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Meet our patients

This gorgeous (and very chilled out) boy belongs to a veterinary receptionist. When one of Chilli’s feline family died of heart disease, she decided to get Chilli checked out as well.

Chilli had a loud heart murmur, and so his vets recommended a heart scan. The scan showed that Chilli has very thickened heart muscle – a condition called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy or HCM. HCM is very common in cats, and can cause heart failure, which leads to build-up of fluid in the lungs and/or chest. Heart failure is an end-stage condition and most cats will die within a few months of the onset of signs.

Luckily for Chilli, we found his HCM before he went in to heart failure and we have started him on treatment to try and improve the severity of his condition. At his last check-up he was already looking better and his mum reported no problems.

It’s very common for cats to have heart murmurs, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that your cat has heart disease, but Chilli is a great example of why having a consultation with a cardiologist can be really worthwhile!

We’re looking forward to seeing Chilli again in few months for his check-up – he wins a prize for best behaved puss-cat!

I couldn’t help but share this gorgeous pic of Truffles, a Chihuahua puppy who came to see me for a heart scan today. Too cute!

Meet Eddie, a rather handsome 18 week old Border Collie!

Eddie came to see me this week because his vets had detected a heart murmur when he was a very young puppy. Although Eddie is very active and able to keep up with his mum and dad on walks, his murmur is so loud that you can feel the vibration of the murmur on his chest wall. Puppies can sometimes have murmurs that go away after a few weeks, but Eddie’s vets were very concerned that he had a congenital heart defect (i.e. a heart defect he had been born with).

Eddie had a heart scan, which showed that he has a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA for short). The ductus arteriosus is a vessel that is present when the puppy is still in the womb, which allows blood to bypass the lungs (which are obviously not needed until the puppy is born). Normally, the vessel closes at or soon after birth, but in Eddie’s case something happened to prevent the ductus closing. A PDA allows very fast moving blood to shunt between the great vessels of the heart (the aorta and the pulmonary artery) which puts strain on the heart and also causes the very loud heart murmur.

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