Heart failure is when the amount of blood pumped to the muscles is decreased, which ends up leaving your cat exhausted. Heart failure starts when the heart is weak and can’t pump enough blood through the cat’s body. This deprives the cat’s organs and tissues of nutrients and oxygen. Symptoms are only noticeable when heart failure has carried on long enough to have fluid retention in the lungs and other areas of the body.
If you notice your cat showing symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, losing weight rapidly, and signs of exhaustion and fatigue, this may be a sign of congestive heart failure and you should take your cat to the vet immediately. Just because your cat may have these symptoms does not necessarily mean it has congestive heart failure. Your cat may require a number of tests for actual diagnosis including ultrasounds, blood tests, x-rays, ultrasound, fluid analysis, and ECG.
Congestive heart failure can be caused by many different things. It can be hereditary and unavoidable as some cats inherit their mother’s heart defects just like humans. It may also be caused by a gradual deterioration of the heart valves over time or due to injury. It may also be caused by a severe case of heart muscle disease. Heartworm disease can also lead to congestive heart failure. If the lining around the heart becomes diseased it can cause congestive heart failure. The most common cause of congestive heart failure is heart muscle disease. Small things such as hyperthyroidism and anemia can eventually lead to congestive heart failure so it is important you get your cat checked out at the first symptoms.
Dependent upon the cause, congestive heart failure treatment ranges. Normally beginning treatment starts with a water pill, then leading to treatment with oxygen, nitroglycerine and other drugs. Sometimes it is required that you alter your diet to limit sodium intake and that you take dietary supplements. Being the cat’s owner, you are the person who is in charge of administering the medication and altering the cat’s diet. Make sure you care for your cat with vigilance, as the cat’s survival is dependent upon you.