Clinical Studies

Clinical Effectiveness of Phycox® in Elbow Osteoarthritis in Dogs


The comparative Orthopedic Research Laboratory at Washington State University is conducting a clinical trial involving Phycox® a nutraceutical supplement that contains MSM, Glucosamine HCL, Antioxidants, and Phycocyanin (an extract of blue-green algae). This unique combination acts as a COX II inhibitor (COX II is an enzyme responsible for inflammation and pain) and will be used to treat chronic osteoarthritis in the canine patient. In addition targeting for the COX II enzyme is thought to have fewer side effects than other NSAIDS.

The initial screening will determine eligibility into the study.  Your dog will undergo a comprehensive physical exam, including a complete medical history, a physical exam and lameness evaluation, blood sampling, urinalysis, and radiographs may be obtained. The study will run 24 weeks, and will involve once weekly online pain evaluations completed by you the owner.

Once your dog is determined to be eligible for the study, your dog will be fitted with either a collar or harness with an accelerometer attached. The accelerometer device will help us determine your dog's daily activity level, therefore your dog will have to wear the device at all times. Your dog will need to wear the accelerometer for 14 days before the next appointment.

During the study, your dog will receive either the Phycox® tablets or placebo tablets. Check-up appointments will occur monthly in Pullman, WA at the WSU Veterinary Hospital. The appointment after the initial visit will involve baseline force plate analysis, physical exam, and synovial joint fluid sampling. The synovial joint fluid sampling will involve sedation therefore please do not feed your dog 10hrs before the appointment and plan on leaving your dog for about an hour the day of the appointment. We will collect the synovial joint samples 3 times: week 1, week 12, and week 24. At each of the monthly appointments your dog will have a physical exam and force plate evaluation. If your dog requires additional pain medications, your dog will exit the study and appropriate therapy will be instituted.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must weigh between 35lbs and 125lbs
  • Must exhibit good health as shown by blood and urinalysis results
  • Diagnosed with naturally occurring elbow osteoarthritis
  • Dog must be off all NSAIDs and any herbal supplements/medications for 14 days prior to enrollment
  • Dog must be off all corticosteroids for 30 days prior to enrollment
  • Dog cannot be pregnant
  • Has no complicating disease conditions pertaining to the liver, kidney, or GI tract
  • Does not have an intolerance to any of the sedation materials used in the study
  • Has no other disease state, medical condition, or behavioral aggression which would interfere with the dog’s ability to complete the trial or to be evaluated.
  • Does not have a history of intolerance to Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

Financial Incdentives

  • Upon completion of study there will be a $1000.00 compensation
  • Physical examinations and blood work are at no cost to owner

Owner Responsibilities

Owners are responsible for the costs of additional hospitalization, medications and procedures associated with unforeseen complications. In addition, to remain in the study, owners are required to bring their dogs back to WSU-VTH two to six weeks after viral infusion and then every eight weeks for the following six months.

Contact Information

Information and appointment scheduling:
Ms. Nicole Kuhn, CORL Supervisor