What Does a Heart Murmur Diagnosis Mean in Cats

A heart murmur is an abnormal heart sound caused by turbulent blood flow that can often be heard with a stethoscope in cats.  


Murmurs are graded on a scale of 1-6, with grade 1-2 being milder and benign while higher grades indicate concern about heart defects.


Heart valve disorders, thyrotoxic cardiomyopathy, anemia or infections causing inflammation can prompt heart murmurs in cats.   


Severe murmurs may produce symptoms like lethargy, trouble breathing, coughing, weight loss or fainting but milder ones have no symptoms.


Chest x-rays, ECG and ultrasound scan of heart health provide clarity on the cause and impacts of any problematic murmurs.  


Medicine to support heart function, diuretics, blood pressure control, or prescription diet may help manage heart conditions causing murmurs.   


Mild heart murmurs may never progress while severe ones can be managed if the root condition is treatable with veterinary care.


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