February 23rd, 2010, 03:14 AM
I rescued an Oriental Shorthair 2.5 years ago. We found her and she was skinny and scared but otherwise in good health. They estimated she was about 6 months old. We fell in love with her. They found a small heart mumur but thought it could be weight. Right after this we moved to a new state. Loved the vet there and she said NO murmur so we were so happy. She does have some immune issues and gets hives and takes meds for that. But healthy and happy. Well, two years later and we moved to Colorado. We take her in for a checkup. I brush her teeth daily but we wanted to see about a teeth cleaning. Vet listens and says she hears a heart murmur but not until we brought up the history. She was done with the checkup. So I am confused. How did she have it, not have it, and now has it again? The vet we had the past two years was so good and my cat was so comfortable with her. We ask the new vet about the missing/returning murmur and she said it may be nerves. She gets it under stress. There is some condition like this. We go in next week for all kinds of blood work, a chest xray and some stuff just to rules things out and see if the murmur stil exists. I guess my question is -- how common is a murmur that comes with fear? I am terrified this is something serious now when my vet of several years was certain she was 100% fine.
February 23rd, 2010, 04:32 AM
A heart murmur is an abnormal sound usually from the turbulence of blood flowing through the valves, blood flowing through a small hole in a wall, the trajectory of the flow hitting a wall or small amount of blood flowing backwards through the valve the wrong way.
Did any of the vets mention a grade number? The grades of a heart murmur go from 1 - 6, with 1 being very quiet and 6 being very loud -
often can be heard without a stethoscope.
A murmur graded 1 - 2 can be hard to hear even with a stethoscope in a super quiet room. Sometimes a 1 or 2 can be more noticable while in a stressful situation and when checked again while the cat is calmer it may be harder to hear.
If some vets are saying murmur & some are saying no murmur I would *guess* it's either a 1 or 2. Last year I had an ER vet during an exam of a very stressful time tell me my senior cat has a 2-3 grade heart murmur and a couple of weeks later during a follow up exam with her regular vet in a very calm setting I had 2 vets tell me it was very hard to hear anything & they said either no murmur to a possible very very mild 1.
An ultrasound would give a definate diagnosis with regards to the grade of the murmur and will present a clear picture of the conditon of the heart.