What Diseases are Prevalent in Ragdoll Cats?


Ragdoll Cats pic

Ragdoll Cats
Image: vetstreet.com

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.

Feline Ondoclastic Resorptive Lesions


Feline Ondoclastic Resorptive Lesions pic

Feline Ondoclastic Resorptive Lesions
Image: petmd.com

As a veterinarian, Dr. Jennifer Creed has a penchant for treating dogs and cats. Among other kinds of care, Dr. Jennifer Creed provides veterinary dentistry, drawing on specialized training, and routinely performs a number of different dental procedures, ranging from cleanings to extractions.

Veterinary dental surgery is a common need among cats with feline ondoclastic resorptive lesions (FORLs), also known as tooth resorption. The condition occurs as a result of the activation of odontoclast cells, which destroy the normal bone cells in the teeth and leave a hole, which resembles a red spot.

FORLs most often develop at the base of the tooth, where it touches the gum line. They are often difficult to see because the gum tissue begins to grow over the tooth as a protective measure.

Some lesions cause pain or reluctance to eat, thus prompting owners to seek medical attention. Others are asymptomatic and may make themselves known initially during a visual checkup, although lesions hidden by gum tissue may only become apparent if the cat is under anesthesia for routine dental care or treatment.

Extraction is the most common treatment for FORLs, as untreated lesions continue to grow and may become chronically painful. It may be possible for a veterinarian to save the tooth with a restorative procedure if the lesion is diagnosed early enough in its development. More advanced lesions may instead be treatable with a procedure known as a crown amputation, in which the veterinarian cuts away the portion of the tooth above the gum line and closes the wound over the resorbed root.

Polycystic Kidney Disease in Cats

Polycystic Kidney Disease pic

Polycystic Kidney Disease
Image: petmd.com

An experienced veterinarian and the owner of a Ragdoll cattery, Dr. Jennifer Creed maintains a particular interest in feline medicine. Dr. Jennifer Creed has published articles on a number of conditions common in Ragdoll cats, including polycystic kidney disease.

Polycystic kidney disease is a congenital condition that causes small cysts to develop in the kidney tissue. They tend to grow in size and proliferate as the disease advances, often to the degree that they cause the kidney to swell and become palpable against the cat’s back. Internally, meanwhile, the growth of the cysts begins to overwhelm healthy tissue and cause kidney failure.

The cystic growths are present in kittenhood, although they often do not grow large enough to present a problem until the cat is 7 years of age or older. The symptoms, similar to those of other kidney diseases, can include increased thirst and urination, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and loss of energy. There is no treatment for the disease itself, although interventions such as fluid therapy and special diets may address the symptoms of kidney failure.

Dr. Jennifer Creed Featured in Voyage Chicago


Dr Jennifer Creed

Dr. Jennifer Creed leverages extensive experience to her role as a veterinarian with A Plus Petvet in the Chicago area. In addition, she is a Ragdoll cat breeder. Recently, the online publication Voyage Chicago featured Dr. Jennifer Creed in an interview that highlighted her career and background.

In the interview, Dr. Creed explained how she began breeding Ragdoll cats. An animal enthusiast since childhood, she was never able to keep a cat as a pet because her brother had severe asthma. However, after completing veterinary school she obtained her first Ragdoll cat. Within a few years, she had added several more of that breed to her household. Since Dr. Creed has always enjoyed taking care of babies of all kinds, her combination of veterinary experience and passion for cats made breeding Ragdolls a natural fit.

Dr. Creed believes she is the only veterinarian-breeder in the state of Illinois. Her unique professional expertise is particularly useful when she is working with Ragdoll kittens and their new owners. She is also familiar with and works with many, many breeders and rescue organizations in her veterinary practice In addition to offering new Ragdoll owners advice and guidance on how to best care for their cats, she draws upon her own experience to lecture at cat shows and consult with other breeders in the MIdwest.