Long Live the Dog
Whaddup? My name is Buddy Studly. I am a bit of a stud. Not in the “still intact/un-neutered” way of course, but in the “wow, look at that good looking, athletic, cool and charming dog” way. I’ll admit I also get “look at the auricles on that stud, he can probably hear 10 miles away!” but I’m cool with that. Anyway, I really enjoy life and I think it stinks that dogs have a shorter life span than other species. I have decided to change that.
So far I have not succeeded but I have stumbled across the next best elixir of life, gene-therapy technology. This stuff can’t yet directly extend a dog’s life but it can increase our “healthspan” helping us stay healthier longer – which is sort of the same thing right?
I made contact with a startup called Rejuvenate Bio, launched from Harvard Medical School and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University (yeah say that ten times fast…) who are working on this. Their approach is to work on addressing the interconnectedness of age-related illnesses.
There has been success in this with mice as explained to me with a bunch of mumbo jumbo words and acronyms and medical terms but what I found of interest is that they had success on treating their “target illnesses” of obesity, type II diabetes, heart failure, and renal failure.
So now Rejuvenate Bio is kicking off a pilot study testing the efficacy of this gene therapy technology in arresting mitral valve disease, which affects most Cavalier King Charles spaniels by age eight and causes heart failure. They will be treating dogs with mitral valve disease through gene therapy and assessing whether they progress to the next stage of the disease over a given period.
If all goes well, Rejuvenate Bio hopes to expand the treatment to all canine breeds (more than 7 million dogs in the United States suffer from mitral valve disease!) and hopefully also open the door to similar therapies for age-related illnesses and age-reduction in humans.
Since dogs are humans best friend it makes sense that human treatments can potentially be repurposed for their canine counterparts so successful cancer treatment protocols for humans are being assessed for treating cancer in dogs as well. So the cherry on top is that if humans start living longer they can have their best friends with them longer as well.
I am only one and a half years young so hopefully all this will be figured out by the time I need it. I am Border Collie and Blue Heeler mix that gets along well with other dogs and loves humans. Humans just love my studly non-reproducing self.
I love long walks and bouncing around out in the shelter play yard with all my homeless dog friends. I know a lot of fun tricks as I like being mentally challenged as well as physically. Thus, I hope my new person will continue to train and teach me new things. If you are truly interested in an elixir of life come adopt me today. I will keep you youthful and healthy for your extended lifetime!
Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops have been servicing San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties for over 26 years. Call the Second Chance Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other services. View our shelter pets and services online: www.adoptmountainpets.org.