Possible lung infection in my BSH kitten

kbc2021

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Just want to seek some advice as I'm extremely worried right now.

My kitten (BSH) is just reaching 5 months, I took him to the vet this morning on the back of very rapid breathing during sleep, the vet is specialised in cardiology. We did the x-ray and ultrasound and it came back showing enlarged left heart, which I've been told to cause pulmonary hypertension. My kitten is behaving normal and he was prescribed antibiotics to see if the condition improves, with a check-up due next week to see progress.

As you know I'm panicking because we have not had him for long. I'm just seeking some advice or experience as to what I should do or prepare at this moment. I was told to just let him do his normal thing and hope things get better. It's worrying because I've been looking up "pulmonary hypertension in cats" and "hcm" and it's kinda stressing me out.
 

Maurey

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I’m sorry to hear that your kitten is feeling unwell. Have you been in touch with the breeder? Chances are, it’s just the respiratory infection causing his issues, so should clear up with treatment. As he’s very young it’s unlikely to be HCM, but worth contacting the breeder for peace of mind. HCM runs in lines/is genetic, so if his siblings/half siblings, parents, and ancestors are clear, it’s not likely to be HCM.
 

fionasmom

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If your vet is a specialist in cardiology, he should be well versed in HCM; however, I am concerned that it is the left side of the heart which seems enlarged because that is the side affected by HCM. My boy Jamie was just diagnosed with HCM this week after an ultrasound. He is about 4, a rescue, not a BSH. He was not given antibiotics but was put on medication for hypertension and blood thinning.

I do know what you are seeing when you google the condition and why you are upset. From what I have read, your kitten is on the young side to have this which is in his favor at least. However, I would proceed with caution, second opinion from a vet who only specializes in cardiology, speak to the breeder, etc.

Jamie has no history to support his condition since he was a rescue. For what it is worth, I have been told by two vets so far to stop feeding grain free food to Jamie. Not the usual advice for cats, but interesting.
 
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kbc2021

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Thanks for the reply. I shall do some more research. He's been on Doxycycline for 3 days so far. I've noticed he's been quite tired most of the day, since I give him the pill in morning after his breakfast. But then during the day he seems to have lost appetite and not very active. Is this normal for a kitten to have these side effects from this antibiotic? He still has 7 more days on this stuff.
 

fionasmom

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Several reliable websites I checked list lack of appetite, lethargy, nausea as side effect of doxy. However, you your judgement if these side effect seem overly severe or if something just seems not right. If appetite really drops, for example, call the vet as your cat has to eat, especially with 7 more days left.
 
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kbc2021

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Thanks fionasmom. I thought I'd attach a photo of him too. He's just 5 months and weighs about 2.69kgs.
He just doesn't seem to have that chunky look at I feel he may be on the small side?

IMG_7708.JPG
 
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kbc2021

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Which is why I am thinking does he look too thin?
 

Maurey

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No — as long as his body condition is good, and there’s a small amount of padding (but not too much) over his ribs and spine, his weight is good. Not all BSH will grow up to be super chunky, and your boy is a kitten — he’s going to go through a lot of lanky phases where he looks uncharacteristicly slender for the breed.

A healthy kitten will range anywhere from a 4 to a low 6, ime.

1621407485014.jpeg
 

Maurey

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Looks a bit chunky, if anything, though BSH have a plush coat. He’s definitely not underweight from what I can tell.
 
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kbc2021

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Hi Maurey, that's good to hear. He's just over 5 months, just weighed him and he's about 2.8kgs. Some people have said that his head seems a bit small compared to his long body, growing length ways rather than wide :p

This may be a better photo of him:

IMG_7447.JPG


IMG_7793.JPG
 

Maurey

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Some people have said that his head seems a bit small compared to his long body, growing length ways rather than wide
That’s because he’s a kitten, and they often look disproportionate and lanky. He’ll grow into those legs and body length in the coming months! He definitely doesn’t look underweight, and a kitten will find it almost impossible to overeat, so I’d not worry about his weight at all :> just feed him as much wet kitten food as he’ll eat (or supplement with dry), and you’ll be fine in that regard.
 
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kbc2021

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Thanks Maurey. Can I ask another question? Is it normal for a cat to suddenly have leg twitches like a spasm? I've not see it often but like once in a while. It scared me at first. I'm just worried if any of this could be linked to medical.

Saturday I'd be going to vet for a secondary check.
 

Maurey

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It really depends on what you mean by a spasm, when it happens, how it looks, how it affects him, if at all. If he’s twitching his paws in his sleep that’s normal. If he twitches his paw when he steps on a wet bit of floor, that’s normal. Can you get a video of what you mean? Might be something to ask the vet about, though ideally you’d want a video of an incident, if possible.
 
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kbc2021

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It's like a twitch suddenly on his paws. Can't seem to video it as it's quite sudden. But will try when it does happen. Not often though.
 
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