Ricky Gervais, with beautiful Beagle Betsy.

FLOE's Patron, Peter Egan, with Betsy.

Photos © Joseph Sinclair/FLOE

COVID-19: how medical research using dogs, and other animals, is barking up the wrong tree

K9 Magazine have published an article by medical doctor Ray Greek and finance professor Lisa Kramer, on how dogs and humans contract different viruses – and even different coronaviruses – which underlines why using dogs, and other animals, to try and predict human responses in medical reseach fails, and fails conclusively.

To read the article in full, please visit this link .

Says Dr. Greek and Prof. Kramer:

‘There is a different coronavirus that infects dogs and produces illness in dogs: the canine respiratory coronavirus (CRCoV), one of the causes of kennel cough.

Importantly, the virus that causes kennel cough is not the same virus that causes COVID-19. Furthermore, there is no evidence that the virus that causes kennel cough typically poses any risk to humans.

Simply stated, different viruses can affect different species differently.

There are some viruses that cause illness in dogs but not humans. This set includes not just the canine respiratory coronavirus mentioned above, and also group 1 enteric coronavirus which causes diarrhoea in dogs, sometimes fatally so for puppies. There are other viruses that can cause illness in humans but not dogs.

For example, dogs are not susceptible to HIV, the virus associated with one of the most destructive human pandemics in recent memory. And there are still other viruses, such as rabies, that can pose a risk to dogs and humans.

Testing on animals won’t help to find a COVID-19 treatment

In light of the fact that viruses can behave differently across dogs, humans, and other species, there is no scientific basis for using one species, like dogs, to study how viruses, diseases, and drugs affect humans. The way humans respond to diseases and drugs cannot be predicted based on the way other species respond. Consequently, roughly 90% of drugs that appear safe and effective in animals end up failing in human clinical trials.

Whether the drugs are intended to treat cancer, diabetes, asthma, migraines, schizophrenia, depression, dementia, or anything else that ails humans, the lesson is the same. Animal models lack predictive value in distinguishing which compounds will be safe and effective for humans and which will be harmful or ineffective.

Dogs, especially Beagles, are routinely used in invasive toxicity tests even though they offer no predictive value regarding human safety.’

To read the article in full please visit this link.