Aby-a-Day – June 11: Happy 5th Birthday, Angel! (Hipstamatic Monday)

Angel is 5 years old!

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Today is the day we celebrate Angel’s birthday.

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We don’t know her actual birthday, but the rescue was pretty sure that she was born in the first half of June. We chose the 11th of June because it’s halfway between my birthday and my husband’s.

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As per tradition, she had her little cat-food can cake.

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She also got birthday presents, of course.

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She got a purple Hexbug Nano for the Hexbug track, a purple laser pointer, and a purple silvervine fish from Nip & Bones.

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The silvervine fish was the most immediately interesting toy to Angel.

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I’ve never given any of my cats silvervine before, so I was interested to see their reaction versus catnip.

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I don’t know about the rest of the cats, but Angel seemed to really like it!

A really sweet thing happened today, too…Angel was invited to join the We’re One-Derful group on Catster! How cute is that?

Good News for Angel and Other Cats with FHV-1!

Just in time for Angel’s birthday, look at this article that the Winn Foundation posted this morning: Treatment of feline ocular herpesvirus infection.

The Winn Foundation selects several feline research projects to fund, and this year the Feline Herpesvirus study was one of those selected.

According to the Winn Foundation’s post: Feline herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1) typically causes respiratory disease in cats. However, chronic infections can cause severe eye disease that may lead to blindness. Currently there is no effective treatment for these chronic cases. Previous Winn funding has helped the investigators design a therapeutic agent – small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) – which use the cell’s own machinery to inhibit viral replication through the targeting of essential herpesvirus genes. The investigators have developed a nanoparticle delivery vehicle composed of chitosan, a nontoxic substance, to package these siRNAs for delivery into cells. The goal of this study is to develop a hydrogel, similar to a soft contact lens, for delivery of the nanoparticles. The hydrogel can be placed directly into the cat’s eye, allowing for successful drug uptake. This method will also provide extended continuous delivery of the FHV-1 specific siRNAs into the cells of the cornea. This study will potentially lead to development of a product suitable for use in cats’ eyes for the treatment of FHV-1 infections.

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This would be a tremendous breakthrough for cats like Angel. I give her L-Lysine treats and L-Lysine powder in her food everyday, but her remaining eye is still very runny and goopy; it’s been shown that ingesting L-Lysine with food isn’t the best way to get it into a cat’s system, but she won’t eat the gels or let me give her L-Lysine pills. However, it sounds like this is even better than L-Lysine, since it actually acts as an antagonist to the Feline Herpesvirus rather than just blocking it. And the fact that it goes directly into her eye, which is the source of the problem, makes it that much more attractive.

Let’s hope that this treatment works, and gets onto the market ASAP!