Siberian Health Information

"Cats may walk by themselves, but there are times when they need our support." Nicholas Dodman

Cats of any breed may have accidents or illnesses. Just like with people, some conditions may arise due to age, diet, environmental factors, or genetics. It is important to be prepared for unexpected veterinary costs. The cost of veterinary care has gone way up over the years and a single incident can be extremely costly. We highly recommend researching and purchasing a health insurance plan for your new pet. There are many plans and options available. We have heard positive things about Trupanion, Healthy Paws, and Embrace, but there are many good plans out there.

We are currently part of Trupanion’s Breeder Program, and our kittens come with a certificate that gives you the option to try out their plan for 30 days.  You can find more information about the Trupanion certificate and plan information online. Please read carefully or speak to a representative as coverage varies by state. The certificate is good for:
· Coverage for any new accident or illness
· No waiting periods
· No obligation beyond the 30 day trial period
· $250 deductible

***This offer is extremely time-sensitive and must be activated by the owners 24 hours BEFORE or AFTER the kitten goes home. (Does not apply to retired breeders)***

Common Siberian Health Concerns

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is the most common cardiac disease in cats, regardless of if they are purebred or domestic. Affected cats are at risk of sudden cardiac death due to defects that result in increased left ventricular heart muscle thickness and decreased efficiency of the heart. Cats with HCM may not show any symptoms or they may have heart murmurs, arrhythmias, labored or rapid breathing, and lethargy. There are a couple of DNA tests available for certain types of HCM but it is a complicated condition and there are still genes that haven’t been identified yet. We do the DNA testing for the known genes and have our cats screened by ultrasound with a board-certified veterinary cardiologist on an ongoing basis. It is not a perfect tool but is the current gold standard. A single normal ultrasound does not mean a cat is going to be free of HCM for life. Multiple tests must be done over time as clinical signs may appear at any age. 

Additionally, it is possible for parents who do not have any signs of HCM to produce kittens that may develop it. There is no perfect way to prevent this disease in seemingly healthy cats. Only the most serious forms will affect cats who are under a year to a year and a half of age. We recommend choosing a breeder who will guarantee against HCM for longer than a year. When breeders do not do multiple year guarantees, they are less likely to be informed about cases of HCM that may pop up in their kittens later in life. This information is crucial when making breeding decisions.

For more information on HCM Click Here

Polycystic Kidney Disease is the feline mutation of a disease that affects various species including humans. PKD causes the development of cysts in the kidneys. These cysts vary in size and number from cat to cat. Symptoms may include increased drinking and urination, diminished appetite, weight loss, nausea, vomiting and lethargy. It is important to note that while all cats with PKD will have cystic kidneys, not all cats with cysts in their kidneys have PKD. There are also idiopathic causes of other types of cysts. The mutation for PKD1 is the main genetic mutation responsible for PKD and was identified in Persians and Persian related cats. There are some lines in the Siberian breed that are affected by this, therefore DNA testing is needed. All of our breeding cats have been tested and are negative for the PKD1 gene.

For more information on PKD Click Here

This is an inherited hemolytic anemia caused by insufficient activity of the regulatory enzyme, Pyruvate Kinase.  This insufficiency leads to instability and loss of red blood cells. The anemia is intermittent. The age of onset is variable. The symptoms also vary but may include: severe lethargy, weakness, weight loss, jaundice, and abdominal enlargement. There is a DNA test available to screen for the recessive gene that is responsible for PK Def. Cats who have only one copy of the gene will not develop this condition. All of our breeding cats have tested negative for this gene.

For more information on PK Def Click Here

FIP is a viral disease that can affect any breed of cat. It is caused by certain strains of a virus called the feline coronavirus. Most strains of feline coronavirus do not cause disease. Cats infected with a feline coronavirus are usually able to fight it off without any treatment and generally do not show any symptoms aside from possible diarrhea during the initial viral infection. In a small percentage of infected cats (5 to 10 percent), either by an anomaly of the immune response or mutation of the virus, the infection progresses into clinical FIP, which is usually fatal. Then the virus is referred to as feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIPV).
*This is a different strain of coronavirus than the one that causes COVID-19 and is not contagious to humans.

For more information on FIP Click Here

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