Short Takes

March 2015 Issue

Short Takes: March 2015

A new test for chronic kidney disease in cats has identified its onset an average of 17 months earlier than existing methods, according to a small study published in the Veterinary Journal. Researchers at Oregon State University and IDEXX Laboratory developed a biomarker — a substance indicating disease called SDMA — and used it in a controlled study of 32 older but otherwise healthy cats. When available commercially, a test based on the biomarker could alert cat owners and veterinarians to kidney disease through periodic checkups, researchers say. “Chronic kidney disease is common in geriatric cats and often causes their death,” says researcher Jean Hall, DVM, Ph.D., at Oregon State. “Damage from it is irreversible, but this is an important advance, in that we should be able to identify the problem earlier and use special diets to slow the disease.”

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