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Interessengemeinschaft Herzgesunde Katze e.V.

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Information for breeders

How can the IG Heart Healthy Cats help me?

I am looking for information about HCM
I am seeking a certified cardiologist
There is no certified cardiologist at my residence and within a reasonable radius
The cardiologist of my choice is not certified
I am looking for HCM ultrasound results of the ancestors of my breeding cats
I am seeking an HCM checked stud
I would like to buy a breeding cat from an HCM checked mating
How do I as a breeder benefit from a membership in the IG?
I have a question that is not covered in the FAQs

I am looking for information about HCM

Please read our general page on HCM, consider our expert page on HCM as well as the links that we have collected about HCM. 

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I am seeking a certified cardiologist

Please look at our interactive map for a certified cardiologist in your area.
Alternatively please check the list of all certified cardiologists worldwide.

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There is no certified cardiologist at my residence and within a reasonable radius

Concerning Germany:

If a sufficient number of cat holders can organize a get together, Dr. Höpfner is ready to perform HCM ultrasounds also in other veterinary practices than the ones indicated. This concerns mainly the North and East of Germany.
Also, Dr. Schinner offers such a service primarily for Bavaria in addition to his many co-operative practices.
Another mobile cardiological practice is provided by Dr. Lohss-Baumgärtner and by Dr. Schlieter in the Southwest, Baden-Württemberg.
Simply contact the cardiologist at the above location for an appointment if you (for example, together with friends) have gathered enough cats (usually 12-15).
It would be nice if you could inform our organizers of such extraordinary sound appointments so that other breeders in the concerned region may take advantage of this event also.
If you have not found enough cats for an unscheduled appointment and are looking for more breeders in the region to get together, please write to our organizers.

Concerning other countries:

Sweden and Latvia:

Lennart Nilsfors offers a mobile service in Sweden and Latvia.

Other countries:

If you know about more cardiologists in other countries that provide mobile appointments, please share your information with us.

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The cardiologist of my choice is not certified

Ask your cardiologist to get certified!
Point out how immensely important the publication of the HCM ultrasound results in independent databases such as pawpeds.com and the IG Heart Healthy Cat is.
Explain to him that both you as a breeder and him as your veterinarian are urged by law to take care of "a complete truthful registration and documentation of all occurring defects and genetic diseases" and "the combination of all data on individual breeding animals and the population".
The necessity to accept only ultrasound results from certified cardiologists results from many practical reasons, but also from the clear indication of the legislature: "To reduce the error rates of detection and thus to increase the reliability of the information also a clear definition of the characteristics is important."
There are three ways to get certified:

  • Certification by EVCIM-CA or AVCIM :
    Your vet can obtain the details of the licensing and examination regulations from the websites of the associations.
    The certification is an internationally recognized perennial special training (in Europe ECVIM-CA, in the U.S. / Canada ACVIM).
    The training must be effected under the direct supervision and guidance of a recognized specialist in a cardiology department at a major (usually university) hospital. The regular training period is around 3-4 years. During the education (“Residency”) the vet must work through an extensive catalogue in order to ensure that while carrying out the training, a sufficient number of specialized cases of all grades are treated. In addition to that, minimum numbers (usually several hundred) of examinations monitored by the supervisor (e.g. echocardiography, ECG, X-rays) as well as surgical procedures (e.g. cardiac catheterizations, intensive care treatments) have to be achieved.
    During the training period, scientific work in the cardiac field must be drawn up. Moreover, there are extensive obligations for reading the latest international publications.
    The training is completed by two comprehensive audits lasting several days. These are held once annually Europe-wide. The entire training is evaluated by an independent body on a case-by-case basis. After the exams have been passed, the candidate is granted the specialist title "Diplomate".
    Every five years a re-evaluation is taking place in order to ensure that the high medical standard is maintained by all persons involved. (Source)
  • Certification by the Collegium Cardiologicum :
    Your vet can obtain the details of the licensing and examination regulations from the website of the association.
    In summary, the examination consists of proving 50 hours of further cardiology education, followed by 20 echocardiographic ultrasounds under the supervision of at least 4 members of the CC, and finally a theoretical and practical test
  • Certification by pawpeds.com
    According to the Pawpeds managers, a vet must contact with the contact persons of the HCM health program in order to be certified (we recommend that you write an e-mail and copy all three principals).
    The attachment of the mail should include a CV in english language (with data on school / university education and training) as well as detailed information about the vet’s ultrasound equipment.
    In addition, he should be interested in working with the other vets on the list.
    If the cardiologist is a member of the Collegium Cardiologicum, he/she is automatically recognized by pawpeds.com.
    If not, the documents submitted will be presented to Professor Jens Häggström for assessment and decision about approval.

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I am looking for HCM ultrasound results of the ancestors of my breeding cats

We recommend that you first browse the well-known Internet databases for ultrasound results.
Do not only look for direct ancestors of the cats, but also for their offspring.

For all breeds:

  • at the IG Heart Healthy Cats - (LINK)
    Please note that only ultrasound results from certified physicians are included in the database.
  • at pawpeds.com - (LINK)
    Please note that only ultrasound results from physicians listed at Pawpeds are included in the database.
  • at health.mcats.de - (LINK)
    Please note that this overview includes ultrasound results from ALL vets, also without specialization and certification, a reference to a possibly existing certification is, however, indicated in each report.
  • at hcmfoundation.com - (LINK)
    Please note that this overview includes ultrasound results from ALL vets, also without specialization and certification.
  • at hcmtest.com - (LINK)
    Please note that this overview includes ultrasound results from ALL vets, also without specialization and certification.
  • at herz-katzen.de - (LINK)
    Please note that this overview includes ultrasound results from ALL vets, also without specialization and certification.

For British Shorthair, Maine Coon, Neva Masquerade, Norwegian Forest Cats, Persian, Ragdoll and Sibirian Cats:

  • at kfg.de - (LINK)
    Please note that this overview includes ultrasound results from ALL vets, also without specialization and certification.

For Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest Cats and Sibirian Cats:

  • at hcm-info.forum6.biz - (LINK)
    Please note that this overview includes ultrasound results from ALL vets, also without specialization and certification.

For Maine Coon:

  • at health.mcats.de - (LINK)
    Please note that this overview includes ultrasound results from ALL vets, also without specialization and certification, a reference to a possibly existing certification is, however, indicated in each report.

For Norwegian Forest Cats:

  • at winterfyre.com - (LINK)
    Please note that only ultrasound results from certified physicians are included in the database.

For Sibirian and Neva Masquerade:

  • at gesunde-rassekatzen.de - (LINK)
    Please note that this overview includes ultrasound results from ALL vets, also without specialization and certification.

FĂĽr cat owners in Czech Republic

  • at hcm-pkd-databaze-kocek.czweb.org - (LINK)
    Please note that this overview includes ultrasound results from ALL vets, also without specialization and certification.
  • at Databáze webu koÄŤky AdĂ©lky - (LINK - not actualized since 2009 )
    Please note that this overview includes ultrasound results from ALL vets, also without specialization and certification.

Also browse the websites of the breeders of the ancestors of your cat for life data and HCM ultrasound results. An attained age of 9 or more years strongly suggests that this cat has no HCM.
If the breeders homepages indicate HCM ultrasound results, which are not listed and/or linked in the major databases, kindly ask the respective breeder for transmission of the ultrasound results in terms of securing a cooperation respecting animal welfare and the well-being of the cat.
A copy of the examination findings can be used to obtain an indication of the qualifications of the examiner and the conformity of the results with the currently valid assessment of the measurement results.

On the other hand, an extremely short life data of the cats should be a warning sign for you as long as there is no conclusive explanation (preferably confirmed through an autopsy) that another cause of death than HCM was present.
Ask your experienced breeders of your breed for advice, they often know of cases which have unfortunately not been made public.

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I am seeking an HCM checked stud

Please search the stud directory of the IG Heart Healthy Cat for a suitable candidate.
Remember to also check the respective stud directory or member lists of breeding associations when looking for an HCM checked stud. Do not forget to compare the requirements of the respective clubs on HCM examinations..

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I would like to buy a breeding cat from an HCM checked mating

Please look at our list of breeders for catteries which could be interesting for you.
Remember to also check the respective Youngster Placement pages and member lists of breeding associations when looking for a breeding cat from HCM checked matings. Do not forget to compare the requirements of the respective clubs on HCM examinations.

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How do I as a breeder benefit from a membership in the IG?

So far there are few clubs in Germany which require their members to oblige to participating in an HCM health program by conducting regular echocardiographic breeding examinations. These are currently (as of 3/2012) the following associations:
Cat Planet e.V., International Cat Club e.V., Katzenfreunde Germania e.V. and Katzenfreunde Norddeutschland e.V.
Moreover, only a few, rather randomly selected breeds, are affected by these rules.
The following clubs have at least implemented regulations concerning the dealing with the parents of HCM affected cats up to breeding disqualification: :
Cat Club Germany e.V. and SĂĽddeutscher Rassekatzen Verband e.V.

The decision for the membership in a breed association is mostly influenced primarily by regional aspects, personal friendships, good exhibition organization and effective family tree exhibition.
From our point of view, his requires no change; we welcome the diversity that results from this fact.
Many clubs reject initiatives by individual members to merely include breed specific health tests in the statutes since they see some major problems in establishing essential breeding and exhibition guidelines.
Breeding associations which conduct exhibitions unfortunately also have to consider economic constraints.
In response to this diversity of interests, the IG Heart Healthy Cat wants to close this gap transcending breeds and clubs by offering dedicated breeders the opportunity to stand out from the mass of breeders by meeting the high standards of the IG in addition to their membership in one of the traditional breeding associations.
Currently the search for a new cat or a stud from catteries who conduct HCM ultrasounds is very difficult.
The IG wants to provide dedicated breeders with an overview of suitable candidates and thus reduce the hassle of digging through websites to a minimum.
The conviction of other breeders to decide to participate in an HCM health program also is considerably easier if one occurs as a community and not as an individual.
Another key element of the duties of the IG is to inform buyers of pedigree cats.
Another key element of the duties of the IG is to inform buyers of purebred cats.
Only informed interested parties can make objective purchase decisions and initiate a general rethinking among the breeders scene by the consequent demand for kittens from catteries which regularly conduct and publish HCM ultrasounds.

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translated by Julia Vogl

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last update on 18 December 2012

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