The University of Bristol and Langford Veterinary Services are heavily involved in feline coronavirus (FCoV) research with the ultimate aim of developing treatments to prevent FCoV infection in cats as well as feline infectious peritonitis (FIP).
A lot of our research into infectious and genetic diseases is dependent on samples collected and submitted by cat owners and breeders. In the past some of you have contacted us offering samples from deceased cats in case they could be of use in our various research projects, which we very much appreciate at what is a distressing and difficult time.
For our research we require tissue samples to be collected from cats that have died from any cause. We are therefore asking for your potential help with this. We would supply your vet with a sample collection kit to use as the samples need to be preserved as soon as possible after death. Therefore the kit must be received by your vet prior to euthanasia of your cat. You or your vet should contact us if a sample collection kit is likely to be required, and we can arrange for it to be posted to your vet. Your vet would then send us the samples collected; we also analyse the samples to try and provide a diagnosis, and this information can be provided to you or your vet if this would be helpful.
We know that this is a difficult topic to broach, and sincerely hope that you do not need to contact us, but if you would like to help our research by providing tissue samples, it would be very much appreciated. Owners that provide samples often say they gain comfort in the knowledge that they have helped other cats through their contribution to our research studies.
If you would like to help us in this matter, please talk to your vet and contact us by email.
Many thanks for reading this message.