Rare human disease discovered in dogs by MSU researchers

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SAGINAW, Mich. — A rare disease which until recently was known only as a human lung disease has started to show up in dogs according to a study conducted by Michigan State University.

MSU researchers with the College of Veterinary Medicine announced they’ve discovered that Pulmonary Veno-Occlusive Disease (PVOD) can exist within dogs.

PVOD can stop dogs in their tracks. It’s a severe form of pulmonary hypertension that’s usually a death sentence for humans. The disease essentially constricts small veins in the lungs, which overworks the heart until it eventually fails.

“It’s kind of like blowing through a large hose that’s been toned or shaped down to a real narrow hose,” said Dr. Tom Resler, with Resler Animal Hospital told WNEM.

Researchers are hopeful that the discovery could solve some mysteries surrounding dogs with respiratory issues. Resler says this discovery could help with human medicine by serving as a model for human PVOD.

Currently, the only known treatment is a lung transplant; a rare procedure in animal medicine.

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