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Good news about heart murmurs and HCM

Nofuratu

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Some of you know we have cats with HCM...

We just took Count Von Count for his 2nd echocardiogram, a year after his diagnosis. He has been on the minimum dose of Atenolol once a day for a year now and his echo results were great news! His HCM has stayed completely the same! No enlargement or changes. He originally had a poor prognosis because he was diagnosed with HCM at only 1yr of age and had a significant murmur.
We put Count, and our other HCM positive cat, Nofuratu, on Atenolol early after hearing great things from friends who put their cats on it early. It is a debatable theory of course, but so far it is working for us!

Also our new kitten Renfield, who just turned 1yr old had a grade 3, right sided, systolic murmur detected recently. He is Count's brother, so we were concerned about HCM of course. (His breeder stopped breeding those parents after Count's diagnosis) His echocardiogram showed he is completely clear of heart disease! He, like many cats, gets a murmur when his heart speeds up at the vet. Thought this would be good news to those of you who have cats with murmurs and are worrying about HCM. You still need to get an echocardiogram (by a board certified cardiologist, not a regular vet or radiologist) to rule it out, but a murmur does not mean horrible news all the time. Make sure, even if you do not continue to vaccinate your cat, you get a yearly check up and have your cat's heart listened to! Renfield has pet insurance so his yearly echocardiograms are covered 80%. So consider pet insurance before you hear a murmur.

I would like to add that those of you looking for breeders should find a breeder with an HCM guarantee of more than one year! No breeder can guarantee HCM won't happen. It happens to good breeders. But good breeders will have a health guarantee against HCM, which means they are confident with their lineage and prepared to deal with what will happen to most breeders eventually, if you breed cats long enough.....it is a common cat disease. A 1yr HCM guarantee is almost useless since most cats get diagnosed after 1yr of age. A 3 or 5 yr HCM guarantee is a sign of a good breeder. The guarantee is usually another kitten from different parents (you still keep your HCM positive cat) or a full refund minus vet bills. If your potential breeder does not have a HCM guarantee, beware!
Hope some of this info helps some of you and if anyone has questions, I am happy to answer!
 

zoinks

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Thank you, this is comforting to hear.

Our Alfie just got diagnosed with both yesterday at 1 yr old too.

The cardiologist hasn't started him on any medication yet though. I will ask him about this at our next appt.
 

1sphynxlover

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Glad to hear the good news. This was a great post. It was very informative.
 

ZiggyStardust

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Great news! We just got our own with Ash, that he is once again unchanged from last - which now makes it 2 years he's been stable and 5 years since first diagnosis. I am one of those people who would recommend Atenolol, even early.
 

Xandria

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Congrats on your babies! Great info and advice. Thank you so much. I'm just looking for breeders now and it's scary business!
 

Embracing-Joyx4

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Great info you shared.
Glad your babies are doing well.
I'm having a hard time getting a cardiologist to see my kitties .
 
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