Although I have a page on Genetic Diseases in Purebred Cats (gathered together from reliable and what I thought was complete source material), I have recently discovered that the much loved Bengal Cat can inherit Distal Neuropathy.
In fact the Fabcats.org website says that about 9% of Bengal cats are affected, a large percentage. They say this cat breed appear to be predisposed to this disease. The veterinary blogger Peter Wedderburn writing online for the Telegraph newspaper in the UK, says that 10% of Bengal cats develop a condition called Distal Neuropathy. He appears to have got this information from the Fabcats website as he links to it. I think it unfair to convert something that seems to be happening to something of certainty. However, this is a serious disease.
A human version of the disease is caused by type 2 diabetes when the nerves in the foot are damaged causing numbness leading to ulcers and sometimes amputation of the leg below the knee.
A breakdown of the words used to describe the disease:
- What is Distal Neuropathy? A similar disease or another name for the disease is Distal Axonopathy.
- Axonopathy: A disorder affecting primarily the axons of peripheral nerve fibres.
- Distal: A remote position, farther from a certain point of reference, the opposite to proximal
- Neuropathy: A general word describing functional disturbances and/or pathological changes in the peripheral nervous system
- Symptoms: Occur at about aged 1 year. Weakness, tridor (?) with suspected laryngeal (throat) paralysis, megacolon (with constipation), long term non-healing wounds. Some cats recover (average age 3.2 years). Possible relapse.
- Cause: Appears to be caused by toxins as a result of renal failure or diabetes for example.
This post was first published around ten years ago. It has been upgraded a little and republished.