New Drug Expected to Help Injured Dogs Walk Again

A new instance of animal testing is not what you’d expect. A new drug test is easing the pain of our companions instead of inflicting. The new drug that is being developed by university of California, San Francisco, and Texas A&M, Veterinary Hospitals, has already given mice with spinal injuries the ability to walk again and is doing the same for canines in the same predicament.

The spinal cord injury that is being treated occurs because of a ruptured disc, and it is very common in small long torso breads, affecting about 2.3% of the dogs at veterinary teaching hospitals. In fact, 1 out of 5 Dachshunds, the most common sufferer of the ailment, will eventually be diagnosed.

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Most of spinal injuries ill effects are not from the initial trauma; the real damage is done by chemical reactions, swelling and bleeding that occurs after the fact. The new drug works by blocking a protein and protecting the animals from these harmful processes.

In reference to the mice that have already received the treatment, Linda Noble-Haeusslein, professor in the departments of neurosurgery and physical therapy at U.C.S.F. said “They show a remarkable recovery, they go from dragging hind limbs to actually taking functional steps. We can see the benefit as early as one day after the injury.’’

The treatment is performed within three hours of the initial injury and must be repeated for three days afterwards. More work will be done to see if the time initial treatment can be expanded after the three hours to increase real world implications. The study will last two and a half years and eighty dogs are expected to be involved in the trails after owner consent has been given.

It’s great to see science working towards helping animals instead of hurting them!

Image Source: J. Levine, Texas A&M University