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 Post subject: heart murmurs in cats
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:56 am 
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Kitchens Planning Manchester
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So Agnes has a heart murmur and it might be nothing but my vet recommended taking her to a cardiologist in case it is something serious like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (which causes sudden death). She didn't really give me an idea of how likely that it is something vs. nothing, but HCM is more common in Maine Coons and we are pretty sure Agnes is at least part Maine Coon.

So. Guys.

1. Cardiologist appointment will cost $600-$700 and I think this heart murmur was actually detected before (but the vet who saw her at that point was unconcerned? I don't really remember...) but I'm not sure if it's in her records or not--if it is then her pet insurance won't cover it because that would have been before I got her insurance. I'm already $6k in debt because of vet bills.

2. I JUST LOST A 10 MONTH OLD KITTEN LAST MONTH. What if I lose Agnes young too? HCM is super scary.

3. Having pets is basically the most terrifying thing, isn't it?

Ok that's all.

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 Post subject: Re: heart murmurs in cats
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:20 am 
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Semen Strong
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Hugs, hugs, hugs to you. We had a HCM scare with Cuddles last summer and it turned out to be nothing (besides expensive). I'd look to see if your local vet can do the EKG and read it because that was cheaper for us than getting an appt with the cardiologist before HCM was confirmed. We got out with just over $500 in bills, having never seen the very expensive cardiologist. Supposedly the meds aren't that pricey to control it, even if it is HCM. And even if it is HCM it doesn't mean its going to kill her today or tomorrow or even a month or a year from today, so you could just love on her and take care of her and either get treatment down the line and just know you might lose her, like you might any pet.

I feel like maybe this is a shitty thing to say, but if saving Cuddles would have cost us $10,000, I would have just loved him until he died and then gotten another shelter dog. I struggle saying that, because I know that may not be right for everyone, and I don't like feeling like I'm putting a price on his very unique and wonderful life. But I'm unemployed, I have a new baby and we have to find money for bills, insurance etc and I can't see spending more than $10,000 to extend my pet's life by a few years when thousands of equally amazing animals die from lack of homes every hour.

Thinking of you and sending a ton of good thoughts.

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 Post subject: Re: heart murmurs in cats
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:21 am 
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Is an x-ray less costly for a cat or dog than an EKG? If so is it possible to diagnose via an x-ray?

The reason I ask is because Brucie-bean the guinea pig has a heard murmur that was diagnosed via x-ray. Having said that, it took a time and money to diagnose, plus a lot of convincing his vet. He has ongoing treatment for it with furosemide and fortekor.


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 Post subject: Re: heart murmurs in cats
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:24 am 
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ugh, sorry strawberryrock. That really sucks :( I think the first thing I'd do is go to to vet and look at her records or ask the vet to look through her records for you to see if the heart murmur was already diagnosed. You could also call the insurance company and ask them what they have listed as her preexisting conditions. that way, at least you'll know what to expect in terms of bills.

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 Post subject: Re: heart murmurs in cats
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:03 am 
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Semen Strong
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Location: Cliffbar NJ
8ball wrote:
Is an x-ray less costly for a cat or dog than an EKG? If so is it possible to diagnose via an x-ray?

The reason I ask is because Brucie-bean the guinea pig has a heard murmur that was diagnosed via x-ray. Having said that, it took a time and money to diagnose, plus a lot of convincing his vet. He has ongoing treatment for it with furosemide and fortekor.


Good point. For my pit mix Cuddles, they did an x-ray which didn't rule out the murmur so they needed to do the EKG. Luckily the emergency vet (min $250 appt) who heard the murmur had an MD on staff who could do EKGs and read them, so we waited until he had an appt and had him do it instead of the cardiologist ($500 I think).

Sending you so many good thoughts <3 <3 <3

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My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.


Last edited by Tofulish on Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: heart murmurs in cats
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:04 am 
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Chip Strong
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When I adopted one of my cats about 10 years ago, he was dx with a heart murmer. We went the cardiologist route and it did cost a ton. They never confirmed anything serious like HCM and just advised us to monitor him. so I don't know the benefit but it did ease our concerns a bit. 10 years later he is still fine.
Best of luck to you and Agnes


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 Post subject: Re: heart murmurs in cats
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:53 pm 
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Huffs Nooch
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We have a 9 year old cat that was diagnosed with a heart murmur when he was 1 1/2 years old. For several years after that we made regular trips to a cardiologist for an ultrasound of his heart. After close monitoring he was given a clean bill of health as far as his heart goes. The reason his murmur was discovered is because his brother died suddenly from undiagnosed HCM. I had rushed his brother to the vet four months before he died because he sneezed and spewed out a stream of mucus. I'd never seen a cat do that. The point is that the vet listened closely to his heart and lungs for congestion and related issues. NO murmur was ever detected in our cat who had HCM (it was only diagnosed through autopsy). The cat with the murmur is still alive and well. Those echocardiograms of his heart although worrisome to endure eventually brought us peace of mind. Another positive example is my SILs cat who was diagnosed with HCM several years ago. He is 7 years old, on heart medication, and lives a happy, healthy life. Good luck with your dear Agnes. I agree about the terrifying aspect with pets. It sends me over the edge every time something goes even just a little bit wrong with them.

Eta: I don't really remember what the echos cost. Probably around $500 each time. Our animals have their own credit card, no insurance, and debt is pretty much a way of life.


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 Post subject: Re: heart murmurs in cats
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:53 pm 
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Some vets will have specialists that travel to their clinic to offer these types of services cheaper. Maybe you could call around and see if anyone in your area does that. My vet clinic does that regularly.

Good luck and hugs to you both.


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 Post subject: Re: heart murmurs in cats
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:09 pm 
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Kitchens Planning Manchester
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Book Luster wrote:
Eta: I don't really remember what the echos cost. Probably around $500 each time. Our animals have their own credit card, no insurance, and debt is pretty much a way of life.


Effie, who passed away a month ago, has three maxed out credit cards that were devoted to her. Plus I'm halfway there on a fourth. Time to apply for more credit cards!

I'm going to go with my vet's favorite cardiologist, Dr. Will Rausch at Dove Lewis, since I really trust her opinion. I don't know if specialists would travel to vet clinics here since there are plenty of specialists who are based here?

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