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.

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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.

FIP in Cats

 

FIP in Cats pic

FIP in Cats
Image: pets.webmd.com

Dr. Jennifer Creed, a veterinarian serving a Chicago-area animal boarding facility, underwent her professional training at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. An animal healthcare provider interested in purebred felines, Dr. Jennifer Creed has experience treating ragdoll cats, a breed susceptible to illnesses like feline infectious peritonitis (FIP).

A disease uncommon in indoor cats that live in one-cat residences, FIP is a very serious illness that inexorably leads to death. Unfortunately, veterinarian researchers have yet to discover a cure for the disease, though a controversial FIP vaccine has been developed.

However, most cats exposed to the virus that causes FIP do not go on to develop FIP, which is characterized by either “dry” symptoms like weight loss, jaundice, and neurological problems or “effusive” symptoms like fluid buildup in the abdomen. Cats with effusive FIP usually succumb much faster than those exhibiting the dry version.

The key risk factor for FIP centers on living conditions that bring many individual cats together in one space, where the cats become exposed to each other’s infected feces. Veterinarians have few options when treating patients with FIP, though in mild forms of the “dry” condition, treatment may prolong life.

Feline Renal Health

Feline Renal Health pic

Feline Renal Health
Image: webmd.com

Dr. Jennifer Creed, a veterinarian for DePaw University Canine Campus who also focuses on the breeding and care of ragdoll cats, graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. Among conditions common to ragdolls, Dr. Jennifer Creed has experience addressing polycystic kidney diseases.

A genetic condition common to feline breeds like ragdolls and Persians, polycystic kidney disease causes numerous cysts to develop within the kidneys. These cysts expand until they interrupt kidney function, which is vital to the maintenance of life.

Unfortunately, veterinarian researchers have yet to discover a cure for the illness, though animal healthcare providers can prescribe therapies to address symptoms, especially those manifesting in the earlier stages of the disease. These symptoms include malaise, disinterest in food, and frequent urination.

Felines with polycystic kidney disease may not exhibit obvious symptoms until renal failure begins. However, even after the onset of chronic kidney problems, felines can live with the disease for anywhere from a few weeks to a few years, depending on disease progression and treatment efficacy.