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New Hypertension Disease Concerns for Dogs

A study by Michigan State University has found evidence of a rare hypertension disorder in humans in dogs as well.


A study published in Veterinary Pathology this year documents the results of work at Michigan State University's College of Veterinary Medicine that can have serious implications for dogs and humans alike. The researchers, led by Dr. Kurt Williams, reviewed the development of respiratory illness in eleven dogs with an average age of ten-and-a-half years. Using various medical tests of their muscle cells, pulmonary lesions, arterial thickening and blood results, they found that the dogs displayed a medical condition that had previously only been found in humans: pulmonary veno-occlusive disease (PVOD).

PVOD is a severe form of pulmonary hypertension. Pulmonary hypertension affects about 15 to 50 people per million each year, according to www.pah-info.com. PVOD is only found in about 10% of these cases and the consequences for humans who have it are severe - a lung transplant is often required.

Dr. Williams indicates that the finding of PVOD is significant because dogs often are not properly diagnosed with the condition since it has not been known to be present in dogs until now, and the symptoms are very similar to regular forms of pulmonary hypertension that are found in both people and dogs. Even more significant for researchers, the finding that dogs have PVOD as well increases their options for more effective research into causes and treatments for humans who suffer from the disease (as well as dogs!).

The full study is available online. For more information on pulmonary hypertension in dogs, DVM360 has an in-depth discussion.

Additional sources: Science Daily

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