Thank you for considering enrolling your pet in a clinical trial. By participating, you’re helping to improve the health and well-being of your pet and many other animals. Deciding to enroll your pet into a clinical trial is an important decision. We want to help you in every way we can so that you have peace of mind with whatever step you choose to take.
Clinical trial studies help veterinarians and other healthcare providers investigate new and existing methods to improve the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of various diseases. This can involve a new drug, device, biological agent, or a behavioral or diet change. Treatments being tested in a clinical trial have been previously evaluated in a laboratory setting, and promising results have supported the need for further evaluation clinically in a day-to-day environment. Clinical trials are needed to determine if a treatment is safe and effective for our animals.
To participate in a clinical trial is completely voluntary and there may or may not be a benefit to enrolling your pet. The advantage of participating in a trial is that your pet will be exposed to the highest level veterinary care and possible access to a new treatment that is not available yet. In addition, there may be financial benefits to participate (this varies for each trial). Even if your pet does not directly benefit from the trial, you will help advance care for other animals.
The risks to participate in a clinical trial are limited, because your veterinarian will closely monitor your pet during the trial. All clinical trials are reviewed by separate review boards to ensure that the studies are well designed and that risks are mitigated. However, there is a risk that the treatment may not be effective for your pet and it may be associated with side effects. The condition of your pet may not get better or it may get worse during the trial. There may also be some unknown or unforeseeable risks related to the study. All the risks will be discussed with you before you enroll your pet in a clinical trial.
- You will be asked to read, understand, and sign the Informed Consent Form. The veterinary staff is available to answer any of the questions you may have about the study.
- It is important that you complete the study procedures, such as giving the medication on time or withholding food as specified—or completing diaries or questionnaires.
- You must maintain scheduled appointments at the veterinary clinic for all research-related visits. Visits are often scheduled for specific time points to gather appropriate data.
- If you are unable to complete the study, it is important to discuss this with your veterinarian or with the veterinary staff.
- What is the purpose of this clinical trial?
- How will my pet benefit?
- What are the potential risks?
- What are my responsibilities?
- Is there any cost to participating in the study or are all costs covered?
- What follow-up is involved for my pet once the trial ends?