This is a Feline News Network Special Report:
How many of you have heard of the Morris Animal Foundation?
We have them listed on our Rescues, Shelters, Societies, Foundations and Associations page.
Morris Animal Foundation is a human run nonprofit organization that invests money in science research to advance animal health. Since the 1940's and 50's it has been a global leader in funding scientific studies for cats, dogs, horses, and wildlife. It has invested more than $103 million toward 2,500+ studies that have led to significant breakthroughs in diagnostics, treatments, and preventions to benefit animals worldwide.
Good evening, felinity assembled, Elvira Mistress of Felinity here with some interesting news to share.
1st, though, more about the Morris Animal Foundation:
Their website is full of interesting news and information about feline health research.
The founder was influential in creating the first prescription diet kibble from Hill's Science Diet, and the foundation manages about 300 animal health and welfare research studies at the world’s most respected research institutions, colleges of veterinary medicine and zoos at any given time. They also fund 30 veterinary student scholar projects a year.
Their 2016 Feline Report is an eye-opener and doesn't take long to read.
Their top 5 funding priority reports include one called the Feline Infectious Peritonitis Initiative and also doesn't take long to read.
Since 1950, they have invested in more than 300 feline health studies making significant health advances in areas such as Dietary Management of Feline Diabetes, Improved Shelter Management of Feline Respiratory Illnesses, developing a Tool for Studying Genetic Diseases, developing the First Vaccine for Feline Leukemia, developing Tools to Diagnose and Treat Feline Cancer, developing a Potential Vaccine to Decrease Feline Overpopulation, and the Treatment and Monitoring of Feline Heart Disease (Learn more here).
Now, about that news...
We get emails, not often, but we do. Sometimes they are Press Releases and occasionally we find something is worth sharing on the blog.
This is one of those times.
New Diagnostic Test Holds Promise for Feline Asthma Patients
ORLANDO/Feb. 6 – Our cats aren’t going to be blowing into a tube anytime soon to check their blood alcohol level, but they just might be using similar technology for earlier detection of a common and sometimes deadly feline respiratory problem – asthma.
Asthma affects nearly 5 percent of domestic cats and can be difficult to diagnose, resulting in treatment delays that can worsen symptoms. Now, studies on a new, non-invasive diagnostic test suggest the test may one day help veterinarians identify and treat asthma in cats earlier – potentially meaning fewer acute asthmatic attacks and improved lung health for cats in the long term.
University of Missouri researchers, funded with a grant from Morris Animal Foundation, examined biomarkers in exhaled breath condensate. EBC is collected by exhaling into a cooling device, which causes the moisture in the breath to condense into droplets of liquid. In humans, for example, breath alcohol concentration, or BrAC, is one type of EBC-based test.
The research team collected condensate from cats with signs of asthma and compared it to condensate from cats without asthma. The team found components that differed between the two types of samples, and that may be promising biomarkers to help identify cats with asthma.
“In order to appropriately treat asthma, it must be definitively diagnosed,” said Dr. Carol Reinero, Associate Professor, Director of the Comparative Internal Medicine Laboratory at the University of Missouri Veterinary Health Center, and the study’s principal investigator. “The gold standard means of diagnosis to sample airways requires anesthesia, posing some risk to patients with airway disease, including patients with undiagnosed asthma.”
Coughing and increased breathing effort are the two most common signs of asthma in cats. However, some cats show no clinical signs until they have an asthmatic crisis. Many other diseases, such as heartworm disease, lungworm infection and chronic bronchitis can have similar signs. Because each disease is treated differently, making an accurate diagnosis is important. Left untreated, asthma is not only distressing for a pet cat but can cause permanent damage to the lungs.
“Having a non-invasive means of diagnosing asthma early in the course of the disease will allow proper targeted therapy that can prevent declines in lung function over time,” said Dr. Reinero.
To build on their research findings, Dr. Reinero and her team developed a panel of biomarkers to validate their findings in more cats with and without naturally occurring asthma. If successfully validated, the panel could become an early diagnostic tool to help veterinarians identify and treat cats with asthma before they develop serious lung problems or suffer from an acute asthma attack.
Director of Communications
Morris Animal Foundation
Very interesting and cool news, don't you think?
Here is the link to the Morris Animal Foundation.