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Cat heart murmur and incompetent humane society vet



 
 
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  #1  
Old October 4th 06, 03:51 PM posted to rec.pets.cats.health+behav
mdsu
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 33
Default Cat heart murmur and incompetent humane society vet

As some of you may know, I just adopted two cats from my local humane
society last week. They had their first appointment with my vet this
morning. She detected a heart murmur in the male, Charlie. My vet
recommended that I follow up with the animal cardiologist to the tune of
$500! My vet said the heart murmur could be nothing (I have a heart
murmur that's caused me no problems). On the other hand, it could be
something more involved.

My last cat, Al, died at the end of August. He had diabetes, asthma, and
hyperthyroidism. I spent thousands of dollars on his health care. But he
was fine up until he reached the age of 11 or so. Given my experience
with Al, I am more than a little reluctant to start incurring large
medical bills with a 1 year old cat I got a week ago.

It seems to me that the humane society's vet is incompetent. All he or
she had to do was listen to Charlie's chest to hear the murmur. If my
vet heard it, then their vet should have been able to hear it as well.
And to be honest, I would not have adopted Charlie had I known he had a
medical issue, at least not unless the humane society had certified that
the murmur was not serious. But they didn't do that.

I'm more than a little angry about this situation and have let the
humane society know about it. If their vet is not incompetent, then I'm
led to the conclusion that they purposely withheld information from me
about Charlie's medical condition.

Rich
  #2  
Old October 4th 06, 04:28 PM posted to rec.pets.cats.health+behav
Lynne
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,297
Default Cat heart murmur and incompetent humane society vet


mdsu wrote:
As some of you may know, I just adopted two cats from my local humane
society last week. They had their first appointment with my vet this
morning. She detected a heart murmur in the male, Charlie. My vet
recommended that I follow up with the animal cardiologist to the tune of
$500! My vet said the heart murmur could be nothing (I have a heart
murmur that's caused me no problems). On the other hand, it could be
something more involved.

My last cat, Al, died at the end of August. He had diabetes, asthma, and
hyperthyroidism. I spent thousands of dollars on his health care. But he
was fine up until he reached the age of 11 or so. Given my experience
with Al, I am more than a little reluctant to start incurring large
medical bills with a 1 year old cat I got a week ago.

It seems to me that the humane society's vet is incompetent. All he or
she had to do was listen to Charlie's chest to hear the murmur. If my
vet heard it, then their vet should have been able to hear it as well.
And to be honest, I would not have adopted Charlie had I known he had a
medical issue, at least not unless the humane society had certified that
the murmur was not serious. But they didn't do that.

I'm more than a little angry about this situation and have let the
humane society know about it. If their vet is not incompetent, then I'm
led to the conclusion that they purposely withheld information from me
about Charlie's medical condition.

Rich


I'm sorry to hear that the vet missed your kitty's murmur. Murmur's
are funny things, though, and can come and go under various
circumstances. For example, fever can cause insignificant murmurs.
Was your kitty's temperature elevated at the time the murmur was
detected? If so, resolve whatever illness is causing the fever and
have your vet listen again when he is afebrile. The murmur may not be
there anymore.

Even if this is not fever induced, as you know, some murmurs are
inconsequential. In simple terms, a murmur is the sound of blood flow
collisions. Charlie could have a small hole somewhere in his heart,
causing venous and arterial flow to collide, which is heard as a
murmur. Many holes in the heart do not cause problems, but some do.
If Charlie is young, the hole could self-resolve. On the other hand,
it could get worse as he ages. He could also live a long, full life
with no change to his problem and no impact on his quality of life. In
my opinion, if Charlie is not displaying any cardiac symptoms other
than the murmur, I wouldn't worry or have the echocardiogram done.
Symptoms to look for are failure to thrive (grow, develop) if he is
young, poor appetite, low energy, and/or difficulty breathing. Sudden
weight gain could indicate congestive heart failure, which can often be
treated successfully with diuretics. Check his lips if they are light
in color and see if they have a blue tinge. This would indicate his
Oxygen saturation is low. Minor cyanosis is not always a problem and
he may do fine even with lower than average sats. If he is not having
any symptoms now, he may never. But it's a crap shoot.

Focus on Charlie's behavior and overall condition and not so much on
the murmur before you get too worked up. I know that is easier said
than done... Good luck to you and Charlie!

  #3  
Old October 4th 06, 06:22 PM posted to rec.pets.cats.health+behav
mdsu
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 33
Default Cat heart murmur and incompetent humane society vet

Lynne wrote:
mdsu wrote:
As some of you may know, I just adopted two cats from my local humane
society last week. They had their first appointment with my vet this
morning. She detected a heart murmur in the male, Charlie. My vet
recommended that I follow up with the animal cardiologist to the tune of
$500! My vet said the heart murmur could be nothing (I have a heart
murmur that's caused me no problems). On the other hand, it could be
something more involved.

My last cat, Al, died at the end of August. He had diabetes, asthma, and
hyperthyroidism. I spent thousands of dollars on his health care. But he
was fine up until he reached the age of 11 or so. Given my experience
with Al, I am more than a little reluctant to start incurring large
medical bills with a 1 year old cat I got a week ago.

It seems to me that the humane society's vet is incompetent. All he or
she had to do was listen to Charlie's chest to hear the murmur. If my
vet heard it, then their vet should have been able to hear it as well.
And to be honest, I would not have adopted Charlie had I known he had a
medical issue, at least not unless the humane society had certified that
the murmur was not serious. But they didn't do that.

I'm more than a little angry about this situation and have let the
humane society know about it. If their vet is not incompetent, then I'm
led to the conclusion that they purposely withheld information from me
about Charlie's medical condition.

Rich


I'm sorry to hear that the vet missed your kitty's murmur. Murmur's
are funny things, though, and can come and go under various
circumstances. For example, fever can cause insignificant murmurs.
Was your kitty's temperature elevated at the time the murmur was
detected? If so, resolve whatever illness is causing the fever and
have your vet listen again when he is afebrile. The murmur may not be
there anymore.

Even if this is not fever induced, as you know, some murmurs are
inconsequential. In simple terms, a murmur is the sound of blood flow
collisions. Charlie could have a small hole somewhere in his heart,
causing venous and arterial flow to collide, which is heard as a
murmur. Many holes in the heart do not cause problems, but some do.
If Charlie is young, the hole could self-resolve. On the other hand,
it could get worse as he ages. He could also live a long, full life
with no change to his problem and no impact on his quality of life. In
my opinion, if Charlie is not displaying any cardiac symptoms other
than the murmur, I wouldn't worry or have the echocardiogram done.
Symptoms to look for are failure to thrive (grow, develop) if he is
young, poor appetite, low energy, and/or difficulty breathing. Sudden
weight gain could indicate congestive heart failure, which can often be
treated successfully with diuretics. Check his lips if they are light
in color and see if they have a blue tinge. This would indicate his
Oxygen saturation is low. Minor cyanosis is not always a problem and
he may do fine even with lower than average sats. If he is not having
any symptoms now, he may never. But it's a crap shoot.

Focus on Charlie's behavior and overall condition and not so much on
the murmur before you get too worked up. I know that is easier said
than done... Good luck to you and Charlie!


Lynne,

Thanks very much for the information. I canceled the appointment with
the cardiologist. I spoke again with my vet and she did say that it
wasn't imperative that Charlie see the cardiologist. His energy level is
off the charts and his appetite is excellent. Charlie was panting and
open mouth breathing after play last week, but that's probably because
he came home with an upper respiratory infection. (Charlie was sneezing
a lot too.) But all symptoms have cleared.

For the time being I'm going to assume that Charlie's murmur is not a
big deal. I'll keep an eye on him, and take him to see the cardiologist
if and when I notice any problems.

And fyi, I heard from the humane society and gave it to them a little
bit. The woman said to just bring him back. But Charlie is not a piece
of trash. I'm not going to return him to the shelter and what would be
almost certain death. I'm just more than a little annoyed that their vet
can't take 15 seconds to listen to the chest of an animal. I know they
have to deal with a lot of animals, but what I propose doesn't take that
much additional time. The woman with whom I spoke added that many
shelters don't have vets. That's beside the point because this shelter
does have one.

Again, thanks very much for the help.

Best,
Rich
  #4  
Old October 4th 06, 07:33 PM posted to rec.pets.cats.health+behav
Lynne
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,297
Default Cat heart murmur and incompetent humane society vet


mdsu wrote:

Lynne,

Thanks very much for the information. I canceled the appointment with
the cardiologist. I spoke again with my vet and she did say that it
wasn't imperative that Charlie see the cardiologist. His energy level is
off the charts and his appetite is excellent. Charlie was panting and
open mouth breathing after play last week, but that's probably because
he came home with an upper respiratory infection. (Charlie was sneezing
a lot too.) But all symptoms have cleared.

For the time being I'm going to assume that Charlie's murmur is not a
big deal. I'll keep an eye on him, and take him to see the cardiologist
if and when I notice any problems.

And fyi, I heard from the humane society and gave it to them a little
bit. The woman said to just bring him back. But Charlie is not a piece
of trash. I'm not going to return him to the shelter and what would be
almost certain death. I'm just more than a little annoyed that their vet
can't take 15 seconds to listen to the chest of an animal. I know they
have to deal with a lot of animals, but what I propose doesn't take that
much additional time. The woman with whom I spoke added that many
shelters don't have vets. That's beside the point because this shelter
does have one.

Again, thanks very much for the help.

Best,
Rich


You are very welcome. So long as your vet agrees, I am happy to help.
Pay close attention to Charlie for any of the symptoms I mentioned. If
they appear, get him to the cardiologist. It wouldn't hurt to take him
to see your regular vet in a month or two for a checkup. If the murmur
is quieter or gone, that may ease your mind. Hopefully it was
transient or he will outgrow it.

Take good care. Charlie is lucky to have you!

  #5  
Old October 4th 06, 08:35 PM posted to rec.pets.cats.health+behav
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 93
Default Cat heart murmur and incompetent humane society vet

mdsu wrote:

And fyi, I heard from the humane society and gave it to them a little
bit. The woman said to just bring him back. But Charlie is not a piece
of trash. I'm not going to return him to the shelter and what would be
almost certain death. I'm just more than a little annoyed that their vet
can't take 15 seconds to listen to the chest of an animal.


It's probably better that their vet didn't detect the murmur since
Charlie is now in a good place instead of in their trash heap.

Good luck with Charlie.

-mhd
  #6  
Old October 4th 06, 10:43 PM posted to rec.pets.cats.health+behav
-L.
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 521
Default Cat heart murmur and incompetent humane society vet


mdsu wrote:
As some of you may know, I just adopted two cats from my local humane
society last week. They had their first appointment with my vet this
morning. She detected a heart murmur in the male, Charlie. My vet
recommended that I follow up with the animal cardiologist to the tune of
$500! My vet said the heart murmur could be nothing (I have a heart
murmur that's caused me no problems). On the other hand, it could be
something more involved.

My last cat, Al, died at the end of August. He had diabetes, asthma, and
hyperthyroidism. I spent thousands of dollars on his health care. But he
was fine up until he reached the age of 11 or so. Given my experience
with Al, I am more than a little reluctant to start incurring large
medical bills with a 1 year old cat I got a week ago.

It seems to me that the humane society's vet is incompetent. All he or
she had to do was listen to Charlie's chest to hear the murmur. If my
vet heard it, then their vet should have been able to hear it as well.


Not necessartily. If the exam was done while the cat was scared, the
rapid beating of the heart may have masked the murmur. Murmurs can
sometimes be hard to diagnose.


And to be honest, I would not have adopted Charlie had I known he had a
medical issue, at least not unless the humane society had certified that
the murmur was not serious. But they didn't do that.

I'm more than a little angry about this situation and have let the
humane society know about it. If their vet is not incompetent, then I'm
led to the conclusion that they purposely withheld information from me
about Charlie's medical condition.


Unlikely - the vet probably just missed it upon exam. Most Humane
Societies have a liberal return policy. If you are that upset about
this, take the cat back to the HS.

-L.

  #8  
Old October 4th 06, 11:36 PM posted to rec.pets.cats.health+behav
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 37
Default Cat heart murmur and incompetent humane society vet

mdsu wrote:
I'm more than a little angry about this situation and have let the
humane society know about it. If their vet is not incompetent, then I'm
led to the conclusion that they purposely withheld information from me
about Charlie's medical condition.

Rich


What type of murmur exactly is this?

In any case, regardless, be extremely careful of the condition of the
teeth.

With cats this is for sure, teeth problems go straight to the heart.
It's probably the same for people but it's not been studied that much
with people.

If the murmur is caused by valve irregularities, then the bacteria from
the teeth, traveling in the blood stream, have an easy time latching
onto the valves. Then there is a life threatening condition of
bacterial endocarditis.

I have noticed that people doctors will also miss a murmur. They just
want the individual in and out and are doing the most cursory of
stethoscope examinations. Although most doctors will say that murmurs
are benign, that may be so statistically. But the ones that are not
benign, in the end, will kill you, inevitably. THe last research I read
gave a mean of around 7 years before death [for people] when the murmur
is no longer benign, unless there is surgical intervention. And most
quacks don't know enough to even begin to figure out which benign
murmur will not be benign in the future. So they throw out meaningless
generalities.

I would ask the human society to pay for the heart surgery if needed.
Do they make little kitty heart valves? That will be one big bill.
Also, I would ask them to look into care. It is possible that a beta
blocker and an ACE inhibitor will buy time when the murmur is no longer
"benign." These drug are not too expensive. A beta blocker is dirt
cheap. I don't know if this is done with felines.

  #9  
Old October 5th 06, 12:35 AM posted to rec.pets.cats.health+behav
Lynne
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,297
Default Cat heart murmur and incompetent humane society vet


wrote:

What type of murmur exactly is this?

In any case, regardless, be extremely careful of the condition of the
teeth.

With cats this is for sure, teeth problems go straight to the heart.
It's probably the same for people but it's not been studied that much
with people.

If the murmur is caused by valve irregularities, then the bacteria from
the teeth, traveling in the blood stream, have an easy time latching
onto the valves. Then there is a life threatening condition of
bacterial endocarditis.

I have noticed that people doctors will also miss a murmur. They just
want the individual in and out and are doing the most cursory of
stethoscope examinations. Although most doctors will say that murmurs
are benign, that may be so statistically. But the ones that are not
benign, in the end, will kill you, inevitably. THe last research I read
gave a mean of around 7 years before death [for people] when the murmur
is no longer benign, unless there is surgical intervention. And most
quacks don't know enough to even begin to figure out which benign
murmur will not be benign in the future. So they throw out meaningless
generalities.

I would ask the human society to pay for the heart surgery if needed.
Do they make little kitty heart valves? That will be one big bill.
Also, I would ask them to look into care. It is possible that a beta
blocker and an ACE inhibitor will buy time when the murmur is no longer
"benign." These drug are not too expensive. A beta blocker is dirt
cheap. I don't know if this is done with felines.


8 in 1000 human babies are born live annually in this country with
congenital heart defects of one degree or another. Many of those
defects are not diagnosed until autopsy, after the person dies of
other, unrelated causes later in life. This makes it pretty clear that
the vast majority of heart defects are benign. I doubt there are
similar statistic for cats. Regardless, whether human or feline, if a
murmur is indicative of a life threatening problem, there will be
symptoms beyond the murmur. Humans with good medical care are prudent
to explore any murmurs. Unless and until Charlie demonstrates
symptoms, there is no reason for his servant, Rich, to be worried. If
he has the means, getting an echo will be more definitive than watching
and waiting. Maybe. I don't see any reason to alarm him if the kitty
is healthy and thriving, which he would not be if he had any kind of
life threatening cardiac anomaly.

Good dental hygiene is important regardless.

  #10  
Old October 5th 06, 12:42 AM posted to rec.pets.cats.health+behav
mdsu
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 33
Default Cat heart murmur and incompetent humane society vet

-L. wrote:
mdsu wrote:
As some of you may know, I just adopted two cats from my local humane
society last week. They had their first appointment with my vet this
morning. She detected a heart murmur in the male, Charlie. My vet
recommended that I follow up with the animal cardiologist to the tune of
$500! My vet said the heart murmur could be nothing (I have a heart
murmur that's caused me no problems). On the other hand, it could be
something more involved.

My last cat, Al, died at the end of August. He had diabetes, asthma, and
hyperthyroidism. I spent thousands of dollars on his health care. But he
was fine up until he reached the age of 11 or so. Given my experience
with Al, I am more than a little reluctant to start incurring large
medical bills with a 1 year old cat I got a week ago.

It seems to me that the humane society's vet is incompetent. All he or
she had to do was listen to Charlie's chest to hear the murmur. If my
vet heard it, then their vet should have been able to hear it as well.


Not necessartily. If the exam was done while the cat was scared, the
rapid beating of the heart may have masked the murmur. Murmurs can
sometimes be hard to diagnose.


And to be honest, I would not have adopted Charlie had I known he had a
medical issue, at least not unless the humane society had certified that
the murmur was not serious. But they didn't do that.

I'm more than a little angry about this situation and have let the
humane society know about it. If their vet is not incompetent, then I'm
led to the conclusion that they purposely withheld information from me
about Charlie's medical condition.


Unlikely - the vet probably just missed it upon exam. Most Humane
Societies have a liberal return policy. If you are that upset about
this, take the cat back to the HS.

-L.

Please, I've heard enough of that from the Humane Society. There's a
difference between being frustrated and being mean. Charlie is not a
vacuum cleaner that I will return because something is wrong. I've
already become quite attached to him and vice versa. If it turns out
that he needs to be seen by a cardiologist, then I will see to it.

Rich
 




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