The most common heart disease in cats is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, HCM. HCM causes thickening of the heart muscle and decreased heart function. As the heart muscle thickens, muscle stress due to stretching occurs. This heart muscle stretching releases peptides that are detectable in the blood. Stretching and stress elevate the level of peptides in the blood. The pro BNP heart screening test detects these elevated levels of blood peptides.
This test is an important screening test for all cats. All cats should be tested prior to any surgical procedure. Adult cats should begin routine screening at 3 years of age and repeat testing every three years.