Ruby Heart Failure
Ruby is a fit and healthy Bengal cat I have owned for many years, I collected Ruby from Plymouth with her four newly born healthy kittens that was only a couple of days old, I have two of them today, the ginger kitten has the same patterns on her as her mother, she is naughty and very pretty.
When I got home and feed the cats, I turned to see Ruby dead she dropped in seconds which I can only assume was a major stroke, she had no signs of heart disease such as vomiting, reserved breathing difficulties, back legs going, loosing or gaining excessive weight.
Some of the other signs are, cats may have cold extremities, ears and paws and may have plaque mucous membranes, such as mouth gums and eyes suggesting poor circulation, even the skin may show signs of cyanosis a bluish colour, in dogs coughing can be a sign.
Understanding the function of the heart it consists of chambers, all of which contain blood and are responsible for sending blood that is low in oxygen to the lungs to receive more oxygen, then sending this oxygen rich blood throughout the body to all the tissues in need.
There is a series of valves in the heart, separate the four chambers and prevent blood from flowing where it should not. Therefore, the heart muscle is unique type of muscle which is very different from other muscles in the body.
In cats and dogs, the disease is mainly seen as a problem with the valves of the heart, or in the heart muscle itself. In cats it is usually the heart muscle in dogs it usually the valves.
What is cardiomyopathy? This is when the heart muscle which is usually divided into two categories thinning of the heart muscle, which is congestive cardiomyopathy or thickening of the heart muscle hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in these cases the heart fails to pump blood adequately throughout the body.
Some of the common areas in cat’s Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy this occurs where there is an increase in the thickness of the muscular wall of the heart, this reduces the volume of blood within the heart and prevent the heart muscle relaxing properly between contractions.
Restrictive cardiomyopathy this is when the fibrosis of the wall of the heart making it stiff and inelastic so preventing the heart chambers filling normally.
Intermediate Cardiomyopathy this is a mixture of hypertrophy and dilatation.
Dilated Cardiomyopathy this is where the muscular wall of the heart generally becomes thinner than usual the heart enlarges and the heart muscle cannot contract effectively.
Some of the areas a vet will pick up is heart murmur a third heart sound is sometimes detected, gallop rhythm, heart rate this is where a pulse deficit is detected, cardiac rhythm disturbances this is where there is an interference in the normal electrical impulses that control heart contractions.
Heart Failure is where the heart is significantly impaired by cardiomyopathy this will lead to heart failure called congestive heart failure where there is compromise to blood flow through the heart and blood output from the heart. Supplements that are often described are L carnitine and Taurine is an essential amino acid which is found to be deficient in some cases.