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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 10921
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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Hi I had 2 chocolate point Siamese a brother and sister from

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Hi I had 2 chocolate point Siamese a brother and sister from same litter. Zac the boy passed away suddenly in dec I came home from work and thought he was sleeping in his bed but he was gone .... My family all heartbroken as Zac was only 3. I took him to vet and she said could have been Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. He had no symptoms at all even at vet check ups and was playing and eating normally that morning nothing out of the ordinary but about a week before he had sort of an abscess like a sausage shape across his head I thought it maybe by his sister Zoe as she always nips him hard and it looked a bit like an abscess there was no blood or pus and didn't seem to bother him unless pressed it and he was running about playing and eating as normal so thought he was ok and it started to go down after a few days. I am finding it the hardest to cope cos I blame myself cos keep wondering if that is what caused his death.
Thank You

Hello Tracey, I'm Dr. Deb and I'll do my best to help you today.

First, let me extend my sincerest condolences to you and your family on the loss of your beloved cat, Zac. I know this must have been absolutely heartbreaking for you and is still difficult for you to process.

Without an autopsy, we can't entirely know for sure what caused Zac's sudden death but I can pretty much assure you that the lump he had was not in any way responsible. More than likely, it was a small abscess which was resolving on it's own.

I agree with your vet that Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy could have caused his sudden passing even though he hasn't shown any previous symptoms of heart issues.

Cats are quite adept at hiding and masking disease until this condition has progressed and it catches up with them. They can seem fine one day and yet be gone the next; it's always shocking when this happens. Owners feel that they must have missed something and if they had only had their cats seen sooner, then a different outcome would have happened. This may be the case with some heart conditions but since he died so suddenly, it is unlikely that you would have been able to save him or effectively treat him with drugs.

However, there are a few other possible explanations for his sudden passing:

1.He could have thrown a clot or embolism.
2. He could have had the equivalent of a heart attack unrelated to cardiomyopathy
3. He could have had an aneurysm (rupture of a blood vessel).

I hope I can reassure you that you are in no way responsible for his death. You didn't miss anything and could not have prevented this from happening...of this I am absolutely certain.

Again, my sincerest condolences on your loss. Deb

Dr. Deb and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
I just wanted to thank you for the rating; it's greatly appreciated.

I hope that with time, you'll be able to remember Zac with tears of joy rather than tears of sadness, though I do know there's going to be a huge hole in your heart for a long time to come. With kindest regards, Deb

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank You for your reply you have eased my mind a bit as was feeling guilty and think that let the grief last longer and also to lose Zac at age 3 was looking forward spending many years with him . Do you know if cardiomyopathy is breed related? Or inherited or just bad luck as the cats were fed a high quality food royal Canin veterinary diet and up to date with injections and check ups plus didn't really eat snacks or anything .
I'm glad that I was able to ease your mind about this. And, I also know how hard it is to lose a pet at such a young age. It's always difficult but even more so when they haven't lived a full life.

Yes, cardiomyopathy can be breed related: Maine Coons, Persians and Ragdoll cat breeds are most likely to be affected although it can be seen in any breed.
Males are affected more than females and it's more commonly seen in ages 6 months to 4 years, although it can really be seen at any age.

In this case, it was probably just bad luck, if he did, indeed, die from cardiomyopathy.

It sounds like he received excellent care and that you did everything you could to insure that he would stay healthy. It's just heartbreaking to lose him like this. Deb