Managing Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy With Inderal

Feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (FHC) is a potentially fatal disease, but it can be managed with Inderal. The condition is one of the most common heart diseases seen in cats and involves the thickening of the heart muscle. It's often connected with hyperthyroidism and is incurable. However, if the disease is caught in the early stages and treatment begins, your cat could still live for years with the condition.

Causes of Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

FHC is thought to be a genetic condition. It affects certain breeds of cats more than others and usually presents itself in middle-aged and male cats. Vets think the condition is genetically inherited in Maine Coon and American Shorthair cats, but it can potentially develop in any breed.

Symptoms of Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

The biggest risk of feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is congestive heart failure. Sometimes this can be the first symptom, as it can otherwise be hard to diagnose the condition. Cardiomyopathy in cats can present no symptoms at all, so if your cat is one of the ‘at risk' breeds or has another condition which may affect his heart it is important to seek your vet's advice.

Other symptoms of FHC might include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Lack of energy
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Fainting fits
  • Possible paralysis in the rear limbs

If your cat presents any of these symptoms or you fear he may have FHC, it's important to see a vet immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment will help prolong your cat's life and help keep the condition under control.

Treating the Condition with Inderal

Inderal is one of the drugs used to treat Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. It is the brand name for a drug called Propranolol. Propranolol is a beta blocker that is used to decrease the heart rate, blood pressure and the amount of oxygen the heart needs.

It is one of the few drugs that are suitable for both humans and animals. However, your cat should never be given Inderal meant for humans, as the dosage will be too high. It can only be prescribed by your vet, who will specify the correct dosage for your cat.

Possible Inderal Side Effects

Like all drugs, Inderal is safe but could bring out side effects in some animals. If your cat has a history of congestive heart failure, he will need careful monitoring while on Inderal. As the drug works to slow the heart rate down, your cat may also become weaker and possibly even faint. Inderal should not be mixed with other drugs. If your cat is on any other medication it's important to let your vet know.

If your cat has feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, with treatment he might still have many years ahead of him. Provided the condition is caught early and you give your cat a calm, stress-free environment, he can still enjoy life, even with the condition.