RE: [FH] I am shocked - cat just diagnosed (sorry for long post)
- Dear Cathy, I am so, so sorry about Annie. I know how you feel she is your child and there can be no greater bond between two souls. There is hope. There is a lot that can be done. I know those who are great with the terminology will write you and be able to explain things better, but I just wanted to tell you to hang in there. Also, Barbara one of our very good friends here always recommended Transfer Factor for improving the immune system. I haven't received it yet so I can't say how it works but she has raved about it and her kitty Freddie Mon lived till 19. Feeding the best, most natural food with little to no carbohydrates may help her immune system too - grains are not really digestible by cats and have been shown to increase allergies. But of course check with your vet because I do not know how it would work with her liver failure. If they let Annie go home with you after finding heart failure, that's a good sign. We are thinking of you and Annie, Love, Lisa, Barney and Angel Gable
From: cathyannie2003 [mailto:cathyannie2003@...]
Sent: Monday, August 04, 2003 9:00 PM
Subject: [FH] I am shocked - cat just diagnosed (sorry for long post)
Hoping to get some support for a recent diagnosis of my "baby" Annie
who just turned 7 today. This is my first pet and as I am a single,
working women she is truly my child.
She was diagnosed with a rare skin disease, pemphigus foliaceus, in
the beginning of June. While generally not fatal, it is not curable
but manageable with drugs. She started out with high doses of
triamicinalone (steriod) and cyclosporine (immune suppresent) and
within 3 weeks the disease was in remission. Unfortunately, the
frequent blood testing showed that her body had a severe reaction to
the steriod and she had liver failure. We reduced the steriod to
almost nothing and her liver had got back to normal in the next three
weeks. In the meanwhile she had another attack of pemphigus (immune
system attacks it's own skin creating severe lesions) and we slightly
increased the steriod while monitoring the blood. My dermatology
specialist recommended that I take her to a internal medecine
specialist as Annie had a slight anemia througout the last 2 months
that wouldn't seem to go away. The dermatology vet wanted to confirm
that there was not something she was missing.
So the last 2 months had already been somewhat stressful for both
myself and my cat but I wasn't prepared for Friday...
Friday we went into the internal medecine clinic and were checked
in. To my shock, they told me she was in heart failure when we got
there! I had noticed earlier in the week that she was breathing a
little heavy but attributed that to a side effect from the
She was diagnosed with 1) effusion-pleural (they drained 160 mls of
pseudochylous effusion) 2) cardiomyopathy/intermediate and 3) anemia.
I am floored. The discharge summary is written in a language other
than english and the technician who gave me the papers couldn't
explain it. The specialist was not in today but I'm preparing a list
of questions for him tomorrow (researching internet, etc...). I was
a bit in shock Friday to prepare good questions. The comments say
*Auscultation muffled lungs with grade 1-2 systolic murmer
*Survey radiographs reveal significant pleural effusion and
Significant cardiomegaly, biatrial enlagement and right heart failure
I almost lost it when I asked the specialist about long term life
span and he said 80% of cats die within 3 years! Is this true? I
then read a website today and it said the average was 6 months!
On Friday they gave her a transfusion and submitted a sample of bone
marrow and effusion to the lab. I brought her home late Friday night
and hoped she would perk up over the weekend. She was quite letharic
and I attributed it mainly to her pemphigus. However, this morning I
thought something wasn't right (after she didn't eat dinner or
breakfast this a.m) and dropped her off at the regular vet (who is
great) on the way to work. The vet just called and said she had a
temparature of 104.8. The vet drained some fluids and was surprised
that they were a cloudy yellow. She put them under the microscope
and found white blood cells and bacteria. She then called the
speciality clinic and the test results from friday all came back
negative. So over the weekend she has developed an infection in the
chest cavity (probably a result of the suppresed immune system and
the bad reaction to the steriod). I'm picking her up and bringing
her to the 24-hr hospital at the specialty clinic so she can be
monitored and she will be with the specialty doctors. They are going
to put a tube in her chest to suck out the pussy materials and
continue the antibiotics. My (regular) vet says that she has a
chance for a good life we just need to hang in there and pray that as
the steriod rids itself from the body (it was discontinued Friday)
she will shape up. I am a wreck. I have to see my baby suffer but
at no time has anyone suggested she is in lifelong pain without
hope. Still it is so hard playing the waiting game, especially when
I'm also seeing her suffer on the outside with the skin disease.
I guess I just needed a place to write down my anxieties with a group
of people who truly understand what I am going through. This seemed
like a good forum for it. Has everyone experienced the same type of
emotion when their cat is diagnosed? Are the cats lives happy when
living with heart disease? Any feedback is greatly appreciated.
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