After years of research, a drug typically given to cancer patients has shown promise that it may hold the key to a longer life for dogs. According to Friday’s CNN, rapamycin, which was discovered decades ago in the South Pacific, was first shown to extend the lives of mice by 60 percent – recently, researchers with the University of Washington’s Dog Aging Project decided to see what impact the drug would have on dogs.
A study, which utilized 16 healthy dogs, showed a remarkable impact on the dogs’ hearts. Matt Kaeberlein, co-director of the Dog Aging Project, described what happened to the heart in dogs on the drug, “It started to function better. It started to look like a more youthful heart.”
One dog, who suffered a nearly life-ending stroke, took the drug (though not through the Dog Aging Project study) and almost immediately began to show stunning signs of improvement. The dog, named “Sherman,” was unable to eat or walk on his own before taking rapamycin, but after a week on the drug, he could eat and walk of his own accord.
Before taking rapamycin, Sherman was given a dismal prognosis of two months to live…but sixteen months later, he is still alive, apparently thanks to the drug.
Find more about the Dog Aging Project, and the drug that holds promise for longer lives for dogs, at this link to Facebook.