Aiding Animals

Biobank to support early diagnoses

Mars Petcare is working with nearby providers on a national healthcare initiative to discover and implement early detection technology and preventative care for dogs and cats.

The Mars Petcare Biobank, introduced in June to better understand health and promote individualized care, aims to include 10,000 dogs and 10,000 cats.

Dr. Philip Bergman, director of clinical studies for VCA, said the biobank will collect and analyze samples over 10 years and use the data to understand and spot early indicators of disease. 

“We will find new markers for early diagnosis for a lot of common diseases, and because of the widespread breadth of number of patients, we can also identify biomarkers for more niche types of diagnoses,” Bergman said. “Then, identifying those indicators will translate into new diagnostic tests, new therapies or potentially new foods that we feed our pets.”

Healthy dogs between six months and 10 years old already visiting select VCA clinics or Banfield Hospitals are eligible. Participating Dallas clinics include the VCA Central Expressway Animal Hospital, just south of Forest Lane and east of U.S. 75.

The study will begin recruiting cats later this year.

Participating pet owners will receive a Whistle fitness tracker for dogs and a Wisdom Panel DNA test kit for cats to track pets’ daily behavior. 

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