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Pictures of my kitty

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  • Sarah
    Hello. I am new to this group. I joined the group after I found out on Wednesday (6/30/04) that my cat has Obstructive Hypertrophic Cardimyopathy. Most of
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 5, 2004
      Hello.

      I am new to this group. I joined the group after I found out on
      Wednesday (6/30/04) that my cat has Obstructive Hypertrophic
      Cardimyopathy. Most of his thickening is around his left ventricle
      and aorta. Fortunately, I live in the Bay Area (Oakland, CA) near a
      cardiologist (Berkeley, CA).

      This is still new to me, and I am taking it rather hard. Nigel is 8
      1/2 years old, so I thought he would be around for many more years.
      His condition is somewhat compromised as he also has asthma. The
      cardiologist estimated he has about 6 months to 2 years to live (if
      he doesn't have a fatal asthma attack or blood clot). No matter how
      much longer we have together, I want to do everything I can to make
      my little guy have a happy life.

      His medication (15 mg diltiazem and 12.5 mg salix twice a day, and
      81 mg aspirin x 3 days) helps to control his symptoms (Western
      medicine), and I am researching ways I can also use a holistic
      healing approach with Nigel.

      Are their people on this group that have experience with changing
      their pet's diet? I am reading Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to
      Natural Health for Dogs and Cats. I am going to incorporate more
      fresh foods (chicken, grains and vegetables) into Nigel's diet.
      There are recipes for cat food in the book.

      Has anyone tried acupuncture? There is an alternative medicine vet
      at the Specialty Clinic I go to. I am afriad to take Nigel on any
      trips to the vet that are not necessary as it stresses him out and
      causes his asthma to flair up. So, I may contact the person about
      alternative treatments. Also, her intial consultation is $150.
      Already, I have spent $1,200 in 10 days.

      The book I am reading recommends, for heart disease, to supplement
      with a complete B-complex tablet with all the B vitamins, but
      especially niacin and pyridoxine. It states, "Major components
      should be at the 10-, 25- or 50-milligram level depending on size)."
      As well, a trace mineral supplement containing chromium and selenium
      (scale the recommended human dose on the label to your animal size),
      and chelated zinc (5, 10 or 20 mg daily depending on size).

      Has anyone had experience giving their cat vitamins? Of course, I
      am going to check in with Nigel's cardiologist before I give him
      anything but his prescription medication.

      I posted pictures of Nigel in the "Photos" section. Look for the
      album titled "Nigel."

      I am so glad this group is here. Thank you all for your advice and
      support.

      (Another) Sarah

      P.S. Nigel is the longest male relationship I have had in my life.
    • Susan
      ... You may want to ask about Flovent. Another cat on this list whose name is Connor also has asthma. The ... Survival times have wide ranges so some cats do
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 6, 2004
        --- Sarah <burke43@...> wrote:

        > His condition is somewhat compromised as he also has
        > asthma.

        You may want to ask about Flovent. Another cat on this
        list whose name is Connor also has asthma.

        The
        > cardiologist estimated he has about 6 months to 2
        > years to live (if
        > he doesn't have a fatal asthma attack or blood
        > clot).

        Survival times have wide ranges so some cats do
        surprise owner and vet alike.

        >
        > His medication (15 mg diltiazem and 12.5 mg salix
        > twice a day, and
        > 81 mg aspirin x 3 days) helps to control his
        > symptoms (Western
        > medicine), and I am researching ways I can also use
        > a holistic
        > healing approach with Nigel.

        There is a cardiologist named Clarke Atkins from North
        Carolina University that has been doing continuing
        education cardiology lectures. One of his lectures
        touches on Nutraceuticals. Perhaps your cardiologist
        can determine the gist of these lectures.

        http://www.ivseminars.net/Sedona%202004.htm
        "Management of Cardiovascular Disease: New Drugs and
        New Approaches
        After a clinically relevant and brief review of
        pathophysiology, a practical discussion of the
        management of heart failure will follow, with emphasis
        on: when to initiate, renal safety, and comparative
        aspects of ACE inhibitors; new and safer use of
        digoxin; new concepts in diuretic therapy;
        vasodilators in the emergency room; Beta blockers in
        heart failure; new inodilator and neurohormonal
        therapies; and nutraceuticals."

        One thing to keep in mind when reading about
        nutraceuticals is that because dogs and cats have
        vastly different types of cardiomyopathy what may have
        promise with dogs, will not necessarily benefit and
        may harm cats so anything that treats dogs and cats
        the same is troublesome.


        > Has anyone tried acupuncture? There is an
        > alternative medicine vet
        > at the Specialty Clinic I go to. I am afriad to
        > take Nigel on any
        > trips to the vet that are not necessary as it
        > stresses him out and
        > causes his asthma to flair up.

        Not stressing your cat is very important.

        >
        > The book I am reading recommends, for heart disease,
        > to supplement
        > with a complete B-complex tablet with all the B
        > vitamins, but
        > especially niacin and pyridoxine. It states, "Major
        > components
        > should be at the 10-, 25- or 50-milligram level
        > depending on size)."
        > As well, a trace mineral supplement containing
        > chromium and selenium
        > (scale the recommended human dose on the label to
        > your animal size),
        > and chelated zinc (5, 10 or 20 mg daily depending on
        > size).


        The etiology of idiopathic cardiomyopathy is unknown
        but recent research shows that some cats have higher
        than normal levels of growth hormone. HCM also occurs
        in humans and is familial. It is associated with 55
        different genetic defects in people. Of course people
        get the resrarch $$, but there is eveidence that HCM
        is familial in cats, breeds mentioned are Maine Coon,
        Persian, Ragdoll and American & British Shorthair.

        There was at one time great interest in sarcomeric
        proteins because this appears to be the etiology in
        human HCM.

        If I wanted to try something cutting edge I would look
        at beta-blockade added to ACE-inhibitors and diuretic
        as this is the gold standard in human CHF and is being
        embraced by some vet cardiologists. I am pasting at
        the bottom of this email an abstract on Growth Hormone
        and rat hearts that you may want to show your
        cardiologist as it is intriquing in light of the
        growth hormone/feline HCM connection.


        Growth Hormone Improves Bioenergetics and Decreases
        Catecholamines in Postinfarct Rat Hearts1

        http://endo.endojournals.org/cgi/content/full/141/12/4592

        Effects of GH on catecholamines and �-adrenoceptors
        One rather unexpected result was that of markedly
        decreased myocardial content of NA in animals treated
        with rhGH. Not only myocardial content of NA but also
        plasma NA were significantly lower in rats receiving
        rhGH. The interaction between GH and sympathetic
        system is probably complex and is not completely
        understood at the present time. Previous clinical
        studies indicate that GH may have pronounced effects
        in the regulation of sympathetic function, which is
        based on the fact that patients with GH deficiency
        have markedly increased activation of the sympathetic
        nerve fibers firing in skeletal muscle (16).
        Furthermore, GH treatment of patients with dilated
        cardiomyopathy results in attenuation of cardiac
        sympathetic activation under stress conditions (37).
        Our findings are congruent with these observations.
        The marked lowering of myocardial catecholamine
        content, after rhGH treatment, suggests an important
        role of rhGH in regulation of the cardiac sympathetic
        system and catecholamines. The present study does not
        allow any conclusions regarding the mechanisms and
        pathophysiological importance for these findings, and
        further studies are necessary. However, it is unlikely
        that diminished stores of myocardial NA are a result
        of increased release and/or decreased uptake. This
        assumption is supported by the fact that neither HR
        nor myocardial content of �-adrenoceptors was
        different between the groups. It has been established
        that down-regulation of �-adrenoceptors is one
        consequence of cellular exposure to high NA levels
        (38). In the early phase of heart failure, there is an
        organ-selective activation of the cardiac sympathetic
        system, and the catecholamine spillover from the heart
        is 3�4 times higher than normal (14). If GH
        specifically increases release and/or decreases
        reuptake of NA, one would expect depletion of
        myocardial stores to be associated with increased
        plasma NA levels. Even if the long-term consequences
        of this effect are not known, lowering of tissue NA
        content in the early postinfarct phase, together with
        low plasma NA concentration, could have protective
        effects on damaged and remodeling myocardium.
        Experimental studies have shown that NA, in high
        concentration (similar to that known to occur in the
        neuromuscular synapses of failing myocardium), exerts
        direct pathological effects on cardiomyocytes. These
        effects include cell necrosis, stimulation of
        apoptosis, increase in interstitial fibrosis,
        arrhythmias, and others (39, 40). Furthermore,
        increased adrenergic drive can decrease the contents
        of creatine and CK in the heart, indicating adverse
        effects on cellular energetic homeostasis (41). While
        improving LV function by other mechanisms independent
        of the sympathetic system, addition of rhGH could, at
        the same time, protect myocardium from the side
        effects of sympathetic overactivation. This
        hypothesis, however, has to be taken with caution and
        proven in future experiments. One has to keep in mind
        that depletion of myocardial catecholamines is a
        consistent finding in patients with advanced heart
        failure. Exhaustion of catecholamine stores in cardiac
        neurons is proposed to be involved in mechanisms
        behind LV dysfunction.

        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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      • savionna@aol.com
        Hi Sarah, In a message dated 7/6/04 2:20:00 AM, burke43@iamawitch.com writes:
        Message 3 of 3 , Jul 7, 2004
          Hi Sarah,

          In a message dated 7/6/04 2:20:00 AM, burke43@... writes:

          << Nigel is 8 1/2 years old, so I thought he would be around for many more
          years. >>

          And he may be. Predicting longevity is a tricky business.


          << His condition is somewhat compromised as he also has asthma. >>

          Are you using inhaled meds? For information (if you need it), some sites incl:

          1. www.fritzthebrave.com + www.fritzthebrave.com/links.html
          2. http://plaza.ufl.edu/johnsonn
          3. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/felineasthma_inhaledmeds

          << No matter how

          much longer we have together, I want to do everything I can to make

          my little guy have a happy life. >>

          What a generous, compassionate, animal-centric outlook. Part of the holistic
          (rooted in "whole") relationship is to recognize, respect, and serve the needs
          of the other (in this case an animal).


          << I am researching ways I can also use a holistic

          healing approach with Nigel. >>

          What have you been looking into so far?


          << Are their people on this group that have experience with changing

          their pet's diet? >>

          Yes, we have. In addition to understanding what comprises a complete,
          well-balanced diet for a cat, which has unique and specific requirements, it's also
          important to understand how to transition the diet to maximize acceptance and
          minimize digestive upset.

          << I am reading Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to

          Natural Health for Dogs and Cats. I am going to incorporate more

          fresh foods (chicken, grains and vegetables) into Nigel's diet.

          There are recipes for cat food in the book. >>

          It's great you're interested in nutrition, which is the foundation of
          health...since the nutrients that go in the body are the building blocks used for
          repair and maintenance, all the more important when there is a health disorder.
          And Dr Pitcairn has made a large contribution to the understanding of the
          importance of nutrition and of the use of complementary treatment for animals.
          However, it's important to keep in mind that the book was originally published in
          the 1980s...and knowledge about feline nutrition has changed considerably
          since that time. Further, the "recipes" are adapted largely from dog diets. Cats
          (who are obligate carnivores) have a diff. metabolism, digestive system, and
          evolutionary history from dogs (who are facultative carnivores)...and also have
          significantly diff. nutritional requirements. Just as one example, cats have
          *no* dietary requirement for grains (or any other source of carbohdyrates,
          really) and limited ability to process plant material, which has the potential for
          a variety of negative consequences. So it would be worthwhile to look beyond
          Pitcairn in formulating a diet.

          If you are interested in learning more about feline nutrition, some sources
          incl:

          1. www.maxshouse.com/feline_nutrition.htm
          2. www.speedyvet.com/nutrition
          3. http://home.earthlink.net/~jacm2/id1.html
          4. http://rocquoone.com/diet_and_health.htm
          5. www.homevet.com/petcare/feedingyourcat.html
          6. www.drsfostersmith.com/general.cfm?siteid=0&gid=74&ref=2066&subref=AN

          Some sources on home feeding incl:

          1. www.holisticat.com (see FAQs, articles, and archives for raw feeding,
          recipes, etc)
          2. www.serve.com/BatonRouge/nutrition/fresh_cat_food.htm
          3. http://touchmoon.com/dotters/raw/kitties.html
          4. www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/cgi-bin/nut_search.pl (nutrient database)
          5. www.listservice.net/wellpet
          6. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CatNutrition


          << Has anyone tried acupuncture? >>

          Yes, we have used acupuncture extensively, along with a range of
          complementary techniques, incl homeopathy, Western and Chinese botanical remedies,
          nutraceuticals, chiropractic, NAET, and Jaffe-Mellor.

          << There is an alternative medicine vet

          at the Specialty Clinic I go to. >>

          The last I heard (and this may have changed), one of the pioneers in
          Traditional Chinese Medicine for animals has recently moved back to your area (she had
          practiced there some yrs ago). There are a few other complementary
          practitioners around there as well.

          << I am afriad to take Nigel on any

          trips to the vet that are not necessary as it stresses him out >>

          I hear you about this. And it's important to weigh the benefits and risks of
          any decision. Also, there are ways to reduce stress around travel, which is
          part of the whole-animal approach.

          << Also, her intial consultation is $150. >>

          That's about average for initial consult. It's important to keep in mind that
          complementary medicine, esp when practiced at a high level, is *very*
          intimate and hands-on, involving the entire body. I'm not justifying fees...just
          explaining that the treatment is diff. in nature from conventional treatment.


          << The book I am reading recommends, for heart disease, to supplement

          with a complete B-complex tablet with all the B vitamins, but

          especially niacin and pyridoxine. It states, "Major components

          should be at the 10-, 25- or 50-milligram level depending on size)."

          As well, a trace mineral supplement containing chromium and selenium

          (scale the recommended human dose on the label to your animal size),

          and chelated zinc (5, 10 or 20 mg daily depending on size). >>

          While water-soluble B vitamins are relatively safe to administer, it's
          important to work with an experienced holistic vet who has a good grounding in
          nutraceuticals before going too far on one's own. Minerals esp work in a delicate
          balance in the cat's body...and it's quite easy to bring about an imbalance.
          (I'm *not* recommending that you do or do not do anything...am just offering
          some information.) Further, reaction to complementary treatment (incl
          nutraceuticals) is highly individual, which is one of the aspects that distinguishes it
          from conventional medicine. So while it may be established that cats with
          cardiac disease are generally deficient in certain vitamins and minerals, or may
          potentially benefit from supplementation of them, there is no guarantee that
          *your* individual cat is deficient and therefore needs and can use certain
          nutrients that will then benefit a particular organ. This is another reason why it's
          important to work with a skilled, experienced integrative practitioner, who
          can make informed decisions based on your animal's individual needs.


          << Has anyone had experience giving their cat vitamins? >>

          Yes, we have. // Rosemary
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