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New Kitty w/ heart murmur

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  • Joni
    Hi, Everyone, We finally picked up our new kitty this past Saturday. My son named him Taz :) At this point, Taz has a stage 2 heart murmur, but he is also
    Message 1 of 8 , May 7, 2009
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      Hi, Everyone,

      We finally picked up our new kitty this past Saturday. My son named him Taz :)

      At this point, Taz has a stage 2 heart murmur, but he is also sick right now with a kitty cold, i.e., feline herpes, i.e., upper respiratory infection.

      We have had him in the guest room since Saturday, and I started to introduce him to my other three senior cats on Monday and Tuesday. This was *before* I knew he had anything wrong. With increased activity, I noted him sneezing and sneezing, sometimes with a little mucus flying. I knew this was not normal so took him to my vet who told me he has an upper respiratory issue and wanted me to start him on L-Lysine which I've been doing since Tuesday night. My vet did not want to start him on antibiotics because she felt it was not a bacterial infection at this point, as his mucus was clear, not green or yellow.

      Anyway, I am so upset with the breeder. I found out from my vet (who had the breeder's vet's records) that Taz had been taken in quite frequently for sneezing/mucus/eye issues. Why the breeder chose not to tell me about this absolutely infuriates me. Here I thought I was getting a kitty with a heart murmur, but was otherwise healthy and come to find out he has these respiratory issues as well. Grrrrrr...

      I have been giving Taz L-Lysine for his URI. For his heart murmur, what would you all suggest? I have been giving him taurine thus far. I also want to start him on some Omega 3, but want to take things slowly; in other words, keep him eating and drinking right now before introducing anything new.

      I just wasn't sure for a mild heart murmur what I need to be doing at this point other than the taurine. The vet told me before she neuters him she wants him to have an echocardiogram as he will have to go under anesthesia for the procedure. Anyone have to do this before, i.e, an echo before surgery?

      Thanks for your help and support, all!

      ~joni
    • Westgold
      hi --- sorry about your baby being sick, my Tigger was also sick when I bought him. He had really bad herpes, but also bordatella, and needed 3 months of
      Message 2 of 8 , May 7, 2009
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        hi --- sorry about your baby being sick, my Tigger was also sick when I bought him. He had really bad herpes, but also bordatella, and needed 3 months of antibiotics to cure him. He coughed so loud that first night he was here, he woke me up several times. Once that was cured, only the herpes remained (herpes is forever...). But I started him on the lysine, and it really worked great, but it took 3 months for it to really work -- so keep it up, don't ever miss a dose. 500 mgs twice a day mixed in the food. And don't try to cut back, he will be on that dose forever. I get mine from puritan.com, the capsules open easily and it dissolves instantly in the wet food.

        Taz should be echoed at around 6 months of age. Some murmurs are benign and go away. But if he still has it, that's the time to visit a real cardiologist for an echo & ekg. Then if he has HCM, they can start meds right away. If your vet knows that he has heart disease, he will do the neutering in record speed with minimum stress and maximum monitoring. When my vet neutered Tigger, he said he NEVER worked so fast! But Tigg came through with flying colors, and he has a 3-4 murmur and HCM.

        I may be wrong, but I don't believe additional taurine helps at all. I know they used to prescribe it only to kitties with DCM, but that was years ago before every food added the taurine. He should get enough from a good name-brand canned food diet.

        We're here for you if you have any other questions --
        take care, Michelle & Tigger in Toronto
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Joni
        To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Thursday, May 07, 2009 7:48 AM
        Subject: [FH] New Kitty w/ heart murmur





        Hi, Everyone,

        We finally picked up our new kitty this past Saturday. My son named him Taz :)

        At this point, Taz has a stage 2 heart murmur, but he is also sick right now with a kitty cold, i.e., feline herpes, i.e., upper respiratory infection.

        We have had him in the guest room since Saturday, and I started to introduce him to my other three senior cats on Monday and Tuesday. This was *before* I knew he had anything wrong. With increased activity, I noted him sneezing and sneezing, sometimes with a little mucus flying. I knew this was not normal so took him to my vet who told me he has an upper respiratory issue and wanted me to start him on L-Lysine which I've been doing since Tuesday night. My vet did not want to start him on antibiotics because she felt it was not a bacterial infection at this point, as his mucus was clear, not green or yellow.

        Anyway, I am so upset with the breeder. I found out from my vet (who had the breeder's vet's records) that Taz had been taken in quite frequently for sneezing/mucus/eye issues. Why the breeder chose not to tell me about this absolutely infuriates me. Here I thought I was getting a kitty with a heart murmur, but was otherwise healthy and come to find out he has these respiratory issues as well. Grrrrrr...

        I have been giving Taz L-Lysine for his URI. For his heart murmur, what would you all suggest? I have been giving him taurine thus far. I also want to start him on some Omega 3, but want to take things slowly; in other words, keep him eating and drinking right now before introducing anything new.

        I just wasn't sure for a mild heart murmur what I need to be doing at this point other than the taurine. The vet told me before she neuters him she wants him to have an echocardiogram as he will have to go under anesthesia for the procedure. Anyone have to do this before, i.e, an echo before surgery?

        Thanks for your help and support, all!

        ~joni






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      • Westgold
        hi --- well, Tigger was neutered before his echo. But we knew he had HCM because his murmur was 3-4. As long as they know that Taz has a problem, they will
        Message 3 of 8 , May 7, 2009
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          hi --- well, Tigger was neutered before his echo. But we knew he had HCM
          because his murmur was 3-4. As long as they know that Taz has a problem,
          they will work fast and do extra monitoring. You should be able to get Taz
          successfully neutered before getting all the tests. I'd wait til he's 6
          months old tho, when he's a little older and stronger.

          I know echos are expensive, but that is the ONLY way to know if he has HCM
          or not. And if he does, you can start the meds immediately. I would wait
          til 6 months old tho, and see if the murmur goes away by itself, they
          sometimes do. Where do you live, perhaps someone can recommend a good
          cardiologist in your area. Your vet can NOT do a proper echo, even if she
          has taken a course. You need a real cardiologist if you want the real story
          about Taz' precious little heart.

          I saw his photos, and he's a little cutie! Is he a Tonk?

          take care -- Michelle & Tigger Too, in Toronto
        • nala_zq
          Hi Joni, I missed your first post. I am sorry that your new kitty Taz is not in tip-top shape, but I am glad that you are going to provide a wonderful home for
          Message 4 of 8 , May 7, 2009
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            Hi Joni,

            I missed your first post.

            I am sorry that your new kitty Taz is not in tip-top shape, but I am
            glad that you are going to provide a wonderful home for him.

            In addition to structural heart problems, heart murmurs can be
            caused by dehydration and anemia.

            Unfortunately the loudness of the murmur (grades I-V) does not directly
            correspond with seriousness of disease. Some kittens have innocent murmurs
            that they outgrow. Other kittens have murmurs that are because
            of a defect. Some kittens have a small hole in their heart that fills
            in over time.

            To find out what the cause of the murmur is, one would need to have
            an echo performed, preferably by a veterinary cardiologist or an
            internist with substantial cardiology experience.

            The taurine is not likely to help unless Taz has been deprived of
            taurine. Most commercial cat diets have substantial taurine - enough
            to prevent DCM (it was only discovered in the 80's that low taurine
            diets led to dilated cardiomyopathy in kitties - these days the
            taurine related DCM is extraordinarily rare).

            The reason to have an echo before anesthesia is that in some cases
            the kitty will not survive the anesthesia when there is an underlying
            heart condition. If the cardiologist OKs the surgery, there are
            some anesthesia protocols that are a bit better for kitties with
            heart problems. My own cat had surgery to place an e-tube
            despite advanced HCM. Her surgery lasted about 20 minutes.
            Male neuter surgery is also quick.

            Best to you and Taz.

            Nala
          • jintzr
            Hi Joni, I would definitely get the echo by a cardiologist before getting the neuter. The reason I say that is because several years ago, I got a little
            Message 5 of 8 , May 8, 2009
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              Hi Joni, I would definitely get the echo by a cardiologist before getting the neuter. The reason I say that is because several years ago, I got a little kitten with a heart murmur (of 3). The vet at the time told me not to worry, and not to get an echo. So I had him neutered by this vet, and my precious kitty never came home. He passed away on the operating table. I have of course switched vets since then, and have come to believe it was probably something this vet didn't do correctly. So I would have the echo before hand, just to see what you are dealing with. And I had my kitty neutured at 3 months, since he had a heart murmur I wish I would have waited at least until 6 months .

              Since then, my when I got my kitty Ivy at 10 wks old, she had a heart murmur of 5. She had actually had 2 echo's before her spay, and the cardiologist actually had me wait till she was a year old to get her spayed. The vet that did was in contact with my cardiologist on all the instructions. It went very well and was successful. So I would have the echo before hand, the cardiologist can let you know more what you are dealing with, and may give special instructions to the vet. They may have you wait till the kitty is a little older, too.

              Donna

              --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, "Joni" <joni_c@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi, Everyone,
              >
              > We finally picked up our new kitty this past Saturday. My son named him Taz :)
              >
              > At this point, Taz has a stage 2 heart murmur, but he is also sick right now with a kitty cold, i.e., feline herpes, i.e., upper respiratory infection.
              >
              > We have had him in the guest room since Saturday, and I started to introduce him to my other three senior cats on Monday and Tuesday. This was *before* I knew he had anything wrong. With increased activity, I noted him sneezing and sneezing, sometimes with a little mucus flying. I knew this was not normal so took him to my vet who told me he has an upper respiratory issue and wanted me to start him on L-Lysine which I've been doing since Tuesday night. My vet did not want to start him on antibiotics because she felt it was not a bacterial infection at this point, as his mucus was clear, not green or yellow.
              >
              > Anyway, I am so upset with the breeder. I found out from my vet (who had the breeder's vet's records) that Taz had been taken in quite frequently for sneezing/mucus/eye issues. Why the breeder chose not to tell me about this absolutely infuriates me. Here I thought I was getting a kitty with a heart murmur, but was otherwise healthy and come to find out he has these respiratory issues as well. Grrrrrr...
              >
              > I have been giving Taz L-Lysine for his URI. For his heart murmur, what would you all suggest? I have been giving him taurine thus far. I also want to start him on some Omega 3, but want to take things slowly; in other words, keep him eating and drinking right now before introducing anything new.
              >
              > I just wasn't sure for a mild heart murmur what I need to be doing at this point other than the taurine. The vet told me before she neuters him she wants him to have an echocardiogram as he will have to go under anesthesia for the procedure. Anyone have to do this before, i.e, an echo before surgery?
              >
              > Thanks for your help and support, all!
              >
              > ~joni
              >
            • katy4282003
              i agree with donna. murmurs in kittens can be innocent and they can outgrow them but not always. i would prefer to know beforehand, if he does have HCM and its
              Message 6 of 8 , May 8, 2009
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                i agree with donna. murmurs in kittens can be innocent and they can outgrow them but not always. i would prefer to know beforehand, if he does have HCM and its mild he can still get neutered but extra precautions need to be taken- anesthesia especially.
                >^..^<
                katy & belle


                > Hi Joni, I would definitely get the echo by a cardiologist before getting the neuter. The reason I say that is because several years ago, I got a little kitten with a heart murmur (of 3). The vet at the time told me not to worry, and not to get an echo. So I had him neutered by this vet, and my precious kitty never came home. He passed away on the operating table. I have of course switched vets since then, and have come to believe it was probably something this vet didn't do correctly. So I would have the echo before hand, just to see what you are dealing with. And I had my kitty neutured at 3 months, since he had a heart murmur I wish I would have waited at least until 6 months .
                >
                > Since then, my when I got my kitty Ivy at 10 wks old, she had a heart murmur of 5. She had actually had 2 echo's before her spay, and the cardiologist actually had me wait till she was a year old to get her spayed. The vet that did was in contact with my cardiologist on all the instructions. It went very well and was successful. So I would have the echo before hand, the cardiologist can let you know more what you are dealing with, and may give special instructions to the vet. They may have you wait till the kitty is a little older, too.
                >
                > Donna
              • Pat
                Hi Joni; ... If there is a likelihood of continued URI concerns, may I suggest you try giving a small capsule of Moducare twice a day? Our FIV+ boy came to us
                Message 7 of 8 , May 8, 2009
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                  Hi Joni;

                  --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, "Joni" <joni_c@...> wrote:
                  >> Anyway, I am so upset with the breeder. I found out from my vet (who had
                  >> the breeder's vet's records) that Taz >had been taken in quite frequently
                  >> for sneezing/mucus/eye issues.

                  If there is a likelihood of continued URI concerns, may I suggest you try
                  giving a small capsule of Moducare twice a day? Our FIV+ boy came to us
                  with a chronic problem that comes back if we don't keep up the Moducare, and
                  for him we need to use a #3 capsule full twice a day. That has been going
                  on for five and a half years, now because of his weakened immune system, but
                  may not be needed long for a kitten that just needs some building of immune
                  strength. Back in the beginning we also gave Legolas DMG,
                  (dimethylglycine).

                  >> I just wasn't sure for a mild heart murmur what I need to be doing at
                  >> this point other than the taurine. The vet told >me before she neuters
                  >> him she wants him to have an echocardiogram as he will have to go under
                  >> anesthesia for the >procedure. Anyone have to do this before, i.e, an
                  >> echo before surgery?

                  If your kitten is only showing mild symptoms, I am sure the gonadectomy will
                  probably go fine, however if you have the funds, give your veterinarian an
                  edge by ensuring she has the full picture. I would say she wants to make
                  sure she hasn't missed something more serious that could cost Taz his life
                  while she is working on him.

                  Pepper has a major hole in his heart and the risk was taken without the full
                  exploration done first, partly because the veterinarian had him as a foster
                  and was throwing the alteration in for free if we would take a cat with what
                  seemed, at the time, to be chronic severe IBD. We almost lost him. They
                  had to pull him out of anaesthesia before giving him the tattoo we had
                  requested because he was starting to turn blue. Things progressed so
                  quickly with him that I don't remember what level the murmur was before his
                  surgery was done, but there was, I think, the same concern in that we were
                  told that getting the gonadectomy done sooner was better than later based
                  upon what the stethescope was picking up. He recovered from the surgery
                  fully, and has been a wild terror ever since, although his rest periods are
                  becoming extended with time.

                  On the other side of the coin, our rescue Hamlet, came to us with a lot of
                  major issues, one of them being a slight murmur, and he has sailed through
                  any anaesthetic necessary through about 15 years of adventures with us now.
                  Back when we rescued him he required two major surgeries to fix his insides
                  as much as possible as he had been attacked by a preditor of some sort. So
                  far he is living long enough to now be considered "geriatric" and he still
                  does well. (-;

                  Pat and all the boys
                  http://felinenutritionalnotes.blogspot.com/
                  http://petfoodpitfalls.blogspot.com/
                • Wimpole Street Ragdolls
                  Joni, A level 2/6 (and even a bit louder) murmur in a kitten is very likely benign. (Keep in mind that vets other than board certified cardiologists will not
                  Message 8 of 8 , May 8, 2009
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                    Joni,

                    A level 2/6 (and even a bit louder) murmur in a kitten is very likely
                    benign. (Keep in mind that vets other than board certified
                    cardiologists will not be as good at determining the loudness as a
                    cardiologist.) I would not assume you will need the expense of an
                    echo. Assuming the neuter surgery can wait, you can just wait and
                    confirm that it has softened or gone away. If you remain concerned,
                    have a board certified cardiologist LISTEN to it. Often they can have
                    an even better idea based on location, characteristics and response
                    to slight stress on it being benign without the need to do an echo.
                    Even a 2/6 murmur from HCM or a bad valve or otherwise is very likely
                    not a reason not to neuter, although the surgeon should know and will
                    take it into account.

                    Of course, if you want to go to to the expense of a scan at some
                    point, and you may, then have it done by a board certified
                    cardiologist if at all possible. There is art to it, no matter how
                    good the scan machine the vet has purchased.

                    Do not borrow trouble. The chances are that this murmur is not a
                    threat to his health.


                    Best,
                    Jan

                    Jan Henson
                    Wimpole Street Ragdolls
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