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PKD (polycystic kidney disease)

I am considering screening all my breeding cats for PKD and have just posted off  some swabs  to VGL for the genetic PKD1 test. I would like to know -

1) Just how big a problem is PKD in Devon Rex? Are there Persian/British Shorthair outcrosses in the pedigrees of affected cats?
2) How many breeders routinely screen their cats - and
3) How? Ultrasound scanning or genetic test (which "has only been validated for Persians, British Shorthairs, Exotics and first generation Persian crosses")?

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  • Hi Elizabeth,

    I am not sure how big the problem of PKD is, but I do know about a couple of cases here in Holland, but all out of the same bloodline. I do believe it is important to test for PKD, even as HCM and Patella luxation.
    I started testing by DNA, although people say the test is not valid, I asked Gen Counseling in Holland about it once and they said the test is valid for cats who have Persian, Exotic and British Shorthair in their pedigrees, they did not talked about first generations. I do also screen the cats for PKD together with HCM.
    I think screening is the best way as long as there is no specific (valid) DNA test for the Devons.
  • Hi Elizabeth
    A breeder is always responseble for what he is breeding
    So I think that every one must Test PKD HCM en also Patella
    I have breed 20 years Persians and tested with a scan always only for the color or longhair gene that is not a problem with it
    DNA test is not for the Devon Rex only for the Persians and Exotic so you must when you will be sure that the cat is free going screening by the special Vet
    And i was the first breeder in the Netherlands who advocated to test the Devons on what you could test
    HCM and PKD thats only one time HCM you must testing long time and Patella you test it too by the special vet
    All that problems we have that in the Netherlands and i am open of such problems honest is the best to get the devons better in health
    It is such a great cat let we work together on it
    I think how the breeders now works that we have not long more healthy cats" i want to cry for help"
    So then you can sell your kittens with a good conscience
  • Well I am too very much in for working together with other breeders, unfortunately this isn't always possible, cause people don't always share the same thoughts. Of course that doesn't have to be a problem, but sometimes it is.
    I guess all we can do indeed is to be open and honest about health issues. That's a good start! Hopefully with more and more breeders that are testing their devons on these health problems, we may be able (or control) to rule out some of these health issues. On the other hand these things unfortunately are also a part of breeding, but the main point is how breeders deal with that and how things are handled when a problem might occure.
  • I was reading your post again and to answer your question about PER or BRI in the pedigrees of affected cats, from the case I know there is a BRI in 5th generation and also a PER/BRI in 5th generation as closest outcrosses. Of course it doesn't say anything that it came from one of them.
    I also know of one outcross that has been done with an exotic which came out he had PKD.
    Oh and I read somewhere that even with screening there is a small percentage (about 2 or 3 %) that is tested negative and comes out to be positive in the end. So maybe it is wise to keep screening on PKD also and not only once. But I guess a specialist can tell us more about that....that's something to remember to ask next time I go screen my cats.
  • Thanks for your comments, Nathalie and Adrie Smile.gif What is the earliest age that you scan the cat?
  • For HCM you can test at the age of 10 months (maybe even earlier), but the best age is 1 year or older. I'm not sure but I thought PKD could be done at 6 months already.

    Elizabeth Brown said:
    Thanks for your comments, Nathalie and Adrie Smile.gif What is the earliest age that you scan the cat?
  • There's been a few PKD cases here in Sweden, but the ones I know of all came from the same blood line and the origin of the problem was an outcross with an Exotic. The Exotic had been scanned for PKD, with normal results. This was before the DNA-test was available. I think there were about a handful of offspring/grand children that were affected. They were DNA-tested (the lab thought it would be reliable enough considering the close relation to the Exotic). It was nicely handled by everyone involved.

    Those are the only PKD cases I know of.

    I personally do not test for PKD. There are lots of things we can test for but I honestly won't test unless I believe there's a problem in the breed/blood line. I HCM test because there is HCM in the blood lines I use. All my adults are thoroughly checked by a vet before I breed them (palpated for PL etc.).

    There are so many different breeds mixed into the Devon Rex it's not realistic to test for everything. Should routinely we x-ray the hips (many Brit breeders are doing this and we do have lots of Brits in our Devons)? Shoudl we test for GM (which more and more Burmese breeders test for)? Should we test for PK deficiency and PRA, Abys have been used earlier on?

    I will DNA-test my outcross kittens for PKD (the father is a Brit) and I might even x-ray their hips before I breed them (of course they will be HCM scanned), but it's nothing I'll do routinely with all my breeding cats.
  • The best is that the cat is about one year
    For original papers from a vet is for PKD in the Netherlands with 6 months
    Then they can say clean or not
    But the HCM is better over the year and in combination is that cheeper then only one test and again one test
    And for the cat only one time stressfull
    So i had in my persian time two Possitive persians Mother and Son
    And I spayed him
    But i know that along time ago the PKD came from UK and sold to the USA and then in came to europe
    But i must say my both persians don't die on the PKD
    And i know that people can have it too
    I wisch you good luck with the testing when you will ask more you can do greetz

    Elizabeth Brown said:
    Thanks for your comments, Nathalie and Adrie Smile.gif What is the earliest age that you scan the cat?
  • Hi may i advize you
    The DNA is not for any breeding cats only for the Persians thats it
    I think that the results i won't accept if i bought an kitten for anything at all
    We breed more then 20 years Persians and i ever scanned by a special vet for it
    I hope will help you in that case of this discussion

    Matilda Eriksson said:
    There's been a few PKD cases here in Sweden, but the ones I know of all came from the same blood line and the origin of the problem was an outcross with an Exotic. The Exotic had been scanned for PKD, with normal results. This was before the DNA-test was available. I think there were about a handful of offspring/grand children that were affected. They were DNA-tested (the lab thought it would be reliable enough considering the close relation to the Exotic). It was nicely handled by everyone involved.

    Those are the only PKD cases I know of.

    I personally do not test for PKD. There are lots of things we can test for but I honestly won't test unless I believe there's a problem in the breed/blood line. I HCM test because there is HCM in the blood lines I use. All my adults are thoroughly checked by a vet before I breed them (palpated for PL etc.).

    There are so many different breeds mixed into the Devon Rex it's not realistic to test for everything. Should routinely we x-ray the hips (many Brit breeders are doing this and we do have lots of Brits in our Devons)? Shoudl we test for GM (which more and more Burmese breeders test for)? Should we test for PK deficiency and PRA, Abys have been used earlier on?

    I will DNA-test my outcross kittens for PKD (the father is a Brit) and I might even x-ray their hips before I breed them (of course they will be HCM scanned), but it's nothing I'll do routinely with all my breeding cats.
  • Here some info about the DNA test for PKD1 that's on UC Davis website:

    Which Cats Should Be Tested for PKD1?
    Currently we recommend the PKD1 test for British Shorthair, Persians, Exotics, Scottish Fold, Himalayans and Persian out-crosses only.

    PKD1 is most common in the Persians and breeds that are related to Persians or have used them in breeding programs. Examples include: Exotics, Himalayans, American Shorthairs and Scottish Folds. Other breeds may have inherited PKD1 from an accidental use of either a purebred or random bred cat that had the heritable form of PKD1.


    I do know about the DNA testing from an Exotic outcross that there were also cats that came out positive, I guess this shows that the DNA test is also reliable for outcrosses out of EXO (4th generation).
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