Canine Mesenchymal Stem Cell Clinical Trial for Pneumonia

  • Inclusion criteria: Maine Coon or Ragdoll cats of any age, with or without previous diagnosis of heart disease.
  • Exclusion criteria: Mixed breed cats
  • Study procedures: At the initial visit you will be asked to give your cat a sedative pill (gabapentin) orally about 45 minutes prior to examination to relax them. If you cannot do this yourself, the staff will do this for you. A board-certified veterinary cardiologist or resident in veterinary cardiology will provide a full cardiac physical examination, including a cardiac auscultation (listening to the heart with a stethoscope), ultrasound of the heart (echocardiogram), and an electrical recording of the heart’s activity (electrocardiogram or ECG). Additionally, an inner cheek swab will be collected on a cotton-tipped applicator (Q-tip) and sent to the North Carolina State University genetic testing lab to test whether your cat carries the gene abnormality that puts your cat at a higher risk for developing heart disease. Two whiskers (one from each side of the face) with an intact hair follicle will quickly be plucked, and up to 6 mL (2 tsp) of blood will be drawn and saved for future research.
  • Costs: The initial gabapentin, examination, echocardiogram, electrocardiogram, and genetic test are performed free of charge. Any additional follow-up recommendations, diagnostics, and medications are not covered by this study.
  • Contact:Corey Fisher, DVM, ECC ResidentRonald Goncalves, DVM, MSc, Ph.D., DACVECC, UF FacultyHelena Zomer, DVM, MSc, Ph.D., UF Faculty
  • Additional Study Contact: or the Clinical Studies Team at 352-294-4389

Background: Two separate genetic mutations in Maine Coon and Ragdoll cats have been linked to the development of heart disease in these breeds. The purpose of this study is to establish a novel non-invasive sampling technique in order to create a bank of cells from Maine Coon and Ragdoll cats who are at risk for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. These cells may be used in the future to investigate a new treatment involving gene editing to correct the genetic mutation related to this disease in these breeds.


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