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The cat has a heart murmur what should I do?

(19 Posts)
KatyMac Wed 09-Jul-08 18:12:04

He is quite old (his litter brothers haven't made 10 yo & he is nearly 14) & a siamese

He has arthritis & a heart murmur & needs £360 pounds of tests to see if it's something they can treat.

But I'm not sure I want him to have intrusive tests if there is a reasonable chance they won't be able to treat it

Has anyone any advise?

He had a murmur, had tests & they showed nothing & the murmur went away a few weeks later so we can't claim on our insurance

I feel so undecided

Ecmo Wed 09-Jul-08 18:13:36

why can't you claim on the insurance? Surely you could say it was continuation of treatment.

KatyMac Wed 09-Jul-08 18:15:51

can't have treatment for something they have had before (apparently)

Ecmo Wed 09-Jul-08 18:18:47

My dog has had treatment from February all basically for the same condition.
we have claimed for all of it, using about 5 different claims. He also had a hernia op in the middle of this for which we knew he wasnt covered for as he already had the hernia when we took out the insurance
I thought they would only not be covered for conditions that existed before insurance started.

Ecmo Wed 09-Jul-08 18:19:58

I think you should phone your insurance company and ask if you would be covered for tests on a reoccurring condition

KatyMac Wed 09-Jul-08 18:22:00

I did & that's what they said (apparently because he is over 10? or something)

Ecmo Wed 09-Jul-08 18:40:24

oh right.
Is he in pain? Is it likely to affect him. A heart murmur can be quite benign. Quite common in older animals I think. Personally I would leave it. The only treatment is likely to be an op is it not? he is a bit old for that anyway.

snorris Wed 09-Jul-08 18:41:23

The last time my cat (now aged 16) went to the vet they said she had a heart murmur. I don't think it was too bad but they never suggested investigating and she's fine. I'm sure sometimes vets want to do all these extra investigations if they know the animal's insured. Mine isn't insured btw.

KatyMac Wed 09-Jul-08 19:08:28

He will just slow down apparently - well he would - he's old & a heart attack is better than anything else

RubyRioja Wed 09-Jul-08 19:13:59

I'd leave well along tbh, so long as he is not in pain.

emiliadaniel Wed 09-Jul-08 20:49:50

Hi Katy. I am a vet, so hope I can offer you some sensible advice. Heart murmurs are quite common in older cats and sometimes they are of significance. Did the vet mention anything about his heart rate? Does he currently have any other symptoms - especially weight/appetite change, altered behaviour, vomiting, breathlessness? What tests is your vet proposing? There are a number that could be appropriate. Usually I would start with blood tests, as that tends to give you an idea of how the cat is in general and therefore how much further you might wish to go. After that chest xrays, ECG or ultrasound scan could be suggested.
And it is unlikely that he will have a heart attack. Cats with heart disease usually go downhill gradually.

KatyMac Wed 09-Jul-08 21:04:23

He is having trouble jumping & was given something last time for arthritis whih appeared to start (?) the heart murmur. So he stopped taking it & no further action after ultrasound

18m later he still had the arthritis not much worse tbh, ear mites & needs his yearly injection & he needs bloods/ultrasound again

She did say what she thought it was and that he could have betablockers or something else

emiliadaniel Wed 09-Jul-08 21:25:47

I have never come across a case where treatment for arthritis caused a heart murmur - much more likely to be coincidence. If he has no symptoms related to the heart murmur and you don't want to proceed with the tests, I would adopt a policy of watch and wait ie inform you of signs to watch out for and check his weight and heart again in 6-8weeks. If you want to investigate at least a little, start with the bloods. Once you know whether he is generally well, you will be better informed to decide how much further to go. Did the vet mention checking his thyroid hormone level? They might also be interested in his blood pressure if they have the equipment to measure it.
If you are uncertain of how to proceed, please phone and ask to speak to your vet. I'm sure she will understand your dilemma and, personally, I never mind discussing things further with owners.

bethoo Wed 09-Jul-08 21:30:11

my 7 year old cat was diagnosed with a heart murmer, a lot of the time they cant do anything about it so it is up to you as to whether you want to pay for an ecg etc then i always think what quality of life would it have forcing pills down its throat.
my vets personally have a tendency to try and get money out of you, my dog has heart disease and had an ecg which cost £600 and confirmed what they had already told me and basically said there was nothing they could do as some pills for his condition can make it worse and it is trial and error to get correct dose and the cost!!!!
then two years later they said he could have his lump from his gum taken out but would need more heart tests to see if he could be aneathatised! so that would have been another grand!
so up to you really. did they say what grade it is as some heart murmers are so minor they do not affect the quality of life at all.

KatyMac Wed 09-Jul-08 21:30:15

I know - she is lovely about talking it over

But my nana just died after years of alzeimers & basically starved to death in the end - I guess I am a bit touchy about treating old people for things that they would be better to die from without treatment

He has dropped about 0.01 KG in 18m which isn't a lot is it?

emiliadaniel Wed 09-Jul-08 21:34:30

Understand your point entirely - my grandma has been in hospital for five weeks, just waiting to die, and can't see they are doing her any favours. As a vet, I am also very anti prolonging poor quality life but it doesn't sound like that applies to your cat at the moment.
I guess you mean 0.1kg. If so, that is an insignificant weight loss.

KatyMac Wed 09-Jul-08 21:41:34

Well I think it was 5.18 and now it's 5.17 (or it might have been 4.17/18)

He is sleepy, eats well, goes out in the garden, wants cuddles, lets the children play with him, drinks - I think I'll leave it alone

I hope he just slows and goes off. He may have some joint pain but the vet can't really tell - but I think as long as he is eating & drinking & weeing I won't worry too much

Mind you he has ear drops & I must worm him tomorrow

Sorry about your grandma

dexter73 Thu 10-Jul-08 14:25:39

My 14 year old cat has a heart murmur and she has never had any treatment for it. She has had it for years and is still active (well as active as any old cat is!)and eats/drinks well.
I would leave it and see how he gets on.

KatyMac Fri 11-Jul-08 19:18:14

That is reassuring - thanks

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