Data Sharing - What and Why?

Since HCM is inherited and there is not yet a genetic test for HCM in the Sphynx breed, breeders have to rely on the health history of ancestors and closely related cats in an attempt to avoid passing this silent killer to their offspring. Breeders should use all the information they can gather about HCM in family lines, including pedigree analysis and available information about affected cats. Careful attention to the history of ancestors and closely related cats can only benefit the breed when individual cats who are found to be affected are removed from breeding programs.

This is where health databases can play a significant role. As the Spynx HCM Databases are populated, information not only on the parent's heart health can be considered, but the health history of close relatives such as siblings, half siblings, aunts, uncles, grand-sires, and grand-dams becomes possible. Knowing who the affected or unaffected ancestors are allows breeders to make more fact-based decisions in their breeding programs. Reducing the incidence of HCM within the Sphynx breed is possible if enough breeders and pet owners begin submitting to the databases the results and pedigrees of each cat and each annual HCM screening session.

For the Sphynx HCM Databases to be useful tools, breeders and owners must acknowledge their value, commit to sharing and embrace the submission of data. Although some information is better than none, breeders and owners must remember that it may take years for the databases to become populated with enough information to allow the type of in-depth HCM data needed to make a positive impact.  If more breeders and pet owners get involved, the databases will be an extremely valuable resource where breeders will have the HCM data available at their fingertips to help protect the future of the Sphynx breed.