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Heart murmur

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

A couple weeks ago Bobke had some kind of weird tongue burn.  We have no idea how it happened.  I brought him to the vet and he was put on antibiotics (Clavamox) for a week and pain meds for 4 days.  He seemed to do better as soon as the pain meds took effect and his tongue's redness went down nicely.  He went in for a followup visit a week later and saw a different vet.  She asked me if the first vet mentioned his heart murmur.  No!  She let me listen to it and it was very clearly the woosh-woosh sound of a murmur.  She said it was probably a grade III murmur.  Since he shows no signs that it is affecting him she said we could wait a month and recheck it and consider doing a blood test to check for heart disease.  She extended his Clavamox for another week since his tongue wasn't quite healed up and I'm going back on Tuesday for another recheck.  Has anyone had a cat with a murmur?

post #2 of 6
Originally Posted by danewillow View Post

Has anyone had a cat with a murmur?

My senior kitty, Aztec, has a heart murmur. It was only detectable on an EKG that he had done prior to a dental. It was recommended that I do a follow up echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) to determine the nature of the murmur. Echo's are really the way to go if you want the most accurate diagnosis, since there are a few different types of heart conditions and the treatment can vary with each one. They are pretty pricey though (like around $500). 


Aztec has been on a beta-blocker (Atenolol) for a few years now and it's helped to lessen the turbulence of the blood flow through his heart. His cardiologist was impressed with the improvement and gave him the go-ahead for a dental when he was 16. 


post #3 of 6

I adopted a kitten from a shelter, and at his first vet visit for upper respiratory virus the doctor said he had a grade 2/3 heart murmur. He was about 8 weeks at that time. He is almost 5 months now and still doing fine. I was freaking out at the time and thinking of giving him back. Typically there's not a lot that can be done for young cats because it's not HCM which cats can take daily pills for to help the heart disease. I'm not sure how old your cat is though so if your vet said to have him tested then it's a possibility. My vet told me to get xrays by a cardiologist to see what the cause of the murmur might be. I also found a lot of sources saying that heart murmurs in cats can come and go, or stay with them their whole lives and still be healthy. I would still get the blood test done if your kitty is older :) Good luck, hope his tongue is doing better!

post #4 of 6
Hobbes was detected with a grade 2-3 murmur the day after we adopted him. Some recommended we give him back but we could not do that. We got a lot of info from our vet and did research. Then when hobbes was diagnosed with asthma 2 months later, we knew he had to be on steroids and heart disease and steroids do not go well so we wanted to know exactly what was going on with his heart and took him to a cardiologist and got an echocardiogram done as that's the most definitive way of knowing. An earlier x- ray showed slight enlargement of the heart. The cardiologist could not find anything in the echo except hobbes' heart size was the upper limit of normal. Just to be on the safe side we repeated the echo after 4 months and still nothing - so the cardiologist has given him a clean bill of health. The cardiologist was not able tp hear his murmur - which comes and goes. There are many cats who lead a normal life with murmurs as humans ( like me) do. So that just maybe what's going on with your kitty. You will probably know exactly what's going on unless you do an echo - though it is very expensive. We did spend about $1000 on the 2 but with Hobbes' many other issues I am glad we did it. Also in case it is something like HCM, there are medicines which help cats live a more or less normal life as some TCS members have experienced. In case you cannot or do not want to get an echo, I am sure your vet will recommend ways to keep a close eye.
post #5 of 6

I also have/had three cats with a grade 3 heart murmur - all three were adults when diagnosed with it.


One has since passed on but not related to the heart murmur (he passed from cancer). He had other issues as well but he never showed any signs of heart problems. The vet just checked him ever time he went in.


My other two with heart problems are also showing no signs of heart problems either - we're just observing and having it checked when they go in for the time being. If it gets worse then it's time for medication and x-rays, ECHO and ultrasounds. (One of these two is a foster and he's around 17 yrs and his health is failing but not due to the heart.)


Hope your kitty is doing better.

post #6 of 6

My Marmite has a slight heart murmour.She had tests & it was found there was thickening on the right side of the heart. It is the left side which is more dangerous. We have been recommended to get her checked again in one year & have also been told about the signs to watch out for, such as breathlessness. Getting a complete diagnoses is also useful for my local vets in case they have to do any operations in the future.

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