Millennium Post

Being 'humane'

Human advancement is not without sacrifice. Still, it is our duty to make sure our gains do not come at the cost of animals

Being humane

What are the new techniques to avoid testing on animals?

Computer (in silico) Modeling

Researchers have developed a wide range of sophisticated computer models that simulate human biology and the progression of developing diseases. Studies showthat these models can accurately predict the ways that new drugs will react in the human body and replace the use of animals in exploratory research and many standard drug tests.

Quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs) are computer-based techniques that can replace animal tests by making sophisticated estimates of a substance's likelihood of being hazardous, based on its similarity to existing substances and our knowledge of human biology. Companies and governments are increasingly using QSAR tools to avoid animal testing of chemicals, and PETA actively promotes and funds their use internationally.

Research With Human Volunteers

A method called "microdosing" can provide vital information on the safety of an experimental drug and how it is metabolized in humans prior to large-scale human trials. Volunteers are given an extremely small one-time drug dose, and sophisticated imaging techniques are used to monitor how the drug behaves in the body. Microdosing can replace certain tests on animals and help screen out drug compounds that won't work in humans so that they won't needlessly advance to government-required animal testing.

Advanced brain imaging and recording techniques—such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)—with human volunteers can be used to replace archaic experiments in which rats, cats, and monkeys have their brains damaged. These modern techniques allow the human brain to be safely studied down to the level of a single neuron (as in the case of intracranial electroencephalography), and researchers can even temporarily and reversibly induce brain disorders using transcranial magnetic stimulation.

If my older dog is exhibiting behavioural changes, what are the main causes of it?

The main causes of your older dog exhibiting behavioural changes are:

Anxiety Disorders: The chance of new anxiety disorders cropping up increases in elderly dogs, particularly separation anxiety.

Chronic Pain: Older dogs are susceptible to many disorders that can cause pain and stiffness such as arthritis, osteoporosis, or dental disease. This chronic pain, particularly if triggered or worsened by touch, may increase the older dog's anxiety levels and irritability.

Cognitive Dysfunction: Cognitive processing naturally slows down somewhat in aging, your older dog may take a few more repetitions before getting a new trick, or spend a little longer figuring out a new puzzle toy, but more serious confusion and disorientation may be related to a disorder known as Canine Cognitive Dysfunction or CCD, a canine disorder similar to Alzheimer's disease in human beings.

Sensory Decline: Dogs that are older may experience declines in their sensory capabilities, particularly in the senses of sight and hearing. This may increase their confusion, reduce their response times, and cause them to be more irritable

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