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Investigating the Microbiome of Dogs with IMHA and ITP


Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA) and Immune-Mediated Thrombocytopenia (ITP) are common immune diseases in dogs. Studies of other diseases suggest that the bacteria that live in the gastrointestinal tract (the microbiome) may help cause autoimmune disorders.

This study intends to determine if there is a link between immune-mediated hemolytic anemia and the microbiome. Specifically, we are interested to discover whether dogs with IMHA have similar microbiomes and if changes in the microbiome can predict recovery or relapse. This information might help doctors identify dogs at risk of developing IMHA, or at risk of relapse. In addition, this information might enable future studies to target the changes in the microbiome with prebiotics, probiotics or antibiotics.

Eligibility: Any dog seen at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals diagnosed with primary IMHA or ITP with no other known cause, who have not had more than three days of antimicrobials in the prior two weeks, have not had any antimicrobials administered within the prior five days, and have not had more than three days of immunosuppressive drugs in the prior three weeks.

Compensation: The microbiome testing will be performed at no cost to you. In addition, the sponsor will provide the following incentives:

  • A $200 credit will be applied to your hospital bill at study enrollment
  • A $100 credit will be applied to your hospital bill at the 2 week recheck appointment
  • A $200 credit will be applied to your hospital bill at the 8 week recheck appointment

Owner Responsibilities: A fecal sample and swab of the rectal wall will be collected before treatment is started. You will be asked to bring your dog back to Cornell for re-evaluation 2 weeks and 8 weeks after starting treatment. At these recheck visits a fecal sample and a rectal swab will be collected.

Sponsorship: This study is funded by PennVet

Principal Investigator: Robert Goggs, BVSc, DACVECC, DECVECC, PhD, MRCVS

Contact/Schedule an Appointment: Please contact the internal medicine service, the emergency service, or the clinical trials coordinator at 607.253.3060, or email Your referring veterinarian may also contact the hospital to refer your pet.

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