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Hereditary, Non-Inflammatory Muscular Disease in Cats

Non-inflammatory Myopathy—Hereditary X-Linked Muscular Dystrophy in Cats

Muscular Dystrophy is an inherited, progressive, and non-inflammatory degenerative muscular disease caused by a deficiency of dystrophyin, a muscle-membrane protein. This generalized muscle disorder is primarily seen in newborn cats or those less than one year old. Domestic short-haired and Devon Rex cats are also more prone to this form of muscular dystrophy.

Symptoms and Types

  • Vomiting
  • Increased muscle mass
  • Stiff gait
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Weakness
  • Downward flexion of head and neck

Causes

Dystrophin deficiency due to inherited defect.

Diagnosis

You will need to give a thorough history of your cat’s health, including the onset and nature of the symptoms, to your veterinarian. He or she will then conduct a complete physical examination as well as a biochemistry profile, urinalysis, and complete blood count (CBC). Creatine kinase enzyme levels may be elevated due to the dystrophin deficiency. Liver enzymes are also elevated in cats with this disorder.

The most hopeful test for reaching a definitive diagnosis, however, involves taking a muscle biopsy. The muscle tissue sample is sent to a veterinary pathologist to verify abnormal levels of dystrophin.

 
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