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Study participants will be supplied with:

  1. 5 Strands Pet food and environment test - cost reimbursed upon completion of study at 20 weeks post final submission of photos
  2. Veterinary consultation and review of test results with Integrative Vet Dr. Lori Blankenship  
  3.  A customized home made diet recipe based on the 5 Strands testing results and your veterinary consultation.
  4. (4) 30 minute follow up appointments to review pets condition and results every 3 weeks for 12 weeks total - (4) 30 minute sessions with integrative Vet Dr. Lori Blankenship

Study Participants MUST provide the following information:

  1. Complete & Submit the 5 Strands Pet Case Document Questionnaire.
  2. Schedule and pay for the 1st in office or televet appointment with Dr. Lori Blankenship of Animals First Veterinary Clinic at $595.
  3. Provide photos of pets' condition prior a maximum of 7 days prior to or at time of first appointment. 
  4. Participants MUST BE WILLING to adhere to the directions of preparing and home cooking the custom diet provided for their pet.  You are responsible for purchasing ingredients from supermarkets and handling the prep. We advise that you purchase a crock pot or stock pot - Approximate time for weekly meal prep is less than 2 hours per week. 
  5. Pet owners will be responsible for the acquiring and paying for any recommended supplements, herbs or medications as directed by Dr. Lori Blankenship.
  6. Participants MUST provide weekly written updates and ratings of pets results. A document will be provided weekly via email - 5Strands staff involved in the study may need to be able to discuss your progress based on your weekly submission.  These discussions will be by phone or zoom - whichever is best for you. We like to keep in touch with our participants to make sure your needs and our study requirements are being met.
  7. Photos documenting your pet results is mandatory - You can provide us with photos weekly along with your weekly update OR supply a  photo of your pets’ results a day or 2 prior to your scheduled 3 week follow up veterinary appointment. Photos must visibly show the problem we are trying to resolve - example - skin and coat issues must show the whole pet as well as the areas where your pet is irritated or licking, or where hair is shedding excessively - these are all easy to capture with our smartphones.For stool and digestive issues - please photograph your pet from above and both sides so that his/her physical appearance can be easily viewed. Include photos of ‘bad stool’ or stress defecating, etc.  We can discuss this with you if additional assistance is needed.  Mandatory photos - Prior to initial consultation, provide: 3 to 6 images of pet from above and both sides as well as specific areas where the condition we are working toward resolving is present (ie; paws, paw pads, nose, side of body, etc.) or stools Images will be required at week 3, week 6, week 9, week 12 and weeks 15 & final photos will be needed 18 weeks after initial consultation. 
  8. Schedule and show up for your (4)  follow up appointments every 3 weeks. Your first follow up appointment will be scheduled after your initial consultation. The cost of these 4 follow up appointments are all covered by 5Strands - we are grateful for your participation in this case study. 
  9. We will need you to be an active participant for a total of 16 to 20 weeks from your initial appointment. 
  10. Submit new hair samples at the end of the study - weeks 18 to 20. 

The above package is valued at $2,800.  

We ask that the participants pay $595 total for the initial veterinary intake and the individualized diet plan.

If you are interested in participating in this study, please message You will be contacted to schedule an initial interview to determine your eligibility for participation.

Who is Dr. Blankenship?

Dr. Blankenship received her Bachelor of Science in biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1989, Ph.D. in genetic toxicology from The George Washington University in 1996 and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 2000.

Her areas of practice include Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Canine and Feline nutrition, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Ozone, and UV Blood Therapy.   

Her passion is providing our companions the best chance for a long, healthy life.  With foresight and an open mind, she always tries to see the complete picture and formulate a plan that will lead to improvements and patient health.  

Dr. Blankenship lives in Rixeyville Virginia with her daughter, one canine companion, and three horses. She enjoys spending time with her daughter, dressage riding, especially to music, and training her dog, Chico.

Criteria for eligibility:

Dog ages - Any Age / Any Sex

Volunteer that has visible issues with symptoms such as hair loss, constant scratching, paw biting, skin hot spots or rashes, chronic ear infection, upset stomach, head shaking.

Willingness to provide photos/videos of pets physical issues prior to testing results/elimination plan, and then every 3 weeks for up to 20 weeks, and then final photos after trial has been completed.

Willingness to journal pets' food consumption and response on a daily/weekly basis for up to 20 weeks. Agrees to strictly adhere to an elimination plan created from testing results.

5Strands in conjunction with Dr. Lori Blankenship of Animal First Veterinary Clinic is conducting trials of their testing results that will provide an elimination plan of foods to see if any symptoms such as skin issues, hair loss/hot spots, scratching/biting,  digestive upset, ear infections, goopy eyes are directly related to the consumption of foods a dog may be intolerant to. 

Please complete the following form to send us an email.

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