JoAnna Lou
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Helping Injured Pups Walk
Experimental drug could help dogs and humans with spiral cord injuries

I love when medical research benefits both canines and humans. This latest study aims to help dogs and people retain their ability to walk with a new medication.

The U.S. Department of Defense is funding research to explore an experimental drug that will help dogs and humans with spinal cord injuries. The collaboration between the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Texas A&M has already proved that the drug mitigates spinal cord damage in mice. The next step will be to see how the medication works in dogs. The study will specifically be looking at short-legged, long-torso breeds like Dachshunds, Beagles and Corgis. It's not uncommon for these breeds to spontaneously rupture a disc, damaging the spinal cord.

Most spinal cord injuries lead to chemical reactions that damage nearby cells and pathways, contributing to decreased hind limb function. The experimental drug may help stop this process and help dogs preserve the use of their legs.

Canine spinal cord injuries are similar to human spinal cord injuries, so scientists are hopeful that the research can help both dogs and people. A win-win for everyone!

JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo by UCSF.

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Submitted by Harlan | March 4 2012 |

Interesting article regarding collaboration between DOD and Texas A&M to develop a drug that may mitigate the affect of a spinal cord injury in dogs and eventually humans however, I have to point out that whomever supplied the photo of the doxie in a wheel cart needs to contact the owner and tell them the cart is badly misfitted and doing more injury than aid to the dog.

The top bars should be parallel to the floor and the straps around the dog's neck are entirely in the wrong configuration.

One strap belongs under the dogs chest, behind the front legs. Another strap should around the chest under the neck while the third strap goes over the dogs back at the shoulders. By adjusting these three straps up or down the vertical bend on the bar the cart's top frame can become parallel to the floor and the cart will fit correctly.

The incorrect fitting causes distress if not pain and will result in a permanent injury that may not be reversible.
The cart is from Dewy's Wheelchairs http://www.wheelchairsfordogs.com/index.htm

For Paws Hospice has 16 recycled chairs on loan to families of handicapped pets through our program, Bosco"s List There is a photo of Bosco in a properly fitted chair here: http://www.forpawshospice.org/hospice-wishlist.php.

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