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1806750 tn?1323310042

Bengal Health Question

I need to find out what health problems Bengal Cats are most likely to develop.  Like for example, Labrador retriever dogs generally develop hip problems as they age.  Does anyone know what illnesses Bengal's may develop and what preventative steps can be taken to keep our cat healthy?
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Avatar universal
Hello Amy,

First, it is common in the Bengal to find breeders discussing general loose stools in the absence of any parasites.  Repeated vet exams and testing have typically been done on these cats that are negative for parasites on exam.  We personally treat with Ronidazole in these cases and have yet to have a case that did not resolve with this treatment.  This leads us to believe that most cases are parasite related.  Although it is totally possible that food allergies or disease can be a cause of chronic loose stool in some cats.  It has become common for those breeders who have treated with everything and ruled out disease or food allergy, to resort to using a higher fiber dry food to supplement their normal ration.  This higher fiber content usually provided by "Hairball Management" diets, has resolved this situation in a high number of cats.  Some have mentioned that a raw diet can also be beneficial in resolving this, but many breeders and pet owners simply don't have the knowledge, facilities or time to provide such a diet.  So, if your cat has been routinely tested for Coccidia, Giardia and Tri-Trich and still has loose stools, try Iams Hairball added to the regular diet at a 50/50 ratio.  This may resolve the situation.  It is not acceptable to accept a loose stool as an inevitable condition of Bengal Cats.   It is very important to know Bengals need a high taurine level in their diets.  For this reason, search out foods that have higher levels of taurine.

Cataracts are a occasionally occurring problem and at this time, are being evaluated to determine if testing is required.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy - is a disease being seen more frequently in Bengals today.  It causes the rod and cone light receptors in the retina to slowly cease functioning.  As a result animals eventually go blind.  It has been diagnosed in kittens as young as three months.  Dr. Leslie Lyons is studying this disease to determine its mode of inheritance.  It is assumed at this point that it is a simple recessive.  This would mean that for a cat to present with the disease, its parents would either BOTH have to be carriers of the marker gene or one of the parents would have to actually be affected with the disease.  Carriers of this disease may be totally asymptomatic carrying totally normal vision their entire lives.  Their kittens may also be unaffected as well as long as it is not bred to another carrier.  Should two carriers be bred, some will be affected with the disease and some will be carriers.  Examinations of breeding cats will help reduce the number of kittens produced that are affected.  However, since there is NO test for the carrier gene, it is impossible to screen potential breeding cats to determine that they are or are not carriers of the gene.  It is hoped that by conscientious breeders offering blood and DNA samples of affected cats and their relatives, a genetic marker can be located and a resulting test developed.

Bengals should be tested for HCM, a heart condition.  This is done by having a sonogram of the heart done by a veterinary cardiologist.  This exam runs from $250-$400 per cat depending on cardiologist availability in your area.  This disease, like many other heart ailments, can be life threatening or just shorten their life or just require a modification in activity.  The individual situation is different depending on the severity of the disease in that particular cat.

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1806750 tn?1323310042
Wow!  Thank you for all the valuable information.  You mentioned eye issues and Bella's sight isn't that great.  I noticed this from the beginning when I adopted her when she was a few months old.  She's not very sharp and quick to see something that other cats would have noticed sooner.  Sshe doesn't have issues with her bowels... thank God and I am not sure about the heart condition.  The vet says everything looks normal and healthy.  
Well, Thank you again for the great info.  Very helpful to know

ALC










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1750537 tn?1316383310
Other than typical problems such as feline inflammatory bowel disease and feline leukemia, Bengal cats have sensitive stomachs that do not tolerate bacteria well. They can get food poisoning more easily than most other breeds, so take care not to feed them anything that might contain significant amounts of live bacteria.
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