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Methylprednisolone Sodium Succinate and Polyethylene Glycol in Canine Spinal Cord Injury

Morris Animal Foundation–Funded Clinical Trial

D07CA-064, North Carolina State University, Dr. Natasha Olby

Location: 17 centers within the U.S.

Patients Needed: We are seeking patients who

  • Have acute onset hind limb paraplegia with no deep pain perception (nociception) likely due to acute disc herniations
  • Have exhibited paralysis for 24 hours or less
  • Are between 2 and 10 years of age
  • Weigh less than 20 kg
  • Have not received steroids or multiple doses of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs before referral

Procedure Performed: The aim of the study is to evaluate the effectiveness of two adjunctive medical treatments compared to placebo on patients who undergo decompressive surgery for acute disc herniations. Patients get two boluses of study drug/placebo before surgery and a CRI over 24 hours. They will get a neurologic examination and gait assessment videotaped at presentation, at discharge, then 2, 4, 8, and 12 weeks after surgery.

Incentive: Eligible patients will receive study medications and rechecks at no charge.

Study Outline: Intervertebral disc herniations are common in certain breeds of dogs and can cause severe spinal cord injuries that result in permanent paralysis. Surgery to remove herniated disc material is the standard method of treatment, but it is not always successful. Often surgery is combined with drug administration of either methylprednisolone or polyethylene glycol, but neither has been scientifically proven to be beneficial. Researchers will compare these two drugs with a placebo in a blinded clinical trial to determine which drug can best treat acute disc herniation. They will also monitor the type and incidence of side effects associated with each therapy. This will provide the first objective data on the optimal medical therapy for this common and serious problem.

Contact Details:

Dr. Natasha Olby
College of Veterinary Medicine, NCSU
4700 Hillsborough St.,
Raleigh, NC 27606

Study Web page: