Showing posts from May, 2012

Spinal Muscular Atrophy in Maine Coon Cats

This is one of those genetic diseases that afflicts purebred cats. In this case it occurs in Maine Coon cats. Spinal cord nerves controlling the body's muscles and legs die. The disease is caused by an inherited autosomal (not sex linked) recessive gene . Cute Maine Coon tabby kittens. Photo: Helmi Flick. The disease is early onset starting at aged 3-4 months. The symptoms are: sway of the rear end can't jump decreased muscle mass no pain it seems Maine Coon cats with spinal muscular atrophy live pretty normal lives as full-time indoor cats. There is no treatment at the time of this post (2012 May). There is a DNA test for this disease. A cheek swab can be sent to the Laboratory of Comparative Medical Genetics, Michigan State University. Laboratory of Comparative Medical Genetics 2209 Biomedical Physical Sciences East Lansing, MI 48824 Please check that this service is still provided. I believe this is the current website: