Monday, April 6, 2015

Ziggy Visits Iowa State University Vet School - Chondroitinase Clinical Trail

Ziggy in the waiting room - a Corgi has to know what's happening

Ziggy and I made the three-hours-one-way trek to the Iowa State University Vet School in Ames, Iowa on Friday to see if Z can participate in a clinical trial for paralyzed dogs.

We heard about the trial on the Wheelcorgis Yahoo! group, and since we're (relatively) close to ISU, I wanted to check to see if Ziggy could participate in a trial that might some day help other dogs (and even humans!) regain function after a back injury.

The trial is testing the enzyme chondroitinase to see if it can be effective in breaking down scarring tissue left by a back injury, allowing nerves to regenerate.

We contacted the Veterinarian running the trial, Dr. Hilary Hu, to see if Ziggy might be a candidate.  Since Z had been to ISU many times (for PT and for an MRI) they were able to review his files and confirm that he was indeed a potential candidate.

Z resting between evaluations

Our trip on Friday was for hands-on evaluation to see if he met the criteria to be accepted into the trial.  The good news is that Dr. Hu and Dr. Jeffery confirmed that he could indeed be in the trial.  They did issue us a word of caution, though.  Since Ziggy has pain sensation and bladder function, he does have something to lose.  And while long lasting negative impacts aren't expected, it could happen.

The Husband and I thought about this, but in the end decided that the benefits to cart dogs outweigh any potential risk.  And heck, Ziggy might even benefit!

We're now corresponding to see when Ziggy can start the trial.  I'll post more when I know more.  In the meantime, if you'd like to know more about the trial, here are some links:

ISU website:


  1. Good Luck! I hope Ziggy benefits!

    1. Thanks, Taryn - I hope so, too - for both Ziggy's sake, and future patients who might benefit!

  2. As the owner of a beloved cardigan who died of a blood clot re his IVDD, I am very happy that Ziggy has the opportunity to participate and to help other dogs. Best wishes for his improvement! I've particularly enjoyed your training posts over the years; and I look forward to leaning more about your border terror, esp. since a friend whose cardi died of IVDD just got a border terrier pup.

    1. I'm so sorry to hear about your Cardi. IVDD is a horrible thing, and too common in Cardis. Thanks for the comments about my training posts -- I need to get back to posting, especially as I try to train the Terror Her!

  3. I hope Ziggy gets in the trial. I’m sure Ziggy will benefit on this, should it prove effective. I guess Ziggy’s excited too. Keep us posted and keep inspiring pet owners out there. Good luck Ziggy!

    Elvira Mullins @ Nelson Vets


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