Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday Medical: 2014 research news

In December, the Winn Feline Foundation awarded five new grants for 2014. Two of them we’re terribly excited about, as they focus on research to find a cure for FIP – feline infectious peritonitis.

These grants aim to find both a cure and a vaccine.
Photo: @Doug88888

The first is funding given to Dr. Neils Pederson of the University of California, Davis for his continuing research into the use of first-generation anti-corona viral drugs as a potential way to safely and effectively treat cats with FIP.

The second is awarded to Dr. Rebecca P. Wilkes of the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, who plans to study the use of stem cell therapy in an attempt to guide a cat’s own body at a cellular level to inhibit coronavirus replication. Since feline coronavirus develops into fatal FIP, the endgame is to eradicate the deadly disease.

This is good news, and we hope these grants yield successful therapies both to inoculate cats against FIP, and to successfully restore them to health.

We’re proud that a local favorite of ours, the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine, was awarded the remaining three grants!

This new study may help kittens like this one
who suffer feline asthma. Photo: Eirik Newth
First up for them is a grant awarded to Dr. Carol Reinero, Associate Professor and Director of the Comparative Internal Medicine Laboratory. She will study the potential benefits of the drug maropitant as a safe and effective alternative treatment for pet cats with asthma.

Many cats, including our own contributing veterinarian, Dr. Sara Huber of Leawood Plaza Animal Hospital, have cats who suffer from chronic airway inflammation.

Not only can asthma decrease a cat’s quality of life, it can become life threatening, so we’re thrilled to hear of this new endeavor.

The University of Missouri’s second grant is shared between Dr. Leslie Lyons and Dr. Nicholas Dodman of Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.

This grant enables these doctors to study the repetitive searching, suckling, chewing and ingestion of non-food items, such as the habit many Siamese and Birman cats have of sucking wool.

It is their hope that they can determine if "wool sucking" has a genetic basis in cats, and if it is in the same genetic area of interest as that in Dobermans exhibiting a similar oral compulsion.

What is it that causes some cats to have a wool fetish?
This grant aims to find out. Photo: juliemacnam

The final grant awarded to the University of Missouri is a Genome Sequencing Initiative that aims to wholly sequence 9 cats. These cats have been identified as having certain different genetic disease traits.

The hope is that sequencing these cats will provide better insights into markers for these diseases found in the average house cat.

We extend our most sincere hopes that this research, funded by the Winn Feline Foundation, will result in happier, healthier cats in 2014 and beyond.

Monday Medical Disclaimer: 
I am not a veterinarian, and the information provided here is not intended in any way as a substitute for professional veterinary care. Nor should it be used to self-diagnose for your pet. This information is for educational purposes and to provide you with reputable documentation you can use to pose informed questions of your own to the veterinarian of your choice.


  1. Hear, hear. Happy and healthier cats sounds good to us. Have a marvellous Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

  2. It's Faraday Day on the Cats of the CB calendar. Looking good!

  3. That's really great about the research grants especially about FIP and asthma. (Faraday, you are looking good on the Calendar today!)

  4. First, we must tell Faraday that he looks meowvolous on today's CB calendar. These grants are so great. We absolutely hope that the research these grants fund will help identify ways to help kitties with these diseases. Purrs and paw-pats, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

  5. This is great news! I'm purring for the day when FIP is no longer a killer... or even an issue.

    BTW, I feel like such a dork - here you are, with important scientific news and I have an astrology article today, MOL!

  6. Did you see this?

  7. Winn does some great work. We hope they find some answers about FIP, especially!

  8. Happy Calendar Cat Day to Faraday.

  9. Faraday: FANKS you all for the compliments on mah photo! I was workin' the camera that day for sure! (MOL!)

  10. @Connie, that is INTERESTING. Thanks for the link!

  11. This sounds like good news. I am happy that your local uni was chosen.


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