A new Open Access paper published in Pathobiology of Aging and Age-related Diseases demonstrates the value of using companion dogs as a model for human morbidity and mortality.
With the human population rapidly aging, the study of age-related disorders has become an important area of research. The companion dog has recently been identified as a promising model for exploring these complex conditions, as like humans they are phenotypically diverse, experience many of the same health problems in old age and share similar environments.
This study, conducted using VetCompass data, aimed to describe how aging influences the accumulation of concurrent disease conditions across various breeds of dog. The authors found that across all dogs, the number of disorders increased significantly with age, but not with size.
Jin K, Hoffman JM, Creevy KE, O'Neill DG, Promislow DEL. Multiple morbidities in companion dogs: a novel model for investigating age-related disease. Pathobiology of Aging and Age-related Diseases 2016. 6: 32276.