Information for Owners

If you feel your pet could benefit from one of our clinical studies, we encourage you to review the FAQ below and then work with your veterinarian to decide if a study is right for your pet. Please contact the Veterinary Clinical Research Office if you have any questions. We are grateful to you for considering making a contribution in this way to the advancement of human and animal health.


What is clinical research?
Veterinary clinical research seeks to discover new methods of prevention, diagnosis, and/or treatment of diseases and conditions. Well-designed research aims to benefit patients while advancing scientific knowledge.
Why should I consider enrolling my pet in a clinical study?
Clinical research helps us to discover new therapies and treatments for veterinary diseases.  It aims to improve the quality of life for future patients and may lead to new discoveries related to human and animal health.
What are the benefits of participating in clinical research?
Many times clinical trials offer hope for a patient when other options have failed. In addition, certain studies may offer a financial incentive that covers costs such as hospital visits, surgery, or medicines.
What are the disadvantages of participation?
Clinical research may carry some risks, and any new therapy could have side effects. Owners should be aware that some trials may impose additional requirements (time, travel, etc.) on themselves and their pets. The specific requirements of each study as well as any potential risks are discussed in detail and provided in writing prior to enrollment.
How do you safeguard the animals involved in your research?
We always strive to ensure the welfare of study participants, so all of our studies are approved by the Veterinary Teaching Hospital Board, and, if relevant, Virginia Tech’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.
How can I find out if my pet qualifies for a study?
Each study has specific criteria that patients must meet to be included. For example, inclusion might depend on disease type/stage, treatments already received, or present health condition. It is important to discuss enrollment criteria with your veterinarian or to Contact Us. Enrollment criteria can be found in the Current Studies section of this website.
What if I enroll my pet in a study but then change my mind?
Owners may choose to discontinue participation in a study at any time by notifying the lead investigator.