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Heart murmurs

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
My nearly 14 year old, overweight cat was recently diagnosed with a heart murmur. The vet just told me it was slight and not to worry about it, but last week he got a bit terrorised by one of the fosters and had a bit of a panic attack (his breathing went all funny for a few mins). Spoke to the vet about it who said if he does it again i am to take him up to be checked, as they might have to put him on meds. He is going to the weight clinic next month, and hopefully they can put him on some kind of diet and exercise regime to help him shift some more weight. any other tips or advice?
post #2 of 7
If the cat is overweight, getting down to normal weight should be good therapy for a heart murmur.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thats what i thought. I dont actually overfeed my cat (according to the guidelines, he is actually underfed), but he used to pinch food (and be included when they were giving out chicken etc) at my neighbours house, and i have tried over the past couple of years to convince them that he was on a diet. now he has a heart murmur, they finally listened!! he did go from 5.75kg to 5.64kg in two weeks after my neighbour stopped feeding him, and he is going to go to the weight clinic on a regular basis (its free!!) to keep an eye on his weight and hopefully get tips on diet and exercise. He is mainly on senior food, which i have been told by the vet is the best thing to have him on as it is low in calories.
post #4 of 7
Did they also do blood work? My cat had a heart murmur and I foudn out that is also a symptom of hyperthyroidism.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
no, it was diagnosed just off listening to his heart. I know hyperthyroidism can cause heart probs, but as he is overweight i doubt that is his prob - every cat i have heard off with hyperthyroidism has been underweight.
post #6 of 7
Most cats with hyperthyroidism are underweight or losing weight (depending on when you notice the symptoms) but there are some who don't show the classic signs. If your kitty seems to be eating more or is more active you might ask the vet about a free T4 test. It is more accurate than the standard test and it is useful in diagnosing cats that don't show the normal symptoms. Untreated hyperthyroidism can cause heart murmurs to get worse and can put cats at risk for cardiac disease or death. The high thyroid levels create higher blood pressure and overwork the kitty's heart. Since this is a new condition and since your cat is a senior boy, it might be worth having the blood work done. Even if the levels come back normal, you'll have a baseline with which to compare data in the future.

I had another cat who had a heart murmur most of his life. He died very suddenly one day (my parents and been petting him shortly before he died and he was completely normal). He was 12 years old and hadn't had any symptoms other than a slight murmur prior to his passing. Basically, it hadn't slowed him down at all, and when it was his time, he went very quickly of a heart attack or stroke. He too was overweight but still somewhat active.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have noticed him eating more, but this is because my neighbours are no longer feeding him so he has to come home for his food. He is slightly more active, but only outside (when it is sunny he bounds about like a kitten, but has done the three years i have had him). I might get him bloodtested when i am up next month, will have to see what the finances are like by then though, as i have read up on hyperthyroidism (thought one of my previous cats had it last year) and he doesnt have any of the signs.
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