Taking care of pets, especially cat, need special attention. Not only cats are easy to spread human disease, the cat itself is also vulnerable to health problem. One of most common problems often occur is heart and blood vessel disorders in cats.
What is Heart and Blood Vessel Disorder?
This disorder involves malfunction or degeneration of heart and blood vessel. As both organs are connected to each other, damage in blood vessel will eventually lead to heart as well. Older cats often have it easier as their bodies start to degenerate. If not treated properly, it can kill your cat.
What Causes Heart and Blood Vessel Disorder in Cats?
There are various causes that lead to heart and blood vessel disorder as follows:
- Thickened heart muscle
- Taurine deficiency in diet
- Ventricles’ excessive stiffness
- Elevated thyroid hormone
- Genetic born disease
- Age factor
Those are the causes of most heart and blood vessel disorder. However ,there is also great variations of it.
Types of Heart and Blood Vessel Disorder in Cat
Some of these health problem occurs due to friction related to blood vessel or heart:
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
This is the most common heart disease that often occur in cats. The main cause of this disorder is thickened muscle in heart organ. Thickened muscle occurs when there is degrading progress of the body due to lack of nutrient, vitamin you could give to your beloved cat, or too much fat stored within body.
- Dilated Cardiomyopathy
Another disease you need to pay attention is dilated cardiomyopathy. This heart disorder stems from deficiency of taurine. This deficiency leads to malfunction in blood pumping process. Even though it is less common, pay attention to heart and blood vessel disorders in cats that occurs because of diet since it is actually something you can prevent by giving cat food with enough taurine in it. You may need recipes of homemade cat food.
- Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy
This disorder particular located in the right ventricular of heart. The blood supply pumped in this part ks disrupted due to blood clot from damaged blood vessel or hypertension. If it leaves like this for a long period of time, it can lead to the death of your cat. Worse case is it will spread to other ventricular as well.
- Restrictive Cardiomyopathy
Restrictive cardiomyopathy is a condition where ventricles of the heart stiffen and being a hindrance to heart’s pumping blood job. The cause of stiffness in this part is due to blockage caused by cholesterol and fat from unhealthy diet. Blood clot resulting from it will decrease the performance of ventricles, making it stiff and vulnerable to break.
Thromboembolism or blood clot is a heart disorder caused by accumulated thick blood in one of the chambers. When it breaks, it will spread throughout the bloodstream. As it travels through blood vessel, it starts to dislodge in the blood vessel and block stream of blood that may result in swollen heart and heart failure.
How to know if your cat has this disorder?
Symptoms of Heart and Blood Vessel Disorder in Cats
Pay attention to warning signs of heart disease in cats with symptoms as explained below:
- Blood Clot in Hind Legs
The first apparent symptom of heart disease in cat is blood clot in hind legs. Hind legs are common body parts where blood clot often occur. As bloodstream stopped, it blocks the distribution of blood and nutrient. Your cat may seem to have difficulty to walk with normal gait due to this. It starts limping whenever it uses hind legs. If your cat unable to walk, learn how to help cat that has trouble walking.
- Increased Respiration Rate
Increased respiration rate is a condition where your cat tends to have shorter breath. Your cat will inhale air more often and may seem like something tires it out easily even when you don’t give your cat exercise. Shortness of breath may happen because the supply of oxygen from blood stream decreased, causing your cat difficult to breath properly.
- Lazier Behaviour
Your cat can act lazier than before since it loses stamina. If your cat happens to experience this change of behaviour and unusual routines, pay attention to heart and blood vessel disorders in cats that most likely affect your cat’s energy. Heart fails to distribute nutrients properly to all body parts of the cat, causing lack of energy that make cat does not want to be too active. This lazy behaviour is due to moving around too much has become too taxing for cats.
- Pale Gum
Another symptom of heart or blood vessel disorder is pale gum. The color of your cat’s gum becomes paler because it lacks of vitality from bloodstream. This particularly applies well to heart diseases from blood clot. Blood clot blocks bloodstream and your cat’s gum receives less blood compared to normal mechanism. Worse case is, body part that does not have proper stream of blood will start developing bruise or lump.
- Vomitting Blood
The next symptom that needs attention is vomitting blood. It means your cat’s disease has gone to another level. Cat vomits blood because the blood vessel is broken and it sprouts blood out from mouth. This symptom is common for cats who have restrictive and right ventricular cardiomyopathy. If not treated properly, your cat will die from blood loss and clogged blood in blood vessel in brain.
What to Do to Cat with Heart Disorder
Don’t get discouraged if your cat has heart disorder, there are some actions you can do to treat it.
- Pay attention to subtle signs of heart disease such as lack of appetite, slow movement, meowing in pain, coughing and vomitting, and even change of routine (become less active than usual).
- Make regular appointment with veterinarian to do checkup on your cat. Make sure you monitor the progress and treatment of heart disease to prevent it for getting worse.
- Consult with veterinary nutritionist to decide perfect diet needed by your cat. As food can also play big part in influencing your cat’s health problem, make a precaution through the food you give.
- X-ray, to heart surgery maybe sufficiently needed, prepare for the worst outcome and make sure your cat is not stressed.
Pay attention to heart and blood vessel disorders in cat by knowing these aspects and learn on how to treat your sick cat with home remedies so you can prevent the worst outcome.