Hairless Hearts’ primary focus is the desire to create a world-wide collaboration to procure more affordable cardiac screening for our Sphynx while increasing the amount of associated data for HCM research and individual’s breeding practices.
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is a genetic heart defect affecting all breeds of domestic cats. It has become of great concern to the Sphynx community because recent estimates indicate HCM may be diagnosed in Sphynx at a higher rate than many other breeds of cats. Echocardiograms, or scans, by Board Certified Cardiologists are the preferred method of diagnosis at this time.
As of 1/20/2011, approximately 15% of Sphynx being scanned and reported in public health databases are diagnosed as positive for HCM. However, the actual number is likely much higher because not all Sphynx are being scanned and results are not always shared. The current thinking is that early detection of HCM can prolong the life of the individual cat through treatment of symptoms. Consequently, many people in the Sphynx community believe all Sphynx should be scanned prophylactically.