Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Canine Compulsive Disorder

Lots of dogs can get really fixated on their favorite toy or favorite task. Other become downright obsessed, and that is not healthy. Well, the dog scientists are on it. Behaviorists Drs. Dodman and Moon-Fanelli, at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine just published their study on Canine Compulsive Disorder (CCD) in the latest issue of Molecular Psychiatry.

Like human Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, CCD involves time consuming, repetitive tasks. Apparently lots of dobermans are afflicted with this disorder and exhibit excessive blanket-sucking. In comparing the blood of blanket-sucking and non-blanket sucking dobermans, these behaviorists were able to isolate the gene associated with the behavior. It turns out it is not much different than human compulsion disorders, including those associated with autism. Lots of humans respond well to medications that can control compulsive disorders, and since the genes are so closely related, it may mean that similar treatments could be made available to pups with CCD. This research will also contribute to the understanding of the role of genetics human compulsive disorders.

[Image courtesy of PhotoBucket]

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