Spinal Muscular Atrophy
SMA, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, is a very rare genetic disease found in some Maine Coon lines. Possibly only 1 in about 7000 cats get it. It is however quite serious for those animals who are affected, so to be on the safe side, all our breeding animals are tested for the mutation.
Only cats with the double gene (homozygous positive) will get ill. A carrier is perfectly healthy, but should only be mated to a cat free of the mutation.
Onset of clinical signs is observed between 15 and 17 weeks of age. Initial abnormalities are hind limb weakness and a fine generalized tremor. Affected kittens lose the ability to jump strongly by five months and walk thereafter with a sway of the hindquarters. Abnormal sensitivity to touch over the back, exercise intolerance, and labored breathing are variably observed. After an initial period of rapid loss of function, the progression of the disorder slows or plateaus with variable muscle atrophy, weakness and mobility. (from PawPeds)
Submit DNA test results to PawPeds!
If you have tested your Maine Coon, please send the results to the SMA registrar at PawPeds to be added to the database.