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Dr. Robin Downing Speaks on the UPenn / Big Barker Clinical Study

In a clinical study conducted by University of Pennsylvania, owners reported that the Big Barker bed reduced joint pain & stiffness, improved joint function & gait, and led to improved nighttime restfulness in large dogs with arthritis.

Dr. Downing is the hospital director and founder of the Downing Center for Animal Pain Management in Northern Colorado, and just the third veterinarian in the world to credential as a diplomate in the American Academy of Pain Management.   She recently sat down with Dr. Sarah Wooten to discuss her thoughts on the clinical study data.


The full 11 minute interview is in the video above.  See the attached infographic for an overview on the study.  Interview highlights below.

If you don't yet have a Big Barker bed, is now the time to make the switch?
Click here to learn more.

Interview Highlights

[3:20]

Dr. Wooten:

"What stood out to you about the study, or what were the most important results to you from this study?"

Dr. Downing:

"The first thing that stabs me is that I found this to be a really innovative study. I am unaware of any other formal research group, particularly affiliated with an academic institution like the University of Pennsylvania, that's undertaken any kind of study looking at sleeping surfaces, for instance, to benefit dogs with diagnoses of  osteoarthritis. So the innovation, the insight to really pursue that really, really got my attention. This is a pilot study, so the population of study animals was fairly small, and that is typical of pilot studies. Pilot studies are designed to give us guidance about what do we need to focus more attention, what do we need to focus more research on?"

"And I think the next thing that really stood out to me is the value of this particular pilot study, as a way to really open the door and understand that we do need more data from a wider selection of dogs facing chronic pain issues. Why might I say that? Well, because of the third thing that stood out to me with this study, which was recognizing that in this group, in the pilot study three quarters of the dogs involved demonstrated a statistically significant difference in their comfort levels as measured by their restlessness at night. 75% is a really big percent of these dogs who actually demonstrated benefit that was statistically significant when it was analyzed by accepted research protocols"

[9:00]

Dr. Wooten:

 "And so, as far as you as a private practitioner, right, you and your clients, many of which are probably big dogs with osteoarthritis, how are you impacted [by the Big Barker study] as a practitioner in the way you think about dog beds as part of management for osteoarthritis?"

Dr. Downing:

"Well, to be honest, this really now adds a new tool to my particular strategy for helping my patients who have osteoarthritis, who are medium and large size dogs. I've talked with clients for years about environmental modification involving things like keeping them off of slick surfaces, protecting these dogs from going up and down the stairs in an unsupervised way, making certain that we raise their food and water dishes to about elbow heights so that their back is in a neutral position when they eat and drink." 

"These are pretty simple, straightforward, environmental modifications that I've talked about with hundreds and hundreds of clients over the years. I'm not spending a lot of time talking with them about the actual sleeping surfaces that their dogs experience. I've talked with them about nighttime restlessness, and we've talked about managing pain at night, but this really gives a new dimension to the conversations I'll be able to have with my clients where I can make an evidence-based recommendation to say, I think it's time for us to modify not just how your dog experiences pain in the night, but how your dog experiences night, how we can maybe make that nighttime experience more pleasant for them, allowing them to get the deep and restful sleep they really need and deserve."

If you don't yet have a Big Barker bed, is now the time to make the switch?
Click here to learn more.

 

[11:19]

Dr. Downing:

"I'm grateful that people who are far smarter than I am can think through looking at and asking questions like, "How we help dogs sleep better at night? Do we have a tool that can make that happen?" I really appreciate that kind of insight and I really appreciate now having a new direction that I can take, a new dimension that I can use in my discussions with my clients."

 

 

If you don't yet have a Big Barker bed, is now the time to make the switch?
Click here to learn more.

Eric Shannon

Owner & Founder of Big Barker Dog Beds

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