Skip to main content

Open Studies

Genetic Factors for Bladder Urate Stone Formation in
Black Russian Terriers, American Bulldogs, and Dalmatians

Black Russian Terriers, American Bulldogs, and Dalmatians suffer from urinary stone (cystic calculus) formation. When uric acid concentrations are elevated in the urine and concretions form on organic material in the urine, these concretions then develop into calculi, which can become large enough to cause urethral obstruction in male dogs. Female dogs are usually able to pass the stones through their larger urethral canals. When male dogs have urinary obstruction, they exhibit difficulty urinating and when completely obstructed, their urinary bladders distend causing abdominal pain and retrograde kidney disease. Relief may require surgical intervention if retropulsion and medical and nutritional management fail. Dietary manipulation including modification of urinary pH can help prevent the problem but calculi can reform.

You may participate in this study if you own a one of the three dog breeds listed above.

More Information

We have seed funding to begin this project. We propose to recruit EDTA blood samples or buccal swabs and urine samples from 100 affected and 100 controls based on the presence or absence of medical history of cystic calculus formation and urine uric acid:creatinine ratio. Samples from these dogs will be sought in collaboration with the relevant breed clubs and on line advertising at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine and the Cornell Veterinary Biobank (https://www2.vet.cornell.edu/research/cornell-veterinary-biobank).

There are minimal risks associated with collecting blood and urine samples from dogs for inclusion in this study as these techniques are routinely performed as a part of standard veterinary care. The long term goal is to develop a reliable mutation test and identify novel biomarkers of urolith formation in the breeds of dogs under study. By identifying the predisposition for this disease at an early stage, researchers will be able to lower its incidence and impact the health of future generations by stopping the propagation of genes that are diminishing the quality of life of this breed.

Compensation: The study pays for a single blood and urine sample to be taken for research purposes only. Other tests or procedures required as part of patient care are not covered by the study and remain the responsibility of the owner.

Owner Responsibility: The owner shall read all provided consent and informational materials; if consent is given to take a blood sample for research and to access the dog’s medical records, the sample will be collected during the visit to CUHA or at the referring veterinarian. No other participation is required.

Contact us for more information or if you would like to schedule an appointment.


Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease Study

Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, also known as avascular necrosis of the femoral head, is an important condition caused by the disruption of blood flow to the ball of the femur – or femoral head.  This is both a canine and human pediatric condition.  This project is studying canine Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, hoping to develop a genetic test that will reduce the incidence of these diseases in dogs.

If you own a dog that has been diagnosed with Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, you can help us with this study.

More Information

The Cornell Veterinary Biobank is recruiting blood samples from dogs diagnosed with Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease, also known as avascular necrosis of the femoral head, for their genetics database.  

By identifying the predisposition for this disease at an early stage, researchers will be able to lower its incidence and impact the health of future generations by stopping the propagation of genes that are diminishing the quality of life in dogs.

Owners of eligible patients please send 2-3 ml of EDTA blood (can be left over blood sent immediately from a completed CBC) along with the diagnosis confirmation from pelvic radiographs. Shipping boxes may be provided by the Biobank team.  For additional information or to obtain shipping boxes please contact the Cornell Veterinary Biobank at 607-253-3060 or email dnabank@cornell.edu.

Compensation: The study pays for a shipping box for sample to be mailed to the Biobank, or a single blood sample to be taken at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals (CUHA) for research purposes only. Other tests or procedures required as part of patient care are not covered by the study and remain the responsibility of the owner.

Owner Responsibility: The owner may ship a blood sample to the Biobank or a sample may be taken during a visit to CUHA.  If an CUHA visit, the owner shall read all provided consent and informational materials; if consent is given to take a blood sample for research and to access the dog’s medical records, the sample will be collected during the visit to CUHA or at the referring veterinarian. No other participation is required.

Contact us for more information or if you would like to schedule an appointment.


Targeted Therapies for Canine Hemangiosarcomas

Hemangiosarcomas (HSA) are a common type of cancer in dogs, resulting in about 2 million dog deaths per year in the U.S. This study aims to find and test new drugs that can prevent tumor growth.

If you own a dog who has been diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma and is getting the tumor removed, he/she is eligible for this study.

More Information

Hemangiosarcomas (HSA) are common and highly aggressive tumors in dogs, representing ~6% of all tumors seen in dogs. An estimated 2 million dogs succumb to this disease per year in the United States. Disease recurrence following removal of the primary tumor mass is common and new drugs are needed to prevent relapse. Therefore, the long-term goals of this project are to identify better procedures/drugs to treat canine hemangiosarcoma and to test the ability of newer targeted drugs in preventing tumor growth or recurrence.

Compensation: The study pays for a single blood sample to be taken for research purposes only. Other tests or procedures required as part of patient care are not covered by the study and remain the responsibility of the owner.

Owner Responsibility: Following surgical removal of tumor tissue, a small piece of the tumor is normally removed from the mass for clinical diagnostic testing by a pathologist. For our studies, we will use an additional piece of the tumor. Therefore, the only responsibility for the owner is that they consent to having this additional piece of tissue taken from the tumor mass for research purposes. 

Contact us for more information or if you would like to schedule an appointment.


Lymphoma: Creating a Tissue Bank

Lymphoma is a common cancer in dogs. As part of the Cornell Lymphoma Program this project goal is to improve detection and treatment of dogs with lymphoma, improving life expectancy and quality for our companions.

If you own a dog that has been diagnosed with lymphoma but has not yet begun treatment, you can help us with this study.

More Information

Progress has been slow to improve therapies and outcomes for dogs diagnosed with a very common tumor - lymphoma. To accelerate our understanding of this cancer in dogs and identify novel treatments to improve survival, we are collecting an affected, easy-to-access lymph node from dogs diagnosed with lymphoma that have not yet begun therapy for their cancer. The tissue collected will be used to identify ways to improve disease detection, prognosis, and treatment options for dogs with lymphoma. The project is part of the Cornell Lymphoma Program and involves researchers across the Cornell Ithaca campus and at Weill Cornell in New York City.

Compensation: The study covers the cost of the anesthesia and lymph node removal. In addition, a 20% discount will be applied to the initial visit(s) required for completion of staging of the disease (diagnostic tests to determine the extent and type of lymphoma in your dog's body, including bone marrow aspirate, histopathologic examination, blood work). Owners are responsible for the cost of any subsequent visits and therapy as well as any tests or procedures related to patient care.**

Owner Responsibilities: Your only commitment is to bring your dog for his/her initial evaluation, diagnostic tests, and lymph node removal. We would also like to contact you and/or your veterinarian in the future to obtain follow-up information about your dog. Total expectation for hospitalization for diagnostic tests and surgery is two days.

**Please note that enrollment in this tissue banking study does not prohibit your dog from enrolling in another canine lymphoma-related therapeutic trial offered at Cornell as long as all other criteria are met for that particular study.

Contact us for more information or if you would like to schedule an appointment.


Canine Allergic Disease Study

The Cornell Veterinary Biobank, with the Baker Institute for Animal Health, are conducting a study to investigate how and why certain dogs develop allergies.

Eligible patients are allergic dogs over 1 year of age otherwise in good health (no chronic health conditions other than allergic disease), male or female, and of any pure breed or mixed breed. Dogs currently being treated with oral corticosteroids (prednisone) are excluded from this study.

More Information

Dogs, like humans, suffer from allergic diseases. These diseases lead to significantly decreased quality of life for dogs and their owners. Veterinarians do not understand exactly why some dogs become allergic. In addition, diagnostic tests and treatments for allergy in dogs need improvement. However, we do know that during allergy, the immune system, which normally protects the body from infections, contributes to symptoms of allergic disease. This study aims to investigate how the immune system functions in allergic and non-allergic dogs by taking a simple blood sample. We can use various tests to profile the immune system of allergic and non-allergic dogs from this blood sample. Using this information, we hope to uncover differences in the blood of allergic and non-allergic dogs that we can use to predict allergic disease, diagnose dogs already experiencing symptoms, and treat dogs with existing disease.

Compensation: The study pays for a single blood sample to be taken for research purposes only. Other tests or procedures required as part of patient care are not covered by the study and remain the responsibility of the owner.

Owner Responsibilities: The owner shall read all provided consent and informational materials; if consent is given to take a blood sample for research and to access the dog’s medical records, the sample will be collected during the visit to CUHA. No other participation is required.

Contact us for more information or if you would like to schedule an appointment.


Feline Health Screening

The Cornell Veterinary Biobank is partnering with the Feline Health Center to screen healthy senior cats that can serve as controls for multiple genetic mapping studies by excluding several disease traits.

You can participate in this study if you own a cat that is over 10 years of age and purebred (some DSH and DLH may also be eligible) and have been recently deemed in good health by a veterinary professional.

More Information

By donating a small sample of blood and undergoing examinations, healthy cats older than the age of 10 are helping to build a database of genetic sequences and medical information that researchers will use to identify the underlying causes of many inherited diseases of cats. Their DNA will be used for comparison with the DNA of cats with conditions that may have some genetic basis, such as inflammatory bowel disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and diabetes mellitus, thus enabling the location of the responsible genes.

The Feline Health Screening may take up to two days, if the patient is deemed a good candidate for sedation in the first day. The patient will undergo the following exams and procedures:

  • A general physical examination
  • Venipuncture
  • Urinalysis (preferably on a fresh first morning voided urine sample obtained at home)
  • Evaluations in these specialty services: cardiology, dentistry, nutrition, oncology, ophthalmology and orthopedics
  • Intravenous catheter placement (requiring minor fur trimming)
  • Administration of a sedative
  • Full body CT (computed tomography) scan

The results of these exhaustive examinations are also shared with the cat’s regular veterinarian and can provide important information for follow-up on the patient’s health.

Compensation: The study pays for all the exams and procedures done during the screening days. The owner will receive all the results. Any additional procedures or medications needed will be the responsibility of the owner.

Owner Responsibility: The owner shall read all provided consent and informational materials; consent must be given to complete the screening and to access the cat’s medical records (if applicable). No other participation is required.

Contact us for more information or if you would like to schedule an appointment.

Share this: