Exciting Potential Asthma Treatment for Cats
MAF Successful Outcome
Asthma in cats can be debilitating and occasionally fatal. Current treatments help but don’t cure the disease, which is caused by an abnormal immune reaction to inhaled allergens. Identifying allergens implicated in allergic asthma in pet cats is very challenging as skin and serum testing often yield false-positive and false-negative results. Scientists from the University of Missouri are investigating a treatment called rush immunotherapy (RIT), which has shown promise in turning off the abnormal immune response to an allergen. To date, the results indicate that both intranasal and injected RIT for treating feline asthma are safe and effective in relieving asthma symptoms. Even more exciting is the finding that a subpopulation of cats participating in this study appears to have reverted to being non-asthmatic—they seem to be cured. The second objective of this study is ongoing, and preliminary results suggest that there is cross-protection. This means that even if a veterinarian selected the “wrong” allergens for RIT, there might still be a positive benefit. The study has been given a no-cost extension and is anticipated to have final results by May 2010. During this three-year study, two MAF veterinary student scholars have gained valuable research experience.
Posted by MAFon August 10, 2009. Permalink