Health & Test
If a test is available, it's always worth doing it.
We don't think that ignoring a problem might be a solution to health problems and that's why we always periodicaly test our cats for the main upper respiratory diseases, for giardia and tritrichomonas foetus, for FIV/FeLV, and also for the most important genetic disease of our breeds thanks to the UC Davis Labs: GM1, MPSVI and PRA.
FIV and Felv are retrovirus.
FeLV: it is contagious, it directly causes both fatal cancerous and non-cancerous diseases, it canlie dormant in the bone marrow for a long time, and it can be protected against by vaccination. FeLV is not transmissible to humans or animal species other than the cat family. The most common route is contact with infected saliva through grooming, licking, biting and shared dishes and litter pans. Kittens can be infected by their mother before birth or during nursing after birth.
FIV belongs to the same family of viruses as HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and immunodeficiency viruses in other species. This family of viruses (Lentiviruses) is known for being species-specific, for life-long infection, and for slowly progressive diseases. FIV is not transmissible from cats to people, and HIV is not transmissible to from people to cats. FIV is known to be present in the blood, saliva and cerebrospinal fluid of infected cats. However, the virus is extremely fragile and does not survive outside the cat's body. Therefore, the main method of transmission of FIV from one cat to another is through a bite wound during a cat fight. The virus is only rarely spread through casual cat-to-cat contact. However, female cats infected with FIV during their pregnancy can pass the virus to their unborn kittens. Many FIV-positive cats have chronic inflammatory conditions of the teeth and mouth. Other chronic problems, such as diarrhea, pneumonia, skin disease, sinus infections and some eye diseases as well as neurological problems have been seen in FIV-positive cats.
PRA - Progressive Retinal Atrophy
PRA describes an inherited ophthalmic condition leading ultimately to irreversible blindness. The underlying pathology is of rod and cone photoreceptor dysplasia and/or degeneration. Usually the rod photoreceptors are affected first, leading to night blindness as an early sign. In time, the cone photoreceptors also become involved, so that ultimately total blindness ensues. Rod-cone degeneration (rdAC) is the more common type of PRA in this breed. It is recessively inherited, and affected cats begin to show signs of disease at around 1.5 to 2 years of age. Night blindness progresses to total blindness over a period of 2 to 4 years.
GM1 - Gangliosidosis
GM1 gangliosidosis is a fatal, progressive neurodegenerative lysosomal storage disease caused by mutations of the β-galactosidase (GLB1) gene. In feline GM1 gangliosidosis, a pathogenic mutation (c.1448G>C) of the feline GLB1 gene was identified in Siamese and Korat cats previously diagnosed with the disease in the USA and Italy, respectively. It has been demonstrated the same mutation in a Siamese cat that had been diagnosed with GM1 gangliosidosis in Japan in the 1960s. The mutation was confirmed using DNA extracted from stored paraffin-embedded brain tissue by a direct sequencing method and a polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism assay. This pathogenic mutation seems to have been distributed around the world.
MPSIV - Mucopolysaccharidiosis VI
The feline mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) is a group of lysosomal storage disorders that involve the deficiency of specific enzymes required for the degradation of glycosaminoglycans (GAG). Feline mucopolysaccharidosis VI, is characterized by a deficiency of N-acetylgalactosamine 4-sulfatase (4S), which leads to the lysosomal accumulation and urinary excretion of the GAG dermatan sulfate (DS) (1). It’s an autosomal recessive disease characterized by growth retardation, coarse facial features, joint stiffness, corneal clouding, skeletal deformities, and organ and soft tissue involvement in cats. As a result of DS storage in the heart valve and lung, the normal function of these organs is often compromised, leading to early death in affected individuals.
Early Neutering - Sterilizzazione Precoce
All of our kittens are neutered before leaving our cattery. We are doing that to minimize the stress of this mandatory surgery and to have the opportunity to follow the kittens till they completly recover and let them go when they are ready for the rehoming. There is no evidence to show that neutering earlier than six months (and as early as seven weeks) has negative developmental or behavioural consequences. The perceived increased risks of surgery/anaesthesia are now considerably reduced by published information on improved techniques and agents. Potential anaesthetic problems such as hypothermia and hypoglycaemia are now recognised, and methods have been developed to overcome these. Surgical and anaesthetic techniques have also improved to satisfy their needs. Implications for the cat's behaviour? Results of research into behavioural development show no problems. Problems with growth and development? Studies into growth and development show no problems in neutering before puberty (and as early as seven weeks). Problems of blockage - possible decreased urethral diameter in neutered animals? Uretheral diameter worries unfounded - studies show similar diameter to post-puberty neutering.