P took Smudge in for his heart ultrasound today to see just what it is that is causing his pronounced heart murmur and occasional shortness of breath.
Turns out it’s lesions on the heart wall, and a lot of fluid in the right ventricle.
There is no treatment, and the vet reiterated his remarks about “this one not living to old age.”
This gives us a bit more clarity, but isn’t really a surprise. Every vet who has ever listened to his heart has said that there is definitely something wrong that is probably not fixable, and will result in the cat not making it to senior years. But hey, they’ve been saying that for nearly three years already, and the cat’s quality of life seems generally OK to us.
So, the general treatment plan is to continue as normal – which is a relief. It didn’t seem very fair to have to catch and pill a timid kitty every day, so I’m glad we haven’t come out of the process needing to give daily doses of medication. There is a short course of diaretics to follow to see if we can get some of the fluid off his heart. Apart from that, if his breathing difficulty gets worse – as it does seem to every spring, possibly related to pollen allergy – we can take him in for one-off steroid injections that ease the problem a little. And we’ll take each day as it comes and do our best to keep him happy.