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July 17, 2018 For 70 years, Morris Animal Foundation has been a global leader in funding studies to advance animal health. With the help of generous donors like you, we are improving the health and well-being of dogs, cats, horses and wildlife worldwide.


On the Hunt for A Contraceptive Vaccine

Humane population control for millions of free-roaming cats is a high priority for many welfare groups. A contraceptive vaccine was previously shown to provide reasonably long-lasting contraception in cats in a tightly controlled environment. Researchers from the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs retested the vaccine in colony cats with different results; a single dose of the vaccine only provided contraception lasting a minimum of one year in 30 percent of the animals, indicating the vaccine is not feasible for population control in free-roaming cats. (Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, February 2018)


Alert about Common Pain Drug and Osteoarthritis

Tramadol is widely prescribed to provide pain relief in dogs with osteoarthritis, but there is little scientific evidence that this product is effective. In a carefully controlled clinical trial using client-owned dogs with osteoarthritis, University of Georgia researchers found tramadol did not provide adequate pain control in dogs with osteoarthritis. Carprofen, one of the treatments used in the trial, provided the best pain relief for the dogs in the study. (Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, February 2018)


Improving Regenerative Therapies

Growing patient-derived stem cells can be challenging. One of the most commonly used stem cell culture mediums can stimulate an unwanted immune response and contribute to stem cell rejection in treated patients. University of Georgia researchers evaluated a new culture medium, platelet lysate, as a substitute media and found that equine stem cells cultured using platelet lysate were less likely to be rejected by horse’s immune system. (Stem Cell Research & Therapy, March 2018)

Wildlife (Koala)

Health Crisis for Koalas

Koala retrovirus (KoRV) is a species-specific virus and a compounding factor in chlamydia infections and cancer in koalas. University of the Sunshine Coast researchers in Australia found that a wild Queensland koala population is 100 percent infected with KoRV subtype A and a quarter of the population is infected with KoRV subtype B, but infection rates with KoRV-B are climbing. The team noted an association between KoRV-B animals and both chlamydial disease and cancer, important information to inform disease intervention plans to help save koalas. (Journal of Virology, 2018)