Colorado State University veterinarians are looking for cats with chronic kidney disease to enroll in five current studies. To qualify, cats must already have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, also known as chronic renal failure, by a veterinarian. Cats with other health conditions in addition to chronic kidney disease may be excluded from these studies. The studies include:
- Researchers are interested in learning whether fatty acids in the feline diet are related to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that could protect a cat’s kidneys. This study is open to qualifying cats that have stable chronic kidney failure, defined as a period of no change for three months. Cats in the study receive free comprehensive lab work.
- Cats with kidney disease often have nausea and don’t eat. This study looks at the potential of the drug mirtazapine to improve the quality of life for cats with stable kidney disease. Mirtazapine stimulates the appetite and has anti-nausea properties. Cats in the study will be given either a placebo or the stimulant for three weeks and then crossover to the other group for an additional three weeks. The study includes three free but required veterinary visits and lab work, and six months of free Purina kidney diet cat food. Cats from anywhere in the United States can enroll in the study with their veterinarian’s participation.
- Owners can enroll anemic cats with kidney disease in a study that provides them with injections of a natural substance that may improve anemia. Kidneys produce a natural substance called erythropoietin that tells the bone marrow to produce red blood cells. Cats in kidney failure can lose their ability to form erythropoietin. Cats in the study will receive a feline-specific injection of erythropoietin and the impact will be measured weekly for a one-month period. Cats must be able to come to CSU for the treatment and following exams. Exam fees will be covered, along with weekly blood work, for the duration of the study. The study is limited to 18 cats, and a $600 stipend will be given to those enrolled.
- Researchers would like to obtain postmortem kidney samples from cats with chronic kidney disease to further study if a decrease in the ability of kidney cells to repair themselves is related to disease occurrence. Following necropsy, the Veterinary Teaching Hospital will provide cremation services and the ashes of the deceased cat will be returned to the owners, usually within a week.
For more information about any of these studies, contact Dr. Jessica Quimby or 970-297-4410. Dr. Quimby is the Morris Animal Foundation Amanda Feline Fellow at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.