This is a Premium feature
Heart murmur(16 Posts)
At a recent check up, I’ve been told that our 8 year old Bengal cat has a grade 2/3 heart murmur. The vet is saying that in order to establish the extent of the problem the next step would be to do a thorough scan at the specialist vets up the road. This would mean sedation etc and would cost around £600 (not insured but we do have the money).
The thing is that he has no other symptoms at all and seems perfectly well. I don’t know whether to put him through the stress of a scan or not. The vet has said that, depending on the results, it’s possible he may need meds to help whatever condition he may have or the scan could simply just inform us regarding his outlook (is it best to remain ignorant?). I’ve read that many cats live perfectly normal lives with a heart murmur. He is a v beloved pet, especially by my 13 year old DD.
Can anyone offer any advice please?
Get him scanned. My Persian girl had no symptoms but was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. I was unsure about having her sister scanned as she didn't have a murmur. But I just couldn't relax so had her done for my peace of mind.
My cardiologist doesn't sedate them for scans and says she's only had to sedate a very small minority of cats.
They just lie on the bed with electrodes round their paws and the nurse holds them and I stroke their heads.
£600 is pretty reasonable.
If you are in the East Midlands, Sarah Smith Cardiology is excellent.
I thought ignorance is bliss. But it's not. My girl is on medication. Which she takes really well, and is completely her normal self. She's got a scan next week so hopefully things are the same as they were in February.
Thanks toddlertea. I’m in the south but there is a very good specialist vet on our doorstep.
We were told Harry has a heart murmur and had a scan done (one of our local vets does it so we didn't have to have him referred) and apparently there's nothing seriously wrong with his heart so it put my mind at rest.
Not sure a Bengal would be as cooperative as a dopey Persian though!
Recommendations have changed for cats with heart murmurs. We used to operate a watching waiting brief. However, it has been shown that early identification of heart conditions such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and treatment prior to congestive heart failure developing increases the time to development of congestive heart failure and also increases long term survival.
At the risk of appearing blunt we as vets have to provide the advice, we would be negligent not to, but at the end of the day it is you as the owners choice as to whether or not you take our advice.
Thanks lonecat. I know it’s up to me whether I follow the vets advice and, if she had been a little clearer and put it to me in the terms you have regarding early identification increasing survival, then maybe I wouldn’t be dithering. I will get him referred.
Thanks Pinksparkly - I’m glad your cat was ok. Fingers crossed there is nothing major wrong with mine.
I was a bit annoyed by my vets as they said 'we don't talk about grades' so I presumed it wasn't serious and didn't do any about it. Until 6 months later they went for a dental and by accident discovered it was a grade 4. If I'd known it was a grade 4 I'd have had her scanned immediately.
Hopefully he'll be fine. When Harry had his scan he wasn't sedated but he had a patch of fur shaved. I'd told them they had to phone me for permission before sedating him as he's had a bad reaction in the past and I didn't want him having to go through it again. Apparently they have to sedate very few cats though.
Thanks again guys. I rang the vet earlier and have asked her to go ahead with the referral. Fingers crossed ...
Ask if you can stay with him during the scan. The first cardiologist charged extra for it, but the one I went with prefers slaves to be there so they can calm the cats down.
Ok, thanks toddlertea, I would like to stay with him. I see that your cat has had to have follow up scans. I was thinking it would be a one off but I suppose if they do find a problem they have to monitor it. Are the follow up scans as expensive as the initial one?
Yes she was scanned last in February. Before that it was monthly then two monthly. Her sister Snorg, has thickening of her septum but no other disease. So she's going to be scanned again on Thursday, then hopefully just yearly. Fortunately the insurance covers both of them. (And the medication) I didn't think they'd cover Snorg but they have. Unfortunately. It's about the same price each time.
The original cardiologist they were referred too charged extra to stay with them as the scan took longer as it counts as a consultation.
We take our bengals for heart scans before they are bred, we are normally allowed to stay with them and if you can then you can settle them better and less likely to need sedation. So do ask if you can go in as it will help your cat.
Please login first.