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  • A.K. Farrell
    Nov 12, 2004
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      My name is Amy. My cat Betti was just diagnosed with
      hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. She has no symptoms, other than
      the heart murmur that tipped the vet off -- and for this I
      feel quite fortunate. I've joined the list to find out more
      about managing this condition.

      I also lost my first cat to HCM about six years ago. His
      first sign of trouble was heart failure, and he was only
      with me for a couple more months after that. For this reason
      I had to fight back a bit of panic about Betti's diagnosis,
      but I think I've gotten past that.

      Here's Betti's story (well, her medical story):

      Betti's vet heard her heart murmur during a regular exam
      about two weeks ago. She was last at the vet's a year ago
      and didn't have a heart murmur then. We had already planned
      a blood panel (Betti's first "geriatric" workup). The good
      news on that was: great-looking labwork. I took her in for
      an echocardiogram and chest x-ray on Monday, which confirmed

      Betti's vet tells me we've caught this early, and with
      treatment she will probably do well for several years. I
      don't know how old Betti is; we have her listed as eight
      years old on her chart, but it's just a guess.

      The vet has prescribed diltiazem, 22.7 mg/day (it's the
      time-release variety). She also recommended I start Betti on
      aspirin -- 1/2 of a baby aspirin every third day.

      I picked up the diltiazem today and gave Betti her first
      dose tonight. It's several little beads in a capsule, and
      the pharmacist says it can be given sprinkled on food. I
      thought I'd try giving her the capsule anyway, as I'll no
      doubt have to give the baby aspirin as a pill. I tried the
      trick of putting butter on the capsule to make it slide down
      better, but I think that only caused the capsule to stick to
      my fingers, and ultimately I was unsuccessful. I wound up
      bringing Betti a "peace offering" with diltiazem sprinkled
      on top, and that went down just fine.

      - Amy
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