Study of Obsessive Dogs Turns up OCD Gene

Study sheds light on OCD cause in both humans and dogs
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2010 5:45 AM CST
Mary Swindell's Doberman pinscher, Casanova, races in the weave pole competition at the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge National Championship on Saturday, Oct. 4, 2008, in Gray Summit, Mo.   (AP Photo/Purina, Whitney Curtis)
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(Newser) – Dogs that engage in compulsive behavior like tail-chasing and blanket sucking share a genetic variation, according to new research. The researchers believe the study of Doberman pinschers—a breed especially vulnerable to canine OCD—sheds new light on the causes of the disorder in both humans and animals, the New York Times reports.

Researchers are now working to sequence the same gene in humans to determine whether it has the same link to OCD as it does in dogs. Up to 8% of America's dogs suffer from the disorder, according to one expert, and the compulsive behavior is one of the major causes of dogs being given up for adoption or euthanized.

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