Burmese (cat) - Other Health Issues

Other Health Issues

The incidence of flat-chested kitten syndrome was at one time believed to be particularly prevalent in the Burmese breed, but has been shown with extensive data-gathering since 1995 about the condition to be present in all breeds. Possibly the apparent prevalence in the Burmese is most likely due to better communication between breeders and reporting of the condition, as well as the naturally more barrel-shaped chest of this particular genotype. A study funded by the UK Burmese Cat Club in 1980 was inconclusive when seeking causes.

Certain UK bloodlines suffer from an acute teething disorder in young kittens, where the eruption of the second teeth causes extreme discomfort and the young cat tears at its face to try to alleviate the pain. Veterinary intervention is not useful, since it is the eruption of the new teeth in the jaw that causes the problem; these cannot be removed until they have erupted, by which time the problem ceases. Owners have coped by bandaging the paws of the cat and carrying it around almost constantly, sometimes for as long as 2 weeks (in extreme cases). Apart from scarring caused by the self-mutilation, the cat seems to recover completely. Some kittens only experience the problem for a few hours.

Hypokalaemia, a genetic disease, which is characterised by low serum potassium levels, is also known in the UK Burmese and can similarly be traced to certain bloodlines. The gene is recessive, and both parents must carry it for the kittens to develop the problem. A carrier mated to a non-carrier may pass the problem on unnoticed for several generations. Clinical signs include skeletal muscle weakness, which is often episodic in nature and either affects the whole cat or is localised to the neck muscles. As a consequence the cat can have difficulty in walking and holding their head correctly. Hypokalaemic cats can usually lead a normal life if they get the correct, highly palatable, potassium supplement. Onset of symptoms often occurs around puberty and many may never experience another attack. A DNA test is now available to identify cats affected by or carrying this recessive gene, and breeders are using the test to carefully eliminate the gene from the breed's gene pool.

The Burmese is predisposed to Diabetes mellitus although US lines do not seem to have this predisposition.

Read more about this topic:  Burmese (cat)

Famous quotes containing the words health and/or issues:

    Taste is the fundamental quality which sums up all the other qualities. It is the nec plus ultra of the intelligence. Through this alone is genius the supreme health and balance of all the faculties.
    Isidore Ducasse, Comte de LautrĂ©amont (1846–1870)

    The “universal moments” of child rearing are in fact nothing less than a confrontation with the most basic problems of living in society: a facing through one’s children of all the conflicts inherent in human relationships, a clarification of issues that were unresolved in one’s own growing up. The experience of child rearing not only can strengthen one as an individual but also presents the opportunity to shape human relationships of the future.
    Elaine Heffner (20th century)