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Questions about HCM

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
My 2.5 year old sphynx has a severe case of HCM, we had absolutely no idea that he had it, they discovered what sounded like a heart murmur at a vet visit and upon investigation via ultrasound they concluded that his heart is in serious trouble. He is on beta blockers right now. He goes for an EKG, chest x-ray and blood pressure test tomorrow to get a better idea about what the heck is going on. Can anyone share there experience with HCM with me. I'm having a heard time with this. I not sure what state I will find him in from day to day....he seems perfect right now but I guess I just don't know what to expect with this disease.

post #2 of 4
My cat, who's 5, has mild obstructive HCM. He was diagnosed a year ago, is on twice daily atenolol (which is very inexpensive and in small pills that can be given hidden in a treat)... and he's responded very well. After a month on the medication, the cardiologist said that his heart had returned to looking almost identical to a normal cat's. He's very healthy and happy, and I'd never have known there was a problem if a vet hadn't noticed the murmur. He just had his annual EKG and testing, and is unchanged since his last visit.

But there's a wide variation in condition depending on the severity of the disease. Your vet is really the best one to answer questions you may have.

An important thing as an owner is to observe whether the cat is in a good state of health -- in other words, is he asymptomatic? If he's not experiencing trouble breathing or reduced activity level, then that's an encouraging sign. Those are the symptoms one sees once the cat has entered heart failure. And my cardiologist said that, with treatment, she's seen cats live for many years after they enter heart failure. If the cat isn't in heart failure at all, that's even better, because treatment can delay that happening, possibly indefinitely.
post #3 of 4
Was the ultrasound an actual echocardiogram, or a simple ultrasound? If it was just a simple ultrasound, you might want to ask your vet to send your kitty for an echocardiogram. Cleo has a murmur, and had an echo done at Michigan State School of Veterinary Medicine. The price was reasonable (about $150, 4 years ago) and we found that her murmur is innocent (not due to any cardiac abnormalities.) Good luck to you and your kitty!
post #4 of 4
I'm so sorry to hear about your kitty. Sending lots of vibes.

My male cat, Peter, was diagnosed with mild HCM two years ago, after our vet detected a grade 2 heart murmur on two occasions and xrays showed his heart is slightly enlarged. Since then he's been on a low dosage of atenolol daily to regulate his blood pressure and prevent blood clots, along with taking 1/2 baby aspirin twice a week to keep his blood thin. For now, he's going back for annual cardiac ultrasounds. The meds seem to being doing the trick because his last ultrasound in Nov. showed no further progression of the disease and his heart is functioning normally. Peter hasn't shown any symptons related to the HCM, and is an otherwise, healthy, very active cat. He'll be 4 in July.

It's my understanding that the treatment and prognosis for cats with HCM varies greatly depending on their age and severity of the disease when diagnosed. There's a great online support group for folks whose cats have HCM or other heart disease. I've found it to be helpful


Please feel free to PM me if you ever need to talk and be sure to let us know how your kitty is doing.
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