The college is located at the intersection of Hillsborough Street and Blue Ridge Road in
6. Does my cat qualify?
In order to qualify, cats must:
- Have impairment in mobility
- Be older than 1 year
- Weigh more than 4.4 lbs
- Be indoor-only
- Be willing to wear a lightweight collar that measures their activity
7. What will be expected of me if I enroll my cat?
If you elect to participate and your cat is enrolled, you’ll need to:
- Give a flavored liquid medication to your cat daily
- Evaluate your cat’s progress by completing questionnaires weekly
- Travel to NCSU for a total of 5-6 visits (only 2 with your cat) during the study period (14 weeks).
8. How many times will I need to take my cat in to be evaluated?
Your cat only needs to come two times for the duration of the study; for screening (day 0) and recheck (day 78).
9. How do I participate?
If you think your cat may qualify, contact the Comparative Pain Research Laboratory at NCSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine at 919-513-6854 or by email at email@example.com. You’ll be asked a few questions to help determine whether your cat qualifies for evaluation. If your cat qualifies, then a convenient appointment will be scheduled.
Comparative Pain Research Laboratory at North Carolina State University, College of Veterinary Medicine