Drugs optimized by genetics (D.O.G.)

Development of a Cytochrome P450 Phenotyping Test to Quantify Breed and Genetic Differences in Drug Sensitivities 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 a drug. Like humans, each dog is unique in the way they ‘handle’ drugs. The purpose of this research is to develop a novel drug sensitivity test using blood or urine samples taken after giving a single, low-dose combination of three drugs.* Based on the amount of drug and drug breakdown product measured in the blood or urine, we will be able to determine whether a dog is a slow, fast, or normal processor of drugs (these measurable/observable characteristics are called a phenotype). Knowing a dog’s drug processing phenotype could help a veterinarian make an individualized drug treatment decision for that dog—such as whether to increase or decrease a drug dosage or whether to use an alternative drug.

*In a previously completed safety study, we identified a low-dose drug combination (three FDA-approved drugs) that could be safely given to dogs to measure drug metabolism without adverse effect


Aside from a free physical exam, there is no direct benefit to your dog for participating in this study. However, this project is intended to advance the development of a test that could help all dogs receive safer, more effective drug therapies.

Enrollment requirements

Eligible dogs must be healthy, not taking any medications, comfortable at the veterinary clinic, and 1-12 years of age. This study is recruiting dogs weighing between 11-176 pounds. Dogs must be amenable to receiving oral medications and cooperative for examinations, including blood and urine collection.

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 the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital (WSU VTH) in Pullman, WA. 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 will be offered 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.
  • Two hours after your dog finishes eating, we will give your dog the following medications, orally: bupropion, dextromethorphan, and omeprazole.
  • Blood samples (less than 1 teaspoon) will be taken from a peripheral vein twice during the study visit: prior to drug administration and four hours after receiving the drug.
  • Urine samples will be taken twice during the study visit via free catch: prior to drug administration and six hours after drug administration

Six hours after receiving the study drugs and nine hours after arriving at the VTH, your dog will be available to go home with you.

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 to the WSU VTH 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

Valorie Wiss
Clinical Studies Coordinator
cell: 509-432-5345