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What is PKD in Cats?

Posted on January 29, 2013 at 6:00 PM

PKD = polycystic kidney disease. Cats can inherit it, people can inherit it. If a cat's parent has PKD, that cat has a 50% chance of having inherited the gene and later expressing the disease.

This information sheet on Polycystic Kidney Disease from FAB (the Feline Advisory Bureau in the UK), clearly explains about the disease. Read the full sheet at the link shared below.

What is polycystic kidney disease?

Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (AD-PKD) is aninherited condition that causes multiple cysts (pockets of fluid) to form inthe kidneys. These cysts are present from birth. They start out very small but they grow larger with time and may eventually severely disrupt the kidney; when that happens the kidney can no longer work and kidney failure develops. The cysts usually grow quite slowly, so most affected cats will not show any signs of kidney disease until relatively late in life, typically at around seven or eight years old, or even into older age. However, in some cats kidney failure will occur at a much younger age and at the moment there is no way of predicting how rapidly the disease will progress in any particular cat.

 This is a cat diagnosed with PKD receiving supplementary hydration.

How common is PKD in cats?  

Unfortunately AD-PKD has now become very common in some cat breeds. Persians and Exotic Shorthairs have the highest incidence of problems ... Other cat breeds that have been developed using Persian bloodlines, and ... may also have a proportion of affected cats In unrelated (cat) breeds (PKD) is an extremely rare condition....


How is PKD inherited?

AD-PKD is the result of a single, autosomal, dominant gene abnormality. This means that:-

 Every cat with the abnormal gene will have AD-PKD; there are no unaffected carriers of the gene.

Every cat with AD-PKD will have (an) abnormal gene, even if that cat only has a few small cysts in its kidneys.

A cat only needs one of its parents to be affected with AD-PKD in order to inherit the abnormal gene.

Every breeding cat with AD-PKD (risks passing on) the disease on to its kittens, even if it is mated with an unaffected cat....

How can I find out if my cat is affected?

ForestWind Siberians note: The information presented by FAB about finding out if your cat is affected is obsolete. At the time this article was written - 2008 - it was thought all cats with PKD had the very same PKD mutation. Since then, several genetic mutations in the Persian breed alone have been identified. Gene testing only identifies one of those Persian genes. The other mutations - whether Persian or  in non related breeds - are not identifiable by genetic testing. The Gold Standard (or should we say Platinum Standard?!) in testing remains the echosonograph administered by an experienced Board Certified Veterinary Internist. Testing administered by a Vet Tech, small animal practice Veterinarian or non board certified internist, or an inexperiened sonographer is not reliable.

Read the entire original article at the link below. Please note the article is five years old and information such as about genetic testing is obsolete. Unfortunately, there are many breeders and even Veterinarians who do not stay current with research and those persons beleive that gene testing for the one Persian gene is an accurate assessment for their cat's diagnosis. Remember - the only accurate PKD diagnosis is from an echosonograph administered by an experienced Board Certified Veterinary Internist!

©This information sheet is produced by the Feline AdvisoryBureau



Categories: Genetics, Health & Disease, Siberian cats