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Cat Whiskers; Feline Heart Health

If youve ever been tempted to trim your cats whiskers, it would be best to resist the impulse. Whiskers are essential to cats navigation. They also serve as early warning systems and barometers of mood, says Leonie Richards, BVSC, head of general practice at the University of Melbourne Veterinary Hospital. The Winn Feline Foundation has awarded a grant to research at-home use of Holter monitoring in cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

20 Inspirational Ideas for Cat Owners

At the close of each year, do you find yourself writing a list of ambitious resolutions to eat healthier and exercise more? Perhaps you decide to eat more kale and spend more time at yoga and less lounging on the couch. We often craft New Years resolutions with good intentions but rarely fully achieve them.

A Promising Drug for Feline Herpes Virus

Eye problems occur frequently in cats with feline herpes virus 1 (FHV-1) and can lead to blindness if untreated. Current medications must be applied several times daily and evidence of their effectiveness is lacking.

A New Era in Medicine: Feline Genetic Screening

Complete genomes - genetic blueprints - of numerous cats DNA have been sequenced in what has been described as a new era in veterinary medicine. Cornells Veterinary Biobank, as one example, is a database of DNA and tissue samples from several species. The biobank is supported in part by the Cornell Feline Health Center.

A New Report Says Healthy Aging Can Be Achievable

Its now generally accepted that feline healthy aging is achievable just as it is in humans where the field of aging is dedicated to optimizing mental, social and physical well-being and function in older adults, the report says. What has been less well defined, however, is what healthy aging actually looks like in a cat; in other words, what changes would be considered normal for age … as opposed to deteriorative changes.

Treating Infectious Peritonitis; Cornell Study on Anesthesia

Feline infectious peritonitis, or FIP, a viral disease that is nearly 100 percent fatal, has been successfully treated in a research project at Kansas State University. Collaborators in diverse fields developed an antiviral compound for the feline coronavirus associated with FIP. Manuel Martin-Flores, MV, , ACVAA, of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine will present preliminary results of his research on safer anesthesia for cats at the annual meeting of the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia in September. Dr. Martin-Flores is one of only 220 anesthesiologists board-certified worldwide by the college.

An Exciting New Frontier in Medicine

Your arthritic cat walks stiffly, and its difficult to find a medication to treat him without side effects. Could stem cell therapy be an option? Its use in human medicine has grown in the past decade, heralded as a promising treatment for a host of diseases. The latest area of pioneering research, according to the National Institutes of Health, is adult-derived stem cells for repair of the heart.

Your Cat Can Help Genetic Research

Diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and diabetes mellitus may have a genetic basis, and by comparing DNA from affected and healthy cats, the Biobank hopes to locate the responsible genes. Its work could lead to identifying cats at risk of disease and aid in developing more effective treatments.

Prehistoric Cats and A Cat Treat Recall

A team of scientists analyzing more than 2,000 fossils has made a surprising discovery, one they describe as contrary to current expectation. More than the effect of physical size and climate change, they found evidence indicating that early members of the cat family, arriving in North America from Asia, contributed to the extinction of 40 ancient dog species.

Dont Use First Aid on Snakebites

If youre out for a stroll with your cat in your fenced backyard and he suffers a snakebite, his life can quickly be in danger. The safest course: Dont attempt outdated first-aid measures such as application of a tourniquet or incision to remove the venom with suction. It will already have been absorbed, and tourniquets can compromise blood circulation, causing severe injury.

A Cat on an Underwater Treadmill?

The cats hip problem was so painful that he required a femoral head osteotomy, the surgical removal of the top of the thighbone forming the ball and socket joint. Afterward, the supporting muscle needed to be strengthened to bear the cats weight, but he refused to use his limb.

The solution: Exercise in an underwater treadmill twice a week for two or three weeks. Movement is easier underwater, and the resistance of the water helps strengthen muscle. It got the cat jump-started into using the leg better, says Joseph Wakshlag, DVM, Ph.D., one of 83 specialists in the U.S. certified by the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. He heads the Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation service at Cornell University Hospital for Animals.

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.