Bad Dog? Maybe It's Metabolic!

A pilot study of the blood count of hyperactive and impulsive dogs conducted by Professor Hannes Lohi and research group from the University of Helsinki and the Folkhälsan Research Centre, together with the LC-MS Metabolomics Centre of Biocentre Kuopio (University of Eastern Finland), indicates that the metabolites may play a part in causing behavioral issues.


It was found that metabolites of phospholipids, tryptophan in particular, differ from the blood counts of the control dogs. Determining the blood metabolites in hyperactive and normally behaved German Shepherds revealed a significant link between hyperactivity and lower blood phospholipid levels.  


Professor Lohi explained, "Behavior and behavioraldisorders often develop as a combination of hereditary and environmental factors, which makes studying them challenging. Metabolomics, or the study of the metabolism, provides us with new clues on the biological issues underpinningbehavioral disorders while promoting genetic research. At the moment, metabolomics research in dogs is rare, and the purpose of this pilot study was to examine new approaches and attain information on any metabolic abnormalities associated with hyperactivity in dogs."  


This study is part of a more extensive canine behavior project underway at the research group. The project seeks to determine the environmental and hereditary factors as well as metabolic changes relating to behavior and behavioraldisorders, and map their similarities with corresponding illnesses in humans. To learn more, visit this article

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