What is Sacrocaudal Dysgenesis? Sacrocaudal dysgenesis is an inherited musculoskeletal condition in which the vertebrae of the tail and the sacrum are not developed properly. The spinal cord may also not be properly developed or completely sealed. The cat sports a tailless or stumpy tail appearance. It is sometimes commonly called Manx Syndrome, after the tailless cat breed.
How does my cat get Sacrocaudal Dysgenesis? This congenital disorder is identified as an autosomal dominant trait. It is present from birth.
How do I know if my cat has Sacrocaudal Dysgenesis? Your kitten will have no tail or a shortened one. You may also notice that the disorder has affected your feline’s ability to urinate, pass stools or properly use his rear legs. He may start to hop or stagger or show signs of being partially paralyzed. Symptoms tend to become evident by age 2 months. It is vital to have your veterinarian perform a physical exam, take X-rays and conduct lab tests (including a urinalysis) to accurately identify this condition.
What can I do about Sacrocaudal Dysgenesis? Surgery is effective in treating cats with small defects or spinal openings. However, cats with severe neurological issues do to this condition do not usually improve with any treatment.
Is there anything I can do to prevent my cat from getting Sacrocaudal Dysgenesis? If you wish to adopt a Manx cat, select a reputable breeder who has taken steps to eliminate this congenital condition from the breeding line.
Are there certain breeds that get Sacrocaudal Dysgenesis more often? Yes. The Manx breed is at the highest risk for this condition, but other tailless cats are also susceptible.