At the vets

Health Checks


Special health checks.

The cats of Tricks and Tails cattery have their normal health check-ups done regularly. From time to time more special checks are done on hearts and kidneys, using echographic methods (Ultrasound.)

Checking hearts and kidneysTT Health Logo

The checking of the heart and kidneys is something that should be done by a specialized veterinarian, using a special Color - Doppler machine. Since 1999 we annually visit Dr. Ingrid Putcuyps in Belgium, in order to have the hearts of our breeding cats tested and in 2002 we also started to test their kidneys. The hearts are tested for HCM and the kidneys for PKD, both being afflictions that are lethal and can be passed on from parents to their offspring. You can find these afflictions in all cats, with and without pedigrees and they are hereditary. As many breeders asked us how such a screening of heart or kidneys is done, we have created this special page in order to show you.

Auscultation1 2Shaving for clearity
  1. Auscultation of the heart with a stethoscope, in order to hear if there are any abnormalities like heart murmurs.
  2. Shaving of a part of the fur behind the front legs (for checking the heart) and of the belly (for checking the kidneys). Most people that wish to show their cats, have serious problems with shaving. So we want to show you "all" the hair that is shaved off behind one of the front legs. As you can see in the insert at the top right corner of picture 2, it's really not that much and it enables the best possible clear image on the computer. Dr. Putcuyps, who is very sweet and patient with the cats (and their owners), uses a special shaver that does not make too much noise, so most cats stay nice and calm during the procedure.
  3. Color - Doppler Echocardiography in order to check the heart for signs of ventricular wall hypertrophy, atrial enlargement or diastolic dysfunction. With the same machine also the kidneys can be checked for cysts. During the procedure the cat is stretched out on the table by the owners of the cat, who can stay present during the screening. A probe with a lot of gel on it is carefully moved over the shaved spots and the electric cord attached to the probe, shows the image at the computer (you can see the cord of the probe hanging down on the picture).
  4. The monitor of the echocardiography machine where several measurements are made.
Recording an Echo Cardiogram3 4{short description of image}

All of this is then hopefully resulting in a certificate stating that "The cat is clear of evidence of HCM at present" and another certificate stating "PKD-negative".

The cat that is being screened on these pictures, is Ch. Tricks and Tails Felicitas, owned by Mieke Pex and this was her second screening clear for signs of HCM.

Dr. Ingrid Putcuyps is a Belgian veterinarian, that has her own practice in St.Denijs Westrem (Belgium) and also works at the University of Gent. In June 2002 she had screened 400 cats - of all breeds - for HCM and PKD with her Color - Doppler machine. We want to thank Mieke Pex as well as Dr. Ingrid Putcuyps for allowing us to take these pictures June 21, 2002.


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