Lactoferrin as a Biomarker for the Diagnosis and Prediction of Progression of Lymphoma and Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs


This study will determine if fecal lactoferrin measurements can be used in dogs to non-invasively distinguish between GI lymphoma and inflammatory bowel disease and to monitor disease progression.


Fecal lactoferrin concentration increases in dogs with gastrointestinal (GI) disease. However, it is not known if this increase is correlated with specific types of GI disorders or if its concentration changes in response to therapy. We hypothesize that fecal and serum lactoferrin concentration will be significantly different between dogs that are clinically normal, those that have GI lymphoma, and those with inflammatory bowel disease. In this study, we will measure fecal and serum lactoferrin concentrations in three groups of dogs: 1) normal; 2) those with small intestine lymphoma; 3) those with inflammatory bowel disease.


  • Dogs must weigh more than 10 lbs. and be over 6 months of age
  • Have chronic upper or mixed bowel GI disease of 3 or more weeks
  • Recent CBC, chemistry profile
  • Have biopsy-confirmed diagnosis of GI Lymphoma*
  • *Please note: We are no longer enrolling IBD cases in this study.

Exclusion Criteria

  • Intestinal parasites
  • Significant renal or liver disease

Study Design

Research blood and fecal samples will be collected at time of GI biopsy for all candidate dogs and frozen. Dogs with a biopsy diagnosis of GI lymphoma will need fecal samples collected (via owner or veterinarian) at 30 and 60 days following biopsy. If the biopsy is done somewhere other than the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, please contact us in advance of the procedure so we can ensure your veterinarian has the appropriate sampling containers.


A $635 payment will be issued after copies of GI biopsy results, consent forms, disease index forms, screening blood work and research samples (initial, 30, 60 days) have been submitted to our laboratory. Please consult with your veterinarian for actual cost of care, diagnosis and treatment of your pet, which will typically exceed study compensation.


Ms. Mindy Quigley, Clinical Trials Coordinator
Office Phone: 540-231-1363 | Email:

Dr. Kurt Zimmerman, Associate Professor, Pathology/Informatics, Principal Investigator
Office Phone: 540-231-4621 | Email:

If your query is urgent, please call the Small Animal Hospital on 540-231-4621 and ask for the internal medicine specialist on duty.