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Hi All! I am brand new to this forum... this is my first post. I have 2 kitties, a brother and sister who are 1 1/2 years old. I am also owned by a greyhound and a golden retriever, and actually first posted this in the Off Topic section of a greyhound forum, and someone kindly directed me here. I will cut and paste my post now---

The kitties just went in on Sat for annual check up/shots.
They have to get rabies by law, so that we did. They are strictly indoor cats so the only other vaccine we get is distemper. I decided to get titers taken instead.
The blood drawing did not go well. Ended up having to completely sedate Moki. Chloe stayed awake for it but it was really terrifiying. First question, is the extra trauma involved with blood drawing worth the benefits of not getting the vaccine? Their veins are extremely thin and they had a lot of trouble with it- it took quite a while to fill a vile.

Second question.. They said that Chloe has a heart murmer. They want to do an X-Ray and echocardiogram. I read on the internet that the x-ray is not helpful in finding out the specifics of a hear murmur, and that it is best to have an ultrasound done. I called the vet and they said that the echocardiogram is the same as the ultrasound that I read about... is that true? Also, what is the difference between echocardiogram and EKG? I thought it was the same thing but read something that indicated otherwise...

I love my kitties very much... thanks in advance for your advice!
 

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First of all hi and welcome to the forum, the first question I really can't help with sorry. My first cat Spike, who sadly went missing, had a heart murmer, when we took him to the vet for a checkup after adopting him, the vet detected it, he said not to worry about it that it isn't really that serious in cats, he didn't do anything about it and Spike was an outdoor cat.
 

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titer testing and heart murmur

Hi, welcome to the forum!

Re titer testing instead of vaccines, I think it is worth doing, because too many vaccines can be very harmful. Most adult cats do not need anything except rabies as required by law. But it is reassuring to do a titer to make sure.

On the heart murmur, I always recommend having these worked up, if the cat is over 6 months old. If it's nothing, then you know it's nothing and you don't have to worry. If it is a problem, then you can start medication early. Most heart problems in cats are diagnosed late, after the cat has already gone into heart failure. At that point the prognosis is poor. So it's always better to catch these things early!

An echocardiogram is the same as an ultrasound. It uses a probe that sends out high frequency sound waves and creates a picture from the echoes that return through the body. It is the best test for heart disease because it a live picture in real time. The thickness of the heart walls, the stability of the valves, and the normality of the heartbeat can all be assessed with an echocardiogram. X-rays are generally not that helpful, and not really necessary if an echo is being done.

An EKG is an electrocardiogram, and it uses sensors attached to various parts of the body to read the electrical pattern coming from the heart. This is what you always see on the little monitors on ER that go "beep-beep-beep." It is entirely different from an echocardiogram and gives different information.

Hope this helps!

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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I'd be interested in what they say about Chloe's heart murmur. I have a cat Twinkie that has a slight one too but his sister Sugar doesn't have one. Let us know how it all goes! Good luck! :wink:
 
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