45682Re: looking for general info for a friend
- Aug 1, 2012Hello Althea,
How nice of you to go along with your friend for support!
I take the opposite view and rather like the vet for saying he wouldn't do the dental without the kitty having a cheart checkup. There truly are different schools of thought about dentals - we used to see a vet who did an annual dental on an old kitty we had, then we changed vets for a an unrelated reason and she never had another dental. We had other kitties since then and never has a dental been suggested. One of our elderly cats had a tooth break (lower fang) and so surgery was done to remove the tooth and a dental done at the same time - she did have FORLs and had 4 or 5 teeth break off below the gumline. If she had had regular dental earlier in life I'd like to think the FORLs would not have happened.
Regarding the heart issue -
We lost our Mellie 4 wks ago, she had a stroke at age 16 in 2008. She had been found to have a rapid heart rate in excess of 220 beats per minute and a moderate murmur. Local vet wanted the murmur checked out and sent us to another local clinic for heart echo. Echo vet said she had advanced HCM which led her two regular vets to both advise putting her down (stroke had been misdiagnosed as seizure disorder and they felt seizures + HCM would be impossible to survive). We chose not to put her to sleep but rather found a cardiologist who could see her in 3 weeks but he was almost 3 hrs away. She survived the wait and cardiologist did his own echo (at a cost that was $100 less than the local vet's echo!). Granted we spent more money in total at the cardiologist's as many more tests were done, but I guess I still resent the monies we spent locally at the clinic that gave us a faulty diagnosis - Mellie did not have HCM at all but her rapid heart rate caused problems with her mitral valve flap and she didn't get proper blood flow to her organs, thus the stroke.
Your friend would be wise to get a stethoscope and learn to listen to her cat's heart rate at home. In fact, we should all do that with our cats. Mellie's regular vet said he'd been aware of her fast heart rate but thought it due to clinic stress - it was not.
Off my soapbox now.
Good luck to your friend!
--- In email@example.com, "heartrat@..." <56althea@...> wrote:
> My friend took her cat to the vet today and I tagged along for company.
> this was a new vet, fairly young.
> she started right off stressing how important a dental was for a cat, and how they can have FORLs which can cause a great deal of pain, yet be hiding the pain
> and the only way to know for sure if they had these FORL's was to do a dental xray...
> so my friend is all upset right off because she's not even been able to bring her cat in for her annual exam because she's been out of work, and now she's worried and feeling guilty that her cat may have been in pain all this time.
> Then the vet checks out her heart and suddenly things change- she listened to the cat's heart a long long time, and then checked her pulses in all four legs.
> she says, sorry this cat can't have a dental til she gets her heart checked out, she's got a high heart rate and I'm hearing an arrhythmia, and she specifically mentions PACs
> well I've got atrial fibrillation myself and I also know that in people, at least, PACs and PVCs are common and usually harmless and also occur with more frequency under stress.
> so, we have a stressed out cat, with a high heart rate and some PACs,
> this doesn't sound too alarming to me.
> But the vet is talking about her having HCM. She doesn't say she *has* it, only that she could
> but she could also have a harmless electrical problem
> ok, I'm with her there, but the next thing is, she won't do the dental unless the cat has an EKG and a cardiac echo
> I"m confused at this point- why not just an xray? that will show if the heart is enlarged, if there's fluid in the lungs or chest, right?
> why go straight to the echo?
> This cat is otherwise very healthy- she's a tiny bit overweight, but she eats well, plays vigorously, and is happy and just looks great. So there's no symptoms of any disease, and no heart murmur or gallop-
> JUST the high heart rate and some PACs
> is that all it takes to suspect HCM? or any other serious heart problem?
> I can understand anyone who has a cat with a serious heart issue will think the cost of the ultrasound and consult would be well worth it,
> but for an otherwise healthy cat, and an owner who is out of work, this seems a bit excessive to me
> if there are other less expensive ways to rule out serious heart disease
> Now the owner is even more upset, because she's worried the cat is in pain from her teeth (the vet never said that not all cats get FORLs, she made it sound like she probably has them- which is why I am calling her an alarmist)
> now she's worried her cat is going to up and die suddenly (which is what the vet said could happen- without treatment and even WITH treatment)
> I'm not thrilled that the vet upset my friend this way but aside from that
> isn't there a bit more to go on for suspecting heart disease than what this vet found in this healthy asymptomatic cat?
> What led you or your vet to think that your cats had heart disease, if you don't mind my asking?
> thanks for your time in reading this rather long post. Looking forward to any suggestions or advice you can offer.
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