Project to track dogs with cancer could help humans too
A £15,000 grant has been allocated to develop the country's first canine cancer registry.
Scotland's first cancer registry for dogs could help both canines and humans in the fight against the disease.
A £15,000 grant has been allocated to Scotland's Rural College, based in Inverness, to develop the new project.
It would see every dog in Scotland that is diagnosed with the disease entered into a database so scientists can compare conditions and note similarities between different breeds.
It's hoped the registry can be used to help humans with cancer too.
Dr Aaron Reeves, from the SRUC, said: "Studies elsewhere in the world have been used to investigate factors that influence the health and well-being of animals and humans, exploring common risk factors and in some cases identifying early warning signs that first appear in animals.
"This project will draw on the skills of vets, researchers and businesses in the Highlands."
It's hoped every dog diagnosed with cancer will have its details placed on the register, which could be rolled out across the UK, with the project up and running by this time next year.
The registry will collect data to identify trends in cancer incidence and geographic distribution, as well as rates of survival.
'The canine cancer register is certainly a first for Scotland and we hope it will have international significance.'Karen Thomson, Highlands and Islands Enterprise
It will also be used to help inform research and care.
Vets across Scotland will be encouraged to participate in the project and share data of dogs diagnosed with cancer under their care, with permission of owners.
The project is a collaboration between the SRUC, Oncology Referrals Ltd, Scottish Vet Referrals which is based at Inverness Campus, the University of the Highlands and Islands and Bridge Pathology Ltd.
Funding has been provided by Highlands and Islands Enterprise through its Collaborative Campus Challenge Fund, which is designed to take forward new life sciences developments at Inverness Campus.
HIE's Karen Thomson added: "It's about companies and organisations exchanging and sharing new ideas for mutual benefit.
"The canine cancer register is certainly a first for Scotland and we hope it will have international significance."