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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16225
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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I am a registered Persian breeder in Australia. I am getting

Customer Question

Hi, I am a registered Persian breeder in Australia. I am getting all my breeders & kittens genetic testing, so far for diseases & traits.
I received a report today that one of my male breeders is - affected for polycystic kidney disease - heterozygous one copy (autosomal dom). He has only sired one litter of 3 kittens (current). The 2 male kittens have come back with the same result, but the female is clear.
Does this mean my male "has" the disease? All the kittens are to go to breeders.
If you can explain this in laymans terms I'd be grateful. Also can you indicate whether this is purely a latent genetic problem or should these cats not be used for breeding purposes.
The kittens are 11 weeks old. The male breeder is almost 5 years old. He displays no symptoms of sickness or weakness of any kind. Nor do the kittens.
I'd appreciate your advice & any information you can assist me with on this. I am most concerned. Fortunately these kittens are the very first from this adult male so there are no other previous offspring that could have been affected.
Thank you.
Denece Unicomb
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

Hello & welcome, Denece. I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian & I would like to help you today.

First, it is important to know that polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is an autosomal dominant genetic trait. This means it only takes one gene of the pair to cause the disease. It also means that a male cat will pass on this gene to 50% of his offspring no matter their mother's genetic profile.

In regards ***** ***** questions, by having the gene, the father and sons have the disease. It is not latent when we have autosomal dominant genetic diseases. It would only be the case if we had an autosomal recessive disease (where they need 2 of the same recessive gene to actually have the disease and not just be a carrier). So, these results mean that father and sons are affected with PKD. Of course, PKD severity does vary quite a bit, so these individual cats may never show clinical signs of disease but all will have PKD to a degree and be a risk to their offspring. With that in mind, none of them should be used as breeding cats (the female of course excluded from that with her results). They could still be kept as pets, though any future owner would need to be aware that there is a risk of PKD causing kidney compromise. To appreciate how severe that could be for any of them, you could consider having them ultrasounded (as there is a close correlation with the PCR results and ultrasound screening). Though again it is quite possible to have positive cats with very little PKD affects on the kidneys, but they would all be risks to future offspring and therefore it would not be advisable to use the father or his sons for any breeding program.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.
Hi Denece,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. B.