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Commentary on the Domestic Dog as a Potential Spontaneous Animal Model for Research on Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders in Humans

Albertus D. Viljoen*

Research on functional gastrointestinal disorders is hampered by the lack of an ideal animal model in which principles of diagnosis and treatment can be demonstrated. Two recent studies in domestic dogs provide some evidence that this species warrants investigation as a potential spontaneous model for functional gastrointestinal disorders. In both studies, it is speculated that the occurrence of gallbladder dysmotility could represent one component of potential functional gastrointestinal disorders in this species. Other parallels between functional gastrointestinal disorders in humans and the observations made in the two groups of dogs include: an immunological response in the form of lymphoplasmacytic inflammation in the gallbladder wall and duodenum; diet as an important factor in clinical presentation; an apparent overlap between gastrointestinal disease and other allergic or atopic disease. Further research is required to investigate whether dogs may represent an ideal animal model for research on functional gastrointestinal disorders.

Published Date: 2021-08-18; Received Date: 2021-07-28