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News Article

Genetics impacts response to common feline heart disease medication


Study findings suggest a role for genetic testing in the selection of therapies for cats

Researchers have found that a cat’s DNA alters how it responds to clopidogrel, used to treat hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). The findings are published in Scientific Reports.

Clopidogrel is one of the most commonly prescribed medications used to prevent blood clots in cats with HCM. However, researchers noted that blood clots were still forming in some cats, despite being on clopidogrel. This led corresponding author Josh Stern, professor of veterinary cardiology and geneticist with the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, and colleagues to begin research in this area and identify mutations in the drug pathway that looked important. Data showed that nearly 20% of cats had resistance to the clopidogrel therapy.

The researchers began a clinical trial on cats with HCM. They first tested the cats’ ability to form blood clots. The cats’ owners administered clopidogrel for 14 days, and the cats were tested again. Researchers were then able to test whether genetic mutations that they had identified within the drug pathway were responsible for reducing the drug’s effectiveness.

“The end result is the ability to use a simple genetic test to make an educated decision about which drug therapy may be best for preventing blood clots in cats with HCM,” Stern said.

Researchers hope that in the future veterinarians will be able to rapidly test cats with HCM for these mutations as they are making prescribing decisions.

Article: Ueda, Y., Li, R., Nguyen, N., Ontiveros, E. S., Kovacs, S. L., Oldach, M. S., Vernau, K. M., Court, M. H., Stern, J. A. (2021). A genetic polymorphism in P2RY1 impacts response to clopidogrel in cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Scientific Reports, 11(1), 12522, doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-91372-3

Article details

  • Date
  • 07 July 2021
  • Source
  • University of California, Davis
  • Subject(s)
  • Dogs, Cats, and other Companion Animals