Winn Feline Foundation Hosts 28th Annual Symposium

The Winn Feline Foundation hosted its 28th Annual Symposium for breeders, cat lovers and veterinarians on June 15, 2006 from 4 – 6:30 p.m. in Reno, Nev. The Symposium was held in conjunction with the Cat Fanciers’ Association, Inc. annual meeting at the Reno Hilton.

This year, the Symposium featured Kathryn Meurs, DVM, PhD, DACVIM and Leslie Lyons, PhD as its speakers. “Winn is pleased to present these two, prominent, feline scientists who will speak about their Winn-funded research. This will be an opportunity for cat lovers to learn about the significant discoveries made by these researchers,” said President Susan Little, DVM, DABVP.

Meurs, a specialist in Cardiology at Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, presented “An Update on the Genetics of Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.” She and her colleagues recently identified the first known genetic mutation causing hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) in cats. HCM is the most common feline heart disease, found in both pedigreed breeds, as well as non-pedigreed cats.

Lyons, of the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis presented “Color Genetics in Cats and DNA Tests.” Dr. Lyons and her colleagues have recently identified genes responsible for a number of colors and patterns in domestic cats. Their work has led to the availability of several new genetic screening tests to assist breeders in planning their breeding programs.

Founded by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 1968, the Winn Feline Foundation has funded medical studies to improve the health and welfare of cats. They have strived to advance veterinary knowledge in all areas of feline health and awarded grants totaling nearly $1.5 million dollars for scientific studies. Through its annual symposium, written publication, presence at trade shows and close association with cat fanciers, the Foundation has promoted awareness of feline health issues and provided an opportunity for exchange of information about feline health.

The Winn Feline Foundation is the only international charity devoted solely to the advancement of feline health. It has awarded $3 million in research grants toward the goal of improving, prolonging and enhancing the lives of all cats.

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