Clinical Studies

Golden Retriever and Greyhound Study: Developing a Drug Metabolism Test


Development of a Cytochrome P450 Test to Quantify Breed and Genetic Differences in Drug Metabolism in Dogs


Purpose of Study

Adverse reactions to therapeutic drugs are a common and serious concern in veterinary medicine. These adverse reactions can be due, in part, to the speed at which a dog’s body is able to break down (or metabolize) a drug. Like humans, each dog is unique in the way they ‘handle’ drugs. The purpose of this research is to develop a novel, single-sample drug metabolism test that can tell veterinarians how quickly or slowly a dog is able to break down drugs. This test could allow veterinarians to make an individualized decision on drug dosing and drug selection unique to your dog, increasing both safety and effectiveness of treatment. 

In a recently completed safety study, we identified a mini-dose drug combination (three FDA-approved drugs) that could be safely given to dogs to measure drug metabolism without adverse effects. The goal of this study is to measure breed and genetic differences in drug metabolism between Greyhounds and Golden Retrievers. 




You and your dog will be helping to advance the development of a test that could allow veterinarians to prescribe drugs based on each canine patient’s unique metabolism. Enrolled dogs will receive a free physical examination (a $56 value) and you will be compensated for your time with a $25 gift card upon your dog’s study completion.

Enrollment Requirements

Enrolled dogs must be healthy purebred Golden Retrievers or purebred Greyhounds, between 1-10 years of age. Some drugs and supplements will interact with the mini- dose drug combination given in this study, so be sure to tell us if your dog is taking any prescribed or over-the-counter drugs or supplements. 

Dogs that are receiving drugs or supplements suspected or shown to interact with the study drugs (listed below) will be excluded from this study.

Treatment Methods

Prior to enrollment in the study, we will review your dog’s medical history with you to make sure it is eligible to participate in the study. If the medical history review indicates your dog is healthy, we will work with you to arrange a study appointment at one of the study sites. On the morning of the appointment, we will first give your dog a physical examination to confirm that it is healthy and eligible for the study. If we find something upon physical examination that would exclude your dog from the study, we will let you know and you will be free to take your dog home at that time. If the physical exam confirms that your dog is healthy and qualified for the study, we will proceed with the following study protocol: 

  • After the physical exam, dogs will be assigned to a kennel and, if they have not been fed at home beforehand, will be given their morning ration of food, in addition to water. After one hour, we will remove any remaining food. Your dog will continue to have free access to water for the day.
  • Prior to receiving the study drugs, we will collect a blood sample (less than a teaspoon), a saliva sample (less than ¼ teaspoon), and a urine sample (free catch) from your dog.  Two hours after your dog finishes eating, we will give your dog the following medications, orally: bupropion (75mg), dextromethorphan (30mg), and omeprazole (40mg).
  • Throughout the remainder of the day we will collect one (1) additional blood sample, three (3) additional saliva samples, and one (1) additional urine sample at the same volumes described above.
  • Six (6) hours after receiving the study drugs, your dog will be available to go home with you. 

Study Sites

  1. Washington State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH) in Pullman, WA
    • Study appointments available Monday – Friday
  2. Washington State University Specialty Teaching Clinic in Spokane, WA
    • Study appointments available on select Saturdays and Sundays
    • NOTE: Dogs seen at the WSU Specialty Teaching Clinic in Spokane MUST eat their morning food ration before arriving for their study appointment 

Owner Responsibilities

If your dog is not a current patient at the WSU VTH, you are responsible for informing us of your dog’s medical history. We will ask you to provide us with a list of any prescribed or over-the-counter drugs or supplements your dog is currently taking. You will need to bring your dog, along with its morning ration of food (if feeding at the VTH), to the arranged study site for a one-day visit (for a period up to 9 hours). It is not necessary for you to stay at the study site for the duration of this period.

Contact Information

For more information or to enroll your dog in this study, please contact:

Valorie Wiss, Clinical Studies Coordinator