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Not So Fantastic Mr Fox

Published on October 14, 2019.
Last Updated November 24, 2021.

One friend’s experience with Cardiology

Celebrity vet Dr Katrina Warren owns a cheeky (and enormous) Maine Coon cat – Mr Fox – whose tendency to eat strange things became a source of worry when one evening he started vomiting severely.

Katrina rushed Mr Fox to SASH to see the team on VetICU at first, but his case became a real team effort to figure out the problem. Katrina was understandably concerned but was comfortable leaving Mr Fox in good hands. After being treated with pain relief and intravenous fluids, Mr Fox’s condition improved significantly, although a heart murmur was also noted.

Under the care of Dr Justin Wimpole from the Internal Medicine Team, Mr Fox was taken to Radiology for an abdominal ultrasound. Given Mr Fox’s taste for strange objects, Justin was checking for gastrointestinal obstructions, which can cause vomiting and if left untreated, can be serious and life threatening. However, radiographer Dr Kathleen Chow gave the all clear – there were no signs of obstruction.

An echocardiogram (ultrasound examination) performed by our cardiologist Dr Rita Singh showed that Mr Fox’s heart muscle was mildly thickened (Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy aka HCM). This was the cause of the murmur and is likely a breed-related heart problem, as Maine Coons can sometimes be affected by HCM. While Mr Fox’s condition was very mild, if it progresses it could lead to problems such as heart failure or blood clots. Fortunately, it will not be causing Mr Fox any problems in the short term, but the plan is now for this to be rechecked with echocardiography every year.

Mr Fox has been discharged to have some dinner at home and a stern talking to from Katrina about some of his eating habits.

PS: everyone at SASH could not help but admire the handsome and HUGE Mr Fox. His cage was busy with doting nurses including our Feline Advocate and Nurse, Fay Bryant who could not help but give him numerous cuddles.

“​Our VetICU team were able to treat Mr Fox with pain relief and intravenous fluids. After the Medicine team were able to rule out a gastrointestinal problem, a heart condition the most obvious cause.”


About the Author

Bec Moss

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SASH is home to some of Australia’s leading specialists and veterinary experts. If you have any concerns about your pet, please get in touch with us.

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