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Cartoon cat Garfield's Mid-Life Crisis Sheds Light on the Danger of Cat Kidney Disease

Thursday, May 19, 2011 General News J E 4
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MONHEIM, Germany, May 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

- Online Campaign Fronted by Garfield Launches to Educate the Owners of Middle Aged Cats About Chronic Kidney Disease

A new campaign launched today will educate cat owners about the risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD) that their pets may face as they grow older and urge them to seek kidney function tests for cats over the age of seven. A brand new animation featuring Garfield (as licensed by Paws Inc.) in the midst of a mid-life crisis and a new educational website will kick the campaign off. The website will feature a range of free downloadable tools for owners to help them to plan for their ageing cat's health needs.

CKD is common in cats aged seven or over and almost one in three over the age of 10 suffer from the disease.[1] It can significantly reduce a cat's quality of life and is a leading cause of death in older cats. Early intervention is essential to slow deterioration of kidney function, but this can be challenging as the clinical signs of CKD are often not evident until 75-80% of the nephrons are non-functional.

"This humorous campaign is designed to educate cat owners about the unseen risk of kidney disease as cats age and to encourage them to speak to their veterinarian about kidney function testing," said Dr Joy Olsen, Global Veterinary Services Manager, Bayer Animal Health. "We believe that this will provide veterinarians with new opportunities to offer their clients both valuable advice and treatment options - including Renalzin as a supplementary feed for the support of renal function in case of renal insufficiency in cats - to help them to protect the kidney health of their cats."

Renalzin(R), which effectively binds dietary phosphate even with normal feline diets,[2] is the newest generation phosphate binder for cats.

Controlling phosphate levels is an essential part of the effective management of CKD and can prolong and enhance quality of life. Restriction of phosphate plays an essential role in curbing kidney secondary hyperparathyroidism, soft tissue calcification and progression of kidney failure.[3],[4] Often a kidney (renal) diet is the first step in kidney therapy. Cats fed a restricted phosphate diet were shown to survive approximately 2.4 times longer than cats fed a diet without phosphate restriction.[5] However, cats with CKD are very sensitive to changing their diet and often refuse this. Renalzin, which can be used with wet or dry food, offers phosphorus control with a normal or specialist kidney (renal) diet.

Renalzin(R) binds to dietary phosphate, rendering it indigestible. As a result it significantly (p=0.05) increases faecal phosphate excretion and reduces urinary excretion of phosphorous which reduces the burden on a cat's compromised kidneys. Clinical studies in cats have demonstrated the beneficial effects of Renalzin(R). Over two months, cats given Renalzin(R) together with a standard diet demonstrated: decrease in serum phosphate levels, maintained or increased appetite and improvement in clinical examination scores.[6]

Renalzin(R) is specifically formulated for cats and is simply added to a cat's usual food. The standard recommended dosage is 2 mls applied with the cat's food, once or twice daily depending on the cat's feeding regime.

Notes to editors

Garfield's mid-life crisis can be viewed here http://www.youtube.com/user/RenalzinGarfield and cat owners can log on to http://www.renalzin.com/garfield.htm to find out more about kidney disease in cats and the steps that they can take to prevent and manage it.

About Bayer HealthCare AG

The Bayer Group is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer HealthCare, a subgroup of Bayer AG with annual sales of more than EUR 16.913 billion (2010), is one of the world's leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry and is based in Leverkusen, Germany. The company combines the global activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Medical Care and Pharmaceuticals divisions. Bayer HealthCare's aim is to discover and manufacture products that will improve human and animal health worldwide. Bayer HealthCare has a global workforce of 55.700 employees and is represented in more than 100 countries. Find more information at http://www.bayerhealthcare.com.

With a turnover of EUR 1.120 million (2010) Bayer HealthCare's Animal Health Division is one of the world's leading manufacturers of veterinary drugs. The division manufactures and markets more than 100 different veterinary drugs and care products for livestock and companion animals.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in our annual and interim reports to the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and in our reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (including our Form 20-F). The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to confirm them to future events or developments.

References:

---------------------------------

[1] Polzin DJ. et al, Medical management of feline chronic renal failure. In, Bonagura JD, Kirk RW (eds). Current Veterinary Therapy XI. Philadelphia, PA, Saunders, 1992: 848-853.

[2] Schmidt B et al, Bay 78-1887, J Vet Pharmacol Therap 2006, 29 (Suppl 1): 206-207.

[3] Rubin SI. Chronic renal failure and its management and nephrolithiasis. Vet Clin Small Anim 1997, 27(6): 1331-1354.

[4] Barber PJ. et al, Effect of dietary phosphate restriction on renal secondary hyperparathyroidism in the cat. J Small Anim Prac 1999, 40: 62-70. 6.

[5] Elliot et al 2000.

[6] Schmidt B. et al, The use of Renalzin, a new intestinal phosphate binder, in feline chronic renal failure. Proceedings of the Vetoalp 2008 Conference, March 2008, Chamonix, France, p. 69.

    Contact:
    Kathrin Statz, +49-2173-384019
    Kathrin.statz@bayerhealthcare.com


SOURCE Bayer Animal Health

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