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High cholesterol in dogs leads to tail chasing

I must warn you, this story is a little unusual. :) For those of us who thought a dog chasing its tail was due to boredom, an itch, fun or fleas. Think again!

If your dog chases its tail it may have high cholesterol. A group of veterinarians found a surprising link between dogs who compulsively chased their tail and high cholesterol.

A study: Cholesterol in dogs

Veterinarian researchers from Turkey’s University of Uludag studied the lipid profile of a small group of dogs.

They took blood samples from 15 healthy dogs that were compulsive tail chasers. They also studied 15 dogs that rarely chased their tails as control and comparison. There was no known medical reason why the dogs chased their tails.

The study results

The dogs who chased their tails had significantly higher HDL and LDL cholesterol numbers, compared with the control dogs.

The researchers said that high cholesterol levels could affect the flow of brain hormones such as serotonin that impact mood and behavior.

This study further adds to research on humans that high cholesterol may indicator for behavioral problems such as panic attacks and obsessive compulsive disorder. The researchers felt this could be expressed by tail-chasing in dogs.

Dogs more likely to tail chase

It is not uncommon for a dog to have bouts of tail chasing after physical trauma, surgery or sickness. However, the researchers found, but did not know why, that female dogs were more likely to be obsessive tail chasers.

They also found that some breeds, such as bull terriers and German shepherds, chased their tails more often than other breeds of dogs.

The study was published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice.

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About Kellie

Kellie is 37 years old and together with her brother Steve makes up the My Health Software team.

She helps on the websites and gathering news for the programs. Kellie worked in the medical industry prior to having her two children (8 and 6) and has a strong interest in self awareness and management of health conditions.


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