Treatment in the Early Stage
In cats where cardiomyopathy has been diagnosed, but the disease is mild with no enlargement of the left atrium, there is no clear evidence to suggest any treatment can slow or delay its progression. This is an area of on-going research and more clinical trials for cats are needed.
In cats where a big left atrium with slow, swirling blood flow and poor function has been confirmed, the risk of forming a clot is high. In these circumstances your veterinarian will most likely give medication (e.g. aspirin and clopidogrel) to help prevent your cat from forming a clot.
Treatment in Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
Where heart failure develops, various drug treatments may be available to help improve and manage the condition.
The most important is diuretic treatment (e.g. Furosemide), which helps to remove the fluid build-up in the lungs. Cats will often have to be hospitalised and given oxygen while these drugs take effect. If there is fluid around the lungs (pleural effusion), then the most effective treatment is to remove this using a small needle and syringe to drain the chest, a procedure known as thoracocentesis.
ACE inhibitors (e.g. Fortekor, Benazecare) help block the activation of a hormone system that is stimulated in cats with heart disease which can add to the fluid retention.
If your beloved cat is diagnosed with heart disease, there are several possible treatment plans or a combination of plans:
Diuretics, which help clear excess fluids built up due to poor circulation,
Medication to relax blood vessels, aid blood flow and help the heart function more efficiently.
Treatment for heart disease will vary based on the needs of each individual cat! Only your veterinarian based on the performed test results can develop a plan that is right for your cat.