Domestic cats and dogs may have to be vaccinated in the future against Covid-19 to protect people

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This is a quick note but one worth making nonetheless. I think I can predict that in the long term, perhaps in about 18 months to 2 years time, governments in various countries, perhaps predominantly in the West, will be thinking about vaccinating companion animals as a second phase protective measure against Covid-19.  This is because there is a concern amongst some scientists that animals may create a reservoir for mutant variants of the Covid-19 virus. As the virus is zoonotic it can theoretically and actually be transmitted from animals to people and this must apply also to companion animals. Danish mink farmer with white mink due to be euthanised. Photo per credit Perhaps because of the general panicked nature of governmental responses to the coronavirus pandemic, not enough work has been done on this aspect of the spread of the disease. In addition nobody wants to alarm anybody which may lead to companion animal abuse. In fact, in China, at the outset of the pandemic, there were

Bengal Cats-HCM-Update

Bengal cats kittens
Photograph of Bengal kittens copyright Helmi Flick - to my knowledge their is not connection between the cats illustrated and HCM.

This is an update on the HCM (heart disease) information posted already. To see all the posts in date other please click on this link. As I read the situation, it is only coming to light fairly recently that there is a real problem with HCM in Bengal cats. There seems to be no doubt about that.

HCM is inherited. This is well known. Clearly, it is vital therefore to know the background of each cat to track the disease. Where the condition is in the cat's background the cat should be spayed or neutered to cut that line of Bengal cats that suffer from this killer condition.

That begs the question if there is a database of all the lines of Bengal Cats recording the HCM tests, which should ideally be obligatory. There is not such a database, of that I am sure. I am talking here of breeding cats. Every cat adopted by keepers who are not breeding cats should expect their cat to be healthy. This is in the hands of the breeders to organize a comprehensive database. For each Bengal purebred cat there is a database as to parentage (this is what makes the cat a pedigree cat and assures us that she is a purebred cat too).

It would seem to be a fairly simple step for the registries to insist that for each Bengal registered there is an absolute requirement to provide an HCM test result. If the cat is HCM negative (free of the disease), the cat is registered (provided other requirements are met) and if positive the cat should not be registered.

Is this too simplistic? You have to start somwhere and it seems that the situation is not being coordinated.

Bengal Cats-HCM-Update to Bengal Cats

Comments

Anonymous said…
I am a breeder of Bengal cats and there is no significant issue with HCM in Bengals beyond what is found in the common cat population.

The fact that Bengal breeders though TIBCS are making an effort to completely eliminate the issue has been misunderstood by many to indicate there is a problem.
Anonymous said…
I disagree about it not being a problem with Bengal Cats.

It IS becoming a big issue, and a lot of breeders are not honest about it, or do not want to spend the money on testing.
Unknown said…
It was suggested that registries require HCM testing and only those cats testing Negative be allowed to register. The problem with this is...there is no test that I am aware of that tests for the gene causing this...the test only checks to see if the cat currently has the problem or not. That is why a cat needs to be checked routinely. So a breeder could continue to breed because the cat tested negative at the time and then down the road have that same cat show a positive result. So the question is...did this cat pass on HCM. It would be helpful to have a database of cats that have tested positive but that will provide only a part of the answer because not all positive cats bred to a negative cat will pass it on. A test for the gene is the only conclusive means of fighting this disease.
Anonymous said…
It was suggested that registries require HCM testing and only those cats testing Negative be allowed to register. The problem with this is...there is no test that I am aware of that tests for the gene causing this...the test only checks to see if the cat currently has the problem or not. That is why a cat needs to be checked routinely. So a breeder could continue to breed because the cat tested negative at the time and then down the road have that same cat show a positive result. So the question is...did this cat pass on HCM. It would be helpful to have a database of cats that have tested positive but that will provide only a part of the answer because not all positive cats bred to a negative cat will pass it on. A test for the gene is the only conclusive means of fighting this disease.
Sophia said…
In Ragdolls it is possible to test for HCM using an oral swab, carried out at your local vet and certified by microchip that it IS the correct cat.
It is then sent off with the paperwork to a lab (in Bristol for us) for HCM testing!
Is this not possible in Bengals??

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