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Suspected Heart Murmur :-(

(23 Posts)
FluffyPersian Mon 13-Jun-16 14:24:35

I was wondering if anyone had any experience of having a cat with a heart murmur?

My lovely Persian cat just turned 1 year old on 29th May and until then, had a completely clean bill of health. Last Friday, he walked into the living room and was really panting and struggling to breathe. I thought he may have swallowed something that was restricting his airways so got an emergency appointment with the vet who listened to his heart and said she suspects he's got a heart murmur.

My old (rescue) Persian had a multitude of illnesses which started 24 hours after I adopted him - Fleas, cystitus, ear mites, perforated ear drum, eye ulcer, ringworm that never went away despite constantly treating it with shaving / itrafungal medicine... Despite him costing literally thousands of pounds (Insurance wouldn't cover him for anything due to pre-existing conditions) I loved the very bones of him and was utterly broken when he was PTS due to kidney failure. It took me 4 years to even contemplate getting another cat.

We adopted this one from a very respected breeder thinking that we'd at least have a few years of having a happy, healthy cat in the house and less than 4 months after we got him, we get the news about his heart murmur.

He's going for a 'Consultation' tomorrow, which I believe is a scan - However I don't know exactly and I'm so upset. I just want to do what's best for him, however potentially putting him through so many tests is heartbreaking.

I just want him to be OK sad

Crazycatlady83 Mon 13-Jun-16 14:30:13

I'm sorry that your cat has a suspected heart murmur and for him to be so young must have been a huge shock

I had my cat 4 weeks (rescued from a well respected centre) when he was diagnosed. We were told we would be lucky to have him for 6 months. He was only 2 1/2 years old at the time and the most lovely gorgeous cat! That was 6 years ago and he is still going strong! You honestly wouldn't know he had anything wrong with his heart! He is on medication and being closely monitored by our vet, who is a specialist! My advice is not to panic!

Crazycatlady83 Mon 13-Jun-16 14:39:25

Sorry posted too soon!

Our cat has scans every 6 months and tests to check his kidney function (the medication can effect this). He is on 5 different types of medication 6 times per day but it really is no problem (they are flavoured so he thinks they are "treats"!) He has the scan whilst awake (does not need to be sedated - al they have to do is shave his fur!) and the kidney function is a blood test so not too many tests for him and it's not that bad. Otherwise he is a fit and healthy cat (he has to "watch his weight" as being overweight can put additional strain on his heart!)

But there are varying degrees of heart murmur (unfortunately our cat has the worst!) so the level of intervention will depend on the degree of murmur! Don't panic - the specialist will advise you I'm sure and you can take it from there!

Good luck for tomorrow xx

Whataboutwhathuh Mon 13-Jun-16 14:40:42

My mother's last cat had a heart murmur, she lived to 19. I'm not sure whether there are different types but it certainly never held her back.

cozietoesie Mon 13-Jun-16 15:17:20

Seniorboy has had one for years.

I'm afraid that it sounds like a little more than a 'murmur' to me.

cozietoesie Mon 13-Jun-16 15:22:26

You'll have read this I'm sure.

Do you know what tests are to be carried out tomorrow?

FluffyPersian Mon 13-Jun-16 15:26:56

Thanks all - crazycatlady - I'm just hoping they're mistaken and that his ultra flat face was the cause of him panting and not that he's got anything wrong with him. I believe they're going to shave him as well, but not give him a general anaesthetic which I really don't want happening. I'm trying so hard not to panic, but I just got the email confirmation and it's so official and scary - It sounds so stupid, but it feels like my life is on repeat and after years and years of vets, I'm right back there, again.

I really appreciate you letting me know your cat is still going strong, long may it continue smile.

Cozietoesie I just don't think I can face that at the moment - You could well be right, but I keep trying to rationalise it.... He's not panting at the moment, he's not struggling to breathe... He's not in pain... etc etc etc. But maybe it is something more and if so, I guess the only thing my partner and I can do is just keep acting in HIS best interests. If that's making a very difficult choice to potential pain in a few months time, then so be it.... I just wish it was 24 hours in the future so I knew what the scan shows and what they think it is.

I'm glad your cat is doing well as well - and your Mums, Whatabout - If it is a murmur... maybe he can still have a good quality of life and we'll just cherish the time we have with him.

Catnuzzle Mon 13-Jun-16 15:26:58

CatnuzzleCat has been living with the most serious heart murmur for 5 years. Every time I take her to the vets they listen to her heart, they go white and then try and break the news gently. She's 19, has other health issues now (kidneys and digestive tract), but she's still here and as happy as we can make her.

Hope your boy will be ok.

cozietoesie Mon 13-Jun-16 15:35:14

In addition to the murmur, my own vets have said that they can't hear any heart noise from Seniorboy's right hand side. (Apparently quite serious.) The family youngsters looked quite quizzical when told this but came back with an 'Oh Well - if it works for him?' smile

Luckily, no-one has shared this info with Seniorboy who just keeps on going.

Good luck to your lad.

FluffyPersian Mon 13-Jun-16 15:47:26

cozietoesie I have read very similar information. I went to a breeder that did all the PKD testing and the amount of questions she asked me before she even suggested I meet our cat was huge (which I took as a good sign) we're still in contact now and she's very well respected within the community, I knew there was a chance of of heart issues, however NONE of her other cats have them, therefore I thought the chances of him getting one would be low.

Thank you so much Catnuzzle - You don't know how much your post has comforted me. I am so desperate for him to be OK, and it's lovely to hear that CatnuzzleCat is doing so well smile Long may it continue!

Toddlerteaplease Tue 14-Jun-16 15:22:58

Fluffy, one of my Persians has a very flat face and was always panting and sneezing. When she got a cold it was horrendous because she really struggled to breathe. I was terrified I'd find her dead from the strain on her heart. So she had surgery to widen her nostrils and the difference has been amazing. She's a different girl. Still snorts and coughs but can cope with it. I wonder if it would help your cat?

StopLaughingDrRoss Wed 15-Jun-16 10:36:15

My boy has a heart murmur although hasn't needed medication yet and it doesn't appear to effect his breathing, which I know is a sign it could be more serious. He is 7 so still a young cat.

I hope the scan went well and they've been able to find out what's causing it. Best of luck to your boy flowers

FluffyPersian Wed 15-Jun-16 11:58:07

Toddlerteaplease .. you might be a mind reader! he had the scan and blood test yesterday and I was just coming back to update everyone as people were so kind in posting and I was so upset on Monday.

StopLaughingDrRoss - Considering what they could have done to him, they were very, very lovely and despite him being shaved in 3 places, he is very happy and back to normal.

I thought it easier to copy and paste the diagnoses - I've changed my cats name as he's got a pretentious name from the breeder but we call him 'Little P' smile

DIAGNOSIS
Little P has been diagnosed with stenotic nares (narrow nostrils) as the cause for his reduced exercise capacity and open-mouth breathing. If his clinical signs become more severe and his breathing difficulty is affecting his quality of life, he should be re-assessed by our Soft Tissue Surgery service in order to consider surgical widening of the nares and nasal passages.

At faster heart rates a murmur can be heard in Little P's heart. Because of the intermittent and variable loudness, this is called a dynamic murmur. This can be a normal variation in some cats and as Little P's heart scan was normal, he does not require any medication or changes of his diet or lifestyle. If he remains well at home, I would recommend repeating the heart scan in a year's time to make sure that his heart remains normal. If you are concerned about his breathing or overall mentation, please take him back to your local vet to be checked or get in touch with us.^

---

So basically see how he goes and he'll have another scan in a years time to make sure his heart hasn't changed - which is much better than all the horrible things I was thinking on Monday and I'm hoping he can live a long and happy life like some of the other posters cats that also have a heart murmur! smile.

FluffyPersian Wed 15-Jun-16 12:07:09

And this is Little P in all his glory smile. He's not as stoned today as they had to sedate him, so I think everything is back to normal (hopefully) smile.

Whataboutwhathuh Wed 15-Jun-16 12:13:23

Gosh he's gorgeous, I hope all is well for the future. It sounds positive. I have attached a photo of my boy who sends good wishes.

cozietoesie Wed 15-Jun-16 12:30:02

Good news. smile ( And remember that Seniorboy - he of the heart murmur+ - is over 21. wink)

Toddlerteaplease Wed 15-Jun-16 12:38:00

Fluffy. Please PM me if you want any information on the op. It really is the best £200 I've ever spent.

FluffyPersian Wed 15-Jun-16 13:31:46

Thanks so much cozietoesie, Little P certainly has a long way to go until he's as old as Senior Boy but it's lovely to think that it's a possibility! 21 is just an amazing age... he obviously is a very happy and well cared for pussy cat!

Whataboutwhathuh - Your cat is awesome - I love his little white paws! smile

Thanks for the offer Toddlerteaplease I don't know if we'll do the op or not - I guess it depends if he starts to pant again - if so, then I imagine it's an absolute yes.... I don't know if it will be covered under insurance? We're putting the £850 claim into petplan and I'm hoping everything apart from the normal excess will be covered as P has no existing conditions...

P is very snorty so I guess he's got similar to what yours had? It sounds like it was a very positive experience for you which gives me hope if we need to go down that route - I feel guilty as I know Persians can have health issues, but I tried everything possible to ensure we got him from a really good breeder and didn't support kitten farms or anyone who isn't responsible! I know the breeder will be upset when I tell her (only for info as she likes getting updates!) but I don't think it's her fault... it's just one of those things.

Toddlerteaplease Wed 15-Jun-16 17:13:43

For me the decider was when she had a cold and was really struggling and the vet gave her steroids and I suddenly saw the cat she could be if she could breathe. It got to the point that I couldn't bear to see her struggle just to breathe. And she is only 5. I took her to a local vetinary hospital without a referral from my own vet. As they had never done it before. The hospital was great even though he'd only done it on a pug. Never a cat. The vet was really shocked by just how tiny her nostrils were.
The difference was instant. I could hear air moving and she is so much happier, can waddle around and is much much more confident and affectionate. once she had slept of the anesthetic she was her normal self and you wouldn't know she'd had anything done. The hardest bit was trying to get the cone of shame off her because it was upsetting her. It was not covers by my insurance. But cost £200.

Toddlerteaplease Wed 15-Jun-16 17:15:24

The vet was suprised by the outcome and was seriously considering it for one of his other patients with the same problem. The rescue my babies came from tends to do it if the cat needs an anesthetic now.

Toddlerteaplease Wed 15-Jun-16 17:17:13

The furball in question

StopLaughingDrRoss Wed 15-Jun-16 23:17:27

Fluffy, Whathuh and Toddler - you all have utterly gorgeous puss cats!

Great news from the scan really as whilst there is a potential problem with his breathing, his heart is pretty sound and he doesn't need medication - it will just be part of who he is. That op for his nostrils also sounds like it could be a really positive thing if needed!

Here's to a fabulous future for Little P flowers

Wolfiefan Wed 15-Jun-16 23:21:05

Thanks for the update. Hoping he matches seniorboy in seniority one day!

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