Response from Dr. Dan Hogan re: feline cardiomyopathy and FATCAT study

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bug:
I contacted Dr. Dan Hogan at Purdue to ask him whether or not he's experienced an increase in feline heart disease over the course of his research. I also asked him about his ongoing FATCAT study that will, hopefully, determine whether Plavix is more effective than ASA in the prevention of thrombus formation in affected cats. He responded and this is what he had to say (paraphrased):

He hasn't seen an increase in cardiac deaths in cats over the past few years, but because his research only deals with cardiac cases, he may not be seeing the bigger picture. He does think that there is an increased awareness of the condition and that vets are diagnosing cats earlier in the course of the disease.

I asked him if there was a body that was tracking data in this area (if someone was keeping stats on the number of cases of cardiac disease in cats). He thought that the best source of information would be the Veterinary Medical Database (vmdb.org) -- an organization that has been gathering data on dogs and cats seen at the veterinary schools in North America for a few decades.

Regarding the FATCAT study:

It is still ongoing, but has slowed down somewhat due to decreasing enrollment. He thinks that it might be because the assumption among vets and the public now is that Plavix is more effective than ASA. THIS HAS NOT BEEN PROVEN. It is what this study is trying to determine.

He has asked that, if at all possible, through our channels, we could spread the word that he needs at least 20 more affected cats to enroll in the study to make the results statistically significant. This is a double-blind study where the researcher does not know which group has been assigned to which treatment. He does say that there is one group that is doing better than the other.

He continues to say that he is also studying more potentially effective alternatives to Plavix and that could result in even better outcomes for cats in the future.

He is currently getting a cat in that is suffering from a saddle thrombus and I hope that his study will be able to prevent a recurrence if the cat survives the initial clot.

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As you all know, HCM and saddle thrombus is a topic that is near and dear to my heart as Bones was PTS because of it. I had so wished the FATCAT study had ended and I had the information from that study to make the best decision for Bones so that I could have potentially prevented the clot forming right from the day he was diagnosed.

I consider Dr. Hogan's research to be very important in the health and well being of our feline friends. And, if we are experiencing a spike in heart disease among them without the answers as to why, the best we can do is implement strategies that just might prevent their sudden demise.

If you feel the same way I do and you would like to support Dr. Hogan's research:

1. Please pass on this information to those you might know who have a cat that would qualify for his study. More information can be obtained from: http://www.vin.com/FATCAT/

ETA: A veterinarian is required to complete the paperwork to get an affected cat into the study. One does not need to live in the vicinity of Purdue to be eligible as the investigation is done via one's own vet. Also, the cost of required check ups and procedures (echo, blood draw) are reimbursed to a realistic amount. Perhaps those with cats that might not otherwise be treated due to financial constraints, could benefit from becoming part of the study.

2. If you would like to donate money to see that Dr. Hogan can continue his research, in his words, "...you could make a check payable to Purdue University and include on the memo line "Donation to Dr. Hogan's Research Program".  Any donation is greatly appreciated and very generous. It is also tax deductible as we are a university."

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If any of you can think of other sites I can send this information to, I'd be happy to make a list and get the word out. This research is just so important.

JustMe:
Thanks for following up on this bug. 

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