Together for Animals member, The Animal Health Trust (AHT), had dog owners all over the country ‘raising a paw for a cure’ in September to help raise more awareness and funds for their work to research cancer, blindness and epilepsy in dogs.
Sadly, cancer affects 1 in 4 dogs and is the biggest killer of dogs over the age of 10. Hundreds of dogs have to have their eyes removed each year because of untreatable glaucoma and (like humans) dogs are affected by devastating epilepsy which can be very difficult to treat.
These are all health problems the AHT aims to beat to ensure dogs have healthier, happier futures. Most of this work involves understanding more about the genetics behind the disease and for cancer, looking for biomarkers in the DNA of a tumour which could tell vets if a cancer will spread or respond to treatment to improve diagnosis and treatment options.
The AHT is the only animal charity in the UK dedicated to improving dog health through veterinary and scientific research. Vets and scientists at the AHT work tirelessly – without government funding – to tackle these health problems (and many more) affecting man’s best friend.
Kevin Clements, Director of Fundraising and Marketing at the AHT, said: “We are a nation of animal lovers, but what many people don’t realise is that there aren’t many places dedicated to improving treatment, diagnostics and ways to actually prevent diseases affecting our beloved pets.
“This is what makes the AHT so unique and so vitally important. In the UK, our pets are more at risk of developing a disease such as cancer than they are of being neglected. Losing a pet is a lot like losing a member of the family. Our dogs love us unconditionally and it is soul destroying to lose your dog to a disease which your vet either couldn’t diagnose early enough or wasn’t able to treat because veterinary medicine doesn’t currently have the answers.
“Research is expensive, even with the very best teams you don’t find the answers overnight, and this is why we need more people to know about the AHT and more people to support us, as an investment in their, and every, pet’s future health.”
The AHT simply cannot survive and continue its vital work without the kindness and generosity of supporters, like Together for Animals.