September 30, 2019

Audience: Executive Leadership, Shelter/Rescue Staff & Volunteers, Veterinary Team

Organization: University of California Davis
Investigator(s): Karen Vernau, DVM
Grant Amount: $13,444.00
Project Type: Basic Research
Project Status: Research Complete

Project Summary

This study aims to define the true normal reference intervals for kittens' hearts by radiographs and basic echocardiographic exam, as well as for cardiac biomarker testing.


To generate reference intervals for normal heart size in healthy kittens. This data will be used to guide practicing veterinarians and shelter/rescue veterinarians to appropriately evaluate kitten heart status and discern kittens that are likely to be normal/adoptable from those that would require additional diagnostic evaluation.


The study enrolled 80 clinically healthy kittens aged 8 to 16 weeks. Analysis was done on blood and plasma samples. Auscultation, radiography and echocardiography were performed and recorded, and all images were analyzed offline by an investigator.


This project is being submitted for publication. Results will be shared when they are available.


References may be utilized when evaluating heart size in this population.