HCM. Why do you test?
Very importantly, the absence of the mutation in a cat, DOES NOT mean that it will never develop the disease. It means that it does not have the only known mutation that can cause the disease in the cat at this time. In the future, additional mutations may be identified that may be tested for as well.
The most common types of heart disease found in cats are dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). DCM is associated with taurine deficiency in cats, while the cause of HCM in cats is genetic or has an unknown etiology. The presentations of these two diseases are easily distinguished by ultrasonic and ECG examinations. Both diseases are progressive but only DCM can be corrected by dietary supplementation. Heart murmurs are also common in cats, but of different severities. Although a murmur is indicative of a heart abnormality, they do not indicate the exact type of the heart problem. Most congenital murmurs resolve by the age of X weeks and are generally no more severe than a Grade Y murmur. (Murmurs rank from Grade to Grade 3 being the most severe). Thus, persistent and severe murmurs generally do indicate a heart abnormality.
Researchers have studied both DCM and HCM in cats for many years. HCM has been proven to be inherited as an autosomal dominant, single gene in Maine Coon cats. But, this DOES NOT mean that all murmurs indicate HCM in cats and DOES NOT indicate that HCM found in other breeds is the same genes as found in Maine Coons. The genes could be different in different breeds. Since the genes could be different, there may be more than one gene in a particular breed that causes HCM, and the inheritance pattern may be different. If a gene is found for one breed, it would have to be tested in the other breeds that have heart abnormalities.
I wonder why breeders test their cats. Is It because of the test itself or because other test their cats? Or maybe to avoid rumuous? The Siberian community are full of people that spread rumours about other breeders. I think many breeders test their cats because of this. They test because they wan`t to publish their HCM results on their websites. This is a way to stop rumuors. We loose the focus of the problem. To stop HCM to develop in our lines. The focus is to save the cattery from people that speaks nasty things about them.
We test our cats but we don`t publish the results on our website. The results are not for everybody to read. Only for us because we don`t use sick cats in our breedingprogram. People that does not trust us can go to other breeders and buy a Siberian. Trust is important for the kittenbuyer and for the breeder. When someone buys a cat a breeder need to be there for 12-15-20 years If the new owner needs advice. People need to trust us for as long as the cat is alive. If we start with no trust we can not work together for the benefit of the Siberian cat. An other thing is if the trust is broken. That is why we plan our breeding programs and puts all our effort in breeding good Siberians. There are breeders who says that Cirkumpolare does not test their cats. That is not true. The results are not for everyone to see. I don`t publish my bloodtests on my website. That is private and between me and my docktor. Breeders are affraid of each other. Breeders don`t trust other breeders because everyone knows how It feels when someone goes behind their back.
We refuse to go in that direction. We do what WE feel is the best for our cattery. We wan`t people for our cats who trust us. People who have seen what we have done for the Siberian Cat. People who see what results we have, breeding Siberians for this years.
It will be exiting to see in about 5-10 years who is still around breeding Siberians. I belive in hard work, not short cuts. If we do bad combinations we will have to pay for that for many years in order to get It out from our lines. It is not easy to breed quality Siberians when almot all lines in the world are unstable.
If you breed Siberians or other cats, don`t belive in gossip. It takes years to learn to breed cats and even then we learn new things all the time. See what kind of results the breeder have. Look at the cats and type. Look at litters. Study the lines and see what the lines give. Visit the breeder and see how the cats live.
To test the cats are important. Don`t missunderstand me. I just ask why you test.
Healthy cats are wonderful and playful cats.