University Veterinary Hospital (UVH), Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universiti Putra Malaysia
A 10-week old Persian kitten was evaluated for emaciation (0.3kg), serous ocular and nasal discharge. The kitten was treated for upper respiratory tract disease with chloramphenicol eye drops, oral cephalexin, multivitamin and immune therapeutic syrup. The kitten responded well initially to the treatment, however on day 6 of hospitalisation, it became dyspnoeic with abdominal and open-mouthed breathing and was placed in an oxygen cage. Thoracic radiographs revealed generalised cardiomegaly. The kitten was found dead the following morning.
At necropsy, it was diagnosed as dilated cardiomyopathy with no other signs of congenital cardiac anomalies. There was also evidence of pulmonary oedema, peritoneal effusion and hepatomegaly. Histopathology of the heart revealed atrophy of the myocardium which is consistent with dilated cardiomyopathy.
Dilated cardiomyopathy is associated with taurine deficiency and ages of affected cats varied from 5 months to 16 years with a mean age of approximately 7.5years. As the kitten was recently weaned, taurine deficiency seems unlikely since both parents were fed with premium cat food. Therefore, it can be inferred that the cause is non-taurine related and congenital dilated cardiomyopathy is highly possible although there have been no reports of congenital dilated cardiomyopathy