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          Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy                              (HCM)                                                     


HCM is a disease that causes thickening of the heart muscle resulting in poor relaxing and filling ability.


As the heart’s pumping chamber (ventricle) becomes progressively thicker, less blood can enter the chamber; thus, less blood is ejected out to the body.


The cause of HCM is unknown, although certain breeds of cats appear to be predisposed. Middle-aged male cats may be more commonly affected.


Sometimes heart muscle thickening similar to HCM can develop secondary to other disorders such as hyperthyroidism (elevated thyroid hormone) and systemic hypertension

(elevated blood pressure).


Blood pressure measurement and, in cats over five years of age,

a blood thyroid hormone test should be done to exclude these secondary causes when cardiac hypertrophy (thickening) is diagnosed.


Some pets show no sign of illness, especially early in the disease. In other cases, signs of left-sided congestive heart failure (fluid accumulation in the lung) may occur.


These signs include lethargy, decreased activity level, rapid and/or labored breathing and possibly open mouth breathing with excitement or exercise.


Sometimes left and right-sided congestive heart failure develop with fluid accumulation inside the chest or abdominal cavity causing greater respiratory (breathing) effort and abdominal distention.


Once fluid accumulations have occurred, clinical heart failure is present and aggressive medical therapy should be sought.


Other signs of this disease can include sudden weakness, collapsing episodes, and unfortunately even sudden death due to disturbances in heart rhythm.


In some cats with a very large heart chamber (i.e. left atrium) a blood clot may form and if it enters the circulation may cause weakness or paralysis (usually of the rear legs).


If this occurs, contact your veterinarian right away to determine if complications related to heart disease (or another disease)

are present.


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The Woman's Touch

Furnace Lane





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If you have any queries or wish to make an appointment, please contact me:


Cherry Stokes-Harrell


Mobile;  07713315767




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