Some time back, one of my veterinary friends wrote about whether we would give a pill that could extend our dogs' lives by two years.
The article wasn't about a pill, though. What he was really getting at was that we indeed can extend their lives by keeping them slim. And we could. And we can. Of course, that requires diligence on our part. We'd all prefer a magic pill for everything simply because it's less work that way. Why isn't there a magic pill for everything?
We just might be in luck.
Scientists at the Dog Aging Project have begun trials with a drug to see if it could increase dogs' lifespan up to four years.
The drug, rapamycin, is anti-rejection medication used in patients who underwent kidney transplants. In mice, it's been shown to extend their life span by 25 %. It has anti-inflammatory effect as well as it helps cells get rid of waste.
There are 32 middle-aged Golden Retrievers, Labradors and German Shepherds in the trial to see whether low doses of this drug could improve health and slow down aging.
Adding extra healthy years to dogs' lives would be awesome.
I'd go for that. We'll have to wait and see how the trial goes.
Would that mean that you'd just have to give the magic pill to your dog and see them blossom for all these extra years? Don't forget, if this does work, it would add additional years to those your dog would otherwise have. If you shorten your dog's life by letting them get obese, feeding them poor diet, not giving them with adequate exercise, allowing oral disease or letting chronic inflammation fester, all the drug might do at best is to make up for the years your dog will lose because of all those things.
Even if the drug works, you will still have to do the work of keeping your dog healthy.
Just having your dog obese will take two years off their lives. Let's not forget such things.
Anti-ageing dog trial could see pets live for an extra four years