Our blog has been on a Summer break. Dr. Gullegde and the hospital administrator Randi have both had some interesting (non-veterinary) related summer adventures. Now we are both back on track and want to talk about some interesting stuff going on at our practice.
Our practice is part of the Feline Innovation Center of a major drug company that is dedicated to developing new drugs that are FDA approved for use in cats. Sadly, there are few drugs that are approved for use in cats. Most drugs now in use are used “off label.” Our practice is now screening for patients with mild renal insufficiency (mildly elevated kidney values) that might also have high blood pressure. Early renal insufficiency is the number one cause of high blood pressure in the cat.
For patients that are found to have elevated high blood pressure (hypertension) those patients will be offered the chance to participate in a drug trial. The drug being studied is in the final stage of approval by the FDA and will be the first approved drug for use in cats with hypertension.
This study is a boon for our patients and pet owners as it allows us to perform an exam and take a blood pressure at no charge to the pet's owner. To qualify for the study patients must have had recent kidney screening blood work that falls with in a certain range. It is a great opportunity that we hope to make available to our aged patient population. The best part is it is pain free and non-invasive, just like any routine office visit. If a reader feels their cat may qualify for our study please contact us. The reader’s cat does not need to be a current patient. Our clinic will need access to the cat’s medical records in order to enroll in the study.
In other news we have been seeing many young cats for spaying and neutering. The kittens that were born in the spring are ready for this procedure now. This basic surgery is a corner stone of health and long life for all pets. We encourage owners to inquire about this surgery with their veterinarians. For owners on a tight budget there are also many low-cost clinics and facilities within a reasonable traveling distance of the DC Metro area. Our area is very fortunate to have so many options available for owners and pets.
We can not over-emphasize the importance of spaying and neutering both cats and dogs. Besides helping the pets themselves lead long and healthy lives, this operation also saves lives by reducing the number of homeless animals that are euthanized every year in animal shelters around our country.