WVXU: How far would you go to extend the life of a beloved pet?

The University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College's Jennifer Wells, DVM, was a recent panelist on WVXU's Cincinnati Edition discussing a new drug being developed designed to extend the lives of dogs.

Wells said while the exact way the drug works has not been disclosed, it is believed to focus on a hormone called IGF-1 that is thought to be elevated in larger-breed dogs and may contribute to dogs both growing bigger and declining faster.

"From what they’re saying, it looks to target that and kind of slow that mechanism down to a more reasonable pace that we might see in a medium-sized dog or even a smaller dog," said Wells, professor and chair of UC Blue Ash College's Veterinary Technology Department.

According to Wells, it appears the science is reasonable and could potentially be applied to species beyond dogs, including humans. But, she said, the drug raises additional moral and ethical questions.

"There’s a big dimension that we walk into when we have an elderly pet with the owner and talking about quality of life versus quantity," she said. 

Listen to the Cincinnati Edition segment.

Featured photo at top of a dog. Photo/Unsplash/Vlad Rudkov.

About UC Blue Ash College

UC Blue Ash College is a regional college within the University of Cincinnati. It offers one of the best values in higher education with access to a nationally recognized UC education in more than 50 degree and certificate programs, as well as tuition that is about half of most colleges and universities. The college is located on a scenic 135-acre wooded campus in the heart of Blue Ash, Ohio. To learn more, call 513-558-9495, visit us online, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

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