Thursday, January 5, 2012
Picture of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy in Cats
This is a photograph of the cross-section of a cat's heart diseased by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). The cat's human companion wanted to find out the cause of death. The photograph was taken by the staff at the Cuyahoga Falls Veterinary Clinic. This photo has been used with permission for teaching/educational purposes at www.pictures-of-cats.org (PoC). I want to thank Ryan G. Gates, DVM of the clinic for granting permission. If people want to use the picture please ask the clinic first.
HCM is the most common cause of heart disease in cats. It is also the common cause of spontaneous death in full-time indoor adult cats1.
The walls of the ventricles thicken and the muscle fibers are replaced by scar tissue. The heart is weakened because the heart wall becomes less elastic and the chamber smaller.
Increased heart rate, heart murmur, loss of appetite, increased respiratory rate can be signs. In purebred cats the Bengal cat is known to be predisposed - HCM in Bengal cats. Other breeds are also predisposed including the ever popular Maine Coon - see MC health problems. Other purebred cats that can inherit this disease are Ragdolls, British SHs, American SHs and Devon Rexes. The disease usually affects cats from 1-5 yrs of age
Note (1) Cat Owner's Veterinary Handbook ISBN 978-0-470-09530-0