Gene Therapy for Dogs

Medical advancements help Fido see again! The term “gene therapy” has been in the news a lately, but what does it mean? The ultimate goal of gene therapy is to rid the body of the disease by using or replacing bad genes with good ones. Not only are humans being helped by it, so are pets, with gene therapy for dogs!

In gene therapy, doctors use the basic roadmap of the body—genes—to improve health and even cure disease. It’s being tested as a cancer cure for dogs. But doctors have already used gene therapy to restore dogs’ vision and cure color blindness in dogs!

In one study, doctors used gene therapy to correct the vision of dogs of the breed Briard. These unfortunate pups are often born with a disease of the eyes. They have a mutated, or damaged, form of a protein that results in early vision loss and eventually leads to total blindness. Researchers were successful in restoring their vision. This was an exciting study result, because it was the first time they successfully used gene therapy for blindness in a large animal. After treating the Briards with genes from healthy dogs, their vision was restored.

To read more about how these dogs get their vision back, please visit the Cornell Chronicle. To learn about curing color blindness and gene therapy as treatment for dogs with cancer, visit UPI.com and Land of PureGold Foundation.

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