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38812Re: WAS Re: [FH] Re: TJ in Houston - HCM , NOW Litter

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  • Helen Peterson
    Feb 1, 2010
      I switched from the clumping clay mess to the crystals when Zima started having allergies a couple years ago - oh my gosh!  Not only did the cats like it, it works great!  It doesn't smell, doesn't have that dust that coats and sticks to everything, and was so easy to clean...I love it.  I still use it and will never ever go back to that other stuff!
       ~Helen, Zima, & Toby ~

      From: MEL POLING <polingm@...>
      To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com; Kristen G <apacheadd@...>
      Sent: Mon, February 1, 2010 11:39:51 AM
      Subject: Re: WAS Re: [FH] Re: TJ in Houston - HCM , NOW Litter

      On the box of Swheat Scoop, it says to gradually introduce by mixing with regular litter; but I didn't do it that way. When my kitty first became ill, they thought she had asthma so I just cleaned house (literally) and threw out the clay litter before she got home from the emergency vet. She took to the Swheat Scoop right away.  My other kitty meowed around for a few days (expressing confusion), but used it anyway.  The key to Swheat Scoop is to keep a minimum of 3" in the litter pan at all times. Otherwise the urine sticks to the bottom of the pan.  Swheat Scoop is very easily flushable so that was a pleasant surprise as well.  It clumps fine though not as strongly as the clay litter; but all in all, I wish I had changed years ago.  Like you, I could smell the clay litter in my kitty's hair, in the carpet, etc.. and couldn't imaging how that could possibly be healthy for her.

      --- On Mon, 2/1/10, Kristen G <apacheadd@yahoo. com> wrote:

      From: Kristen G <apacheadd@yahoo. com>
      Subject: WAS Re: [FH] Re: TJ in Houston - HCM , NOW Litter
      To: "polingm@bellsouth. net" <polingm@bellsouth. net>, feline-heart@ yahoogroups. com
      Date: Monday, February 1, 2010, 12:57 PM

      Hi -- Sorry to hijack this discussion, but your comment about litter caught my eye.  I have tried to switch my cats to World's best litter, or something like that, from the clay litter (fresh step, UGH) but they just did not like it, even when I mixed just a little into their normal.  Did you have any problems switching to Swheat Scoop?  Just curious.  If I hug Duffer (yes, I force her to be hugged before dinner!!) I can smell that clay litter dust on her -- horrible.  I have been using clay litter since they were kittens. 

      If anyone else has any litter thoughts or experiences, please share!  :)


      From: "polingm@bellsouth. net" <polingm@bellsouth. net>
      To: feline-heart@ yahoogroups. com
      Sent: Mon, February 1, 2010 5:52:09 AM
      Subject: [FH] Re: TJ in Houston - HCM


      Debra: My kitty Felicity was recently diagnosed with DCM, which is relatively rare these days. Most kitties on this post have HCM. I do not know about the treatment regimen for HCM, but for DCM the prescribed Pimobendan 1.25mg (split in two doses); Furosemide (lasix) at 6.25mg daily (split in 2 doses) and Benazepril Hydrochloride at 1.25mg daily (1/4 of a 5 mg tablet). I am also supplementing with about 500 mg of Taurine daily (NOW brand from health food store) and chewable vitamins (Pet Naturals of Vermont, Daily Best, from Petco). Vet said it was ok to start supplementing with Taurine now in the event that Felicity's taurine test came back low for Taurine (a major cause of DCM - though less likely if you are feeding commercial cat food as it is aleady supplemented with Taurine. In any case, Taruine is an essential amino acid for kitties so vet said it would not hurt.

      Again, I don't know how the treatment for HCM differs from this - I only know that the regimen above has done very well for my Felicity.

      As to the tests, only the Echoardiogram (the ultrasound test I believe) showed that Felicity had DCM. It was $254 plus an exam fee of $103. There were several other tests though, including the T4 @ $49 and the Taurine test at $90 (plus others) that were added as part of the comprehensive screening. Perhaps you could call the vet cardiologists in Houston and ask if they could work with you in stages. That is, get the primary Echocardiagram and exam to get a definitive diagnosis but hold off on the T4, Taurine, and other tests for now. At least if you have a definitive diagnosis you can start with the proper medications.

      My cardiologist has an assistant (as I would assume most do) who is very knowledgable about what each test reveals, the cost and the sequence in which they can be given -- as well as appropriate meds for each diagnosis. The assistant is easier to access by phone than the cardiologist so you might want to place some initial calls and see what they can tell you. Most are compassionate and will help guide you according to your finances.

      In the long run, you will save money by getting a definitive diagnosis now. Without the right meds your kitty could end up in the emergency vet clinic (mine did) and that cost me $1300. Once I got the correct diagnosis and the right meds, Felicity has stabilized and the cost is managable.

      One final note, I also changed out Felicity's litter to a natural product (from Arm N Hammer dusty clay litter to Swheat Scoop) and also installed hepa filter on the ac/furnace -- and am using a hepa bag in the vacuum. Plus I do not allow anyone to smoke in the house anymore. Don't know if all of that is necessary but was an easy way to improve the internal air kitty breathes and with a heart condition, I thought it would make things easier for her. Wish I had changed out the clay litter YEARS ago, as that has made a big difference for all of us.

      That's all the tips I can think of. If it turns out your kitty has DCM, feel free to write me: polingm@bellsouth. net. Good luck!!!

      --- In feline-heart@ yahoogroups. com, "airumel" <beepsandclicks@ ...> wrote:
      > Hello,
      > Last week my 9 year old cat TJ was diagnosed with HCM. The diagnosis is not "official" as we have only done an xray. The vet would like for me to go to a specialist and get him an ultrasound this week. I hate to say this but I cannot really afford it at the moment. I literally just spent thousands on my 14 year old dog over the past two months--she unfortunately just died Tuesday. TJ began acting strange on Wednesday, but I thought he was just lethargic and not eating due to grief. At any rate, as much as it pains me to say this, I need to watch my money. I intend to give him full care, but need to shop around and find the best prices. I understand that the ultrasound is a requirement, not an option, so we'll get it done.
      > Having said that, does anyone know of a good place in Houston to get an ultrasound for him for a reasonable price? I was hoping to find a place rather than Gulf Coast, as I believe they are the most expensive.
      > Also, we are going back to the vet tomorrow to get TJ's blood work done (the vet decided to wait until Monday so as not to stress TJ out too much during the first visit Friday). He has suggested the kidney function test and the CBC (I have also heard the T4 test is important but he did not mention this). Are all of these equally important at this time? I understand the kidney test is important for the drugs, but what will a CBC tell you in regards to the heart? And is a T4 necessary if TJ does not appear to have a thyroid issue (physically he does not fit the profile of a hyperthyroid cat)?
      > How do treatment options differ between HCM and DCM? Has anyone had luck using herbs (dandelion, etc) instead of Lasix? The vet currently has TJ on Lasix 2x day (12.5mg each) and elanapril (1/4 of a tab) 1x day. TJ weighs 14#. He is acting pretty normal once again, thankfully, after a couple of doses of Lasix (it didn't seem to help him until a bit after 12 hours, or after his second dose). If TJ's kidneys are healthy, will these drugs still cause his kidneys to suffer, or is there a way to offset this?
      > I apologize for my long list of questions. I have lots to lean. I'm off to read some of the old messages on this forum.
      > Thanks,
      > Debra
      > Houston

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