Could Longevity Medications for Dogs Extend Your Pet’s Life?

Could Longevity Medications for Dogs Extend Your Pet’s Life?

Longevity drugs are intended for healthy dogs, which changes the benefit/risk ratio. “It’s one thing if a dog is at death’s door and you give it last-minute treatment,” said Bev Klingensmith, a Great Dane breeder in Iowa who also owns a Great Dane and a golden. retriever. “Giving my young, healthy dog ​​a brand new medication would seem a little scary.”

Even drugs that deliver on all their promises will raise ethical questions. “If animals are living longer, do we have the resources and commitment to provide a life worth living? » Dr Anne Quain, a veterinarian and veterinary ethics expert at the University of Sydney, said in an email. “What if we saw more dogs outliving their owners? »

Reforming breeding practices that have helped shorten the lives of many dogs and expanding access to basic veterinary care could be a better way to improve dogs’ lives, she added. “We can save many dog ​​years by ensuring as many dogs as possible have access to this care,” she said.

And as scientists gather more data on potential longevity drugs, dog owners can now take some steps to promote healthier aging, experts said, including keeping their dogs lean and providing them with enough nutrition. exercise and mental stimulation.

Ms Halioua admitted to having a weakness for older dogs. “They just want a good bed to sleep in,” she said while her elderly Rottweiler, Della, took a nap. Della, who suffers from lymphoma and dementia, is not listed on LOY-001 because enrolling her in the company’s studies would present a conflict of interest, Ms. Halioua said, but the dog seemed happy, she said. -she noted.

Ultimately, even if scientists can delay a pet owner’s grief, it’s unlikely they can prevent it completely. “These are certainly not drugs intended for immortality or radical life extension,” Ms. Halioua said in an email. She added: “Nothing we develop could allow a dog to live forever. »

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Eric D. Eilerman

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