Arthritis is one of the most prevalent conditions in cats, affecting as many as 45% of all cats, and 90% of cats older than 12. Osteoarthritis is often not diagnosed in cats because it is so difficult to recognize. The signs can be subtle and it often remains untreated, even though the pain can be debilitating.
There has never been a treatment targeted specifically at feline arthritis – until now. On January 13, the FDA approved Solensia (frunevetmab injection,) a cat-specific monoclonal antibody designed to recognize and attach to a protein called nerve growth factor (NGF.) NGF is involved in the regulation of pain. When frunevetmab binds to NGF, it prevents the pain signal from reaching the brain. Solensia is the first monclonal antibody treatment approved in the US for use in any animal species.
“This is absolutely groundbreaking,” Dr. Duncan Lascelles, professor of translational pain research and surgery, North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine, told USA Today. “I have been in pain research for 30 years and this is the most exciting development that has happened.” Lascelles said the “gamechanger” treatment could add several years to a cat’s life.
“This is what EVERYONE has been waiting for,” says Dr. Andrea Tasi, a holistic veterinarian and owner of Just Cats Naturally.
Solenia is injected under the skin by a veterinarian once a month. According to the company press relesase, it will be available in the second half of 2022.
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