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Owner's Guide to Heart Disease in Cats

Heart disease in cats is a relatively common condition. It can be very difficult to detect in early stages since most common exhibit no symptoms. Felines of any age or breed are at risk for developing heart problems. So, what are some of the most common types?


There are three main types of feline heart disease. They include restrictive, dilative, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Dilative cardiomyopathy is a condition in which the muscular walls of the heart become thinner and weaker. The hypertrophic variety is characterized by the walls become more rigid and thicker. The restrictive type is less common and occurs when the walls are progressively replaced by scar tissue.


Feline heart disease can be fatal quickly and suddenly since cats usually experience no symptoms early on. When signs do appear, they may be very subtle and hard to notice if you're not paying close attention. Common symptoms include difficulty breathing, vomiting, loss of appetite, and breathing with an open mouth. More severe signs include paralysis, fainting, and sudden death.


Most vets usually only find something wrong with your cat's heart during routine examinations. A heart murmur could suggest that your cat may be having problems with his heart. A variety of tests will likely be done including chest x-rays, echocardiograms, and electrocardiograms. An echocardiogram is one of the more useful tests for determining exactly what problems exist if any.


Heart disease in cats can usually be controlled effectively as long as the heart hasn't started to fail already. Treatment include administering diuretics to remove excess fluid so that the heart doesn't have to work as hard. If your cat has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, he will need to take calcium channel blockers to reduce the stiffness of the muscular walls.

Vasodilators are medications that lower blood pressure. This also helps reduce the heart's workload. Other common medications used to treat this condition are aspirin and betablockers.

Heart disease in cats is a very serious condition. However, there are many other illnesses that can affect your cat such as feline panleukopenia. Luckily, provides all of the information you need to learn about these illnesses. So, stop by today to read up on some of these common cat diseases.

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