Water Quality Grant Summary
Dogs offer a unique opportunity to observe and understand the detrimental impacts environmental pollutants have on mammal health, by understanding degradation of health in dogs living in human-influenced areas. It is the intention of this work to investigate if there is a direct correlation between autoimmune diseases in dogs and common contaminants in the water they drink. If a correlation is found, this data can be used to enhance the health and quality of life for both animals and people. Autoimmune disorders of interest of this work include Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA) and Hypothyroidism. About 100-200 dogs in the Albuquerque area have a history of these disease.
Study Focus
The value of this study will be to establish an in depth and publicly accessible compilation of Albuquerque water data and autoimmune disorder prevalence by location. This is impactful and empowering for residents and dog owners to make educated decisions about community health, residence location, and the steps necessary to keep themselves and their pets healthy. This work may also add to the body of knowledge associated with water based contaminants and catastrophic disease in humans. Ultimately, this study will provide people with an accessible tool for educating themselves about the dangers of water contamination, what contaminants are found in areas they frequent, and how to best avoid them.