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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:27 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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manic cats wrote:
Lou

Cardiologists may not give out any information to queries as to whether certain cats have been scanned. Client confidentiality and all that.


Surely they will verify if a certificate THEY have issued is valid!

Or more to the point, if a certificate they have allegedly issued is NOT valid

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:27 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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hoover wrote:
I haven't screened all the females as a lot of them come from Dazzledots where they are all tested each year, I am in the process of getting all the females checked but haven't completed it yet. I don't post the results on the FAB site as I think it is only a test that provides a snapshot that may not be valid shortly after testing. I have tried to avoid lines with any history of known HCM but as has already been said on here, there is evidence that it can be found in almost any pedigree if you look far enough back. It is up to all breeders to select their breeding lines ethically and carefully.


Hi Gail, I'm glad you say you are now screening some of your cats, it is good to know that more breeders are starting to take steps to help reduce the risk to our cats. I hope you manage to get all your girls screened as well as all your boys.
I just wanted to ask you about some of your lines. You have said that you try to stay away from high risk lines but from the research I have managed to do I have found that some of your cats have very high risk cats in their lines. I know you said that many of your cats come from breeders who screen annually but on looking into the pedigrees it is clear that the lines are still high risk so I wondered how you came to decide to buy into these lines. Were you aware of how risky they were when you got your cats and are you confident using these cats when you aren't currently screening them all?

I am interested in the points of view of breeders as well as pet owners, I am in the process of trying to assess the HCM risk of my girls. I know that the risk % and screening can't tell us everything and that a cat from a high risk line will not neccessarily be HCM positive just as one from a low risk line may turn out to have HCM so I am interested in the reasoning behind breeders choice of lines and cats.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:41 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

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[quote="Jenda" I wondered how you came to decide to buy into these lines. Were you aware of how risky they were when you got your cats and are you confident using these cats when you aren't currently screening them.

I bought most of my lines from an ethical experienced breeder who tests annually all of her cats for HCM, she also even pays for her breeder cats that have gone to pet homes to be tested annually. I trust this breeder implicitly. It is the safest way to have bought my lines over here as there is a history of HCM results in these lines.
There are lots of similar lines that do not have this history. I am being singled out here and it is not fair, there are lots of breeders with cats that come from risky lines, they don`t test either but nothing is said about them.
My cats are all getting HCM tested soon.
I see you have my Willow, I hope she is doing well, at least her lines come from lines that were tested, what about Luna.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:20 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Yes Willow is doing great :D she is a cheeky monkey!

I was only asking though, I'm not on a witch hunt or trying to single you out as a bad breeder or anything like that, I trusted you as a breeder and I think it is important to allow people to put across their thoughts and reasons. It was a genuine question as a lot of the opinions on this forum are very anti using lines with links to HCM cats and I think it is good to get the views of as many people as possible.

I was interested to hear how you came to the decisions to used cats from these lines, I now have one so I thought your opinions would be helpful to me. It is brilliant that despite the lines having the HCM links the majority of the cats are being tested and the results so far are negative. I was interested in whether you put your trust in the screening results over the HCM history in a line as obviously even if a cat is from a more risky line it could still be negative.

I haven't been able to find out much information on Luna's HCM risk as unfortunately many of the cats in her pedigree are untested, Willows is much easier to research.
As there is not currently an easy way to work out the risk in a lot of lines and pedigrees it is difficult to gather all the information to work out which cats are from low risk lines but I am trying to gather as much information on my girls as I can.
I will be screening them both when they are about 1 year old and then annualy after that, I'll keep you updated with Willows results, I think that it is just as important for me to let you know my results as it would be for me to let anyone buying my kittens know the results.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:24 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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this sums up the attitude of some of the breeders to genetic defects..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4vyn14k ... er&list=UL

A smiling, happy, friendly face is not something which indicates a breeders intent ;)

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:22 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:20 pm Post subject:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
continued......

(Suntouched wrote:

Louise, there is an HCM article on my 'Advice about Buying a Kitten' page and also a link to Fabcats which explains more.


Ahh, so you do, I missed that page..

But I was thinking a more up front kind of thing. I can only speak from my own experience but when I started looking for a bengal I bounced around lots of breeder websites and mostly it was..

Home page...
Kittens available page..
About us page..
Next search result..

I didn't really start looking at contracts and how to buy pages until I had sort of short listed a few based on availability of kittens and location.

If say 50% of the websites I happened upon had a clear "This is Important, read it" message on the home page and/ or the kittens available page which informed me about HCM and the importance of screening then very quickly that would have become a part of the selection process..

I am not having a go or anything, but the information is not real easy to spot, the fact that is is there at all is a vast improvement on many! but I am just thinking how people could be made more aware including those that maybe end up on your website but for whatever reason they do not shortlist you but take away with them another example where a breeder is saying "BUY FROM HCM SCREENED PARENTS")

(ABOVE COPIED/MOVED FROM PREVIOUS POST)

I think this (BUY FROM SCREENED PARENTS) could be added on the kittens page Louise, but really and truthfully I think the fact that there are the words "HCM screened by Dr........" on most cats (i.e. several times each page) should be enough to make people think 'what is that'? and go and look it up on the relevant sites.
Just my thoughts. :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:25 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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copied over from the EG kitten thread that got slightly off track:

Jenda wrote:
Some breeders websites do have information pages about HCM although I only found them because I googled 'Bengal Breeder HCM screened'.

I had heard of HCM before I bought my girls, from looking on Karens website and the Purebliss website and seeing that their cats had been screened, but I didn't know a great deal about it until I came on this forum. I looked it up online and asked breeders about it when I enquired about available kittens (Karen didn't have any availabe so I didn't think to ask her about it) but the breeders I spoke to said that they didn't screen because it was expensive, it was inaccurate, it wasn't a widespread problem or that their cats were healthy and didn't have any problems so I accepted what they said and didn't worry too much about whether my cats came from screened parents. If I hadn't come on here and read the threads on HCM, asked questions on the forum and decided to do some research for myself then I would probably still think it wasn't a big deal and would probably not bother to screen my cats.

I'm putting up a heath information page on my website (still under construction :lol: ) with some information about HCM and PK-Def along with general kitten care info, which is refered to on my home page in the hope that people will have a look and learn about these health issues, of course you can't make everyone read the boring bits :lol: and some people will only be interested in how pretty their kitten will be.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:47 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Suntouched wrote:
Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:20 pm Post subject:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
continued......

(Suntouched wrote:

Louise, there is an HCM article on my 'Advice about Buying a Kitten' page and also a link to Fabcats which explains more.


Ahh, so you do, I missed that page..

But I was thinking a more up front kind of thing. I can only speak from my own experience but when I started looking for a bengal I bounced around lots of breeder websites and mostly it was..

Home page...
Kittens available page..
About us page..
Next search result..

I didn't really start looking at contracts and how to buy pages until I had sort of short listed a few based on availability of kittens and location.

If say 50% of the websites I happened upon had a clear "This is Important, read it" message on the home page and/ or the kittens available page which informed me about HCM and the importance of screening then very quickly that would have become a part of the selection process..

I am not having a go or anything, but the information is not real easy to spot, the fact that is is there at all is a vast improvement on many! but I am just thinking how people could be made more aware including those that maybe end up on your website but for whatever reason they do not shortlist you but take away with them another example where a breeder is saying "BUY FROM HCM SCREENED PARENTS")

(ABOVE COPIED/MOVED FROM PREVIOUS POST)

I think this (BUY FROM SCREENED PARENTS) could be added on the kittens page Louise, but really and truthfully I think the fact that there are the words "HCM screened by Dr........" on most cats (i.e. several times each page) should be enough to make people think 'what is that'? and go and look it up on the relevant sites.
Just my thoughts. :wink:


through this conversation don't think I am getting at you or any of that ****, it seems whenever I post lately someone manages to read something that isn't there.. You are one of a very small number of breeders who is willing to talk about HCM so the last thing I want to do is offend..

I am not sure if it does or not to be honest, its quite hard to put yourself in the position of a new buyer when you are not one, and hard to think how someone with no knowledge of HCM would view the screening results posted when obviously I AM aware of the importance.

I think most people would agree that something has to be done and changes of attitudes toward the threat will have to be made, and you are the people who stand the best chance of bringing about change because you are first point of contact so to speak (you as in breeding community)

HCM is a scary subject, I think you will probably agree that there is a 'Code of silence' surrounding it with a lot of breeders, secrecy, deception, right through to down right lying about the risks.

This IMO is making it much easier for those who do not wish to take their share of responsibility, be that due to ignorance, denial or financial gain, when the subject is to a degree being kept by the back door the people who are ultimately putting the money into the breed (pet owners) are unable to make their £'s speak.

For a solution to work I think it needs to be rammed home to people, maybe not in the way that I mouth off about it here and elsewhere, but if the breeders like yourself who are working to reduce the problem shouted it from the rooftops, telling buyers "before you even think about putting a deposit down you really need to be aware of this risk" then maybe those that don't screen will find it harder to survive in a competitive marketplace - they would hopefully be forced to start screening or stop breeding, both of which are ideal situations.

If I were breeding and paying out to screen my cats then I would want to make it absolutely clear to everyone why I am doing so, I would want to do my best to ensure that the least number of people would put their money in the hands of someone who is ignoring their responsibilities to the health of the breed.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:54 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 2:08 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Burford
I am a breeder that HCM screens annually. I could shout from the rooftops that I am doing it and trying to stop the spread of HCM but I don't....Why? Because from experience I know that parents can screen negative for years and years and not show any signs of HCM, yet kittens they have produced can come up with it.

I purchased an 8 month old boy from the USA for breeding. He was scanned before he came to me, HCM positive at 8 months old. I saw the scan. I have also seen scans of his parents who have screened and are still screening negative at 6 years old plus.

Can you imagine being a breeder and how you would feel if that happens? Devastated, sick, like giving up breeding- all of that plus more.

Breeders are really up against it in the fight against HCM. There are those that do everything they possibly can but yet they will still have HCM cats come up somewhere along the line. Years of negative screened cats can mean nothing if the parents are passing it on but never express it themselves. Unfortunately there is no gene test and a gene test when/if developed may not be effective enough. Sadly for breeders it is not a case of if HCM comes to my door....it probably will come to your door....it's just a matter of time.

Genuine breeders would not wish this on any of their cats or their owners and believe me if something happens to a cat you have bred you feel as bad if not worse than the owners. You feel for the cat, you also feel for them. Breeding is far from easy, you are responsible for every cat you produce and that's a seriously big deal.

I do not make money from my cats, I have 5 years of loss with my accountant and the tax man to prove that! I breed as it's a hobby for me, I love my cats. I have a job/savings to finance it. I have a child and family to care for but my cats and their welfare is always top of my list. I will continue to screen all my cats annually. I also have 2 retired girls as pets from lines I have been working from for a few years. They will continue to be scanned and I hope when they are 8 years old they will be negative and bloods sent to help the research into a gene test for HCM. I believe that this is all I can do in regards to HCM, but I will never think that I am okay or become complacent as I have HCM negative cats....

Tracey
Blissnmore Bengals


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:44 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Great post Tracey and I can see it comes from the heart. xx

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:51 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 1:18 am
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Location: US
Just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to post that reply, Tracey.

I think everyone knows HCM screening is not a solution since it is not completely reliable, but it certainly helps to lessen the problem and therefore is still necessary. I don't like when breeders complain that it is too expensive (and superfluous) to scan every year, because it's an essential part of being an ethical breeder. If you don't have the money for it, don't breed at all. As obsessed as I am with the breed, I would never be a breeder. I get stressed out just thinking about all the time, effort, and money required. Plus worrying about the babies once they go to their new homes... yikes!

Anyway it is awesome you see the shortcomings to scanning but still do it every year. Even better that you continue to scan retired girls. Truly an example of someone who is doing it 100% right. I want to give you an e-hug.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:34 am 
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Bengal Kitten

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Location: Burford
Thank you both for your lovely comments. It means a lot to me.
xx


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:25 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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A truly great post Tracey! I wouldn't have been able to put it across as well as you have, but you have it in a nutshell.
I would also add that it is an expensive hobby and as you say, losses over 5 years (or even more!) can be enormous!

As for breeders not wanting to get involved in discussions, I do know that that is partly down to the witch hunts and lynchings that go on constantly over HCM and breeders are sick to the back teeth of it. In ALL kinds of breeding, there will be good breeders and not-so-good breeders, whether HCM existed or not. That is life. As harsh as it may sound, it is up to the prospective pet buyer to do their research into finding a breeder that they are happy with. If you were buying a car you would go to a dealer with a good reputation and you would do research to find that 'good' dealer. It is the same when researching to buy an animal......you MUST read up and find the right breeder.

When posting things on our websites....we have already been accused of using screening as a 'marketing tool' by MANY people, so we are damned if we do and damned if we don't. For me, I am PROUD to put on my website that I screen, and if people think that is a marketing tool, well let them think it! Websites are marketing tools, adverts are marketing tools......screening would be one hell of an expensive marketing tool I think? You also need to consider that lots of breeders had their programmes set up before HCM was ever mentioned, and have had those cats to feed and care for throughout the recession, where sometimes kitten sales have been few and far between, not even enough to cover the food bills. It is no good screening one week then not being able to afford the vet or buy food the next week.

At the end of the day, there will always be arguments about HCM as no-one will agree all the time, but I think encouraging breeders to get involved in conversations and doing more screening is likely to have more effect than lambasting them, attacking them and so alienating them?
For me, the carrot works better than the stick every time! :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:54 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:12 pm
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Really good posts Karen and Tracey :D.
I agree that encouragement and balanced discussion would be the more likely approach to see positive results Karen, after all we all tend to advise that gentle persuasion and possitive reinforcement work best on our cats, and our children (not that i'm imply breeders are like cats or children before anyone gets offended) and in my experience just shouting at people only makes them deffensive and unwilling to listen even if the original message is one of good intention.
I much prefer seeing balanced informative disscussion than lots of one sided accusations so thank you to those breeders who have come on to this thread and been open about their reasons and views on screening and HCM it is hugely useful to new breeders like me :D.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:12 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Location: Colorado, USA
Personally, if a breeder has a website, I expect to see GOOD information about their studs and queens. Further, I expect to see the HCM screening on the website. If you already have a competent website, then it's not much more to say you screen. Breeders should be PROUD of screening. I'm not likely to jump out and ask if they screen. Even if they are, this is information that should be on the cat's page. ESPECIALLY when the page has things like "FeLV negative." Why post SOME health screenings but not others?

Other that vein, a breeder's website is of NO USE to me if the only info they have about their kings and queens is "suchandsuch is the most snuggly cat! Love attention! Dripping with glitter and huge rosettes!" That's great. I don't mind hearing about your cat's temperament, that's an important factor. But I've been to so many websites where this is all they have to say. If I only cared about this, I would just look at the kitten pictures, find the one with the prettiest fur and grab it. I am visiting the parent's pages so I can LEARN about then and EVALUATE their health record.

And I expect it to go beyond FeLV at this point. I will not buy a kitten from unscreened parents.


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