Re: diagnosis of HCM last week
- Joy, it's my understanding that if Sam only has a heart murmur but no
other symptoms, such as exercise intolerance, he would be considered
asymptomatic. Most cats are diagnosed because the vet hears a heart
My vet told me not to put too much credence in what you read online
about feline HCM because a lot of it is outdated and therefore
scarier. He said he sees cats with HCM now, when it is controlled with
medication, living near normal or normal lifespans.
As for the diltiazem, I don't really know because my cat is on
atenolol, but I thought some people have said there is a twice a day
dose rather than three times a day. Also, you may be heartened to know
that in some cases, diltiazem has been shown to reverse the thickening
of the heart wall. I hope your Sam is one of the lucky ones.
--- In email@example.com, "pagan13sam" <jkuhn01@...> wrote:
> My 10 1/2 yr old male cat Sam had a heart murmur detected in October
> followed by HCM diagnosed last Wed following an ultrasound before a
> teeth cleaning.
> Several questions, after reading a million internet articles with
> little information given to me by my vet except that his
> demise 'could be next week, 3 mos or possibly a year from now'. As
> you can imagine, it's been a highly distressing week for me.
> 1) He has no symptoms besides the heart murmur. Does this make him
> asymptomatic with a possibility of even 5 years with medication, or
> does the heart murmur place him with the symptomatic cats making it 3
> mos to 3 years? (And yes, I realise that no one ever really knows).
> I'm having problems determining whether the heart murmur counts as a
> 2) I can't do the diltiazem every 8 hours, as I work like other
> people. Sam's dosage will be more like 10/11 hours, then 5 1/2/7,
> then 7. How significant of a problem is this?
> 3) One other problem according to the internet that could relate to
> Sam is the actual thickness of his heart wall (internet says mild
> cardiomyopathy has longer prognosis but thicker heart wall is more
> severe). The vet said something about how the measurement of his
> heart wall is almost an 8 when it should be under 5 (whatever that
> means), though he's 'seen one cat at a 10'. So this could be
> problematic possibly and maybe the reason the vet wouldn't say more
> than a year.
> Now, I know there are so many people on this site dealing with much
> worse HCM problems and that I'm very lucky that this was caught
> before actual heart failure. But I had counted on Sam for another 5-8
> years ideally and so I'm highly upset about this development and the
> vet's 'next week, 3 mos, who knows' attitude.
> Any feedback would be welcome and appreciated.
> Joy :-(