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August 16, 2021 – This month, we’re taking a virtual tour of the United States in celebration of National Dog Day, and recognizing the work of our funded researchers who are helping dogs live longer, healthier lives.

The fourth stop on our tour is the University of Florida, where a team of researchers is using gene-editing tools to change the course of heart disease for dogs.

Heart disease affects thousands of dogs each year, with some breeds known to have a higher incidence than others. A striking example is the high prevalence of dilated cardiomyopathy in Doberman pinschers. Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a disease of the heart muscle and is relentlessly progressive. Medications can slow progression of the disease, but eventually dogs with DCM succumb to heart failure.

The team in Florida is trying to change these odds by using the gene-editing tool CRISPR/Cas9 to reprogram defective heart cells. The researchers are using cells collected from the blood of Doberman pinschers, transforming them into heart cells, and then seeing if they can change the genetic code of the heart cells from defective forms to normal forms. They hope their findings could result in a new treatment for dogs suffering from this form of heart disease, saving hundreds of lives each year.

Next up, we’ll be traveling to the Buckeye State and The Ohio State University, where veterinarians are testing a new, non-invasive treatment for back pain in dogs. 

This Work Would Not Be Possible Without Support from Our Donors!

Supporters like you help keep this critical work moving forward. For over 73 years, Morris Animal Foundation has been dedicated to funding innovative research to make the lives of our dogs healthier and happier. That means more time together with the dogs we love.

Your help allows us to support cutting-edge research around the world. These high impact studies provide hope for a better tomorrow for the dogs we love. Learn more about how you can help!