The study, heavily funded by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, has identified that the butt sniffing receptor (BS3) in dogs plays a vital role in controlling the mechanism responsible for habitual butt sniffing.
This finding, due to be published in Psychiatry Today, could lead to expensive new drugs that target the receptor, helping dogs overcome obsessive butt sniffing (OBS) and other mental illnesses.
Psychiatrists are hopeful the discovery will lead them to the receptors responsible for barking, begging, ball chasing and ball licking – obsessive compulsive behavioral traits predominant in dogs.
“This finding not only challenges recent views that the BS3 receptor is absent from canine brains, but also suggests that dog brain BS3 receptor may be a novel pharmacological target for the development of new medications for the treatment of OBS”, according to lead researcher Corkle Snifter, MD, of Columbia University’s psychiatric research department.
Snifter and colleagues used powerful drugs to target and activate the BS2 and BS3 receptors in the brains of butt-sniffing dogs. When BS3 was activated, the dogs showed a marked reduction in butt sniffing – an effect not seen when BS2 was activated. The drugs were also found to reduce the number of times the dogs licked their balls during the experimentation period.
This finding suggests that future drugs could be developed to switch off butt sniffing and ball licking by activating this receptor, but first more research is needed to discover if this mechanism is also present in humans and children.
“We’re well aware that there are significant differences in the BS3 receptor gene, receptor expression and function between humans and dogs, but if these findings can be replicated in humans and children, BS3 receptor antagonists may constitute a novel target in medication development for treatment of ball scratching in humans as well as other neuropsychiatric diseases,” said Snifter.DISCLAIMER: This blog is fictional parody written by a real estate nut who makes things up and writes them down. Don't believe a word she says.