Are animal behavior safer than humans

Can the results of animal experiments be transferred to humans?

Shouldn't it be better to test directly on people whether a drug is effective?

Animal experiments are necessary to increase safety for humans; on the condition that the animal's welfare is respected as best as possible. In the declaration of the World Medical Association, which was adopted in Helsinki in 1964, it is clearly stated that it is unethical to try out new therapies directly on people. The Helsinki Declaration is the foundation of many national biomedical research laws.

The effect of new drugs is examined, for example, on human cell lines and then tested in animal experiments for the effect and also for safety in the organism. If they show that the risk is low, the active ingredient can also be investigated in humans in clinical trials.

Animal experiments are often carried out on animals that have been artificially made sick. Medicines are supposed to help sick people. Can the effect on artificially made animals be compared with that on naturally sick people?

Yes, because even if a disease is artificially triggered in a laboratory animal, the individual processes usually run exactly as if the disease had broken out on its own. It is therefore possible to draw conclusions about the situation in humans. Often only part of the disease is triggered in the animal in the experiment, which can help to understand the course and mechanisms of a disease. Genetically modified mice are also playing an increasingly important role in research here.

Do animals react to medication in the same way as humans?

Animals react the same way to some drugs, but differently from humans to others. Not every species of animal reacts in the same way, just as not all humans react in the same way to all drugs and treatments. However, the comparability is sufficiently great that one can draw conclusions about general principles of action and side effects.

There are many drugs that are used equally in both human and veterinary medicine. Many veterinary medicinal products contain the same active substance as the corresponding preparations for human medicine. Examples include various antibiotics, the pain reliever buprenorphine, the anesthetic propofol and isoflurane, insulin, the sedative Valium, benazepril, the anti-heart failure agent, carbimazole, which regulates the function of the thyroid gland, or levothyroxine to treat hypothyroidism.

In the case of certain active ingredients, there are differences, especially in tolerance, that occur between different animal species or even races of the same species. For example, the active ingredient permethrin, which is effective against parasites, should not be used on cats - it can be toxic to them. On the other hand, it is a commonly used remedy in dogs. Many Collies (and similar breeds) are hypersensitive to the anesthetic gas isoflurane, while it can be used safely in other dog breeds.

Because of these differences, active ingredients for use in humans must be tested in at least two animal species, rodents and non-rodents, before clinical studies can be carried out in humans.

Why do you research human diseases in an animal when both are two completely different beings?

Human and veterinary medicine have a lot in common. Almost every disease that occurs in humans exists in the same or a similar form in animals and is in principle treated in the same way. In addition, many human and animal surgeries are very similar to cruciate ligament operations in humans and dogs.

Diseases shared by humans and animals:

  • Allergies, such as against dust mites and grasses: dogs, cats, rodents, rabbits
  • Cataracts: dog, cat, rodent, rabbit
  • Hearing impairment, deafness: dog, cat
  • Tooth decay: dog, cat
  • Asthma: cat
  • Anaphylactic or allergic shock: all animal species
  • Gastric ulcer: dog, cat
  • Inflammation of the pancreas: dog, cat
  • Breast cancer: dog, cat, pets
  • Uterine inflammation: dog, cat, rodent, rabbit
  • Cystitis: dog, cat, rodent, rabbit
  • Renal insufficiency: dog, cat, various rodents
  • Immunodeficiency diseases caused by viruses: cat, monkey
  • Cardiomyopathies and other heart diseases such as heart failure: dog, cat, rodent, rabbit
  • Hyperthyroidism and hyperthyroidism: dog, cat
  • Urinary stones: dog, cat, rabbit
  • Cancer of various organs: all animal species
  • Inflammation of various organs: all animal species
  • Epilepsy: dog, cat, gerbil
  • Diabetes mellitus: dog, cat, various rodents - a big problem with chinchillas
  • Elderly dementia: dog, cat
  • Various inflammations and infectious diseases such as toxoplasmosis, borreliosis, salmonellosis, tuberculosis, etc.

People get illnesses that are also largely caused by lifestyle, such as heart attacks or diabetes. Does it make sense to do experiments on animals?

Many diseases are multifactorial; several circumstances come together and trigger the disease. Because different factors play a role, one has to consider each of these factors in the treatment in order to arrive at a holistic treatment.

Illness cannot always be prevented with the right lifestyle. People who have never smoked in their life develop lung cancer, young people who are athletic develop diabetes or die of a heart attack.

Often a certain gene or a component of the metabolism is partly responsible for a disease. Standardized animal experiments are also necessary to understand how diseases develop. They help to perceive the subtle differences that can have a decisive influence on the disease.