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Re: [FH] New Kitty w/ heart murmur

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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 1 of 8 , May 7, 2009
      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 2 of 8 , May 7, 2009
        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 3 of 8 , May 8, 2009
          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 4 of 8 , May 8, 2009
            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 5 of 8 , May 8, 2009
              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 6 of 8 , May 8, 2009
                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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