Collection of Cat Femurs for Assessment of Bone Marrow Fat

The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine is currently collecting femurs from cats to study bone marrow fat.

  • Inclusion Criteria: Cats (ages 2-10 years-old) in good body condition that pass away (by euthanasia or natural death) while at the UF Veterinary Hospital.
  • Procedures: After the patient has passed away, both femurs (hind leg bones) will be collected from and preserved for assessment of bone marrow fat.  Following tissue collection, the patient’s remains will be handled by the option elected by the client (eg. cremation, autopsy, return of remains).
  • Costs: The study will cover the cost of heart tissue collection and preservation.
  • Contact:  Manavi Muralidhar, MS, manavimuralidhar@ufl.edu
  • PI: Adam W. Stern, DVM, DACVP

Background:

Cases of intentional starvation (neglect) of domestic cats that result in death are commonly reported. Veterinarians are often called upon to examine these animals and present their findings in courtroom to judges and juries. Studying the amount of fat in bone will provide a method that provides objective data for the documentation of feline starvation-related cases.

The purpose of this study is to quantify the amount of bone fat in cats. We will examine the amount of fat in cats older than 2 years of age that are in good body condition to determine normal levels of bone marrow fat. The results will be used to develop a test to assist with documentation for cases of intentional starvation of cats.

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