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Intro - Ravin and Restricitve Cardiomyopathy

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  • Amy Flemming
    My name is Amy, and my eldest cat, Ravin, has just been diagnosed with Restricted Cardiomyopathy. We live in Michigan. Ravin is a 5 year old *large* cat that
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 1, 2004
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      My name is Amy, and my eldest cat, Ravin, has just been diagnosed
      with Restricted Cardiomyopathy. We live in Michigan.

      Ravin is a 5 year old *large* cat that was born in Australia. He and
      his "sister" were shipped to the US when we returned home fom our
      work VISA that we had there. Leaving them in Oz was just out of the
      question. These are our kids and very amazing cats (aren't they
      all?).

      Ravin had been acting a bit more tired lately and playing with our
      hand reared kitten seemed to tire him out. He would get winded easy
      and would go sit on the couch where he would catch his breath within
      a few minutes. He ate normally, used the litterbox normally, drank
      normally, etc. He was on the overweight side and he was put on
      rations (feedings at specific times) and lowfat cat food. He
      probably dropped about 5 pounds in a year, but I chucked that up to
      his "new" feeding schedule.

      On Tuesday night he was playing witht he kitten and got winded. But
      he wasn't able to catch his breath. He got worse. I counted his
      breaths at 60 BPM! As we were thorowing on clothes (this was 1:30
      am) the vomiting came. When we got to the vet he was very alert.
      The vet x-rayed him, where he began to pant open mouthed, and she
      counted his breaths at 120 BPM. He was placed on oxygen ASAP. The x-
      rays showed fluid in the lungs and around the heart. His heart was
      also very enlarged. Cardiomyopathy was mentioned and I got very
      scared. Based on the x-ray, he was given a lasix injection, and it
      broke my heart to leave him over night. I called the vet every hour
      and only slept about 2 hours.

      By the morning he was off the oxygen and his breathing was "normal",
      but still fast. I had paid for him to be at the vet's office for 24
      hours, so I left him up there so if he needed oxygen or anything at
      all, they could get it to him ASAP. I was told that an echo from a
      cardio would be about $1,000 at the state university. That was not
      something I could afford, so I called my regular vet as well as some
      other vets that advertised ultrasounds. Luckily, I was refered by
      two of them that I trust to Dr. Brown. I made an appointment and
      paid under $300 for excellent care and results the same day.

      It was as I had feared, but worse. Ravin was diagnosed with
      restricted cardiomyopathy, which is still common, but has a lower
      life expectancy.
      Dr. Brown was very positive and told me that even though the
      statistics say 6-12 months, it could be longer. I sure hope so. I
      also hope to meet others that have cats with RCM and how their cats
      treatments are. Right now, Ravin is doing well on his meds (taking
      them like treats) and his breathing is now back to his normal BPM.
      We go to the regular vet Friday for a blood test to check his kidneys
      etc. He is currently taking furosemide (lasix), enalapril, and
      spironolact.

      I would love to hear from anybody else that can help me with him. I
      am willing to try anything for this cat. Would changing his diet to
      raw or fresh preped foods be better for him? Or would that be too
      much stress? Any natural remedies? AS I said, I am open to anything
      that will help him have a comfortable life, as well as longevity.

      Thanks

      Amy Flemming
      Ravin, too
    • brinkett
      Hi, Sorry to hear about Ravin s diagnosis. ... cats ... (taking ... BPM. ... kidneys ... My cat had RCM and she was on the same types of medications that your
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 1, 2004
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        Hi,

        Sorry to hear about Ravin's diagnosis.

        > I
        > also hope to meet others that have cats with RCM and how their
        cats
        > treatments are. Right now, Ravin is doing well on his meds
        (taking
        > them like treats) and his breathing is now back to his normal
        BPM.
        > We go to the regular vet Friday for a blood test to check his
        kidneys
        > etc. He is currently taking furosemide (lasix), enalapril, and
        > spironolact.

        My cat had RCM and she was on the same types of medications that
        your cat is. Was aspirin mentioned? Did your vet say why
        spironolactone is being given? Usually it only comes into play
        later, when the amount of lasix required would put too much strain
        on the kidneys.

        > I would love to hear from anybody else that can help me with him.
        I
        > am willing to try anything for this cat. Would changing his diet
        to
        > raw or fresh preped foods be better for him? Or would that be too
        > much stress?

        Changing his diet to raw or fresh foods is not going to do anything
        for RCM. As long as your cat is eating, that's great. The real
        danger is loss of appetite - you don't want to do anything that
        might cause that, like changing food, unless it's absolutely
        necessary.

        > Any natural remedies?

        Some people use dandelion extract to reduce the amount of lasix
        required (however, it's not strong enough to eliminate the need for
        lasix). If you want to look into natural remedies, you should work
        with a holistic vet and keep your regular vet in the picture about
        what your cat is taking.

        Sarah.
      • Amy Flemming
        Hi Sarah, ... Yes. He told me that he thought aspirin didn t do very much and could cause problems. Or at least that is what I thought he said. I was pretty
        Message 3 of 4 , Nov 1, 2004
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          Hi Sarah,

          > My cat had RCM and she was on the same types of medications that
          > your cat is. Was aspirin mentioned?

          Yes. He told me that he thought aspirin didn't do very much and
          could cause problems. Or at least that is what I thought he said. I
          was pretty blown away when he was telling me this stuff. =(

          > Did your vet say why
          > spironolactone is being given?

          I didn't know to ask, and he didn't say.

          > Usually it only comes into play
          > later, when the amount of lasix required would put too much strain
          > on the kidneys.

          Maybe he felt the amount the 24 hour vet gave to him (1/2 of a 50mg
          pill) was stressing them out already??? He reduced him to 1/2 of a
          20mg pill when he did the 'script and told me to get his blood pulled
          and tested in a week (which is happening on Friday).

          > Changing his diet to raw or fresh foods is not going to do anything
          > for RCM. As long as your cat is eating, that's great. The real
          > danger is loss of appetite - you don't want to do anything that
          > might cause that, like changing food, unless it's absolutely
          > necessary.

          Well, this cat is a bigger mooch than any dog I have ever met. If
          you are in the kitchen for anything, he magically appears with a
          giant smile on his face. He loves anything he can eat - raw, cooked,
          canned, kibbled, etc. I am glad he never lost his appetite, and I
          will keep up on that.

          Sarah, can you tell me how long your cat lead a comfortable life with
          RCM? I am preparing myself for the 6 month or less mark (even though
          I as hoping I could get at least ten years more with him, but it
          looks like that is just a dream), but I would love to hear what
          others have experienced.

          Also, what tell tale signs should I be looking for that he is in
          trouble and needs to get to the vet's?

          Thanks for the information, I am looking forward to learning more.

          Amy Flemming & Ravin (RCM)
        • brinkett
          ... He s right - there s no evidence aspirin reduces the probability that cats will throw a clot due to their heart disease. Some vets routinely prescribe it
          Message 4 of 4 , Nov 2, 2004
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            > Yes. He told me that he thought aspirin didn't do very much and
            > could cause problems.

            He's right - there's no evidence aspirin reduces the probability
            that cats will throw a clot due to their heart disease. Some vets
            routinely prescribe it anyway since they figure anything is better
            than nothing, but it can upset the stomach in some cats.

            > Maybe he felt the amount the 24 hour vet gave to him (1/2 of a
            50mg
            > pill) was stressing them out already???

            No, he'd need blood results to determine that, and usually short
            periods of a high lasix dose due to a crisis aren't the problem.
            It's the long term effects of being on lasix.

            > He reduced him to 1/2 of a
            > 20mg pill when he did the 'script and told me to get his blood
            pulled
            > and tested in a week (which is happening on Friday).

            That's typical. Usually after the crisis has passed (meaning the
            fluid has been reduced), vets will try to find the minumum dose that
            the kitty needs in order to keep the fluid at bay. They do this
            because lasix is hard on the kidneys so the cat shouldn't be on a
            higher dose than they need over an extended period of time.

            > Well, this cat is a bigger mooch than any dog I have ever met. If
            > you are in the kitchen for anything, he magically appears with a
            > giant smile on his face. He loves anything he can eat - raw,
            cooked,
            > canned, kibbled, etc. I am glad he never lost his appetite, and I
            > will keep up on that.

            Yes, do watch. Cats with huge appetites can still lose it when
            they're on heart meds or not feeling well.

            > Sarah, can you tell me how long your cat lead a comfortable life
            with
            > RCM?

            She lived comfortably for about 11 months. You can read part of her
            story here:

            http://members.rogers.com/scrubbrush/feline-heart/Morag.html

            At the bottom of the page is a link back to the group's FAQ, which
            you may also want to have a look at. You can also reach it through
            the links section of the group's yahoo site.

            > Also, what tell tale signs should I be looking for that he is in
            > trouble and needs to get to the vet's?

            Changes in his breathing pattern would be the number one thing to
            look out for. When you know your cat's chest is clear of fluid, you
            should familiarize yourself with your cat's breathing pattern -
            number of breaths per minute (bpm) at rest, and how your cat's body
            looks when he inhales and exhales. If his bpm increases to 45 or he
            seems to be working harder to breathe, call your vet. 60 - go to
            the vet.

            Also look for any indication that your cat is experiencing pain in
            his back legs or having problems walking.

            Sarah.
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