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6513Re: Grief struck and left with questions about HCM

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  • sallymerlin
    Jul 30, 2002
      Hello there,

      I'm so sorry to hear about your wonderful Checkers...it sounds like
      he had a wonderful albeit shorter than expected life with you and it's
      clear that you are a very loving and caring caregiver.

      Since my cat was diagnosed with this disease and since I joined
      this group it seems that often the very young kitties who get this
      disease often have little or no symptoms until just before or during
      their passing. Apparently it is a very difficult disease to spot in
      the younger animal, so I don't think you need to feel any guilt about
      it...or blame...apparently vets often don't see it coming either, even
      when all the best diagnostics in the world are applied. It's just so
      sad that Checkers had to go thru all that before he passed...but he
      was a youngster and it's natural that you wanted to give your furry
      friend every possible chance for a potential recovery...you had to
      try, sadly, it seems it just was not meant to be. And even though he
      may not have been able to respond to you at the end, I'm sure that
      some part of him knew you were there and that you loved him very much.

      Sudden events like this sometimes have secondary
      symptoms...seizures or paralysis...it sounds to me like blood clots
      could have been a real possibility...but as to whether your vet (or
      you) "should" have been able to see this coming, so many times cats,
      especially the young, active ones show little or no symptoms, until
      it's too late.

      I don't know if you have access to any Bach flower remedies...they
      can be found in health food stores, but they can be very helpful for
      dealing with emotional crisis/issues. Walnut is good for sudden loss
      and dealing with things beyond your control...and good old Rescue
      Remedy is so helpful too...they might help ease some of your pain...

      I know it's not much comfort, but it sounds like you did evrything
      you could for Checkers...and I am sure he had a better and longer life
      having found you than he would of if he had remained unadopted...you
      gave him a wonderful life, that is very clear.

      Heart's ease and healing to you


      --- In feline-heart@y..., "peteycat9" <Maxicat92@a...> wrote:
      > Hello group. I'm new to the board and was hoping I could understand
      > more about Hypertrophic Cardiomypathy and what happened to my cat.
      > My cat Checkers was less than 2 years old when he suddenly became
      > and died, of what was later proven to be of Hypertrophic
      > Cardiomyopathy. I am still stunned and heartbroken. I've read all
      > that I can on this disease but what happened to Checkers still
      > doesn't seem to fit in with what I have read about this heart
      > disease.
      > I found Checkers as an 8 month old stray last summer. He was weak

      > when I found him but after feeding him, he perked right up. He
      > acted unhealthy in any way. He had a beautiful, shiney coat and
      > eyes. He never was short of breath and never panted. He didn't
      > any more tired than usual or weak. I had him vaccinated and
      > neutered. He now was a strickly indoor cat.
      > Then one afternoon (last month), he seemed under the weather and I
      > noticed a third eyelid on him. He skipped supper, something he
      > did before. I was concerned but I didn't think it was an emergency.

      > I went to bed with the thought I would get him examined the next day
      > at the vets. I never got that chance. He woke us up 4:00 in the
      > morning in a howl. He was panting franticly with his eye pupils
      > completely dialated. I found him cornered in a cabinet (I later on
      > found out that he also lost all control of his bladder and bowels at
      > that very spot). He was rushed to the vet hospital and placed in an
      > oxygen cage. He was given Lasix and other drugs to ease his
      > breathing. The vet on staff believed his problem to be a cardiac
      > event. Later that day (when his breathing was stabilized), he was
      > examined by another vet that listened to his heart and thought his
      > heart sounded "normal". But much to my horror, I found out my cat
      > was now blind and "circling" in his cage (a specific neurological
      > symptom). Then, Checkers had a seizure(that was controlled) that
      > night. By the next morning, I was called by the hospital and told
      > had another seizure and that he wasn't waking up from it. I was
      > advised to let him go. It was the most horrible experience. Even
      > during the euthanisia, he was seizing and making a horrible
      > noise. I couldn't believe as I watched all this happen to this cat
      > seemed so normal and healthy just 48 hour ago. My beautiful black
      > white cat was now gone.
      > The necropsy showed significant Hypertrophic Cardiomypathy. His
      > blood work was supposedly "normal". The vets could not prove a
      > clot did this to his brain but theorize his sick heart put one out
      > that caused all the damage. Here is where the questions lay. Can
      > this disease present it's self with these terrible neurological
      > symptoms and yet the vet listening to his heart picked up nothing
      > unusual? He was neutered months earlier and again, no unusual heart
      > sounds were reported. Even with a necropsy, I just don't believe I
      > wouldn't have seen something in this cat's behavior before all this
      > happened. I don't recall any "stressor" that happened before he
      > into distress. It seems most people with these cats with HCM at
      > least had warning before the end came. What if his panting was not
      > from a failing heart but because he was frightened by his loss of
      > vision or because he was in pain? He never had any respitory
      > distress before. I feel so cheated, guilty, and depressed. He died
      > blind and semi comatose, not even knowing we were there holding him.

      > Please help me understand what happened. I feel like I let him
      > down. I loved him so much and cannot believe I couldn't have
      > prevented this tragedy.
      > Peteycat9
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