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My cat developed heart murmur after pre-surgery medicines…

My cat developed heart...

My cat developed heart murmur after pre-surgery medicines were administered. The vet called off the surgery because of this. My cat has mammary tumors and the vet wants her to see a cardiologist. Is it necessary?

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Some lumps are serious and some aren't. Let's see what the Veterinarian has to say. What is the cat's name and age?

Sugar, 8 years old.

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Sugar?

She has dental tartar that hasn't been cleaned because of the tumors. She had two mammary glands removed on her lower right side last July.

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Answered in 4 hours by:
1/19/2018
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 35,516
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
Verified

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

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I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. No, a traveling ultrasonographer can come to your vet's hospital and perform an echocardiogram (sonogram) of Sugar's heart, instead. The point of doing so is seeing if her life span is limited more by her heart condition or by her mammary tumors. Murmurs can be heard with benign or life-threatening conditions and everything in between. Perhaps more important, the vast majority (85 - 93%) of feline mammary tumors are malignant and metastasis is common (greater than 80%) and so you may elect to do nothing at all at this point because even radical surgery while reducing the risk for local tumor recurrence doesn't appear to improve survival time. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Sugar is healthy and active. Her mammary tumors are growing at the same spot as before, even though those glands were removed 6 months ago. I don't want to put her through more surgery unless it is helpful. How long do cats live once they've been diagnosed with adenocarcinoma? There are no other signs of spreading.

Thank you for the additional information. The local recurrence rate is greater than 50% with incomplete excision which appears to have been the case. The prognostic factors for cats with mammary gland carcinomas are as follows:

Tumor size: greater than 3 cm - median survival of 4-6 momths; 2-3 cm - median survival of 1-2 years; less than 2 cm - median survival of greater than 3 years

Radical mastectomy doesn't appear to improve survival time.

Histologic grade: high grade cancer is associated with a shorter survival time. The grade can be found on her biopsy report. Stage I: 29 months; Stage II: 12.5 months; Stage III: 9 months; Stage IV: 1 month.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Depending on the results of an echocardiogram, how are heart murmurs usually treated? Sugar showed no symptoms of one prior to her second surgery appointment and still hasn't. Is it possible she was really scared that day? She's an indoor only cat.Are there also holistic approaches that could help her stay healthy? I heard perhaps medicinal mushrooms or vitamins could. Have you heard about the product Piptopet? It's a liquid that's added to your pet's water twice daily.

Treatment is predicated upon the findings. Cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease) is most common and many of us won't treat a cat suffering from cardiomyopathy unless congestive heart failure is present. Others will treat with combinations of ACE inhibitors, beta blockers, and the heart drug pimobendan. Hypertension might be addressed with amlodipine - a calcium channel blocker.

I'm a died-in-the-wool allopath and have no expereince with medicinal mushrooms or vitamins vis a vis heart disease. I'm not familiar with Piptopet. If you'd like to speak to a naturopathic vet it would be best to amend your request my typing "I'm looking for a naturopathic vet..." after I opt out of our conversation. Please let me know if you'd like me to do so.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
No. It's fine. Thank you for your help!

You're quite welcome. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 35,516
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
Verified
Dr. Michael Salkin and 87 other Cat Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
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I didn't answer your earlier question. Yes, her heart rate may have elevated to the point of causing a turbulence murmur and that would be the best scenario of all.

Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
My cat's tumor is a cluster and has grown since we last spoke. I'm unsure if my vet will remove it even though It is now oozing a yellowish liquid. I'm waiting for my vet to call me. What should I do for my cat now?

I'm sorry for the delay. I've been offline until now. May I have another update on Sugar, please?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
I got a second opinion on Sugar yesterday. The vet had to listen to her heart three times before he could find a heart murmur. He said it's soft and maybe rated a 2. He didn't recommend all of her mammary glands be removed. He did say her masses are clustered and are veering over to her left mammary glands. He wants to remove the masses on her lower right where the glands used to be and her two lower left mammary glands. He isn't concerned about putting her under anesthesia and will include tartar removal on her teeth while she's under. He said the tartar and tumors are her only issues. I haven't scheduled anything yet. Side note, her tumor is oozing a little and is what prompted another vet visit.

Thank you. Regretfully, there's a very high chance of her recrudescing (relapsing without cure in between events) post-surgically once again...such is the behavior of these cancers in cats. You may have to make a difficult decision soon than later.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Do you recommend any surgery? The vet did say if it has spread to her lungs, surgery would be moot and chemotherapy would be the only option. Sugar is a happy, loving, active cat. No signs of pain. I'm stuck on what I should do. The masses are noticeable and growing. Do I let her live her life without any procedures?

I don't, no. I would hospice such a patient; in other words, do your best to keep the oozing area clean and disinfected...which will untimately be an exercise in futility as the cancer progresses...and consider the judicious use of a narcotic such as oral buprenorphine. I'll be back in 30 minutes if you need me.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
I've been cleaning the one lightly oozing tumor and added a medicinal mushroom liquid supplement to her food once a day. Sugar is still a happy cat. I'm wondering if I'm doing enough for her medically? Is she that far along in her cancer where surgery isn't worth it? I've gotten three different treatment recommendations, which have left me confused as to which one is best. Does she have much time left?

Please review my post timestamped 19 Jan 2018, 3:58 PM. Sugar's time is limited by how long an ulcerated and draining tumor can be tolerated and how long it takes for such a cancer to reach the lungs or other major organs.

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