Texas A&M Vet school testing drug meant to help aging dogs

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COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - Veterinarians at the Texas A&M Small Animal Hospital are looking for dogs that are 6-10 years old to participate in a clinical trial. Monday, Dr. Kate Creevy appeared on Brazos Valley This Morning's Pet Talk segment to talk about the Dog Aging Project which is now in Phase II.

"The Dog Aging Project is studying everything we can about the health of aging dogs," Creevy said. "We know that dogs are living longer, just as people are, and we want to keep them healthy into their older age."

Phase II of the trial has veterinarians expanding their testing of a drug called Rapamycin. It has been shown to enhance healthful aging among laboratory animals such as mice and rats.

"Their hearts work better, their brains work better and they are more spontaneously active as they age when treated with very low doses of this drug," said Dr. Creevy.

Dogs participating in the survey must be generally healthy. Participation in the study requires four visits to the Texas A&M small animal hospital over the course of one year.

The enrollment appointment includes a physical exam, comprehensive lab work, an echocardiogram and a cognitive task assessment all at no cost. Enrolled dogs will be assigned randomly to receive either the drug or a placebo three times a week for six months. Dogs will wear a Voyce collar (a Fitbit for dogs) and owners will be responsible for keeping a drug diary and filling out periodic surveys.

For more information, contact rapaphase2@dogagingproject.com.