Heart murmurs are found in felines from time to time and as a cat caregiver, it can be disturbing to find that your cat has a murmur. Feline heart murmurs are usually noticed during a physical examination when the veterinarian listens to your feline’s chest with a stethoscope.
A heart murmur happens when there is instability in the blood as it flows through the heart. The murmur is heard as a rushing or rustling sound that ensues during the regular cycle of the heart beat.
There are many different conditions that can cause a heart murmur in a cat. and some of these conditions are quite serious and can even be life-threatening for your cat while are nonthreatening and not related to disease.
Heart murmurs in felines can be related to congenital heart disease, such as stenosis, pulmonic or patent ductus arteriosus. Feline heart murmurs can also be associated with cardiomyopathies.
The heart murmur may be persistent, or always audible at the same degree of intensity, always sounding the same. Otherwise, a heart murmur in a feline may be forceful, changing in intensity from one period of time to the next.
It is imperative to know that the intensity or loudness of the heart murmur does not specify the severity of the disease.
Because the loudness of the heart murmur does not let us know whether the murmur is a result of serious disease or not, veterinarians rely on diagnostic testing to discover why the heart murmur exists.
In felines, heart murmurs are typically best evaluated with an echocardiogram .which is ultrasonic examination of the heart. It permits the veterinarian to evaluate the heart muscle, the separate chambers of the heart, the valves of the heart and additional critical structures within the heart.
Though some cat caretakers choose to wait and do nothing other than monitor their cat if the cat is acting normally, this is more than likely not a wise course of action. Cardiomyopathies and many of the other heart diseases that can cause a heart murmur can also cause severe and life-threatening symptoms very rapidly. In some cases, even sudden death may take place..
An echocardiogram can permit an accurate diagnosis as to whether the heart murmur is a threat for your cat. In many cases, it may be found that the murmur is benign and not dangerous. Nevertheless, the only way to know that for sure is with proper evaluation of the heart from your veterinarian.