Heart murmur-Enlarged heart

justjoe906

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6 year old male cat: I took my cat in for annual exam and vaccines. The vet detected a heart murmur when he listened to his heart. Took X-ray and said cat has enlarged heart and fluid build up. His vertebral heart score is 8.5, I read where 6.7 to 8.1 is normal for a cat. Vet said to try him on Pimobendan Compound liquid 1.25 mg twice daily. See if that helps and to also schedule an Echocardiogram to get a better reading of his heart.
I've read good and bad about this medication and thinking about getting a second opinion from another vet. He shows no signs of anything wrong and acts like a normal cat.
Has anyone ever tried this medication?
 

Sharky22

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Hi JustJoe. I'm sorry they found this on your boy's visit. My baby Fiona was on Pimobendan, along with other medications, like Clopidigrel to prevent blood clots, for her bad heart issues. We saw a heart specialist (for ongoing appointments) as soon as we discovered something was wrong with her through her regular vet. Her issues were severe and we were trying everything. I don't remember her having any negative side effects from this medication. It was prescribed by the heart specialist, not by her regular vet. It would be great if you can get an Echocardiogram. A lot of times you never see anything wrong with cats who have heart issues. My prior boy Aidan had a heart issue that I had no idea about but then suddenly out of nowhere had a blood clot that paralyzed his hindquarters (thromboembolism). It was very shocking and heartbreaking, and I only wish I'd known earlier and maybe I could have done more to help him. I'm wishing all the best for your guy!
 

mrsgreenjeens

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6 year old male cat: I took my cat in for annual exam and vaccines. The vet detected a heart murmur when he listened to his heart. Took X-ray and said cat has enlarged heart and fluid build up. His vertebral heart score is 8.5, I read where 6.7 to 8.1 is normal for a cat. Vet said to try him on Pimobendan Compound liquid 1.25 mg twice daily. See if that helps and to also schedule an Echocardiogram to get a better reading of his heart.
I've read good and bad about this medication and thinking about getting a second opinion from another vet. He shows no signs of anything wrong and acts like a normal cat.
Has anyone ever tried this medication?
In case you don't receive many responses to your specific question, here is a search query for that drug that shows some posts about it: Search Results for Query: Pimobendan
 

fionasmom

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I have a 6 year old boy who was dxed at 2 with HCM. The advice I would give you is to do the echocardiogram and to seek out a cardiologist. The ECG is your property and can be sent to the cardiologist, even if you don't have one right now. This is not saying that your vet is not competent (and my cat has never taken that particular medication) but when we went to our cardiologist she made some changes from what the original vet had suggested.
 
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justjoe906

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Well. my cat has been on Pimobendan liquid 1.25mg/ml strength, 0.5 ml twice daily for 8 days now. He only nibbles his food, he's very lathergic with zero energy level. He was more active prior to starting the medication. I spoke with the vets office yesterday and vet said bring him in after he's been on the medication for 1 month.
I really think it's time for a 2nd opinion. Various websites mention 0.25 ml twice daily not 0.5 twice daily. I'm taking him off the medication for a few days to see if it helps his energy level until I can get another vet appointment.
 
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di and bob

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I agree, though sometimes the body has to have time to get used to a drug before the decreased appetite, etc, go away. It hasn't been a month yet. You might give it to him once a day for a while before discontinuing, you don't want his body to get used to something then suddenly not have it. Call your vet and ask. My cat had the exact same thing, enlarged heart, murmur, and fluid backing up, they gave him Lasix and he was on it for almost 7 years, he was diagnosed at 9 and lived to 16. He could have had it for years before, though no one knew. The vet always said he had a very fast heart rate.
 

Meowmee

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My Sybil had late stage severe hcm not diagnosed until very late when she went into chf. She was on numerous meds including pimobendan, clopidigrel and others. She had crf too and excess fluids put her into chf. Just keep in mind that clopidogrel will not prevent blood clots. It is not an anti coagulant, its an anti platelet. But at that time real anticoagulants were not available yet for cats but they are now. So I would seek those out. Sybil had a saddle thrombus while on that and we had to let her go because she was too ill to survive long. She was also on supplements for jaundice which worked dramatically well.

I don’t remember specific issues with pimobendan for her. But she was already very ill.

Here is what I found on it from this article… and I read some studies that said it was better in cats with hcm than other meds. Tess had been on enalapril and lasix. Pimobendan was invented yet then.

Pimobendan is an inotropic and vasodilating drug with phosphodiesterase (PDE) III-inhibiting and calcium-sensitizing effects. It may also have a bronchodilatory effect by inhibiting PDE III in airway smooth muscle
Beta-blocker therapy combined with low-dose pimobendan in patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: report on two cases - PubMed

Once your cat has chf it is much more serious than if not and in Sybil’s case it was end stage. My cat Tess had hcm and also went into chf with no known trigger, she was younger, but after recovering she lived 3.5 years on meds. Lasix cause crf and anemia and she could tolerate fluids but the anemia took her in the end with liver damage. She never had clots though tg.

I am hoping for the best for your kitty. 🤗
 
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justjoe906

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UPDATE:
I took my cat in for a follow up visit after being on Pimobendan 0.5mg twice daily for 30 days so far. The vet checked his heart with the stethoscope several times. He said my cat was doing good and he could no longer hear the heart murmur.
Now I'm confused and bewildered, I thought I read somewhere that a heart murmur doesn't just go away but I could be wrong. He suggested instead of doing an x-ray again to save the money and do an Echocardiogram. I wonder if he was mis-diagnosed on the front end. Vet said to keep him on the meds for now and return in 3 months unless I notice any changes. I read this on the internet:
"Some normal adult cats may have an intermittent heart murmur that shows up when their heart rate is increased due to stress."
I might follow up with another vet, I hate giving him meds if he really doesn't need them.,,,,
 

mrsgreenjeens

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I would agree that NO ONE should be on meds that aren't needed. And I have definitely heard of heart murmurs coming and going, or going away on their own, however, what concerns me is the enlarged heart that showed up in the xray. If you do get a 2nd opinion, be sure to take copies of the xray with you.

Did his appetite get back to normal? I know that was a worry when he first started the medication?
 
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justjoe906

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Yes, his appetite is normal and actually he acts normal. If the vet wouldn't have told me he had an issue with his heart I wouldn't have know. He has no outward signs of heart issues with his breathing or normal activity.
 
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