Health Challenges in Ragdoll Cats

 

Ragdoll Cats pic

Ragdoll Cats
Image: vetinfo.com

Dr. Jennifer Creed, a veterinarian located in Elburn, Illinois, is also a licensed breeder of ragdoll cats. Kittens from Dr. Jennifer Creed’s cattery are well cared for and guaranteed for three years to be free from congenital defects or heart disease.

Ragdolls are healthy cats in general. However, some of them, like other breeds, develop bladder stones or a heart disease known as hypertropic cardiomyopathy. This disease begins with a thickening of the left ventricle wall as the cat grows older. Symptoms include depression, lethargy, low appetite, trouble with breathing or gagging, and fainting. Medications can ease these, but there is no cure.

Less severe problems are associated with the ragdoll’s long hair. If not brushed daily or every other day, the hair can become matted, leading to dirt and oils irritating the skin. Insufficient brushing can also cause hairballs.

Another issue for ragdolls is the lack of a particular enzyme that affects mobility and vision. This condition, called feline mucopolysaccharidosis, makes itself known by causing difficulty in your pet’s walking and seeing.

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Purebred Cat Health – Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Depaw University Canine Campus pic

Depaw University Canine Campus
Image: depawk9campus.com

Dr. Jennifer Creed, a veterinarian highly experienced in the treatment of purebred cats, understands the special health requirements and vulnerabilities of such cats. Currently, Dr. Jennifer Creed serves as a consulting veterinarian with Depaw University Canine Campus.

Like many purebred animals, certain breeds of cat are at risk of genetic illness. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, one such illness, arises from a genetic mutation present in a large percentage of some breeds. The condition causes the heart’s walls to thicken, which leads to serious consequences like blood clots and heart failure. Cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy may exhibit such symptoms as lethargy and reduced appetite.

Researchers believe that responsible breeding could eventually eliminate the harmful gene mutation in breeds most impacted by the illness. Cats that have one copy of the mutation usually do not develop hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, but those that have two copies of the mutation are at much higher risk. If two cats with one copy of the gene breed, however, 1/4th of the resultant litter will have two copies of the gene.

Respiratory Illness and Catteries

 

Respiratory Illness pic

Respiratory Illness
Image: cats.about.com

A consultant veterinarian with expertise in feline care, Dr. Jennifer Creed rescues, breeds, and provides health education concerning purebred cats. Dr. Jennifer Creed has written about respiratory infections common to catteries.

A cattery is to cats as a kennel is to dogs. Catteries house cats together, and just like places where humans gather, they create opportunities for diseases to spread. One common type of infection in catteries affects the animals’ upper respiratory system. Two viruses, the feline calicivirus and herpesvirus, give rise to the vast majority of these contagious infections, which can spread anywhere that cats are housed in multiples. Moreover, purebred cats with flat-faced facial structures exhibit a higher risk of upper respiratory disease.

The illness’ symptoms include sneezing, drooling, and inflamed or oozing eyes. Since the infection is viral in origin, it cannot be cured with medications in same the way bacterial infections can. However, veterinarians and pet caretakers can manage symptoms by wiping off nasal and ocular discharge and cultivating a comfortable, stress-free environment.