How clinical trials can save lives

Nadja blossomed after she was adopted into a loving home, but diarrhea caused by a mystery gut illness left her thin and listless. After her vet’s treatments were unsuccessful, a referral to U-Vet allowed Nadja to enter a clinical trial for dogs suffering from these symptoms. With a special diet and treatments by our specialist, Nadja is back to her energetic self!

Nadja the German shepherd relaxing on the grass

Nadja was a sad and timid puppy when she was adopted by her loving owners at just three months old. As she gradually learned to trust her new family, it wasn’t long before her sweet nature won their hearts. Soon she was learning to enjoy walking, surfing and swimming on the off-leash beach with her humans and to make friends with other dogs and their people, too!

“We are truly blessed to own such a kind and sociable girl like Nadja,” says Nadja’s mum. “Everyone in our neighbourhood knows Nadja’s name. They love Nadja, but they are hard pressed to remember our names. The frequent lament is, ‘Oh, you own Nadja? She is such a lovely dog!’”

Between two and three years old, Nadja developed a tummy problem, which got worse and worse over time. She became thin and listless. She couldn’t tolerate meat and had very bad diarrhea. Her dog parents even worried they might lose her.

After a long series of visits to the vet and attempts to address Nadja’s illness with a carousel of treatments, including antibiotics and regular worming, they were at a loss.

Finally, Nadja was referred to Professor Caroline Mansfield at U-Vet. Professor Mansfield ran a range of tests, including endoscopy, and finally a diagnosis was able to be made. Nadja had chronic enteropathy, formerly known as inflammatory bowel disease.

Professor Mansfield entered Nadja in a clinical trial she’d been running to establish effective treatment for chronic enteropathy. She was put on a special vegetarian diet until she was declared in remission! Her dog parents were thrilled to have their sweet girl back in full health.

By placing her in the trial, Nadja’s parents not only helped their own dog get better again, but helped vets understand Nadja’s disease better – which, in turn, helps other dogs! Nadja has gone from a timid little puppy to a true hero with a heart of gold!

Nadja the German shepherd frolicking at the beach

If you’d like to learn more about this or other clinical research taking place at U-Vet – and see if your pet is eligible to take part – visit our clinical research webpage.

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