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 Post subject: Heart murmur in kitten
PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:33 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:24 pm
Posts: 2
Hi,

I wanted to ask a few questions in relation to heart murmurs in Bengal kittens. I recently brought home my Bengal kitten and took her for her customary 72 hour vet check. During this check, the vet told us that she had a grade 2 or 3 heart murmur. Although she did not get any second opinions from the other vets, she tested the heart rate and it came out to be 180. I am a bit confused as to why this would come out now as the previous vet check that was performed a few weeks from my breeder's vet did not have any heart murmur history on the sheet. I am going to another vet next week for a second opinion as to the grade of the murmur. Is it possible that today's vet simply overstated the level of the murmur? I find it hard to believe that in a few weeks time there would be a substantial difference to the point where its a potential grade 3 from no murmur at all. We're at odds on whether to return the kitten or brave it through as the medical expenses down the line could be quite costly given that she may have heart disease.

Thanks for any help and feedback!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:22 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8012
Hi Tanner. Welcome to our forum. Heart murmurs are quite common in the bengal breed. In fact, my bengal has had one for 10 years. They used to call it a Grade 2, but now it's a Grade 3 and when I took him in a week ago for his annual checkup, the vet could not hear the heart murmur. Doesn't mean it's still not there.

The severity of the heart murmur is Graded. Grade 1 is the least severe. It goes up to a Grade 5 and some vets go to Grade 6. Usually a Grade 1 and 2 are only heard on one side of the heart. Grade 3 is heard on both sides. My bengal has lived 10 years and is active and healthy.

I don't know who your breeder was. Many will and some will not disclose any health issues. Know that their vet is very familiar with them if they bring in a lot of kittens and could easily have asked them to not mention it.

That being said .... sometimes a heart murmur will heal itself in kittens. Many times it will not. As I mentioned, my bengal will turn 10 in two weeks and he shows no signs of having any health issues. The vet monitors the heart murmur (the vet who saw him last time was new). By all means, get a second opinion.

Should you return the kitty? Well, the little one needs a good loving home. There is no guarantee that your next bengal kitten will be free of one. Congential defects are common in the bengal breed due to the heavy inbreeding that still goes on today. You really have to go with your heart on this one. Mine requires no medication, no special treatment. He's like an ordinary cat.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:46 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:24 pm
Posts: 2
Sherry wrote:
Hi Tanner. Welcome to our forum. Heart murmurs are quite common in the bengal breed. In fact, my bengal has had one for 10 years. They used to call it a Grade 2, but now it's a Grade 3 and when I took him in a week ago for his annual checkup, the vet could not hear the heart murmur. Doesn't mean it's still not there.

The severity of the heart murmur is Graded. Grade 1 is the least severe. It goes up to a Grade 5 and some vets go to Grade 6. Usually a Grade 1 and 2 are only heard on one side of the heart. Grade 3 is heard on both sides. My bengal has lived 10 years and is active and healthy.

I don't know who your breeder was. Many will and some will not disclose any health issues. Know that their vet is very familiar with them if they bring in a lot of kittens and could easily have asked them to not mention it.

That being said .... sometimes a heart murmur will heal itself in kittens. Many times it will not. As I mentioned, my bengal will turn 10 in two weeks and he shows no signs of having any health issues. The vet monitors the heart murmur (the vet who saw him last time was new). By all means, get a second opinion.

Should you return the kitty? Well, the little one needs a good loving home. There is no guarantee that your next bengal kitten will be free of one. Congential defects are common in the bengal breed due to the heavy inbreeding that still goes on today. You really have to go with your heart on this one. Mine requires no medication, no special treatment. He's like an ordinary cat.


Hi Sherry,

Thank you for the detailed reply. Yes, we are very attached to our kitten and want what is best for the new member of our family. I just find it unethical for a veterinarian to not disclose a heart murmur, especially if it is a grade 2 or 3. Now, I do not know that this is the case for sure, hence the reason for the second opinion. I am glad to hear that your Bengal has lived to such a good age as I would absolutely be devastated to lose mine at an early age. That being said, if the kitten does have heart problems, they could be considered into a special needs home. Hence why I had considered potentially returning ours as they may have a better home elsewhere with a family that can take care of them. I am hoping for the best and truly want to make this work for our family.


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