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View Full Version : Heart murmur, x-ray normal


yngver
April 2nd 07, 04:52 PM
Last summer we brought our 9 year old cat in to the vet because she
was having trouble climbing stairs and jumping up to her favorite
spots. At the time of the exam, the vet said he thought he heard a
very faint heart murmur. He thought it was insignificant, but since he
was doing x-rays of her legs and spine anyway he also did chest x-
rays. She was diagnosed with degenerative joint disease in her knees
but he said her heart and lungs were normal. (We keep an eye on her
lungs anyway with periodic x-rays because she has long-standing asthma
and has been on Flovent for about four years).

She was placed on Cosequin for her knees and had a remarkable
improvement. After a couple of months she was able to run up the
stairs and jump up to her favorite spots again. So we were not
expecting any problems at this checkup a few days ago, but the vet
said her heart murmur was more apparent. He has ordered an ultrasound
but since the cardiologist is booked up in April we have to wait until
May.

Of course I am worried sick although the vet said it might be innocent
since the x-ray did not show any heart enlargement or fluid. He did
say something might turn up in the bloodwork, since anemia can cause a
heart murmur but it seems to me she would have other symptoms if she
were anemic. I also doubt hyperthyroidism since although she did lose
some weight this summer, I think because she was in pain and didn't
feel like eating much, she has gained about a half a pound back and is
still a little overweight.

I know heart murmurs are usually an indication of cardiomyopathy but I
assume the fact that she is asymptomatic and does not have an enlarged
heart are good signs. But it's a bad sign that the murmur is more
audible.

I guess I'm just wondering what else could be the possible cause, and
if there's anything we can do in the mean time since we have to wait
so long to find out about her heart. She is not as active as she was a
year ago but that's understandable with her bad knees. She doesn't get
out of breath or cough. Her heart rate was very high at the vet's
because she was scared, but she always is.

I suppose there is no link to heart murmurs from long term use of
Flovent or Cosequin? We have also been feeding her Royal Canin for
Maine Coon Cats on the advice of some people posting here, since it
contains glucosamine for the joints, but maybe that on top of the
Cosequin is too much? I also just read that that food contains extra
taurine and carnithine for heart health, since Maine Coons are prone
to cardiomyopathy (our cat is not a Maine Coon, however, although she
is a big-boned cat). So I guess the supplements did not help if it
turns out she does have cardiomyopathy.

Sorry this is so long but it's hard having to worry about this for a
month before finding out if anything is wrong.
-yngver

Lynne
April 3rd 07, 12:50 AM
on Mon, 02 Apr 2007 15:52:08 GMT, "yngver" > wrote:

> Sorry this is so long but it's hard having to worry about this for a
> month before finding out if anything is wrong.

Unfortunately, before you have the ultrasound, everything is just
speculation. If her gums are light in color, take a look at them sometime
when she has just been active and see if you notice a blue tinge to them.
If you do, let your vet know when you get the ultrasound.

The waiting is going to be difficult, I know. You could call around to
emergency/specialty care vet hospitals in your area and see if they have a
cardiologist who consults and who could do an ultrasound sooner. The one I
use has their own ultrasound machine and the cardiologist consults on a
case-by-case basis whenver the need arises, but also has office hours there
one or two days per week. It might be worth looking into.

Let us know how it goes, and good luck with your kitty! I hope the murmur
turns out to be nothing serious.

--
Lynne

yngver
April 3rd 07, 04:16 PM
On Apr 2, 6:50 pm, Lynne > wrote:
> on Mon, 02 Apr 2007 15:52:08 GMT, "yngver" > wrote:
>
> > Sorry this is so long but it's hard having to worry about this for a
> > month before finding out if anything is wrong.
>
> Unfortunately, before you have the ultrasound, everything is just
> speculation. If her gums are light in color, take a look at them sometime
> when she has just been active and see if you notice a blue tinge to them.
> If you do, let your vet know when you get the ultrasound.
>
> The waiting is going to be difficult, I know. You could call around to
> emergency/specialty care vet hospitals in your area and see if they have a
> cardiologist who consults and who could do an ultrasound sooner. The one I
> use has their own ultrasound machine and the cardiologist consults on a
> case-by-case basis whenver the need arises, but also has office hours there
> one or two days per week. It might be worth looking into.
>
> Let us know how it goes, and good luck with your kitty! I hope the murmur
> turns out to be nothing serious.
>
> --
> Lynne


Thanks, Lynne. I was just told that the labwork is not back yet
because the labs are all backed up due to testing cats who have eaten
the Menu recalled food. They scheduled the ultrasound for May 14 (and
it kills me to wait that long!) but they put me on a waiting list for
April 24 in case someone cancels. This is a cardiologist with a moble
ultrasound unit who visits each of the major veterinary clinics in the
city every 2-3 weeks. Your idea about calling the emergency care
clinics is a good one which I might try, although the last time I went
to see one of their specialists (orthopedic surgeon) it took six weeks
to get an appointment with him. So I might not be able to get in any
sooner. Thanks for your good wishes. I am hoping the bloodwork may
tell something.
-yngver