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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

we have a little Persian kitten who is now 5 months old. Hes seen a number of vets just for regular check ups and shots.
We've been told that he has a murmur, but at times it disappears. The vet said it seems to be there only when he is excited.

Today, he had the murmur and the vet heart it... However, 5mins later, it was gone, and he could no longer hear it.
He suggested we check again in 3-4 weeks, and maybe have an ECG or ultrasound done.

Anyone have any experience with heart murmurs in cats? From some quick research, it appears that it may not be a major problem since it comes and goes. However, he certainly does have one when he is excited.

At the moment, hes showing no symptoms at all.
Will it have any effect on his life expectancy? Both parents are in good health.

We are really stumped as to why it can be heard sometimes and not others?

Any ideas?
 

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Persians are prone to some heart problems. I know my exotic shorthair kittens were sounded twice before I was allowed to buy them to check for heart murmurs.

This is all I could find relating to murmurs:

Restrictive Cardiomyopathy (RCM),
Restrictive cardiomyopathy is a heart condition in Persian cats that causes the muscles to become stiff. Once the heart loses its elasticity, it is more difficult for the blood to be pumped to the body. This is commonly caused by scar tissue and heart muscle inflammation. In many cases, a murmur can be heard when the cat is examined.


I am not sure if this would be present in such a young kitten though, I am by no means an expert. In terms of life expectancy it depends on the grade of the murmur, and I would imagine your check up in a month will be able to help a lot more.
 

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A good person to PM about this problem is Kobster. Her kitty ninja has a heart defect. She has posted lots of info on how cats hearts work.
 

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Hi, it is actually quite common to have "Come and go" murmurs. My dog has one and has had it her whole life. Basically it means your kitty has a heart valve that doesn't work 100% all the time. The valves are like gates between the chambers of the heart that open and close as the heart pumps. One of your cats gates doesn't always close all the way meaning blood is leaking around it when the adjacent chamber contracts (causing a whooshing noise, this is what your vet is listening for) Because your cat has had one since he was a kitten, its likely a birth defect rather than an acquired disease.

As for how this will effect your cat long term, its hard to say. Some pets will be born with mild (grade I) murmurs and it will never cause them a moments trouble their whole lives. Others will do fine for years then suddenly they will decompensate, meaning the valve will totally fail leading to heart failure. How this will effect your cat depends on exactly what kind of murmur your kitty has. The only way to determine this is with a cadiac echo (ultrasound). This is an expensive test that I'm not sure I would do on a cat where you can't hear the murmur consistently (because you may not be able to see anything and it will all be for nothing) If it were me, I would wait until (if) it starts to be consistently heard or gets worse.

I hope this helps. I will try to find some visual for you.

Also, my dog was diagnosed with the murmur when I got her and she is now 12 years old and it remains completely unchanged, sometimes you hear it, sometimes you don't.
 

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Thank you Kobster...

I am a bit worried because apparently when you can hear it, its pretty obvious. One vet said its "pretty significant"... but at other times, they cant seem to hear it at all. Pretty weird no? It appears to be environment based...

Im hoping its a "physiological murmur' as described here:
Cats: cat heart murmur, echo cardiogram, heart specialist

Opinions?
 

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When I bought my Devon Rex girl I knew she had a grade 1 heart murmur. I wasn't particularly concerned, as I know it isn't always a problem. Had a friend who's cat had a grade 5 murmur and vet said it wouldn't live over a year, and it lived just over 15 years. My girl's murmur was up to grade 2 when she was 3 yrs., and recently had dental cleaning done, and it was still grade 2. Interesting thing tho under anesthetic the vet could hear no murmur at all, so said it was "transient", one of those sometime things. It's important to have any dental cleaning done, as any gingivitis or periodontal disease can affect the valves of the heart. Our girl's never shown any sign of a heart problem. She's 6 yrs. old now and very active, runs around, never pants. If after exertion, your kitty pants it's likely the sign of something more serious. Most cats that have a heart problem tend to self-limit their activity. All the best to you and your kitty.
 
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