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Re: More on Sasquatch

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  • Deena
    ... wrote: I know this IS ultimately MY decision...It s just KILLING me that the medication he needs for his heart is the ONE thing that makes him lose all
    Message 1 of 6 , Sep 1 4:39 AM
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      --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, "fancidots" <f.lavon@a...>
      wrote: "I know this IS ultimately MY decision...It's just KILLING
      me that the medication he needs for his heart is the ONE thing that
      makes him lose all interest in eating or being close to me. I KNOW
      that taking them off their medications is not good (and probably not
      smart) ... but if he will eat, and is more social without them --
      isn't that an improvement in HIS quality of life? "


      Hi LaVon,


      I truly empathize with your struggle. Many of us have had to face a
      similar situation and only you can decide what is best for both
      yourself and Sasquatch. It's a tough decision.

      When Mr Pepe got sick, I promised him to always concentrate on
      quality of life rather than quantity. It's nice in theory, but hard
      to do when faced with a choice. He was doing great on lasix &
      enalapril, so we decided to add atenolol to hopefully give him more
      time with us. First week he did fine. But the second week he
      seemed to lose the "catitude and purr-sonality" that was his
      identity. I didn't know if it was the atenolol or progression of
      the disease. I made the agonizing decision to wean him off and his
      purr-sonality quickly returned. I then chose to keep him off
      atenolol because of my promise to provide quality of life.

      Many cats do great on atenolol...others do not. I would talk to
      your vet and see if there are any alternatives.

      There are products designed for anorectic or debilitated cats that
      might help put some weight on him. The one I hear rave reviews
      about (haven't tried personally) is Wysong PDG.
      http://wysong.net/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?
      Screen=PROD&Store_Code=WOTTPWS&Product_Code=NC002&Category_Code=SUP&P
      roduct_Count=8
      There are also appetite stimulants you can try.

      Life would be easier if there were more universal
      answers...right. But I'm glad you found this list for support.

      Deena & Mr Pepe Angel


      (Love his name. My son used to call my niece Sasquatch cuz she had
      size 11 feet at 13 yrs old. Poor kid)
    • won1kiss
      Yes, I would agree that it s quality not quanity of life that counts, and most veterinarians would agree with this. Most veterinarians will also counsel you,
      Message 2 of 6 , Sep 1 8:17 AM
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        Yes, I would agree that it's quality not quanity of life that counts,
        and most veterinarians would agree with this. Most veterinarians
        will also counsel you, if you ask, about the appropriateness of
        euthanasia, when it may be the right time, when you may be blinded by
        pre-death grief and are making decisions more for yourself than for
        your kitty. If a veterinarian advised me outright to euthanize my
        cat, I would run the other way and find a second opinion! With my HCM-
        CHF cat, his veterinarina has been upfront from the get-go, advising
        that he could die any moment, he could live 6 months, that short of a
        heart translplant there is nothing to "cure" his problem, and that
        ultimately the decision is ours whether to euthanize today, tomorrow,
        or never. We have chosen 'never', unless or until he seems to be
        suffering.

        I think a very good guage is knowing whether or not your cat is
        happy. Certainly not eating is a crucial sign, and getting your cat
        to eat is #1 priority, IMHO. No heart medications are going to help
        if he does not eat, becomes emaciated, develops hepatic lipidosis,
        etc. So getting nurishment into him so he can keep going and keep
        somewhat healthy in spite of his heart is critical.

        I was going to emphasize that many cats do well on Enalapril - and on
        Atenolol - but as with humans, each kitty is a different individual,
        reacting differently to life and to drugs, so one must tailor-make
        medications that fit the cat. It's not a "one size fits all"
        situation. I encourage you to talk to the doc about alternative meds.

        The appetite stimulant often prescribed is called Cyproheptadine. It
        is actually an antihistamine but acts as an appetite stimulant in
        cats. You might also want to try an over-the-counter product
        available at pet stores called Nutri-Cal. It's in a tube and similar
        in consistency to the hairball formulas. It is a high-calorie
        supplement that can really pack on the pounds and stimulate
        appetite. Not all cats will gladly lick it off a plate, however, and
        putting it on the paw always meant it would soon be all over the
        room - on the floor, on the cabinets, on the cat - everywhere but in
        the cat's stomach, :/, so I always force-fed it via needle-less
        syringe.

        There are many vitamin supplements available for nutritional support.
        Vitamin B Complex is a very good supplement, safe for cats, and
        available in chewables, tablets, paste, liquids and injectables.
        Perhaps one or two injections of B Complex would help him in the
        immediate future. Consult your veterinarian.

        As always, especially with a heart kitty, I would recommend asking
        your veterinarian before adding anything on your own (e.g. Nutri-Cal,
        aspirin, CoQ-10, any other supplements). Heart patients are special
        and can do well when followed by a *competent* veterinarian who is
        CURRENT on cardiac diagnoses and treatment. If yours has not treated
        many cardiac cases (just ask!) then you might want to call around and
        find one who has. There is a LOT to know, and I believe that general
        veterinarians are sometimes not up on everything cardiac. If you do
        not have a Veterinary Cardiologist available, I highly recommend a
        Boarded Veterinary Internist.

        Best wishes,

        Bev
        ******************
        > I truly empathize with your struggle. Many of us have had to face
        a
        > similar situation and only you can decide what is best for both
        > yourself and Sasquatch. It's a tough decision.
        >
        > When Mr Pepe got sick, I promised him to always concentrate on
        > quality of life rather than quantity.
      • Susan
        ... If his BP was lowered to a point of hypotension then the atenolol dose was too high. Just as an FYI beta-blockers such as atenolol should not be stopped
        Message 3 of 6 , Sep 1 9:05 AM
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          --- won1kiss <azbev@...> wrote:

          > There are heart meds other than Atenolol. Perhaps
          > if you switched to
          > another medication, his appetite would reappear.
          >
          > My HCM-CHF kitty was on Enalapril, then we added the
          > Atenolol a week
          > or so later. Within 4 days, he was hardly moving,
          > depressed, not
          > eating a thing. I feared that we were loosing him.
          > To make a long
          > story short, it was the Atenolol. It apparently
          > lowered his blood
          > pressure so much that he COULDN'T move - or didn't
          > want to try - and
          > he certainly didn't want to eat.

          If his BP was lowered to a point of hypotension then
          the atenolol dose was too high.

          Just as an FYI beta-blockers such as atenolol should
          not be stopped suddenly but reduced gradually if they
          are to be discontinued. The addition of beta-blockade
          to a treatment regimen of a diuretic (lasix) and an
          ACE-I (enalapril) is experimental in animals at this
          time but it is based on extensive human CHF trials and
          aniaml trials to benefit humans. In CHF as opposed to
          asymptomatic HCM, beta-blockade is supposed to be
          added at a very low dose and gradually titrated
          upwards. People in CHF who have the advantage of being
          able to talk say that beta-blockade does make them
          feel worse at first before making them feel better.

          My mother was on a number of the same drugs our cats
          are on for hypertension. Her BP was no longer being
          controlled and her ACE-I was dropped for a new
          beta-blocker called Metropolol. Her numerous symptoms
          of nausea, lethergy and insomnia were assumed by her
          dr. to be a result of the beta-blocker and she was
          told they would decrease with time. I was suspicous
          that her lethergy was too extreme to be an adverse
          effect of beta-blockade and I went to CVS to ask the
          pharmacist how lethergic a BB could make someone. He
          told me my mom's lethergy was too severe to be BB
          related and so she went to the ER. Her bloodwork
          showed she was suffering from low sodium due to her
          diuretic and her symptoms were from her brain
          swelling, not an adverse effect of her beta-blocker.
          My point in relating this story is that not all
          observable symptoms are drug related and that
          pharmacists are a great resource when questions arise.
          While they certainly do not study the veterinary use
          of human drugs they do understand how the drugs they
          dispense work.

          Susan



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        • lclarizia@aol.com
          In a message dated 9/1/2004 1:54:46 AM Eastern Daylight Time, ... My non-HCM kitty does that too! HCM kitty likes to sleep on my shoulder and purrs into my
          Message 4 of 6 , Sep 1 7:01 PM
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            In a message dated 9/1/2004 1:54:46 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
            azbev@... writes:


            > BTW, this kitty also sleeps on my pillow, on my head. Silly boy. :-)

            My non-HCM kitty does that too! HCM kitty likes to sleep on my shoulder and
            purrs into my ear to wake me up to feed him.


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