Rapamycin: Can Dogs Live Longer?

If you knew you could extend the life of your pet…wouldrapamycin_easter_island you?

Rapamycin, also known as Sirolimus, is a drug developed to minimize rejection of organ transplants in humans, based on research into the make up of the volcanic soil on Easter Island.  It first became news a few years ago when test mice were shown to live up to 60% longer due to an anti-inflammatory effect the drug has on the body.  Rapamycin seems to actually extend life span.

This is pretty exciting news for pet parents.  If you knew you could not only extend the life of your dog, but dramatically increase his or her quality of life, wouldn’t you want to?  A couple in Florida was successfully able, after being turned down 5 times, to find a veterinarian who would prescribe the drug for their ailing and elderly dogs…and the results were stunning.  Sherman, their 13 year old Pom, was seriously ill after a stroke, and needed to be hand fed and carried.  But after one week on the drug, he was able to walk on his own, and continued to improve.  Seeing Sherman’s amazing response, they put his ‘sibling’ Momo on the drug.  Within days, Momo, who previously couldn’t walk for 30 minutes without being tuckered out, could run for hours.  Check out this article on CNN for more details.

Is it a devil’s bargain, or are we actually entering a new normal of not just living longer, but with greater quality of life?

 

About Kathy Palmer

I grew up in NJ and Belgium and eventually settled in Portland, ME. Until missing the big city, which inspired a return to Boston in 2010, and the opening of Fish & Bone on Newbury Street. Fish & Bone and its original sibling store Fetch (est. 2000) bring together some of the things I love the most: animals, real food, great design, having an impact, the natural world, urban life, creative solutions, good community, and a good laugh. Zip is all pug, but I'm a cultural mutt.