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Heart Murmur in kitten

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Has anyone dealt with a heart murmur in a kitten? He is 16 weeks old and I took him to the vet for his checkup. I had noticed that he breathed a little heavier and faster than his brothers and seemed to be just a bit smaller.
He diagnosed him with a grade III murmur. Can anyone tell me what this means? He said he could live a fine and healthy life but may have repiratory problems.
The kitten (Cooper) seems to breathe heavily all the time and you can feel his little heart just pumping so hard. He is not as active as he was when he was younger. Sleeps a lot and has breathing that is a bit noisy.
What can I do for a kitten with a heart murmur? any suggestions?

post #2 of 5
My Meeko has a grade 2/3 heart murmur.
We found out she had one when she was 3 months old.
She is now 9 years old.
You should get a heart scan to make sure it is not worse then a murmur.
post #3 of 5
My Levi had a heart murmur as a kitten, but it was only a grade 1 & resolved on it's own. My vet had told me that sometimes that happens to kittens, but given the fact that your kittens is a level 3 I would want to do a scan with a specialist.
post #4 of 5
I would definitely talk to your vet about a referral to a specialist, if possible a feline cardiologist, for a cardiac ultrasound. Heart murmurs are graded are a scale of 1-6, depending on the severity. Although kittens often outgrow heart murmurs or live completely normal healthy lives with low grade murmurs, they can also be a sign of some underlying heart condition.

With my male cat, Peter, our vet detected a grade 2 murmur when Pete was 9 months old. Xrays showed he has a slightly enlarged heart. He was referred for a cardiac ultrasound and the specialist diagnosed Pete with mild hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (a gradual thickening of the heart muscle). Since Pete's diagnosis 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. He's 5-years-old now and the meds seem to be doing the trick because his last ultrasound in June showed there has been no further progression of the disease. He has no obvious symptoms of heart disease and is otherwise a playful, healthy boy.

I'll be sending many vibes for you and your little fellow. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions/concerns.
post #5 of 5
We had a golden live to be 12 with a murmur her entire life. I usually just means they can't pump blood around their bodies very effectively (and thus get oxygen around as efficiently) as other cats so their hearts need to work harder.

A murmur in a kitten is the same as human Wikipedia Heart Murmur

Keep him in good health & exercise and you two should enjoy a long & happy life together . I agree with everyone about the scan though.
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