The general life expectancy of dogs is eleven years. We humans, on the other hand, live longer. In the UK, men currently live to an average age of 79.3 years and women to 83.1 years. This means that we only spend 14% of our life with our beloved four-legged friends.
This is a huge loss because the death of a pet can be devastating. To remedy this situation, the ‘Dog Aging Project’ was launched by the researchers of the University of Washington. Initiated in 2016, the project aims to look for a way to extend the life span of our canine companions by two to four years. They have been working on it for quite a while now.
The test subjects of this project were mice so far. As The Mirror reports, the drug ‘Rapamycin’, which is used to prevent organ rejection in heart, liver and kidney transplants, can extend the lives of mice by up to 25%. The ‘Dog Aging Project’ now wants to find out whether the drug can also prolong the life of dogs. The initial test trials of the drug ‘Rapamycin’ was performed on 24 dogs of several breeds such as German Shepherds, Labradors and Golden Retrievers.
Study not yet successful
It was found that the drug strengthened the hearts of the animals. In a second phase, the drug was given to 50 dogs. The effects on the cognitive abilities and the activity of the four-legged friends were examined.
The Mirror reports that so far, the drug has not shown the same effect in dogs as in mice. For this reason, the number of animals is to be increased in the next trial and the duration of the trial phase is also to be extended.
This article is translated from Gentside DE.