An emergency vet said that my cat has an enlarged heart (discovered via chest x-rays). How worried should I be?
I came home after work yesterday to find my usually very-friendly 3 year old cat Sammy
in apparent pain--unusually quiet (usually you can't shut him up) except when I touched him, when he freaked out completely. I took him to the emergency vet and they decided it was probably an abscess, as his side was swollen and he'd been fighting lately with the neighborhood bully cat. I was given antibiotics and pain medication for him, and he seems to be feeling a lot better today, aside from the fact that he's ticked at me for not letting him outside.
While checking him up, the vet was worried about his heart murmur--previously acknowledged by our vet (who said it might be something I should get looked at "eventually") at the last check-up; she said it seemed loud for a 3-year-old cat and asked for my permission to to take x-rays, which I agreed to. She said that the x-rays revealed that his heart was "a little enlarged" and recommended that I see a vet. cardiologist in the next month or two. There was no fluid in the lungs or anything like that, so it's not congestive heart failure. YANAV and YANMV--in fact, Sammy will be seeing our vet, who I plan to give a copy of the x-rays to and discuss this with further, tomorrow morning. However, google
has me a bit of a confused, panicked mess over the whole thing. Other than last night's apparently unrelated illness, he's completely asymptomatic. I'm looking for answers from those who might have been in the same boat, especially with a young cat. I get the idea that treating an enlarged heart might be expensive, but how expensive? What kind of quality of life can he be expected to enjoy? Is this the death sentence that the internet makes it out to be?
Even though YANAV, feel free to take a gander at his adorable little bones and big ol' heart here