Just like us humans, our feline counterparts can also suffer from heart disease. The fancy medical word for it is Cardiomyopathy. There are different types of feline heart disease however the most common type is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which is when the walls and ventricles of the heart become too thick for blood to pass through them.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is most often hereditery and breeds such as Persians, American shorthairs and oriental breeds are predisposed to the condition. You are able to get your cat tested at your vet or even purchase tests online also.
However you may not be so lucky to find out by testing prior to finding symptoms of the disease. Most cats usually develop the condition and start showing symptoms well after their kittenhood and into midlife but it can occur at any age.
The way this disease damages the heart is by the heart changing it’s structure due to the thickening of the walls and by doing this the way the heart works is changed. The muscles become less flexible and no longer allow the cavities to fill with blood or to push blood on efficiently.
Symptoms can cary depending on the cat and the severity of the condition. However a kitty with significant damage to the heart will show difficulty breathing, leg paralysis or strokes.
While there is no cure for feline heart disease as the changes made to the heart by the condition are permanent, there have been some advances in treatments by using ubiquinol and amino acids such as taurine, L-arginine and acetyl L-carnitine, which you can discuss with your vet.
Early diagnosis with proactive treatment can give your kitty the best chance at slowing the changes to the heart and maintain a great quality of life.
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