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The purpose of this section is not to lecture on diseases that may affect the Maine Coon (there are excellent sites and forums dealing with the subject), but to briefly describe the main pathologies and our screening protocols.

 

Performing these tests does not mean that the Maine Coon is more exposed to these diseases than other cat breeds, but simply that all tests are used to ensure as far as possible the health of cats and kittens and ensure the future of the breed.

 

All our cats are regularly wormed. They are vaccinated against typhus, coryza and leucosis. They are also tested FeLV and FIV.

 

The cats breeders are tested regularly by ultrasound for Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) and for Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) on the occasion of the first ultrasound. They are also tested by DNA for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), HCM1 and PKDef (laboratories Antagene, Genindexe or Langford) not carrying the genetic abnormality.

 

 

FeLV (Feline Leukemia Virus)

This is a serious disease with often fatal outcome. The virus spreads very easily from cat to cat contact (licking, biting, ...), but also from mother to kittens through the placenta and milk.

This virus is not contagious to humans.

 

 

FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus)

Commonly called the cat AIDS, the virus is spread primarily by exchange of blood or saliva (deep bite), and sexually. The transmission from mother to kittens is also possible during birth or through breastfeeding.

This virus is not contagious to humans.

 

 

HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy)

This is an inherited disease that causes the increased thickness of the heart muscle inward, resulting in a decrease in the volume of blood ejected. There are two screening methods:

  • by DNA test (for the mutation HCM1)
  • by echocardiography/ultrasound (for HCM)

For more information, we recommend these two popular articles appeared on Pawpeds for HCM and HCM1, and an other appeared on the LOOF about HCM in Maine Coon cats.

 

 

SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy)

It is also a hereditary disease that affects the skeletal muscles, trunk and lower limbs and which, without going into details, causes muscle weakness in the hindquarters and therefore atrophy. It can be detected by DNA. For more information we recommend this article appeared on Pawpeds.

 

 

PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease)

It is also a hereditary disease characterized by the gradual development of cysts in the kidneys causing kidney failure that can cause the death of the cat. For Maine Coon, DNA testing is not valid and the safest way is the ultrasound screening. For more information we recommend that presentation published on the website of Genindexe.

 

 

PKDef (Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency)

Another hereditary disease, characterized by the absence of the enzyme pyruvate kinase, resulting in early destruction of red blood cells and leading to a more or less severe anemia among individuals. It can be detected by DNA.