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Cat Heart Disease
(Scientific Name: Feline Cardiomyopathy (CM))
(Feline)

 

Feline Cardiomyopathy (CM) describes a type of heart disease in cats. Our felines may develop many different types of cardiovascular disease; but cardiomyopathy is a kind of heart disease which specifically affects the heart muscle.  Once affected, the cat’s heart function is greatly compromised; either where the heart walls thicken (hypertrophic/restrictive) or where they become severely stretched (dilated). If left undetected and/or improperly treated, your feline could eventually die from heart failure.

Feline cardiomyopathy is broken down into four different categories: 

 

HYPERTROPHIC Cardiomyopathy is the most common cat heart disease. This is a condition where the walls of the left ventricle thicken and become stiff due to a heart muscle disorder.  This feline disease is inherited in Maine Coons, with males being affected more than females, and the dominant gene mutation has been characterized as the MYBPC3-A31P mutation. Genetic screening for this gene and a similar one in Ragdolls is available. British and American Shorthairs also suffer from an inherited form of the disease. Hyperthyroidism is another cause of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Diagnosis can begin from 3 months to 17 years; although most are diagnosed at middle age.  While many cats do not exhibit any symptoms; some experience difficulty breathing, weakness, collapse or the hind limbs becoming paralyzed. 

 

 

DILATED Cardiomyopathy is a disease that progressively causes the loss of the heart muscle’s ability to contract properly due to severely stretched heart walls.  When the heart has to struggle to pump effectively, it begins to enlarge causing circulation and reduced blood flow. One form of this disease is caused by a deficiency of taurine (an essential amino acid). Taurine supplementation will prevent this problem and most cat food now includes an appropriate amount of this essential amino acid. It can also improve the diseased heart, but must be given before the disease becomes too advanced in order to do the most good.

 

RESTRICTIVE Cardiomyopathy develops when one or both ventricles become stiff without the thickening of the muscle fibers.  With this stiffness, the ventricles can no longer fill up with blood between heartbeats.  A possible cause of this type of cardiomyopathy may be an unidentified inflammatory process within the heart muscle itself. Because the symptoms of restrictive cardiomyopathy are so similar to those of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an echocardiogram or cardiac catheterization performed by your veterinarian may be required to make a proper diagnosis.

 

UNCLASSIFIED Cardiomyopathy is a type of heart disease in cats where the abnormalities of the heart muscle are obvious on an ultrasound or with the use of echocardiography, but do not fit well into one specific category listed above.  The cause is not known.  There are still unknown causes of feline cardiomyopathy because we do not completely understand the origin of this disease.

 

SYMPTOMS: Symptoms of all forms of feline cardiomyopathies include difficulty breathing, loss of appetite, anorexia, lethargy and inactivity, fainting, coughing or gagging, muscular weakness, paralysis of limbs. The coughing may mimic asthma, but go away when the heart is treated. Clinical symptoms may also include a heart murmur or a pulse over 200. However, in some cases of this disease, there are no symptoms at all. 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS/SUPPLEMENTATION

 

If any symptoms listed above appear, it is important to see your veterinarian immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment.  Heart disease of any form can be deadly for your beloved feline. Diagnosis is generally made with a chest x-ray; however, in more

advanced cases of the disease, a sonogram, ultrasound or electrocardiogram (EKG) may be necessary.

 

Integrative Medicine

 

Not all animals can use all natural remedies; allergic reactions to oils
and/or herbs and digestive problems are possible.
A natural remedy is not a substitute for veterinary care.

 

The following nutraceuticals or natural/herbal formulas can also provide effective preventative treatment for your felines against cardiomyopathy. However, they must often be used along with one or more conventional drugs.'

 

» An herb known as Hawthorn contains cardio-tonic and anti-oxidant properties that support artery health and strength.

» Homeopathic Arnica montana, Kali phos and Calc fluor all help support healthy blood pressure and are also excellent for the heart and nervous system.

 

» Vitamin E in small doses can help decrease the tendency to form blood clots.

 

» Dandelion is a mild diuretic that may help at the beginning of heart disease.

 

Feline Cardiomyopathy
- Feline Products -

(Reference: Veterinarians’ Desk Reference)


(Live Link)

 

FORMULAS

DOSAGE

MECHANISM/PURPOSE

Bio-Cardio12

Cats: ½ capsule sid

Improves myocardial function; hawthorn may or may not be appropriate for cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Cardio-Support27

Cats: ½-1 scoop, sid (mixed w/ food)

Tonifies circulation, relaxes arteries, decreases heart rate, increases blood flow to heart, strengthens heart muscle.

CoQ30VET12

Cats: 1 capsule sid

Present in mitochondria; essential factor in ATP production. Greatest need in metabolically active cells such as the heart, gingiva, immune system, lacrimal glands, and gastric mucosa. Antioxidant and helps recycle vitamin E.

CoQ-10 ST26

Cats: 10-30 mg bid 

Present in mitochondria; essential factor in ATP production. Greatest need in metabolically active cells such as the heart, gingiva, immune system, lacrimal glands, and gastric mucosa. Antioxidant and helps recycle vitamin E.

CoQsol 30mg8

1 capsule per 30 lb

Present in mitochondria; essential factor in ATP production. Greatest need in metabolically active cells such as the heart, gingiva, immune system, lacrimal glands, and gastric mucosa. Antioxidant and helps recycle vitamin E.

Coleus Forskohlii12

Cats: 5-10 mg bid

Increases cyclic AMP.

L-CarnitineVET12

Cats: 1 capsule sid

Essential nutrient for cats with cardiomyopathy.

Super EPAVET12

Cats: 1 gelcap sid

Fish oil has been shown to decrease cytokines, cachexia.

TaurineVET12

Cats: 1 capsule sid

Essential nutrient for cats; deficiency may cause cardiomyopathy in cats since they do not make their own taurine.

 

To help you quickly find the right Integrative Medicine formulas and manufacturers to help treat your dogs, cats and horses, please refer to the Veterinarians’ Desk Reference
(Click Here)

 

(Always consult with your veterinarian to properly diagnose any health problems. Misdiagnosis and/or mistreatment -- including OTC and/or homeopathic products -- can lead to dangerous complications.)

 

 

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