Jorge A. Bañales
A scientific team from Texas (USA) seeks to enroll 10,000 dogs of all breeds and sizes to study the aging process, improve the quality of life of dogs and humans, and look for the keys to longevity.RELATED
The researchers presented their project at the annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of the United States, held in Austin (Texas) "and immediately our list of potential 10,000 dogs jumped to almost 20,000 applications," veterinarian Harmony Peraza said today in an interview with Efe
The goal of the project is to understand how genes, lifestyle, food, medical care and the environment influence the biological aging of dogs, and the results will help in efforts to prolong the healthy life of both animals and of the humans who share that life with them.
In the United States there are approximately 89 million domestic dogs, an increase of almost 20 million dogs since a survey cited by the Statista platform began in 2000. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 36.5% of households in the country have dogs.
The researchers, led by Kate Creevy of the University of Texas A&M, and Matt Kaeberlein of the University of Washington, took ten years to get financial support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and now they will start a follow-up for another ten years of the dogs incorporated into the study.
"Dogs share our environment, our daily life, in many cases our food and even our bed," Peraza said. "When they age, they suffer from many common diseases in humans, such as arthritis, cataracts and blindness, cardiovascular disease, diabetes," he added.
Generally speaking, larger dogs age and die sooner than smaller dogs, and scientists hope to find answers to this difference with studies that include analysis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), annual blood tests and periodic information. provided by animal owners and their veterinarians.
"We want to identify the factors that enhance longevity," added Peraza, who works at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in Texas A&M and who shares life with his German sheepdog O'Boy, a former explosive seeker from the Los Police. Angels
"Early detection and treatment can lead to happier results," he added. "We are the companions of dogs, responsible for their care, and also for making reasonable decisions not to prolong life and avoid suffering."
Scientists will also observe the efficacy of a compound rapamycin or sirolimus, a lactose isolated from the Streptomyces hygroscopicus bacteria found in the soil of Rapa Nui Island, in the Chilean province of Easter Island.
According to a study published last week by the University of Texas, rapamycin modifies the decrease in blood flow to the brain and memory loss related to aging.
During the next year, the research team will be busy receiving and selecting canine candidates for the study, and for this, on their page dogagingproject.org they have placed an application form "which takes just three minutes to fill out," Peraza said.
"We want to recruit dogs of all sizes and ages, both purebred and mixed race, and from different geographical points," said the researcher, who said she wanted to "get the call to dog owners and veterinarians everywhere."