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Category: Genetic

Genetic Mapping of Diabetes Mellitus in the Cat
August 16, 2022 (published) | August 17, 2022 (revised)

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Study Start Date: 01/01/2022
Study End Date: 01/01/2024

Genetic Mapping of Diabetes Mellitus in the Cat.

Diabetes is one of the most common cat diseases diagnosed by veterinarians in the USA. It is due to the loss or dysfunction of insulin secretion, reduced insulin sensitivity, or both. The result is high levels of blood glucose and, subsequently, glucose in the urine. As the disease progresses the affected cat can develop a build-up of acids in the blood, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, elevated respiratory rate, and weakness. The disease requires careful management, including twice-daily insulin injections and costs of veterinary care and lifestyle changes can significantly impact owners. Two recent studies identified genomic regions associated with risk in Australian Burmese, and a genetic change in the gene MC4R increases risk in obese domestic shorthair cats. We have recently identified a significant association with diabetes, using genetic information from 340,000 locations across the cat genome (Hernandez et al. 2022). We now have the unique opportunity to obtain information from 2 million locations by performing the largest search for diabetes genetic risk in the cat. Our study aims to identify regions of the cat genome that are associated with this disease, with the goal of developing a genetic screening test. Those cats with an increased genetic predisposition for DM can be offered prevention opportunities such as specific diets, exercise, and early screening. This will allow earlier diagnosis, and permit intervention before irreversible disease occurs. Further, cat breeders can use a genetic test to reduce the frequency of the disease in the population.

Study Design:
Prospective, Case-controlled

Sample Size:
960 cats

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Affected cats:
    • any age, any breed
    • persistent blood glucose>250mg/dL and glucosuria (dipstick result is fine) or confirmed diagnosis of diabetes mellitus

Study Controls:

  • any breed, at least 9.5 years old
  • blood glucose<200mg/dL and no glucosuria (dipstick result is fine)

Samples:
Approximately 1–2mL EDTA blood for DNA.
Approximately 3mL blood in a red top (serum) - these need to be processed within about 30 mins (centrifuged, pipetted off and frozen).
Owner consent form, pet information form, relevant veterinary records (blood glucose, glucosuria, fructosamine (if performed) results).

Please note: we will accept EDTA blood even if no serum sample is available

Information needed on blood tubes:
Date and time of collection
Patient name, last name

Files for Download:
Consent Form
Pet Information Form

Costs/Reimbursements

Sample collection material and shipping material will be provided to participating veterinarians free of charge.

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Full Disclosure information:
The study is funded by a grant from EveryCat Health Foundation Miller Trust, Hills Pet Nutrition (donated the mapping arrays) and Cornell Feline Health Center.
The investigator does not have a conflict of interest.
The study will be published if results are negative
The study will not be reported on VIN
The authors will acknowledge VIN if the study is published

Date published: 8/16/2022


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