|Bald and Beautiful Sphynx Cats
|HCM is a common cardiac condition and is the most common heart disease in cats. HCM is an
acquired disease that most often affects middle-age cats, but has been seen in very young cats as well.
Although it develops and progresses over time, it's early signs may be subtle or nonexistent. A cat that
seems healthy may appear to become very ill, very quickly, or even die suddenly after developing a
blood clot in the heart, having displayed no symptoms of ill-health.
A cat’s heart that is affected by HCM will have thickened left ventricle walls. Rather than growing larger
outwardly, the walls of the heart grow inward, restricting the amount of blood that can be pumped
through the ventricle. As the condition worsens, it becomes increasingly difficult for the heart to
perform its job and the heart eventually fails.
Symptoms of HCM
Many cats with HCM are never diagnosed as having the condition until it is too late – that is, after
death, during a necropsy. The reason for this is that the disease often displays no symptoms at all, or
exhibits symptoms that can be easily mistaken for other conditions. However, the following symptoms,
if seen frequently in your cat, should be taken very seriously as they can be indicative of HCM:
Causes of HCM
So far, the cause of Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is unknown; however some studies suggest it
to be genetic. Certain breeds appear to be more commonly afflicted. If a veterinarian believes a cat to
be at risk for the condition, he or she may recommend that further screening be undertaken,
preferably with a Board Certified Veterinarian Cardiologist.
Scanning for HCM
An echocardiogram, an ultrasound of the heart, is the best method of detecting HCM. An
echocardiogram can be an expensive test, often costing upwards of $600 at a veterinarian’s office, but
it is vitally important if HCM is suspected and as a preventative tool in a breeding program. Scanning
for HCM is such an important tool in trying to eliminate this disease or greatly reduce incidence of it
from the Sphynx gene pool. We strongly recommend that all adult Sphynx in Breeding Programs be
scanned annually and that Adult Pet Sphynx be scanned every 2-3 years.
While the long-term prognosis for cats afflicted with this incurable disease is not good, early detection
via an echocardiogram and treatment with medication can considerably slow the progression of the
disease, leading to many, many great years with your cat. Further and more importantly, scanning and
catching this disease early will help prevent further generations of HCM positive Sphynx from being
born by spaying and neutering HCM positive breeders. All pet parents and breeders should be aware of
this deadly disease. We encourage all potential new Sphynx parents to only support responsible
breeders that are scanning their breeding cats.
|All of our Sphynx at BareMews, are scanned for Heart Disease starting
at around 1yr of age and annually thereafter.
We use and HIGHLY recommend Board Certified Veterinary
Cardiologist, Scott Forney, DVM, DACVIM Cardiology, and his wonderful
staff at LAS VEGAS VETERINARY SPECIALTY CENTER if you're having
your cat scanned in the Las Vegas, Nevada area.
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|8650 W. Tropicana Ave., Suite B-107
Las Vegas, NV 89147