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Chronic Valvular Heart Disease in Cats

By: PetPlace Veterinarians

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Optimal treatment for your pet requires a combination of home and professional veterinary care. Follow-up can be critical. Administer prescribed medications as directed, and be certain to contact your veterinarian if you are experiencing problems treating your pet. Remember: Inability to medicate is a common reason for treatment failure. Follow-up veterinary care for valvular heart disease often includes the following recommendations:

  • Observe your cat's general activity level, appetite and interest. These are quality-of-life issues of importance to you and your cat.

  • Watch your cat for labored, rapid breathing or coughing.

  • If possible, learn to take a respiratory (breathing) rate when your cat is resting (ask your veterinarian about this). Schedule regular veterinary visits to monitor the condition.

  • Chest X-rays may be needed to monitor of your pet's response to therapy, especially when there is fluid accumulation in the chest cavity.

  • Blood samples should be checked periodically to monitor the effect of drugs on the kidneys and blood chemistries (such as potassium).

  • Arterial blood pressure measurements should be done periodically, especially if your cat is receiving diuretics (furosemide) or ACE inhibitors like enalapril or benazepril.

  • Of course, the precise follow-up depends on the severity of your cat's disease, response to therapy, your veterinarian's recommendations, as well as your own views.

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