Controlling such factors allows the
researchers to focus on the specific
inputs and responses, be they behavioral
or physical, short-term or longitudinal—
without having to account for irregu-larities or variations these factors could
introduce into the results.
On the other hand, companion
animals with spontaneous disease or
tumors, in clinical (i.e., non-laboratory)
settings, live in and are studied in
uncontrolled conditions. While eliminating the potential influences of these
conditions is nearly impossible, it is
generally not necessary or desirable.
For instance, a canine trial conduct-
ed in a clinical setting with a wider
range of genotypes in the population
makes early detection of pharmacog-
enomically-important variations in
drug tolerability easier than it would
be in a more homogeneous popula-
tion of lab animals. This more closely
aligns with conditions in human trials,
making companion animal studies
potentially useful precursors to the
human studies, especially because of
the established similarities between
canine and human cancers.
Diagnosis, sampling, data gathering,
and treatment are generally done at
veterinary hospitals or specialized veterinary oncology hospitals, with trial
design, treatment prep, data analysis,
archiving, etc., done in a laboratory
that is not collocated with the clinic.
Examinations are usually done in
the clinical setting. Most clinics have at
least some laboratory capabilities, which
allows for some sample analysis as well
as preparing the samples for transport
to the lab. Also, as noted earlier, most
veterinary hospitals have in-house imag-
ing capabilities, and data from digital
cameras, measuring devices, and imag-
ing can be captured and transmitted
directly to the researchers. Collaboration
is enhanced because the data can be
quickly and widely shared among mem-
bers of the research team.
Treatment is generally done in the
clinical setting as well. It is more con-
venient for the owners to have diagno-
sis and treatment at the same facility,
and most veterinary hospitals have
more than adequate resources available
to support most treatment modalities.
Because the patients are animals
with whom the treating veterinarians
may form attachments, randomized,
single-, and double-blinded studies
which separate the attending veteri-
narians from the researchers are used
to prevent intentional or unintentional
biases from influencing the test results.
In single-blind studies, the researcher
knows which animals are receiving
treatment, and which are being given
placebos, but the veterinarian and
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How Automatic Watering
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