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A Longer Life for Fido?

You love your pup, and of course you wish that they could have a longer life. And now, that may just be possible. 

Thanks to researchers at the University of Washington, this possibility may become a reality. Avid dog-lover and loving owner Abbie Parks was part of a clinical trial, and she says afterwards, her Maltese Cassie Marie, had more energy. was more playful and even acting like a puppy again. 

"When my Cassie Marie got sick, critically ill, I was so upset that I had to write down my questions," said Parks to WSB-TV Atlanta, "They're a companion. You spend time with them. Their love it totally unconditional."

She sure is right. We love our pups almost as much as they love us. So how do the researches at University of Washington propose to extend their life?

It's called the Dog Aging Project, and Dr. Kaeberlein and Dr. Promislow of U of Washington completed their first round of clinical trials for the project. It's a nationwide study that tracks the aging of dogs.

Since dogs age fast compared to humans, it's easy to gain informationin 5 or 10 years that you could only get from humans in 50 to 60 years. 

The clinical trials tested dogs with a drug called rapamycin, which has proven to extend the life of lab rats when given in low doses. Rapamycin is taken my humans to help prevent organ transplant rejection. 

Dogs in the first round of clinical trials were given the drug for 10 weeks in order to study possible effects. Many human participants in the study noticed drastic changes in their furry best friends.  Many reported that they were in their "prime" again. 

Plus, the more research we do on dogs, the more benefit it could have to not only our furry friends, but to us! Finding out how drugs like rapamycin could extend the life of dogs could help us understand how they could extend our lives, or help with illnesses.

Go science!


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Jenna Gomes

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Jenna Gomes