Recent joint publications

The shared risk of diabetes between dog and cat owners and their pets

December 2020
In a register based, longitudinal cohort study the researchers found that owners of a dog with diabetes were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than owners of a dog without diabetes. In contrast, no association was found between type 2 diabetes in cat owners and diabetes in their cats. Suggested reasons for the association between dogs and their owners include that they share health behaviors, microbiota and environmental factors.
The study was performed by the UU researchers Rachel Ann Delicano, Ulf Hammar, Tove Fall and Beatrice Kennedy, Dept. Medical Sciences, and Liisa Byberg, Dept Surgical Sciences, in collaboration with Agneta Egenvall, Dept. Clinical Sciences, SLU, and researchers at Karolinska Institutet and University of Liverpool.

More information:
Press release Uppsala University (in Swedish)
Paper in the journal BMJ: The shared risk of diabetes between dog and cat owners and their pets: register based cohort study

Pre‑existing autoantibodies can affect the development of canine immunotherapy

July 2020
Therapeutic antibodies are developed to treat human diseases but only a few veterinary antibodies have so far been approved, mainly due to a lack of information about the canine immune system. This investigation of anti-IgG antibodies in dogs found a widespread occurrence of anti-Fab and anti-F(ab′)2-autoantibodies. Their presence needs to be considered in the development canine immunotherapy as they affect drug safety and efficacy.
The study was performed by SLU researchers Daniel Bergman, Camilla Bäckström, Helene Hansson‑Hamlin and Bodil Ström Holst, Dept of Clinical Sciences, in collaboration with Anders Larsson, Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University.

More information:
Paper in the journal Scientific Reports: Pre‑existing canine anti‑IgG antibodies: implications for immunotherapy, immunogenicity testing and immunoassay analysis

Owner-perceived pain assessment in dogs with osteoarthritis

June 2020
To manage pain caused by osteoarthritis in dogs it is important that the owners can recognise, assess and report their dogs’ pain in a subjective way. In this study, the researchers found that owner-reported ratings of pain interference were not associated with medication or with consulting an animal physiotherapist. The lack of response bias indicates that a pain interference score may be used as a clinical outcome measure of chronic pain and pain-related disability in dogs with osteoarthritis.
The study was performed by Ann Essner, Lena Zetterberg and Karin Hellström, Dept. of Neuroscience, UU, and Pia Gustås, Dept. of Clinical Sciences, SLU, together with researchers at the University of Gävle and Umeå University.

More information:
Paper in the journal Topics in Companion Animal Medicine: Investigating the Probability of Response Bias in Owner-Perceived Pain Assessment in Dogs With Osteoarthritis

Genetic variant associated with protection against hypothyroidism in dogs

June 2020
Whole-genome genotyping was used to identify a genetic deletion associated with a decreased risk for Giant Schnauzers to develop hypothyroidism. The deletion was located between two predicted Interferon alpha genes but the researchers could not assign any specific function to the identified genetic variant. However, interferons have previously been associated with human hypothyroidism and the findings suggest that the dog would be a suitable animal model for the human disease. The results might also contribute to the development of improved breeding strategies for dogs.
Matteo Bianchi, Nima Rafati, Åsa Karlsson, Eva Murén, Carl-Johan Rubin, Kerstin Lindblad-Toh and Gerli Rosengren Pielberg, Dept. of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, UU, conducted the study together with Katarina Sundberg and Göran Andersson, Dept. of Animal Breeding and Genetics, SLU, Åke Hedhammar, Dept of Clinical Sciences, SLU and Olle Kämpe, Karolinska Institutet.

More information:
Paper in the journal BMC Genomics: Whole-genome genotyping and resequencing reveal the association of a deletion in the complex interferon alpha gene cluster with hypothyroidism in dogs.

Dog ownership associated with better outcome after a major cardiovascular event

October 2019
This register-based study shows that owning a dog is associated with increased survival after acute myocardial infarction or ischemic stroke. The effect was found to be strongest in single households. The results were adjusted for variabilities such as socioeconomic factors and co-morbidity but as other potential differences between dog owners and non-owners were not included in the study the authors could not conclude on any causal effect.
The study was led by Tove Fall and her team at the Dept. Medical Sciences, UU, in collaboration with Liisa Byberg, Dept Surgical Sciences, UU, and Agneta Egenvall, Dept. Clinical Sciences, SLU.

More information:
Press release from Uppsala University (in Swedish)
Paper in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes: Dog Ownership and Survival After a Major Cardiovascular Event – A Register-Based Prospective Study.