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Cat hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy in Cats

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or HCM is the condition which is characterized by the thickening or the hardening of the left ventricle.

This is not attributed to any other related medical conditions like high blood pressure. It can, however in some severe cases, lead to heart failure. Thus hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in feline occurs when fluids accumulate in their lungs. Blood clots also can occur in the cat’s heart and then travel to all the distant blood vessels thus obstructing or stopping the blood flow.

The flow can stop going to the limbs. This condition can be found to be mild at times and can even be life-threatening at times. Males of the cat breed Maine coon and the Persian cat and also the Ragdoll cat breeds are among the breeds that are most likely to get affected. This also happens among cats in the age group of 6 months up to 4 years.

However it can affect all ages. The main cause of this condition of Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is genetic reasons. Other factors that can lead to hard breathing or cat heart problems or cat heart disease include infection, stress, fever etc.

Symptoms of Cat Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

The owners should try and look for signs of a sudden inability on the cat’s part to use any of its limbs. One should also notice if the breathing becomes noisy. Other indications include the cat lying down in a different position. This can be a position where in its head is extended and also where its elbows are pointed in the outward position. Other symptoms include a loss of appetite or even weight loss that cannot be explained. If the cat is particularly inactive then that might be a further indication of this condition. If the cat shows these signs then they need to taken to a vet hospital or nursing home immediately and checked up. The vets normally will use chest x rays and will do checkups with a stethoscope. The will take a medical history of the cat and will also conduct a physical exam of the cat. The vet will even do an ultrasound of the cat’s heart. This is called as an echocardiogram. It is a painless procedure. The vet will even suggest doing an electrocardiogram. They may even conduct some blood tests to help in assessing the disease. All these procedures help in stabling the condition thus allowing the doctor to then provide suitable treatment and thus helping to give the cat some relief.

  Submitted on May 7, 2010  

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