Animal & Bird Medical Center of Palm Harbor
Medical Database

Cardiovascular Disorders

Dilative (Congestive) Cardiomyopathy in Cats

Animals Affected – Cat

General Information
In dilative cardiomyopathy, the heart muscle is severely weakened and the heart enlarges or dilates. This enlargement reduces the pumping efficiency of the heart and leads to heart failure. A dietary deficiency of the essential amino acid taurine is the most common cause of this disorder in cats. Other diseases, infections, or toxic substances that damage the heart muscle can also cause dilative cardiomyopathy.

Dilative cardiomyopathy is primarily a disease of young to middle-aged cats (average is 7.5 years). Although all breeds of cats may be affected, the disorder is more common in Siamese, Abyssinian, and Burmese breeds.

Important Points in Treatment
1. Dilative cardiomyopathy is a very serious condition, particularly during the early stages of treatment. Blood clots and shock are common complications and may be fatal. After 2 to 4 weeks, if the cat’s condition is improving, the prognosis (medical forecast) is much better.
2. Medication: Giving all medications, on schedule, is extremely important. Please call the doctor if you are unable to medicate your cat as instructed.
3. Activity: Your pet should be confined indoors and no vigorous play should be allowed. Do not encourage your cat to chase objects or other pets.

An Important Update From Animal & Bird Medical Center On COVID-19

We are committed to offering a safe and healthy environment for our clients, pets and hospital team here at Animal and Bird Medical Center. The best way to avoid becoming ill is to avoid exposure to the virus. Taking typical preventive actions is key.

In being cautious and mindful of everyone’s safety, we are actively working to minimize your exposure to crowded exam rooms and long waits in the lobby.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made some changes to our protocols in-hospital for the time-being…

In order to limit exposure while still providing quality care for your pet, we will be implementing special protocols to keep you safe.

We will have our veterinary technicians get a history of the patient’s symptoms and owner’s concerns via phone prior to coming into the clinic.

Our goal is for you to be able to bring your pet in for medical care but have no risk for you or our dedicated staff of transmitting the COVID-19 virus.

The Doctors and staff are dedicated to making sure your pet’s medical needs are taken care of during this national crisis.

We can still fill prescriptions for pick up, however, for those who prefer, non-narcotic and non-urgent prescriptions can be mailed to your home.

As always, careful hand-washing and other infection control practices can greatly reduce the chance of spreading any disease.