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39316Re: Congestive heart failure and heartworm

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  • dshale1
    Apr 30, 2010
      Carol, I know how you feel--it's been 12 weeks since we lost Pye and it hurts just as much now as that same evening.

      You make a good point that heartworm should be considered when cat a cat has respiratory or heart problems. Our cats have all been on heartworm preventative since they were young; however, I believe that the echocardiograms and x-rays that heart kitties have so frequently can often diagnose heartworms. Initially our youngest cat, who we adopted as a stray, was suspected of heartworm exposure because her blood tests showed very high eosiniphils (a common reaction to parasites) but heartworm antigen testing isn't all that reliable, we found out after the vet ran the tests. Even though the tests were negative, he wanted to do an x-ray just be sure. Since the x-ray was normal, he felt comfortable ruling out heartworm infection.

      I guess what I'm saying is that even though Snowball didn't have heartworm antigen testing, there are other signs that probably would have shown up in blood tests, x-rays and echocardiograms. So I wouldn't assume she had heartworm and all the signs were missed.

      I do understand, however, because I have gone over and over in my head whether anything else could have been done for Pye, and have questioned why the vets and specialists didn't do this or that. I guess it doesn't help to dwell on those doubts, though, because it won't bring her back. I think we all can fall into thinking that even though we did everything we could, there was something more we should have done. It's because we miss our dear beloved kitties so much I guess we want to believe there had to have been some way to save them, even though there wasn't.

      --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, "C.R." <carolroars@...> wrote:
      > hi everyone,
      > I was reading one of my pet magazines today (Healthy Pet magazine, Spring 2010 issue). It's this little magazine that I get through one of my vets' offices. There was this article about heartworm disease. It talked about how the symptoms of heartworm are much the same as CHF. Here's the paragraph from the article.
      > "Since heartworm disease affects cat's lungs more often than their hearts, cats suffering from heartworms usually show respiratory signs such as coughing, rapid breathing, open-mouthed breathing, and gagging. Furthermore, vomiting that's not associated with eating and fainting is more common in cats than in dogs. Other signs of heartworm disease to watch for in cats include diarrhea, anemia, weight loss and lethargy."
      > I never knew the symptoms of heartworm, and so many of them are just like when a cat goes into congestive heart failure, I thought it was important to know. Sometimes we have cats who don't have fluid buildup and we don't know the cause of their coughing or gagging. It's possible it could be heartworm, so it's a good idea to get heartworm tests done when you do your other bloodwork.
      > For two years my Angel Snowball would do this coughing/gagging thing, and the vets never knew why. They never suggested she get tested for heartworm. Now I'm wondering if that's what she had that was always causing her coughing and gagging. Snowball never had fluid in her lungs or chest, ever. So now I'm thinking maybe she did have heartworm disease and it was never diagnosed. This is just one more thing that I'm so upset about with the vets who treated Snowball. For three years of her being sick I was constantly searching and searching for answers about her illnesses, and never getting much back from the MANY vets she saw... just one more thing that makes me feel guilty about her passing. I know I did everything I could for her during her life, but there's always this aching feeling that I failed her.
      > It's 17 weeks today that Snowball passed away, and I'm still having such a hard time.
      > Anyway, I just wanted to pass along the heartworm info.
      > take care,
      > Carol and Angel Snowball *5/10/91 to 1/1/10*
      > and the gang
      > http://carolandsteveskitties.shutterfly.com/
      > Snowball in the planter box.
      > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0o6bLwo5jPE
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