Today’s Veterinary Business Staff
Who is the oldest dog in the United States? A team of researchers wants to answer that question and many others during a 10-year longitudinal study of canine health and wellness.
Owners of purebred and mixed-breed dogs of all ages are invited to participate by registering at http://bit.ly/33OodOI. The Dog Aging Project also has a role for veterinarians, who might be asked to collect blood, urine or other samples during annual wellness visits, the organizers reported.
“We are going to look at a lot of different aspects of dogs’ lives that affect their health and longevity,” said Audrey Ruple, DVM, MS, Ph.D., a veterinary epidemiologist and assistant professor of One Health Epidemiology at Purdue University.
“Dogs are good models for humans,” Dr. Ruple said. “They have similar genetics, share our environment, and they also have similar diseases and health issues. We will be asking, ‘How do dogs age healthfully?’ in order to help better understand how we can age healthfully, too.”
Enrolled owners will complete surveys about their dogs’ health and lifestyle and be asked to visit their veterinarian annually. The owners of dogs assigned to specific groups might receive a sample-collection kit for veterinarian use.
More than 75,000 dogs have been registered in the past few months.
“It’s important to get dogs from all parts of the U.S. because of the different environmental factors present,” Dr. Ruple said. “And we’re trying to find the oldest dog in America as well.”
The Dog Aging Project, which involves more than 40 scientists and researchers, is funded by private donations and the National Institute of Aging.
Frequently asked questions are answered at http://bit.ly/2RvinPA.
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