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Science & Technology

Anti-ageing trial could see dogs live longer

By T.K. Randall
December 4, 2015 · Comment icon 8 comments

Is it possible to increase the lifespan of our canine companions ? Image Credit: PD - Dsw4
Scientists studying the ageing of dogs have come up with a possible new way to increase their lifespan.
While researchers have long obsessed over finding ways to slow down the ageing process in humans, efforts to accomplish something similar in dogs have mostly fallen by the wayside.

Now however geneticists at the University of Washington have determined that a number of common drugs could have the potential to increase the average lifespan of household pets.

One drug in particular - an anti-rejection medication called rapamycin which is given to transplant patients - has been conclusively shown to increase the lifespan of mice by as much as 25 percent.
The results have been so promising in fact that a trial is currently underway to see if the same drug can slow down the ageing process in Golden Retrievers, Labradors and German Shepherd dogs.

"If we can understand how to improve the quality and length of life, itís good for our pets and good for us," said geneticist Dr Daniel Promislow. "If rapamycin has a similar effect in dogs Ė and itís important to keep in mind we donít know this yet Ė then a typical large dog could live two to three years longer, and a smaller dog might live four years longer."

The study also suggests that the drug could help keep the animals healthier for longer as well.

"Imagine what you could do with an additional two to five years with your beloved pet in the prime of his or her life," said Dr Matt Kaeberlein. "This is within our reach today."

Source: Telegraph | Comments (8)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Taun 8 years ago
That would be awesome indeed... Something that loving, caring and absolutely devoted, deserves to have a much longer life...
Comment icon #2 Posted by Chibadiba 8 years ago
What about cats?
Comment icon #3 Posted by Imaginarynumber1 8 years ago
I want my dog to live forever. That's why I feed him only the freshest hearts.
Comment icon #4 Posted by questionmark 8 years ago
I want my pets to live forever, but I want to know the price it would have to pay to live longer... because loving includes letting go for the benefit of the other.
Comment icon #5 Posted by GreenmansGod 8 years ago
That would great, especially for people with service dogs. It might be worth the price compared to cost of replacing a service dog.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Infernal Gnu 8 years ago
THIS IS SUCH A LOVELY POTENTIAL BREAKTHROUGH! I used to have dreams that some of my beloved dogs were still alive, decades after they have been dead, then I woke up and realized it was all a dream.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Frank Merton 8 years ago
The reason dogs in the wild live longer on average than domestic dogs is the "pure breed" garbage. Get a mongrel and he or she will live much longer.
Comment icon #8 Posted by fred_mc 8 years ago
If it works both on mice and on dogs, I think it may very well work on humans too. After all, we are quite genetically similar (many experiments done on mice apply for humans too).

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