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Vets identify gene responsible for feline tooth resorption
The discovery follows an analysis of genetic material recovered from the teeth of 11 cats.
Blocking activity of the MMP9 gene could prevent condition from developing.

A team of vets at the University of Edinburgh's Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies say they have identified a gene responsible for causing feline tooth resorption - a common condition estimated to affect 20 to 60 per cent of all cats.

The discovery follows an analysis of genetic material recovered from the teeth of 11 cats, with permission of the animals' owners. Vets found more than 1,000 genes that had been active in teeth where resorption had occurred and therefore might be involved in the process. 

The team concentrated on one particular gene - the MMP9 gene - which produces a protein commonly found in areas of damaged tissue. In experiments using two different techniques to prevent activity in the gene, both approaches prevented the biological processes associated with tooth resorption.

Researchers say their findings, published in Scientific Reports, suggest that the MMP9 gene, and the protein it generates, are involved in causing tooth resorption. Blocking the action of this particular gene could, therefore, prevent the cell processes that lead to disease, they write.

Dr Seungmee Lee from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, explains: “This is a painful condition which affects virtually all mature cats, and currently there is no effective way to manage the disease other than removing affected teeth. By examining genes involved in the process it seems that if we stop the activity of the MMP9 gene, we may be able to prevent the condition from developing.” 

Currently, there are no treatments for tooth resorption other than extracting the affected teeth. Researchers say their discovery could inform new treatments for this condition and may also have implications for other conditions, such as the role of MMP9 in bone diseases.

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Vets call for 'I'm a Celeb' animal ban

News Story 1
 Veterinary and animal welfare organisations are once again calling for a ban on live animals on ITV's 'I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here', as the show begins its 22nd series. The RSPCA is calling on supporters to contact ITV to ask producers to stop using living creatures in 'bushtucker trials', where the animals are often dropped, thrown, handled roughly, crushed, chased, overcrowded, prevented from escaping situations and scared by contestants.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has also launched a campaign called #GetAnimalsOutOfThere - highlighting veterinary surgeons' major concerns around the show's treatment of animals. 

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European veterinary professionals urged to complete survey

Veterinary professionals across Europe are being asked to complete a survey to better understand the sector across the continent.

VetSurvey 2022 is being undertaken by the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) to gather new insights and data on job markets, mobility, demographics, economic indicators and satisfaction.

Findings from the survey will help the FVE map, update and assess the current situation of the veterinary profession and set up priority actions throughout Europe. Open to all veterinary professionals, the survey is available at vetspanel.com