3mo Kitten - Grade 4 Heart Murmur

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JFink
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3mo Kitten - Grade 4 Heart Murmur

Post by JFink » Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:31 pm

We just adopted a super sweet, loving, chocolate spotted Ocicat. We have had her since Saturday, and I am already in love with her... So, I'm sure you can imagine the heartbreak I experienced when I took her to the vet yesterday to get her checked over and found out she has a grade 4 heart murmur.

I have talked to the lady I adopted the kitten from, and she will exchange her for a different kitten (different litter, and she will get her heart checked to ease my mind)... I am struggling with the decision though. My head tells me to do the exchange--that I cannot handle the heartache of losing her swiftly and untimely like I probably will if I keep her. My heart tells me if I exchange her, I'll regret it.

She's 3 months old... Grade 4 seems too severe to do nothing. The echocardiogram is around $700. The heart surgery the vet said she would likely need is around 7k. If we were a few years in, the price wouldn't matter so much. 3 days in and this seems like an expensive, heartbreaking roller coaster I don't want to get on.

Additionally, vet says spaying her would be unwise without the echo...

Man this is just heartbreaking. I've had her picked out for a month...then this. *sigh* :cry:

Anyone else experience this? Just don't know what to do...

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Re: 3mo Kitten - Grade 4 Heart Murmur

Post by Mollycat » Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:01 am

How did the previous vet fail to notice this, or did the kittens not see a vet before being sold? Why did the kitten not come with a month overlap on insurance policies with the option for you to continue the same insurance, so the cost of the operation would be covered? Also, breeder guidelines say if hypertrophic cardiomyopathy appears then that breeding line should be avoided - so your breeder should be taking a much closer interest in this kitten's heart murmur than simply offering an exchange.

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Re: 3mo Kitten - Grade 4 Heart Murmur

Post by Lilith » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:37 am

Yes, I agree - and I used to breed. In my opinion the breeder should pay for any tests needed before spaying - which is what she would have to do if she took the kitten back, surely? Anyone who breeds a faulty kitten needs to take full responsibility. Paying for the neutering as a goodwill gesture/compensation for stress might not come amiss either, depending on the generosity of the breeder (but most are decent!) Sorry if I sound a bit inflammatory; I don't mean to, and I hope you can stay on amicable terms with the breeder. I think a strong point in your favour is that you wish to keep the kitten; even if the breeder has to pay for tests she is spared the rehoming of a kitten who may not be saleable.

Having said that, a heart murmur isn't necessarily a death sentence. I'm no expert, but googling around, I saw on a couple of sites that a kitten may even grow out of a murmur, and that many cats have them and lead normal lives. One of my cats has a heart murmur. She was feral for her first six months and then spayed by the local cp (no echocardiograms in those days so the murmur wasn't detected until she was adult.) She's needed a dental, treatment for hyperthyroidism, and is prone to constipation, but the murmuring heart has given no trouble (paws crossed.) She's a great big sturdy article who's done her share of roaming, climbing and mousing in her youth, and eats like a horse - at 17, still going strong.

I do hope you get the problem with your little girl sorted and can have many happy years ahead of you both. All the best.

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Re: 3mo Kitten - Grade 4 Heart Murmur

Post by JFink » Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:13 pm

I know the kitten received vaccinations, etc. But no, I don't think the vet actually did a check on her before I received her. I believe the breeder administered these. She is unaware of any heart issues within this line, so this is new to her. She did promise to get the other kitten I am interested in checked before I pick her up and is feeling very apologetic. She also decided to retire this queen and sire following this issue. So, I believe she is reacting responsibly.

I am feeling a bit sympathetic towards her, as I do not believe any of this was intentional. She plans to keep the kitten, keep her healthy and happy and with her cat family when I return her. She does not plan to rehome her, but keep her as a pet.

As for the murmur, the vet is doing another check free of charge for me, but she believes the murmur is severe at a grade 4. If it still presents this way, I simply cannot take this on mentally, or financially. It's just a really, unfair, bad situation.

Thanks for weighing in. This is certainly a trying time. :cry:

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Re: 3mo Kitten - Grade 4 Heart Murmur

Post by Lilith » Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:57 pm

Well she can't say or do better than that :)

Yes, the majority of breeders, as opposed to the bad press for a few duds, adore cats, their chosen breed of cats, and care deeply; they aren't in it for the money (I certainly wasn't lol.)

Yes, it's better to decide now, finally, if that kitten's condition is going to cause you too much stress, and you'll have the assurance of knowing the new kitten is in the clear.

They are a gorgeous breed (love anything Oriental; I bred Siamese in the 80s) and I hope everything goes well now - or as tranquilly as living with a rowdy Oriental can be lol :lol:

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Re: 3mo Kitten - Grade 4 Heart Murmur

Post by booktigger » Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:38 pm

Wow, I didn't think any one other than a vet could legally vaccinate a cat, because things like the heart have to be checked over first, even vet nurses aren't allowed to. At least she is doing the decent thing

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Re: 3mo Kitten - Grade 4 Heart Murmur

Post by Mollycat » Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:50 pm

That might depend on country, Booktigger.

Lilith, good point as always about kittens sometimes growing out of murmurs and I also had a cat with an asymptomatic heart murmur who had a healthy 16 years including 8 with CRF and a dental.

I just can't believe a decent breeder would sell a kitten without a full vet check.

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Re: 3mo Kitten - Grade 4 Heart Murmur

Post by Mayday21 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:44 am

Mayday had a murmur don’t know what grade & I had her for 21+ years. She used to cough a bit. Harper also had a murmur as a kitten but as she got older it stopped. You must do what you feel is best for the kitten & you. Sounds +ve if the breeder’s going to keep her as well as retiring the queen & Stud if there’s a genetic issue. Keep us posted.

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Re: 3mo Kitten - Grade 4 Heart Murmur

Post by JFink » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:27 pm

The kitten (Muse is her name) is super spunky, loves to play, doesn't act like anything is affecting her and continues to steal more and more of my heart. Yesterday she tried me out for sleeping, went to my husband, the dog, then came back to me, cuddled up on my chest and slept for 20 minutes. Aahhh. Making this so hard! I am getting her heart checked one more time to be sure it wasn't a fluke, or to be sure it isn't diminishing. If it's the same, we just cannot give her the home she would need at this time.

I'll keep you all updated on what the vet discovers tomorrow and what the breeder finally does if we do need to give her back...

Please, please, please, everyone cross your fingers that the murmur is less! FYI, it is currently not asymptomatic at a 4/6 -- it is indicative of something seriously wrong with her heart.

The little sweetheart was also slightly underweight when we got her. She's been eating well and packing it on (in a healthy way) so, hopefully that helps too!

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Re: 3mo Kitten - Grade 4 Heart Murmur

Post by Mayday21 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:02 am

Thinking of & praying for little Muse.

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Re: 3mo Kitten - Grade 4 Heart Murmur

Post by JFink » Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:33 pm

Thank you everyone for your thoughts, opinions, sharing your own experiences, and your prayers!

Muse's heart murmur was evaluated at a 3 on Tuesday when we took her. It went down from a 4! Additionally, we got another test done which came back negative for heart structural issues! The vet confirmed it is safe to spay her--they'll just be careful and use anesthesia that is safe for her.

This has been a trying and hard experience, but we're keeping our spunky little sweetheart. We are ecstatic!

Oh, and I'm not sure I mentioned, she was only 2 lbs 2 oz when we took her in initially. Now she's weighing in at 3 lbs 4 oz. Little girl just needed to eat! She is 3 months 1 week old and growing fast!

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Re: 3mo Kitten - Grade 4 Heart Murmur

Post by Lilith » Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:53 pm

Oh I'm so glad you're keeping her! And that things look promising regarding health :D

Lots of love to little Muse (poor baby, hope she keeps gaining weight now, sure she will) and please keep updating x

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Re: 3mo Kitten - Grade 4 Heart Murmur

Post by JFink » Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:28 pm

Update on my sweet girl, Muse. I noticed she was having breathing problems over the last week or so. She was starting to heave, nostrils flaring, noisy and labored breathing too. Took her into the vet and my fears were confirmed. She had fluid in her chest. They did a chest tap, and sure enough, her heart isn't pumping well enough, so it's causing leakage into the chest cavity. They got most of the fluid, but couldn't get it all. She was put on Lasix to clear up the fluid issues. We'll see in two weeks if that helps, if she doesn't decline further before then.

So, I'm guessing that means congestive heart failure at 10 months old? Ultrasound showed an enlarged heart. My husband had the cutest thing to say about that, "Well, of course she's got a big heart. She's such a sweetheart!" Couldn't be more true--which makes this even more difficult.

She was super spunky, and acting weird last night after the chest tap. They sedated her for it. She was the same way after she was spayed. Hoping she settles down. On top of the emotional roller coaster that this is, I got no sleep due to her crazy activity. Probably feels really good to be able to breathe again! I'd probably be running around with reckless abandon too!

Sigh--her broken heart is breaking my heart.

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