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Cardiomyopathy in Cats | How to Treat Cardiomyopathy

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Cardiomyopathy in Cats

There are two forms of cardiomyopathy in cats :

Dilated (the heart wall becomes thin) and hypertrophic (the heart wall thickens). The former has recently been linked to some cats’ need for larger amounts of taurine (an amino acid) or inefficient way of absorbing this nutrient from the gastrointestinal tract. The heart-muscle changes have been reversed by twice-daily giving 250 milligrams of taurine, which is available in health-food stores.

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Cardiomyopathy in Cats
credit – redwoodvet.com

The clinical signs of dilated cardiomyopathy in cats are lethargy, decreased appetite, and breathing difficulties. The cat with the hypertrophic form may display fainting, seizures, coughing, breathing difficulties, lethargy, or stroke-like signs – the inability to move the back legs, for example.

An echocardiogram (ultrasound) is the best procedure for diagnosing and differentiating the cardiomyopathies, because an electrocardiogram may appear normal. All cats over seven years of age should be checked for hyperthyroidism.

To help prevent the dilated form always use a well-known cat food that is supplemented with taurine. Do not use generic cat foods!

The following are some common diseases related to Cardiomyopathy in Cats.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) –

The disease is caused due to the enlargement of the chambers of the heart and weakening of the heart muscles. The weak heart muscles fail to pump out the blood completely from the heart and as a result of which the internal organs of the body are supplied with less quantity of blood.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in cats and Restrictive cardiomyopathy –

In the case of Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in cats or the HCM, the inward thickening of the heart muscles occurs Due to the thickening of the inward muscles the total volume of the blood holding capacity of the heart reduces. In Restrictive cardiomyopathy or RCM fibrosis or scarring of the heart, muscles take place resulting in less capacity of the heart to expand up to its normal range while pumping in and out of the blood.

Congestive heart failure –

The signs of congestive heart failure in cats consist of breathlessness and lethargy and loss of appetite. The coughing symptom of the disease is absent in cats though present in dogs. In cats, the symptoms of like breathlessness take place when due to prolonged heart illness a venous pressure is created. The venous pressure leads to the leaking of the heart fluid into the tissues of the lungs (pulmonary edema) and around the lungs (pleural effusion) which ultimately causes breathlessness and feeling of lethargy.

Thromboembolic disease –

The stasis of the heart occurs when the heart muscles no longer are able to pump in and out of the blood. Usually, in the left atrium, the clotting of blood or development of embolus leads to sudden obstruction of the hind limbs and the tail. The tail and the limbs become cold hard and painful when touched.

General Treatment for Cardiomyopathy in Cats

Tired-or-sick-brown-tabby-cat-lying-down
credit – catster.com
  • Prescribing diuretic drugs like frusemide which helps in draining out the liquid leaking into and around the lungs.
  • Prescribing of drubs that would help the smooth execution of the heart functions. Drugs like angiotensin-converting enzyme should be given to reduce the workload of the hear, Calcium channel blockers to relax the muscles of the heart and Beta-blockers in order to reduce the heartbeat rate if the heartbeat rate becomes excessively high.

Hypertension in cats is one of the primary reasons behind weak heart and drugs like amlodipine should be given to balancing the blood pressure.

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