A novel service has launched that aims to connect dog owners with other owners who have a puppy from the same litter. The free online service, r-u-mylitter.com, is in its infancy, but it could serve as an excellent source of information for future puppy buyers, current dog owners and in genetic research and canine healthcare.
Spurred by a co-founder Wendy Margolis’ experience picking a puppy, r-u-mylitter.com seeks to unite curious dog owners who wonder what happened to their dog’s littermates. The site has received quite a bit of press, including registration by reality star Khloe Kardashian, who made headlines when she began searching for the littermates of her new boxer puppy.
Besides offering novelty information, like where in the world littermates have dispersed and personality traits of each puppy, the site has the potential to offer more important and useful knowledge.
As Dr. Steven Suter, the Medical Director of North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine Canine Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, explains on their site, connecting with the owners of littermates could help your dog if it were to need a bone marrow transplant or other similar procedure.
“My impression is that using …cells harvested from a matched donor (either parents, siblings, or close relatives-this is called an allogeneic transplant) will lead to higher cure rates. In fact, if a dog has leukemia, the only option for a transplant is using cells from a matched donor, since these dogs have too many cancer cells floating around in their body to obtain cancer free progenitor cells,” said Suter.
Beyond diseases that require a bone marrow transplant, a database of littermates would give dog owners and researchers alike the chance to investigate the heredity and expressiveness of numerous genetic mutations, while giving owners the chance to share information relating to and coping with any issues. For example, owners of littermates could exchange Canine Genetic Health Certificates© to inform each other of potential genetic mutations that their pup could be carrying.
The database also gives a puppy buyer another tool to research a potential breeder. Instead of relying on hand-picked references supplied by the breeder, a puppy buyer could potentially find dog owners with pups from the breeder who could provide unbiased testimony.
*Photo courtesy of Marcella Raye