Causes of Congenital Heart Disease in Cats
Congenital heart disease is rare in cats. At this time, no breeds have been scientifically proven to be predisposed to any specific congenital heart disease. That said, there is evidence of specific breed predilections to acquired heart disease. These breeds tend to be the “short-nosed breeds” including Persians.
Treatments of Congenital Heart Disease in Cats
Therapy for congenital heart disease in cats is very similar to dogs. Balloon valvuloplasty and transcatheter occlusion are used in cats with pulmonic stenosis and PDA respectively. These techniques are not used very often given the general scarcity of congenital heart disease in cats. Mainstays of therapy include medical management with the following oral medications.
Furosemide (lasix) – This drug works by eliminating fluid through the kidneys. Unfortunately, this drug can damage the kidneys when used chronically.
Enalapril – This drug works by preventing the kidneys from retaining fluid. In addition it serves to dilate the arteries thereby lessening the work that the failing heart has to overcome. This drug is also effective at preventing protein loss in through the kidneys.