About Long haired Cats
The domestic long haired cat, also known as fluffy cat, is a cat of mixed ancestry and therefore it cannot be classified to be belonging to one particular cat breed.
They usually appear to be having a certain relationship in terms of ancestry with the Persian Cats but with a relatively flat nose and fine hair.
Similarly, they often fall victims of the Feline PKD Disease.
Role of genetics in PKD and inheritance
Cats with feline PKD Disease have one mutated copy of PKD 1 or PKD 2 in each cell. A single alteration of a PKD gene is enough to cause the disorder but a more changes on the gene causes the cysts to grow at a faster rate and well as multiply in number.
Polycystic kidney disease in also inheritable. This is through a pattern called autosomal recessive pattern. It means that the PKHD1 gene is altered twice. The parent cat is a carrier of one copy of the causative gene and is therefore not affected by the disorder. The child however is because they carry 2 of the mutated genes.
A simple DNA test known as a Feline PKD test that could save the life of a cat and ensure litters of kittens that are free of this disease.
So what is Feline PKD Disease
Feline Polycystic Kidney Disease is a genetic disease that is usually an inherited disorder. Some small closed liquid filled sacs, or air filled or semi-solid material filled sacs develop in the tissue of the feline kidney.
Over time, the sacs develop and multiply eventually covering the normal kidney tissue of the cat. In most cases, the disease actually leads to potentially fatal kidney failure.
Interesting to note is that there is no clear explanation for this defect so far. The only pointer to it is that it is a genetic problem evident in Persian cats and sometimes in other feline cat breeds like the Himalayan cats and the British Shorthairs.
Some clinical signs of this disease include increased drinking and urination; loss of appetite and weight loss; nausea and vomiting; and general lethargy.
Management and Treatment of PKD disease
Some doctors have recommended that the cysts be drained by a needle in a process that is guided by use of an ultrasound. The problem with this procedure is that the cysts are usually numerous and therefore draining them one by one can prove to be a daunting task. That aside, this method of dealing with the condition is temporary because the sacs will fill up with liquid again.
The viable PKD management option is having controlling the cat’s diet, fluid therapy and prescriptions from the vet. Given the severity of this disease on the cat, the best cure is prevention. And like they say anyway, prevention is better than cure. Having the cat tested for the gene that causes the disorder is a preventive measure because you will now not allow the cat to continue breeding giving rise to another cat with chances of having the genetic disorder.
It is important to note that when the disorder is not contained in time, it can lead to development of a secondary infection that causes toxic organisms to form in the blood further exacerbating the situation.
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