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Re: question about stress

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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 1 of 3 , Apr 5, 2004
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      --- 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

      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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