I'm sorry that little Carl is not feeling well. It is so difficult
to be a caregiver sometimes, especially when something as mysterious
as heart disease may be on the horizon. I know you are very concerned
and it sounds like you are doing everything for him at the moment.
While x-rays can be helpful in spotting an enlarged heart, or
possible fluid build-ups, what most folks have done is what is called
an echo-cardiogram or ultrasound. After reviewing the x-rays your vet
should be able to determine whether this is the next step or not.
Many kitties will have NO symptoms at all so it is often difficult
to tell anything by how the kitty is "feeling". How old is Carl? I'm
sorry if you've already mentioned it, I don't read all the posts. The
general patterns for heart disease are quite different depending on
the age of the kitty involved.
The good news is that there are many good drugs available now to
help our kits with heart disease. Your Carl sounds as if he is
normally strong and fit so this is also a good sign. Perhaps he just
has been battling a cold virus, hence the runny eyes. When my kits get
this sort of problem, I reach for the suppliment bottles to help their
own immune systems...I give them extra vit E and CoQ10 and I also add
250mg of L-Lysine to their food for a few days. This usually clears
Just like humans, kitties go thru spells of not feeling well for a
variety of reasons...but when you are waiting for potentially
challenging news from the vet, I know that suddenly EVERY little
sneeze or extra hour of nap can suddenly become an issue for concern!
Try to relax and just take this one day at a time :-) IF it is
heart disease, you will be in for a life-altering journey of
caregiving for your Carl and there will be many ups and downs along
the way...but for all the anguish, there are also great rewards as we
get more "in tune" with our kits than ever before.
On the practical level; knowledge is power...check out all the
extra reading here on this site and all the various links. Once your
vet gets back to you about the x-rays, you may want to ask for an
ultrasound with a cardiologist. This is really the best and most
in-depth way to analyze the condition of the kits heart. The cost does
vary depending on where you live but generally it is around $250-300.
If you have any doubts and can afford it, this might give you the best
peace of mind.
Once you've seen a cardiologist you will then know better how to
proceed. There are many different "kinds" of heart disease and
treatment plans vary accordingly...but there are general issues that
we all face and have to deal with. This group can be a great place for
that kind of support...though sometimes it takes us a while to
respond! <sheepish grin> so just post again like you did and hopefully
we'll do better!
I know you are very concerned about Carl...hopefully your vet will
have some good news but if you are still concerned, I recommend seeing
a cardiologist, just to be sure. If you find that you are going to
take this route, let us know and we can talk about what questions to
ask her/him. Sometimes it's easy to forget stuff when we are getting
difficult news....it's best to have things written down and to also
write down the answers when we get them!
Also, this group is good with "numbers"...by that I mean that we
all have learned how to interpret (in a VERY general way) the results
from blood work. If your vet does recommend this for Carl, be sure to
get copies of his results and let us know what his "numbers" are.
Please keep us posted, and hang in there....antibiotics can make
some cats feel very crummy. The important things to look for if you
are concerned about a heart related CRISIS are: "blue" lips, gums or
pads (decreased oxygen in the blood), laboured and rapid breathing (I
mean really laboured, like he can't "catch" his breath), a deep
gurgling or squishy sound in his lungs, very rapid heart rate not due
to exercise, or, sudden paralysis in any of his legs. This last
could indicate a possible blood clot and he needs IMMEDIATE attention
if this is the case. These are all the worst case indicators...and I
don't mean to scare you, but these are what we are all on alert for in
our kits...but even if any one of these things happen, there are still
possible treatments available to try, so, stay positive. Sometimes the
only and first warning of feline heart disease that we get is a
crisis event and many folks here will tell you that their kitties have
recovered and now, with treatment are living reasonably happy and
I hope this helps and I hope Carl is feeling better soon. And
while this group is a wonderful refuge, I hope they won't mind if I
say that my wish for you is that after you get your news from the vet,
that you won't be needing us at all! :-)
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org
> I am just worried about my little boy carl. I posted a message
earlier that he
> might have an enlarged heart. I am still waiting to hear the results
> xrays from a specialist which my vet gave them to for looking at.
Here is my
> post I left on a differnt board and I wonder if these things could
be indicative of
> a heart problem: