Today I want to talk about a pathology that often occur in our friends cats. The “hypertrophic Cadriomyopathy” appears in fact in some specific races like the Maine Coon and the Ragdoll. It occurs because of genetic autosomic alterations, therefore pay attention to familiarity. If you are going to take a puppy of Main Coon or Ragdoll, ask the breeder if the pathology occurs in his cats and its frequency: this way you can verify the conditions to start a therapy in due time.
Unfortunately you can trace this illness only when damages are already so serious that there is nothing left to do. It happened that some cat suddenly died, without any premonitory signs. The exact cause is still a mystery; we only know that the heart gets during the illness a hard and fibrous consistency which doesn’t allow it to have it functions any more. This provokes an obstruction to coronary arteries, embolism, lungs oedema. Generally the illness starts in the left ventricles to extend then during the final phases to the atriums.
There are however symptoms that can be traced. They are respiratory difficulties, weariness even for light activities, weight loss, apathy. Sometimes also less specific symptoms can occur like the paralysis of back side for secondary vascular problems.
The heart auscultation by a veterinary doctor is fundamental ( that is the diagnostic examination of the heart with the stethoscope.
A “good ear” can sometimes hear a light arrhythmia that will alert the doctor, who will propose focused examinations as X- rays, echocardiogram and blood exams.
The pathology has unfortunately a deadly out come and the therapy, if started on time, can only extend the life expectation of our cat.
The pathology has no long lasting remedies. We can only hope that the therapies, to be continued for the whole life of the animal, can extend times and quality of life.