Scientists Think It Is Possible To Extend Your Dog’s Lifespan

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Researchers at the University of Washington believe that they could extend the lifespan of dogs using a drug that is given to transplant patients.

Matthew Kaeberlein and Daniel Promislow believe that Rapamycin could have an impact on the longevity of canines.

“We’re not talking about doubling the healthy life spans of pets. But at a minimum, I would predict that you would get a 10 to 15 percent increase in average life span, and I think bigger effects are possible.”

The scientist received an unrestricted $200,000 grant from the UW to study Rapamycin’s potential effects on the lifespan of dogs, but that is not enough to cover all the costs of the study.  Kaeberlein and Promislow hope ‘citizen science’ would be interested to help fund the research.

“Given how I feel about my pets, I see this as a unique project where there’s a real potential for citizen science. I think it would be great if pet owners who are really interested in improving the health of their animals would help fund this work.”

They set up a website, dogagingproject.com, where people can donate and sign up their dogs for possible enrolment in the research.

University of Alabama Biology Department Chairman Steven Austad, an expert in aging research who is not part of the UW project says that the study could be beneficial to dog health.

“I think it’s worth a go, not just from what it can teach us about humans, but for the sake of the animals themselves. It may not work in dogs, but if it did, boy, it’s going to be huge.”

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