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Blood Collection from Dogs with Pemphigus Foliaceus

Purpose

To understand more about the role autoantibodies play in the inflammation and lesion formation associated with pemphigus foliaceus (PF) in dogs.

Background

The purpose of this study is to search for autoantibodies in the blood serum of dogs suffering with the autoimmune skin disease called pemphigus foliaceus (PF). Autoantibodies are antibodies (immune proteins) that mistakenly target or react with an organism's own tissues or organs. For this study, we want to understand more about the role autoantibodies play in the inflammation and lesion formation associated with PF in dogs.

This study is being conducted in partnership with Dr. Tyler Jordan at the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University.

Eligibility

  • Presence of skin lesions consistent with active PF (i.e., pustules, crusts and/or erosions).
  • Microscopic evidence of acantholysis on skin cytology and/or histopathology.
  • Minimal to no improvement in skin lesions with appropriate antimicrobial therapy, if prescribed.

Exclusion Criteria

  • Dogs that are receiving immunosuppressive dosages of either corticosteroids, cyclosporine, azathioprine, mycophenolate, and/or oclacitinib at the time of blood collection.

Study Design

If you choose to enroll your dog in the study, the following procedures will be performed:

  • Collection of a small blood sample (2-3 mL) by venipuncture.
  • Photographs of affected areas of the skin will be taken for research purposes and shared with our collaborators at the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University.

In most instances, blood sample collection will be part of the required routine blood collection necessary for the patient’s treatment and will not require an additional procedure.

Compensation

Dogs who have been diagnosed with PF or who have a high likelihood of PF based on preliminary clinical findings will receive an enrollment screening visit, including skin cytology, physical examination, and treatment recommendations from a board-certified veterinary dermatologist, at no cost to the client. This represents approximately $200 in savings for the client.

If additional tests, such as a skin biopsy and/or bacterial culture are needed to confirm the diagnosis, these costs may be covered on a case-by-case basis. Additional tests and treatments will be undertaken in consultation with the client and with the client’s consent. The cost of follow-up visits, medications, and any additional diagnostics required for ongoing treatment are not covered by the study. 

Contact

Dr. Ben Tham, Dermatology
Phone: 540-231-4621 

Mindy Quigley, Clinical Trials Coordinator
Office Phone: 540-231-1363 | Email: mindyq@vt.edu

If your query is urgent, please call the Small Animal Hospital at 540-231-4621.

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