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Heart Disease?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I just got home from the vet and she says my cat has an enlarged heart and might have only a month to live. My cat had a cough this is why I brought her to see the vet in the first place. She is perfectly normal in every other respect. CAn anyone give me more information on this or point me to links where I can learn more. It seems strange to me that she would have such a bad prognosis when there was no indication two months ago that she even had a problem. Thank you.
post #2 of 12
Oh no that is awful, I can't help in terms of information or links but I know how devastated and desperate I would feel if I were told that about one of mine, and I want you to know that I am thinking of you
post #3 of 12
If you don't mind me asking: What sort of tests were run to come to this conclusion? I don't know anything about an enlarged heart, so I can't be much help.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi, thank you Epona.

White cat lover, she took chest x rays and that was it. She also took her temperature and she listened to her heart. Her heart sounds normal but the x rays do according to her show that her heart is larger than normal. I am going to have a complete cardio workup done even though it is very expensive she is worth every penny that it costs to me. I can't have it done until they can get the specialist to come up so it may be a couple of weeks. I just can't understand how she can say that she is likely to only live a month when she shows no signs of even being sick other than the cough which seems more like a hairball than anything else and is very infrequent. I was just hoping to find some information and learn more about this situation so I can do everything possible to help her stay with me and healthy for as long as possible. I will see what the specialist says as well. Thank you for any help you can offer. Im sorry for my paniced and hasty beginning post.
post #5 of 12
My 10 year old persian has been in heart failure for 18 months and he is doing very well. Getting an ultrasound done will tell you more about your cats heart and there is medication to slow down the progress.
post #6 of 12
I'm very sorry that your going through this.

The cardiac workup is a good idea IMO.

Sorry if I missed it, but how old is your kitty?
post #7 of 12
I'm so sorry you are going through this! Heart disease can be scary and sometimes it is very manageable and other times not.

There is actually a lot of information out there on the topic. Do a google on "Feline Heart Disease" or "Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy". What I've read in the past is that an ultrasound is a better way to confirm the disease. I lost my Tigger to it about a year ago and it helped me a lot to read all about the disease.

It's a very complex disease and while we can give you emotional support, its best to educate yourself and challenge your vet on how to treat it. If you don't feel that your vet has the knowledge to give you the support that you need, find a specialist.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

My cat is almost 7 years old. I did try searching the forums here but found the search would come up with alot of unrelated topics. I will try again. I am going to have the cardiac workup done definitely I have to wait for the specialist because this is a small town there is not one here and he travels up here every few weeks to do appointments.

My vet did give me medication for her, Benazapril 2.5 mg a day and a omega 3 supplement. I just wonder if there are diet changes I can make that will help her. This vet really seemed to just write her off instead of looking for ways that she could help. Thank you everyone .
post #9 of 12
I wouldn't write her off! I hope you can get some answers from the specialist, so you can get your kitty the treatment that will help.

I'm not familiar with that medication, sorry.

Did the xray show any fluid in her lungs?

Diet wise, I think the 'prescription' diets for heart disease are basically low sodium, but I'm not real familiar with them. I suppose that would be a concern if kitty's blood pressure is high. I have a very young cat w/ heart disease and the vets she's been seen by aren't too concerned with her diet. However, her blood pressure is on the low end and she's underweight, so any nutritious food is better than special food, in my cat's case.
post #10 of 12
I agree that a cardiarc workup is an excellent idea. My male cat, Peter, was referred for a cardiac ultrasound last year after xrays showed that his heart was slightly enlarged. He was diagnosed with mild Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and is doing well on daily medication.

Here's a link to an online support group for cats with heart disease that you may find helpful in answering some of your questions:


Sending lots of vibes for you and your kitty!
post #11 of 12
Is your cat an oriental/siamese type of breed? Or Maine coon? These breeds seem to have a higher percentage of heart problems and it would be easy to show nothing and a few months later some heart problems.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the link Eilcon,

The vet did not say she had fluid in her lungs but she has had a bad cough the last week which is why I brought her in to the vet in the first place. She is just a domestic shorthair, no siamese or main coone as far as I know. I am waiting for a call back from the specialist and will schedule an appointment with him asap. Thank you everyone for the support and links and other information. I really appreciate it.
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