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my baby has HCM

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I found out just yesterday that my 18 mo. sphynx has HCM. I am so heart broken about this. The vet found a heart murmur that she rated as 3 on a scale of 1-6. I decided to get an ultrasound done asap and luckily I was able to book him in the following day. It was so last minute and I didn't think it would come out so serious but it did.
I am just looking for some feedback from anyone that has dealt with this disease. I've read about it but would like to hear from personal experience. If it is caught early enough can the cat live a full life? Or is it a quick progressing illness....I am so choked up about it...he is 'the baby' of all my babies..
post #2 of 14
I'm so sorry that you have gotten this bad news about your baby. I don't have any experience with HCM but I'm sure someone who has will be along soon.
post #3 of 14
One of my Sphynx babies has HCM. I knew he had it when I got him. The breeder I got him from got him from another breeder to use as a stud and when he turned a year old she got him scanned before she started breeding him and he had HCM so she nutered him and placed him with me. He was a year old when I got him and I have had him for two years. His HCM has not progressed any and it is mild and he is not on any meds for it. He was getting scanned every 6 months to make sure it was not geting worse. Since it has stayed the same for two years now we are scanning him every year unless he starts showing signs that he is getting worse. So he is doing really good for now. On the other hand I got another Sphynx he was a little over a year old when I got him and the breeder nutered him and placed him with me because he had a heart murrmer. He was scaned and it just showed he had a simple murrmer. I had him for only 9 month and he passed away from what the vet thought was a heart attack. He passed away one month from him being two years old. He also had a appointment the month after he passed away for another heart scan but did not make it to get it done. I found out after all of this happend that HCM did run in his lines. We did not have a necrospy done on him so we dont know if it was HCM or if his vaule where his murmmr was so ovel instead of round that it colasped. So it just depends on the cat some do ok with it and live a pertty normal life while others dont. I know another person who had a sphynx he found out his sphynx had HCM when he was a year old and he just passed away a few weeks ago he was 8 years old. Have you contacted the breeder of your kitty?
post #4 of 14
My male cat, Peter, a 3-year-old DSH, was diagnosed with mild HCM over a year ago. This was after my vet detected a grade 2 heart murmur on several occasions and xrays showed that Peter's heart is slightly enlarged. She referred him for a cardiac ultrasound, which resulted in the diagnosis.

Peter's now on daily medication (atenolol) and takes 1/2 of a baby aspirin twice a week. It's my understanding if caught early that HCM is a managable disease. That's been the case with Peter. His heart is currently functioning normally and there's been no further progression of the disease since he was diagnosed. His longterm prognosis is good. I've heard of cats that lived normal lives for many years after the diagnosis, than pass away due to unrelated causes. So, it really seems to depend on the cat and the severity of the disease when diagnosed.

I've found this online group for cats with HCM to be very helpful:

Good luck to you and your kitty. Please feel free to PM me if you have any questions or concerns.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
thanks so much for the feedback. It gives me some hope where there was none before! I did contact the breeder via email 2 days ago but have not heard back yet. I am getting the full report on the scan at some point today and will call her tomorrow if she hasn't emailed me back.
post #6 of 14
My Persian died just this year at 10 years old. He was diagnosed with HCM at 1.5 years. I do feel my Persian had a full life. He lived much longer than I ever expected him to.
post #7 of 14
I understand your shock and know how you feel.
My beloved Mew, died of HCM at the age of 16.
He was diagnosed after the disease has progressed to major heart damage.
There was little that I could do.
That was the saddest day of my life.

Eileen (eilcon) is doing a wonderful job taking care of Peter.
The group that she linked to could become an invaluable resource for you.

Be sure to use the search tool along the bar at the top of this forum.
Do searches using different terms like HCM, heart failure, etc.
Many members have experienced the shock of being told that their sweetie has HCM.

I would suggest that you request a referral from your vet, to a specialist for a base line HCM workup.
As with humans, a well trained vet specialist has equipment and knowledge that a primary vet usually does not have.

A specialist can be expensive, but in the long run...
I feel it's worth every penny.

You are doing the right thing by becoming pro-active,
a top vet and a well informed client can make a difference.
I wish you both well and will follow your updates.
post #8 of 14
I hope your kitty is one that has it mild and has a good life!
I have never dealt with HCM before, I am a ragdoll breeder. My mentor has been around for a long time so she doesn't know about DNA testing, so I have been on my own to learn. I have recently found out where to get the kits for testing and will start doing that. But... I had one kitten in a previous litter that had a heart murmur, he was refered to a cardiologist in boston (several hours from me) I gave him to some one as a special needs cat and they understood he had the murmur and wasn't guaranteed any thing with him, I can't sell a cat that isn't 100% healthy she had him at that vet, they said it was a VERY slight murmur and neutered him (my vet didn't want to)
So, would they have found HCM if he had it? or were they just looking at the murmur? I feel I should cotact his owner and tell them to have him scanned just in case, but how likely could it be that it could be HCM? I have never had any kitten since or before that had any murmurs, so is it just one kitten ended up with a murmur, or should I be cocerned?
post #9 of 14
Celestial rags, it's hard to say whether your vet should have found HCM; if you're concerned, you could go back or to another vet. But heart murmurs don't automatically mean HCM. They are very common in cats.

My cat has obstructive HCM; he's about four years old and probably has always had it, but it was only detected earlier this year because of a heart murmur. He takes atenolol daily and has responded very well to it; in fact, after a month on the drug, the vet said that his heart was testing as almost the same as a normal cat's. The speed of that result is unusual, however, she said.

My cat was asymptomatic except for the heart murmur; he hadn't suffered heart damage and wasn't showing signs like wheezing.

It really does depend on the severity of the condition. But the long-term prognosis for a cat with HCM can be very good. My vet said that she's seen cats who do have heart damage live for many years *after* they enter heart failure.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
I appreciate all the feedback, and thank you for the warm vibes.
I did have a specialist do an ultrasound on Eeyore and recieved the report today along with pictures of the scan. He has diastolic myocardial dysfunction characterized by mild hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The left atrium, ventricle, IV Septum Papillary muscles, LV free wall and LV outflow tract are all abnormal. The specialist noted that it was mild and diagnosed at an early stage. A left ventricular obstructive lesion was found...I have no idea what that means..I will be calling my vet to clarify that. It is recommended that he take one atenolol a day and get re-tested in 6 months.
So that is what I'm doing. Hopefully, it was caught early enough and that he responds well to the meds...I'll be praying for my little guy.
post #11 of 14
Originally Posted by Blueyes View Post
I'll be praying for my little guy.
Your kitty is very lucky that you are on top to this.

Please let us know how Eeyore does on his medication.
post #12 of 14
Atenolol's a good drug, with minimal side effects. The nice thing for owners is that it's very inexpensive. I get it in bulk from an online vet pharmacy. Also, the pills are very tiny, odorless and pretty tasteless, so with some cats it's very easy to tuck it into a soft treat. I find it a really easy drug to give... and my cat is happy, thinking he's getting two treats a day instead of something unpleasant. If the treat breaks apart and the pill falls out, he actually licks it up... though I can't guarantee it'll be that easy with every cat.
post #13 of 14
Yvonne, I'm sorry to hear Eeyore is having these problems. Hugs and healing vibes to you and Eeyore.
post #14 of 14
What did the vet tell you regarding the questions you are asking? I am always amazed that people never say what the vet said, but ask others on the forum.
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