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Interessengemeinschaft Herzgesunde Katze e.V.

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Interest Group Heart Healthy Cats

Who we are:

The Interest Group Heart Healthy Cats (IG HGK), founded on 14.04.2012 in Mannheim, is an organization of and for cat breeders and breed cat lovers, the goal of which is the education of cat owners of all races, especially also of the European domestic cats, about HCM and other heart diseases.
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Currently breeders of the following cat breeds, as well as cat lovers and family members have joined the IG Heart Healthy Cats.:

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We wish for more active comrades-in-arms from all breeds in order to communicate our targets of the (heart) health of cats to a wide audience.
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We have active members (breeders) from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Our Motto is:

“Transparency builds trust”

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We provide information and education for

We offer information on the following topics

HCM - Hypertrophic Kardiomyopathy

 

Hypertrophe Kardiomyopathie

An explanation of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) in simple terms from the perspective of an informed IG member,
HCM from the view of experts,
current literature on hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and
further links on the subject more >

Secondary HCM

 

At the first meeting of the DGK-DVG (German society for small animal medicine) for pet owners and breeders on 21. October 2012 at Congress Center Dusseldorf, Germany, PD Gerhard Wess (ECVIM (Cardiology), member of Collegium Cardiologicum e. V. and pawpeds certificated), department head cardiology, medical clinic für small animals of the Munich University, pointed out, that there is no “age-HCM”.

Hypertrophe Kardiomyopathie

There is always a genetical occurency in the elderly cat, too, that hasn’t been detected yet and that hasn’t become apparent yet, unless a cause for secondary HCM can be found. more >

VSD - ventricular septal defect

 

VSDs are usually located in the perimembranous portion of the septum, high up in the ventricular septum next to the right and noncoronary aortic valvular cusp on the left and directly under the cranioseptic tricuspid valve connection on the right.
They vary in size and hemodynamic importance.
 more >

Ventrikelseptumdefekt

AVD - Atrio-ventricular valve dysplasia

 

The Atrio-ventricular valves consist of the mitral ones and the tricuspids.
Both valves can be affected by a mitral valve dysplasia as well as a tricuspid dysplasia.

Mitralklappendysplasie

MKD - mitral valve dysplasia

The congenital malformation of the mitral valve complex (mitral valve dysplasia) is a common congenital malformation occurring in catsmore >

Tricuspid dysplasia

The congenital malformation of the tricuspid valve complex can be found in dogs and sometimes also in cats. more >

Trikuspidklappendysplasie

EFE - Endo(myo)cardial fibroelastosis

 

Endomyokardioale Fibroeslastose

This disease of unknown cause is characterized by a pinpoint thickening of the endocardium (endocarditis) in the area of the left atrium, left ventricle and the mitral valve.
EFE is a rare cause of myocardial failure in young dogs and cats.
Affected animals are usually younger than 6 months and show clinical signs of left heart failure.

Affected breeds are Siamese and Burman cats (who are assumed to inherit the disease). more >

Pulmonary stenosis

 

 

Pulmonary stenosis occurs in cats.
It leads to a blockage of the right valve outflow tract and in most cases, a malformation of the pulmonary valve leaflet.
Stenosis can also occur in the infundibulum, the subvalvular region, or in the supravalvular area. more >

Pulmonalstenose

Aortic stenosis

 

 

Aortenstenose

The left heart valve outflow tract may be hindered in three places:

  1. subvalvular, also called subaortic, consisting of a fibrous “comb” of tissue within the left heart valve outflow tract
  2. valvular and
  3. supravalvular or an obstruction distal to the aortic valve.

Predisposition were identified in various dog breeds.
The aortic stenosis in the Bull Terrier and Labrador is proven to be hereditary, in the Golden Retriever and Boxer probably hereditary. more >

RCM - Restrictive cardiomyopathy

 

Restrictive cardiomyopathy is characterized by impaired filling and reduced diastolic volume of one or both ventricles without significant heart valve hypertrophy or abnormalities of systolic function.
The disease occurs in cats
. more >

Restriktive Kardiomyopathie

UCM - Unclassified cardiomyopathy

 

Unclassified cardiomyopathy includes patients with obvious malformations of the heart muscle in echocardiography, who do not clearly fit into one of the other categories.
It is also a disease of cats
. more >

DCM - Dilatative cardiomyopathy

Dilatative Kardiomyopathie

This acquired disease is characterized by the progressive loss of contractility of the heart due to an unknown reason. Several forms of secondary dilated cardiomyopathy exist (eg, taurine deficiency in cats) 
more >

ARVCM Arrhytmogene right ventricular cardiomyopathy

This rare cause of myocardial failure in dogs and cats is limited primarily to the right heart.
The arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy is characterized by fatty-fibrous degeneration of the heart muscle’s right ventricle, leading to an increasing heart failure rate. more >

Arrhytmogene rechtsventrikuläre Kardiomyopathie

PDA - Persisting ductus arteriosus

Persistierender Ductus arteriosus

In the fetal stage of life, oxygen-rich blood flows within the main pulmonary artery into the descending aorta through the ductus arteriosus, bypassing the not yet active lung.
At birth, a number of factors provide for the closure, separating the systemic and pulmonary circulatory system. With the persistent ductus arteriosus, the connection remains open.
more >

Infectious endocarditis

 

The infection of the endocardium typically includes one of the heart valves, although a wall-endocardiosis can occur.
It is believed that an endothelial damage must be present in order to develop an infective endocarditis
.

E-Coli-Bakterien

If animals with predisposing heart diseases (e.g. aortic stenosis, PDA, VSD, hereditary cyanotic heart disease ) are subject to e.g. a scaling or tooth extraction, the prophylactic use of broad-spectrum antibiotics should be considered. more >

Heart disease in general

HCM-Schall

HCM and other heart diseases
from the perspective of the expert, Dr. Jan-Gerd Kresken
more >

Cat owner reviews

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Our members share their experiences with HCM-affected cats.
more >

Upsi

Cat fanciers FAQ (frequently asked questions))

 

LiebhaberKattepukkel

All that cat fanciers need to know about HCM

Information for cat owners

The IG Heart Healthy Cats would like to educate cat owners of all breeds, also the European domestic cat and especially mixes of unknown origin, on the incidence of heart diseases in cats.

All cats can be affected by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), and contrary to the widespread opinion that certain breeds are especially at risk, HCM has been proven to be found most commonly in domestic cats, as Dr. Susan Little pointed out at the International Convention on Cat Breeding in Montpellier (France) in March 2006.

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With 15.5%, a French study on domestic cats in 2009 also found significantly increased numbers of HCM in European domestic cats compared with similar values of known pedigree cats (source).
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HCM is more common in males and occurs earlier in them:
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Males are affected mainly between the second and fifth year of life, females between the third and sixth year. It is possible but rather rare that symptoms occur before that age.

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The key to the successful conservative treatment of HCM lies in the early detection of these symptoms, which are especially difficult to track down in cats. Although HCM is incurable, with early diagnosis of mild to moderate forms and individualized therapy, the cat has a good chance to live a fairly long life without limitations. more >

Secondary HCM

 

In addition to the primary, hereditary HCM, there also exists the so-called secondary or acquired HCM.
There are some diseases that strain the heart by pressure or hormonal stimulation so much that they cause a similar effect as the hereditary HCM.
This can be such things as high blood pressure, thyroid disease, narrowing of the aorta, diabetes or chronic kidney failure. more >

sekundaer

Influence of diet on prevention of secondary HCM

 

Ernaehrung

Numerous studies have meanwhile proven the negative effects of too little fluid content in the diet of domestic cats. Ideally, the food of the cat contains about 70% moisture, as in the natural prey (mice, birds, lizards ...)of wild cats.
A moisture content of 70% in the diet can most easily be accomplished by a combined feeding of wet and raw diet (“BARF”). more >

Information of potential purebred kitten buyers

The IG Healthy Heart Cats is also interested in the information of breed cat fanciers and potential kitten buyers.
We would like to educate the general public through informative articles on the planned website, by distributing flyers at shows, through editorials and ads in cat magazines, emphasizing that an HCM ultrasound is part of every serious breed.

LiebhaberKattepukkel2

Through this we want to ensure that prospective kitten buyers will ask breeders for an HCM ultrasound of their cats in future; and that they will preferably buy kittens from catteries where the parents, grandparents, etc. of the kittens undergo these tests on a regular basis. more >

List of breeders of the IG-HGK

 

We provide a map and a list of our certified members according to breeds who have committed themselves to keep the statutes and the guidelines of quality assurance rules established for breeding by the IG Healthy Heart Cats, which currently represent the highest standard breeding guidelines concerning the management of HCM.

KittenYankeeCats1

There is a portal for the placement of kittens from HCM checked lines, for placement of neutered adult cats, for mediation of HCM checked studs, who are optionally available for matings and for emergency placementss.

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Inspite of the high standards, no breeder can ever give a guarantee for a lifelong heart-healthy cat, because these animals are also subject to spontaneous mutations, because heart diseases can also occur secondarily as a result from other diseases and because the breeding studies can only give a snapshot view. more >

Cat breeders FAQ (frequently asked questions)

 

ShowYankeecats

All cat breeders must know about HCM

Information and collaboration of cat breeders

It is dear to the Association’s heart to educate breeders about the necessity of an HCM health program, including the echocardiography via certified cardiologists.

Short and sweet: The benefits of IG membership for cat breeders

  • Internal (only accessible to members) stud directory with screened animals
  • Kitten exchange side with screened parents
  • on request: additional pedigree with record of findings
  • always the latest information about heart disease
  • the IG documents verifiable compliance with the standards

Read the opinions of our members about the benefits of IG for breeders!

Age at first HCM-screening

For legal and ethical reasons, the first cardiac ultrasound should beperformed before first breeding.

    “For breeding the regular ultrasound examination of the heart is recommended. For legal reasons (§ 11b TSchG) should therefore be started before the first breeding. Then we recommend a repeat in 1 - to 2-year intervals. The inspection intervals vary depending on the result.”

    Dr. Kresken

A database analysis of screening results for Norwegian Forest Cats in October 2012, published on pawpeds.com, Henna Raudaskoski determined that some 15% of those diagnosed with HCM-positive findings related to cats at the age of less than 18 months.

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In addition to early signs (of developing HCM), experienced and certified cardiologist can diagnose by echocardiography also other, DISQUALIFYING heart diseases.

    The right time for the first screening is thus:
    as early as necessary - namely before the first mating -
    and as late as possible
    , because the significance increases with age.

more >

Why does the IG-HGK aim for an echocardiographic breeding examination of all breeds, not just those who are known for their predisposition to HCM?

  • The IG-HGK provides for an obligation to echocardiographic examination for breeding cats in order to avoid hereditary and acquired heart diseases, which put the life of the breeding female at risk when mating, during the pregnancy, during birth or in the rearing of young breed and also to avoid the transmission of hereditary factors for heart diseases to the offspring.
  • In view of the current situation in the catteries, where there are only random examinations of asymptomatic breeding cats, which, due to the different sensitization of breeders, are affected more or less frequently, depending on the breed and the total number of breeding cats, there is currently no reliable data on the distribution of hereditary heart diseases in the different breeds of cats.

In order to establish an effective and long-term health program it takes at least 35 males and 100 females per breed and generation in order not to risk any problems due to inbreeding.

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We would thus like to connect the German, Austrian, Swiss and Dutch breeders, but also breeders from neighboring countries in order to establish a constructive exchange of professional cooperation and breeding.

We would thus like to connect the German, Austrian, Swiss and Dutch breeders, but also breeders from neighboring countries in order to establish a constructive exchange of professional cooperation and breeding.

This we want to achieve especially through the publication of the results obtained from all the cardiologists certified EVCIM-CA, ACVIM (cardiology) and by the Collegium Cardiologicum and Pawpeds. The publication will be made on the independent internet platform of the IG and in pedigree form, so that the research of breeding lines will be made easier for breeders through increased transparency.

Many breeders in Germany and all over Europe are aware of their responsibility for the breeding of “their” race and have their cats checked with a certified cardiologist already.
This is a step for each individual breeder in the breeding of heart-healthy cats.
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A breeder having one of his animals scanned by a certified specialist is as valuable as a single, beautiful pearl..

Perle

Kette

If we, thanks to our database, can merge the results of the ultrasound of owner A with Grandpa, owner B with father, owner C and D with son and grandson, then a necklace of inestimable value, made of these pearls, will be created.

By this the echocardiographic breeding examination results a) gain much more meaning and b) create a win-win situation for all concerned breeders since they can refer to the special quality of the ancestors and the already raised offspring.
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Breeders that join the IG and submit to its guidelines for quality assurance of the HCM health program (such as the echocardiographic breeding examination before the first breeding and repeated ultrasounds every two years until the age of 6) are listed by the IG in the Breeders List with their link and receive a seal of approval to advertise on their website, exhibitions, business cards.
In addition, they can have a certificate of the HCM results of the ancestors of their kittens, as far as they are available to the IG, issued parallel to the family trees of the kittens. more >

News and Events

 

 

On Sunday, 21 October 2012, the first meeting of the DVG-DGK for pet owners and breeders will be held at the Congress Center Düsseldorf, Gemany.

First Meeting of the DGK-DVG for pet owners and breeders

Medical news about animal husbandry and breeding explained by veterinary experts http://www.experten-erklaeren.de more >

dgk2

Making of...

 

 

LOGOmini133

14/04/2012 association was founded in Mannheim at the “Lavendel” with seven founding members, which are representing the rest of now 54 member candidates
12/06/2012
The Interest Group Healthy Heart Cats was registered in the Register of the District Court Mosbach, Gemany, under the register number 869 more >

Certified cardiologists

 

 

There is a list of cardiologists who are tested and certified by certain organizations such as Collegium Cardiologicum e. V. , Pawpeds, or incorporating the title of board certified-CA or ACVIM, for which they also had to take an examination to a specific criteria.
There is a map and a list of cardiologists, indicating the prevailing certification of the respective cardiologist. more >

HCM-SchallRitterclan2-1

Forms

 

 

Here you will find the Pawpeds HCM form
and other forms of IG-HGK more >

Formulare

Guidelines of the IG Healthy Heart Cats

 

Richtlinien, Satzung, Gebührenordnung

Here are the
statutes,
guidelines for quality assurance and
fee structure of the IG HGK
more >

Expert Forum

 

 

The forum of the IG Healthy Heart Cats provides room for all your questions about cat ownership, breeding cats, health questions about HCM, health programs and membership of the IG.
Special space is devoted to the mediation and organization of joint appointments with mobile animal cardiologists in order to serve regions where only few experts are represented. more >

Forum der IG Herzgesunde Katze e.V.

Database

 

 

Database mit HCM-Schallbefunden und Stammbäumen der Zuchtkatzen der Mitglieder der IG HGK

We provide a database for cardiac ultrasound results for our certified members who have committed themselves to keep the statutes and the guidelines of quality assurance rules established for breeding by the IG Healthy Heart Cats, which currently represent the highest standard breeding guidelines concerning the management of HCM. more >

Google search on the site of IG-HGK

 

Google

World Wide Web http://www.ig-hgk.de

Important

Inspite of the high standards, no breeder can ever give a guarantee for a lifelong heart-healthy cat, because these animals are also subject to spontaneous mutations, because heart diseases can also occur secondarily as a result from other diseases and because the breeding studies can only give a snapshot view.

Leading by example is not only the best way
to influence others - it is the only one.

Albert Schweitzer

We appreciate your interest in the objectives of the IG Heart Healthy Cats!

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translated by Julia Vogl

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last update on 16 November 2012

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