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New to the group/question about stress

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  • jsmithready
    Hi, My name is Jeri, and my cat Misha (8yo DSH mix) was recently diagnosed with the early stages of HCM. He has a grade 2 murmur (his only symptom) with very
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 4, 2004
      Hi,

      My name is Jeri, and my cat Misha (8yo DSH mix) was recently
      diagnosed with the early stages of HCM. He has a grade 2 murmur (his
      only symptom) with very mild secondary mitral valve regurgitation and
      thickening of the inner wall of the left ventricle, but no problem
      with his aorta or left atrium, and no sign of CHF. We started him on
      atenolol 12.5/day tablet, and if his renal functions are okay this
      week, we'll start him on enalapril, working up to 1.25mg/day. He
      doesn't have hyperthyroidism or hypertension. The cardiologist said
      if the meds work as they should, he should live several more years,
      which would be a normal lifespan.

      Misha's a very active cat, BTW. Twice a day after eating he dashes
      madly around the house for five to ten minutes, and this has not
      changed over the years.

      My question is, what role does mental stress play in HCM? We foster
      dogs for a rescue organization, so every few weeks to a month there's
      a new dog entering our house. Our cats are pretty cool with it, but
      some of the dogs are more stress-inducing than others. The vet said
      this was okay as long as the dogs aren't chasing Misha (which of
      course we would never allow) and causing him to exercise more than
      he's able. Any other opinions?

      I'm looking forward to being a member of this list and hearing
      everyone's stories about their beloved kitties.

      Jeri Smith-Ready and Misha Kristanovich Ready
    • Susan
      ... Jeri, My guess is that the atenolol would be blocking the effect of the stress hormones on the heart that the presence of the dogs might cause. I think
      Message 2 of 3 , Apr 4, 2004
        --- jsmithready <smithready@...> wrote:
        >> We started him on
        > atenolol 12.5/day tablet, and if his renal functions
        > are okay this
        > week, we'll start him on enalapril,

        > My question is, what role does mental stress play in
        > HCM? We foster
        > dogs for a rescue organization, so every few weeks
        > to a month there's
        > a new dog entering our house. Our cats are pretty
        > cool with it, but
        > some of the dogs are more stress-inducing than
        > others. The vet said
        > this was okay as long as the dogs aren't chasing
        > Misha (which of
        > course we would never allow) and causing him to
        > exercise more than
        > he's able. Any other opinions?
        >
        >

        Jeri,

        My guess is that the atenolol would be blocking the
        effect of the stress hormones on the heart that the
        presence of the dogs might cause. I think that is why
        they are called beta-andergenic blockers. I think that
        is how they reduce the heart rate.

        Susan

        =====
        Rudy: Male DSH brown tabby, feral mom, diagnosed 09-2002 at 19 months of age with idiopathic HCM: grade 2 murmur, hyperkinetic heart, borderline normal thickening, considered asymptomatic, 12.5 mg Atenolol 1x day, 1/2 baby aspirin 2x week administered via pilling

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      • Deena
        ... wrote: My name is Jeri, and my cat Misha (8yo DSH mix) was recently diagnosed with the early stages of HCM. My question is, what role does mental stress
        Message 3 of 3 , Apr 5, 2004
          --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, "jsmithready" <smithready@a...>
          wrote: My name is Jeri, and my cat Misha (8yo DSH mix) was recently
          diagnosed with the early stages of HCM. My question is, what role
          does mental stress play in HCM? We foster dogs for a rescue
          organization, so every few weeks to a month there's a new dog
          entering our house. Our cats are pretty cool with it, but some of
          the dogs are more stress-inducing than others. The vet said this
          was okay as long as the dogs aren't chasing Misha (which of course
          we would never allow) and causing him to exercise more than he's
          able. Any other opinions?
          >
          Hi Jeri and welcome to the group. Here's my opinion on your stress
          question. Generally, stress should be considered a negative that
          can make any condition worse. However, what us humans might
          consider stress might not be stressful to Misha. I think it depends
          on the individual cat and how they deal with it.

          When Mr Pepe was dx'd in 11/03, his cardiologist said to keep him
          inside, limit activity and reduce stress as much as possible. One
          of his favorite activities was to join us for our morning
          neighborhood rover romp where he would either boss the doggies
          around or torment them into chasing him. Figuring this would be a
          death sentence, I put him on house arrest. But, sitting in the
          window watching the doggies play, was stressing him out and making
          him depressed. When I let him join again, I noticed that he would
          base his involvement on how he felt that particular day. Some days
          he would sit on the fence and just watch. Other days he would pick
          certain dogs to play with. When he was feeling real good, he would
          tease, torment and beg to be chased. He seemed to know better than
          me what he could handle.

          A few weeks after his initial crash, I took in a 12 yr old Bichon
          with no cat manners. Mr Pepe loves dogs and is often used by my dog
          breeder friends to get puppies socialized to cats. His best friend
          is actually a Bichon, so I didn't think it would be a problem. I
          initially kept them separate with the plan to slowly get Ian used to
          a cat. Nice plan except that my house is usually filled with 11 yr
          old boys who forget to close doors. So their first meeting involved
          lots of barking and chasing until Mr Pepe stared Ian down and told
          this "guest" that the CAT was the alpha dog in the house. A week
          later, Mr Pepe had an appt with his holistic vet who picked up an
          emotional imbalance involving someone in our house. I was certain
          it was Ian but it turned out to be my husband. (That's another
          really funny story how we identified and dealt with that one) Mr
          Pepe was fine with Ian being in the house and actually seemed to
          miss him when I found a home for him.

          So my advice would be to not necessarily assume that foster dogs
          will cause Misha negative stress but keep a careful eye on how Misha
          responds. Cats seem to know best and my guess is he will just go
          and hide if he doesn't want to deal with the situation. I'd be
          keeping Rescue Remedy on hand for all critters (and humans) and give
          especially when the dogs first arrive. A B-vitamin complex also
          will help him to respond to stress and is helpful with HCM kitties
          anyway.

          Good Luck,

          Deena in Newburyport, MA
          Mr. Pepe: Male, NFC, dx'd 11/03 at 3 yrs, severe HCM, advanced CHF,
          severe spontaneous contrast. Currently taking: Enalapril, Lasix,
          Aspirin, Nattokinase, Dandelion, CoQ10, Hawthorn, Garlic, Gland &
          Organ Wafers, Fish Oil, Lyssin, Coral Calcium. Raw fed.
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