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HCM gene identified in ragdolls!!!

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  • lorkatz2004
    From the CFA list Hi Everyone, We are happy to announce that Dr Meurs has found and identified a mutation that causes HCM in Ragdolls. We can now begin testing
    Message 1 of 1 , May 31, 2007
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      From the CFA list

      Hi Everyone,

      We are happy to announce that Dr Meurs has found and identified a
      mutation that
      causes HCM in Ragdolls. We can now begin testing for this mutation in our

      Dr Meurs was hoping to make this announcement herself, but the in
      world, she can't say anything until her work is 'peer reviewed' and
      published in
      a Scientific Journal. It has now been reviewed, and will be in a
      that is due out June 15th. After that time, she will make her formal
      announcement. Up till this point we have been asked to keep the news
      kind of
      quiet until the big announcement is out. However, with it being posted
      on the
      website of the University word has been getting out. So we decided to
      go ahead
      and announce it, and hope people will understand that Dr Meurs can't
      comment on
      it yet.

      The lack of formal announcement won't make any difference to you
      though, as the
      test can be done without the announcement from her. We just want you to
      understand where this is coming from. On the website
      are the directions for obtaining the swabs to do the test with, and
      how to send
      in blood (recommended for nursing kittens). The prices for the test
      are posted
      also, along with FAQ's that you should take time to read.

      Ester, Dr Meur's assistant, has agreed to come on The Open Forum List
      to answer
      questions that may not be covered on the FAQ. She said she will try to
      read the
      list a minimum of once a week, so we have to be patient with our
      questions. We
      (the committee) will try to answer any questions that come up in the
      if we have the answers.

      There are three possible outcomes for the test. One is negative. This
      is the
      best. The other two are Positive/Hetrozygous (Pos/Het) meaning that
      the cat is
      carrying one mutation for HCM, and Positive/Homozygous (Pos/Homo)
      meaning the
      cat is carrying two copies. As of now, we do not have any statistics as to
      whether one mutation will not cause HCM, or cause it later in life,
      etc. That
      will come when we have enough cats tested so we can gather that info.
      We think
      we can agree that it is better for us if the cat only has one mutation
      than two, because it can be bred out in only one generation, but
      that's all we
      can say about it at this time.

      There are two important things Ester would like to pass on. One is,
      that the
      AVERAGE turn around time for the tests is 2 weeks, but that is not
      written in
      stone. Sometimes there is a mistake in cutting out the DNA for the
      test, or
      something else goes wrong, and they have to retest the swab. The
      second thing
      she says is that it is important to remember is that this test is ONE
      STEP in a
      decision on which cats to keep and which cats not to keep. DO NOT DO
      RASH when you get your results.

      In the Maine Coon, the statistics show that about 35% of the Maine
      Coons have
      the mutation, with just 4% having two copies. This is too large of a
      number for
      the breed to cut out all cats with one mutation. The recommendation is
      to breed
      cats that are Pos/Het with a Negative cat, and keep a replacement that
      negative. To simply wipe out one third of the breed could do more harm
      good. Ester will talk more about this when she gets on the list.

      This is wonderful news for all of us, and our hard work raising money
      for this
      research is paying off. Congratulations everyone. Great Job. However, this
      doesn't mean we can stop the research now. There could be other
      mutations out
      there. This is a good start.

      Hopefully all of us will work together, without finger pointing, to
      this mutation from our breed. It will be a long and hard path to this
      end, but
      it will be worth it. So let's all work on getting our cats tested, and
      to rid our breed of this particular problem as quickly, but as safely
      as we can.
      Up until now, trying to find out which cats have HCM and which don't,
      has been
      quess work. Now we have a real tool to work with. Remember that we will
      probably all be affected by the findings, so let's have patience and
      treat each
      other with kindness and compassion, so we can do what is best for the

      One more thing. Since there will now be a big rush to have cats
      tested, we are
      suggesting that only current breeders and litters be tested at this
      time. No
      pets or alters should be done until we get the majority of breeder
      results back.
      There will be time for pets and alters later.

      Please pass this on to other lists that you may be on. It's important for
      everyone to know about this.

      Thanks everyone,

      Your HCM Fundraising Committee
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