The health of our kittens is of the highest importance to us and we do all we can to guarantee a healthy and happy kitten. Each kitten will have at least 2 health exams by a licensed veterinarian, 2 sets of the 3 combo vaccines, de-worming/fecal test and have a blood test for FIV & FeLV before they go home. They are also PRA-b and PK-DEF negative by parentage DNA testing done through UC Davis. Your kittens mother has also been HCM screened and the kitten will come with a 2 year health guarantee against congenital defect. Below is a brief description of a few of the above referenced conditions that we test for. A big thank you to Carlie Jean Cantrell of Tove Bengals for these descriptions.
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), causes an autosomal recessive blindness in Bengal cats. The disease causes the destruction of the cells that register light (photoreceptors) in the back of the eye (the retina). The loss of the cells begins around 7 weeks of age and slowly progresses until the cat has very compromised vision by approximately 2 years of age. Please note being a CARRIER does not affect the cats health whatsoever. A carrier will be as healthy as a non-carrier, and consideration should only be taken if being used in a breeding program and whom the carrier is paired with.
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 disorder. Please note being a CARRIER does not affect the cats health whatsoever. A carrier will be as healthy as a non-carrier, and consideration should only be taken if being used in a breeding program and whom the carrier is paired with.
There is currently no genetic test for HCM in Bengals. An ultrasound exam is the best way to screen. There is no 100% guarantee against HCM.
HCM is thickening of the wall of the left ventricle section of the heart. Severe thickening results in scar tissue formation. The thickening and scar tissue make it difficult for the left ventricle to relax. If severe, this can result in heart failure and the accumulation of fluid in or around the lungs. This fluid accumulation, when severe, results in rapid and difficult breathing. The left atrium (*the chamber behind the left ventricle) also enlarges in cats whose left ventricle cannot relax properly. This enlargement causes blood flow through this chamber to slow, predisposing the cat to clot formation. When a clot breaks loose from its attachment in the left atrium, it travels down the aorta to the rear legs, blocking blood flow and causing the sudden onset of paralysis and severe pain (so-called saddle thromboembolus). The scar tissue can also predispose to abnormal electrical activity in the left ventricle which is manifested as an arrhythmia. The arrhythmia that is seen is thought to predispose cats with HCM to sudden death. Cats with severe HCM can develop heart failure where a cat can die suddenly or experience the pain of a saddle thromboembolus. All of these are devastating problems.
HCM affects all mammals. It has been documented in the Bengal cat, Maine Coons, Ragdolls, Sphynx, and other pedigreed breeds as well as cats of a non-pedigreed heritage. Reputable breeders within the Bengal community regularly have their cats screened to try to detect any abnormalities early on, however there is no 100% guarantee against HCM.