Congenital Myasthenic Syndrome (CMS)

About the congenital defect

Congenital myasthenic syndrome (CMS) causes muscle weakness in Devon Rex and Sphynx cats. Affected cats show ventroflexion of the head and neck, head bobbing, scapulae protrusion and generalised muscle weakness and fatigability. Signs become evident at three to 23 weeks of age and usually progress slowly or remain static. Moderately to severely affected cats show evidence of more generalised muscle weakness, particularly following exertion, stress or excitement. Typically they have a high-stepping forelimb gait, head bobbing and progressive dorsal protrusion of the scapulae. Affected cats tire easily with exercise, with progressive shortening of the stride and superimposed tremor. Eventually they collapse in sternal recumbency, typically with the head coming to rest on, or to one side of, their front paws. Affected cats frequently adopt a characteristic 'chipmunk' position, usually with their front legs resting on a convenient object.

The mutation responsible for CMS has recently been discovered by researchers from the Universities of Missouri, California - Davis, California - San Diego, Sydney and Milan. The genetic disease is recessive, meaning that affected cats have two copies of the mutation. Cats with one copy of the mutation (carriers) are not affected, but can pass the mutation to their offspring.

FAQs

What breeds are at risk?

Devon Rex Sphynx

Interpretation of results

A Normal Congenital myasthenic syndrome (CMS) genetic test result means that the cat does not have the known genetic mutation causing the disease.

A Carrier Congenital myasthenic syndrome (CMS) genetic test result means that the cat has one copy of the mutation. The cat will not have the disease, but may pass the mutation to their offspring.

An Affected Congenital myasthenic syndrome (CMS) genetic test result means that the cat has two copies of the mutation. The cat will develop Congenital myasthenic syndrome (CMS).

Each certificate we issue will specify whether the cat is Normal, Carrier or Affected for the known Congenital myasthenic syndrome (CMS) mutation.

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