Myra is a fourteen year old cat that came in to the surgery in January. Her owners had noticed that she had been quiet for a few days and was making a lot of effort to breathe. She did not want to eat or play with her owners as she normally would.
On examination Myra was pale and was pulling her chest in and out in order to breathe. Bruce, the vet on duty immediately took her through to administer oxygen in order to help with her breathing, he then went back to her owner to find out more about what had been happening to her. After discussing her signs with the owners, Bruce advised the owners that an x-ray of her chest might help to explain what was causing her difficulty in breathing. The x-ray shown above showed fluid on Myra’s lungs and that her heart was much bigger than it should have been. The vet was suspicious that her heart could be failing and advised an ultrasound examination of her heart. The ultrasound examination showed that Myra was suffering from a disease called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy that was thickening the walls of the heart and making it hard for the heart to pump all the blood around the body.
Myra was given drugs that helped to remove the fluid from her lungs and within 2 hours her breathing was much better and she was a lot calmer in herself. After discussing the diagnosis with Myra’s owners a treatment plan was agreed for her and she was put on to two types of tablets to help the heart to work and to prevent fluid from building up on her lungs again.
Myra went home and is now well controlled on her medication, although she has to come back to the vets every six weeks to ensure that her medication doses are still right for her!