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Comprehensive Genetic Wellness Checkup
Studies have shown that cats and dogs are at least 100 times more likely than human to develop genetic disorders. An animal may appear healthy now, however, it can develop a genetic disease later in life and pass the defective gene to future generations. Amvet Biosciences can unlock the genetic code of DNA empowering you to plan and act proactively at an early stage.

We offer the following feline DNA tests

• Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) 

PKD is the most common inherited cause of kidney failure in cats. PKD mutations have been found in many other cat breeds including Exotics, Himalayans, British Shorthairs, American Shorthairs, Ragdolls and Scottish Fold. The disease shows up later in life (late-onset). The cysts usually grow quite slowly in the kidney, so most affected cats will not show any signs of kidney disease until they are older. Problems occur when these cysts start to grow and progressively enlarge the kidney, reducing the kidney's ability to function properly. This usually occurs between 3 and 10 years of age (on average at 7 years of age). However, in some cats, kidney failure will occur at a much younger age and when it occurs, there is no way of predicting how rapidly the disease will progress in any particular cat. Ultimately PKD leads to kidney failure. It is estimated over 37% of Persians have PKD.

• Familial Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) 

HCM is an inherited disorder identifies in British Shorthairs, Maine Coons, Ragdolls, and Scottish Fold. It is a condition characterized by thickening of the heart muscle resulting in a reduced volume within the ventricles (major chambers of the heart), thus reducing the volume of blood that the heart can pump with each contraction. Affected animal is at risk of developing congestive heart failure and occasionally sudden death. The mutation does not behave like a simple dominant trait, but rather as a dominant trait within complete penetrance. Cats with one copy of the mutant gene are 1.8 times more likely to develop HCM than normal cats. Cats with two copies of the mutant are generally 18 times more likely to develop HCM than normal cats. About 9% of British Shorthair and 30% of Maine Coon are affected by HCM.

• Haemophilia B (HB)

Haemophilia B is a hereditary disease caused by the deficiency of clotting factor IX. The deficiency results in excessive bleeding after injury or surgery. The disease is a sex-linked recessive trait, which means female carrying one copy of the defective gene does not have symptoms but can transmit to its offspring. Male with one copy of the defective gene will develop excessive bleeding symptom. The treatment is a blood transfusion or plasma until the bleeding stops.

• Hyperoxaluria (HOU)

HOU is characterized by the accumulation of oxalate and subsequent precipitation of calcium oxalate crystals, primarily in the kidneys (kidney stone), leading to progressive kidney failure. In addition to the clinical signs due to kidney failure, the affected animals became very weak. Calcium oxalate crystals can also accumulate in skeletal muscle and spinal cord affecting mobility. It has been reported in a number of breeds, including domestic Short Hair and Ragdoll.

• Vitamin D-dependent rickets (VDDR)

VDDR is a genetic disorder of the bones normally caused by abnormal vitamin D and calcium levels in the body. It is characterized by an increased prevalence of fractures and deformity. Some cats may have a hunched appearance, swollen limbs, a reluctance to jump and a decreased appetite. Therapy with calcitriol, the active form of vitamin D, and calcium may help relieve the symptom.

• Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) 

PRA is a disease of the retina that results in degeneration and atrophy (loss or wasting) of the light-sensitive layer of cells at the back of the eye. This leads to a progressive decline in the quality of vision. Clinical signs start to develop at 1 to 2 years of age initially leading tonight blindness and progressing to total blindness at around 3‑5 years of age. Diagnosis of PRA is normally made by ophthalmoscopic examination. Owners may become aware of this condition when vision becomes significantly impaired and, for example, the cat may start to become disorientated or bump into objects. Affected cats will adapt to their handicap as long as their environment remains constant, and they are not faced with situations requiring excellent vision. PRA appears to be present in a wide range of different breeds, including Abyssinian, Somali, Ocicat, American Curl, American wirehair, Bengal, Balinese, Cornish Rex, Munchkin, Oriental shorthair, Peterbald, Siamese, and Singapura. Approximately 4% Abyssinian/Siamese population is affected and will develop clinical symptoms; 27% are a carrier and will pass the disease gene to the offspring.

• Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (PKDef) 

PKDef is caused by the deficiency of pyruvate kinase regulatory enzyme. The main consequence of PKDef is the development of anemia. Most of the time the anemia is either only mild, or occurs slowly, enabling the cat to adapt to the lower number of red blood cells. Symptoms of anemia are often diffuse and include exercise intolerance, lack of appetite, weakness, pale mucosa of the gums and enlarged spleen. Clinical signs are more pronounced in the older cat. The life expectancy of cats with PKDef can often be normal, however, some cases die before two years of age. Affected cat breeds include Abyssinian, Bengals, La Perm, Maine Coon, Singapuras, and Somali. Approximately 16% of the affected breeds carry the mutant gene.

• Blood Group B (BGB) 

Most cats belong to blood group A, but group B is quite common in certain breeds. Blood group B cats all have naturally occurring high levels of anti-A antibodies in their blood. If a type B cat were to receive blood from a type A donor, this could cause a severe and even fatal reaction because the immune system would recognize the type A blood as 'foreign' and attack it. Also, any antibodies present in the blood of a queen will be passed to her kitten through milk-feeding. When a type A kitten absorbs milk from her type B mother, the anti-A antibodies from the mother will then destroy the kitten's red blood cells, causing a condition known as Neonatal Isoerythrolysis. Symptoms of affected kittens include jaundice, red-colored urine and most likely, sudden death. Breeds with a high frequency of type B cats (over 25%) includes British shorthair, Exotic shorthair, Ragdoll, Devon Rex. 

• Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) 

SMA is an autosomal recessive inherited neurodegenerative disorder that has been identified in Maine Coon cats. This disease is characterized by progressive instability with unsteady gait and posture abnormalities due to loss of motor neurons in the lower spinal cord and atrophy muscles in the hind limbs. Affected cats typically show symptoms around 3 to4 months of age, which include fine muscle tremors and fasciculation, abnormal posture, progressive muscular weakness, and instability. It is recommended that the affected cat should be kept indoor with intensive care.

• Glycogen Storage Disease Type IV (GSD IV) 

GSDIV is an inherited recessive abnormality of glucose metabolism that has been found apparently in Norwegian Forest cats. They usually have a defective glycogen branching enzyme (GBM) that causes a severe error in glycogen storage in cells. Abnormal glycogen accumulates in muscle, liver, and neurons causing progressive organ dysfunctions. Very often the affected kitten results in death before birth or soon after birth. But a few can appear clinically normal until 5 months of age, typical symptoms can include fever, muscle tremors, and weakness. 


How to Collect DNA Sample
1. Right before sample collection, please visually check the animal’s mouth to ensure it is clean and clear of any possible contaminants (e.g. food)
2. Write the name of the pet on the sampling tube.
3. Open the swab case and remove the swab, being careful not to touch the sponge tip.
4. Place the swab between the cheek and gum of the animal being tested. Scrub the swab against the inside surface of the cheek for at least 5 seconds to collect cheek cells (not saliva).
5. Allow the swab to air dry for 5 minutes.
6. Place the swab back into the original case.
7. Fill out the information in the DNA Sample Submission Form and make sure it matches the information on the sampling tube.
8. Mail the DNA samples and submission form to us.

Order Information
1. The sample collection kit (including 1 DNA collection tube, 1 DNA submission form and 1 envelop with return address) (per animal) will be mailed to your address within 48 hours after we received your order.
2. Once you have received our sample collection kit, please follow the guidelines mentioned above to finish the sample collection as soon as possible.
3. The DNA test certificate will be sent by mail and email in 12 working days after we received complete DNA samples and submission form.

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