Idexx Laboratories Inc. reported yesterday that it is still enrolling participants for its feline cardiac disease survey.
Initial findings are already shedding new light on the prevalence of feline heart disease and the profile of cats at risk, according to the Westbrook, Maine-based company.
For instance, preliminary results verify prior studies that found one in six cats are at risk for feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
The survey, which will continue to enroll participants through the first half of 2011, was launched by Idexx last spring.
How the study works: veterinarians complete the online or printable form, screen feline patients with the Cardiopet proBNP Test and fax or enter results online. Details can be found at idexx.com/knowcardio.
To date, more than 3,500 patients have been tested as part of Idexx’s survey, and more than 90 percent of practices have said they have taken action—rechecking results or recommending a referral to a cardiologist based on elevated Cardiopet proBNP results.
“Based on results collected to date, we believe that veterinarians should advise cat owners to have their at-risk pets tested for cardiac conditions more regularly,” said Andrew Beardow, BVM&S, Dip. ACVIM (cardiology) of Idexx. “Most owners don’t know that, unlike the human medical experience, heart disease in cats generally has very few symptoms and indicators. Cats hide their illness very well.”
Idexx has also developed a consumer website, YourCatsHeart.com, which is designed to support veterinarians’ efforts to educate pet owners about the frequency, symptoms and risks of feline heart disease.
“The website is a great additional resource to help cat owners learn more about their pets and the potential for disease,” Beardow said.
The goal is to have the final survey results released “later this year,” according to Idexx.
See related story: Idexx Seeks Vet Participation for Feline Heart Study