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Published: Apr 20, 2011

A group of researchers at the University of Georgia are working toward gathering information about various diseases that may affect some dog breeds more than others. Their investigation may help veterinarians diagnose illnesses in dogs using the animal's breed as a guide, according to United Press International.

The group, led by Daniel Promislow and Kate Creevy, analyzed 82 breeds and the diseases common among them. The research will hopefully help veterinary health experts develop health maintenance programs tailored for specific dog breeds.

Additionally, the new research may help doctors understand a long-time medical conundrum - why smaller dogs live longer than other dogs, despite the fact that large size typically correlates with extended life in other realms of the animal kingdom.

"If we can anticipate better how things can go wrong for dogs, we can manage their wellness to keep them as healthy as possible," Creevy told the news source.

According to the study, larger breeds of dogs are more prone to musculoskeletal and gastrointestinal diseases. Smaller breeds are more likely to contract metabolic diseases.

According to Women's Day, some of the dogs with the best pet health include shiba inus, chihuahuas, beagles, poodles and Australian cattle dogs.