Tag Archives: great dane

Treating heart disorders in dogs

A novel therapy tested by University of Guelph scientists for treating a fatal heart disorder in dogs might ultimately help in diagnosing and treating heart disease in humans.

Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) professors Glen Pyle and Lynne O’Sullivan have also identified potential causes of inherited dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) or “weak heart.”

The groundbreaking study was published this month in the American Journal of Physiology.

Cardiology exam

“The cardiovascular systems of dogs and people are very similar,” said Pyle, a professor in OVC’s Department of Biomedical Sciences and a member of U of G’s Centre for Cardiovascular Investigations.

“It allows us to do comparative investigations that can advance understanding of this fatal condition.”

In both dogs and people with DCM, the weakened heart muscle becomes unable to pump blood around the body. The cause of the problem is often unknown, although it’s common to involve genetics.

Researchers suspect malfunctioning muscle proteins cause the heart to weaken, allowing it to dilate like an overfilled balloon.

DCM is the second leading cause of heart failure in dogs, and it’s especially common in large breeds. Dogs typically show no symptoms until the disease is well-advanced.

The condition is often inherited; up to 60 per cent of Doberman Pinschers are affected during their lifetime.  Other breeds such as Irish wolfhounds and Great Danes also have high rates.

In people, 30 to 50 per cent of DCM cases are hereditary.

The end result of DCM is congestive heart failure. While medical advances have reduced deaths from congestive heart failure by 40 per cent in the past decade, the condition still afflicts hundreds of thousands of Canadians, and the five-year mortality rate remains high.

Aging populations worldwide are likely to cause dramatic increases in the rate of heart failure in the upcoming decades, Pyle said.

“The cause of a substantial percentage of DCM cases remains unknown,” he said.  “This is why it’s urgent to develop novel agents that can improve heart function.”

For the study, Pyle and O’Sullivan, a clinical cardiologist in OVC’s Health Sciences Centre, worked with researchers at the University of Washington to test a novel therapy in diseased heart cells.

 The therapy involves introducing a molecule involved in muscle contraction. In heart cells from dogs with DCM, it restored normal function. The next step is developing a gene therapy that would allow the molecule to be produced in heart muscle cells in patients with DCM.

“This suggests it’s a promising therapeutic approach worth further investigating for the treatment of DCM,” said O’Sullivan. One of 10 board-certified veterinary cardiologists in Canada, she runs OVC’s Doberman DCM screening program.

The researchers also discovered some problems in the heart muscle that likely contribute to DCM.  “This may shed light on the mechanical impairment in failing hearts,” Pyle said.

The Guelph scientists are also working with researchers in Finland on DCM genetics and proteins. That work might lead to development of therapies for targeting specific proteins, said Pyle.

Both researchers belong to U of G’s Centre for Cardiovascular Investigations, one of a few centres worldwide studying heart disease from single molecules to clinical applications.

Source:  University of Guelph media release

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The Pergo dog party

I guess you could say that the Great Dane in this commercial is a ‘party animal’

Another great dog-themed commercial, this time by Pergo Flooring…

 

Favorite Video Friday – I don’t wanna get up!

I’m feeling like this today, too! What a cute Great Dane puppy. Who else out there has a Dane? Tell me about it.

No Dog About It Blog

Many of you may have seen this one already, but I just couldn’t resist sharing.

If there was ever a dog that could mimic how I am feeling this morning, it is this Great Dane puppy. Don’t we all have days like this?

Happy Friday everyone! (Sleep in tomorrow, ya here?) 🙂

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What is it about dogs and car advertising?

The folks at Land Rover are using a black Great Dane in their latest ad for the Range Rover Evoque:

What is it about using dogs in car advertising?  I think it is that most dogs enjoy car travel and being in the company of their family whether it is running the weekly errands or on a family vacation.

What do you think?

Read my earlier blogs on dogs and car advertising:

The SmartPill: helping to understand canine bloat

Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), or bloat, is one of the leading causes of death in dogs.  Second only to cancer in some breeds, it’s the number one killer of Great Danes. Despite its prevalence, the cause of bloat is unknown.

The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation has given a research grant to Laura Nelson, assistant professor at Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine to change that.

Great Dane photoWhen a dog gets bloat, gas fills the dog’s stomach, the stomach twists completely around, the gas has no way to escape, and blood and air supply to the stomach are cut off. As the stomach swells, it presses against the abdominal wall and pushes against large blood vessels. Shock is usually the cause of death. The whole progression can happen in a matter of minutes or hours, and surgery is required to save the dog’s life.

It’s generally believed that genetics as well as environmental factors play a role in which dog develops bloat.  “We want to know why some dogs get bloat while others don’t,” says Nelson.

Nelson’s team is investigating the relationship of contractions responsible for the digestion of food (motility) with increased GDV risk, and hopes to define the biochemical and genetic alterations that may be associated with hypomotility—abnormally weak contractions. A new diagnostic tool, SmartPill®, makes possible noninvasive assessment of motility. The SmartPill® is an ingestible capsule with an instrument inside that measures acidity and pressure. The team will measure the time it takes the capsule to pass through the dog’s system and the pressure spikes along the way.

In the short term, the research findings may provide clinicians with data that would allow them to make informed decisions about when to use preventative medications or conduct targeted prophylactic surgery—gastropexy—in at-risk dogs. This procedure surgically attaches the stomach to the abdominal wall in order to prevent twisting. It is an effective procedure that is well tolerated, but, Nelson notes, it is an invasive procedure that may not be necessary in some dogs. There currently is not a good way to determine who to recommend it for.

“With bloat, it happens and you treat it. But it would be so much more satisfying if we really understood why some dogs get bloat, and then be able to make more informed treatment decisions and possibly prevent the disease altogether,” says Nelson.

Source:  Michigan State University media statement

Dog-inspired cocktails for Memorial Day

It’s a big holiday weekend in the United States since Monday is Memorial Day.

As spring turns into summer, more people are outside entertaining and using the barbeque.  Here are some dog-inspired cocktails that you might like to make for your next party…

Bloodhound Cocktail 1/3 cup Gin 1/3 cup French Vermouth 1/3 cup Italian Vermouth 2 or 3 Strawberries

Bloodhound Cocktail
1/3 cup Gin
1/3 cup French Vermouth
1/3 cup Italian Vermouth
2 or 3 Strawberries

Salty Chihuahua Coarse salt, (optional) - wet rim of 4 glasses and dip in salt 4 ounces tequila, divided  2 ounces orange-flavored liqueur, such as Cointreau, divided  3 cups grapefruit juice, divided  Mix the tequila, liqueur and grapefruit choose in each glass and then add a grapefruit slice for garnish

Salty Chihuahua
Coarse salt, (optional) – wet rim of 4 glasses and dip in salt
4 ounces tequila, divided
2 ounces orange-flavored liqueur, such as Cointreau, divided
3 cups grapefruit juice, divided
Mix the tequila, liqueur and grapefruit choose in each glass and then add a grapefruit slice for garnish

The Greyhound     2 oz vodka     4 oz grapefruit juice     Mix and then add a lemon or lime wedge for garnish

The Greyhound
2 oz vodka
4 oz grapefruit juice
Mix and then add a lemon or lime wedge for garnish

The Great Dane 2 oz. gin 1 oz. cherry brandy 1/2 oz. dry vermouth 1 tsp. kirsch Mix and garnish with a lemon peel

The Great Dane
2 oz. gin
1 oz. cherry brandy
1/2 oz. dry vermouth
1 tsp. kirsch
Mix and garnish with a lemon peel

The Regal Beagle 1/3 shot Canadian whiskey 1/3 shot peach schnapps 1/3 shot sweet and sour mix Mix over ice and pour into a shot glass

The Regal Beagle
1/3 shot Canadian whiskey
1/3 shot peach schnapps
1/3 shot sweet and sour mix
Mix over ice and pour into a shot glass

There are probably other cocktail recipes with dog-inspired themes.  If you know of others, why not add a comment with your favourite?

Pets welcome in many workplaces

I tip my hat to the Indianapolis Star for its recent excellent coverage of pet-friendly workplaces in Indiana.

Take Inverse-Square, where Bob Baird takes his German Shepherd to work with him in a demanding job where he leads a team of systems integration specialists.  His online profile on the company’s website clearly lists him as a ‘dog enthuasiast.’ Company employee Anne Marie DeLa Rosa reports that ‘When I’m stressed, I usually call Zoe (a chocolate Labrador retriever) over and rub her ear. That’s my therapy.’

DeLa Rosa also reports that because Zoe is in the office, she’ll take a proper lunch break which includes a short walk.

Inverse-Square is located in The Stutz office park where commercial developer Turner Woodard made it possible for employers to have pet-friendly office policies.  The newspaper reports that 25 percent of the tenants take advantage of the perk.  Two other properties developed by Woodard — the Canterbury Hotel and Wasatch Lake — are also pet-friendly.

Other Indiana companies that are pet-friendly include:

Jacobs Law office: Sam Jacobs allows his office manager Karie Jacobs, 28, to bring her Cockapoo to the office.  Sam has declared that ‘Larry is a wonderful diversion…I can talk to him and he doesn’t talk back.’

Gradison Design Build:   This company includes two Great Danes, one Labrador retriever and a Yorkshire terrier.

Pack leader David Gradison, 75, says ‘They are like family and we’re a family environment.’

Indiana Lighting:   Bella Mia, a Peekapoo, comes to work in Tracy Leeper King’s handbag. ‘She comes to work because she brings joy, positive energy and gives the employees a break from their desks.’

Rusted Moon Outfitters: The company spokeperson is an English Setter named Rosemary.  On the company’s website they  happily announce ‘We’re ready to answer your questions and help you find the gear you need. Visit us in Broad Ripple, just off the Monon Trail. Oh yeah, bring your dog too.’  A photo of Rosemary declares ‘Rosemary says Dogs Welcome’  Yes – this store is also a dog-friendly shopping destination.