Canine Oomycosis: Development of Novel Diagnostics and Integrative Treatments

The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine is currently recruiting dogs with skin lesions consistent with Pythium- like infection.

  • Inclusion Criteria:  Any Dog with one or more skin lesions consistent with Pythium insidiosum infection or that of a related organism
  • Treatment: Participation includes skin biopsies and diagnostic blood work at the initial visit and one month later.  Skin biopsies will be taken under sedation and local anesthesia.
  • Costs: The study will cover the costs of the skin biopsies and diagnostic blood work at both visits.  The study will also provide confirmatory DNA testing, Pythium culture and blood monitoring as well as interpretation of testing results, approximately $750 cost.  Owners will be responsible for treatment of Pythium infection including medications and other therapies like hyperbaric oxygen treatment.
  • Contact:  You can contact our Small Animal Hospital by calling 352-392-2235. Dr. Justin Shmalberg is the Primary Investigator. You can also speak with our clinical trials coordinator at 352-294-4639 or mebohan@ufl.edu

Background:

Pythium insidiosum and other oomycetes cause infections and crop damage of plants, but are also rarely known to infect humans, horses, dogs, cats, and other animals. Infected animals are usually young and active with a history of swimming or engaging in other outdoor activities; these pets display significant damage, either to their gastrointestinal tract or to subcutaneous tissues. Skin lesions are characterized by chronic, draining wounds, which are a significant source of discomfort, inflammation, and irritation. Many dogs affected by the condition eventually die or are euthanized because the inflammation interferes with their quality of life or essential functions. Moreover, currently described treatments are often ineffective. This study aims to improve the diagnostic tests available to quickly determine the presence of the infection in dogs, thereby allowing us to treat infections when they are less severe. The new diagnostic tests provided by this study can then be used to better monitor your pet’s disease and progress with the specific treatments you elect.  This study is designed to help the researchers develop better diagnostic tests to obtain an earlier diagnosis of similar infections and to be able to monitor new treatments. Your participation also allows them to save tissue from your pet, and samples of the Pythium causing the infection, for future test development and treatment screening, which may also help future animals affected by this condition

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