Help Anemic Cats

An effective experimental treatment may offer hope for felines with non-regenerative anemia.

By Arnold Plotnick, DVM | Posted: Thu Sep 2 00:00:00 PDT 2004

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In 1993, Robin Bell, Ph.D., Professor of Immunology, and Richard Goodman, of the James A. Baker Institute for Animal Health at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine isolated the feline EPO gene. Then MacLeod, John F. Randolph, Ph.D., professor of medicine at Cornell University, and their Cornell colleagues, proved that the cat gene could be manipulated to make a highly purified form of recombinant feline EPO (rfEPO) using genetically engineered cell lines.

Initial testing occurred in 1999. Randolph and MacLeod have been conducting FDA-approved clinical trials of rfEPO on cats with non-regenerative anemia. According to Macleod, the trials are complete and the raw data is being evaluated, with full analysis of the data still pending.

The only way for rfEPO to become available for general use is for a pharmaceutical company to invest the resources necessary to obtain FDA-approval. Until then, rfEPO is unavailable for privately owned cats. Without FDA approval, Cornell University is legally prohibited from dispensing this drug.

Hopefully, in the near future, rfEPO will be available for cats to give veterinarians one more piece of ammunition in the continuing battle against this insidious disease.

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Reader Comments

Joyce    Moreno Valley, CA

3/14/2012 3:32:56 PM

I just lost my beloved Molly due to this problem. If I had known about this, I would have flown her to this hospital and had her treated. This is a wonderful solution to this killing disease. For us pet owners who deeply care for our pets and invest an incredible amount of emotional love into them, this would be an incredible treatment so our pets could live much longer. Molly should have had more years left to her life. She was so beautiful (a white Tortie Point Himalayan). If the vet hadn't lied to me about her test results last summer, she would have been treated much sooner and would probably still be alive for another 1 to 3 years. I will be filing a complaint against him with the AVA, the CFA, the state general attorney, the BBB, and Consumer Reports, and post a comment on Facebook about his inability to be a competent vet.

janet    bethlehem, PA

4/27/2010 4:18:30 AM

good article thanks

Randy    Lake Ozark, MO

4/9/2010 8:13:30 AM

My Anemic Cat passed away early this morning. We took him to the vet around 12 am and he was able to stand up but was still weak. The doctor gave him some medicine to help. But when I got home not even 30 minutes I recieved a call from the doctor notifing me that he had a stroke and died and that he was to weak and couldn't be recesitated. I have other cats and hope that this never happens to them. He was a very good cat strong and big and showed no signs of being anemic till last night when he just started laying around not eating nor drinking and making weird noises and peeing blood. If your cat ever seems out of the ordinary I would deffinatly go and get him checked out or it could be to late.

Juli    Muskegon, MI

12/10/2009 4:42:16 PM

These stories make me sicker at heart than I am. My Ty-Nee (Tiny) who I raised on an eye-dropper from the time he was 2 days old, has gone down hill so fast. He is anemic - caused by fleas, of all things. Something that I have never had a problem with before. Monday he was fine. Today, he wouldn't move. It's been that fast. He is currently spending the night at the vet's for fluids, and I will bring him home tomorrow. Blood transfusions are out of the question, nobody local does them. I will be exploring holistic treatments, but there MUST be a better way.

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