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Clinical Trials



We are currently enrolling patients in two important studies to advance the field of canine orthopedics.

Clinical Trials for Canines with Knee or Hip Problems: We're looking for a few lucky dogs!

Veterinary clinical trials are research studies that investigate whether a new medical treatment offers effective therapy for certain conditions including whether the new treatment is better than the current standard therapy. With each study, we're able to answer questions that help us find better ways to diagnose, prevent and treat diseases in pets.

At NorthStar VETS, we're not only the region's leading veterinary emergency, trauma and specialty practice, but we also provide access to novel treatments by offering pets the opportunity to participate in clinical trials. These leading-edge treatments are often made available at a reduced cost.

We are currently enrolling patients in two important studies to advance the field of canine orthopedics.

If you are interested in having your dog evaluated for participation in one of these studies, or to learn more, please contact NorthStar VETS at 609.259.8300, or email info@northstarvets.com.

Study #1: Surgery to Correct Canine Patellar Luxation

Canine Patellar Luxation Clinical Trial at NorthStar VETS

NorthStar VETS is recruiting 12-to-24 small-breed dogs for a clinical trial to evaluate the effectiveness of an innovative surgical procedure, called "Dome Trochleoplasty" which corrects canine patellar luxation.

NorthStar VETS Founder and Chief of Staff, Daniel Stobie, DVM, MS, DACVS, pioneered this procedure in a pilot study for large-breed dogs. It was shown to preserve cartilage, address anatomical abnormalities, and restore stability, which resulted in a more normal gait. Additional procedural benefits included reduced healing time, pain, lameness and overall improved quality of life. This second study seeks to determine if small-breed dogs with patellar luxation realize the same benefits.

Traditionally, surgery to correct canine patellar luxation involves deepening the groove at the knee end of the femur, which disturbs the supporting cartilage. With dome trochleoplasty, the entire groove is removed, then rotated, preserving all the cartilage. In the pilot study, patients were able to use the affected leg sooner after surgery than with other procedures.

Participation In This Study Includes:

  • Initial evaluation, x-rays, and physical examination
  • Anesthesia, surgery, post-op rehabilitation
  • Inpatient hospitalization with around-the-clock nursing care
  • Routine follow-up visits at 10-14 days (suture removal), and at 6 weeks, 3 and 6 months postoperatively
  • Postoperative x-rays to monitor healing

Eligibility Criteria:

Your dog may be eligible for this study if he/she meets these requirements:

  • Diagnosed with patellar luxation causing lameness
  • 8 months to 3 years of age
  • Weighs less than 50 lbs.
  • No other orthopedic or arthritis issues
  • Otherwise in good health
  • Pet parent must be willing to complete a 10-question canine pain survey during multiple stages of the process
If the patient goes to all the rechecks, these services are provided for $2,000, which is 50% off the regular price. The full amount ($4,000) may be held on a Wells Fargo credit card but not charged until the final checkups are complete. With each step of the process (appointment, surgery, two-week checkup, one-month checkup, etc), the bill is reduced down to a final amount of $2,000.


Study #2: A New Surgical Technique For Total Hip Replacement

Canine Patellar Luxation Clinical Trial at NorthStar VETS

NorthStar VETS is recruiting 12-24 dogs for a clinical trial to evaluate the effectiveness of an innovative surgical procedure called "BFX Centerline" a total hip replacement technique.

NorthStar VETS Founder and Chief of Staff Daniel Stobie, DVM, MS, DACVS, has successfully performed this procedure on eight dogs and is ready to study it further. Traditionally, total hip replacement involves "reaming" the femoral canal and using implants that are impacted or cemented into the femur. While these procedures are successful, there is increased risk of femur fracture with reaming. The new total Centerline hip replacement system replaces the femoral head and the implant is placed without reaming or the use of bone cement. It uses biological fixation (BFX), which is biologically compatible (minimizing adverse reactions), and encourages bone growth into the implant for stability. It also avoids complications related to using cement, such as loosening or infection.

Participation in this study includes:

  • Initial evaluation and physical examination
  • Anesthesia, surgery, post-op rehabilitation
  • Inpatient hospitalization and around-the-clock nursing care
  • Routine follow-up visits at 10-14 days (suture removal), 6 weeks, 3 and 6 months postoperatively
  • Postoperative x-rays to monitor healing

Eligibility criteria:

  • Diagnosed with hip dysplasia
  • Less than five years old
  • Weighs more than 50 lbs.
  • No other orthopedic or neurologic disease
  • Otherwise in good health
All these services are provided for $4,000, which is 50% off the regular price. The full amount ($8,000) may be held on a Wells Fargo credit card but not charged until the final checkups are complete. With each step of the process (appointment, surgery, two-week checkup, one-month checkup, etc), the bill is reduced down to a final amount of $4,000.