Cow Mau’s echocardiogram at the vet’s

Cow Mau had his echocardiogram done today. It is basically a thorough ultrasound scan of the heart and it took more than 30 minutes. The left ventricle was checked more thoroughly than the right since it’s the left that pumps oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body.

Cow was very cooperative, though. But he was also mildly sedated with Gabapentin from home, one hour before the vet visit. So, that helped.

From the scans, it isn’t THAT bad.

There is definitely the thickening of the ventricle walls on both the left and right sides. The atriums on both sides aren’t enlarged so that’s good. It means it doesn’t contain a large amount of blood. There is also no presence of tumours or clumps, which again, is a good thing. Cow’s heartbeat is also normal which means his heart isn’t beating too fast. Again, this is all good.

I asked the vet what causes the thickening of the ventricle walls and she says it is most likely genetic or due to old age. It isn’t likely due to his FIV+ condition as that would cause infections.

So what Cow Mau has isn’t uncommon for a cat his age (17 years plus).

But sometimes, such a heart problem can lead to kidney problems because if there is insufficient blood being pumped to the kidneys, the kidneys might start to degenerate. So, heart problems can lead to kidney problems. Similarly, gingivitis can also lead to kidney problems (something I learnt a long time ago, from Vincent’s case) because gingivitis or periodontal disease lead to an increase in globulins and globulins destroy the kidneys.

Cow Mau is presently on blood thinners (Clopidogrel).

Cow’s blood pressure was also taken today and the systolic reading is 150, which is borderline high. The vet has started him on Amlodipine (1/8th tablet), the same dose as Cleo.

Revisit will be in 16 days’ time to recheck his blood pressure.

I also asked the vet what the ProBNP blood test means yesterday. It is actually a measure of certain enzymes that are produced by the heart when there is injury. So, Cow Mau’s high reading means that the injury in his heart happened only recently. If it had happened a long time ago, the reading would not be so high.

So, today’s check-up didn’t turn out to be THAT bad, after all.

You’re alright, Cow Mau. It’s just an aging issue.

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