Health Matters

The Myth of Vaccines

I have attended enough Winn Feline Foundation Symposiums and read enough of the scientific literature that I am no longer a believer in booster vaccines for cats.  I’m sure you have heard of Feline Injection Site Sarcomas.  These are sarcomas that result from a variety of different vaccines and kill cats every year.  In addition, there is research that almost all feline vaccines are created from strains of kidney cells.  This seems to increase the cat’s production of antibodies AGAINST KIDNEY CELLS.  No wonder one of the leading causes of death in cats in kidney disease!  Finally, there has been documented research out FOR YEARS that found one well timed vaccine creates titers high enough for immunity for AT LEAST 7 years.  You don’t get your Measles shot every year, do you?  Why would you give your cats the same injections over and over every year?  Your Amber Snow cat will come with a Rabies shot (required by law) and ONE FVRCP vaccine.  In the FVRCP vaccine, the most important to protect against is Panleukopenia, which is highly contagious and can be fatal.  Thankfully the research shows just one vaccination may provide immunity for a lifetime.

Please educate yourself on the dangers of vaccines and do NOT be swayed by unknowledgeable vets who want your money every year or by big pharma who is also more than happy to make you poor.  Don’t take it from me. . .take it from veterinarians, some of whom are making a stand for what is right.  Please click on the links to watch these smart videos. . .

Dr. Karen Becker:  Are Vaccinations Necessary for Pets?

Dr. John Rob:  The Dangers of Vaccine Overdosing

Dr. Clayton Greenway:  How Often Vaccines Need Boostering and the Benefits of Titer Testing

Polycystic Kidney Disease

Polycystic kidney disease is the most common inherited cause of kidney failure in cats.  It is common in the Persians (40%-60% are affected) and breeds that have used Persians in breeding programs such as: Exotics, Himalayans, American Shorthairs and Scottish Folds.
This is a kidney affected with polycystic kidney disease.  How can it function this way?  IT CAN’T!

Polycystic disease is a disease that shows up later in life (late onset) with enlarged kidneys and kidney dysfunction occurring between 3 and 10 years of age (on average at 7 years of age).  Problems occur when these cysts start to grow and progressively enlarge the kidney, reducing the kidney’s ability to function properly. The ultimate end is kidney failure.  How will you know if a kitten you buy will develop polycystic kidney disease?

PKD is not contagious.  It’s a known genetic disease with autosomal dominant inheritance. In 2005, a DNA test for PKD in Scottish Folds was created and there is simply no excuse not to test for this disease.
This is a healthy kidney.
 

This is an expensive endeavor and many breeders just don’t care enough to test their own cats!  Many breeders will tell you they have “never had a problem with PKD”.  What this means is that they stop breeding or place their cats by the age of 5, so they have never seen one of their cats with PKD (since it shows up on average at the age of 7).  The only way to know for sure is to test via DNA!  Be an educated consumer!


As of August 30, 2018 100% of my cats have been DNA tested for not only PKD (we have been PKD free since 2005) but also the following diseases:  Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (CEP290and CRX gene mutations), Mucopolysaccaridosis and Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (Ragdoll type).  They have also been DNA blood typed.  My breeding males have been DNA tested for an additional Progressive Retinal Atrophy (Pd-Persian derived).

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

As of 10/2020 all of my breeding cats have been Cardio screened via echocardiograms. This does not guarantee a cat will not have heart disease, but it dramatically reduces the chances! Many breeders do not check for this at all.

 Osteochondrodysplasia

Osteochondrodysplasia is a disease that is unique to Scottish Folds.  It was discovered that if a folded ear Scottish fold was bred to another folded ear, many of the offspring developed a severe crippling lameness early in life. Cats affected had shortened, malformed legs and tail as well as abnormalities affecting the growth plates and spine.  As a result, the breed is outlawed by the Cat Fancy in the UK, the GCCF, and has strict breeding rules and regulations with another European Cat Fancy, FIFe

The breed was continued in the United States, however, and breeders felt that offspring of cats with folded ears to cats with normal ears did not get arthritis.  Thus, if the cat has only one copy of the folded ear gene (heterozygous) they did not show the arthritis that the cats with two copies of the gene (homozygous) did.

Research conducted in Australia in February 1999 suggests, for the first time, that even heterozygous Scottish Fold cats may also become afflicted with progressive arthritis. It suggested that cats homozygous for the Fold gene develop crippling arthritis at an early age and that heterozygous Folds also develop arthritis but more slowly.  Indeed, this study suggests all Scottish folds with folded ears will eventually develop arthritis of various severity.  Of course, the straight ear version of the Scottish Fold will never develop any arthritis as it does not have the folded ear gene.

PLEASE BE AWARE that Scottish folds should be bred ONLY folded ear to straight ear and are not to be bred by people who are not dedicated to the health and well-being of these animals.  Make sure that if you are purchasing a kitten with a long and flexible tail.  Watch it run and play.  And, most importantly, make sure that you buy it from a breeder who shows cats in an organization. 

If a breeder does not show or do well in the shows, be warned that they likely do not show because they have problems with osteochondrodysplasia that would disqualify them in the show ring.

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