Measuring GI bacterial flora in dogs with autoimmunity as a possible contributor to disease

  • Recruiting
  • Dog
  • Internal Medicine

Immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA) and immune-mediated thrombocytopenia (ITP) are auto-immune diseases that cause a dog’s own immune system to attack and destroy blood cells, often requiring intensive, long-term medical management. While some dogs will achieve remission, relapse is common, and some dogs will not respond to treatment at all. Better understanding the underlying causes or triggers of these diseases will help us develop more effective treatments. We believe that the intestinal microbiome (the population of different bacteria in the intestines) may play a role in triggering IMHA and ITP, and that dogs that have a poor response to traditional treatments may have persistent disease-associated changes in their microbiome. The purpose of this study is to compare the intestinal microbiome of healthy dogs to that of dogs with IMHA or ITP to identify differences that may be associated with the disease process.

Inclusion Criteria

Dogs diagnosed with idiopathic IMHA/ITP following Consensus Statement

Exclusion Criteria

  • Dogs that have received more than 3 days of antimicrobials within two weeks of presentation,
  •  Dogs that have received antimicrobials within 5 days of presentation, and/or
  • Dogs that have received more than 3 days of an immunosuppressive drug within 2 weeks of presentation

Client Benefits

Your dog is not expected to derive any direct benefit from being in this study, but will be contributing to research that has the potential to enhance our understanding of IMHA and ITP and lead to better treatments for the diseases in the future.

Sample or Data Requirements

Your dog will be enrolled in this study for approximately 8 weeks. There are three study visits within that time period (including today). If you choose to enroll your dog in this study, we will take a fecal sample from your dog at three time points. The first sample will be taken after diagnosis, but before starting treatment for IMHA or ITP. The second sample will be taken 2 weeks after the start of treatment, and the last sample will be taken 8 weeks after the start of treatment. You may bring freshly collected or frozen samples in for these time points.  Fecal samples must be collected within 15 minutes of a bowel movement.

All dogs enrolled in this study will undergo standard of care diagnostics and treatment for IMHA or ITP.


Referring Physician Questionnaire

If you believe you have a patient who is eligible for this clinical trial study or you would like additional information from the Clinical Trials Office at the Cummings Veterinary Medical Center, complete a referring physician questionnaire.

Contact Info

For questions regarding the clinical trial please email the clinical trials technician, Diane Welsh at: