Health

Vaccination:

Nowadays much research is too much or not vaccinated. Many vets have been passed with a vaccination schedule tailored depending on the circumstances of your cat. At each vaccination is much sought by the immune system and in particular the component cat against disease. The duration of the protection component of the so-called cocktails are not the same. For flu protection is 1 years and cats for this disease is 3 years or even longer. This does not mean that there should be no longer vaccinated because the benefits of vaccination are greater than not vaccinating. Short said prevention is better than cure, but you can be critical to see what scheme applies to your cat in consultation with your veterinarian.

General advice: Kittens at the age of 9 weeks: cat flu and feline distemper Repeat at 12/16 weeks of age

If you have a small cattery can even consider in consultation with your veterinarian before the vaccination against cat disease to give 12 weeks and then repeat in 16 weeks. Cat flu cat disease each year and repeat every 3 years

Rather than 8/9 weeks give vaccine has little effect. The kittens are 6 weeks after their immune system itself and to build that time the kitten is protected by the milk. A previous vaccination outweighed by the effect of breast milk. Therefore it is important not to kittens in early contact with other adult cats. In this period they are susceptible to many viruses. Adult cats are usually not affected, but for a kitten may be lethal. The immune system works in a completely healthy kittens between 12 and 16 weeks.

Cats must go to exhibitions each year for flu and feline distemper vaccination. This is still required. Even if your cat boarding in this cocktail is still required. Cats who go abroad should also have a rabies vaccination and prefer the 30 days before departure. A Rabies Vaccination can be given from 12 weeks old. Most countries have this requirement of 30 days. Inter alia Great Britain, Scandinavian countries, New Zealand and Austral have different rules. Recent developments for each country you can contact a regional office of the VWA. Telephone the regional office of South Holland: 078-6112100, Belgium: FAVV: 03 2022711

 

Feline calicivirus

Feline calicivirus is a viral infection of the gastrointestinal tract. This virus attacks the immune system because the white blood cells die. The symptoms are high fever, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain and dehydration. The transmission of the virus goes through vomit and diarrhea. Outdoor cats are more likely to be infected with the virus because the virus can survive easily in the air. Even indoor cats are at risk, but less than cats walk outside. You can to take your shoes inside.

Survival rate is low and almost always fatal in kittens. Diagnosis can be made by tissue examination or tests that may show diarrhea virus.

 

Cat flu

Cat flu takes many forms. The normal vaccinations only protect against the most common Herpes and Calicivirus. Unfortunately, there are other viruses in circulation that the vaccination gives no protection. Viruses are very smart and constantly mutating so that every time should be investigated whether the vaccination is and should be adjusted. There are also vaccinations against Bordetella, and Chlamydia. The latter are only used for side effects commonly observed in cats that live in large groups and if carriers are known. Even if the cat in this house should consider vaccination in consultation with the vet. For Herpes and calicivirus is the best protection until after 10/14 days after inoculation and for Chlamydia was 3 weeks. Despite vaccination, a cat can still get flu, it is in a mild form and rarely fatal.

Cat flu is a contagious virus (herpes and calicivirus) that spread by sneezing and saliva. Symptoms include sneezing, snot nose, sores on the tongue and swollen mucosa. In later stages also inflamed eyes. Because the nose is blocked, the cat gradually no longer eat or drink because it is linked to the sense of smell. If a cat can not smell food or drink he / she does not. At this stage you should be careful about dehydration and try it with a water syringe some fluid in the mouth and then to make sure every hour otherwise it is possible that the cat is on a drip. Although antibiotics are not effective against viruses is still used them anyway because there is usually a bacterial infection added.

Chlamydia is not a virus but a bacterium. This form of flu is treatable with antibiotics, but takes time. Symptoms are the same as the Herpes Chlamydia and Calicivirus but it is especially the eyes are affected. Often only 1 eye. Since the vaccination against Chlamydia a living substance and strains of these bacteria in this substance are immune to the cat to do this often side effects. It is even possible that the cat until 3 weeks after vaccination these strains can secrete. What I use is much in the cattery F (feline) Lysine powder. This increases the resistance against all forms of flu. 2 teaspoons per cup of food each day. Kittens from 6 weeks may already have. But despite all precautions can it happen that a virus haunts a cattery. A virus can move rapidly, it's your shoes, your clothes, visitors can bring and it floats as if in the air.

 

FeLV (Leukemia)

Feline Leukemia Virus FeLV or leucosis is a viral disease fatal. The virus attacks the immune system making the cat susceptible to infections. The tumors of the virus can also cause white blood cells (leukemia). The disease is usually caused by various infections always come back. If a cat is infected with the virus in the throat is a particularly high concentration of the virus. Infecting other cats usually happens by washing each other and eating together from the food and water bowls. Very important to know that cats living together in one group and not yet likely to fight infection if a cat is infected with the virus. When a new cat in the group is that it is advisable first to test for FeLV and FIV through the Snap Test. This blood is taken with the virus in the blood can be demonstrated. FeLV and FIV are usually combined in 1 test.

Cats are usually very healthy and a good immune system and can overcome the virus. They separate from and not a virus are not sick. Cats with a reduced resistance to the virus and excrete it be called carrier. They do not like to be sick, but over time it. We are talking about a few months to 3 years.

Disease symptoms may include:

  • Tumors
  • anemia
  • fever
  • sluggishness
  • paralysis
  • Slimming - anorexia
  • Bacterial infections - gingivitis - lesions - skin abscesses and inflammation

 

The symptoms depend on which organs are affected and where the tumors are located. The disease is unfortunately no cure and cats that are ill will eventually die. There is a vaccine available, but it is not 100% reliable. Despite the vaccination cats still get the disease. Most vets will not give it only in risk and / or if an infected cat out there.

 

FIV (feline AIDS)

Feline Virus Imunodeficientie FIV is a virus that is transmitted primarily through blood contact. Hence cat called AIDS, it is similar to the variant that causes AIDS in humans. It is most common in cats walk outside and have regular fighting factions. Cover is also often bitten in the neck so the cat can be infected by the cat.

Also with the FIV virus attacks the immune system so that all complaints are taken. Actually the same symptoms as described by FeLV. As AIDS in humans FIV has a number of stages.

Acute stage: This stage may occur without symptoms, vague complaints Asymptomatic stage: no symptoms, but can be carriers and infect other cats. Then a stage where symptoms such as fever come back every time, no appetite, lose weight and lesions AIDS related stage: this stage is that the cat really notice what is wrong and the symptoms getting worse with no improvement. Eventually reaching a stage which is very similar to AIDS in humans appear. There are no longer overcome the infection and nerve abnormalities are frequently observed in this phase.

Cats with FIV virus can still be reasonably long and healthy life, this is because it can take years before symptoms actually emerge. Depending on resistance and combination of drugs could still several years a quality life. To diagnose blood is needed in the form of the Snap Combo Test. As with FeLV can test the same diagnosis. Cats who live within walking not as likely to run the infection, but catteries who regularly buy new cats are well advised to regularly test for FeLV and FIV.

 

FIP (infectious peritonitis)

Last March 2008 I was in Chicago to attend a lecture by Drs. Susan Little on the subject FIP. The lecture was about the results of the latest research on this elusive virus actually. The investigation is far from finished and there are still enough question marks about. I will try as soon as possible and clearly explain what the virus is and what the results of the investigation so far.

FIP is also listed under the coronavirus FCoV. There are 2 types, Feline Enteric Coronavirus (FECV) peritonitus and feline infectious virus (FIPV). Genetically they are identical but have different effects on the cat. It is a harmless virus coranavirus FECV and comes frequently. In catteries and multiple cat households are 80/90% of cats infected with this virus. The majority of the cats remain healthy. In some cases FECV cause FIP (FIPV). Corona viruses are viruses with a long genome (the total amount of genetic information in the chromosome including the genes and DNA sequence). Because the genome is a significant length sensitive to mutations. They thus mutations, impeding the corona virus a chance to cause illness. What mutation is (still) not known.

The infection (FECV) begins in the intestines and is excreted through feces. FIP occurs in an individual cat because their own FECV mutates. The virus (FIPV) attacks the immune system, it infects the white blood cells and macrophages. FIPV is therefore no longer in the stool and immediately transfer them to other cats is also rare. Especially for adult cats. Research has shown that there are 2 patterns occur: Most cats (70%) recover from the infection but are not immune and are sick again with another infection and 15% is never better and continue to secrete the virus, but are not sick. These are the so-called carriers. And some cats get the virus. You can not use a test to show who has the virus or not. The tests can (still) do not distinguish whether there is the FECV or FIPV virus. Cats ever have been in contact with the corona virus will test positive, so testing says nothing. Hopefully in the future, a test available that can make the distinction.

There are 2 different forms of FIP: the wet form and dry form. In the wet form is the cat really sick, and despite the antibiotic is no change. The cat may have a swollen belly due to fluid in the abdominal wall nests. The cat was drowsy, not eating and has a high fever. There is no chance of survival and the dog is usually within 3 days to 3 weeks dead. In dry form it is difficult to determine whether the cat may actually have FIP. The symptoms are vague and dormant. This may take weeks or months. A diagnosis is only through section fixed. A vet can only give a probability diagnosis. There are tests that can identify titergehalte in the blood so it can be FIP.

Unfortunately, FIP is always fatal. Research has also shown that development of FIP may have a genetic background. There are family trees and information about the health of 10 generations of cats kept in different catteries. It appears that inheritance of susceptibility to FIPV high, approximately 50%. It should also be said that there is a high susceptibility to other viruses. What mutation is responsible for FIPV is not yet clear, but probably has to do with the 3c gene. Before that your cat population, you can identify a few generations later. What I often hear in the fokwereld is that the cat, or that those in that eye, but my opinion is that you just can not say. First you keep or the offspring of a cat or cat more often than normal, before you can say anything about it. Conditions also play a major role. Kittens that are born in the living room and everyone (adult cats) but can also have a greater chance the virus (FECV) to run. You can not say in advance whether or not a kitten get FIP, so let the adult cats catteries not the kittens!! and keep the risk low through them only to put the mother. Kittens are vatbaarst between 6 and 12 weeks. That they are still protected by the milk. The immune system will only work well between 12 and 16 weeks. Then the less likely they are infected by one another. There remains a small risk remains. Make sure the litter trays are always clean, that most virus spreaders. Prefer not to use grit knob, but just every day uitboenen with a detergent. Many work, but effective. It showed that the mutation to FIP the most common in kittens up to 2 years, 1 years after the risk is already lower in older cats and over 10 years (decreased resistance). Stress seems to be a major reason for the development of FIP. Here you can think of moving to the new house, meeting with other cats and / or dogs, show, etc. Very important to know: Never say my cats have / have not FIP. Each cattery ever get to do. While there is no reliable vaccine exists, we must make do with what we currently know and our measures of risk as low as possible. In the Netherlands since 2007 has also launched an investigation into the development of FIP Egberink by Drs Herman and Mr Peter Rottier of Utrecht Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. information site: www.uu.nl. The website of Dr. Addie and Susan Little: www.dr-addie.com.

 

HCM

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is a genetic disease which affects cats, dogs, pigs and people. How it is passed on in generations is still not clearly discovered. Since the 1970's it is known that HCM is the common cause for heart failure, thrombus and sudden death in cats. A major study has been done on Maine Coon cats in the USA which indicates that HCM in these cats seems to be inherited by a single dominant gene.

HCM is characterized by an abnormal thickness of the heartmuscle, mainly at the height of the left side of the heart. Because of the thickening of the heartmuscle the heart becomes less elastic, through which the heart can fill itself less easy. A second consequence is that there is less space for the blood left in the left ventricle, which causes a smaller amount of blood to be pumped around at each heartbeat than normal. The thick heartmuscle can create turbulence in the blood, or the leaking of some valves. This can then cause a heartmurmur, which can be heard by a vet with a stethoscope. Cats with HCM can get fluid in or around their lungs which can lead to difficult breathing. Other animals may show no signs at all, but they can suddenly drop dead, mostly because of a sudden very severe rhythm disturbance. Some cats develop blood clots that may cause paralysis of the hind legs. HCM is not a congenital defect, but a disease that develops very slowly. Cats that have HCM very often show no signs before they are six months old, and it can take several years before you can make a diagnosis of HCM. Therefore you must have a specialist performing an echocardiography report on several occasions.

 

1 a normal heart

2 a HCM positive heart

 

Is there a cure?
Unfortunately HCM can not be cured, but affected cats can be treated with medication. Depending on the symptoms of the animal and the state of the heart, diurectics, beta-receptor antagonists and/or ACE-inhibitors will be used.

How is a HCM test performed?
The cat is examined using an ultrasound machine (echocardiographic test) where you can see if there are any abnormally thickened parts, how the heart beats and how the blood flows.
The examination is painless and is usually tolerated very well by the cats. If the cat feels uneasy, it would be better giving the cat a slight sedation (injection) as it is important that the cat lies still on the examination table.
Sometimes it is necessary to shave the cat a little just on the spot where it is going to be examined. In other cats it works very well just spreading the fur apart without having to shave. In order to get good contact with the cat’s skin and also a good picture of the examined area jelly is being used. The examination lasts for about 30-40 minutes. I'm testing my cats on a yearly base for HCM and publish the results of my cats at
http://www.ragdolldatabase.nl
http://www.andie.org.uk/hcm/index.htm

 

PKD

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is an inherited condition that causes multiple cysts (pockets of fluid) to form in the kidneys. These cysts are present from birth. They start out very small but they grow larger with time and may eventually severely disrupt the kidney; when that happens the kidney can no longer work and kidney failure develops. The cysts usually grow quite slowly, so most affected cats will not show any signs of kidney disease until relatively late in life, typically at around seven or eight years old. However, in some cats kidney failure will occur at a much younger age and at the moment there is no way of predicting how rapidly the disease will progress in any particular cat.

Unfortunately PKD has now become very common in some cat breeds. Persians and Exotic Shorthairs have the highest incidence of problems and studies around the world have shown that around one in three cats from these breeds are now affected by the disease. Other cat breeds that have been developed using Persian bloodlines, and breeds that have allowed outcrossing to Persian cats (eg British Shorthairs) may also have a proportion of affected cats, but in other unrelated breeds it is an extremely rare condition.

Normal kidney Kidney with PKD

 

How is PKD inherited?
PKD is the result of a single, autosomal, dominant gene abnormality. This means that:

Every cat with the abnormal gene will have PKD; there are no unaffected carriers of the gene.
Every cat with PKD will have the abnormal gene, even if that cat only has a few small cysts in its kidneys.
A cat only needs one of its parents to be affected with PKD in order to inherit the abnormal gene.
Every breeding cat with PKD will pass the disease on to a proportion of its kittens, even if it is mated with an unaffected cat.
It appears that inheriting two copies of the abnormal gene, ie, one from each parent, causes such severe disease that the affected kitten dies before birth. All affected cats are therefore considered to be heterozygous (ie they carry one PKD gene and one normal gene).

Can PKD be cured?
Unfortunately there is no available treatment that will prevent the development of kidney failure in a cat that is affected by PKD. The cysts are present from birth and cannot be removed, nor can they be prevented from growing.

Once kidney failure has actually developed, treatment can be used to try to reduce the amount of work that the kidneys have to do, and to try to reverse the secondary effects of renal failure. Such treatment will improve the cat's quality of life, but will not alter the underlying disease or stop the cysts from growing larger.

Do all cats with PKD die of renal failure?
The number of cysts present in each kidney, and the rate at which the cysts grow, varies considerably from cat to cat. Severely affected cats or cats with rapidly growing cysts will develop renal failure at an early age, and will die from PKD. Most affected cats wil appear to be quite healthy until later in life. but will eventually succumb to renal failure and die from PKD. Some cats with few cysts or slowly growing cysts may remain healthy into old age, and may die from other conditions before renal failure develops.
Unfortunately there is currently no way to predict how quickly the condition will progress in an individual cat, and at what age renal failure will occur.

What can be done about PKD?
All cats that carry the abnormal gene are affected with PKD, and affected cats can be identified before they reach breeding age. This makes it relatively easy to eliminate the disease from a breeding group; if all cats in the high-risk breeds were to have their kidneys scanned or be gene tested before they were used for breeding, and if affected cats were not then used for breeding, then PKD could be eradicated from those breeds in a single generation.
There is a DNA-test for PKD, but it hasn't been validated for the Ragdoll.
http://www.ragdolldatabase.nl

 

CIN

CIN is another renal disorder with a PKD testing can be identified. CIN means chronic interstitial nephritis, which is a chronic inflammation of the tissue between the kidneys, leading to tissue growth. In popular parlance it is sometimes called shrink kidney. It leads to fewer complaints as more healthy kidney tissue remains. The symptoms may include excessive drinking and urination, poor eating, vomiting, wasting, poor coat. When blood tests at a later stage, usually elevated kidney values (urea and creatinine) found. Often the disease is clinically evident when the kidneys are taxed more heavily. Hence it is often obvious when a cat is pregnant or has recently given birth. The disease is however, for males and queens.

CIN can be obtained (usually in older animals) but also heritable (usually at a young age to recognize). To date CIN is found mainly in the Ragdoll. There are data to indicate that there also other varieties such problems may occur. In Ragdoll family relationships are clearly present, it is therefore very plausible inheritance. How the inheritance is still unclear. The more tested and more information becomes available, the better we can gain understanding.

With ultrasound, the following are found: the kidneys are abnormally shaped with an irregular surface. Often one or both kidneys to be small. The cortex of the kidney (outer layer of tissue) is often wider, whiter and blotchy. The medulla (inner tissue layer) is harder to recognize. This is again changes (especially in an early stage) only by a trained investigator can be determined.
http://www.ragdolldatabase.nl