Sphynx cats have a higher prevalence of certain ocular diseases compared to other feline breeds

Introduction

A lot of this was written by ChatGPT by the way, an AI chatbox owned by Elon Musk. The man is a genius and a super-workaholic. I am always interested in inherited diseases of purebred cats because I like medical stuff and I strongly disagree with cat breeding if it depends on inbreeding (most does) which can lead to inherited diseases. You can see my concern. Breeding cats is already questionable bearing in mind that there are around 4,000 shelters in the USA containing unwanted cats. Why make more? And why make more which are automatically diseased?! Seems wrong to me.

This article is about a possible inherited eye disease in Sphynx cats. I say ‘possible’ because as you can see from the study summary humans aren’t sure why this batch of Sphynx cats had a high prevalence (it was more common) of corneal sequestrum than is normally encountered in domestic cats. Something is wrong.

Corneal sequestrum in a Persian cat
Corneal sequestrum in a Persian cat. Photo as per image (bottom left). Note: If it is a problem publishing the image here, please leave a comment. Thanks. Click the image for a larger version.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The image above of a Persian is relevant to this discussion as “the Burmese, Persian, and Himalayan are the most common breeds reported with corneal sequestrum. These cats may be more vulnerable because of their facial conformation and protruding globes” – Vet Folio on the internet.

Scientific study on ocular disease in this hairless cat breed

A study (see title below) found that Sphynx cats have a higher prevalence of certain ocular diseases compared to other feline breeds. Specifically, the study found that Sphynx cats were more likely to be diagnosed with corneal sequestrum and lower eyelid entropion and were diagnosed at a younger age for these conditions compared to other breeds. The study also found that corneal sequestrum recurred more frequently in Sphynx cats compared to non-Sphynx cats. These findings suggest that Sphynx cats may be more susceptible to certain ocular diseases, and that further research is needed to better understand the causes and appropriate treatments for these conditions in this breed.

What is corneal sequestrum?

Corneal sequestrum is a condition in which a piece of the cornea, the clear outer layer of the eye, dies and takes on a brown discoloration. This dead tissue is gradually rejected by the surrounding healthy corneal tissue and can lead to pain and impaired vision if not treated. Blood vessels may grow towards the sequestrum in an attempt to remove it and heal the affected area, but this can result in further corneal clouding and vision loss. Treatment for corneal sequestrum often involves surgically removing the dead tissue, and in some cases, a corneal transplant may be necessary to restore vision.

Treatment

There are both medical and surgical treatment options for corneal sequestrum. In cases where the sequestrum is small and the affected eye is not too painful, treatment may involve the use of lubricating and antibiotic eye ointments to support the eye and encourage the shedding of the sequestrum. If the sequestrum is shed successfully, the outcome can be good, but this treatment option is somewhat unpredictable and the timeline for shedding is not always known. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the dead tissue and prevent further damage to the cornea and vision loss. In some cases, a corneal transplant may also be necessary to restore vision.

Study: Prevalence and characteristics of ocular diseases in Sphynx cats: A retrospective assessment (2012–2021) and comparison with non-Sphynx cats.

Comment: ‘Ocular disease’ as you may realise means ‘eye disease’. I suspect that it is inherited. Certainly, for the Persian this seems to be the case.

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