Can we extend a dog’s life?
Some researchers are working on it.
Many of you, myself included, know the pain of losing a dog. In fact I dread thinking about the day my current dog goes, but it is a loss that every dog parent will have to navigate if he or she wants a dog. When you think about all the joy dogs bring us…the life lessons they teach us…the love they give…the way the simple things are always good enough and never taken for granted…all of that given their relatively short lifespan, it’s as if they’re furry zen gurus sent from another dimension to help us evolve. They effortlessly become our best friends, and I don’t know one dog parent who wouldn’t want more years with their dog child.
In Episode 146 of Causes or Cures, I chat with Dr. Andrei Gudkov and Dr. Joseph Wakshlag about their research to extend a dog’s life. They both are part of a group of scientists at Vaika, a non-profit medical research organization that is dedicated to extending the lifespan of domestic animals. In the podcast, they will discuss the aging process, how it might be reversed and how some of the things they are learning may apply to humans too. They will also talk about some of the research they are doing, including testing drugs to slow or prevent the aging process in retired sled dogs that were in kennels around the US and are now living out their retirement on spacious grounds in upstate NY. You will hear more about the dogs and their way of life in the podcast too.
When you listen to the Extend a Dog’s Life Podcast, let me stress that this is not any kind of unethical lab testing on dogs. I am a massive animal lover and would never in a million years feature such a thing on my podcast. (Hell, my dream job is to be a mercenary for abused animals. Just sayin…put those West Point skills to work!) These are retired, older dogs that were living in kennels and now living out their lives on spacious grounds in upstate NY. To those who question the ethics of using dogs for sled races, I 100% agree with you, and hope we change that practice one day. You can also visit the Vaika website and see each dog and read a little of his/her story. And you have any questions about the dogs and how they are treated, I encourage you to reach out to Vaika or even ask to visit the grounds.
Dr. Gudkov is one of the founders of Vaika and a professor of oncology and senior vice president of research technology and innovation at Roswell Park Cancer Center. Dr. Wakshlag is a veterinarian with Cornell University and the medical director of this “sled dog study.”
To listen to Extend a Dog’s Life, click here.
Thanks for your support with the podcast! Hope you check out some of the other episodes too:
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