A graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dr. Jennifer Creed has built a successful career as a veterinarian through her work at A Plus Petvet and the Depaw University Canine Campus. Currently a locum veterinarian, Dr. Jennifer Creed specializes in the care of Ragdoll cats, a breed prone to developing several medical conditions.
Like all pure cat breeds, Ragdolls inherit certain genetic health issues from their parents. Polycystic kidney disease is one such hereditary condition which may present itself. The disease can manifest in utero or as late as adulthood. In all cases, however, Ragdolls will develop cysts that can become harmful to kidney function as they become larger. Frequent monitoring from a veterinarian can help watch for the progression of this disease.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is another condition that is prevalent among Ragdolls. Those with this disease develop thick heart muscles, which can prevent blood from circulating properly and can lead to blood clots. HCM arises from a genetic mutation for which researchers have created a genetic test. This allows Ragdoll breeders to omit cats that possess the mutation from their breeding lines.
Ragdolls are also known to develop gum disease, such as periodontitis, particularly if their owners do not clean their teeth on a regular basis. Symptoms include loss of teeth and foul-smelling breath.