Itchmo Forums for Cats & Dogs

Pet Health (not to be substituted for qualified vet advice) => Feline Heart Disease => Topic started by: julia on August 21, 2014, 03:23:02 PM

Title: HCM
Post by: julia on August 21, 2014, 03:23:02 PM
My roommate's cat has just been diagnosed with HCM. The cat's write up states that he has marked thickening of the heart muscle seen on the echocardiogram but his left atrial size is normal, which means predisposition for major complications of HCM are uncommon.

The doctor wants him to take atenolol for the rest of his life. My roommate is really reluctant to do that. We need feedback and advice please!

Here's the scoop. The cat (Prince) is about 7 years old, she's had him for 2 years. During that time his breathing at times would be a bit labored (when he got excited) but nothing too major. Two nights ago he may have had a seizure, we are not sure what really happened. We heard some loud noise and we found Prince stuck under the dresser. He looked a bit dazed but his eyes were open and right after he got up and walked away (one of his claws was torn, though and he was bleeding).
This episode prompted my roommate to call the vet and make an appointment (they said it sounded like a seizure). They took x rays and directed her to a cardiologist. The cardiologist is the one that diagnosed Prince with HCM.

Please post your opinions. We don't want to put him on meds unless absolutely necessary.

Title: Re: HCM
Post by: catmom5 on August 21, 2014, 06:54:27 PM
I would most definitely go with whatever the cardiologist feels is the best thing for Prince. I have cats with heart disease, and have had others in the past. One needed medication, but he had restrictive cardiomyopathy, not HCM. If you are happy with your cardiologist, then I would follow his advice. You could always ask for a second opinion, if you are unsure.

Good luck

Title: Re: HCM
Post by: Mandycat on August 21, 2014, 10:33:04 PM
There is not enough information given to make any judgments about the medication.  There are other considerations such as how much dysfunction  of the heart there is, whether there is an elevated blood pressure, and whether the heart rate is high.  Atenolol will lower BP and heart rate, so this has to be monitored.  Do some research on HCM and recommendations for treatment.  There are many good resources on-line to do that.  Then formulate some questions for the cardiologist so that he can explain his rationale for having the cat on this medication.  For sure some cats may need this, but sometimes the disease is mild enough to not require it immediately.  I don't think there is any one size fits all answer for you.  I'm sure the cardiologist will be honest about why the medication is needed and the risk involved if he does not take it.

This is but one of the many websites that discuss feline HCM, but I think it is one with a good explanation of the condition and treatment.

Title: Re: HCM
Post by: lesliek on August 22, 2014, 06:08:54 AM
Maybe you & your room mate should make an appt to talk to the cardiologist ? Do as Mandycat suggested and research 1st . Write down all your questions before you go and with 2 of you, less will be forgotten . No one wants to medicate if not necessary , but it could make a big difference if he needs it .

Title: Re: HCM
Post by: JustMe on August 22, 2014, 07:12:50 AM
Some good suggestions have been posted. A couple of my cats had been on Atenolol short term. One didn't need it after a short while.  Like MandyCat said, kitty needs to be monitored by a veterinarian if on Atenolol, blood pressure checks, etc. Glad your roommate was able to get kitty to a cardiologist. They should also teach you how to count kitty's heart rate.   Hope kitty improves very soon.

Title: Re: HCM
Post by: julia on August 22, 2014, 04:47:07 PM
I have forwarded this to my roommate. Thank you all for your advice :-)