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Studying dogs from war zone  helps with troops’ illnesses

Updated: February 3, 2012 8:07AM

More than 400 U.S. war dogs that served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan are now playing a role in understanding illnesses that have befallen some American troops deployed to the Middle East.

A database of the medical records of 450 military working dogs — some of whom spent years at war — will be studied to identify trends in diseases they suffered and any similarities with the sicknesses of troops, especially those that might be connected to exposure to environmental health hazards.

The Veterans Affairs Department’s Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses Task Force also will analyze tissue samples from the autopsies of the dozens of dogs that died during their war service. Scripps Howard News Service

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