Thursday 20 October 2011

How big is hepatic amyloidosis in Siamese and Oriental cats?

How much of a breed specific cat health problem is hepatic amyloidosis in Siamese and Oriental Shorthair cats? It should be rare, very rare because it is not mentioned in the best book on cat health on the market, Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook. Neither is it mentioned in best book dedicated to genetic diseases in purebred cats, Medical, Genetic & Behavioral Aspects of Purebred Cats.

Yet this disease is invariably fatal and extremely nasty. It is not the same as renal amyloidosis which occurs in Abyssinian cats.

Apparently veterinarians often misdiagnose it, which perpetuates the fact that it hardly registers on the cat health map.

Cats become jaundiced and anemic. The liver is malfunctioning hence the jaundice. The liver is affected by amyloid cysts.These eventually destroy the liver and the cat can die suddenly. There are periods of remission beforehand when the liver regenerates itself.

Symptoms other than mentioned above are:
  1. high white cell count
  2. low red cell count
  3. feeling poorly
  4. it may start when another illness suppresses the cat's immune system
There is a page here on the subject of hepatic amyloidosis in Siamese and Oriental cats. Apparently Dr Lyons of U C Davis has agreed to research this disease so that a genetic marker can be isolated to help prevent perpetuation of the disease in breeding programs. You can go to this page (external website) for more and details.

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