Dog lovers know that their beloved pets share plenty in common with humans. An interesting research study currently underway seeks to take advantage of these shared similarities in the hopes of learning more about canine and human health.
The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is tracking the lifestyles and health status of 3,000 golden retrievers. All of the dogs in the study are purebred and were enrolled before they were two years old. The dogs will participate in the study throughout their entire lifetimes.
The research study, which will cost an estimated $32 million, is looking into the causes of diseases like cancer that affect both golden retrievers and humans. During annual veterinary exams, samples of nail clippings, hair, bodily fluids, and more are collected and sent to a lab for analysis. Dog owners also provide detailed information about the animal’s lifestyle, eating habits, and more so that researchers are able to look for any commonalities.
The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is a longitudinal study that aims to collect information about the dogs’ health throughout the lifetime of the animal. It is the first lifetime longitudinal study of pets. Researchers hope that the results of the study will help to identify health risk factors for golden retrievers, as well as other dog breeds and even humans. Many of the diseases that afflict golden retrievers also affect humans, and the treatments are often similar.
This research study was started in 2012. So far, researchers have not uncovered any significant findings, but the oldest animals in the study are still only seven years old. The study has uncovered some interesting details about the pets’ lives though. For instance, 20 percent of the golden retrievers enrolled in the study sleep with their humans at night.
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