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44146question about rate of disease advancement and left atrium enlargement

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  • Alli
    Feb 1, 2012
      Hi Everyone,
      I have a question about rate of disease advancement and left atrium enlargement for the group.
      My 9 year old orange tabby cat Lefty had a checkup the other day, 5 months after his first congestive heart failure and his diagnosis of "unclassified cardiomyopathy" with an enlarged left atrium. The test showed us that in three months there has been a 3mm increase in the size of the left atrium, the first sign we've had that the disease is advancing. I'm trying to figure out how rapidly this means he is headed near end of life, and would appreciate any feedback from the feline heart group, especially if anyone has comparable experience and knows what such a downturn might mean.

      Lefty's been stable on the meds hes taking since we managed the fluid in his lungs after his heart failure (lasix, pimo, spiro and endadard plus a little bit of aspirin), plays and has a good quality of life so far with no recurrance of heart failure, and his blood screening shows no sign of renal failure. But 3 mm in 3 months seems to be a bad sign. If anyone has knowledge of how this rate of advancement works, or what this particular increase might mean in terms of measuring my cats time (1mm/month seems worrisome) I'd love some information from the group. My cardiologist is great but I was too unfocussed at our appointment to ask what this increase might, how near the end we may be, or how lefty compares to other cats in his condition, in the rate of his heart disease.

      The other info: Besides enlargement of the left atrium weve also some leakage around the valves visible on the ultrasound. The dose of meds he takes now however keeps his lungs free. Externally theres little show of trouble: He's skinny but eating and playing but sometimes gets winded if he plays too much or gets in a fight with his brother.
      Thank you
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