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Animal Disease Models

Both animals and people develop many of the same diseases. These animal disease models detail the similarities and differences of diseases between species.

We invite COHA members to share additional Animal Disease Models, using the links below.

Feline Diabetes

Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is not a single disease, but a syndrome characterized by hyperglycemia that result from defects in insulin secretion or insulin sensitivity (in target tissues), or both. Several pathogenic processes may lead to development of DM, from autoimmune destruction of beta cells of the pancreas with consequent absolute insulin deficiency to abnormalities that result in resistance to insulin action such as hypersomatotropism (HST).

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) involves chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. In humans, there are 2 major forms of IBD: Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and Crohn’s Disease. While both are characterized by chronic inflammation they differ in which tissue layers are affected and the location and continuity of inflammation.

Mitral Valve Disease

Mitral valve disease (MVD) can be congenital (a defect in the valve the patient is born with) or acquired (valve conditions that develop with aging or due to infection) and includes both mitral valve regurgitation (a leaky valve) and mitral valve stenosis (a narrow valve that cannot open).


Osteosarcoma (OS) is the most common primary bone tumor in both dogs and people. While the disease incidence is relatively low in people (800-1000 cases/year), over 25,000 new cases are diagnosed in dogs every year. Most dogs develop OS at approximately 7 years of age, with a smaller early peak in younger dogs.

Spinal Cord Injury

Intervertebral disc herniation (IVDH)- associated SCI is the most common cause of SCI in pet dogs, with upwards of 20,000 cases managed by veterinary spinal surgeons in the United States every year.

Urothelial Carcinoma

Urothelial carcinoma (“UC”, also called transitional cell carcinoma) is the most common type of urinary bladder cancer in dogs and humans.