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CalCatDoc, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 330
Experience:  I have 31 years of clinical experience, with the past 22 years being in a feline-exclusive practice.
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My male cat was diagnosed with a Grade 3 heart murmur as a

Customer Question

My male cat was diagnosed with a Grade 3 heart murmur as a 6 month kitten. At 8-9 months I had him neutered with gas anesthesia which he tolerated beautifully. How important is having an echocardigram (sp) done with him? I am limited finantially, and $500 for the procedure (not counting the Dr's services) is going to make life hard. He has no symtoms, is big and strong and plays vigorously with his twin brother, never coughs or seems weak or shakes. He is now 18 months old. If you feel the procedure will extend his life, I will manage somehow as I love him very much, but I just need to be assured it is necessary and valuable . Thank you very much, Susan Blue Cat
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  CalCatDoc replied 7 months ago.
Hi! I'mCustomerand I can help with your question about Peet's heart murmur.We do see a fair number of benign (harmless, meaningless) heart murmurs in cats. They can come and go randomly, and have no impact at all on their life or health.But we can also see murmurs that indicate there is a problem. First, they can have a murmur if they are anemic. With the great flea control products available these days, we don't see a lot of anemic cats walking around, so that isn't very likely. It is easily tested for in your vet's office with just a tiny blood sample.Second, a murmur can indicate cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscle). A type of this known as ypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is an inherited condition in cats and can cause murmur, too rapid heart rate, or conversely too slow heart rate - and these can be seen in young cats, though I tend to see it mostly in middle age or older cats. HCM can also occur secondary to overactive thyroid, primarily a disease of older cats. There is a blood test available for HCM called proBNP. Most commercial diagnostic labs offer it so check with your vet. I've never heard of hyperthyroidism in an 18 mo cat so that is REALLY low on the list.I'd recommend having the vet listen to his heart to see if it's normal or abnormal now. If there are no abnormalities on auscultation (normal rate and rhythm, no murmur) then all you need to do is get it checked periodically to make sure it hasn't returned. If he has the murmur still, or an abnormal rate or rhythm, then you need to rule out anemia or HCM with blood tests. These are always going to be much cheaper than ultrasound. I don't normally recommend ultrasound on these type of cats if the proBNP is normal. There is a small chance of a birth defect of the heart but these are rare and if he is asymptomatic then again you can just do watchful waiting.The only exception would be if he has a "washing machine" murmur but that is really loud and scary and not our "normal" little benign murmur.
Expert:  CalCatDoc replied 7 months ago.
Expert:  CalCatDoc replied 7 months ago.
I'm not sure if you have seen my response. Please let me know if you have further questions.

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