Tag Archives: cat illnesses

HCM and Your Cat

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is a mouthful to say, and a common disease in cats. Many owners of cats with this disease will never even know that their cat has it. There is no cure for it, it can somewhat be controlled with medication (based on how severe it is), it can shorten your cat’s life drastically, or your cat can live to a normal old age with it.

That is a bunch of encouraging information, yes?

Some breeds are more prone to this disease than others, including my Hairless Sphynx. Some of the signs include difficulty breathing, breathing with their mouth open, little activity, and blood clots may develop. One symptom of a blood clot is hind leg paralysis, as HCM causes thickening of the left heart ventricle, which supplies the hindquarters of the cat’s body with blood.

The only way to diagnose HCM is with an Echocardiogram. This is not a test you will find available at your average local veterinarian’s office, but it is necessary if you are suspicious that your cat may have this illness.

My 4.5 year old, Benjamin, is getting scanned at Michigan State University Veterinary School at the end of October. My 3.5 year old, Franklin, will be getting scanned in Detroit in the Spring.

I normally take my boys to Detroit to get scanned, which is a requirement of the contracts I signed when I bought them (that they get scanned, not that is has to be in Detroit). Benjamin gave me quite the scare a couple of weeks ago when he stopped meowing, purring, playing, and was sneezing and dry heaving at least once an hour. This went on for nearly two weeks! He has also been walking with his back half somewhat slouched to the ground for several months, which I never knew could be another symptom of HCM.

I am happy to say he is back to his normal noisy talkative self, but I am still taking him in early instead of in the coming Spring when I had planned.

You can find further information on HCM at the following link, which is where I referenced my information from.

HCM Information from Cornell

Have you ever had a cat with HCM, and if so, what was the prognosis for your cat?

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