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New member with HCM

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  • Karen Stimson
    Hi, I m a new member of this group. My eldest cat, Wally, who is about 17, has had HCM for 10 years (dx June 1994) and has been on diltiazem since his
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 26, 2004
      Hi, I'm a new member of this group. My eldest cat, Wally, who is
      about 17, has had HCM for 10 years (dx June 1994) and has been on
      diltiazem since his diagnosis, and enacard since 1997. His latest
      echo, which was in 2002, showed the disease had progressed some but
      not hugely, and he has never had fluid in his lungs or been on
      diuretics for it. His teeth have always been bad, and it was in fact
      after the discovery of a broken tooth in 1994 that his heart murmur
      first appeared. He has had progressively severe periodontal disease
      and two dental procedures, in 1997 and 2002, but during the latter
      his blood pressure dropped precipitously and the procedure had to be
      truncated before the vet could extract his two bad back teeth.

      Since then our vet has felt that undergoing anesthesia again would
      kill him, and that has made treating his dental problems really
      difficult. Meantime, over the past two years he has been diagnosed
      with IBD, diabetes, chronic pancreatitis and most recently early
      renal failure. Because of his HCM, the primary treatment protocol
      for IBD and pancreatitis, i.e., steroids, has been off the table
      because of the risk of heart failure. I've been trying to treat his
      health problems with diet, made difficult by his bad teeth, and for
      several months I've been syringe-feeding him chicken baby food,
      adding supplements to try to compensate for the lack of ingredients
      like taurine and calcium. He has always been a very picky eater and
      preferred dry to wet, but his system can't tolerate dry any more, or
      even most commercial wet food. He tolerates the syringe feeding very
      well, fortunately, and doesn't fight it at all, in fact when he's
      hungry he comes to me for a feeding.

      But even though I'm getting 5 2.5 ounce jars into him a day, his
      weigh has inched down from 14 pounds at normal size to around 10 now,
      and he has chronic diarrhea and vomiting, controlled somewhat by
      several meds and diet. I have syringes of a narcotic pain med
      (bupronex) to treat his tooth pain when it seems to be bad, but it's
      difficult to administer because it has to be absorbed by the mucous
      membrane of the mouth, and holding it against his cheek for the time
      that takes is next to impossible for me.

      With his kidney values having risen and the specific gravity of his
      urine much lower, it looks like we're going to have to bite the
      bullet and put Wally on a steroid. Our vet agrees that budesonide is
      the best one to use with him because of its low impact on diabetes,
      and he feels that it isn't any riskier than pred as far as
      interacting with the HCM. If anyone on this list has any experience
      with budesonide or any other steroid in their HCM cat, I would really
      like to hear about it. Any other suggestions or feedback is also
      appreciated.

      Thanks--

      Karen and Wally
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