Cardiology

Blood-based cardiac biomarkers for assessing heart enlargement in asymptomatic Cavalier King Charles Spaniels with mitral valve disease.

Title: Blood-based cardiac biomarkers for assessing heart enlargement in asymptomatic Cavalier King Charles Spaniels with mitral valve disease.
Contact Person: tamucardiology@cvm.tamu.edu
Species: Canine
Inclusion Criteria and General Background Information: Adult (> 1 year) Cavaliers with a mitral valve heart murmur are eligible. Dogs must be clinically healthy Cavalier King Charles spaniels (Cavalier mixes do not qualify).

Background: The purpose of the study is to determine breed-specific cardiac biomarker blood levels that can be used to predict the severity of heart enlargement in asymptomatic Cavaliers with mitral valve disease. There will be three large weekend clinics to enroll dogs for this study between December 2018 and December 2019.

Exclusion Criteria: Dogs receiving any type of cardiac medication (other than heartworm prevention), dogs with current clinical signs suggestive of active congestive heart failure and dogs that are too anxious/stressed to complete the evaluation cannot be enrolled.
Owner Commitments:
Financial Incentives: All enrolled Cavaliers will have their heart sounds auscultated by a board certified cardiologist, have a chest x-ray, blood pressure measurement, ECG and an echocardiogram (cardiac ultrasound) as part of the study at no cost to the owner.

Gene therapy for treatment of heart failure in Doberman Pinschers with dilated cardiomyopathy.

Title: Gene therapy for treatment of heart failure in Doberman Pinschers with dilated cardiomyopathy.
Contact Person: tamucardiology@cvm.tamu.edu
Species: Canine
Inclusion Criteria and General Background Information: Doberman Pinschers with congestive heart failure that is secondary to dilated cardiomyopathy. All enrolled dogs must be stable on standard medications (pimobendan, furosemide, enalapril or benazepril, and spironolactone, with or without sotalol and/or mexiletine). Dogs must be currently living in Texas and be able to make several trips to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in College Station.

Background: Doberman pinscher dogs have a very high risk of developing a heart disease called dilated cardiomyopathy (a disease that causes the heart muscle to enlarge and become weak) during the course of their life. Despite optimum medical therapy, the disease remains terminal with reported survival times measured in weeks to months. In this study, Dobermans with heart failure (a late stage of the disease) secondary to dilated cardiomyopathy will have a gene inserted into their heart muscle cells. The main purpose of the study is to show that the delivery of the gene is safe and helps the heart muscle become stronger. If gene therapy can make the heart stronger, it could significantly improve survival or even result in a cure for this disease.

Exclusion Criteria:
  • Abnormal heart rhythms that are not well managed on medication(s)
  • Slow heart rates
  • Other heart diseases in addition to dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Other known systemic diseases that are expected to limit the dog’s life expectancy to less than 1 year.
  • Dogs with a temperament that would make being involved in the study a risk for the dog or for the faculty and staff of the hospital.
Owner Commitments Owners must be living in Texas and willing to bring their Doberman to the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital for several visits.
Financial Incentives: There is no cost to take part in the study. Owners will need to continue to buy and administer the other heart failure medications their dog is taking.

Canine Chagas Disease: Characterizing Cardiac Disease and Developing Screening Recommendations for Asymptomatic Dogs Seropositive for Trypanosoma cruzi

Title:  Canine Chagas Disease: Characterizing cardiac disease and developing screening recommendations for asymptomatic dogs seropositive for Trypanosoma cruzi
Contact Person: Ashley Saunders, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)

tamucardiology@cvm.tamu.edu  *Please add Chagas Study to the subject line of the email

Species: Canine
Inclusion Criteria and General Background Information: Dogs of any age that are clinically healthy without any other medical conditions and have a positive Chagas disease (Trypanosoma cruzi) IFA test result within the past 6 months. Dogs cannot have received any prior medical treatment for Chagas disease.  Dogs must be able to make several trips to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in College Station.

 

Background: The purpose of the study is to perform diagnostic tests to identify changes in the heart of apparently healthy dogs that test positive for Chagas disease in order to better describe the disease process and create screening recommendations.  Enrollment will begin Summer of 2019.

 

Exclusion Criteria: Dogs will not be eligible for enrollment if:

·      They do not have a positive IFA test within the 6 months prior to enrollment.

·      They have ever received any type of treatment for Chagas disease (examples- benznidazole, amiodarone, itraconazole, nifurtimox).

·      They have current clinical signs suggestive of any serious medical disease.

·      They are too anxious/stressed to complete the evaluation.

Owner Commitments:
  • Owners must be able to make a trip to Texas A&M to participate in the study at the time of screening for enrollment and again at 12 months and 24 months after enrollment.
  • Owners must be able to answer questions regarding their dog’s health in a brief phone call or email at 6 months and 18 months after enrollment.
Financial Incentives: Enrolled patients will have tests performed as part of the study including blood work (complete blood count, biochemistry panel, heartworm test), ECG/Holter, and an echocardiogram (cardiac ultrasound) at no cost to the owner.  A Holter monitor deposit fee is charged and refunded when the Holter is returned.