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49693Re: [FH] anyone with an HCM cat have a gallop rhythm?

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  • hemizonia
    Feb 16, 2014
      Hi Josie & Chloie-
      A gallop rhythm sounds just like that .... like a horse gallop.  Instead of the usual lub-dub, you would hear lub-dub-dub (the "lub" is when the atria contract, the "dub" is when the ventricles contract).  You'll get a gallop rhythm when there's some degree of non-compliance (heart wall doesn't expand well when being filled with blood from the atria) in the left side of the heart.  This is the side that's the high pressure side, where blood is pumped out to the body.  A gallop rhythm will usually mean that some amount of blood is "backing up" into the lungs.  CHF may be incipient (soon to happen), but actual clinical signs may not develop. 
      You might want to do a bit of online surfing about HCM ... there's a lot of info out there and a good portion of that is written to where a non-medical type person could understand it.  For example, here's one site: 
      One thing you'll find out is that there's probably nothing you did or didn't do that resulted in Chloie's HCM.  Many years ago, when Weena went into CHF due to restrictive cardiomyopathy (RCM), her cardiologist said that she probably had a congenital defect that didn't manifest until presented with a chronic fluid challenge (she needed subq fluids for her kidneys .... after just 3 months of 75 ml every other day, she was critical with CHF .... and her echo before fluids was normal...).  Weena would sometimes have a gallop rhythm and when I told her cardiologist this, he asked what did I hear?  So I did the two-handed thigh slap mimicking a horse gallop, and he said, ok.  You got it. He just said it was due to unequal filling of the ventricles (left side being restrictive).
      Leo (11 yo wedge head, blue point siamese, a big boy, almost 15 lbs!) was diagnosed with HCM and SAM Dec 2013.  I asked his doc what his prognosis was.  Doc said cats with the condition can live anywhere from just a few days to "forever." (in other words, they ultimately pass away due to something else).
      mary & Leo
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