Calling all Sphynx
- As many of you know, in December of 2009, my precious 3 time TICA Regional Winner Sphynx, RW SGCA Angelsark Gustave Flaubare "Gus" was diagnosed with early HCM. In January, he was in early heart failure but managed well with Lasix and Enalapril. He had been doing quite well from the time of his diagnosis until recently. Yesterday, I took him to get his follow up 3 month scan. This, his fourth scan since his diagnosis, showed advanced stages of HCM. When I got home from his scan and got him out of his carrier, he was open-mouth breathing and really trying to get air. I rushed him back to the cardiologist's who fortunately is part of an after hours emergency clinic. They admitted him and put him inside an oxygen chamber with a warmer (cats who are struggling to breathe begin dropping temperature) and gave him IV doses of Lasix every 6 hours. Of course I couldn't sleep, so I called every few hours to check on him. As of this morning, he is weaned off his oxygen, breathing normally, nursing on himself (favorite past time), walking around, and purring loudly. They will recheck the chest xray at 4 pm and probably will send him home to live out a pampered rest of his life. According to the vet, this may happen from time to time when he gets stressed (as the check up yesterday made him). I have never cried as hard as I did yesterday when I thought there was a chance my baby would not make it through the weekend.
Spoke with Dr Kate Meurs of WSU who is heading a Sphynx HCM study. I spoke with her regarding Gus as well as the progress on identifying the HCM mutation in Sphynx. She informed me that statistically, they need 48 samples from affected (HCM positive) Sphynx cats and 48 samples from unaffected 8 year old Sphynx and up (with or without scans) to identify a gene. She said to date, she has received 23 samples of positive cats and 20 samples of unaffected cats, which leaves:
We need 24 samples of HCM Positive Cats (I just sent in Gus')
We need 28 samples of unaffected 8 years and up cats
-She said she would take as young as a 7 year old with a recent clear scan
Here's what I have done. I have gotten a sample of Gus and my Amajen Pocket Dragon (almost 10 with a clear scan in '09) and SGCA Angelsark Gylou (7 1/2 with a clear scan in '09). That leaves 26 samples of unaffected cats and 24 of affected cats.
PLEASE CROSSPOST, PASS THE WORD ON. Come on guys, we are almost there!!!!!! Do you realize what this means??? We are one step closer to having a genetic test for HCM in Sphynx which can help eliminate future heartbreak!
My Gus had 2 clear scans ('07 and '09) before scanning positive. He has children and grandchildren. If we had a test, he would never have been bred. To date, Gus has 2 HCM positive sons. :( We are getting samples from them as well, as from Gus' father, Angelsark Chase Me who is affected.
I have located a 11 year old Sphynx (actually it is Gus' mom!!) who is unaffected and she will be helping out too. :)
Here are the instructions for submitting a sample:
1) Go to http://blogs.vetmed.wsu.edu/VCGL/post/2009/09/26/Can-you-help-our-Sphynx-freinds.aspx
2) Fill out the form on the website (DNA Collection form for study)
3) Take your cat to the vet and have them draw the sample (need 1-2 ml in a "purple top" tube)
4) Do not refridgerate the sample
5) Attach copies of HCM scans, or if it is an 8 year old and up, attach a copy of the registration so age can be verified
6) Send it in and help!!
I am posting to this list to see if anyone can help.
Thanks for listening.
Marion Yates, RN