According to doctors researching the effects of rapamycin, this drug could be the key to increasing a dog’s life span by 2 to 5 years.
Every pet parent feels a tinge of grief at the mere mention of losing their beloved animal. While they know the end, like humans, is inevitable, we hope that their crossing over the Rainbow Bridge is very far into the future. For those of us who would love to give our dogs a few more years of life (and really, who wouldn’t?!) there may be a solution in the near future.
University of Washington research Dr.Matt Kaeberlein and colleague Dr. Daniel Promislow are the doctors behind the “Dog Aging Project”. They have recently completed their first round of clinical trials to track aging in man’s best friend with a drug called rapamycin.
Rapamycin is usually taken by humans to fight organ transplant rejection in large doses. In smaller doses, the two doctors say research has shown that this drug has extended the life of lab mice.
“In every laboratory animal that we’ve tried, we’ve been able to increase life span by 90, 40, 50 percent by targeting the pathways that effect aging,” Kaeberlein said.
The two doctors recently put out an advertisement in the newspaper for middle-aged dogs to participate in the project, and Rose Bigham was thrilled that her 10-year-old dog Rascal met the criteria. Ever since he pinched a nerve, Rascal hasn’t jumped as high or played as much as he used to in his golden days.
Rascal was given a low dosage of rapamycin three times per week and Bigham said she definitely noticed a change in Rascal’s behavior. He was running more, being more playful and generally acting more like his old self.
The doctors have said their research could potentially increase a dog’s lifespan by two to five years, which is great news for pet parents who can’t bear to part with their furry child. Best of all, this research could prove to be useful for humans as well in the long run.
The Dog Aging Project is currently working under a large federal grant proposal to fund their research. Should the grant be accepted, the doctors said within five years, they hope to increase a dog’s lifespan by 2-5 years.
[ Source: WSBTV]