Heart murmurs are actually abnormal cardiac sounds caused by a disruption in blood flow inside the heart. In cats, heart murmurs can also be an indication of a more serious underlying condition that requires timely medical intervention. Although any cat can experience feline heart murmurs, breed plays an important determining factor. Certain cat breeds like Maine Coon, Persian, Ragdoll, Sphynx, and Devon Rex are more susceptible to developing heart murmurs in their lifetime.
While heart murmurs can be the result of a potential underlying cause, it can also be completely normal and innocuous. Such heart murmurs are referred to as ‘physiologic’. However, problems with the structure of the heart can also give rise to ‘pathologic’ heart murmurs. Veterinarians use a six-point grading scale to measure the degree of severity with Grade I murmurs being the least severe, and Grade VI being the loudest and the most severe.
Possible signs of heart murmurs in your cat can be :
Abnormal or congested breathing.
Rapid or difficult breathing.
Loss of appetite (anorexia)
Your veterinarian can diagnose feline heart murmurs through a series of blood tests.
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