Polycystic Kidney Disease FAQ
What is Polycystic Kidney Disease?
Polycystic Kidney Disease, or PKD as it is commonly called, is a genetically inherited kidney condition.  PKD is characterized by many (poly = many) fluid filled cysts (cystic = cysts) in the kidneys which can possibly progress into renal (kidney) failure and ultimately death.  PKD is very prevalent in the Persian breed, which does include the Himalayan or pointed Persian.  It is also found in other cat breeds such as Exotic Shorthairs, British Shorthairs, American Shorthairs, Scottish Folds and Persian first generation out-crosses.
PKD is certainly not a new disease, it has been well documented for close to 40 years now.  However, since the clinical signs of PKD are very similar to those associated with renal failure (excessive consumption of water, frequent and excessive urination, decrease/lack of appetite, weight loss and depression) it went virtually unnoticed for many years.  Unfortunately, this has allowed PKD to spread throughout the Persian breed.  It is now estimated roughly 37% of all Persians are affected by PKD...pretty scary statistic, isn't it??
How is PKD inherited?
As I previously stated above, PKD is genetically inherited, it IS NOT a contagious disease.  PKD is an autosomal dominant disorder, simply meaning it takes ONLY one affected parent in order to pass this condition on to their offspring.  It is estimated that 50% of an affected/positive (N/P) cat's offspring will inherit PKD if they are bred to a normal/negative (N/N) cat.  If two affected/positive cats are bred together, the statisics are even worse.  Only 25% of the kittens will be negative (N/N), 50% will be positive (N/P) and 25% will inherit one copy of the PKD1 mutation from each parent (P/P).  Those kittens which inherit two copies of the gene usually die in utero, are stillborn or die shortly after birth.  Now for the good news!!  If two normal/negative (N/N) cats are bred together, ALL kittens will be negative as well.  It is genetically impossible for two negative cats to produce a positive kitten.  Whispurrpaws Cattery is 100% committed to ONLY breeding negative cats to ensure ALL "Whispurr-Babies"  will be free of PKD.  Whispurrpaws is truly dedicated to eliminating PKD from the beloved Himalayan/Persian breed!!  
How is PKD detected?
Until very recently, the only way to detect PKD was via ultrasound.  These ultrasound scans were costly, not readily available in all areas and are now proving to be inaccurate in many cases.  Fortunately, there is now a simple and very affordable DNA test available to ALL Himalayan and Persian breeders.  This DNA PKD test is non-evasive, using buccal (cheek) swabs to collect the DNA samples from each cat to be tested.  This test can identify with 100% accuracy which cats have the PKD1 mutation and which do not.  There is absolutely NO excuse for any breeder not to have their cats tested!! 
What is Whispurrpaws Cattery's Stance on PKD?
Whispurrpaws Cattery is VERY proud to announce that we are a DNA PKD Negative Tested Cattery!!  My breeding cats were either tested through Veterinary Genetics Laboratory or the Gribbles & Animal DNA Laboratories in Australia.  Furthermore, I will continue to test ANY cat/kitten I decide to add to my breeding program through Veterinary Genetics Laboratory.  I will only select cats/kittens for my breeding program that are DNA tested AND proven to be DNA PKD Negative.  This guarantees with 100% certainty that ALL "Whispurr-Babies" born at Whispurrpaws will be DNA PKD Negative!!
My cats' DNA PKD test results are available on my website by clicking on the "PKD Negative" Button located under each cat's photo.  These test results clearly show all cats in my breeding program are truly DNA PKD Negative.  A copy of each parent's PKD Negative test results will be included in the health record of each kitten that leaves Whispurrpaws Cattery.  In addition, I now offer a 'PKD Free Guarantee' included in my kitten health guarantee.
PKD Links and Information
**Whispurrpaws Cattery... proud to be a DNA PKD Negative Tested Cattery!!**
Is PKD an automatic death sentence?
Absolutely not!!  Many cats with PKD will live relatively normal, happy, healthy lives.  These particular cats will usually die from "old age" or other feline medical conditions before PKD ever becomes an issue.  Unfortunately, there are those cats severely affected by PKD who will die from renal failure associated with PKD at a relatively young age.  PKD is considered a late onset renal disease with clinical signs presenting themselves around seven years of age.  But as previously mentioned, cats much younger have succumbed to this devastating disease.  How long will a cat affected by PKD live?  It depends on how many cysts are present in each kidney and how rapidly these cysts grow.
If you ever have any questions or concerns regarding Polycystic Kidney Disease, please do not hesitate to e-mail me.  I would be more than happy to address them to the best of my ability.  I will look forward to the day when the Himalayan/Persian breed is finally free of this heartbreaking disease!!
The Feline PKD FAQ Page
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