Hereditary blindness in bengal cats
is a disease that is common in many mammals. Some of its forms are considered congenital and appear immediately, while others develop with age. Gradually progressive blindness affects the outer surface of the retina. Specifically, this form of the disease is characteristic of Bengal cats. Doctors call this disease progressive retinal atrophy.
The disease affects photoreceptors. They register the incoming light flux on the retina. Photoreceptor cells begin to break down at the age of 8 weeks, and by about a year the animal completely loses sight. You can notice the signs of the disease in the period from 8 to 20 weeks.
SIGNS OF THE DISEASE
It is possible to detect hereditary blindness in a Bengal cat by external phenomena.
1. You can see that the animal moves with difficulty in the dark, it becomes more attached to the owner, feeling its complete dependence on him.
2. The pupils of the cat are always dilated regardless of the degree of illumination of the room.
3. Since the animal’s eyes cease to be an important source of information for him, he is forced to direct his mustache forward, thereby avoiding collisions with objects.
However, even a cat struck by hereditary blindness after examining the arrangement of furniture in the room, the distance to the interior becomes active again, and therefore does not show any symptoms of the disease.
REASONS FOR HEREDITARY BLINDING AND THE WAY TO AVOID IT
Breeders around the world have long studied hereditary blindness in Bengal cats, trying to rid the animals of torment. The solution was found by the genetics laboratory of the University of Davis (California). They found a copy of mutant DNA, which is precisely responsible for the development of retinal atrophy in Bengalis.
The reason for the inheritance of the blindness gene is the binding of two carriers of this gene. In this case, Bengal cats can be healthy, sick or carriers of the gene of hereditary blindness. Healthy animals and carriers have no manifestations of the disease. But in two parent parents, kittens will be born uniquely sick. Therefore, it is so important that owners taking a Bengal kitten in the family are familiarized with the results of genetic testing of his parents.