CUBBY WANTS YOU TO “BE WELL AND PROSPER! “
Irishcoons believes in WELLNESS. It is easier to prevent disease by practicing good animal husbandry and have excellent veterinary care and nutrition, than it is to treat the disease, once it has occurred. All of our cats, breeding males and females, as well as our pets, receive yearly veterinary care which includes a comprehensive exam and blood work and yearly required boosters as needed. It is very important to us that kittens and cats placed in pet homes receive the same care.
Yearly blood work gives a good picture of how the cat’s body systems are functioning, and often will indicate a problem long before your cat show symptoms of disease. There are two major health issues associated with the Maine Coon breed, namely, HCM and HD. Unfortunately, Gingivitis, which is associated with all breeds and domestic or purebred can ocurr and needs to be addressed. Close inspection of your cat’s teeth and gums are part of a physical examination. FeLV are ruled out by blood tests preformed at our Veterinarian’s office and need only bbe done once for indoor cats. Your cat be inspected for the presence of any fungal diseases and stool will be screened for parasites.
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: This is a thickening of the wall of the heart resulting in an enlarged heart. HCM can be managed with medication if detected early, however, if undetected, can cause death. Our breeding cats have been screened by a Board Certified Cardiologist to rule out any presence of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), which we know can be genetic. There is now a test for the only know mutation of a gene that can cause HCM in some cats. Our cats have had their DNA tested and are all negative. We screen our cats before breeding.
Hip Dysplasia: This is the failure of the hip joints to develop normally. The femur does not fit into the socket of the hip as it should and the hip gradually deteriorates, loses function and causes pain and lameness. Large, heavy boned cats have a higher incidence of disease than most, so it is important to breed a medium to large cat, per the Breed Standard, rather a large to gigantic cat. Irishcoons breeding cats have their first evaluation done for HD at approximately a year of age, prior to breeding. This is young, but one can not ethically breed a “young”cat with early signs of a disease. The cats are reevaluated when they are 3 and 5 years of age. They are all negative for FIV and FeLV, as well as free from parasites and fungi.
Gingivitis: This is a treatable, reversible condition in which the gums become inflamed. Your cat’s teeth should be checked regularly for this condition. Good dental care is necessary to prevent the condition from worsening and leading to tooth loss or stomatitis, which is a severe form of gingivitis, and difficult to treat. There are many theories about what cause the cat to become almost allergic to the bacteria in its mouth. One is that a compromised immune system due to stress, genetics or environmental factors may increase the incidence of this disease. . Foods may or may not be a factor, but Veterinarians gave up the idea years ago that kibble would make the gums healthy. The American Board of Feline Practioniers recommends that kittens and cats be feed canned food, although not fish flavored. Frequent inspection of your cat’s mouth will help to ensure that you will notice a change before it becomes very involved. I don’t breed any cat with gum issues. This doesn’t mean it can’t occur, but we want to make every effort to breed for healthy kittens and cats that will make wonderful life long companions.
P K DEFICIENCY: Erythrocyte Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (PK Deficiency) is an inherited hemolytic anemia caused by insufficient activity of this regulatory enzyme which results in instability and loss of red blood cells. The anemia is intermittent, the age of onset is variable and clinical signs are also variable. Symptoms of this anemia can include: severe lethargy, weakness, weight loss, jaundice, and abdominal enlargement. This condition is inherited as an autosomal recessive. VGL states that,based on a survey of 38 breeds, the mutation responsible for PK deficiency has been found in significant frequency in Abyssinian, Bengal, Domestic Shorthair and Longhair, Egyptian Mau, La Perm, Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest, Savannah, Siberian, Singapura and Somali. Cats of these breeds are at higher risk of having PK deficiency or producing affected offspring; genetic screening for the mutation is recommended. A few breeds such as Exotic Shorthair, Oriental Shorthair and Persians, showed very low frequency of the mutation (less than 0.2%) and are low risk:
The VGL offers a DNA test for PK deficiency to assist owners and breeders in identifying affected and carrier cats. The test uses DNA collected from buccal swabs avoiding invasive blood collection. Breeders can use this test as a tool to avoid breeding carriers together which would produce 25% affected offspring. Two markers for this gene, cat is affect and is either ill or will become ill in time.
Good Nutrition is also an important aspect of a healthy kitten’s or cat’s life. Kittens need an abundance of calories the first year to cope with their fast growth. They are fed Royal Canin Baby Cat (dry) and wet (canned) kitten food until they are four months old, then they eat Royal Canin or Blue Wilderness,chichen flavor.. They also are weaned on raw meat and eat kitten can food. While I don’t expect you to feed a raw diet, there is a wonderful food called Cats in the Kitchen, manufactured by Weruva. It is formulated for cats that do not get a raw diet. You can contact me through the Contact Us link and I will give you information on Blue Wilderness and where the Cats in the Kitchen can food is sold. If you would rather, Royal Cannin Kitten food is fine, as well as Fancy Feast Chicken and Liver kitten food. These are readily available at PetsMart, Pet Supermarket and Petco.