Welcome to Sphynxlair! Connect with Sphynx owners & enthusiasts around the world!

Heart Murmur :(

onyxandkristen

Lairian
Joined
May 5, 2019
Messages
25
Points
24
Hi there, i just finished my routine appointment for my 4 year old Sphynx Onyx. Wasnt the greatest of appointments. My vet told me she heard a murmur while doing his exam. Onyx was very unhappy and was the most stressed ive ever seen him. ( im hoping this is why she heard a murmur). I am going back in two weeks so she could do a better exam (with some mild sedative) so she can properly hear and exam him. She said it could be the start of HCM but cant rule anything out yet. I have been crying the entire night as this is the last thing i would have wanted for him. He still eats fine, has lots of energy and id never assume anything was wrong with him. Im writing this as i know HCM is often common with Sphynx cats. I got him from a very good breeder and this just crushed me :(
Can he have a heart murmur without HCM?
Is a Heart murmur going to affect his overall life span? Idk what to do moving forward
 

Beckinboots

V.I.P Lairian
V.I.P Lairian
Joined
Dec 22, 2018
Messages
1,821
Points
318
I'm sorry the appointment wasn't the best and you're worried. I don't have any experience with HCM, thank goodness, but one of my cats (not a sphynx) had a very serious heart murmur. He was born with it and the vet told us he wouldn't have a long life but we lost him 2 years ago at 15 years old. It never stopped him from doing anything and he was really happy. I hope Onyx's murmur was just stress related, but if it is something else then you'll get plenty of good advice on here. Fingers crossed for you both.
 

Catzzzmeow

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 16, 2011
Messages
32,944
Points
673
I'm sorry the appointment wasn't the best and you're worried. I don't have any experience with HCM, thank goodness, but one of my cats (not a sphynx) had a very serious heart murmur. He was born with it and the vet told us he wouldn't have a long life but we lost him 2 years ago at 15 years old. It never stopped him from doing anything and he was really happy. I hope Onyx's murmur was just stress related, but if it is something else then you'll get plenty of good advice on here. Fingers crossed for you both.

Sorry to hear how stressed you are. I would definitely schedule to have an echocardiogram done. It is truly the only way to see if HCM is the issue. Catching it early is great and meds can definitely help most. Unfortunately even the best breeders are not free from heart disease and heart disease is the leading cause of death in all cats.

We had a boy that had a heart murmur all of his life, so yes, murmurs can simply be that and yes stress can cause a vet to hear a murmur. If your vet had never heard a murmur before, it might be why they want to dig in further.

Did your vet give you the grade of murmur they heard ? This might be helpful Grades of a murmur and what they mean

We are here for you. If you have any questions feel free to ask. Some of us have personal experience dealing with HCM. Just remember if it comes back that they do have HCM remember your baby knows nothing but your love and is living a wonderful life in the moment. @onyxandkristen
 

onyxandkristen

Lairian
Joined
May 5, 2019
Messages
25
Points
24
Sorry to hear how stressed you are. I would definitely schedule to have an echocardiogram done. It is truly the only way to see if HCM is the issue. Catching it early is great and meds can definitely help most. Unfortunately even the best breeders are not free from heart disease and heart disease is the leading cause of death in all cats.

We had a boy that had a heart murmur all of his life, so yes, murmurs can simply be that and yes stress can cause a vet to hear a murmur. If your vet had never heard a murmur before, it might be why they want to dig in further.

Did your vet give you the grade of murmur they heard ? This might be helpful Grades of a murmur and what they mean

We are here for you. If you have any questions feel free to ask. Some of us have personal experience dealing with HCM. Just remember if it comes back that they do have HCM remember your baby knows nothing but your love and is living a wonderful life in the moment. @onyxandkristen
Hi there! I just wanted to post an update. So i had a mobile vet come in to check out Onyx. I chose to opt for mobile as he's more comfortable in his own home. The mobile vet did Hear a murmur but only occasionally he said it comes and goes. He graded it about a 2 maybe a 3. I scheduled onyx to get an ultrasound down on his heart next Wednesday. Im hoping for no HCM but the vet did assure me that even if he does have a heart condition he can live a long and healthy life on medication.
I am hopeful it isn't HCM and he just has a murmur but this journey has been tough and its upsetting because he is only 4 years old :(.
I want nothing but the best for him and i feel as if i failed him as his mon :( i also contacted his breeder and she said there was no HCM in both of Onyx’s parents :(
 

Catzzzmeow

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 16, 2011
Messages
32,944
Points
673
I am sending positive vibes and will be looking for your update. Kudos to you for setting up appointments quickly.
 

Yoda mom

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
23,442
Points
653
@onyxandkristen , you are the bestest mum. kudos to you for the home check and follow up scheduled. my 2 boys my vet heard a heart murmur. both at 2 yrs old. recheck no murmur (vet said probably from stress with Toby is 9 and a wild child doing good. Yoda had a grade 2 and lived a long happy life double digits.

Onyx has no idea if he has something going on inside. the echo is the best to do. vets grading by just listening is subjective as my vet told me.

many kitties live long happy lives and some put on meds.

we are here for you.. I know how scary it is.

hugs n positive vibe head smooches. all paws crossed for Onyx. following closely for updates. all paws are family.
you are the bestest mum!
 

onyxandkristen

Lairian
Joined
May 5, 2019
Messages
25
Points
24
Hi there! I just wanted to post an update. So i had a mobile vet come in to check out Onyx. I chose to opt for mobile as he's more comfortable in his own home. The mobile vet did Hear a murmur but only occasionally he said it comes and goes. He graded it about a 2 maybe a 3. I scheduled onyx to get an ultrasound down on his heart next Wednesday. Im hoping for no HCM but the vet did assure me that even if he does have a heart condition he can live a long and healthy life on medication.
I am hopeful it isn't HCM and he just has a murmur but this journey has been tough and its upsetting because he is only 4 years old :(.
I want nothing but the best for him and i feel as if i failed him as his mon :( i also contacted his breeder and she said there was no HCM in both of Onyx’s parents :(
Hi everyone, i just thought id do an update as i got my final answer with Onyx’s health. After doing the echocardiogram it has unfortunately came back that onyx does have HCM. This is of course worst case scenario for me as im sure it is for alot of Sphynx owners. For the Ultrasound Vet and my Vet reassured me that it is mild, we did catch it early and that they are both hopeful that the medication is very effective and that onyx can live a normal and happy life. Im going to start him on the medication tomorrow and they want me to keep a log of his bpm (theyre going to teach me how) she also advised me to have a mobile vet come out and do a check on onyx heart rate and blood pressure once a month for 3 months and then do a checkup every 6 months, she also advised me to do yearly ultrasounds. She said other than what looks to be hcm on the left ventricle onyx’s heart looks good other wise. They are both positive the medication will help. Unfortunately this is not the news i wanted to hear and im honestly very scared and worried about this journey :( im hoping those with experience with HCM can help me out as i feel so lost and worried for my poor baby :(
 

nudebea

Senior Lairian
Senior Lairian
Joined
Sep 14, 2014
Messages
812
Points
148
Very sorry to hear of Onyx's diagnosis. Your feelings are totally understandable and I can relate to them as , unfortunately, my Wilson who is so very much loved and adored, had the same diagnosis in 2021 although at the time he was 7 years old it still came as a shock , out of the blue as he showed no symptoms up until that moment( he did collapse and the condition was probably more advanced). It was a real roller coaster ride . But, almost 2 yrs on and having managed to find the right meds and dosages that suit him he has a great quality of life and now , at 9 yrs old, still behaves like a 9 month old. We go for regular scans , ECGs etc and although we accept there is not a cure, things appear stable Right now everything will feel so raw and you will still be coming to terms with the diagnosis. It may take a while but you will learn to live with this situation (I know you naturally don't want this and wish everything would be back to "normal") Your vet sounds optimistic too. Sending positive vibes for you and Onyx, hang on in there xxx
 

Beckinboots

V.I.P Lairian
V.I.P Lairian
Joined
Dec 22, 2018
Messages
1,821
Points
318
I'm sorry the diagnosis wasn't what you were hoping for, but I'm glad to hear the vet is optimistic about treatment. Wishing you and Onyx all the best on your unexpected journey through HCM together.
 

Catzzzmeow

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 16, 2011
Messages
32,944
Points
673
It always comes as a shock hearing the news. The best advice I can give is take a couple of days to let it set in and then get back to enjoying every day with your baby. Don’t let this rob you of your joy. Onyx knows nothing but your love and that is everything. We lost a girl to a different form of heart disease and she lived well beyond what they expected. We have a girl with HCM and again because we got it early, she has exceeded expectations of being with us and falls within the guidelines of life expectancy for the breed. I check her breathing rate a few times a day while she is sleeping just knowing that is the first way to catch any distress. You can buy a stethoscope on Amazon for under $25 if that helps you with checking bpm quickly. What medication has been prescribed?

We are here for you and know none of us are alone…I know the fear but I also know the joy of my babies will always outweigh any other emotion. @onyxandkristen
 

wesleydeman

Lairian
Joined
Dec 6, 2022
Messages
47
Points
34
First of all, I'm very sorry to hear about Onyx having HCM. But it's great that it's known early on and he goes on medicine.

My past boy had HCM, which I caught way too late when he was about 8.5 years old. On december 30th 2021 during the evening I noticed out of nowhere he was just starting staring in front of him, breathing & coughing weird and feeling cold at his ears. So I went to emergency care right away close to midnight. He went on oxygen there and got medicine to get fluids outside of his lungs. Based on the symptons they told me had HCM, few days later they confirmed he had HCM with a heart scan, where they also took me in to show that one of his heart chambers was I think about 3 times as big.

I had to put my boy on medicine to get rid of fluid build-ups so his heart didn't had to work as hard, and check his breating every day when he was sleeping. I had to do it while he was sleeping, since he was the most at ease, they told me to check his belly going in and out. The vet told me his breathings should be around 20 to 40 breaths per minute. And when it seemed to increase, I should give him some extra medicine and call the vet. Unfortunately I knew way too late that my boy had HCM. So he sadly passed away 3 months later. But during those 3 months while on medicine he was very active and loving, till the moment he was gone.

Since you caught it early that Onyx has HCM, he can have a very good life indeed while on medicine. My advice would be to keep loving him, and do stuff like normal. I know it's hard, it was really hard for me too. I was worrying everyday in the first few weeks. But my boy just wanted to love and play like normal. But ofcouse checking his breathing now and then and logging it, is indeed a very good idea. This will allow you to notice abnormalities and act as soon as possible.

Sadly, this experience with my boy resulted in me to learn quite a bit about HCM and Sphynx's. I got my past boy with some luck, as I lived in the same house with the previous owner when he got him as a kitten. But the boy really bonded with me, and he came with me when I moved out. So I was quite ignorant about HCM and Sphynx's, which I really really regret now, and deep down I still blame myself sometimes for the situation. I did have cats my whole life but never a breed, mostly just cats from shelters. During those first weeks when het got diagnosed with HCM, I though back and realized that sometimes when he was younger he had simimilar symptons. But very very midly and not too often, which resulted in me back then not worrying. Nowadays with my current boy and girl, I think I sometimes worry too much. And go to the vet when not needed. But I rather go when not needed, than to not go when needed.

I'm willing to share some video's from when I noticed that something was really bad at the 30th of december in 2021, which I took just in case I tought I would need to go to the vet, which I indeed did. These are video's just before he went to the emergency care. Maybe the video's can inform you about sounds cats make when they have trouble because of HCM. These video's are ofcourse in a very advanced stage of HCM, but nonetheless I think they can be valuable information, even though not to nice to watch. It's a bit painfull to revisit those video's and share them, but I'm very willing to inform/help a fellow Sphynx owner. If you want to see the video's, just tell me.
 
Last edited:

Yoda mom

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
23,442
Points
653
@onyxandkristen , hugs n head smooches, we are here for you. I am saddened for the hcm diagnosis . been there I know the initial gut punch.

after the initial shock, I kissed his head and told him we got this. I got into the routine of meds and my baby had no idea what was going on inside, and we enjoyed every day like he didnt have the diagnosis and had a good life

so glad you caught it early and vet said it is mild. let us know what meds prescribed for Onyx.

here for you every step of the way. you got this. sounds like you have a great vet and follow up going forward and keeping a journal
 

onyxandkristen

Lairian
Joined
May 5, 2019
Messages
25
Points
24
@onyxandkristen , hugs n head smooches, we are here for you. I am saddened for the hcm diagnosis . been there I know the initial gut punch.

after the initial shock, I kissed his head and told him we got this. I got into the routine of meds and my baby had no idea what was going on inside, and we enjoyed every day like he didnt have the diagnosis and had a good life

so glad you caught it early and vet said it is mild. let us know what meds prescribed for Onyx.

here for you every step of the way. you got this. sounds like you have a great vet and follow up going forward and keeping a journal
Hi there thank you so much for the support im in tears reading all the replies. They prescribed onyx to take 1/4 of Atenolol once a day. I also started giving him fish oil and coQ10 supplements. They also advised me to check his breathing. Ive been doing that 3 times a day when he’s sleeping. So far he has no symptoms but I know it can advance in the future :(
 

onyxandkristen

Lairian
Joined
May 5, 2019
Messages
25
Points
24
First of all, I'm very sorry to hear about Onyx having HCM. But it's great that it's known early on and he goes on medicine.

My past boy had HCM, which I caught way too late when he was about 8.5 years old. On december 30th 2021 during the evening I noticed out of nowhere he was just starting staring in front of him, breathing & coughing weird and feeling cold at his ears. So I went to emergency care right away close to midnight. He went on oxygen there and got medicine to get fluids outside of his lungs. Based on the symptons they told me had HCM, few days later they confirmed he had HCM with a heart scan, where they also took me in to show that one of his heart chambers was I think about 3 times as big.

I had to put my boy on medicine to get rid of fluid build-ups so his heart didn't had to work as hard, and check his breating every day when he was sleeping. I had to do it while he was sleeping, since he was the most at ease, they told me to check his belly going in and out. The vet told me his breathings should be around 20 to 40 breaths per minute. And when it seemed to increase, I should give him some extra medicine and call the vet. Unfortunately I knew way too late that my boy had HCM. So he sadly passed away 3 months later. But during those 3 months while on medicine he was very active and loving, till the moment he was gone.

Since you caught it early that Onyx has HCM, he can have a very good life indeed while on medicine. My advice would be to keep loving him, and do stuff like normal. I know it's hard, it was really hard for me too. I was worrying everyday in the first few weeks. But my boy just wanted to love and play like normal. But ofcouse checking his breathing now and then and logging it, is indeed a very good idea. This will allow you to notice abnormalities and act as soon as possible.

Sadly, this experience with my boy resulted in me to learn quite a bit about HCM and Sphynx's. I got my past boy with some luck, as I lived in the same house with the previous owner when he got him as a kitten. But the boy really bonded with me, and he came with me when I moved out. So I was quite ignorant about HCM and Sphynx's, which I really really regret now, and deep down I still blame myself sometimes for the situation. I did have cats my whole life but never a breed, mostly just cats from shelters. During those first weeks when het got diagnosed with HCM, I though back and realized that sometimes when he was younger he had simimilar symptons. But very very midly and not too often, which resulted in me back then not worrying. Nowadays with my current boy and girl, I think I sometimes worry too much. And go to the vet when not needed. But I rather go when not needed, than to not go when needed.

I'm willing to share some video's from when I noticed that something was really bad at the 30th of december in 2021, which I took just in case I tought I would need to go to the vet, which I indeed did. These are video's just before he went to the emergency care. Maybe the video's can inform you about sounds cats make when they have trouble because of HCM. These video's are ofcourse in a very advanced stage of HCM, but nonetheless I think they can be valuable information, even though not to nice to watch. It's a bit painfull to revisit those video's and share them, but I'm very willing to inform/help a fellow Sphynx owner. If you want to see the video's, just tell me.
Hi there thank you so much for your response. I would love to see the video so i know what to watch out for i think that would be incredibly helpful. I can only imagine how hard it is for you to see the videos but you did your absolute best for your naked baby❤️
 

onyxandkristen

Lairian
Joined
May 5, 2019
Messages
25
Points
24
@onyxandkristen , hugs n head smooches, we are here for you. I am saddened for the hcm diagnosis . been there I know the initial gut punch.

after the initial shock, I kissed his head and told him we got this. I got into the routine of meds and my baby had no idea what was going on inside, and we enjoyed every day like he didnt have the diagnosis and had a good life

so glad you caught it early and vet said it is mild. let us know what meds prescribed for Onyx.

here for you every step of the way. you got this. sounds like you have a great vet and follow up going forward and keeping a journal
Hi there thank you so much for your response! This makes me hopeful that i can provide onyx with the best life possible. The vet prescribed onyx 1/4 of atenolol once daily. I also started giving him fish oil and CoQ10 supplements to help keep his heart healthy.
 

onyxandkristen

Lairian
Joined
May 5, 2019
Messages
25
Points
24
It always comes as a shock hearing the news. The best advice I can give is take a couple of days to let it set in and then get back to enjoying every day with your baby. Don’t let this rob you of your joy. Onyx knows nothing but your love and that is everything. We lost a girl to a different form of heart disease and she lived well beyond what they expected. We have a girl with HCM and again because we got it early, she has exceeded expectations of being with us and falls within the guidelines of life expectancy for the breed. I check her breathing rate a few times a day while she is sleeping just knowing that is the first way to catch any distress. You can buy a stethoscope on Amazon for under $25 if that helps you with checking bpm quickly. What medication has been prescribed?

We are here for you and know none of us are alone…I know the fear but I also know the joy of my babies will always outweigh any other emotion. @onyxandkristen
Hi there thank you so much for your response! I have a stethoscope at home actually! The vet prescribed me 1/4 of atenolol once daily and to keep a log of his breathing rate. I also started giving him fish oil and CoQ10 supplements
 

wesleydeman

Lairian
Joined
Dec 6, 2022
Messages
47
Points
34
Hi there thank you so much for your response. I would love to see the video so i know what to watch out for i think that would be incredibly helpful. I can only imagine how hard it is for you to see the videos but you did your absolute best for your naked baby❤️
Okay, here they are. First video Stan started to cough for a short amount of time. At that time I thought maybe he had something in his throat from eating or something. Since after that he seemed totally fine, and started to do his normal thing again. But 23 minutes later he started to cough louder, longer and moving his head way more, that's the second video. The third video is about 30/45 minutes later after the second video, where he just started to stare, looked sick and was breathing more heavy than normal. Shortly after that video, I called emergency care right away and went to the emergency animal hospital.





 
Top