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Heart disease feline Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by Jackie Palmer, Jun 23, 2019.


  1. Jackie Palmer

    Jackie Palmer PetForums Newbie

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    My cat has been diagnosed with a serious heart disease - hypertrophic cardiomyopathy - this is when one of the valves isn't closing property and obstructing the outflow of the heart. He is a young cat - only 5 years and is due to see a specialist cardiologist. I wonder if anyone on this forum has had a cat diagnosed with this condition, whether you have any information or advice. He is currently on medication and is ok thus far although I understand longevity isn't good for this condition. Any insight gratefully received.
     
  2. Sacremist

    Sacremist Mum to 2 cats and a dog

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    I’ve had six cats with cardiomyopathy: 3 with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and three with right ventricular cardiomyopathy. Four of them are now dead but the two I have left both have HCM.

    I was told by a cardiologist that cats who develop the condition when young tend to deteriorate quite quickly, but those who develop the condition in later years progress more slowly. Unfortunately, I would say 5 is quite young. My HCM cat’s are older. They are scanned every year and so far there has been no significant progression. Two of my ARVC cats died aged 6 and 8 unfortunately and yet the third lived until 12 despite being diagnosed aged 9 and it never progressed to a dangerous level. In the end it was cancer that took her not her heart.

    My conclusions are that it’s difficult to know for certain which way it’s going to go based purely on the first scan. If twelve months later the second scan shows no significant progression, there’s a chance they could live with it for a few years. Conversely, if the second scan shows a significant deterioration, you know time is short. Of course, a lot depends on what grade it is at this point in time.

    My 6 year old dropped dead without prior diagnosis. My 8 year old was grade 4 and died 9 months later. The others were all only grade 2 and the two cats I still have are still only grade 2.
     
    Veronica Chapman likes this.
  3. Jackie Palmer

    Jackie Palmer PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for sharing - how difficult for you having six cats with the condition! How are you treating the two cats you have with HCM - are they on medication? Do you give them a special diet? Any special treatment - like making sure they have a calm time (if that's possible with a cat!) Curiously his brother doesn't have it.
     
  4. Sacremist

    Sacremist Mum to 2 cats and a dog

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    One of the reasons I had so many is because they were related. The ARVC cats were mother and four kittens. Of the four kittens two had ARVC and two didn’t, which fits with being told the kittens had a 50/50 chance of developing ARVC.

    One of those kittens who didn’t have ARVC has gone on to have early stage HCM, but he was diagnosed only last year aged 14. His scan this year showed no progression.

    The other two with HCM are brothers but again it came in old age so it hasn’t worsened in the boy who still lives. His brother died of kidney failure not from the HCM.

    Both my two remaining boys with HCM are on Fortekor but this is equally for their heart and kidneys because both have CKD too.

    They both also take Amodip because they have developed high blood pressure. The high blood pressure could be caused once again by both HCM and CKD.

    Due to having CKD, they are supposed to follow a special kidney diet but they won’t always eat it, so I give them what they will eat and add a phosphate binder. I’ve never been told they need a special diet for HCM other than not to feed high sodium foods. Hubby was giving bits of ham as a treat, so he swapped to chicken instead.

    Based on my experience with Luke, the only one of my cats who was diagnosed whilst alive and died from cardiomyopathy, you will find that as the condition worsens, your boy will slow down himself, because he will get out of breath. My girl who dropped dead, did stop jumping up.

    You have to be careful about stressing them too much: this includes when giving medication, because the cat can faint. We had to try different ways of getting his tablets in him without forcing them on him. For quite a while, Luke would accept his pill wrapped in a little Greenies pill pocket. Something like Laughing Cow Cheese triangles can work too. Breaking a bit off and wrapping it around the pill.

    To be honest, it’s a horrible condition and there is very little you can do to help them. I just make sure they know they are loved.
     
    Veronica Chapman likes this.
  5. Jackie Palmer

    Jackie Palmer PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks very much for all this information - very useful. Fortunately we are able to wrap his pill in a treat which seems to work.
     
    Sacremist likes this.
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