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Re: Sad news!!

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  • 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 1 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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