Short Snout Dogs Needed for Eye Study at Colorado State University

Have a dog with a flat face? Colorado State University researchers are enrolling canines with brachycephalic features — or pushed-in snouts and noses — for a study that may help improve vision problems that accompany flat-faced features.

Studies show that canines with short snouts have corneas that are not as sensitive to touch as other dogs, and that their eyes also don’t tear as well. The combination of these two conditions can cause dry eye, corneal ulcers and painful changes to the cornea. When severe, these conditions can threaten the dog’s vision.

The CSU study is researching a topical drop called naltrexone to see if it restores the health of the surface of the eye by improving tearing and sensation in the cornea.

Dogs will undergo a series of diagnostic tests including a routine exam and eye exam, intraocular pressure measurement, tear tests and corneal sensitivity tests. The results of these tests will determine the dog’s eligibility to participate along with meeting other specific health requirements.

Patients in the study will spend about four hours at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital during the first day of the study, then will receive either naltrexone or a placebo at home one time per day for one week. Dogs must return to the VTH three times for re-check appointments during the time they are enrolled in the study.

Dog owners must complete a daily questionnaire about their pet’s comfort at home and document when they gave their canine medication.

Clients who have qualifying dogs that enroll in the study and who adhere to the study will not be charged for study exams and tests, re-check appointments or medicine used during the study.

To enroll in the study or for more information, contact Dr. Trevor Arnold at (970) 297-4443 or