Although the Maine Coon breeder health is a tough and sturdy, like all breeds it is susceptible to a range of genetic diseases and disorders. The most dangerous disease
suffered by Maine Coons is Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), an attack on the heart. This destructive disease is genetically passed on as an autosomal dominant trait in which older male cats are thought to be predisposed to the disease. The death can produce many symptoms resulting in heart failure, paralysis of the hind legs due to blood clots and even sudden death.
In the Maine Coon breed, there is a specific mutation of the HCM virus that can be tested. at the Veterinary Cardiac Genetics Lab at the College of Veterinary Medicine testing was carried out on a large sample of the Maine Coon breed. of all the animals tested for MyBPC mutation one-third of the population tested positively.
However this does not mean that one-third of the breed will suffer from the virus, most will not show symptoms or suffer death from the disease at an early age. This test, however, has shown that there may indeed be a second mutation of the MyBPC virus which is not covered under the scope of the test. Ultrasounds of the heart is seen as the best way to remove the threat of HMC from the Maine Coon breed.
Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is another health disorder that affects a percentage of the Maine Coon. This genetic disease causes a reduction of the neurons in the spinal cord responsible for strengthening the skeletal muscles of the trunk and limbs. result in shortened lifespan, muscle weakness, and muscle atrophy.
SMA can be tested when the cat is 3-4 months old and there is a test available to detect the genes responsible for SMA.Maine Coons along with other large breeds tend to suffer from disorders such as hip dysplasia and arthritis due to their head Symptoms vier set and large bones.
Hip dysplasia in severe cases can cause crippling lameness of the front and rear limbs. In minor cases, the disorder simply causes arthritis and limb restriction. This disorder is commonly seen in larger animals such as dogs but because cats are smaller and lighter with more flexible bones hip dysplasia usually result in more manageable symptoms.
X- rays that were submitted to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) indicate that 24.1% of Maine Coons suffered some level of hip dysplasia although the severity and symptoms were not recorded.
Another disease suffered by the Maine Coon breed is a progressive kidney disease named Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD). The symptoms of this are seen in the later years of the animal, roughly from 7 years on and effects are incurable. PKD usually results in renal failure and is genetically inherited. PKD was thought to be associated with the Persian breed but has been noted in some cases involving Maine Coons.