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47365RE: [FH] introduction to Esther

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  • Mary Sue Rubin
    Mar 2, 2013
    • 0 Attachment

      The aspirin is being given instead of Plavix. I think if Esther has problems with the aspirin in the future she will be prescribed Plavix instead. I’ll discuss this with the cardiologist. I’ll consider the Miralax. Now she has hard stool sometimes and normal other times.

      Sorry about Boo. I once had a feline only vet diagnose another Devon with asthma, based on breathing sounds, before even taking her out of the carrier! Plus I had to wait 2 ½ hours to be seen even though I an appointment. That was my first and last visit to that clinic. I knew it wasn’t asthma and I explored further. It turned out to be a nasal polyp that she had lived with all her life until she came to me at 6 ½ years old.

      Mary Sue

      From: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com [mailto:feline-heart@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Laurie Stead
      Sent: Saturday, March 02, 2013 1:55 PM
      To: Mary Sue Rubin; feline-heart@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [FH] introduction to Esther

      Mary Sue,

      I am sorry to hear of Esther's dx but thankfully she is doing alright now. I think many of us have horror stories of how our babies were diagnosed. I had a similar experience in that our vet assumed it was asthma upon x-ray and gave Boo a long lasting steroid. By the next day I came home to find Boo gasping for air! I rushed her back to the vet where they took another xray and now saw fluid. The vet told me we should see an internist in the next couple of days but no rush since Boo's "color looked good". He totally dismissed my baby struggling to breathe. There was no way I was taking her home in that condition so I told him to call the ER and we would be rushing there, 30mins away. Well fast forward to the ER where Boo fought for her life in ICU for several days and was
      ultimately diagnosed with DCM. Oh and she does not have asthma. The two have similar symptoms so I really couldn't fault the vet at that point, but when I brought her back in struggling I still have trouble accepting his response. In my opinion, Esther's diagnosis of a heart murmur should have prompted a cardiologist referral. I am still upset with my vet and it's been over a year!

      That being said, the focus now needs to be on Esther and beating this ugly disease. I am glad you now have a cardiologist that is working with you on treatment. I did not see mention of Plavix and the fact Esther may have thrown a clot already, I would want to discuss that with the cardio.

      It sounds like she is a bit constipated based on your stool description. I would add in Miralax to her diet... it is odorless and tasteless which makes it easy to administer. This will help to soften newly forming stool. She'll start feeling better and hopefully even eating better.

      Glad you found the group!


      From: Mary Sue Rubin msrubin@... <mailto:msrubin%40verizon.net> >
      To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com <mailto:feline-heart%40yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Saturday, March 2, 2013 12:39 PM
      Subject: [FH] introduction to Esther


      Sorry for the length of this post. I just joined this group to learn all I
      can about managing RCM and CHF in my Devon Rex, Esther. She turned 18 this
      past Sunday and was diagnosed three weeks ago. I’d like feedback on her
      regular vet not referring us to a cardiologist as well as her prescribed
      medications from the cardiologist. I am upset with my vet, to whom I might
      not return, who for 10 years I have loved and who has provided good care to
      my other Devons and Shih Tzu. When I talked with her about not referring us
      to a cardiologist her response was that in her experience, a referral was
      not warranted.

      Five years ago Esther was diagnosed with a grade 2 heart murmur and we were
      not referred for further evaluation. All blood work ever done on her has
      been normal. On December 6, 2012, I found Esther stretched out and screaming
      on the rug. It probably took me about 45 seconds to get to her because I
      called the vet to say we were coming over. When I picked Esther up she
      stopped screaming. Her back legs were fine (I did know about saddle
      thrombosis then). Her eyes were dilated and her heart rate was high. The vet
      could find nothing wrong. The pulses in her back legs were good. The vet did
      an x-ray of her hips because she said she thought Esther felt pain in one on
      manipulation. I asked about the possibility of a clot to somewhere other
      than the back legs and she said that could be. No recommendation was made to
      go to a cardiologist. Esther’s eyes remained dilated and her heart rate high
      the whole time we were there and for a while after we got home.

      Jump forward about 6 weeks and Esther’s abdomen started to swell. I took her
      back to the vet and an abdominal x-ray was done and it had a “ground glass”
      appearance meaning the organs could not be differentiated. The vet said it
      could be cancer or heart disease and recommended an ultrasound, which she
      doesn’t do. I went to my other vet who is my second opinion vet for the
      ultrasound which showed major heart changes and an enlarged liver. The next
      day I went to a cardiologist and Esther had an echocardiogram and was given
      the diagnosis of restrictive like cardiomyopathy and CHF. There are lots of
      other parts of the diagnosis related to changes in the atria, valves, and
      heart walls. Her lungs sounded okay. Her abdomen was filled with fluid and
      her liver was enlarged. The decision was made to not drain the fluid but
      start on Lasix immediately.

      We started Lasix that day at 10 mg twice a day. After two weeks we changed
      it to once a day and she seems fine. The next day we started benazapril 1.5
      mg, once a day; aspirin, ¼ of an 81mg tablet, twice a week; Vetmedin, ½ of a
      1.25 mg tab, twice a day; and 250 mg taurine in food twice a day. The
      cardiologist said taurine probably won’t make a difference, but it can’t
      hurt. Her blood work after 2 weeks on meds and 3 weeks prior was fine. I
      can’t believe the change in Esther. Over the past year I thought she was
      just showing signs of old age, sleeping more and not playing. She was
      eating well until what I call “the screaming incident”. Within 10 days after
      starting the meds her energy returned. She runs, plays, attacks me in bed,
      is awake much more of the day, and is the old cat I used to have. No one has
      believed her age and she has been very healthy all her life with the
      exception of one URI and one ear infection which were difficult to resolve,
      but eventually did. I’m just beside myself with joy at her improvement. I
      have to keep reminding myself that she is not cured and will never be. The
      vets are saying she probably has 6 months to live, maybe one year if lucky.
      I’m just so happy she is enjoying life for now. Our main challenges are
      getting her to eat enough, though that is improving, and her stools. She
      sometimes strains and her stools are harder than they used to be. I thought
      the meds caused diarrhea. She eats only canned food and raw meat and drinks
      a lot of water.

      Thanks to anyone who reads through this. If there are any
      comments/suggestions about the medication protocol or about not being
      referred earlier to a cardiologist, I appreciate that. I’ve been reading
      through old posts for additional information.

      Mary Sue

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