Feline PKD Disease Testing
Price: From $74
Testing: 1 Sample
Timeframe: 10 working days after samples are received at our offices.
Might your cat have Polycystic Kidney Disease? Polycystic Kidney Disease or PKD is an inherited genetic disease that can have serious implications on the health of your cat and of its offspring. PKD is found amongst Persian, Himalayan, and exotic cats (such as the Himalayans and British Shorthair). All a cat needs is to inherit a single copy of the gene from either of its parents to have a very elevated risk of developing PKD.
PKD testing starts from $74 per sample and results will be ready in 10 working days
Symptoms and characteristics of the disease
The disease is characterised by the formation of liquid-filled cysts on the kidneys (hence the term “polycystic”). The disease could eventually lead to renal failure and death as the cysts keep multiplying and also increasing in size, up to 1 cm in diameter on adult cats. Due to the many cysts that characterise the disease, a veterinary surgeon would not be able to drain them as the procedure would be far too laborious and difficult. The only solution is genetic testing for PKD disease as a means of ensuring a healthy gene pool and litters of kittens that are free of PKD. If a test shows a cat carries the PKD, that cat must be excluded from the mating pool in order to ensure that offspring are PKD free.
Science and results of our PKD test
The results will show one of the possible genotypes which include: NN (2 copies of the normal allele) NP Heterozygote (1 normal copy and 1 copy of the PKD mutation), or PP (2 copies of the PKD mutation).
NN – Does not carry the mutation – will not produce the mutation if both parents have this test result status.
NP – Carries one copy of the mutation – can pass on the mutation even if mated to a breeding partner who has No Mutated Gene.
PP – Carries two copies of the mutation – this finding would, if at all possible, be very rare as these cats are known to die in uterus
Quick, easy and painless, our DNA sample collection ensures minimum stress for you and for your beloved pet. Our DNA testing kit will enable you to collect your own feline DNA samples without the help of a veterinary surgeon. All you need to do is to collect a saliva sample from the cat you wish to test by rubbing a swab inside its mouth for ten seconds. You will need to repeat this process 4 times as we require 4 swabs per cat. The simple procedure will be explained in the instructions you find inside our kit.
How old does my cat have to be for this test to be carried out?
The PKD test can be carried out on cats of any age including kittens and newborns. However, with newborn kitten that are still being nursed (ie. still receiving breast milk from their mother), sample collection needs to be done using blood samples. This is because the newborn’s mouths will contain DNA from the queen and thus, swabbing these will result in a contaminated DNA sample containing a mix of the mother’s DNA and that of her offspring.
Can I carry out an ultrasound to determine whether a cat suffers from PKD?
Yes, ultrasounds are an accurate way of confirming whether a cat has PKD. The problem is that in order to be able to see the cysts, the disease must have evolved which means that cat will already be suffering from the condition and in some cases, might have already mated with other cats, resulting in litters carrying the PKD gene. With a DNA test, you can establish the presence of the PKD gene in kittens, thereby beginning selective mating as early as possible.