People: Ruth Gostelow, Katarina Hazuchova, Chris Scudder, Stijn Niessen, Yaiza Forcada, David Church

Leading researchers at the Royal Veterinary College are busy unravelling the riddle for the best treatment of diabetes mellitus in cats.

Dr. Stijn Niessen and his team run the Diabetic Remission Clinic in the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals in Hertfordshire, investigating the optimum methods to achieve good control, and ultimately diabetic remission, in diabetic pets. Currently, the Clinic provides dedicated care for diabetic cats while giving owners and vets the satisfaction of contributing to veterinary research and benefit of specialist advice on diabetic management. .

A proportion of diabetic cats can enter a state of diabetic remission and no longer require insulin treatment. However, these cats can still have reduced pancreatic β-cell function and mass, and approximately 30% of them will experience a relapse of their diabetes and require insulin therapy to be reinstated. Drugs that can promote insulin secretion, and stimulate β-cell proliferation and survival might be beneficial in helping diabetic cats achieve remission, and in preventing relapse of diabetes in cats that are already in remission. With our new clinical trial, we aim to investigate the benefit of one such drug in newly diagnosed diabetic cats (treated with insulin for no more than 6 months) as well as in cats that have recently entered diabetic remission (last insulin injection no longer than 4 months ago).

Diabetic cats, and cats in remission, will be eligible for a 6 months and a 1-year trial, respectively, and will benefit from initial underlying disease assessment, monthly re-examinations at our dedicated diabetic remission clinic, free treatment with the trial drug, as well as a supply of insulin (in diabetic cats) and a year’s supply of high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet – all at no cost to owners! We hope that cat owners will appreciate the opportunity to participate in research that directly benefits their own pet while contributing to our knowledge of the optimum treatment for diabetic cats.

To discuss a potential case, please contact Katarina Hazuchova via the following:

Email: fdrc@rvc.ac.uk

Telephone: 01707 666 605

Fax: 01707 666223

More information can also be found via the following:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/RVC.Diabetic.Remission.Clinic

Free RVC Pet Diabetes App: from Android (http://bit.ly/1q3jCV5) and iPhone App stores (http://apple.co/203OoK2)

Please note that we are unable to offer the free IGF-1 service at this time. However, IGF-1 and fructosamine can now be measured at a competitive price either on their own or as a package at our laboratory using this form:

http://www.rvc.ac.uk/pathology-and-diagnostic-laboratories/diagnostic-laboratories#panel-diabetic-cats

We would like to express our gratitude to all our colleagues in practice who have sent samples thus far for our studies. The IGF-1-project has led to major revelations including the rediscovery of acromegaly as underlying cause of feline diabetes and all clinicians submitting samples to this project should feel proud about their contribution.

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