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Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy in Cats

By: PetPlace Veterinarians

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Veterinary Care

Veterinary care should include diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause and help guide subsequent treatment recommendations.

Diagnosis

Diagnostic tests are needed to recognize HCM, and exclude other diseases, including:

  • Complete medical history and physical examination, including observation of the heart and lungs using a stethoscope

  • Chest X-rays

  • Echocardiogram (ultrasound exam of the heart) -a painless procedure in which a probe is held against the chest after clipping the hair for initial diagnosis and confirmation.

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG) -a tracing representing the heart's electrical action derived by amplification of the minutely small electrical impulses normally generated by the heart.

  • Blood tests to evaluate your cat and/or to monitor treatment.

    Treatment

    There is no recommended treatment for very mild cases with no symptoms, but regular follow-up visits to your vet are vital. There may be an initial hospital admission and possible stay for severe cases. Severe cases of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are life-threatening.

    Home Care

    Give medications as directed and regularly observe your cat's relaxed breathing rate. Learn to take the heart rate, record results and relay this information to your veterinarian regularly.

    Minimize stressful situations. Many cats may be best kept as indoor only pets.

    Preventive Care

    This disease is thought to be genetic; therefore, there is no preventative care. Cats affected with this condition should not be bred.

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