Thursday 20 October 2011

Abyssinian cat health issues

Abyssinian cat health issues must include a well recognized disease called renal amyloidosis. It is presumed to be an inherited disease (genetic disease). "The mode of inheritance is not completely understood" (1).

It starts at between one and five years of age. Some cats live to 10+ years and others die soon after diagnosis.

A substance called "amyloid" is deposited in cells and it kills the cells due to "pressure atrophy". This accumulation of amyloid occurs in the cat's kidneys.

Symptoms of ill health include:
  • poor coat
  • weight loss
  • lethargy and anexoria
  • polydipsia (excessive thirst)
  • polyuria (excessive urination)
  • dehydration
  • anemia
  • oral ulcers
  • gum disease
The cat's kidneys are firm and irregular. The vet can feel these through the cat's abdomen (feeling internal organs is called "palpation").

A renal biopsy (removal of affected cells to be examined) confirms the existence of the disease. The cat suffers from chronic kidney failure and the vet will treat for that illness.

(1) Medical, Genetic & Behavioral Aspects of Purebred Cats edited by Ross D Clark DVM

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