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Phoebe Going for Echo

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  • brunobaby
    Greetings, worried catparents. We had Pongo s hyper-t twin, Phoebe, in for her checkup and T-4 this morning. She had a 2/6 murmur last September. Now it s
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 4, 2001
      Greetings, worried catparents. <G>

      We had Pongo's hyper-t twin, Phoebe, in for her checkup and T-4 this
      morning. She had a 2/6 murmur last September. Now it's up to a 4/6, even
      though we'd increased her dosage of Tapezole. So she's going in for an echo
      on Thursday morning.

      We're concerned, but not alarmed. Phoebe's always been a much sturdier cat
      than Pongo. Heart disease secondary to thyroid disease is supposedly easier
      to control than the idiopathic kind, which is what Pongo has. My neighbor's
      cat had been diagnosed with heart disease secondary to hyperthyroid at the
      age of 17, and the cat lived to be over 20 years old. And he was pretty
      active until a couple of months before the end.

      At this point, it's just another headache on top of a migraine.

      The vet who examined Phoebe today was the senior partner, not the guy who
      dealt with Pongo last week. I told him, "So, did you hear all about Pongo?"

      "Yeah, Kevin showed me the before and after on the EKG. That was really
      something. It looks like the Atenolol wasn't his drug."

      We asked if he thought that switching him from Inderal to Atenolol had
      caused the attack, or had failed to prevent one, or if the dosage had been
      insufficient. We reminded him that the cardiologist hadn't been sure back
      in December what was causing the arrhythmia, since there hadn't been much
      of a progression of the HCM and Pongo's heart had been deemed
      "well-working." And I can see this thought balloon over my husband's head
      that says, "Sue the cardiologist."

      The vet drew a little diagram for us. There are two nerve bundles that lead
      into the heart chambers and regulate the heartbeat. What may have happened
      in Pongo's case is that the HCM is causing a lesion around the nerve
      bundles, and the meds help to regulate and control the messages to the
      nerves.

      Also, that it was hard to tell exactly what had caused it, or when and if
      he'd have another one, since most cats who have an attack the size of the
      one Pongo had don't survive it.

      "What does the cardiologist think about this?"

      "He hasn't been told."

      "Hasn't been told!"

      "He's a hard guy to get ahold of."

      "Well, I should think he'd want to hear about *this*!"

      I think he'll tell him, now. I'm truly floored, though, because we've been
      bringing our cats to this vet all their lives and they've almost always
      been on the ball. Any vet who's worked with them who *hasn't* been on the
      ball doesn't last there very long, and thankfully, none of the rejects have
      caused our cats any permanent damage.

      Jill, I know what you mean about the Caregiver's Fatigue. In fact, when we
      thought Pongo was dying, one thought that was running through my head was,
      "At least I don't have to worry about him anymore." It's the same way I
      felt when my mother-in-law died, even though we were friends and I miss her
      very much. She'd been sick for a long time, and all of our energy had been
      spent looking for the best care for her. For weeks after she died, I'd
      reflexively think, "I'll have to check this out for Jim's mother," and then
      I'd remember that I didn't have to, that nature had written 60 to any deal
      we could struggle to come up with.

      As for what I'll do with myself when he's gone, grieving and missing him
      would be high on my list. But the terrible anxiety would be gone, too, and
      the constant focusing of our plans around his medication and his condition.
      And last Friday, I knew that we'd done everything we could, that it was up
      to a higher authority and whatever strength Pongo could still muster. I
      actually felt calmer that night than I have this week, when I've been
      dealing with the terrible uncertainty of what was going to happen with him
      next.

      I can calm myself now with the thought that he's been a strong cat despite
      all his problems, that we're doing the best we can for him. He's scheduled
      for a follow-up next Saturday, barring any emergencies. He's been spending
      most of his time sleeping, which can be attributed to a) he's had a massive
      assault to his system, b) Inderal sometimes causes fatigue, c) he's a cat.

      I also calm myself with the thought that when he does go, we'll make room
      in our hearts and home for a young, healthy cat and hopefully have all
      those years of pleasure all over again. That is, if Phoebe approves. <G>

      --Melinda
    • Laura Penny
      Melinda, I read somewhere that the grade of the murmur doesn t necessarily correspond to the severity of the disease, so hopefully Phoebe will have a good
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 4, 2001
        Melinda,

        I read somewhere that the grade of the murmur doesn't necessarily correspond
        to the severity of the disease, so hopefully Phoebe will have a good echo.

        I do relate to caregiver's fatigue. What bothers me the most is that, like
        you, I have two older cats--so I'll have to go through this twice. And
        though I've lost many pets, including two to whom I've been a mom, I've
        never had a pet this long.

        We also schedule our lives around our cats. My kids want to go to Disney
        World, to England (hi, Helen!), to travel the U.S. We sneak in a few beach
        trips, but I don't even know how we'll do that this year. Last year we were
        gone for 4 days, and shortly after that we found out Lucky had diabetes
        again and Kassy had lost a pound because her hyperT was acting up. Clearly
        they can't handle the stress of us being gone (we even had a vet tech come
        in every day!).

        You're wonderful for looking ahead to another cat. I don't know if I can
        handle that. I'm thinking a nice, calm dog would be a good companion to my
        wild greyhound.

        But for now, like you, I'm taking it one day at a time and enjoying the cats
        until we meet again in the great beyond.

        Purrs to Phoebe and Pongo.

        Laura, Lucky, & Kassy

        -----Original Message-----
        From: brunobaby <brunobaby@...>
        To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com <feline-heart@yahoogroups.com>
        Date: Sunday, February 04, 2001 4:45 PM
        Subject: [feline-heart] Phoebe Going for Echo


        >Greetings, worried catparents. <G>
        >
        >We had Pongo's hyper-t twin, Phoebe, in for her checkup and T-4 this
        >morning. She had a 2/6 murmur last September. Now it's up to a 4/6, even
        >though we'd increased her dosage of Tapezole. So she's going in for an echo
        >on Thursday morning.
        >
        >We're concerned, but not alarmed. Phoebe's always been a much sturdier cat
        >than Pongo. Heart disease secondary to thyroid disease is supposedly easier
        >to control than the idiopathic kind, which is what Pongo has. My neighbor's
        >cat had been diagnosed with heart disease secondary to hyperthyroid at the
        >age of 17, and the cat lived to be over 20 years old. And he was pretty
        >active until a couple of months before the end.
        >
        >At this point, it's just another headache on top of a migraine.
        >
        >The vet who examined Phoebe today was the senior partner, not the guy who
        >dealt with Pongo last week. I told him, "So, did you hear all about Pongo?"
        >
        >"Yeah, Kevin showed me the before and after on the EKG. That was really
        >something. It looks like the Atenolol wasn't his drug."
        >
        >We asked if he thought that switching him from Inderal to Atenolol had
        >caused the attack, or had failed to prevent one, or if the dosage had been
        >insufficient. We reminded him that the cardiologist hadn't been sure back
        >in December what was causing the arrhythmia, since there hadn't been much
        >of a progression of the HCM and Pongo's heart had been deemed
        >"well-working." And I can see this thought balloon over my husband's head
        >that says, "Sue the cardiologist."
        >
        >The vet drew a little diagram for us. There are two nerve bundles that lead
        >into the heart chambers and regulate the heartbeat. What may have happened
        >in Pongo's case is that the HCM is causing a lesion around the nerve
        >bundles, and the meds help to regulate and control the messages to the
        >nerves.
        >
        >Also, that it was hard to tell exactly what had caused it, or when and if
        >he'd have another one, since most cats who have an attack the size of the
        >one Pongo had don't survive it.
        >
        >"What does the cardiologist think about this?"
        >
        >"He hasn't been told."
        >
        >"Hasn't been told!"
        >
        >"He's a hard guy to get ahold of."
        >
        >"Well, I should think he'd want to hear about *this*!"
        >
        >I think he'll tell him, now. I'm truly floored, though, because we've been
        >bringing our cats to this vet all their lives and they've almost always
        >been on the ball. Any vet who's worked with them who *hasn't* been on the
        >ball doesn't last there very long, and thankfully, none of the rejects have
        >caused our cats any permanent damage.
        >
        >Jill, I know what you mean about the Caregiver's Fatigue. In fact, when we
        >thought Pongo was dying, one thought that was running through my head was,
        >"At least I don't have to worry about him anymore." It's the same way I
        >felt when my mother-in-law died, even though we were friends and I miss her
        >very much. She'd been sick for a long time, and all of our energy had been
        >spent looking for the best care for her. For weeks after she died, I'd
        >reflexively think, "I'll have to check this out for Jim's mother," and then
        >I'd remember that I didn't have to, that nature had written 60 to any deal
        >we could struggle to come up with.
        >
        >As for what I'll do with myself when he's gone, grieving and missing him
        >would be high on my list. But the terrible anxiety would be gone, too, and
        >the constant focusing of our plans around his medication and his condition.
        >And last Friday, I knew that we'd done everything we could, that it was up
        >to a higher authority and whatever strength Pongo could still muster. I
        >actually felt calmer that night than I have this week, when I've been
        >dealing with the terrible uncertainty of what was going to happen with him
        >next.
        >
        >I can calm myself now with the thought that he's been a strong cat despite
        >all his problems, that we're doing the best we can for him. He's scheduled
        >for a follow-up next Saturday, barring any emergencies. He's been spending
        >most of his time sleeping, which can be attributed to a) he's had a massive
        >assault to his system, b) Inderal sometimes causes fatigue, c) he's a cat.
        >
        >I also calm myself with the thought that when he does go, we'll make room
        >in our hearts and home for a young, healthy cat and hopefully have all
        >those years of pleasure all over again. That is, if Phoebe approves. <G>
        >
        >--Melinda
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
        >feline-heart-unsubscribe@onelist.com
        >
        >
        >
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