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Heart Murmur?

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#12
Agreed, Alice, at least the breeder did disclose it and it was detected before you had received the kitten Michelle D. It can be hard to detect murmurs and can be missed until later on or until the cat is showing other symptoms.

So saying that, I had a kitten that was detected with a Grade 3 murmur at 12 weeks so we kept him as I couldn't offer him to anyone even if someone wanted to take him on... we did an ultrasound at 16 weeks and it looked like possibly a hole between two chambers of the heart and my vet thought it possible it could close up with growth. By 6 months my vet could barely detect it and by a year there was nothing. I had another ultrasound done and the cardiologist said it was a perfect heart. That is my Baz and he's a strapping big 17lb kitty now :)
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#14
It does happen, you will hear breeders sometimes saying things like "oh the kitten has a murmur but might grow out of it" and sometimes it can be true. Just I would not take a kitten with a disclosed heart murmur without considering the more likely and less attractive alternatives...which is that it might be heart disease or an irreparable heart defect. My first Savannah had a murmur only detected at 18 months of age, when he was in congestive heart failure. With good vetting, ultrasounds and lots of expensive medications, he will turn 12 years old shortly, he's our miracle kitty. Three vets had missed his heart murmur before then, even though he has a severely deformed mitral valve in his heart.
 
A

Alice

Guest
#15
I am sure that's true :( it must be so gratifying though when some do grow out of it, or the treatment goes really well and they live a nice long life... Love hearing success stories... I know there are just as many that don't end so well though.
 
M

Michelle.D

Guest
#17
That's a shame, Michelle...a Grade 4 heart murmur is not a death sentence, although it is difficult to take on that burden of not knowing what will happen in the future.
It is difficult, and I couldn't put my son through the possibility of it being something worse. We lost our kitty at 14 in September '11.... it took us this long to decide we should get another one. That just broke us, and then the heart murmur thing happened... It's been rough! The breeder told me she'd keep me updated on him but I haven't heard anything yet...kinda leary to ask because I'd rather live with the idea that he's doing well than find out something bad... It's a double-edged sword there. She did tell me that it could be due to his rapid growth rate because he was huge, but she had also said that he would rather sleep than get up and play around and that didn't sound right to me from what I'd read about Savannahs.

Thank you for your kind words everyone. Glad you caught it both times Brigitte!
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#18
Probably the reason my vet is so careful to listen for murmurs in any of the kittens I produce is because my first Savannah was the one with the heart valve defect. He was bought as a pet (and subsequently we went into breeding). So I started breeding already a little paranoid about heart health....I'm really glad my vet is so careful as I'd hate to send out a kitten with a murmur, it IS a burden to place on a home. I know this well as my first Savannah was bought as a pet...his continued survival has been miraculous, even his cardiologist calls him Miracle Kitty :)