Dog aging project TRIAD study

Washington State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital is proud to be a participant in the Dog Aging Project TRIAD Study.

Trial of Rapamycin in Aging Dogs

Purpose of study

Rapamycin, a drug that affects both the immune system and metabolism, has been shown to increase the lifespan of mice. The primary purpose of this project is to determine whether rapamycin increases the lifespan of companion dogs. A secondary purpose is to determine whether rapamycin improves various measures of health in aging dogs.


Your dog will receive no direct benefit from participation in this study. Costs of all scheduled study examinations, including physical exams, blood and urine collection and testing, echocardiogram, ECG, blood pressure testing, and the study drug (rapamycin or placebo) will be covered by this study.

Enrollment requirements

  • To be eligible for the TRIAD study dogs must be enrolled in the Dog Aging Project. Dogs can be nominated for the Dog Aging Project at Upon entry into the Dog Aging Project owners must upload their dog’s electronic medical records and complete comprehensive health and life experience surveys. For more information on the Aging Dog Project or to nominate your dog, visit
  • Eligible dogs must be healthy, spayed or neutered, at least 7 years old, and weigh at least 44 pounds. Dogs must be comfortable at veterinary clinics and cooperative for examinations, including blood collection and ultrasound of the heart without sedation.
  • Dogs on certain medications may not be eligible for this study. Any medications (oral and/or topical) the dog is current taking will be reviewed by a group of veterinarians.
  • Dogs with known or identified systemic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, hyperadrenocorticism, kidney disease, liver disease, GI disease, some heart diseases, lung disease, neurologic disease, cancer, chronic systemic infection, or high blood pressure will not be eligible for the TRIAD study.

Treatment methods

To see if their dog might be eligible for the TRIAD study owners need to nominate their dog for the Dog Aging Project, complete a comprehensive survey about their dog and provide their dog’s medical records for review. Once their dog is selected to be screened for the TRIAD study, owners will be asked to collect a DNA sample from their dog’s mouth with a swab (supplies and instructions provided by study) and will travel with their dog to the WSU VTH in Pullman, WA for a screening appointment.

At the screening appointment, dogs will receive a physical exam, including blood pressure measurements. Blood, hair, urine, and fecal samples will be collected. An electrocardiogram (ECG) and heart ultrasound (echocardiogram) will be performed. If they pass the screening exam, dogs will then be randomly assigned to receive either rapamycin or a placebo for one year.

Enrolled dogs will need to return to the WSU VTH every six months for a three-year period. At each return visit, physical exam, blood pressure, sample collection, ECG and echocardiogram will be repeated.

Owner responsibilities

  • Owners must be willing to bring their dogs to the WSU VTH cardiology service in Pullman, Washington for one screening/baseline appointment (0 month). If their dog qualifies for the TRIAD Study, owners must be willing to bring their dogs back to the WSU cardiology service at 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, & 36 months. After that, owners must be willing to take their dogs to their primary care veterinarian once per year for an additional two years of study follow-up.
  • At time of study screening, owners must show proof that their dog is current on vaccinations and must be willing to continue recommended vaccinations during the entirety of the study period. In addition, owners must be willing to give their dog heartworm preventatives for the duration of the study. Owners are financially responsible for costs associated with vaccines and heartworm preventatives.
  • Owners must agree to administer study medications as directed, keep a study medication journal, and report any problems with medications or with their dogs. In addition, owners must complete periodic questionnaires about their dog.

Contact information

For more information or if your dog is already enrolled in the Dog Aging project and you would like to find a TRIAD study location near you, please visit or email