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How might the burgeoning field of biomarker and microbiome research lead to longer, healthier lives lived by our pets? Kay O’Donnell, Vice President of WALTHAM Petcare Science Institute, joins the podcast with an answer. Tune in to learn the following:

  • How the recent identification of a biomarker in cats could extend their lives and allow for preventative measures against the number one disease that kills cats over the age of five
  • The importance of routine health checks and microbiome testing for pets
  • How and why microbiomes differ between humans and non-human animals

By employing an AI algorithm to large amounts of data from years’ worth of medical records (to include analyses of blood, urine, and fecal samples over time), the team at WALTHAM Petcare Science Institute has developed a predictive diagnostic test that is based on the identification of certain biomarkers which identify cats who are at high risk of developing the number one killer of cats under the age of five: chronic kidney disease (CKD). Since early detection of this disease has been difficult, diagnosis generally isn’t made until 40-70% of kidney function has already been lost.

This approach to medicine not only emphasizes the importance of proactivity and early intervention, but mirrors what’s happening in human healthcare. According to O’Donnell, it holds great promise for the early detection of other common diseases in pets, which would allow for early intervention and treatment before diseases progress. In the end, this means longer, healthier lives for our pets.

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