Giving Tuesday: Winn Feline Foundation Ricky Fund
If you have a cat – thank the Winn Feline Foundation. Nearly all we know about cat health, physical and even mental well-being, was once funded by the Winn Feline Foundation.
Back in 2002 our then famous piano playing cat, named Ricky, died of feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). This heart disease, which is often (though not always) fatal is also so common. HCM may be the number one of cause of death from cats over about 2-years to 10-years to 12-years. With little known about HCM and zero that could be done to prolong life, I launched the Ricky Fund with the Winn Feline Foundation to raise money to better understand and even one day to treat or prevent HCM. Prevention is now somewhat possible among Ragdoll and Main Coon cats, an inexpensive cheek swab test is now available to determine if a gene defect may exist. The result (anecdotally) is that less HCM is occurring in those breeds. That’s great, but the goal is to have less HCM in all cats! And while we do better understand the disease, we don’t at all have anything approaching a real treatment.
Please consider giving to the Ricky Fund if you have had a cat or currently have a cat with HCM or know someone who does, or if you breed cats.
Aside from HCM, the Winn Feline Foundation continues to do it all. Recently learning how stem cell treatment can help cats with stomatitis (an immune-mediated disease of the mouth) or via Winn funding actually find a drug to treat feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). Winn just hosted an FIP Symposium, PURRsuing FIP and WINNing, at the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, the largest event ever focused on a single feline disease. Researchers from around the globe presented to veterinary professionals, cat fanciers (breeders) and, cat shelter and rescue personnel.