Tag Archives: Dogs

First validated canine behavioral genetics, findings of nine fear, aggression traits in dogs

Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness in the United States. And while much is understood about the biochemistry of anxiety, little is known about the genetic variation associated with it. Recently published in BMC Genetics, a study led by researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital reports that genetic predisposition to aggression toward […]

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Canine babesiosis outbreak in UK under control, but needs monitoring

Scientists at the University of Liverpool are using the health records of dogs to monitor the status of a potentially fatal tick-borne disease that appears to have been imported into the UK. Canine babesiosis is transmitted to dogs by infected ticks, with symptoms including a lack of appetite, fever and jaundice. Although normally only found […]

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* Gene therapy treats all muscles in the body in muscular dystrophy dogs

Muscular dystrophy, which affects approximately 250,000 people in the U.S., occurs when damaged muscle tissue is replaced with fibrous, fatty or bony tissue and loses function. For years, scientists have searched for a way to successfully treat the most common form of the disease, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), which primarily affects boys. Now, a team […]

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Modifying a living genome with genetic equivalent of ‘search and replace’

Researchers including George Church have made further progress on the path to fully rewriting the genome of living bacteria. Such a recoded organism, once available, could feature functionality not seen in nature. It could also make the bacteria cultivated in pharmaceutical and other industries immune to viruses, saving billions of dollars of losses due to […]

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* Scientists test nanoparticle drug delivery in dogs with osteosarcoma

At the University of Illinois, an engineer teamed up with a veterinarian to test a bone cancer drug delivery system in animals bigger than the standard animal model, the mouse. They chose dogs — mammals closer in size and biology to humans — with naturally occurring bone cancers, which also are a lot like human […]

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* Scientists warn about health of English bulldog

According to new research it could be difficult to improve the health of the English bulldog, one of the world’s unhealthiest dog breeds, from within its existing gene pool. The findings will be published in the open access journal Canine Genetics and Epidemiology. The English bulldog’s limited genetic diversity could minimize the ability of breeders […]

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Labrador study offers vets clues on why dogs’ tails lose their wag

A painful condition that affects dogs’ tails may be more common than previously thought, a study suggests. The research offers clues to potential causes of the illness — known as limber tail — which mostly affects larger working dog breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers. Researchers say their findings are the first step towards preventing the […]

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A study led by researchers at The University of Nottingham has discovered that the fertility of dogs may have suffered a sharp decline over the past three decades

The research, published in the academic journal Scientific Reports, found that sperm quality in a population of stud dogs studied over a 26-year period had fallen significantly. The work has highlighted a potential link to environmental contaminants, after they were able to demonstrate that chemicals found in the sperm and testes of adult dogs — […]

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* Genetic mutation causes ataxia in humans, dogs

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Cerebellar ataxia is a condition of the cerebellum that causes an inability to coordinate muscle movements. A study publishing June 16 in Cell Reports now describes a new genetic mutation as an additional cause of ataxia in humans and mice. The mutation, in the gene CAPN1, affects the function of the enzyme calpain-1 and causes […]

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* Stem cells for Snoopy: pet medicines spark a biotech boom

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Many pets are treated like family members — and that is often reflected in the veterinary care that they receive. Little Jonah once radiated pain. The 12-year-old Maltese dog’s body was curled and stiff from the effort of walking with damaged knees. But after Kristi Lively, Jonah’s veterinary surgeon, enrolled him in a clinical trial […]

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Dogs were domesticated not once, but twice … in different parts of the world

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The question, ‘Where do domestic dogs come from?’, has vexed scholars for a very long time. Some argue that humans first domesticated wolves in Europe, while others claim this happened in Central Asia or China. A new paper, published in Science, suggests that all these claims may be right. Supported by funding from the European […]

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* Research suggests a way to identify animals at risk of blood clots

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Patients who are critically ill, be they dog, cat or human, have a tendency toward blood clotting disorders. When the formation of a clot takes too long, it puts them at risk of uncontrolled bleeding. But the other extreme is also dangerous; if blood clots too readily, it can lead to organ failure or even […]

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Second gene modifies effect of mutation in a dog model of ALS

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Degenerative Myelopathy is a naturally occurring, progressive adult onset disorder of the spinal cord that leads to paralysis and death. In 2009, a SOD1 mutation was associated with risk of developing the disease (link to previous press release). However, not all dogs with the mutation became affected, prompting the hypothesis that additional genes could modify […]

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* New veterinary research helps distinguish accidents from abuse

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A veterinarian sees a canine patient with severe rib and head injuries whose cause of injury is unknown. Without having witnessed the incident, how can the veterinary professional distinguish an accident from abuse? Using data from criminal cases of animal abuse, researchers from Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and the American Society […]

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Why Labrador retrievers are more interested in food than other breeds

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Dog owners tell their vets that Labrador retrievers are always interested in food, and new work shows there might be a biological truth to the claim. A May 3 study in Cell Metabolism links a gene alteration specifically found in Labs and related flat coat retrievers to greater food-motivated behavior, describing the first gene associated […]

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Changes in ‘microbiome’ during canine atopic dermatitis could lead to antibiotic-free therapies for human, canine disease

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Atopic dermatitis (AD), a chronic inflammatory skin condition and the most common form of eczema, is estimated to afflict as much as 10 percent of the U.S. population, and is much more common now than it was 50 years ago. Veterinary clinical estimates also show that approximately 10 percent of dogs have atopic dermatitis. How […]

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New tech uses hardware, software to train dogs more efficiently

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North Carolina State University researchers have developed and used a customized suite of technologies that allows a computer to train a dog autonomously, with the computer effectively responding to the dog based on the dog’s body language. “Our approach can be used to train dogs efficiently and effectively,” says David Roberts, an assistant professor of […]

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* Rare human disease found in dogs

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A rare, severe form of pulmonary hypertension, which up until now, has only been classified as a human lung disease, has also been discovered in dogs according to a Michigan State University study. “Our research is the first to document the existence of pulmonary veno-occlusive disease, or PVOD, in dogs,” said Kurt Williams, the lead […]

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Study of glioma susceptibility in dogs may yield insights for humans

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A new study of the genetic factors underlying glioma formation in dogs may hold clues to how these common and often untreatable tumors form in humans. The genome study, which was conducted across 25 dog breeds, identified three genes associated with the tumor. The results from this research, led by Katarina Truvé of the Swedish […]

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* Surface mutation lets canine parvovirus jump to other species

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Canine parvovirus, or CPV, emerged as a deadly threat to dogs in the late 1970s, most likely the result of the direct transfer of feline panleukopenia or a similar virus from domesticated cats. CPV has since spread to wild forest-dwelling animals, including raccoons, and the transfer of the virus from domesticated to wild carnivores has […]

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* Analysis of dog genome will provide insight into human disease

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An important model in studying human disease, the non-coding RNA of the canine genome is an essential starting point for evolutionary and biomedical studies, according to a new study led by The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC). New research published today in PLOS ONE reveals an improved annotation of microRNAs in the dog genome to further […]

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* Canine influenza transmitted to cats in Midwestern shelter

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It may be called canine influenza, but Sandra Newbury, clinical assistant professor and director of the Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, has confirmed that the virus that sickened a large number of dogs in the Midwest last year has now infected a group of cats in the region. […]

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* Adversity forges unlikely friendship between hyenas, wolves

Vladimir Dinets examined the unlikely friendship between striped hyenas (Hyaena hyaena) and grey wolves (Canis lupus) in the southern Negev, Israel. He suspects that the particularly inhospitable conditions of the extreme desert — and a need for food — might have pushed the two enemies into an unusual alliance. It is often true in life […]

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Pit bull label may triple length of stay in dog shelters

Dogs labelled as “pit bulls” may wait three times as long to be adopted from shelters than differently labelled lookalikes, according to a study published March 23, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Lisa Gunter from Arizona State University, USA, and colleagues. Previous research had suggested that certain types of dogs take longer […]

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Increase in the number of dog attacks on guide dogs in the UK

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Reported dog attacks on guide dogs have risen significantly over a five year period, finds a study published online in the journal Veterinary Record. A total of 629 attacks were reported between 2010 and 2015, with an increase from an average of three per month in 2010 to eleven attacks per month in 2015. The […]

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* Magnetoreception molecule found in the eyes of dogs, primates

Dog-like carnivores, some primate species may have a magnetic compass similar to that of birds. Cryptochromes are light-sensitive molecules that exist in bacteria, plants and animals. In animals, they are involved in the control of the body’s circadian rhythms. In birds, cryptochromes are also involved in the light-dependent magnetic orientation response based on Earth’s magnetic […]

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* Newly found genomic causes of severe compulsiveness in dogs could aid study of human OCD

Research led by investigators in veterinary and human medicine has identified genetic pathways that exacerbate severity of canine compulsive disorder in Doberman pinschers, a discovery that could lead to better therapies for obsessive compulsive disorder in people. The discovery appears online in advance of print on Feb. 29, 2016 in the International Journal of Applied […]

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* Mensa mutts? Dog IQ tests reveal canine ‘general intelligence’

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Dogs have measurable IQs, like people, suggests new research from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and the University of Edinburgh. The research, published in the journal Intelligence, looked at whether dog intelligence is structured in a similar way as in humans. When IQ, or ‘general intelligence’, is tested in people, individuals […]

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* Forensic odorology scientifically validated

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Odorology is a technique that uses specially-trained dogs to identify human scent. It is used in police investigations to establish that an individual has been at the scene of a crime. However, there is no international norm on how these dogs are trained. At the Centre de recherche en neurosciences de Lyon (CNRS/Université Claude Bernard […]

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Inhibitory control may affect physical problem solving in pet dogs

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Inhibitory control may be an indicator of a dog’s ability to solve a problem, according to a study published February 10, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Corsin Müller from the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna and colleagues. Playing with objects may help dogs learn about their environment, similar to how it helps […]

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