New Research Unveils Slow Aging Formula For Dogs

November 8
6:00 AM 2016

A woman who was part of a clinical trial says her dog was more energetic and playful because a pill made him act years younger.

Over the past few years, Matt Kaeberlein, Ph.D., and his team have shown that some drugs can slow aging and extend a healthy lifespan (healthspan) in small animals, such as mice. These same interventions could provide dogs with two to five additional years of life - possibly more. We hope that knowledge gained within the next five years will make this concept a reality.

Despite the wealth of veterinary expertise in treating elderly pets, no studies have carefully examined the fundamental biology of aging in dogs. Over the next five years, scientists at UW Medicine will embark upon the Dog Aging Project by recruiting dog owners and pets to be part of the research. This project was led by Dr. Matt Kaeberlein and Dr. Daniel Promislow.

The Dog Aging Project is a unique opportunity to advance scientific discovery while simultaneously providing enormous benefit for people and their pets.  We believe that enhancing the longevity and healthspan - the healthy period of life - in peoples' pets will have a major impact on our lives.To accomplish this goal, we are creating a network of pet owners, veterinarians, and scientific partners that will facilitate enrolling and monitoring pets in the Project.  The Dog Aging Project has two major aims, described further below: a longitudinal study of aging in dogs and an intervention trial to prevent disease and extend healthy longevity in middle-aged dogs.

With the said project, researchers are hoping to significantly improve health and extend the active period of life for pets. And this project is divided into two parts. A Longitudinal Study wherein the UW Medicine will perform the first comprehensive study of aging in dogs, following pet dogs throughout their lives. And the other one is Testing a Healthspan-Lenghtening drug wherein to treat pets dogs with rapamycin. 

Maintaining and improving animal health and well-being is very important to Drs. Kaeberlein and Promislow and their colleagues, and collaborating veterinarians will closely monitor the dogs during all phases of these studies.

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