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9 week old kitten has grade 2 heart murmur

I have a 9 week old kitten which has been diagnosed with a heart murmur (grade 2). The vet is suggesting that it is a very uncommon condition but I have heard that sometimes they can be caused by real problems eg congenital defect or just because the kitten is stressed going to the vets and the vet is hearing turbulence in the blood going through the heart, as the heart is so small. I also read that they can self heal after time ( a few weeks).

When I asked which was more likely the vet said he had known only a handful of kittens in his 35 year career with heart murmurs and so a percentage chance of which was more likely was impossible to say.

He is also talking about having x rays and ultrasound scans which sounds expensive.
11 Responses
874521 tn?1424116797
COMMUNITY LEADER
spyda I sent you the link, as I explained I wanted you to read the part abt 'asymptomatic cats and murmurs' asmptomatic meaning NO symptoms...that great she is showing no shortness of breath or other signs of heart disease. read the link that was in the site I sent you again and you will see why I sent it too you, quote: "turbulent heart flow can come from stress or even compression from the stethoscope on the little chest"   NOT necessarily HCM, I wanted to rest some of your fears not make them worse -(
IMO I wouldn't worry abt it unless she does begin showing symptoms as she ages....good luck♥

DIAGNOSIS: ASYMPTOMATIC CATS AND MURMURS

A heart murmur is simply the sound generated by turbulent blood flow. While turbulent blood flow can come from heart disease in cats, it can also come from anxiety or even compression of the chest from the stethoscope. This makes interpretation of a heart murmur in an apparently healthy cat difficult. Does the cat have latent heart disease or no disease at all? Numerous studies looking at cats with heart murmurs and with HCM have been conducted and are difficult to interpret for numerous factors (different criteria for the definition of HCM, circumstances under which murmurs were heard etc.) It is not clear what percentage of apparently healthy cats are hiding HCM. Not all cats with HCM will have murmurs and certainly not all cats with murmurs will have HCM (or any other heart disease).
874521 tn?1424116797
COMMUNITY LEADER
hi and welcome to our forum, first off we are not Vets on this site only cat parents, so the opinions we give our only from our own experience or reading.

I'm sorry for the you're baby, I would like to ask you what symptoms the kitten was showing BEFORE the diagnosis? was he/she asymptomatic and the diagnosis made b/c of the what the Vet was hearing?

If the kitten was showing NO symptoms and is otherwise healthy than IMO I would wait and see if he/she develops any with age....yes it could be nothing or it could be congenital in any case testing is expensive. are you financially prepared for this?

I will give you a site to read through, that explains more of what is possibly happening. particularly down to the heading 'diagnosis asymptomatic cats and murmurs.'
- it does suggest that a study has shown 1 in 5 cats have heart murmurs, but perhaps not usually seen in a kitten, this can even be the result of a Vet pressing the stethoscope a little hard on one so small..... good luck. please keep us updated.
copy and paste the following site.

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_feline_hypertrophic_cardiomyop.html
Avatar universal
Thanks opus for your message. I haven't noticed anything different about her than usual in a normal kitten. She certainly hasn't been short of breath. She eats well and is growing well being 1286g now.

I used your link & found it was a link about HCM which was rather alarming. I thought she just had a very minor heart murmur at worst not heat disease.
Avatar universal
Sorry Opus. I just panicked I guess as I am already a tad worried. I didn't read thoroughly and couldn't see the wood for the trees.

My kitten was rather stressed by the car journey to get to the vets so that is possibly the case. The only way for sure is to wait. Thank you for allaying my worries. :)
1217293 tn?1467354344
I got a kitten when he was about 6 weeks old from a girl who had found his litter just after his moma gave birth.  Took him to the vet,she told me he had a heart murmur and I if paid for him to take him back.  We felt insulted, we were already loved him and I felt that we would just wait and see what happens. His year check up, the vet said she could still hear it, but he was already full grown and happy.  At his second year check up, she said he had out grown it! It is a very beautiful healthy cat and I am glad I read all of the internet that most times they are fine and will out grow it or scared at the time of appt. like you were thinking about your cat. Just love your kitty and watch how much your kitty grows!
Avatar universal
Thanks Risa, that is very reassuring. She is such a happy kitten, so affectionate and very beautiful. I suppose though I may be biased. I keep looking to see if she is out of breath after an energetic play or a charging a round moment. She isn't, just normal.
Avatar universal
I took her to a different vet yesterday. The journey there was a lot less stressful and when we got there there weren't any dogs which was a problem the 1st time.

This vet told me that she couldn't hear a heart murmur at all. She took a very long time to examine her to make sure, well over 5 mins. My girl was sniffing at lot at all the smells there which apparently sounds similar.

I feel a lot better now and sure that she will be fine. Whether she had a heart murmur in the 1st place or that that sometimes stress can cause a kitten's blood to be coursing through her so it sounds like it, or she was sniffing before and the other vet didn't know that. She hasn't got one now. So all good. Thank you to Opus and Risa who answered my queries.
1217293 tn?1467354344
So glad you feel better and your little girl is doing great! Hurray!!!
Risa
874521 tn?1424116797
COMMUNITY LEADER
Great news!!!!!!
Avatar universal
Thank you. I am very relieved.
Avatar universal
Thank you. It is good to know people care out there.
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