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Breakthrough Drug to Treat Heart Disease in Cats May Benefit Humans

According to research by a team of veterinarians at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, a new drug intended to treat heart disease in cats may also hold potential in treating humans.

Affecting one in seven cats and one in 500 humans, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common form of feline heart disease. The illness results in thickening of the ventricle walls and can lead to blood clots, congestive heart failure and sudden death. In humans, HCM is a frequent cause of abrupt cardiac death that can even strike seemingly healthy young athletes.

The novel drug, MYK-461, proved effective in altering feline heart function in a study of five cats with a naturally occurring form of inherited HCM. In all five, the drug eliminated left-ventricle obstruction. This means that the novel drug may help keep excessive growth of the heart’s walls at bay – without surgery or interventional procedures. A paper describing the work was published in the Dec. 14 Journal PLOS ONE.

As of now, the treatment only serves to address symptoms of HCM, not the causes or progression, though the scientists noted that the same drug had similar results when used on mice. The hope is that with improved heart function, cats with HCM may enjoy a longer lifespan and high quality of life during that time.

The study illustrates the value of companion animals as models of human disease in translational studies, conclude the authors, and may lead to a new treatment for HCM in both species. “There has been little to no progress in advancing the treatment of HCM in humans or animals for years,” said Associate Professor Joshua Stern, chief of the Cardiology Service at the UC Davis veterinary hospital. “This study brings new hope for cats and people.”

With this proof of concept that the drug is viable for use in cats, UC Davis hopes to lead a clinical trial in the near future. If conducted, the trial could determine if MYK-461 or a related compound has the potential to become the accepted protocol for care of cats with HCM. It also promises advances in HCM treatment for humans, making Stern’s research a great example of comparative medicine. 

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Potentially Poisonous Plants

If your cat has ingested any of part of the plants below, and you cannot get to your vet, call the Pet Poison Hotline 800 - 213 - 6680

Pet Poison Helpline is a 24-hour service available throughout North America and the Caribbean for pet owners and veterinary professionals who require assistance with treating a potentially poisoned pet. We have the ability to help every pet, with all types of poisonings, 24 hours a day. Our knowledge and expertise will put your mind at ease when dealing with a potential emergency.

In order to provide this critical service, please be advised that there is a $35 per incident fee, payable by credit card. This fee covers the initial consultation as well as all follow-up calls associated with the management of the case

Aloe Vera
Amaryllis
Apple (seeds)
Apricot (pit)
Arrowhead
Asparagus Fern
Avocado
Autumn Crocus
Azalea
Baneberry
Begonia
Bird of Paradise
Black Locust
Black Walnut
Bleeding Heart
Boston Ivy
Caladium
California Poppy
Calla Lily
Carnation
Castor Bean
Ceriman
Cherry (seeds, wilting leaves, and pit)
Chinese Evergreen
Chives
Christmas Rose
Chrysanthemum
Clematis
Corn Plant
Crocus
Croton
Crown of Thorns
Crown Vetch
Cyclamen
Daffodil
Delphinium
Devil's Ivy
Dicentra
Dieffenbachia
Donkey Tail
Dumb Cane
Dutchman's Breeches
Easter Lily
Elderberry
Elephant Ears
English Ivy
Eucalyptus
Fiddle-leaf Fig
Florida Beauty
Four O'Clock
Foxglove
Foxtail
Fruit Salad Plant
German Ivy
Gladiola
Hemlock
Holly
Honeysuckle
Hurricane Plant
Hyacinth
Hydrangea
Iris
Ivy
Jack in the Pulpit
Japanese Yew
Jerusalem Cherry
Jimson Weed
Jonquil
Kalanchoe
Lamb's quarter
Lantana
Larkspur
Laurel
Lily
Lily of the Valley
Lobelia
Locoweed
Lords-and-Ladies
Lupine
Marigold (Marsh Marigold)
Marijuana
Mayapple
Mexican Breadfruit
Milkweed
Mistletoe
Monkshood
Morning Glory
Mother-in-Law plant
Mother-in-Law's Tongue
Mountain Laurel
Mushrooms
Narcissus
Nephthytis
Nightshade
Oak Tree (buds and acorns)
Oleander
Onion
Peace Lily
Peach (wilting leaves and pits)
Pencil Tree
Philodendron
Pigweed
Poinsettia
Poison Ivy
Poison Hemlock
Poison Oak
Poison Sumac
Poppy
Potato (all green parts)
Pothos
Precatory Bean
Rhododendron
Rhubarb
Ribbon Cactus
Rubber Tree
Sago Palm
Schefflera
Shamrock Plant
Snake Plant
Snow on the Mountain
Sorghum
Star of Bethlehem
Stinging Nettle
Stinkweed
Swiss Cheese Plant
Taro Vine
Toadstools
Tobacco
Tomato Plant (entire plant except ripe fruit)
Umbrella Tree
Water Hemlock
Weeping Fig
Wisteria
Yew

 

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