is a small, independently funded center whose goals are directed to improving the health and well being of cats everywhere < more >
Study Update: Understanding Genetic Variations Predisposing Cats to FIP
An update on Cornell professor Dr. Gary Whittaker's feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) research, with funding support from the Cornell Feline Health Center and Morris Animal Foundation (MAF), was recently published in MAF's AnimalNews & eNews.
FIP is a progressive, fatal disease that is particularly common in and dangerous to cats in shelters. It is caused by the feline coronavirus (FCoV) and can be transmitted through cat-to-cat contact and exposure to feces. FCoV infection is widespread in cat populations worldwide; however, less than 10 percent of cats infected with FCoV will develop FIP.
Because there is no definitive test for FIP, researchers from Cornell University, funded by Morris Animal Foundation, are looking for genetic differences in FCoV that may allow the disease to develop. They have analyzed data based on archived tissue samples from cats with confirmed FIP and collected samples from FCoV-infected cats without clinical symptoms of FIP. Their preliminary analysis revealed genetic differences between the FCoV obtained from asymptomatic cats versus cats with symptomatic FIP. This supports the theory that the virus causing FIP started out as a less harmful FCoV strain and then underwent many mutations.
Researchers continue to collect and define the genetic characteristics of viruses from healthy cats and cats with FIP to help pinpoint the precise mutations that trigger FIP. In addition, the researchers are focusing on enzymes within the white blood cells of cats that may be involved in viral replication and spread. Information gained from this study will help improve FIP diagnostic tests and therapies to help veterinarians treat this deadly disease and prevent outbreaks in cats at shelters.
More information on Dr. Whittaker's investigations and the possibility of a future without FIP can be found here.
Associate Director for Education and Outreach Appointed
Dr. Bruce Kornreich, DVM, PhD has been appointed to further the education and outreach missions of the Feline Health Center. <more>
Dr. Kornreich recently received the 2012 Pfizer Distinguished Teacher Award voted on by the graduating class. He delivered the traditional “charge to the class” at the hooding ceremony held on May 26, 2012. Congratulations to Dr. Kornreich for his leadership in teaching and inspiring the next generation of veterinarians!
Fostering Feline Health Awareness
Thanks to the generosity of Dr. Donald and Mrs. Rita Powell, the Pender Pet Caring Foundation, and Pender Veterinary Centre, the Feline Health Center website has a new look and new health information for cat owners and veterinarians. In addition to helpful brochures and videos, we have expanded our collection of informative health-related articles on a wide variety of topics, including behavioural issues, nutrition, cancer, kidney disease, infectious diseases and senior cat care. We have also added a general information page to address more frequently asked questions about grooming, medication and care for cats. Please check back often as we add more articles in the future. The Feline Health Center greatly appreciates the Powells’ support and partnership in improving the lives of cats everywhere.
2010 Annual Report
The 2010 Feline Health Center Annual Report provides insights into the ways in which our research and outreach efforts help us meet our mission while also helping us convey our gratitude to the many people and organizations who have supported the Center over the past fiscal year.
Feline Health Center Director Named
Dr. Colin Parrish became the Director of the Feline Health Center and Baker Institute for Animal Health on December 1, 2010. As a faculty member of the Baker Institute since 1988, Dr. Parrish has a long history of research on feline-health topics, including research on feline panleukopenia virus, the closely related canine parvovirus, and how those viruses spread from one species to another. He has also studied the feline calicivirus which is a common cause of disease in cats. The Parrish household is home to a dog and five cats, one a former tomcat (Mr. Orange) who showed up on the doorstep with a bite on his tail that has since been treated.
As Director, one of Dr. Parrish’s goals is to improve basic and applied medical knowledge concerning diseases in cats, leading to improved health of pets and potentially benefitting human health as well. He looks forward to realizing this goal by utilizing the existing resources at the Feline Health Center and the Baker Institute for Animal Health for the benefit of animals and those who cherish them.
Camuti Consultation Service
The Dr. Louis J. Camuti Memorial Feline Consultation Service provides cat owners with advice based on the most current information available on feline health care. Requests for phone consultations with our consulting veterinarians or our behaviorist are taken three days a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Click here for more information.
Ways to Help
The Feline Health Center is dependent upon the generosity of cat owners, enthusiasts, friends, and veterinarians to support our research and outreach efforts. You can help by becoming a member or making a contribution in memory of a beloved cat or friend. Online, matching, and planned gifts are also greatly appreciated. Your support can make a difference in the lives of cats everywhere. For more information, click here.