The heart is obviously responsible for pumping blood throughout the body. With feline congestive heart failure, the vital organ won’t be able to pump blood efficiently anymore. This is obviously a major problem.
To make matters worse, this disease isn’t curable. Cats that are diagnosed with it will likely need to take prescription medications on a daily basis for life. They’ll also be at risk of dropping dead suddenly at any time.
There are many reasons why congestive heart failure in cats occurs. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a heart disease that can easily lead to the condition. Hyperthyroidism is another common condition. Defects present at birth as well as hypertension are two of the other many reasons why this heart condition can develop in your cat.
If your cat’s heart starts to fail, he will start having trouble breathing and be more tired than usual. He won’t play or exercise as much as he used to because of his weakened state. Fainting is also a common symptom caused by cat congestive heart failure. The mucous membranes will also have a pale color.
Diagnosis of this condition begins with the vet reviewing your cat’s medical history and also conducting a physical examination. If this disease truly is the problem, the vet may hear sounds of congestion when he listens to the chest with a stethoscope. This is due to the fact that this disease causes fluid to accumulate in the lungs.
A number of tests are useful in diagnosing feline congestive heart failure. To see if fluid has built up in the lungs, a chest x-ray can be performed. The x-ray will also let the vet see if there are any physical problems with the heart, such as it being enlarged or misshapen. It’s also usually necessary for your cat to have an echocardiogram performed. Tests on the blood and urine are also routinely conducted.
As you have learned already, various things can cause cat heart failure. The reason that the condition develops will need to be addressed. Surgery may be necessary, especially in the case of defects that were present at birth. If the disease leaves your cat unable to breathe properly on his own, he will likely need to be hospitalized and given oxygen.
Buildup of fluid can especially cause breathing difficulty. Medications can be prescribed to help reduce this buildup. Other medications can be used to help the heart pump blood more efficiently also.
This serious disease requires owners to change their cat’s lifestyle. Cats that are normally quite active will need to be restricted somewhat. Cats with this condition need to get plenty of rest. They also shouldn’t be running and jumping around excessively. Feline congestive heart failure also requires periodic vet visits for x-rays and ultrasounds to monitor the disease.