Does your dog continuously chase after his tail, pace back and forth or spin like a top? He could have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog wants you to know about a new study from the American Humane Association, in cooperation with the School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University that wants to find out why some dogs are more prone to OCD.
OCD in dogs was once attributed to a lack of mental stimulation in a canine’s life or a background of abuse or neglect, but after it was found to be more common in Bull Terriers, Doberman Pinschers and Jack Russell Terriers, researchers decided to look further for an answer. They decided to see if there is a genetic basis for the condition.
AHA and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) are designing the study which will look for sensitivity to the condition in a dog’s genetic makeup. Tufts Veterinary School will collect the data from participating dogs.
In addition to understanding why some breeds are more prone to OCD, researchers also hope to find clues as to what causes the syndrome in children, including those with autism. The University Of Massachusetts Medical School and the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center will handle that aspect of the research.
The goal of the study is to give doctors and veterinarians better treatment options and set up standards for earlier diagnosis. This is the second time AHA is conducting simultaneous research to benefit both children and dogs. Their previous work was on childhood cancer.
To learn how your dog can participate in the Canines, Kids and Autism Study, contact the American Humane Society. As a tribute to Sophie, who is the inspiration for Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog, I plan to share a veterinary study or clinical trial that will allow your pet and future cats and dogs to live the longest and healthiest life they can.
Photo credit: Taro The Shiba Inu