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Enter Study--Aggressive Dogs/Thyroid

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Old January 21st 06, 07:25 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.health
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Default Enter Study--Aggressive Dogs/Thyroid

Enter Study--Aggressive Dogs/Thyroid
From Linda Aronson, DVM
Behaviour Department, Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary
We still need dogs for our double blind study looking at the effect of
thyroid on owner directed aggression.* To be included in the study,
cannot already be on thyroid replacement therapy, and they must show
owner directed aggression - growl, lip lift, snap or bite at least once
All costs for testing and treatment will be covered by the research
and can be co-ordinated through your own veterinarian.* Dogs must live
in the United States of America, however.
To be included in the study the dog must meet our criteria for owner
directed aggression and have been living in the home for at least 6
It is helpful if the dog also exhibits some of the signs, however mild,
hypothyroidism listed he
Excessive shedding, patchy hair loss or "rat tail"
Dry skin or dull, dry haircoat
Recurrent infections (especially ear, skin and foot infections)
Tendency to gain weight
Heat seeking behavior
Increased sleep time
Slow learning
Worried look, tragic facial expression or looking "old"
Reduced hearing, sight and scenting ability
Chronic gastrointestinal symptoms
Loss of muscle or bladder tone
Head tilt
Change in character of bark
Exercise intolerance
Infertility, false pregnancy or weak, dying or stillborn puppies
Recurring eye infections
The dog should otherwise be in good health.* However, if there are
behavior problems that might also relate to poor thyroid levels, we
be interested in following those as well.
If your dog meets these criteria and you would like to participate, you
should fill out the behavior assessment form located at
This should be returned to Nicole Cottam at

via e-mail or mailed to:
Nicole Cottam
at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
Behavior Department
Department of Clinical Sciences
200 Westboro Road
North Grafton, MA 01536
If the dog fits our behavior criteria, pretest forms will be sent to you
to fill out recording daily aggression (and any other behavior problems)
for 2 weeks prior to starting medication.
Information will also be sent to you and your veterinarian explaining
how to
collect and submit the blood to Dr. Dodds at Hemopet for CBC,
panel and full thyroid panel.* (Intact bitches should be tested
between 3
after the end of one season and 3 months before she is next due in
If your dog* is hypothyroid* or has suboptimal or borderline thyroid
your veterinarian will receive either the thyroxine or placebo.* Only
pharmacy will know which has been dispensed, however, should problems
arise - these are not anticipated - the code can be broken so that the
appropriate treatment.
The dog will receive either the name brand thyroxine or placebo for 6
During that time you will continue to record any daily aggression (and
problems).* At the end of the six weeks we will break the code.
If the dog received placebo, then six weeks of thyroxine will be
A behavior treatment plan provided.* If the dog received thyroxine and
we will inform your veterinarian and recommend the dog be maintained
on thyroxine, we will also require a second blood sample to repeat the
Further behavioral suggestions will also be made.
If the dog did not improve, you can wean it off the thyroxine, and a
plan will be suggested to further address the problems.
You will be contacted regularly by phone during the 6 weeks of the study
ensure that all is going well and to answer any questions.* You can
us at any time.
The forms take only a few minutes a day to complete, but must be
daily, and you will need to make one or two visits to the vet for blood
The three phone calls can be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon time,
should take less than 5 minutes each unless you have a problem.**
All costs
be covered by the research grant.
You will be required to sign a consent form before enrolling in the
Your veterinarian will also be kept informed of your dog's status and
results of the
blood work will be sent to him/her.* You should be prepared that your
behavior may not improve through the study period, especially if it
We request that you change nothing in terms of the way the dog is
handled or
fed during the course of the study.
Thank you.


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