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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 16304
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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2 months ago i adopted 2 kittens they are from the same litter,a

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2 months ago i adopted 2 kittens they are from the same litter,a male & a female,the female is growing fine but the male is a lot smaller,he wad fine when i brought him home but a few weeks later he started to have loose bowels with mucus in it,i took him to the vets and they gave him some medicine and it seemex to work but now it has come back,i took him to a different vet to be neutered and they think he has a heart murmour and a hole in the heart,im waiting for a heart scan now but am really worried as he isnt growing very much please help
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that your little fellow is not growing as well as his littermate and may have a congenital heart defect called a ventricular septal defect.
When a kitten is in the womb they don't have to circulate blood through their lungs to get oxygen, they get it from mom's blood via their placenta. There is a small hole between the lower, larger chambers of the heart (ventricles) that allows blood to bypass the lungs. Once the kitten is born the need for oxygen changes blood flow in the heart and the hole should close soon after birth, allowing blood to flow through the lungs to be oxygenated. If that doesn't happen for whatever reason then the defect is called a congenital ventricular septal defect (VSD).
Because the blood isn't being properly circulated through the lungs the kitten's blood oxygen levels are lower than they should be and thus growth is slowed. Also over time the heart works harder as it is circulating blood inefficiently, which also drives up the need for oxygen.
I suspect this is exactly what is happening with your kitten.
The ultrasound of his heart, called an echocardiogram, will identify the extent of the defect and what needs to be done to help him. It may be medication or in some cases surgery is possible to repair or at least decrease the size of the defect. If surgery is needed this is done at a referral veterinary center as general practitioners will not have the equipment needed and this is a very delicate surgery best done by board certified specialists.
Best of luck with your little one.
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