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Heart Murmurs

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I took Peppurr to the vet to get his rabie shot this past weekend, the vet discovered that Peppurr has heart murmurs. the vet told me it is not a good thing, he might outgrow it when he gets older, or he might has it for the rest of his life, in that case, he might not live very long...He told me to come back in a month to get him checked again... Btw, Peppurr is a 4-month old boy. I am very concerned about Peppurr now...I love Peppurr to death, I cannot imagen how heartbroken I would be if something happened to him!

The vet told me it is expensive to treat the heart murmur, it will be over thousands of dollars just to do all the tests...Is anyone familiar with heart murmurs? what are the chances for cats to live a short life with it? will it be ok if it is left untreated?

And I bought Peppuur from a breeder with 1 year health garautee. The breeder claimed Peppurr was very healthy... I am just wondering...for the worst scenario, if Peppurr still has the heart murmur after a few months...should the breeder pay for all the costs if i want to get him treated?

Thank you very much!!!!
post #2 of 19
They usually grade from 1-5 with 1 being mild and 5 being bad. We've adopted out a cat with a grade 3 and currently have one with a grade 4. So far neither have had any issues but that doesn't mean they won't. You should opt for an ultrasound at around 14 months of age, that's when they typically are done growing and you will have a more accurate guage of what to expect for the future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emilyasweetie View Post
I took Peppurr to the vet to get his rabie shot this past weekend, the vet discovered that Peppurr has heart murmurs. the vet told me it is not a good thing, he might outgrow it when he gets older, or he might has it for the rest of his life, in that case, he might not live very long...He told me to come back in a month to get him checked again... Btw, Peppurr is a 4-month old boy. I am very concerned about Peppurr now...I love Peppurr to death, I cannot imagen how heartbroken I would be if something happened to him!

The vet told me it is expensive to treat the heart murmur, it will be over thousands of dollars just to do all the tests...Is anyone familiar with heart murmurs? what are the chances for cats to live a short life with it? will it be ok if it is left untreated?

And I bought Peppuur from a breeder with 1 year health garautee. The breeder claimed Peppurr was very healthy... I am just wondering...for the worst scenario, if Peppurr still has the heart murmur after a few months...should the breeder pay for all the costs if i want to get him treated?

Thank you very much!!!!
post #3 of 19
Heart murmurs are reasonably common in cats and many live without any side effects or other testing. However, in some cases a heart murmur is a sign of a heart condition that needs treatment to prevent heart failure. Only a vet can say whether your cat's murmur warrants getting an EKG.

It really could be a number of different things, ranging from unimportant to serious.
post #4 of 19
Hi! Here's what I found on heart murmur...

***

A heart murmur occurs when there is turbulence to the normal flow of blood through the chambers of the heart, and is usually due to a problem in a heart valve. When a valve is thickened or damaged and unable to close fully, some of the blood escapes around the valve.

Murmurs are usually seen in older cats but it is not uncommon to see them in a young kitties. In fact, many kittens are born with murmurs and outgrow them later in life. A lot of cats with murmurs live long healthy lives. There is a small risk that murmurs can lead to congestive heart failure.

When older pets have a valve related murmur, the incomplete valve closure is often due to bacterial deposits on the valves. A very common source of this bacteria is dental disease, so it's important to keep your kitty's teeth and gums in good condition. A heart murmur can also be caused by severe anemia, although this is not as common as the heart valve murmur.

Unless kitty is showing other signs of heart problems, e.g. a "cardiac cough," lethargy, poor appetite, or fluid in the lungs/heart area, it shouldn't be a cause of concern.

If the heart murmur is caused by a cardiomyopathy (determined with chest x-ray and/or Electrocardiography (ECG) exams) it is important to see a cardiac specialist. The specialists will know the causes of the cardiomyopathy (Cats can be born with or develop three types of Cardiomyopathy: Dilated (DCM), Hypertrophic (HCM), and Idiopathic Cardiomyopathy. ) and how to help treat it.

About CardioMyopathy:

Several causes of CM have been identified.
In older cats, thyroid disease (hyperthyroidism) can cause a variation of hypertrophic CM, and this is the most treatable cause.
A deficiency of taurine, an essential amino acid, will cause dilated CM, although commercial cat foods are now supplemented with taurine so this does not occur as frequently as HCM. CM is also associated with an unidentified inflammatory process within the heart muscle.
However, many cases of CM are Idiopathic (of unknown cause) and are not caused by any of these processes. There is some speculation that it is caused by renal failure and/or high blood pressure but to date, the medical establishment has no definitive answer for this question.
****

I hope this helped a little. Since your cat is still a baby, he is most likely going to grow out of it, that's good news! But even in older cats with heart murmurs, many of them were able to live a long and happy life.

Good luck!
post #5 of 19
My Meeko had one when she was younger but is ok now and she is 7.5 years old now.
post #6 of 19
Neffie has one and she is 9 years old. She is living a good life now with some health problems, but she didn't have a great life to begin with, so I think everything is finally catching up with her health wise. Overall she is not doing very bad though. She's the first cat I've had with a heart murmur. She's my special little lady.
post #7 of 19
My heart just broke when my vet told me my 3-4 month old had a murmur (grade 1). When we went back 3 weeks later, it was still there, but I am holding on the expensive testing until she is full grown and I am hoping it goes away. Like others said, there is a great chance your cat's murmur is absolutely nothing to worry about (especially if it wasn't a high grade, which refers to how detectable/loud it is) - it could go away or it could be an "innocent" murmur, meaning it will be there but cause no problems. Or there is a smaller chance that it could be cardiomyopathy (heart disease) which would be bad (but many times still treatable to a point)....I hope for the first option for both of our kittles. Don't mope as much as I did; there is nothing you can do right now; just enjoy your precious kitten. (and I don't have any advice about the breeder) oh and some red flags to watch out for are kitty not growing, having trouble breathing, not being playful, not eating (consult a vet immediately if you see any of these signs of illness)
post #8 of 19
In my cat the heart murmur turned out to be a cardiomyopathy (HCM). But even that doesn't have to be such dire news as it sounds. With very inexpensive pills given to him in a treat twice a day, his heart is now almost identical to a normal cat's in function.

Sometimes a vet will do a heart X-ray first to determine whether to go-ahead with the more-expensive EKG. You might ask your vet whether an X-ray is an option.
post #9 of 19
I breed Ragdolls and when I sold 1 kitten from the last litter Oct 07 the vet gave him a clean bill of health, but when the new owner took him for his 12 week shots he detected a murmur. He contacted me and I gave him the option of a new cat from the next litter or refund, he chose to keep the kitten to see what would happen. By his next visit to the vet it was gone. I kept in close contact with the vet and he assured me that it is fairly common in kittens. This is the only kitten in several litters to be born this way. So I wouldn't rush to spend a lot of money, keep in touch with the breeder and make her aware of the problem but kitty will probably grown out of it.
post #10 of 19
Did your vet happen to say what grade Peppuur's heart murmur is? Depending on the severity, that should determine the next steps to take, if any. Because of Peppuur's age, there's definitely a chance he could outgrow the murmur, especially if it's low grade for now.

As others have said, some live with heart murmurs for years, but with others it can be an indicator of an underlying heart condition like HCM. When my cat, Peter, was 9-months old, our vet detected a grade 2 murmur. She recommended monitoring him for 6 months, then following up with an xray. The xray showed that Pete has slightly enlarged heart, which was cause for concern, so our vet referred him for a cardiac ultrasound. This resulted in a diagnosis of mild HCM.

That was almost two years and with daily medication, which is very inexpensive, Pete is doing great. In fact, his last ultrasound in Nov. indicated that there's been no further progression of the disease, which is the news we'd been hoping for. There's no cure for HCM but, if caught early, it's a very managable disease and cats can still live long, happy lives. You'd never guess there's anything wrong with Pete. He's an otherwise healthy, very active, goofy young cat and will be four years old in July.

Hopefully our experience offers some reassurance. Please don't panic for now. Also, regarding cost, Pete's initial cardiac consult was less than $300 and his follow up ultrasounds, which we're doing yearly for now, are less than $150. His meds are very inexpensive.

Good luck with Peppuur. Please keep us updated on how your sweetie is doing.
post #11 of 19
Cost may depend on what area you live in. I'm in a major city and the X-ray was under $200 and the EKGs are more like $700. The pills cost me about $30 a year. But all costs are covered by my pet insurance.
post #12 of 19
Emilyasweetie, any news about Peppurr? How is he doing? Do you know if you will try to find out the cause or if you are planning to just wait and see what happens?

I hope everything is well,
Marilou
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mawilouwl View Post
Emilyasweetie, any news about Peppurr? How is he doing? Do you know if you will try to find out the cause or if you are planning to just wait and see what happens?

I hope everything is well,
Marilou

Hi there, sorry for not replying sooner, it has been a busy week...
THanx so much for the caring, Peppurr has been doing great so far, I am so attached to him now even only with him for over one month, he is such an enegitic and fun boy and he has a great appetite. everything seems fine so far... I talked to the breeder about this issue, they said if anything ever happened to him because of a genetic problem, they will replace him...
For now, I will just wait and see what happens, I will go to the vet in a few months to check if the murmur is gone...
I really hope evreything will be ok
post #14 of 19
With your boy being as young as he is, good chances are that he will grow out of it. Let's hope he does!

Tedi was diagnosed with a grade 3 heart murmur last year. He will be 16 this year and I also read that male persians are prone to heart murmurs once they get older.

I would wait and have it checked out in a few months to see if it has gone away. If not, have them do an ECG and then they can refer you to a specialist.

Tedi's initial visit was $300, it should have been $400, but there was an emergency so I had to wait. The doctor's visit alone is $95, the ultrasound $250, they did blood pressure and something else. His meds are only $30 and they last him half a year.

They rechecked him in 6 months. His murmur went down to a grade 2 and he does not have to go back for 12-18 months provided he is doing ok.

Prices will depend on where you live. Keep us posted! It isn't as bad at it can seem like if caught and treated early.
post #15 of 19
The breeder I bought Smudge from had a later litter and one of the kittens was diagnosed with a heart murmur. At the next appointment, the murmur was gone...so it DOES happen.
post #16 of 19
Just to give you vibes and tell you that it will be ok.
I know how hard it is to hear. I found out the same way you did, at chester's one year checkup. He had gone from no problems to a level 3 or 4 in the 6 months since they had last seen him.
I have to say I overreacted and I did collapse in the doorway when I got home. After much emotional turmoil and getting 3 opinions, I decided to go ahead with an ultrasound (my vet recommended doing it right away, as the murmur was so advanced that the X-ray wouldn't give much information).
the ultrasounds here cost me around $550 a year, if I'm able to share travel expenses for my cardiologist to come with another person. If not, it would be around $700. Again, the meds are REALLY inexpensive. I pay around $25/2 months.
The good news is that his condition hasn't changed at all in the past year, and has gone from being put on alert to stable by the cardiologist. I will continue having the ultrasounds though, as knowledge is power, and things can change fast with a heart condition.

That being said, I'm sure it's mild and only something to watch, I'm just letting you know that I am yet another person with a happy, healthy cat of 3 who was diagnosed with a severe heart murmur at the age of 1...and he's as spry as ever!
post #17 of 19
Sending you lots and lots of That all is well, and the murrmer goes away!!
post #18 of 19
Depends on how bad the murmer really is. Most of my rex kittens had slight heart murmers (I believe most kittens do at a young age). By the time they were 6-8 months old, none of them had it.

I would ask the vet how bad it was. Think he's making you worry for nothing. Recheck it at 7-8 months old and see. It your kitten spayed/neutered?

I'd also contact the breeder and let them know (after you find out how bad it is). What is covered in the contract regarding the health guarantee? If its not specific for congentical defects or something serious and its only a general guarantee, then no the breeder should not have to pay for the treatment.
post #19 of 19
Oh, I'm glad Peppurr is still fine! He's lucky to have someone so attached to him!

When you come back from the vet in a few months, tell us how the murmur is or if it disapeared. Usually, when the cat doesn't show any other signs of problems (shortness of breath or other issues), it is nothing to worry about (when the cat is as young as yours). As a few others mentionned, you might still want to ask the vet about the grade of the murmur. IMO, if it was a high heart murmur, he would've told you, but it is still important to know, because you want to compare it to the grade he has in a few months.

of good health to your adorable baby.

Marilou
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