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Cat Heart Disease
Cardiomyopathy (cat heart disease) is one of the most common causes of heart failure and heart disorders in cats. Involving damage to the feline heart muscles, cardiomyopathy can be genetic or non-genetic, affecting cats at any age and remaining asymptomatic until the disease has progressed to an advanced stage. Breeds prone to cat heart disease include Maine Coons, Persians, orange mixed breeds, and Ragdolls. However, all cats can suffer from cardiomyopathy regardless of their breed. At A Cat Hospital, our Henderson veterinarians advise all cat owners to make sure to bring in their cats for regular checkups, as this is the only way your veterinarian can diagnose a heart problem.
Cats can have a heart disorder but show no signs of the disease. This is why it is important for cat owners to make sure they take their cat at least once a year to their vet for a complete wellness check. In fact, some cats may never present symptoms of cat heart disease and suddenly suffer severe life-threatening health problems.
Heart murmurs, gallop rhythms and other heart rate abnormalities are indications a cat may have cardiomyopathy, which can only be detected by a vet. Vomiting, difficulty breathing, appetite loss, swollen abdomen, and fainting are also possible signs of feline heart disorders.
In most cases, the reason for heart disorders in cats remains unknown. Some cats are born with the heart condition, while others may develop it at any time throughout their lives. Some underlying causes for feline cardiomyopathy include hyperthyroidism, too much growth hormone in the bloodstream, hypertension, and taurine deficiency.
To determine if your cat is suffering from heart problems, your veterinarian conducts diagnostic tests such as blood tests, electrocardiograms, x-rays to examine changes in the size and shape of the heart.
Beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers to slow heart rate and decrease the demand for oxygen by the heart may be prescribed. ACE inhibitors that block activation of hormone-stimulating chemicals can also help manage feline heart disease.
Veterinarians are seeing more and more cases of heart disorders in cats due to breeding practices and unhealthy diets that do not provide cats with enough nutrients like taurine and protein. If you haven't had your cat tested for heart disease, call A Cat Hospital today at 702-454-4400 to schedule an appointment for diagnostic testing