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Precious Blood, Deadly Clots

Although most of us don’t think about it, blood does more than just circulate oxygen and nutrients around the body. It also contains particles that instantly form lifesaving clots that stop us from bleeding when we are injured or cut. However, if these clots migrate to critical locations in the body, such as the brain or lungs, these lifesavers can become deadly.

Many illnesses, including infection, immune diseases, cancer and heart disease can predispose an animal to developing fatal blood clots. Here’s how some of our Morris Animal Foundation–funded researchers are helping to prevent deadly blood clots in cats.

Keeping Feline Hearts Purring

Health Concern: Cats with heart disease often develop blood clots that lodge in large blood vessels where they cut off the blood supply to vital organs or tissues. Survival rate for cats that develop these clots is low. In fact, fewer than 40 percent of cats survive these types of significant clotting events.  

How We Are Helping: Morris Animal Foundation–funded researchers compared blood-thinning drugs in cats to see which could best prevent recurrent blood clots in cats with heart disease. They determined that clopidogrel, more commonly known as Plavix, is more effective than aspirin at preventing blood clot events in cats. On average, cats that received clopidogrel lived longer and had about 50 percent fewer recurrent blood clot events than cats that received aspirin.

Morris Animal Foundation is committed to helping the estimated 200,000 to 600,000 cats that are at-risk each year for developing blood clots associated with heart disease. We are currently funding three health studies investigating anticoagulants and clot-busting therapies to help our purring friends with heart disease enjoy longer, healthier lives.

To support research projects such as these, please make a donation at Help us support humane animal health studies that improve the quality of life for pets.

By: Jean Vore

November 3, 2014