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(OT for CRF) irregular heart rhythm

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  • Mariko Nakanishi
    Hi, all. I m cross-posting this to CRF and heart group to see if anyone knows about the symptom that one of my non-CRF cats is showing. Tina is a 13.5 year-old
    Message 1 of 4 , May 1 10:31 PM
      Hi, all.

      I'm cross-posting this to CRF and heart group to see if anyone knows about
      the symptom that one of my non-CRF cats is showing.

      Tina is a 13.5 year-old domestic medium hair girl. She has not had any
      health problem up until now. She is due for her senior checkup.

      Since my Don is hyperthyroid, I regularly listen to the heart beat of my
      cats with a stethoscope. Couple of days ago, when I was checking their heart
      beat, I noticed that Tina's rhythm was fast and also irregular. In the past,
      her heart rhythm had been very steady and strong compared to Don's (can't
      seem to slow his down no matter what). She was also off her food that
      evening. Next morning, I called my vet and made an appointment for the next
      day (Friday) but Tina's heart rhythm was back to normal by the evening and
      stayed normal in the morning. She was also acting normal. I thought maybe I
      was mistaken about what I heard. I cancelled the appointment.

      Today, Tina was off her food again and not active like her usual self. I
      listened to her heart rhythm and it is again irregular. Her heart is beating
      a little faster than usual also (it was very warm today, too). The way her
      heart is beating is that it goes on in normal beat for a while, then for a
      couple of seconds, it beats about the twice the speed, then goes back to
      normal again.

      I am going to get her checked tomorrow if I can get her in, but thought I'd
      check with the group for any feedback. I don't have any experience with
      heart disease in cats except for Don's hypertension and fast heart rate due
      to his hyperthyroidism, and don't know what this symptom represents. What
      does this symptom sound like?

      Mariko, gentle Don, the gang, and the Four Angels
      http://www.zzcat.com - Feline Cancer Resources
    • jen
      Mariko, Unfortunately, an irregular heart beat can be a sign of many things. The actually rhythm cannot be identified unless an ECG, an electrocardiogram, is
      Message 2 of 4 , May 3 5:22 PM
        Mariko,

        Unfortunately, an irregular heart beat can be a sign of many things.
        The actually rhythm cannot be identified unless an ECG, an
        electrocardiogram, is done. And the kitty must be in the rhythm at the
        time that the ECG is done. I would have the work up done and consider
        having an echocardiogram done. An ECG can only give you a picture of
        the electrical activity of the heart and a general idea about enlargement,
        but cannot tell you about its function. An echo can determine any
        enlargement or restriction that is present.

        Good luck,

        jen, deagan, kira and jessie the dogs.
      • Susan Aufieri
        I would also check thyroid since it s one of the most basic fuels that regulates SO much of our, and our kitties, metabolism. At her follow up visit I
        Message 3 of 4 , May 4 4:04 PM
          I would also check thyroid since it's one of the most basic "fuels"
          that regulates SO much of our, and our kitties, metabolism. At her
          follow up visit I mentioned to the vet (they have 4 in this practice, 1
          is cardio) that her pupils had been frequently uneven. Her last vet
          just chalked it up to aging process. Now that she's on hyper-t meds, I
          haven't seen it. This vet wasn't even remotely surprised that they are
          now behaving in unison.

          Abby, I suspect, has been having thyroid issues for probably half of
          her 14 years. Since late February I have thought a lot about her, her
          problems, and about when they seem to have started. She started getting
          the classic bald patches of thyroid at (near as I can figure) around 7
          years old. I knew in 2002 she had an enlarged heart, something that
          doesn't happen overnight. My gut feeling is the two are related.

          I am not certain I can place *all* the blame for her current situation
          on her former ve. I do feel he should have treated a senior kitty more
          aggressively. It wasn't because I was giving off any "save me money"
          signals. Whatever she needed she got, there was never any questioning.
          There was another vet that she went to for 10 years. Could he have
          treated earlier? Probably.

          What I do know now is that should I see anything, including an apparent
          "asymptomatic" heart issue, I will be placing my foot *firmly* on the
          ground and insisting on treatment to halt further progression of
          disease. I also now know that thyroid can cause all sorts of wacky
          heart problems.

          While she seems pretty "floppy" to me now, she in many ways behaves
          like other felines I have shared my life with. I suspect she's 'normal'
          now, whatever that is! <g>

          Susan & Abby, 14 y.o. with HCM w/tachycardia, Grade 3 murmur, sometimes
          pancreatic, IBD (?) tabby that suffers from peripheral neuropathy, can
          go anorexic and is NOW Hyper-T to boot; daily meds 6.25 mg Lasix,
          12.5mg atenolol, 5mg Methamazole, thiamine sub-q's. (gadz that's a
          mouthful!)



          On May 4, 2004, at 6:11 PM, feline-heart@yahoogroups.com wrote:

          > From: "jen" <lundgren_jennifer@...>
          > Subject: Re: (OT for CRF) irregular heart rhythm
          >
          > Mariko,
          >
          > Unfortunately, an irregular heart beat can be a sign of many
          > things.
          > The actually rhythm cannot be identified unless an ECG, an
          > electrocardiogram, is done. And the kitty must be in the rhythm at the
          > time that the ECG is done. I would have the work up done and consider
          > having an echocardiogram done. An ECG can only give you a picture of
          > the electrical activity of the heart and a general idea about
          > enlargement,
          > but cannot tell you about its function. An echo can determine any
          > enlargement or restriction that is present.
        • Mariko Nakanishi
          Hi, Jen. Thank you for the feedback. I took Tina (and Celeste) to the hospital on Sunday (this is a different hospital where I take Don who is hyperthyroid,
          Message 4 of 4 , May 4 10:15 PM
            Hi, Jen.

            Thank you for the feedback.

            I took Tina (and Celeste) to the hospital on Sunday (this is a different
            hospital where I take Don who is hyperthyroid, hypertensive, and CRF). As
            expected, Tina's heartbeat was back to normal and the vet in attendance
            didn't have any idea (or maybe she had never heard of such a phenomenon) as
            to what is causing Tina's heartbeat to go out of rhythm from time to time. I
            described Tina's sort of occasional hyperactivity and she too suspected
            hyperthyroidism. So, we did a senior wellness profile that includes CBC,
            chemistry, thyroid, and urinalysis (and heartworm antibody) for both Tina
            and Celeste (Celeste is also 13.5 years old; they both don't have any
            apparent symptoms, just getting older).

            Tina is not hyperthyroid. Her T4 was 0.78 (range 0.8-4.0). Her BUN was 42
            (14-36, HIGH) and creatinine was 2.4 (0.6-2.4). Phosphorus was 6.4 (2.4-8.2)
            which is high for her age. These numbers seem to indicate early CRF, but her
            urine specific gravity was 1.062 (1.015-1.060, HIGH) and she had some
            protein (2+ HIGH) in her urine. The vet thinks her kidney function is
            getting insufficient and wants to check again in three to six months.

            A member in CRF group mentioned about paroxysmal atrial tachycardia. This
            sound very much like what Tina is exhibiting. She also mentioned that it
            might be difficult to make a diagnosis because of the transient nature of
            the phenomenon. So far, Tina's heartbeat has been normal since Sunday and
            she is behaving normal in all aspects.

            I am thinking about taking her to Don's vet who is an IM specialist for
            further examination as well as a consultation on her kidney issue (high
            kidney numbers with concentrated urine?). There is a cardiologist at her
            hospital and they can do an echocardiogram and blood pressure measurement,
            too.

            By the way, Celeste's values were quite normal except for:
            Total protein - 10.1 (5.2-8.8) HIGH
            Globulin ------ 7.2 (2.3-5.3) HIGH
            CPK ----------- 805 (56-529) HIGH
            Triglyceride -- 271 (25-160) HIGH

            I guess I'm asking Don's vet about these, too.

            Thank you again.

            Mariko, gentle Don, the gang, and the Four Angels
            http://www.zzcat.com - Feline Cancer Resources
            http://www.zzcat.com/don/tina.htm - Tina
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