UF veterinary scientist studying diabetes in dogs

Dr. Allison O'Kell with one of her canine patients .jpg

A UF veterinary medical scientist is receiving a national award to support research of diabetes in dogs.

Dr. Allison O’Kell, a small animal internal medicine specialist at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, was recently awarded a five year grant to support her canine diabetes research.

“We are looking for parallels between diabetes in dogs and diabetes in people,” O’Kell said.

Diabetes in dogs is most similar to Type 1 diabetes in humans – and researchers are seeing increases in both.

“So, with the research we’re trying to identify similarities to people and what we learn in dogs may help what we know about people and vice versa,” O’Kell said.

Dr. O’Kell studies diabetic dogs by looking at metabolic blood markers. The blood samples may help O’Kell determine the cause of diabetes and help predict which dogs may develop the disease.

“The way we would look for that is to look at new markers that the immune system is malfunctioning; things that we haven’t looked at before,” O’Kell said.

O’kell says understanding the parallels between diabetes in dogs and humans helps researchers find better ways of prevention and treatment.

The college of veterinary medicine is recruiting dogs to help with the study. If you would like more information: https://research.vetmed.ufl.edu/clinical-trials

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