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Charlotte Pace
The Veterinary Nurse, Vol. 2, Iss. 2, 25 Mar 2011, pp 68 - 73

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most common cardiac disease in the cat. A recent study showed that in a cardiology referral centre, 46% of cats with heart disease showed no clinical signs of heart failure, which highlights how difficult it can be for veterinary nurses to recognize a cat with severe heart disease. Stress should be avoided at all costs because it acutely increases the body's metabolic demands, and patients with heart failure do not have sufficient cardiac reserve to accommodate such an increase in demand. Cats therefore should always be handled in a calm and competent manner. If a cat presents to the veterinary practice in respiratory distress, first line treatment should include oxygen therapy, diuresis and minimal handling.

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