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Scientists identify bladder cancer genes in cats and dogs
Veterinary pathologists from 17 countries took part in the research.

The research could pave the way for new treatments.

An international team of scientists, working on human muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC), has found the shared genes which play a role in cats and dogs spontaneously developing urothelial carcinoma (UC).

It is hoped the research will help identify which genes to target when developing treatments for human patients with bladder cancer. Previous sequencing had discovered around 60 genes which could have an influence on the development of human MIBC.

The results could also inform the development of therapies for cats and dogs.

The study, which involved veterinary pathologists from 17 countries, gathered bladder cancer tissue samples from human, canine, and feline patients and matched it with ‘healthy tissue’ to identify which genes had mutated.

Of the 60 genes which are known to mutate in human MIBC, three were found in cats (TP53, FAT1, and NRAS) and two in dogs (ARID1A and KDM6A). The feline gene which mutated most often, TP53, is also the same which most frequently mutates in human MIBC.

Similar genetic events, such as mismatch repair deficiency and chromothripsis, were also discovered in all three species.

The study, which involved researchers from institutions including the Wellcome Sanger Institute and the University of Guelph in Canada, is the most extensive sequencing of canine bladder cancer to date and the first-ever sequencing of feline bladder cancer.

Dr Louise van der Weyden, a senior author of the study, said: “This was a triumphant effort, pulling together veterinary pathologists from all over the world. It really is remarkable to have such diversity in tissue samples, thus we can be confident about the generalisability of our research.

“Our findings show it is good to have multiple animal models for bladder cancer biology representing different driver genes to capture distinct patient populations. We hope our findings will inform research in this area to help not only humans who get bladder cancer – but animals too, as therapies can benefit both species.”


Image (C) Shutterstock


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Charities' XL bully neutering scheme closes

News Story 1
 A scheme that helped owners of XL bully dogs with the cost of neutering has closed to new applications due to high demand.

The scheme, run by the RSPCA, Blue Cross, and Battersea, has helped 1,800 dogs and their owners after XL bullies were banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

In England and Wales, owners of XL bully dogs which were over one year old on 31 January 2021 have until 30 June 2024 to get their dog neutered. If a dog was between seven months and 12 months old, it must be neutered by 31 December 2024. If it was under seven months old, owners have until 30 June 2025.

More information can be found on the Defra website. 

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News Shorts
Avian flu cattle outbreak spreads to tenth US state

Cattle in two dairy herds in Iowa have tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), making it the tenth state in the USA to be affected by the ongoing outbreak of the disease in cattle.

Since March 2024, more than 80 herds across the USA have been affected by the virus and three dairy workers have tested positive. Authorities have introduced measures to limit the spread of the virus and farmers have been urged to strengthen their biosecurity protocols.

Mike Naig, Iowa secretary of agriculture, said: "Given the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza within dairy cattle in many other states, it is not a surprise that we would have a case given the size of our dairy industry in Iowa.

"While lactating dairy cattle appear to recover with supportive care, we know this destructive virus continues to be deadly for poultry."