While OCD affects around 2% of humans, some of our doggie friends also suffer from the disorder, called CCD, canine compulsive disorder.
CCD occurs more often in certain breeds, particularly bull terriers and Dobermans. Dogs with CCD may exhibit purposeless time-consuming and repetitive behaviors without the ability to stop. Some examples include chasing tails, chewing legs, licking carpet or attacking food bowls for long periods of time.
For more than 10 years, animal behaviorists from Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts collected blood samples from Dobermans exhibiting compulsive behaviors, such as blanket sucking. A researcher from the University of Massachusetts Medical School performed genetic studies with the samples that led to a genome wide association study.
Researchers were successful in identifying a genetic locus on canine chromosome 7, coinciding with an increased risk of CCD susceptibility.
Edward Ginns, director of the Program in Medical Genetics at UMass Medical School, said,
“We are hopeful that these findings will lead to a better understanding of the biology of compulsive disorder and facilitate development of genetic tests, enabling earlier interventions and even treatment or prevention of compulsive disorders in at-risk canines and humans.”
The research was published in this month’s issue of Molecular Psychiatry.
Do you have a pet with CCD?
(Image via stock.xchng)