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Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

Treatment and Prognosis of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) in Cats


Treatment of Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

There are many different medications that may be used to help treat feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
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Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most commonly diagnosed form of heart disease in cats.

Treatment of Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

Treatment of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) in cats depends largely on the symptoms present for the individual cat.

  • Cats experiencing congestive heart failure as a result of their cardiomyopathy are usually treated with a diuretic to remove the excess fluid from the lungs and other body tissues. Furosemide (Lasix®) is the most commonly used diuretic. Spironolactone is less frequently used and may be used in conjunction with furosemide when furosemide is not adequately effective by itself.
  • ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors such as enalapril or benazepril are frequently used to treat cats with HCM. ACE inhibitors cause vasodilation (relaxation and widening of the blood vessels) which makes it easier for the heart to pump the blood through the body and also helps lower blood pressure.
  • Pimobendan (Vetmedin®) is also sometimes used to treat hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in cats. Pimobendan acts as both a vasodilator and inotrope (a medication that alters the force of the heart muscle contraction).
  • High blood pressure that does not respond adequately to ACE inhibitors may require additional treatment, such as atenolol or amlodipine.
  • Supplements such as taurine, L-carnitine and coQ10 are also sometimes used to treat feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
  • Anticoagulant medications are also used in an attempt to prevent the development of clot formation leading to thromboembolisms ("thown blood clots"). Aspirin is the most commonly used anticoagulant but clopidogrel (Plavix®) is sometimes used as well.

Prognosis of Cats with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Prognosis for cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy varies, depending on the severity of the disease and the symptoms being experienced by the individual cat.

Cats suffering from thromboembolism usually have a poor prognosis. In addition, these cats are typically in severe pain and euthanasia is often chosen as a humane option to decrease suffering.

Cats suffering from congestive heart failure have a more guarded prognosis than those that are not experiencing heart failure.

Learn more: Feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

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