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Re: Sad news!!

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  • 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 1 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      general information and sometimes it's out of date.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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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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