>> Atenolol is the most common first line drug for HCM in
>>kitties. It has a very good record of reducing arrhythmias, which
>>are a common complication of HCM. Many of the kitties on this site
>>are on atenolol, and it has a very good safety record in cats.
>>Ventricular arrhythmias, extra beats are called PVC's or premature
>>ventricular complexes, can be dangerous because if they land on a
>>certain part of the heart's contraction cycle, they can start a
>>lethal rhythm called ventricular fibrillation, which is immediately
>>lethal unless converted with electrical shock (clear!). PVC's are
>>considered pathological if they are multiform (come from different
>>areas of the ventricles), there are more than 6 minute, they occur
>>close to the QRS (where the normal heart contraction is occuring) or
>>they are occuring in multiple runs (two - four PVC's back to back).
>>Susan explained the action of atenolol quite well, it basically
>>suppresses the irritable part of the heart so that the extra beats
>>don't occur. Given the possible serious consequences of those extra
>>beats, the atenolol is a good idea, very safe and has very few side
>>effects. I understand that you will want to discuss this with your
>>regular vet, but you could use the atenolol for the short term if
>>s/he will be gone for more than a few weeks and have her opinion on
>>it when s/he returns. Atenolol has a very short half life, it is
>>eliminated from the body within 48 hours, so a washout is not
>>Good luck and keep us updated!
>>jen, deagan and kira the dog
>>PS and OT (I passed my level III exam yesterday - I'm now a fully
>>certified advanced life support paramedic! I'm just so excited I
>>have to tell everybody, it has been over a year of training!
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