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Veterinary Specialty Hospital - North County

SEPSIS Clinical Study


We are enrolling dogs with sepsis or an intestinal blockage to participate in this study.


Ethos Discovery’s goal in this study is to evaluate changes in procalcitonin levels – a blood hormone that has previously been related to sepsis diagnosis – over time in canine patients surgically treated for sepsis in the abdomen and in healthy dogs with intestinal obstructions that are being surgically removed.

Additional blood samples will also be performed to investigate other possible markers for sepsis for the future development of diagnostic tests.

What is Sepsis?

Sepsis is the result of a severe infection that has entered the bloodstream and is a common reason dogs and cats present to the emergency room. Even though sepsis has been heavily researched over the last few decades, its overall mortality rates have not significantly improved in human or veterinary patients. Previous studies have shown that the timely identification of sepsis and rapid implementation of appropriate therapy is key to successful treatments and positive outcomes.


  • Daily blood samples while your dog is hospitalized for their septic or foreign object removal surgery over the course of 5 days.

  • One follow-up visit on the 10th day following surgery (if surgery was performed).


  • Any dog that is undergoing surgery to resolve abdominal sepsis.

  • Any dog undergoing surgery to remove a foreign object from its intestines who does NOT have sepsis.


  • Bulger Veterinary Hospital, Lawrence, MA

  • Veterinary Specialty Hospital, North County

  • Veterinary Specialty Hospital, San Diego

Benefits of Participation

  • By having your dog participate, you are helping to advance medical knowledge for both humans and animals.

  • All of the procedures associated with the study are free of charge (up to a $1,000 value).

    • Procedures include exam fees and blood work cost.