Did you know the Tibetan Terrier is one of our biggest weapons against Batten Disease? This is a rare degenerative disoder, currently fatal and uncurable. But thanks to the pure DNA of the Tibetan Terrier, which can suffer from a related disorder known as ceroid lipofuscinosis, researchers at the University of Missouri are learning how to test for and possibly control Batten Disease. At the same time, dogs with CL get to live in an environment where they not only help with research, but are pampered and provided with safe play areas and good care - very comforting for their sad owners.
That's just one of the 10 ways dogs have helped to advance medicine. I'd like to thank J. for contacting me and telling me about this article, which she had just posted on her blog. You know me: I read carefully to see if there was anything of older science on there, since I find most research of past decades/centuries so distressing. There is not (other than Pavlov's dogs, but you have to include those on any list!). There are very interesting entries on sniffer dogs and therapy dogs. I wish that dogs were not used in certain medical research at all, but it is fair to think that there are good people who deal carefully and well with their animals.