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Curious about feline cardiac disease?

There are various types of feline cardiomyopathies; the most common is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). This condition is characterized by thickening of the ventricles and can result in congestive heart failure

Purebred cats, such as Maine Coons, are predisposed to HCM

Symptoms can range from subtle (such as exercise intolerance) to very severe (such as difficulty breathing, vocalizing, painful/paralyzed hind legs). The majority of cats with HCM have clinical signs on their physical exam such as a murmur, arrhythmia or gallop rhythm. Therefore, it’s important to bring your cat in for routine check-ups so your veterinarian can screen for these clinical signs on physical exams!

There are also congenital cardiac diseases such as ventricular septal defects and valvular disease but these are not as common as they are in dogs

In urgent situations, it can be difficult to distinguish feline cardiac disease from respiratory disease.A newer diagnostic test, proBNP, which is a point-of-care blood test, and lung ultrasound can help differentiate between these causes.


1)Veterinary Partner.

2)Tilley, L. P., & Smith, F. W. (2005). The 5-minute veterinary consult: Canine and feline. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

3)Yin, S. A. (2010). The small animal veterinary nerdbook. Davis, CA: CattleDog Pub.

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