See Momo run faster, farther and with far more vigor, energy and youthfulness, his owners say, now that he’s taking a drug meant for humans with cancer.
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“It’s been remarkable,” Paola Anderson said as she watched Momo, her 13-year-old white Pomsky, run around the backyard, keeping up with dogs a third his age.
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The drug is called rapamycin. After nearly a decade of research showing that it makes mice live up to 60% longer, scientists are trying it out as an anti-aging drug in dogs and humans.
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Rapamycin was found almost 50 years ago in earth gathered from Easter Island in the South Pacific and analyzed in a laboratory that was Canadian, and it is the most promising drug to fight with aging that Arlan Richardson has ever seen.
A professor at the Reynolds Oklahoma Center on Aging, Richardson has been doing this sort of research for 40 years.
“It is the best bet we’ve,” he said.
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Scientists examining the drug in dogs and are moving.
Researchers at the University of Washington’s Dog Aging Project imaged their hearts and gave rapamycin to 16 dogs.
“It began to work better. It began to look like a younger heart,” said Matt Kaeberlein, co-manager of the Dog Aging Project, who has presented this research at conventions but has not yet released it.
Rapamycin was taken by those dogs for just 10 weeks. Here’s what occurred to Momo and his “brother,” Sherman, who took it for much more.
For a long time, Sherman and Momo were frequent visitors to the Laguna Pet Spa in Laguna Hills, California, getting haircuts and baths.
Subsequently, on Christmas Eve 2010, their owner never came back and dropped them away., said she phoned the proprietor but her telephone was disconnected.
Anderson was horrified but not shocked. This was during the home loan crisis of Southern California, and this owner was not the first to abandon a dog to her attention. But this was more than a foreclosure. Sherman was ill, really ill.
On Christmas Day, the miniature 8-year old Pomeranian was vomiting and howling in pain. Him raced to the emergency room. It was an episode of acute pancreatitis. Anderson nursed him back to health and became, in her words, “mother” to Sherman and Momo.
The dogs had another mother, also: Anderson’s partner, Sarah Godfrey, who was then living in Northern California but moved a couple of years after to Laguna Hills to dwell with Anderson and “the sons.”
When Sherman fell over all was well until one day in May 2015. He had had a stroke.
“They gave him two weeks to live, unless he’d operation,” Anderson recalls. With an operation, he’d just a 20% probability of living.
Godfrey and Anderson were cautious of operation for a delicate dog who was 13 years old; that is equivalent to 68 years old for a human being, based on the American Kennel Club.
Through the years, the couple had sought help from an herbalist for individuals issues, and now they urgently turned to him for help with their pooch issue. The herbalist did some research and created a potential treatment: rapamycin.
Excited but also cynical, Anderson and Godfrey went online and ran across the Aging Dog Project, which was recruiting canine subjects for the rapamycin research and Kaeberlein.
They pleaded Sherman to be enrolled by Kaeberlein, but the response was no. Dogs had to be over and healthy 40 pounds. Sherman was.
“We understood we could go to Mexico and get rapamycin or purchase it online, but we needed to be directed by a veterinarian, by a professional,” Anderson said.
Five veterinarians refused to prescribe the drug. Eventually, a sixth veterinarian consented to prescribe rapamycin, but just after consulting with Kaeberlein to ascertain the best dose for Sherman.
A month after his stroke, by this stage, Sherman was feeble, he taken everywhere and had to be fed by hand.
But all altered that, Godfrey and Anderson said.
“The third day after taking rapamycin, he could eat by himself. By the seventh day, he was walking on his own,” Anderson said.
Sixteen months after, the dog who’d been given to live is still not dead, and he is still energetic and capable to run around the yard while certainly old.
That got the mothers thinking about Momo. At 13, he was becoming old and achy and losing stamina, although he was not ill like Sherman. The couple decided to attempt rapamycin on him, also. “Why not have your dog live longer if you can?” Godfrey said.
She said that within days of taking the drug, Momo managed to run for hours, whereas only a 30-minute walk would tire him out. On a hot summer day when CNN seen, he managed to keep up with Anderson’s parents’ dogs, who are 5 and 4 years old.