TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › IMO: In My Opinion › Animal Testing - diseases?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Animal Testing - diseases?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
The thread about Menu testing food on animals after the recall to see if it did indeed cause problems got me thinking..

I know that some testing is done on live healthy animals in regards to diseases and vaccine development. For example:

My cat Alley died of cytauxzoonosis, a blood parasite carried by bobcats and spread by ticks. I have had communication with a Dr. at the Oklahoma University of Veterinary Medicine which is the facility leading the research into this. Currently, 9 of 10 or 10 of 10 cats who get this, die, within weeks. The problem with studying this is that live healthy cats must be used and infected for the research. They can't develop a vaccine as of yet, because they have been unable to "grow" it in the lab. So any testing to develop a vaccine or a cure is done on live cats.

I have mixed feelings about this. I guess because it was MY babygirl who was put to sleep to prevent a horrible painful death, I am more likely to say that it is worth it to sacrifice the few, to save the many, and find a cure or vaccine. There are a lot of high kill shelters and these cats would be killed anyways, so is it worth it, to make their death "useful" with the possibility that someday, NO cats will die of this? Its easier for me to say that yes, it is worth it, and I would have gladly sacrificed a few "unknown" cats to save my girl. On the other hand, would I have sacrificed my girl, to save future cats? That's a tough one. Its hard to say what you would or wouldn't do until you are in that situation, but I am curious about everyone's opinion regarding research of this type.

Sacrifice a few, to save the whole? Or just hope the disease mutates into a less fatal version through natural selection or something? Any and all opinions welcome.

p.s. Their latest "success" with treatment they will begin using for the upcoming tick season, is that 3 our of 7 cats survived. That's 2 or 3 more cats than survived previously, but its still terrible odds.
post #2 of 19
Sorry, I still can't agree with it. Do I think its right that unwanted animals can be tortured so that mine can live? NO. And given a choice would those aniimals being euthanized at the shelter volunteer to be used, so they could suffer before they die? I doubt it. Maybe those animals should have some kind of lawyer like young children do in court cases to protect those who can't defend themselves.
So many of the things they try to cure could be prevented with simple things like life style changes--exercise, eating right, not smoking, etc. So people can mess up their health as much as they want and then count on medical science and millions of innocent animals to come up with some way to fix what they did to themselves.

And so much of it, isn't even about disease. Want to develop a new nail color or a new fragrance, etc . Lets go stick it in a rabbit's eye and see what happens. There are companies that don't do it, so its not necessary and should be stopped.

By the way, is this a new kind of tick or would the tick repellants that are out there now stop these ticks?
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
I don't believe in animal testing for human things like cosmetics, etc. Just wanted to get that clear. What I'm asking about is using live animals to find cures for animal diseases, when there is no other way to do the research.

As for cytauxzoonosis, many of the animals who get infected, mine included, are treated with Frontline and other similar things. The problem with a lot of them, is that in order for it to kill the ticks, it has to bite the cat. Once it is bitten, the tick dies, yes, but by then the parasite has already been transmitted. It is fairly "new" as far as these things go, the first case being reported in 1976. it is still mostly in the south and southeast US states but it is spreading.

Would anyone be willing to sacrifice their own pet if they knew it would prevent every cat from ever dying from a specific disease ever again? Like I said, that's a tough one... and that is also why the research on this is basically at a standstill, because they do not want to knowingly infect a healthy cat either.

Its kind of a no-win situation all around
post #4 of 19
It is a no win situation.

But, think of this...

I'm sure that cats and dogs died while spay/neuter protocols were being developed. Would we not want that to have been developed? I'm sure, quite sure, that cats and dogs died while they developed anaethesia that is compatible with their metabolisms. Should we go back to not having any surgery available for them? All of the vaccinations that have been developed, that are now common protocol - distemper, rabies, etc. - that save thousands of animals from painful deaths had to be developed and tested on animals. Just like at some point the vaccinations for people had to be tested on people.

It's really unfortunately that the disease you are talking about debilitates animals so quickly. I believe tests and samples are usually done on animals/humans who already have the disease they are trying to combat. If they could somehow get the word out that they want to get samples from already infected animals within the veterinary community - blood samples, small tissue samples, etc. - in order to study the parasite and develop a test vaccination or cure, they might be able to work with the public on this.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Heidi

Thanks, you said it much better than me!

I don't like the thought of healthy shelter animals being used and caused to get sick and possibly die, but if it can help to find a cure for this...

I AM glad that they have developed treatments and vaccines for so many things that would have been a death sentence a few decades ago and they wouldn't have been able to do that without using healthy animals in the research.

As for cytaux, they are trying to find bobcats who are infected, but not sick, to do further study on how the organizm reacts in their blood and also what happens when it is carried by the ticks, to see if that will yield any clues. Knowing that at the moment, there really isn't much hope, makes Alley's death that much harder to deal with.
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
I'm sure that cats and dogs died while spay/neuter protocols were being developed. Would we not want that to have been developed? I'm sure, quite sure, that cats and dogs died while they developed anaethesia that is compatible with their metabolisms. Should we go back to not having any surgery available for them? All of the vaccinations that have been developed, that are now common protocol - distemper, rabies, etc. - that save thousands of animals from painful deaths had to be developed and tested on animals. Just like at some point the vaccinations for people had to be tested on people.
Very well said, Heidi, and my thoughts exactly. It's sad and it's definitely no-win, but would I sacrifice one to save hundreds (be it one cat or one human)? Yes, yes I would.
post #7 of 19
I find it very disturbing that this "sacrifice one to save one hundred" is acceptable with animals, but not humans. Far more animals lives are sacrificed every day in the search of human medical treatments and much less........
post #8 of 19
I agree that this is a no-win situation. Unfortunately for us and the animals of the world, diseases do exist. Animals will get sick, and the only way people know how to save them- and we, being human, MUST try to save them, and not let nature run its course- is to test.

Testing on animals is a sad but necessary side effect of trying to save them- just like some people will have to be the first to try new treatment for humans. I agree that sacrificing a few to save many is worth it, though heart breaking. However, as Cheylink said, it's incredibly sad that humans happily sacrifice many animals, and not so many humans.

On that note, though I do support testing on animals (ONLY to save lives- NOT at all for cosmetics or other superficial things), I only wish that the animals were treated as well when they are being tested as humans are. A human who is the test subject of a new drug will be paid money, given free stuff, who knows... An animal being tested? Will most likely be locked away alone (or with far too many others), sad, lonely, and in pain. If only the animals were spoiled and pampered even more so than humans- since they can not offer their bodies to science.

Just my
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheylink View Post
I find it very disturbing that this "sacrifice one to save one hundred" is acceptable with animals, but not humans. Far more animals lives are sacrificed every day in the search of human medical treatments and much less........
But it does happen with humans as well. There are a lot of people with serious diseases that voluntarily agree to "clinical trials". These are obviously treatments that have not been formally approved yet, but show promise. With any trial, there is no guarantee that the treatment will work, but it will definitely move science forward. The only difference, and I'm sure that in many animal tests this isn't a difference, is that humans are not intentionally infected for the purpose of testing...well, at least that we know of.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheylink View Post
I find it very disturbing that this "sacrifice one to save one hundred" is acceptable with animals, but not humans. Far more animals lives are sacrificed every day in the search of human medical treatments and much less........
It actually IS ok with humans. There are a lot of people who gladly volunteer for experimental treatments for a number of different illnesses, and sometimes they die as a result. It is called "Clinical Trials" and is a very large and important part of drug research.

Whoops, just noticed your post above, Heidi!
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
The only difference, and I'm sure that in many animal tests this isn't a difference, is that humans are not intentionally infected for the purpose of testing...well, at least that we know of.
The other and very important difference is that humans volunteer for clinical tests. They know what they're doing, the animals aren't given that choice.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryn View Post
The other and very important difference is that humans volunteer for clinical tests. They know what they're doing, the animals aren't given that choice.
That's very true. The animals aren't given a choice. However, if this testing wasn't being done, we wouldn't have the vaccines and treatments that we have now for felv and many other diseases and many more cats would die for lack of a "cure".
post #13 of 19
I do not agree with the majority of animal testing that this done. These are a few reasons why:

A mentally stressed/understimulated animal in a cage might not give very accurate results.

Animals and humans are physiologically different. What works in a monkey/dog/cat/etc. might NOT work in a human. For example, If you give a guinea pig penicillin, they will die. Humans, however, have found penicillin useful in treating many diseases.
Also, there was a news story some months ago about people in the UK dieing from participating in a clinical study of some new medication. The medication worked fine in monkeys, but it causes a human being's organs to shut down. Animals are NOT accurate representatives for humans.

I think more time should be spent on trying to find alternative ways of developing medicines and treatments.
post #14 of 19
For those who don't want any animal testing, I pose this question:

Should veterinary medicine just stop right where it is now? Because it simply cannot move forward without live subjects to test on at some point. Should we just not try to combat other animal diseases because they can't consent to undergoing the tests themselves?

As Sweet72947 said - different animals (humans included in that) react differently to different medications. We couldn't simply apply a new breakthrough in human cancer scaled down for body mass in cats and dogs. But if your cat got cancer, wouldn't you want treatment available? I know I would, I would at least want the option. And I would want them to be able to tell me what the side effects are in cats. Not in humans, not in rabbits, not in mice - in cats.

Now, I will agree that if I had my druthers, I would rather not infect healthy animals with any disease or parasite or whatnot to study it, but like in humans utilize those that already have that disease. Obviously I would want them to be cared for humanely and moreover, kindly. But I definitely want the medical science to move forward, and that means testing on the animals that are meant to be treated.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
For those who don't want any animal testing, I pose this question:


Now, I will agree that if I had my druthers, I would rather not infect healthy animals with any disease or parasite or whatnot to study it, but like in humans utilize those that already have that disease. Obviously I would want them to be cared for humanely and moreover, kindly. But I definitely want the medical science to move forward, and that means testing on the animals that are meant to be treated.
I'm ok with the above paragraph. If the animals already have the disease. I don't see people lining up to be infected with aids so research can be done, and I don't think healthy cats or other animals should be infected with other deadly organisms.
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulaS View Post
That's very true. The animals aren't given a choice. However, if this testing wasn't being done, we wouldn't have the vaccines and treatments that we have now for felv and many other diseases and many more cats would die for lack of a "cure".

We don't have to undo what's already done. I'm not saying don' use vaccines because they were tested on animals. Just don't think any more healthy animals should die to save the sick ones.
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snuzy View Post
We don't have to undo what's already done. I'm not saying don' use vaccines because they were tested on animals. Just don't think any more healthy animals should die to save the sick ones.
So if a "new" disease starts killing cats, and al cats are at risk, all over the country/world and the only way to develop a cure is to test on healthy cats, then too bad? Just let them all die because we don't want to test on a few to find the cure?

I'm sorry, but I just can't agree with that logic. How do you think they developed vaccines and treatments for fiv felv rabies, etc? How many cats would be dying of those things now, if testing hadn't been done?
post #18 of 19
There is always going to be a new disease! If you want to donate your healthy animal to the cause, be my guest. Why are those animals you want to test on worth less than the ones who may get some rare disease in the future? You want to come to the shelter and pick the cats you think should die to save others? Should we start sacrificing some homeless humans too since there will always be new human diseases that need curing too.

And don't worry. I'm sure testing won't stop just because I think its wrong.
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snuzy View Post
There is always going to be a new disease! If you want to donate your healthy animal to the cause, be my guest. Why are those animals you want to test on worth less than the ones who may get some rare disease in the future? You want to come to the shelter and pick the cats you think should die to save others? Should we start sacrificing some homeless humans too since there will always be new human diseases that need curing too.

And don't worry. I'm sure testing won't stop just because I think its wrong.
Yes there will always be a new disease. At one time, distemper was a new disease. So was Felv. So were several other things that you now vaccinate your cats against. If animal testing hadn't been done, we would not have those vaccines today. How many healthy cats do you think we would even have today if those diseases had been allowed to just run wild, with no effort to stop them? Would your cat be healthy today?

My healthy cat was already lost to "the cause". Would I go in a shelter and pick the cats to sacrifice? If I thought it would eradicate the disease from the US and ensure that NO other cat ever suffered like mine did? Damn right I would. Because then maybe there would be a cytaux vaccine everyone could give their cats along with all the other vaccines they give them, which they would not have, unless there had been testing done on healthy animals.

And with this, I quit this topic, as it is obviously too personal to me. Thanks for everyone's viewpoints.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: IMO: In My Opinion
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › IMO: In My Opinion › Animal Testing - diseases?