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Quest for 'alcohol gene' sets monkeys on bingeBy David Harrison, Environment CorrespondentLast Updated: 12:01am GMT 03/03/2002JUST like humans, small primates can acquire a taste for alcohol - and behave in a similar fashion when under its influence, scientists have discovered.A controversial research project that involves giving alcohol to 1,000 green vervet monkeys has found that the animals divide into four main categories: binge drinker, steady drinker, social drinker and teetotaller.The vast majority are social drinkers who indulge in moderation and only when they are with other monkeys - but never before lunch - and prefer their alcohol to be diluted with fruit juice.fifteen per cent drink regularly and heavily and prefer their alcohol neat or diluted with water. The same proportion drink little or no alcohol.Five per cent are classed as "seriously abusive binge drinkers". They get drunk, start fights and consume as much as they can until passing out. As with humans, most heavy drinkers are young males, but monkeys of both sexes and all ages like a drink.The research into their drinking habits is being carried out on the Caribbean island of St Kitts. Scientists are using the monkeys - which share 96 per cent of their genetic make-up with humans - to help to search for clues to the nature of human drinking and to discover whether some people have a hereditary disposition to alcoholism - or "alcohol genes".
Yes, animals certainly can get addicted to drugs. A cheap way to "train" drug dogs is to get them addicted and reward their addiction with drugs they find. This has been practiced in some third-world countries but it has serious setbacks to the animals life span and behavior.
Quote from: Knute on 05/11/2008 15:10:59Yes, animals certainly can get addicted to drugs. A cheap way to "train" drug dogs is to get them addicted and reward their addiction with drugs they find. This has been practiced in some third-world countries but it has serious setbacks to the animals life span and behavior. Unfortunately that is true.As for the sedatives, I would have thought that 2 months is a bit of a short time for the dog to become addicted. It's possible, but unlikely. How long has he been on them?When you say your dog has "been a nightmare", what do you mean? Has he been manic? Whining? Scratching incessantly? What?Don't forget, sedatives can act as a painkiller (well, not as a painkiller per se, but they cause the animal to ignore the pain) so that could be what the vet prescribed them as. What are they called? If that is the reason then your dog's behaviour could result from feeling discomfort inside itself.