Echocardiography screening (scanning), with a board certified cardiologist, is the best tool available, at this point, for diagnosing HCM. However, since HCM can occur at any age, a single normal echocardiogram does not guarantee a cat is free of disease. Therefore Sphynx should be screened on a routine basis.
Sphynx cats currently in or retired from breeding programs should have annual echocardiograms and pets should be scanned at the discretion of owner and cardiologist, often every 12-18 months. Examining our cats on a regular basis is advantageous because it may allow for the identification of the disease (which often shows no outward symptoms) and thereby allow for early treatment. Echocardiographic screening and the reporting of results and pedigrees to the Sphynx HCM Databases will also help reduce the incidence of HCM within the Sphynx breed if enough breeders and pet owners are involved.
Clinic vs. Private Exams
Screening appointments vary from doctor to doctor and private appointments usually differ from clinic appointments. A clinic is often a special day scheduled, where sessions are scheduled every 15 – 25 mintues for screening at a reduced rate. Private exams often are scheduled on a one on one basis and typically include a longer exam.
Note: It is very important that your examination is performed by a Board Certified Cardiologist. Often, breeders will utilize the services of radiologists, sonographers are regular vets to perform an screening. Board Certified Cardiologists undergo essential training that is necessary for diagnosis.