Heart Disease

Feline Heart Disease Care from New England Cat Care in Woodbridge, CT

Many Woodbridge, CT cat owners are surprised when their favorite feline receives a diagnosis of heart disease.  Cats are pros when it comes to masking their symptoms, making this disorder difficult to detect, according to our New England Cat Care in Woodbridge, CT veterinarians. Understanding the signs of this condition can help owners get prompt help for their cats.  The doctors at our New England Cat Care practice stress that early detection is the key to treating feline heart disease.

cat at the veterinarian

Overview of Heart Disease in Cats

Another name for heart disease in cats is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.  For many of the cats affected, the cause remains unknown.  However, our cat veterinarian notes that a predisposition and a genetic mutation are both recognized culprits.  Hypertension, hyperthyroidism or both can cause complications of this disorder.

Heart disease most often strikes cats between five and seven years old.  More males than females receive this diagnosis.  Cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy experience an abnormally thickened or enlarged muscle of the heart’s left ventricle. The most common symptoms of feline heart disease include:

  • Restlessness, particularly at night
  • Trouble breathing, shortness of breath, or rapid breathing
  • Bloated or swollen abdomen
  • Depression or signs of withdrawal or even isolation
  • Weakness or appearing less playful
  • Vomiting
  • Sudden loss of appetite
  • Blood clots that can affect the use of the hind legs
  • A weight loss or gain
  • Collapsing or fainting

Treatment from Our Cat Veterinarian

Our cat veterinarian diagnoses heart disease in cats after conducting a physical exam, reviewing the pet’s health history, and assessing any information about its genetic background.  Among the tools, we use to make a diagnosis are an electrocardiogram, radiography, echocardiography, blood pressure measurement, and blood testing for thyroid hormone levels.

Since some of these cats eventually develop congestive heart failure, hospitalization is not uncommon.  Our staff makes sure that each cat has a quiet, minimally stressful environment with oxygen therapy if needed.  Blankets help warm those with a low body temperature. We prescribe a number of heart disease medications:

  • Diltiazem
  • Ace inhibitors
  • Warfarin
  • Beta-blockers
  • Nitroglycerin ointment
  • Diuretics
  • Aspirin

Home care includes a sodium-restricted diet, lots of quiet, and careful monitoring for common symptoms.  Cats on warfarin need periodic lab testing and must avoid activities likely to cause injury.  Other medications also require monitoring via blood tests.  Periodic ultrasound exams determine a cat’s response to treatment.

Schedule an Appointment with Our New England Cat Care in Woodbridge, CT!

Our New England Cat Care practice treats only cats.  We love them and go above and beyond owners’ expectations in providing preventative, medical, and surgical care.  Take a moment to call us today at (203)-387-6369 to schedule your cat’s exam with our full-service Woodbridge, CT veterinarian.


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8:30 am-5:00 pm


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