Cat owners have a new tool in keeping up their pet’s strength while they battle chronic kidney disease (CKD). Elura, a capromorelin was approved by the FDA oral solution for appetite stimulation in cats. Like humans, cats and other animals can also suffer from CKD. The kidneys filter waste and toxins from the blood. When one or both function at reduced capacity or do not function at all, the patient has CKD.
The goal of using elura is to prolong the cat’s life by helping them maintain a healthy weight. The FDA had previously approved capromorelin based medications to stimulate the appetites of dogs. A 56-day field test of Elura was conducted to determine its effectiveness.
Aside from the animals improving their body weight, researchers noticed a decrease in both heart rate and direct blood pressure. They also found increases in the animal’s blood glucose levels. The most common side effects were vomiting and hypersalivation, though this was seen more in male cats. Scientists at the National Laboratory Animal Center in Taiwan have developed a new species of mouse to help detect chemicals toxic to kidneys.
The transgenic mouse will specialize in detecting potentially toxic chemicals in drugs to help drug manufacturers reduce the toxicity in the early phases of drug development. Transgenic organisms have genetic material in their DNA from an unrelated organism which has been artificially introduced into them.
Drugs must pass a rigorous testing phase before they go to the market. But, approximately 2 to 3 percent of all drugs must be recalled due to toxicity not detected in the testing phase. In this case, the mice are specifically designed to test for nephrotoxicity in medications.
These toxins can cause chronic kidney disease (CKD), a condition where the kidneys work at reduced capacity or do not function at all. Normally, doctors look for high concentrations of metabolic waste products like creatinine and blood urea nitrogen. This is not always a reliable way, however, because these chemicals can be at normal levels while the kidneys are only at 50 percent capacity.
Urine protein can also be present due to dietary reasons, not necessarily because of CKD. The mice have been modified to detect myo-inositol oxygenase (MIOX) which is an enzyme specific to the kidney and released from the cells into serum and urine 24 hours after kidney damage. Normally, MIOX cannot be detected easily which is why a new detection method had to be found.
The mice emit luminescent enzyme called nanoluciferase (NanoLu) to the mice’s genes and enlarge its expressions when the MIOX is present. The nanoluciferase would be released into cells and enter serum or urine. For more of the latest on kidney related studies for cats and dogs be sure to watch our YouTube channel, updated daily and stop by the shop for some of the best natural kidney supplements for cats available on the market today.