Cats

Clinical trials for cats

  • Description

    “Wool sucking” is a behavioral condition that involves the repetitive searching, suckling, chewing and ingestion of non-food items. While items made of wool can be the preferred substrate, cats may also seek out and chew items made of cotton, rubber, nylon, paper, cardboard and plastic. A negative consequence of this behavior is breakdown of the human-animal bond due to owners’ frustration with property damage. In its most severe form, the cat cannot be maintained safely as an indoor cat. While wool sucking behavior can occur in any cat breed, the incidence is higher in oriental breeds, suggesting a genetic susceptibility. To identify potential genetic components of the compulsive “wool sucking” behavior in cats, DNA samples will be collected via saliva from normal and affected Siamese and Birman cats. An at-home DNA sampling kit and survey will be mailed to owners; no veterinary visit is required. Since “wool sucking” is an excellent animal model of human obsessive-compulsive behaviors, the identification of a genetic cause could lead to development of carrier testing, as well as better treatment options for both cats and humans with these disorders.

    If you own a purebred Birman or Siamese and are interested in participating, please contact Jami Longo at: jami.longo@tufts.edu

    Inclusion Criteria

    Purebred Siamese and Birman cats (both normal cats and those who exhibit wool sucking behavior)

    Exclusion Criteria

    Cats who do not exhibit wool sucking behavior must be greater than one year old.

    Client Benefits

    Owners of affected cats will receive a written treatment protocol.

    Contact Information

    Nicole Cottam
    Phone: (508) 887-4802

  • Description

    Urethral obstruction (UO) is a common reason for the emergency evaluation of male cats and may be life-threatening. Some clinicians advocate bladder flushing at the time of urinary catheter placement, while others do not. The purpose of this prospective randomized study is to evaluate the effect of bladder flushing on short-term outcome including duration of catheterization, length of hospitalization and recurrence of UO.

    Inclusion Criteria

    Cat presenting to the ER with evidence of UO on physical examination requiring placement of a urinary catheter.

    Exclusion Criteria

    None.

    Client Benefits

    There is no direct benefit to the client. We hope that this will give a better understanding of how to treat cats presenting to the ER with a UO.

    Contact Information

    Dr. Meghan Respess, DVM (ECC resident)
    Phone: (508) 839-5395

  • Description
    “Saddle thrombus” is a devastating condition of cats where the back legs become suddenly paralyzed. This is almost always due to underlying heart disease, although it is not always known that the cat has heart disease. Current treatment revolves around supportive care and time but up to 75% of affected cats do not respond to therapy.  This study is looking to test a drug given currently in people to see if might help cats by blocking blood vessel constriction. The medicine, Bosentan, would be given in addition to the regular supportive care.

    Inclusion Criteria
    Sudden onset of hind limb paralysis, thought to be due to a blood clot.

    Exclusion Criteria
    Too weak to take an oral medicine; Paralysis for longer than 18 hours

    Client Benefits
    Free medicine, free blood tests, free echocardiogram (heart ultrasound)-Study covers about $700 of care per cat.  The owner is responsible for cost of hospitalization, and initial examination.

    Contact Information
    ER 508 887-4623 24 hours a day, or Elizabeth.rozanski@tufts.edu with less urgent questions.

  • Description

    To investigate and identify occult coagulation disorders in cats with cholestatic liver disease before any procedures (FNA, biopsy, surgery, e-tube placement).

    Inclusion Criteria

    serum bilirubin >/= 3, ALT/ALP > 2x upper limit of reference range.

    Exclusion Criteria

    PCV < 28%, obvious neoplasia, heart disease, icterus due to sepsis or hemolysis, meds (NSAIDs, steroids, fatty acids).

    Client Benefits

    PT/PTT, plt count, pcv/ts, and TEG

    Contact Information

    Gideon.Daniel@tufts.edu