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Study into illness among dog breed

Thursday July 8th 2010

Researchers will attempt to understand the influence of diet and exercise on a breed of dogs' susceptibility to illness and disease by charting the lifestyle of up to 20,000 puppies.

Labrador retriever owners are being sought by an Edinburgh veterinary school to participate in the study and will need to provide details of their pet's daily life on a website each month.

It is hoped the results will inform the vets from the Royal School of Veterinary Studies and the Roslin Institute on how best to reduce ill health among the dogs, which are the most common breed in the UK.

"The data from Dogslife will provide valuable information on how dogs are looked after by their owners across the UK," said the school's Dylan Clements.

"We hope that assessing the lifestyles and health of a large number of dogs will make it possible for us to identify factors contributing to common illnesses," he said. "Ultimately, this may enable us to provide owners with advice on managing their dogs and prevent them developing diseases in future."

The £100,000 project is funded by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust and is being run in collaboration with the Centre for Integrated Genomic Medical Research at the University of Manchester, the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Liverpool and the Kennel Club.

Pet owners can volunteer to take part in the study over the next 12 months providing their puppy has been registered with the Kennel Club after July 1 and is six months old or less when joining.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

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