The Results are in; some good news some bad!
First of all I want to say thank you to all of you sphynx & sphynx "new traits" parents who took your time to fill out our survey. We received a total of 96 responses this year.
Sadly we see that according to our survey despite all of the great efforts taken through the previous years, the current average HCM diagnosis rate is 20% of all sphynx and sphynx new traits. This means that according to this survey and average of 1 in 5 sphynx in the general population will be diagnosed with HCM disease sometime in it's life-time. Obviously these are not good statistics!
In comparison however, the good news is that responsible catteries like LiLNudists Sphynx & Bambino Cattery who is routinely scanning their cats for the disease and carefully working with outcrossing and watching their breeding lines are suffering with FAR less than that average statistic. LiLNudists Catteries current HCM statistic from all cattery location over our 15 years since inception is currently less than 2% of all cats!!! We are very excited to see our cattery fairing so much better than the general average.
In other GOOD news form the survey to tell you about today is the great news that many more people are adopting a fresh, raw food diet for their cats than ever before! According to statistics nearly 30% of people are feeding at least some raw food for their cats, this is great news as this is the best diet possible for our feline and canine friends (when properly balanced and handled that is.)
Another wonderful thing to see if how many are actively scanning their cats for HCM as early detection saves and extends life-span tremendously! Statistics show that an average of 60% of owners are scanning their cats. Of course ideal would be 100%, but these rates are certainly up a lot since years before.
We have a ways to go as a society on this statistic, however I was pleased to see that even 15% of veterinarians are recommending supporting heart supplements for those pets diagnosed with a heart condition like HCM. Ideally every vet would be knowledgeable about available supplements to improve heart health and educate their patients, but for now all we can do is continue to promote and bring awareness within our pet community. If you missed my previous newsletter and would like to read further on what supplements are available to your dogs and cats for heart health see blog post @ renewedpet.com/blogs/news/hcm-dcm-did-you-know-there-are-supplements-to-help-with-pet-heart-disease
We also included in our survey this year an assessment of what people are feeding their cats who currently are diagnosed with HCM to see if their is any correlation. The statistics show that 66% of those cats currently diagnosed and living with HCM are fed a kibble only, or kibble mixed with canned diet. However, the recommended diet of at least canned or raw diet only fed cats make up only 33% of those living with HCM, therefore these statistics support what we along with top pet health experts around the world have been promoting for years; a wet food diet, especially a diet of fresh, whole foods is best for your pets, and for your pets heart health.
So after taking in all of this info you may be wondering how can YOU help to lower these statistics of HCM in the breed?
1. Do not supporting casual breeding, the person who wants to have "just one litter for fun" and doesn't know of the importance of screening like HCM.
2. Do not adopt from breeders who are not routinely scanning their cats. The current veterinary cardiologist recommendation is to have all adult cats in breeding program scanned by one year of age, and scan each year thereafter. Kittens do not need to be scanned.
3. Do not take anyone's "word for it," be sure to ask to actually see proof of HCM scans on the parents of any kitten you are considering adopting.
4. Volunteer to help set up local HCM clinics; communicate with specialists in your area, post to your social media to find other sphynx parents in your area, contact HairlessHearts.org for assistance in arranging clinics.
5. Also consider donating to the HCM gene research fund. Once the genetic defect is determined in the breed the rates can be significantly decreased through selective breeding just as has been the case with Ragdoll and Maine Coon cats once the gene defect was discovered for their breeds.
6. Feed your cat a high quality canned only or fresh cooked or raw diet to provide the best most bio-available nutrients which support heart health as well as target supplements like fish oils, and COQ!0.
Thank you for being GREAT pet-parents!!!
Sincerely your PetCoach,
April Arguin A.S., C.P.N., P.M.H.ReNewedPet.com