Does my 3mo kitten really need an Echo?

kattiq

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About 3 weeks ago my kitten, Lincoln during his 2nd round of shots the vet found a heart murmur. We went back to the vet today to get the last round and murmur was still there. The vet wants to do an Echo on him...

My question is, does he really need to get one??

He's growing perfectly fine (vet said he's gaining weight like a champ), acts normal, runs around and is playful without any hinderances. He turns exactly 3 months old today, so maybe he has more room to grow first before I dish out money for it?

Thanks in advance for any help. :)

Edit: He has a grade 3 murmur
 
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stephenq

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About 3 weeks ago my kitten, Lincoln during his 2nd round of shots the vet found a heart murmur. We went back to the vet today to get the last round and murmur was still there. The vet wants to do an Echo on him...

My question is, does he really need to get one??

He's growing perfectly fine (vet said he's gaining weight like a champ), acts normal, runs around and is playful without any hinderances. He turns exactly 3 months old today, so maybe he has more room to grow first before I dish out money for it?

Thanks in advance for any help. :)
Heart murmurs are graded.  Can you tell us what grade his murmur is?  In any case, some heart murmurs are benign, and some aren't and its usually an echo that can tell you what is really going on.
 
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kattiq

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They actually never told me. I will call up there tomorrow and ask.
 
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kattiq

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Just called. He has a grade 3 murmur
 

theyremine

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My vet heard a murmur when she examined my Pedro when I first adopted him.  (He was about 7 years old)  She graded it a 3.   He needed to have teeth pulled and the vet thought I should have the test done first.  The people at the shelter (where I also volunteer) said if she heard 3 it will turn out to be 2.  They were right.  He had the surgery.  His murmur caused no issues his entire life.

Unless there is a specific reason (surgery, etc) I wouldn't be in a hurry.    As I remember it was expensive and a specialist came to the vet's to do the procedure.
 
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kattiq

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Yeah, its not as expensive as I was assuming (I was thinking over $500 US!!) But, he seemed still pretty adamant about getting it soon. He also will perform it himself, so thankfully we don't have to call in a specialist or anything. So I do have him scheduled for one this coming next week, I just don't want to cancel, and then regret it when something bad happens that could of been caught early on by having it done. 
 

theyremine

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Great choice.   Maybe the price has come down?   I know I paid about  $500-$600, but I live in the NorthEast and vet care is expensive here.  Also, Pedro's was done over 6 years ago and perhaps more vets are now certified to do it.   I know I had the choice of not doing it before the surgery and I chose to do it.
 

artiemom

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Artie had an echo about 4 years ago for a Grade IV murmur. He was 8 years old at the time. I was glad I did it. He has a functional murmur..so no issues with it. 

It is good to know, just in case. Having an X-ray will just show the size of the heart, not intrinsic disease.

I heard, I do not know how true it is, is that kittens can grow out of their murmurs. 

Is your baby neutered?

If not then: Perhaps the Vet wants to be certain everything is ok before he does the neutering.

Less than $500 is cheap for an echo. I live near Boston~~~ the price varies but it is over $500.
 
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kattiq

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Ok thanks! That is reassuring, I live in the South so I guess that's why it must be a little cheaper!
And yes the vet said usually kittens do grow out of them or it stays but has no real impact on them because it's not large enough. I'll go ahead and bite the bullet this week just to make sure and hopefully there's no underlying issue. :)
 

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Mr. Squiggles had one after they found he had a 3rd degree AV block, if I remember right they charged me about $200 for an echo. On the scale of heart murmurs, I've been told that 0 is nothing (obviously) and a 2 is difficult to hear. Smoochie has a grade 2 and our vet has recommended nothing more than monitoring. However, that's only how loud the murmur is and doesn't really indicate what the problem is. A 3rd degree AV block is serious business, but they rated Mr Squee's murmur at a 2 as well.

I have heard of kittens growing out of heart murmurs before, I think it's not too uncommon.
 

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I had one rescue kitten who had a grade 2/3 murmur at about 8 weeks and the vet spayed her anyhow (no problems) and said she thought it would go away as the cat got bigger.  I adopted her out a week later with that information.  The person who adopted her took the kitten to her vet for its second shot a couple of weeks later and her vet said it was a grade IV and she needed to get an echocardiogram.  That scared the adopter, who both couldn't afford it and also didn't want to love a kitten who was going to die soon, so she returned her, in tears.  I kept the kitten and took her back to the same vet who spayed her every 2 weeks to get checked,  The murmur got less and less.  The vet fell more and more in love with the kitten.  The vet adopted the kitten!  The kitten is now a 4-year-old cat and rules the vet's house (which has birds, dogs and kids in it as well as a couple of other cats).  So at three months, I personally would not go for an echo.  I would continue to get vet checks for awhile and see what happens.
 
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