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  • allisond65
    Hi, I have had Sunny for 11 years now, and I can honestly say that he has been my constant. On 10/31/03, I was told by his vet that he has hypertrophic
    Message 1 of 9 , Nov 4, 2003
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      Hi,
      I have had Sunny for 11 years now, and I can honestly say that he
      has been my constant. On 10/31/03, I was told by his vet that he
      has hypertrophic cardiomyapothy. I researched this on the internet
      and have learned that this is incurable and harsh side effects could
      occur rapidly. I am terrified!! I have health problems myself and
      as a child really needed my cat as a sense of security...his
      unconditional love is really appreciated and needed. I have made an
      appointment with North Carolina State University Vet Hospital to see
      a cardiologist. I realize that this will be a hard road to travel,
      but something I must do. I really feel like I am going to lose my
      best freind, and in all honesty I am not ready!! I have cried
      everyday since I took him to the vet and I guess I am just looking
      for support for the pain that I feel. Not everyone understands the
      attachment and the place that animals can have in your life. Has
      anyone been through this? Thanks for listening..allison
    • zanth_99
      I really feel like I am going to lose my ... the ... Hi Allison, I certainly know how you feel, Boo Kitty is 12 herself, and she has been my best buddy since I
      Message 2 of 9 , Nov 4, 2003
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        I really feel like I am going to lose my
        > best freind, and in all honesty I am not ready!! I have cried
        > everyday since I took him to the vet and I guess I am just looking
        > for support for the pain that I feel. Not everyone understands
        the
        > attachment and the place that animals can have in your life. Has
        > anyone been through this? Thanks for listening..allison

        Hi Allison,

        I certainly know how you feel, Boo Kitty is 12 herself, and she has
        been my best buddy since I adopted her as a little blue grey fluff
        of fur.

        You're definatly doing the right thing by going to the
        Cardiologist. That is the only way that you can truely know what is
        wrong and that the treatment is proper. None of us know how long we
        will have our little sweeties, I just cherish each moment that Boo
        remains a part of my life, and I do everything possible to make sure
        that she is getting the best care that she can.

        Good luck to you both and keep in touch

        Sandy, Boo Kitty & Stinky
      • brinkett
        Hi Allison, It s perfectly natural to feel what you do right now. When the vet told us about our cat s heart condition I was so shocked that I was shaking in
        Message 3 of 9 , Nov 4, 2003
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          Hi Allison,

          It's perfectly natural to feel what you do right now. When the vet
          told us about our cat's heart condition I was so shocked that I was
          shaking in his office and couldn't take everything in - I had to
          phone him the next day so he could repeat some of the information.
          I was convinced that our cat was about to drop dead because the vet
          talked to us about every possible scenario. It is certainly a shock
          and frightening at first, and even though in some ways the shock
          will never completely go away, over time you will become more
          accepting and will cherish every day you have with Sunny.

          The good news is that there is medication that can help and
          depending on how early the condition is caught and the severity of
          the condition, some cats will live happy lives for years on
          medication.

          You've done the best thing possible by scheduling an appointment
          with a cardiologist - they will do an ultrasound and from that will
          be able to put Sunny on the best medication for him.

          Try not to pay too much attention to some of what you read on the
          net - I was horrified with what I read, but most sites give very
          general information and sometimes it's out of date. The truth is
          that each cat's case is unique, and the medications and prognosis
          for Sunny will depend on what shows up on the ultrasound.

          Sarah.

          --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, "allisond65" <allisond65@y...>
          wrote:
          > Hi,
          > I have had Sunny for 11 years now, and I can honestly say that he
          > has been my constant. On 10/31/03, I was told by his vet that he
          > has hypertrophic cardiomyapothy. I researched this on the
          internet
          > and have learned that this is incurable and harsh side effects
          could
          > occur rapidly. I am terrified!! I have health problems myself
          and
          > as a child really needed my cat as a sense of security...his
          > unconditional love is really appreciated and needed. I have made
          an
          > appointment with North Carolina State University Vet Hospital to
          see
          > a cardiologist. I realize that this will be a hard road to
          travel,
          > but something I must do. I really feel like I am going to lose my
          > best freind, and in all honesty I am not ready!! I have cried
          > everyday since I took him to the vet and I guess I am just looking
          > for support for the pain that I feel. Not everyone understands
          the
          > attachment and the place that animals can have in your life. Has
          > anyone been through this? Thanks for listening..allison
        • Sara
          Hi Allison, I am going through the same thing right now. Only my Toby is just 1 1/2, too young to leave me. I cried for a long time after I found out. Right
          Message 4 of 9 , Nov 6, 2003
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            Hi Allison,

            I am going through the same thing right now. Only my Toby is just 1 1/2, too young to leave me. I cried for a long time after I found out. Right now I'm going through the "its not fair" phase and at least if he was older I would expect things to start going wrong phase. My 2 cats are like my children, I dont know how I will go on if on leave me this early. You get attached and bonded to them instantly, and when you first get your cat you always have the expectations that you will have them for 10, 15, or even 20 years, especially being an indoor cat. To find out I'll never have that chance was devastating.

            He was diagnosed with obstuctive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy 2 weeks ago. I did get a second opinion since my first vet didnt even tell me the name of what he had! I had to call up and ask, after I finished hyterically crying when he told me he had a "heart muscle problem" over the phone. The second vet was wonderful, told she me everything, what to expect. She said the radiologist who did his ultrasound is well known and the best around, expert in cardiology so that made me feel better. Worst case scenario is that it could happen suddenly, without warning. But no one can predict what will happen all cats react differently. Every time I leave him to go to work I can't help but think that could be the last time I may see him but I am trying not to think like that. I do have more hope now, before when he wasn't on the Atenolol his heart rate was above 200. Being on the medicine now, its down to 160! (normal she said was 150-180). My old vet even had the nerve NOT to
            tell me he should have another ultrasound done in 6 mos! They didnt even tell me his heart rate was so far above normal when they saw him.

            Just live each day to the fullest, enjoy every we have with them. I believe everything happens for a reason, and if I was not meant to have Toby for a long time, then I will believe that God needed him for something else up there.



            allisond65 <allisond65@...> wrote:
            Hi,
            I have had Sunny for 11 years now, and I can honestly say that he
            has been my constant. On 10/31/03, I was told by his vet that he
            has hypertrophic cardiomyapothy. I researched this on the internet
            and have learned that this is incurable and harsh side effects could
            occur rapidly. I am terrified!! I have health problems myself and
            as a child really needed my cat as a sense of security...his
            unconditional love is really appreciated and needed. I have made an
            appointment with North Carolina State University Vet Hospital to see
            a cardiologist. I realize that this will be a hard road to travel,
            but something I must do. I really feel like I am going to lose my
            best freind, and in all honesty I am not ready!! I have cried
            everyday since I took him to the vet and I guess I am just looking
            for support for the pain that I feel. Not everyone understands the
            attachment and the place that animals can have in your life. Has
            anyone been through this? Thanks for listening..allison


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          • jenanddeagan
            Hello Allison, I have just joined this group about two weeks ago after learning my 2yo orange tabby Deagan has a Grade III heart murmur. Our appointment is
            Message 5 of 9 , Nov 6, 2003
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              Hello Allison,

              I have just joined this group about two weeks ago after learning my
              2yo orange tabby Deagan has a Grade III heart murmur. Our
              appointment is Nov 20th for the cardiologist in Guelph (just west of
              toronto). I have also become the completely paraniod mom over the
              past two weeks. Deagan was sneezing a lot last night and I kept
              thinking his water getting water in his lungs, pulmonary edema, and
              subjecting him having me listen to his breath sounds over and over.
              Of course he looks at me like I'm crazy but I can't help it. This is
              the most incredible group of people and they are a bottomless wealth
              of support, experience and information who understand what you are
              going through.
              Just to give everybody a bit of a smile, I have the biggest
              problem listening to Deagan's heart and lungs with my stethescope
              because he purrs so loudly that is all I can hear! He was doing this
              at the vet too and we all had a good laugh about it.

              Keeping our finger and paws crossed,

              jen, deagan and kira the dog


              --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, "allisond65" <allisond65@y...>
              wrote:
              > Hi,
              > I have had Sunny for 11 years now, and I can honestly say that he
              > has been my constant. On 10/31/03, I was told by his vet that he
              > has hypertrophic cardiomyapothy. I researched this on the internet
              > and have learned that this is incurable and harsh side effects
              could
              > occur rapidly. I am terrified!! I have health problems myself and
              > as a child really needed my cat as a sense of security...his
              > unconditional love is really appreciated and needed. I have made
              an
              > appointment with North Carolina State University Vet Hospital to
              see
              > a cardiologist. I realize that this will be a hard road to travel,
              > but something I must do. I really feel like I am going to lose my
              > best freind, and in all honesty I am not ready!! I have cried
              > everyday since I took him to the vet and I guess I am just looking
              > for support for the pain that I feel. Not everyone understands the
              > attachment and the place that animals can have in your life. Has
              > anyone been through this? Thanks for listening..allison
            • brinkett
              ... my ... of ... I took Morag to Guelph and I was very impressed with the clinic. It is very well run and everyone we dealt with was professional and
              Message 6 of 9 , Nov 6, 2003
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                > I have just joined this group about two weeks ago after learning
                my
                > 2yo orange tabby Deagan has a Grade III heart murmur. Our
                > appointment is Nov 20th for the cardiologist in Guelph (just west
                of
                > toronto).

                I took Morag to Guelph and I was very impressed with the clinic. It
                is very well run and everyone we dealt with was professional and
                compassionate. A few weeks after your appointment you'll receive a
                report from Guelph that is very detailed and discusses what the
                diagnosis is, what they found when they examined Deagan, what the
                ultrasound showed, the recommended medications, and recommended
                follow-up (of course, they'll discuss all of this with you in person
                at the time and adjust or recommend medications on the spot so that
                Deagan will get going on them right away). Your regular vet also
                gets a copy of everything.

                We'll be taking Morag back to Guelph for a follow-up ultrasound in
                February.

                Let us know how it goes!

                Sarah.
              • jenanddeagan
                Thanks Sarah, I was wondering which Dr you saw at Guelph? Did they let you stay with Morag? What was the approximate cost of the initial visit? How long did
                Message 7 of 9 , Nov 6, 2003
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                  Thanks Sarah,

                  I was wondering which Dr you saw at Guelph? Did they let you stay
                  with Morag? What was the approximate cost of the initial visit? How
                  long did the visit take? Deagan is having his initial blood work
                  done at my clinic; we are not going to take x-rays (my vet said they
                  were fairly inconclusive in cats for heart problems and Deagan
                  doesn't have any breathing problems... yet)

                  Thanks!

                  jen and deagan and kira the dog

                  --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, "brinkett" <scrubbrush@r...>
                  wrote:
                  > > I have just joined this group about two weeks ago after learning
                  > my
                  > > 2yo orange tabby Deagan has a Grade III heart murmur. Our
                  > > appointment is Nov 20th for the cardiologist in Guelph (just
                  west
                  > of
                  > > toronto).
                  >
                  > I took Morag to Guelph and I was very impressed with the clinic.
                  It
                  > is very well run and everyone we dealt with was professional and
                  > compassionate. A few weeks after your appointment you'll receive
                  a
                  > report from Guelph that is very detailed and discusses what the
                  > diagnosis is, what they found when they examined Deagan, what the
                  > ultrasound showed, the recommended medications, and recommended
                  > follow-up (of course, they'll discuss all of this with you in
                  person
                  > at the time and adjust or recommend medications on the spot so
                  that
                  > Deagan will get going on them right away). Your regular vet also
                  > gets a copy of everything.
                  >
                  > We'll be taking Morag back to Guelph for a follow-up ultrasound in
                  > February.
                  >
                  > Let us know how it goes!
                  >
                  > Sarah.
                • brinkett
                  Hi Jen, I hope you and Deagan have a good experience at Guelph because we certainly did, even though the results weren t what we wanted to hear. I d do it
                  Message 8 of 9 , Nov 6, 2003
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                    Hi Jen,

                    I hope you and Deagan have a good experience at Guelph because we
                    certainly did, even though the results weren't what we wanted to
                    hear. I'd do it again if I ever have another cat diagnosed with a
                    heart problem.

                    We saw Dr. Minors and Dr. Williams. Dr. Williams is a cardiologist
                    who was visiting from the US so I don't know if she'll still be
                    there or not.

                    I'll tell you what happened to us, though Morag was in CHF at the
                    time so probably some extra steps were done that may not be
                    necessary for Deagan. Background: when we took Morag for her
                    regular check-up in August, the vet thought her heart sounds were
                    muffled and loud, so we scheduled her for an ultrasound that was
                    done at our regular vet clinic. We were told that she had "severe
                    cardiac disease" and in fact was in CHF - chest X-rays showed that
                    her lungs were filled with fluid. She was put on a medication
                    regimen that initially cleared up her lungs but they started to fill
                    again. Around this time I made my initial post here and several
                    people suggested that I take Morag to see a cardiologist, so that's
                    when we arranged the appointment at Guelph.

                    Our appointment was for 9:45am. We were taken on time and initially
                    Morag was examined by two 4th year veterinary students. They then
                    left the room to meet with Dr. Minors and then they all came back
                    and Dr. Minors told us what they wanted to do. In Morag's case, her
                    respiration rate was high because we knew she was in CHF so they
                    wanted to do chest X-rays to see how bad her lungs were, and also
                    repeat the ultrasound, and it turns out that their ultrasound
                    machine has a higher resolution than the one used at most regular
                    vets. Dr. Williams arrived partway through the discussion and was
                    always present for everything after that.

                    Now, we had the choice of staying with Morag for the ultrasound. I
                    made the decision not to stay for two reasons - the first being that
                    I knew it was going to be bad based on the previous one and I didn't
                    want our presence to inhibit frank comments and conversation among
                    the vets and students taking part. The second reason was that I was
                    afraid I'd be too emotional if the ultrasound showed that her heart
                    was bad, and given the results, I'm glad we didn't stay because I
                    imagine there were quite a few exclamations when they had a look at
                    her heart.

                    So they gave us a pager and arranged for us to return to the clinic
                    around 1:30pm. The pager was in case Morag became distressed and
                    they were having problems calming her down, though we gave
                    permission for the use of a mild narcotic if she required it (she
                    didn't). We had lunch, did some shopping, and strolled around the
                    university grounds. When we returned, they had had an emergency so
                    they hadn't done the ultrasound yet, so we strolled some more and
                    they were ready for us when we went back at about 2:45pm.

                    The news was worse than we expected, and we were expecting bad news -
                    the first words out of Dr. Minor's mouth were "your cat has a very
                    unusual heart that isn't in any textbook. Nobody knows how to treat
                    or slow progression of the disease - just management of the
                    symptoms". It turns out that Morag has RCM with a poor prognosis.
                    Their ultrasound machine showed a lot more detail and so it wasn't
                    that her wall was severely thickened, in fact her wall is only
                    mildly thickened and in some areas thinner than normal, but rather
                    that her left ventricle is mis-shapen and filled with fibrous junk.
                    Her left atrium is also huge and they suspected that it might
                    contain a clot.

                    We discussed her condition and her medications were adjusted and we
                    left there about 4:30pm. Since then, we've had to adjust her
                    medication again because the initial regimen didn't keep her lungs
                    clear. So our regular vet consulted with Dr. Minors, her
                    medications were adjusted, and for the past few weeks her lungs have
                    stayed clear. It usually takes some experimentation to find the
                    right combination of medication that will stabilize a cat in CHF.

                    If Deagan is started on medication or his medication is changed (I
                    don't recall whether he's currently on medication), you'll have to
                    take him to your regular vet about a week later so they can take
                    some blood to check his electrolyte levels. It doesn't sound like
                    he'll need a diuretic, but if he does, they'll also check his kidney
                    values.

                    So it was an all day visit, and it cost us about $580 but that
                    included the examination, chest X-rays, ultrasound, and an injection
                    of lasix because the chest X-rays showed that her lungs were quite
                    bad. A few weeks after the visit, you'll receive a complete report
                    in the mail and a copy is also given to your regular vet. The
                    report contained much more detail about Morag's condition and
                    prognosis, including an actual name for her particular condition
                    (endomyocardial fibrosis, a subclassification of restrictive
                    cardiomyopathy).

                    Poor Morag - thank goodness we had brought a make-shift cat litter
                    box for the car because 1/2 an hour into the drive home she really
                    needed to go due to the lasix, so there she was balancing herself
                    over a little litter box while we were driving about 80km/h through
                    a construction zone. I told her that not too many cats have that
                    experience so she's living life on the wild side, tricky ticker and
                    all! :-)

                    Anyway, I hope this long post gives you a good idea of what will
                    take place during your appointment. Let us know how it goes!

                    Sarah.

                    --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, "jenanddeagan"
                    <lundgren_jennifer@h...> wrote:
                    > Thanks Sarah,
                    >
                    > I was wondering which Dr you saw at Guelph? Did they let you stay
                    > with Morag? What was the approximate cost of the initial visit?
                    How
                    > long did the visit take? Deagan is having his initial blood work
                    > done at my clinic; we are not going to take x-rays (my vet said
                    they
                    > were fairly inconclusive in cats for heart problems and Deagan
                    > doesn't have any breathing problems... yet)
                    >
                    > Thanks!
                    >
                    > jen and deagan and kira the dog
                  • jenanddeagan
                    Sarah, Thank you so much! Deagan hasn t had any workup yet. We have known since April that he had a heart murmur but that vet did not suggest any workup.
                    Message 9 of 9 , Nov 8, 2003
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                      Sarah,
                      Thank you so much! Deagan hasn't had any workup yet. We have
                      known since April that he had a heart murmur but that vet did not
                      suggest any workup. When I took him in for his dentistry, my usual
                      vet suggested the workup of his murmur and I decided to get
                      everything done at Guelph, get the expert opinion right off. So
                      he's on no meds yet, our appt is on Nov 20th.

                      fingers and paws still crossed,

                      jen, deagan and kira the dog


                      --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, "brinkett" <scrubbrush@r...>
                      wrote:
                      > Hi Jen,
                      >
                      > I hope you and Deagan have a good experience at Guelph because we
                      > certainly did, even though the results weren't what we wanted to
                      > hear. I'd do it again if I ever have another cat diagnosed with a
                      > heart problem.
                      >
                      > We saw Dr. Minors and Dr. Williams. Dr. Williams is a
                      cardiologist
                      > who was visiting from the US so I don't know if she'll still be
                      > there or not.
                      >
                      > I'll tell you what happened to us, though Morag was in CHF at the
                      > time so probably some extra steps were done that may not be
                      > necessary for Deagan. Background: when we took Morag for her
                      > regular check-up in August, the vet thought her heart sounds were
                      > muffled and loud, so we scheduled her for an ultrasound that was
                      > done at our regular vet clinic. We were told that she had "severe
                      > cardiac disease" and in fact was in CHF - chest X-rays showed that
                      > her lungs were filled with fluid. She was put on a medication
                      > regimen that initially cleared up her lungs but they started to
                      fill
                      > again. Around this time I made my initial post here and several
                      > people suggested that I take Morag to see a cardiologist, so
                      that's
                      > when we arranged the appointment at Guelph.
                      >
                      > Our appointment was for 9:45am. We were taken on time and
                      initially
                      > Morag was examined by two 4th year veterinary students. They then
                      > left the room to meet with Dr. Minors and then they all came back
                      > and Dr. Minors told us what they wanted to do. In Morag's case,
                      her
                      > respiration rate was high because we knew she was in CHF so they
                      > wanted to do chest X-rays to see how bad her lungs were, and also
                      > repeat the ultrasound, and it turns out that their ultrasound
                      > machine has a higher resolution than the one used at most regular
                      > vets. Dr. Williams arrived partway through the discussion and was
                      > always present for everything after that.
                      >
                      > Now, we had the choice of staying with Morag for the ultrasound.
                      I
                      > made the decision not to stay for two reasons - the first being
                      that
                      > I knew it was going to be bad based on the previous one and I
                      didn't
                      > want our presence to inhibit frank comments and conversation among
                      > the vets and students taking part. The second reason was that I
                      was
                      > afraid I'd be too emotional if the ultrasound showed that her
                      heart
                      > was bad, and given the results, I'm glad we didn't stay because I
                      > imagine there were quite a few exclamations when they had a look
                      at
                      > her heart.
                      >
                      > So they gave us a pager and arranged for us to return to the
                      clinic
                      > around 1:30pm. The pager was in case Morag became distressed and
                      > they were having problems calming her down, though we gave
                      > permission for the use of a mild narcotic if she required it (she
                      > didn't). We had lunch, did some shopping, and strolled around the
                      > university grounds. When we returned, they had had an emergency
                      so
                      > they hadn't done the ultrasound yet, so we strolled some more and
                      > they were ready for us when we went back at about 2:45pm.
                      >
                      > The news was worse than we expected, and we were expecting bad
                      news -
                      > the first words out of Dr. Minor's mouth were "your cat has a
                      very
                      > unusual heart that isn't in any textbook. Nobody knows how to
                      treat
                      > or slow progression of the disease - just management of the
                      > symptoms". It turns out that Morag has RCM with a poor
                      prognosis.
                      > Their ultrasound machine showed a lot more detail and so it wasn't
                      > that her wall was severely thickened, in fact her wall is only
                      > mildly thickened and in some areas thinner than normal, but rather
                      > that her left ventricle is mis-shapen and filled with fibrous
                      junk.
                      > Her left atrium is also huge and they suspected that it might
                      > contain a clot.
                      >
                      > We discussed her condition and her medications were adjusted and
                      we
                      > left there about 4:30pm. Since then, we've had to adjust her
                      > medication again because the initial regimen didn't keep her lungs
                      > clear. So our regular vet consulted with Dr. Minors, her
                      > medications were adjusted, and for the past few weeks her lungs
                      have
                      > stayed clear. It usually takes some experimentation to find the
                      > right combination of medication that will stabilize a cat in CHF.
                      >
                      > If Deagan is started on medication or his medication is changed (I
                      > don't recall whether he's currently on medication), you'll have to
                      > take him to your regular vet about a week later so they can take
                      > some blood to check his electrolyte levels. It doesn't sound like
                      > he'll need a diuretic, but if he does, they'll also check his
                      kidney
                      > values.
                      >
                      > So it was an all day visit, and it cost us about $580 but that
                      > included the examination, chest X-rays, ultrasound, and an
                      injection
                      > of lasix because the chest X-rays showed that her lungs were quite
                      > bad. A few weeks after the visit, you'll receive a complete
                      report
                      > in the mail and a copy is also given to your regular vet. The
                      > report contained much more detail about Morag's condition and
                      > prognosis, including an actual name for her particular condition
                      > (endomyocardial fibrosis, a subclassification of restrictive
                      > cardiomyopathy).
                      >
                      > Poor Morag - thank goodness we had brought a make-shift cat litter
                      > box for the car because 1/2 an hour into the drive home she really
                      > needed to go due to the lasix, so there she was balancing herself
                      > over a little litter box while we were driving about 80km/h
                      through
                      > a construction zone. I told her that not too many cats have that
                      > experience so she's living life on the wild side, tricky ticker
                      and
                      > all! :-)
                      >
                      > Anyway, I hope this long post gives you a good idea of what will
                      > take place during your appointment. Let us know how it goes!
                      >
                      > Sarah.
                      >
                      > --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, "jenanddeagan"
                      > <lundgren_jennifer@h...> wrote:
                      > > Thanks Sarah,
                      > >
                      > > I was wondering which Dr you saw at Guelph? Did they let you
                      stay
                      > > with Morag? What was the approximate cost of the initial visit?
                      > How
                      > > long did the visit take? Deagan is having his initial blood work
                      > > done at my clinic; we are not going to take x-rays (my vet said
                      > they
                      > > were fairly inconclusive in cats for heart problems and Deagan
                      > > doesn't have any breathing problems... yet)
                      > >
                      > > Thanks!
                      > >
                      > > jen and deagan and kira the dog
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