Welcome to you and Dominic. I am sorry to hear about Dominic's condition but glad that you found us. I am very concerned about Dominic from what you wrote. I am going to assume that you did not see a vet cardiologist. Did you go an ER or just see a regular vet. This statement, in no way, is to denigrate your vet but regular vets know very little about heart disease. We have seen this time and time again in this group. There is much I want to tell you so I apologize if this is long.
The first order of business you will want to do is find a vet cardiologist. You can ask your regular vet if there is one in your area or use our sources in the files section of our group to find one. Dominic needs to have an echocardiogram to see what is going on with his heart. Although you were told that Dominic had mild HCM, you can not know this until you have an echo. There are 3 types of cardiomyopathy, HCM, RCM and DCM. They are each different and usually get treated with meds differently too. An x-ray will not tell you which of the 3 he has.
Dominic's situation of not being able to use his legs sounds like a saddle thrombosis. Did any of the vets say this to you? It is a clot that lodges in the back legs and cuts off circulation. It is a very painful condition and many kitties do not survive one of these clots. It is like a stroke in that there is a blood clot but different in that the clot is not in the brain. Dominic is very lucky to have survived and recovered from a clot of this sort. That being said, he is at VERY great risk to get more. Next time, he may not be as lucky. I do not tell you this to scare you but to inform you. Dominic should be on a clot prevention drug from here on! A cardio would have prescribed one that is why I don't think you saw a cardio. Being that Dominic probably had a saddle thrombosis, I do not think Dominic's condition is mild. He should definitely be on some type of heart med from here on, as well. I can not express enough how delicate Dominic's situation could be. If the
vets won't prescribe a clot prevention med, you should consider giving one yourself. I used Nattokinase which is a natural enzyme that can be found in health food stores on online. I would use a minimum of 50mg/day of natto for clot prevention. If you want more info on this, just email me.
Heart and kidney problems often go hand in hand and no one is sure which causes which. My Angel Alec had CRF and RCM. Both diseases can be managed but it can be tricky. You will need to monitor Dominic closely while on meds. Sub-qs can be given while a kitty is in CHF but, again, it is tricky and there is trial and error as to how much fluids can be tolerated. A cardio can help with this as they are used to seeing kitties with both problems. Be sure to allow Dominic as much fluid as he wants. The lasix will cause him to consume more and his body will need it. It still may not be enough and you may end up having to give sub-qs. If so, you will need to give the fluids in smaller quantities and more times a day. This will allow the body to slowly absorb the fluids where needed without overloading his system or his heart. Also, with Dominic being on lasix, you will need to monitor his potassium level and he may need supplemented as time goes on. Bloodwork will probably be a
monthly occurrence to monitor his kidneys and electrolytes.
I am sure that you are probably overwhelmed by now from what you are reading. It is not as bad as it sounds after you get into a routine. The first few months after diagnosis are the hardest and then it gets easier as you learn more and get used to the new "normal" for Dominic. Something you will want to watch carefully is his breathing. Normal respiration rates for kitties is 20-30 breathes per minute. When they are greater than 30, Dominic will probably be retaining fluid in/outside of his lungs and need lasix for help. It is best to count their breathes when they are sleeping or resting but not purring or dreaming as this will increase their rate. We can help you with this if you have questions.
Another thing you may want to consider is feeding canned only food so that Dominic will get the extra fluid that he needs. You may also want to add supplements like CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10),taurine and l-carnitine to his regiment for better heart function. The supplements won't cure him but they hopefully will slow the progression of the disease. If you want more info on supplements, just email me.
Be sure to ask us any questions that you may have even if they aren't heart related because they often are. We are here to help you as much as we can. We are not vets but collectively we have been through just about everything there is with heart kitties. We are glad that you found us.
Leah and her cats and Angel Alec
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