Most reputable Exotic, Persian and Himalayan breeders have genetic testing done on their cats for PKD (polycystic kidney disease). This is a deadly disease that has been prevalent in the Exotic, Persian and Himalayan breeds. It is very easily ruled out with a simple cheek swab that is sent in to UC Davis. At some point breeders hope there will be other testing to screen for heart, skeletal and other genetic problems that will hep us breed healthier kittens. All of my cats have been tested for PKD through UC Davis and have been determined to not carry this deadly disease.
The Maine Coon and Ragdoll breeds do have genetic testing for Cardiomyopathy or more commonly referred to as (HCM) which is an enlarged heart. This is also a very deadly disease. I regularly attend HCM clinics to have my breeding cats hearts scanned to rule out HCM. A board certified cardiologist performs the echocardiograms. This is the only way at this time to determine if a cat has HCM as their is no genetic testing yet available for Exotics, Himalayans or Persians.
I'm happy to report that finally this year, 2015 we have finally raised enough money to start research on finding the genes that cause HCM in the Exotic, Himalayan and Persian breeds. Research takes a lot of money if you would like to contribute funds for this research you can do so at: The Winn Feline Foundation. Make sure you designate the monies to go toward Persian HCM research. Winn Feline Foundation. For more information about HCM please visit Jeanne O'Donnell's website about HCM. Health - HCM page
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