DENVER/October 19, 2021 – Morris Animal Foundation, a nonprofit leader in advancing animal health, announced today that AnimalBiome, a biotechnology company specializing in pet microbiome assessments and restoration, has donated biological testing to the Foundation valued at $200,000.
Over the next two years, AnimalBiome will analyze 2,100 stool samples from the Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study to better understand the relationship between dog microbiomes and cancer, as well as other health outcomes. The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is a longitudinal study seeking to identify the nutritional, environmental, lifestyle and genetic risk factors for cancer and other diseases in dogs.
“We are so grateful for this gift and are certain it will lead to dogs living longer, healthier and happier lives,” said Tiffany Grunert, President and CEO at Morris Animal Foundation. “The microbiome is a rapidly developing frontier in terms of ways to measure pet health and this partnership will significantly build on our current body of knowledge.”
Using samples collected annually from dogs enrolled in the Study, AnimalBiome’s scientists will extract DNA from each sample, amplify it, and sequence it to characterize bacteria and fungi in the dogs’ gut microbiomes. Mining information from the Study’s Data Commons, they will compare dogs diagnosed with fatal types of cancer with those who didn’t develop those cancers in order to see if there are any correlations associated with the development of cancers commonly found in golden retrievers.
“We’re incredibly excited to be working with Morris Animal Foundation and have tremendous respect for the research they support,” said Dr. Holly Ganz, Chief Science Officer and Co-Founder of AnimalBiome. “We hope our collaboration yields new insights about the potential for earlier diagnosis using microbial biomarkers, and to develop new hypotheses for roles that may be played by the microbiome in the development of cancers like hemangiosarcoma. The ultimate goal of the Study is to eventually identify ways to reduce the incidence of these fatal cancers in golden retrievers and all dogs and we are proud to contribute to this effort.”
Morris Animal Foundation has funded a number of studies focusing on animal microbiomes, including those that:
- Look at the bacteria living in the upper respiratory tract of cats with chronic disease and compare their microbiomes to healthy cats that share the same household.
- Investigate the impact of acute diarrhea on microbes that reside in the gut of dogs and how these episodes disrupt the gut’s equilibrium and contribute to any long-lasting impact on gut health.
- Study the bacterial composition of the gut over time in Shetland ponies that do or do not develop equine metabolic syndrome.
AnimalBiome, based in Oakland, California, was founded in 2016 by scientists dedicated to improving pet health through the creation of new microbiome-based solutions for pet care.
Morris Animal Foundation, headquartered in Denver, is one of the largest nonprofit animal health research organizations in the world, funding more than $142 million in studies across a broad range of species.
About Morris Animal Foundation
Morris Animal Foundation’s mission is to bridge science and resources to advance the health of animals. Founded by a veterinarian in 1948, we fund and conduct critical health studies for the benefit of all animals. Learn more at morrisanimalfoundation.org.
AnimalBiome’s mission is to use the latest scientific advances to help all pets live happy full lives. AnimalBiome’s products address gut and oral microbiome imbalances, ranging from testing and targeted supplements for chronic health conditions to ongoing wellness supplements to maintain pet health. Learn more at animalbiome.com.