The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Muscular Dystrophy in Cats

Monday, May 21, 2012

Muscular Dystrophy in Cats


The most common form of muscular dystrophy seen in the cat is Hypertrophic Muscular Dystrophy. This disease is most commonly reported in the domestic short hair cat.  Although it is a rare disease, we know that it is a genetically inherited disease that affects predominantly male cats as it is an X-linked autosomal recessive condition.

In this disease the muscles were deficient in a protein called dystrophin. This makes the muscles very weak and excessive muscling (big muscles) is seen as a compensatory response. Affected cats may have difficulties swallowing because their tongues can become very large and their oesophagus may be dysfunctional. As this is a genetic problem with abnormal development of the muscles there is no cure. Therefore, treatment involves symptomatic therapy. This disease is very similar to ‘Duchenne’ muscular dystrophy in humans.


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