Dilated cardiomyopathy is a common form of cardiomyopathy.
It is also seen in young to middle-aged cats (mean age reported to be 7.5 years) and, although all breeds can be affected, there is a higher incidence in the Siamese, Abyssinian and Burmese breeds. In cats this form of heart muscle disease was associated with taurine deficiency but this is now rare.
In cats dilated cardiomyopathy can occur at any age with a mean age of onset of about 7.5 years.
In cats there are conflicting reports about whether or not one sex is affected more than the other.
In cats a dilated caudal vena cava, enlarged liver and free abdominal fluid (ascites) may be present.
Ultrasound (called echocardiography)
A Provet Educational Video on "An introduction to Echocardiography" by Malcolm Cobb and Rebecca Stepien can be obtained from the Provet On-line Store.
Also, Provet have launched an On-line Certificate Course on Ultrasonography for veterinarians go to www.provet.co.uk/ultrasound/home.htm
Recently it has been suggested that an imbalance in the oxidant-antioxidant system may be involved in the cause of this disorder. .Click here for more information
The prognosis is good for dilated cardiomyopathy associated with taurine deficiency in cats, as correction of the nutritional deficiency effectively reverses the disease.
Updated January 2016