A cat's heart

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Suzy is a very special cat. She is cute and playful. Most importantly though, she's got a very big heart.

Unfortunately, that doesn't make her life any easier, but much more difficult. 

In fact, Suzy's big heart could cost her her life ...


That's because Suzy has Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. Literally, this means that Suzy's got an "excessively developed" (hypertrophic)  "diseased muscle" (myopathy) of the "heart" (cardio). Essentially, her heart muscle is enlarged, making the heart chamber smaller, and leaving it with insufficient space to pump the blood away. Suzy's heart has to work that much harder, and blood will accumulate in the left atrium (atrium). Eventually, the atrium will be stretched to its limit, and blood and fluid will flood the lungs.

Suzy will end up with breathing difficulties, an irregular heart beat, and her blood may clot to the extent that it can no longer be pumped through the body - with all the consequences. 


Helping Suzy...


The researchers of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine want to prevent cats such as Suzy - sweet and playful, with a figuratively big heart - from having to suffer in this way.

Through DNA research they want to find out which genetic markers are responsible for the inheritance of this disease. With this information they want to provide breeders with the necessary advice, so that no cats with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy will be born soon.