Case Studies In Small Animal

Cardiovascular Medicine

Home Up 1    Pleural Fluid 2              Cough 3   Heart Murmur 4           Syncope 5       Tachypnea 6           Cyanosis 7   Heart Murmur 8   Heart Murmur 9              Cough 10    Heart Failure 11              Ascites 12    Pleural Fluid 13           Syncope 14     Bradycardia 15     Tachycardia 16                Blind 17   Heart Murmur 18   Resp. Distress 19        Collapsing 20    Heart Failure 21          Paralysis 22    New Murmur 23              Cough 24          Vomiting 25       Tachypnea 26   Heart Murmur 27      Hemoptysis 28  Limb Swelling 29  Heart Murmur 30 Acute Collapse 31 Enlarged Heart 32               Blind 33             Cough 34         Collapse 35         Collapse 36 Thromboembolus 37  Heart Murmur 38  Heart Murmur

.    Radiographs 2D Echo .    Echo/Doppler Diagnosis

Case 5

Primary clinician: Brad Gavaghan, DVM

Supervising clinician: Mark D. Kittleson, DVM, PhD, DipACVIM (Cardiology)


bulletTwo-year-old FS domestic cat (appears to be a Maine coon cross) weighing 4 kg ("Alice")

Presenting Complaint

bulletBreathing Too Fast

Pertinent History

bulletAlice has been a normal, healthy cat until last night, when the owner noticed that she was listless and tachypneic. She has been tachypneic all night long and the owner is unclear as to any change in Alice's condition since onset.
bulletShe has never exhibited open-mouth breathing.
bulletIntake and output since the onset of signs is unknown.
bulletThe owner reports that Alice will walk normally (at home) since onset of signs.
bulletAlice has not vomited, coughed or sneezed to the owner's knowledge.
bulletAlice is an indoor/outdoor cat, lives with 3 other cats, and is up to date on her vaccinations including FeLV.

Physical Examination

bulletHR >200, RR = 140, T = 100.
bulletCat is responsive but depressed.
bulletShe is markedly tachypneic with shallow breathing.
bulletEENT - Sclera are slightly blue, mucous membranes are pale pink/slightly blue, CRT = 2 seconds.
bulletCoat is clean, fleas noted.
bulletRespiratory effort is exaggerated with prolonged expiration. Auscultation of the thorax revealed high-pitched inspiratory sounds with squeaks ventrally.
bulletThere is a left-sided 4/6 murmur with a gallop rhythm.
bulletAbdominal palpation was unremarkable.
bulletKidneys are smooth and symmetrical; gut loops are smooth; bladder not palpated. 


bulletTachypnea / Dyspnea
bulletHeart murmur
bulletGallop sound (rhythm)


Mark D. Kittleson, D.V.M., Ph.D. All rights reserved.