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Do you let your cat play?

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  • shelly casey
    Hi to this wonderful group.....I am again so happy I found you all when my kitty Sam I am was found to have HCM about a month ago at age 10 months. Thank you
    Message 1 of 10 , Dec 2, 2004
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      Hi to this wonderful group.....I am again so happy I found you all when my kitty Sam I am was found to have HCM about a month ago at age 10 months. Thank you all for your advice and thoughts. I had felt something was wrong with Sam as when he got nervous during a car ride or played real hard with our other cat Bella, Sam would start to open mouth breathe. This hint is what made me take him to the vet.

      The latest is the vet says Sam seems to be doing real well with the atenelol, enalapril and the baby aspirin. And on top of that the last time Sam saw the vet the heart murmur the vet had earlier heard didn't even seem to be there which I was told was real good.

      Since the diagonisis and starting the meds I haven't let Sam play real hard as I wanted him to take it easy and to try to avoid any open mouth breathing in hopes to let his heart take it easy a bit as before the meds it had seemed the more he grew, the harder it was for his heart to keep up with him. But last night I let him chase a string that we have tied to the end of a fishing pole, I let him play too long and before I knew it he was laying over on his side breathing so fast with his mouth wide open wanting so hard to catch his breathe. It took him the longest I have ever seen him to get back to breathing OK. I felt so bad I caused him to go through that....on the other hand though it was a reality check for me that he will always be not well, but that the meds are seeming to help him be better.......just that he can't play as he wants. He loves to though so much, its so sad that I have to make him stop each time but I guess its for his own benefit?

      Since last nights attack he has been exhausted but eating and playing some as usual. I just hope I didn't do him any further damage by just letting him play a bit. This is such a tough situation. Does anyone else make their cats stop playing or do you just let them play so they can see what happens to them in hopes that they will stop on their own next time? When do you all see your cat breathe open mouthed?

      Thanks for letting me ramble. If anything that just made me feel better as I feel like a bad Mommy right now. :(

      Thank you,
      Shelly, Sam I am and Bella


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    • monalissa1978
      ... during a car ride or played real hard with our other cat Bella, Sam would start to open mouth breathe. This hint is what made me take him to the vet. ...
      Message 2 of 10 , Dec 2, 2004
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        --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, shelly casey
        <shellycasey101@y...> wrote:
        >I had felt something was wrong with Sam as when he got nervous
        during a car ride or played real hard with our other cat Bella, Sam
        would start to open mouth breathe. This hint is what made me take
        him to the vet.
        >

        Hi,

        Sorry to intrude on your post....but I'm curious if panting is
        usually a sign of heart disease? Saki, our 4 1/2 year old DSH, pants
        occasionally after playing really really hard (he always plays hard)
        and he stops pretty quickly. Used to be mostly in the summer and
        only a few times if that. I have seen him do it a few times over the
        past few months. Also, when he was having FLUTD problems this summer
        he would sometimes pant on the ride to the vet (the similarities are
        bothering me a bit).

        I sometimes hear him make this little "huff" noise while he's running
        or after. I did mention this to the feline/im specialist we were
        seeing last Oct. AFAIK, his heart always sounds good - no murmur,
        fast heart rate, gallop etc. so maybe that's why he wasn't
        concerned. Our current vet says his heart sounds good (I always
        ask).

        I guess I'm wondering if I should push the issue (x-rays maybe?) when
        we take him for a full check-up a few months into the New Year?
        Humans get out of breath if they play hard (I'd be on the floor after
        one of his "I'm-chasing-Domino-through-the-house-routines) so I don't
        want to make a something out of nothing. I know how easily I can
        scare myself, so any thoughts much appreciated.

        Lisa & The Boys
      • brinkett
        ... when ... If you want to push the issue, it would be better to have an ultrasound. X-rays can t rule out heart disease. As far as the panting goes, you ve
        Message 3 of 10 , Dec 2, 2004
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          > I guess I'm wondering if I should push the issue (x-rays maybe?)
          when
          > we take him for a full check-up a few months into the New Year?

          If you want to push the issue, it would be better to have an
          ultrasound. X-rays can't rule out heart disease.

          As far as the panting goes, you've spoken to your vet about it and
          the heart sounds good so it's hard to say. If you're worried about
          it and want peace of mind, perhaps you should go for the
          ultrasound. We have a cat who has breathed fast from the moment we
          got her. She's a nervous nelly - formerly feral. I'm hoping
          Susan's scaredy cat theory isn't right because she's a prime
          candidate. Anyway, we had an ultrasound done when we first noticed
          her breathing rate and it put our minds at ease.

          Sarah.
        • Susan
          ... but I m curious if ... Lisa, I can t say that cats should never open mouth breath but it seems to me that cats aren t dogs and therefore it is abnormal. I
          Message 4 of 10 , Dec 2, 2004
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            --- monalissa1978 <Monalissa143@...> wrote:

            but I'm curious if
            > panting is
            > usually a sign of heart disease? Saki, our 4 1/2
            > year old DSH, pants
            > occasionally after playing really really hard (he
            > always plays hard)
            > and he stops pretty quickly. Used to be mostly in
            > the summer and
            > only a few times if that. I have seen him do it a
            > few times over the
            > past few months.

            Lisa,

            I can't say that cats should never open mouth breath
            but it seems to me that cats aren't dogs and therefore
            it is abnormal.

            I had just lost a young cat to HCM when I adopted
            Rudy. He is 1 week younger than Chester who is fat. I
            noticed subtle exercise and heat tolerance differences
            between skinny Rudy and fat Chester. To me this did
            not make sense. While the open mouth breathing
            episodes were always brief and exercise induced I
            decided to seek a diagnosis. The DVM I went to
            dismissed my concerns with, "he's just a nervous
            nellie". I don't even remember if he listened with a
            stethoscope. Anyways Rudy had always laid on the edges
            of furniture with his legs dangling. I thought nothing
            of it. Someone joined FH whose cat had just died of
            HCM and she said her vet told her the leg dangling was
            significant. I made an appt. without a referral with
            an ACVIM vet. As soon as I told him about open mouth
            breathing and leg dangling with his head below his
            chest the vet listened and announced he heard a 2/5
            murmur. Did an ultrasound and even though the evidence
            of left ventricle hypertrophy was borderline
            prescribed atenolol for the hyperkinetic state of his
            heart. Though Rudy still leg dangles he has not open
            mouth breathed since and he has no murmur on atenolol.
            I do believe that his exercise tolerance is better on
            atenolol but not his heat tolerance. I don't let him
            outside when it is over 85.

            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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          • Susan
            He sits on objects that allow him to straddle his sternum on the object and his front legs hang down on either side. He used to only do it on hard furniture
            Message 5 of 10 , Dec 2, 2004
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              He sits on objects that allow him to straddle his
              sternum on the object and his front legs hang down on
              either side. He used to only do it on hard furniture
              corners, now he does it on upholstered furniture like
              chair backs and chair arms. My vet cannot explain it.
              I was donating blood and the phlebotomist suggested
              that perhaps he lowers his blood pressure when he does
              this by putting pressure on his vena cava. he also
              sometimes has his head lower than his chest when he
              does it. Frequency and duration do fluctuate.

              I saw a photo on Yahoo once of a squirrel doing this
              on a deck railing and the first thing I thought was
              this squirrel is not well.


              Susan

              --- Sue B <rockii@...> wrote:

              > Hi,
              >
              > What exactly do you mean by dangling legs? Is it
              > just his feet hanging over or are his legs hanging
              > vertically?
              >
              >
              > Sue
              >
              >
              > Anyways Rudy had always laid on the edges
              > of furniture with his legs dangling.
              >




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            • Sue B
              That s interesting - especially since you see pictures of the big cats like leopards doing that all the time. I will keep an eye out for that behavior. Sue ...
              Message 6 of 10 , Dec 2, 2004
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                That's interesting - especially since you see pictures of the big cats like
                leopards doing that all the time.

                I will keep an eye out for that behavior.


                Sue


                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Susan" <somnamblst@...>
                To: "Sue B" <rockii@...>; <feline-heart@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Thursday, December 02, 2004 8:48 PM
                Subject: Re: [FH] Panting etc. Re: Do you let your cat play?


                > He sits on objects that allow him to straddle his
                > sternum on the object and his front legs hang down on
                > either side. He used to only do it on hard furniture
                > corners, now he does it on upholstered furniture like
                > chair backs and chair arms. My vet cannot explain it.
                > I was donating blood and the phlebotomist suggested
                > that perhaps he lowers his blood pressure when he does
                > this by putting pressure on his vena cava. he also
                > sometimes has his head lower than his chest when he
                > does it. Frequency and duration do fluctuate.
                >
                > I saw a photo on Yahoo once of a squirrel doing this
                > on a deck railing and the first thing I thought was
                > this squirrel is not well.
                >
                >
                > Susan
                >
                > --- Sue B <rockii@...> wrote:
                >
                > > Hi,
                > >
                > > What exactly do you mean by dangling legs? Is it
                > > just his feet hanging over or are his legs hanging
                > > vertically?
                > >
                > >
                > > Sue
                > >
                > >
                > > Anyways Rudy had always laid on the edges
                > > of furniture with his legs dangling.
                > >
                >
                >
              • lclarizia@aol.com
                In a message dated 12/2/2004 8:50:02 PM Eastern Standard Time, ... Baby Boy tends to lie with his head lower that the rest of his body, hanging off the bed or
                Message 7 of 10 , Dec 2, 2004
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                  In a message dated 12/2/2004 8:50:02 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                  somnamblst@... writes:


                  > My vet cannot explain it.
                  > I was donating blood and the phlebotomist suggested
                  > that perhaps he lowers his blood pressure when he does
                  > this by putting pressure on his vena cava. he also
                  > sometimes has his head lower than his chest when he
                  > does it. Frequency and duration do fluctuate.

                  Baby Boy tends to lie with his head lower that the rest of his body, hanging
                  off the bed or with his body on a pillow, head hanging down -- which he never
                  did before he got sick. What I think he's doing, and what Susan's cat may be
                  doing is putting pressure on the vagus nerve, which exerts some control over
                  the heart rate in mammals. By putting pressure on the abdomen, pressure is put
                  on the vagus nerve which slows the heart rate.

                  I'm really sorry you had this "can't get my breath" panic -- I did the same
                  thing to Baby Boy by restraining him during a vet visit, and it was horrible --
                  my poor guy couldn't get his breath and I completely hated myself for doing
                  that to him. I can't even think about it, because it hurts too much to
                  remember the whole episode. But remember -- you weren't TRYING to hurt him!!! My
                  advice -- don't deliberately wind him up, no catnip or prolonged play, and
                  otherwise, let him self-regulate his activity. That way he can enjoy himself and
                  he'll know when to stop. Besides, how do you get a cat to stop doing anything
                  it wants to do?

                  Lisa


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Susan
                  Lisa, That is interesting. Not sure where the vagus nerve is but the place Rudy puts pressure on is the middle of his sternum. It is a place where a normally
                  Message 8 of 10 , Dec 3, 2004
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                    Lisa,

                    That is interesting. Not sure where the vagus nerve is
                    but the place Rudy puts pressure on is the middle of
                    his sternum. It is a place where a normally laying cat
                    would never come into contact with any object. Like I
                    said he used to use hard wooden furniture to put
                    pressure there, now he mostly uses the hump on
                    upholstered furniture. I think he switched because
                    this way he can be more in a upside down position
                    because he can hang on to the upholstery. I am
                    attaching a photo of him doing it on hard furniture. I
                    don't have a new pic of his new way of doing it. In
                    the photo his head is up because he was looking at me,
                    but usually his head is lower.

                    My vet has mentioned the possiblity of allergies.

                    As far as playing, why not institute in place games
                    like bopping the top of his head with a feather,
                    rather than anything that involves chasing anything?

                    Susan

                    --- lclarizia@... wrote:

                    >
                    > In a message dated 12/2/2004 8:50:02 PM Eastern
                    > Standard Time,
                    > somnamblst@... writes:
                    >
                    >
                    > > My vet cannot explain it.
                    > > I was donating blood and the phlebotomist
                    > suggested
                    > > that perhaps he lowers his blood pressure when he
                    > does
                    > > this by putting pressure on his vena cava. he also
                    > > sometimes has his head lower than his chest when
                    > he
                    > > does it. Frequency and duration do fluctuate.
                    >
                    > Baby Boy tends to lie with his head lower that the
                    > rest of his body, hanging
                    > off the bed or with his body on a pillow, head
                    > hanging down -- which he never
                    > did before he got sick. What I think he's doing,
                    > and what Susan's cat may be
                    > doing is putting pressure on the vagus nerve, which
                    > exerts some control over
                    > the heart rate in mammals. By putting pressure on
                    > the abdomen, pressure is put
                    > on the vagus nerve which slows the heart rate.
                    >
                    > I'm really sorry you had this "can't get my breath"
                    > panic -- I did the same
                    > thing to Baby Boy by restraining him during a vet
                    > visit, and it was horrible --
                    > my poor guy couldn't get his breath and I completely
                    > hated myself for doing
                    > that to him. I can't even think about it, because
                    > it hurts too much to
                    > remember the whole episode. But remember -- you
                    > weren't TRYING to hurt him!!! My
                    > advice -- don't deliberately wind him up, no catnip
                    > or prolonged play, and
                    > otherwise, let him self-regulate his activity. That
                    > way he can enjoy himself and
                    > he'll know when to stop. Besides, how do you get a
                    > cat to stop doing anything
                    > it wants to do?
                    >
                    > Lisa




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                  • shelly casey
                    Hi Lisa, First, you are not intruding on my post. I am more than happy to tell you anything I have learned through my experience with this. I adopted Sam at
                    Message 9 of 10 , Dec 3, 2004
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                      Hi Lisa,
                      First, you are not intruding on my post. I am more than happy to tell you anything I have learned through my experience with this. I adopted Sam at 2 months and on his first ride to the vet he started to breathe with his mouth open. I had never seen this done before in my life by a cat so I told the nurse right away and she told me to not worry as that is a way some cats react when they get nervous. I then felt silly and didn't mention it to the doctor. Next car ride Sam did the same thing......then he started to grow and every once in a great while after a big playing session he would start to open mouth breathe....very similiar to a dog panting. Since it started to happen more often I called my other vet that does house calls and she said a cat should never open their mouth to breathe....if they did it was highly likely something was wrong. She said she didn't want to scare me but if Sam was her cat she would immediately take him to Dr. Murphy. Dr. Murphy didn't live close
                      to me so I decided to get a second opinion before I took him there so I emailed my uncle who is a professor of vet. science at CSU.......he wrote back the same thing......a cat should never breathe with their mouth open and he felt it was highly likely that Sam had some sort of heart or respiratory problem or a taurin deficiency that leads to cardiomyopathy. I read Sam's food and saw he was eating food with taurine in it, I put my ear to his lungs to listen for bubbling noises as my uncle suggested and didn't hear anything so I had a feeling it was his heart. I called Dr. Murphy and told her the scoop, she said to bring Sam in immediately, she did one test that she saw something on and strongly urged the ultrasound.....and that is where it showed he has HCM. The meds seem to be helping him live better now, but I just wish way back during that first ride when he panted and I told the nurse about it that I had told the doctor as well as maybe this could have been found earlier and
                      he could have started the meds earlier to slow down the disease some. Who knows, who knows.... I don't want to scare you or anyone in anyway but in case it could help someone else out.....I definitely wanted to share my story. For peace of mind, I would get Saki checked out. Sam maybe panted once every two months at the very most.....it was not often at all so that was why I wasn't taking it seriously and didn't get it checked into earlier.

                      I talked to Dr. Murphy about dogs panting and cats panting. She said cats shouldn't open their mouths to catch their breath. I asked her if I was crazy as I felt Sam's nose and ears and pads on his paws got real, real pink after he played and she said no.....its just like a person running and their face getting read.....a cat will show this in their ears, nose and pads on their paws. She asked me to also monitor if Sam gets real pink other than when he pants as that could also be a time when he is also having trouble breathing.

                      I hope this helps you out some. Please keep me posted. I hope Saki is OK.

                      Shelly

                      monalissa1978 <Monalissa143@...> wrote:

                      --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, shelly casey
                      <shellycasey101@y...> wrote:
                      >I had felt something was wrong with Sam as when he got nervous
                      during a car ride or played real hard with our other cat Bella, Sam
                      would start to open mouth breathe. This hint is what made me take
                      him to the vet.
                      >

                      Hi,

                      Sorry to intrude on your post....but I'm curious if panting is
                      usually a sign of heart disease? Saki, our 4 1/2 year old DSH, pants
                      occasionally after playing really really hard (he always plays hard)
                      and he stops pretty quickly. Used to be mostly in the summer and
                      only a few times if that. I have seen him do it a few times over the
                      past few months. Also, when he was having FLUTD problems this summer
                      he would sometimes pant on the ride to the vet (the similarities are
                      bothering me a bit).

                      I sometimes hear him make this little "huff" noise while he's running
                      or after. I did mention this to the feline/im specialist we were
                      seeing last Oct. AFAIK, his heart always sounds good - no murmur,
                      fast heart rate, gallop etc. so maybe that's why he wasn't
                      concerned. Our current vet says his heart sounds good (I always
                      ask).

                      I guess I'm wondering if I should push the issue (x-rays maybe?) when
                      we take him for a full check-up a few months into the New Year?
                      Humans get out of breath if they play hard (I'd be on the floor after
                      one of his "I'm-chasing-Domino-through-the-house-routines) so I don't
                      want to make a something out of nothing. I know how easily I can
                      scare myself, so any thoughts much appreciated.

                      Lisa & The Boys






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                    • lclarizia@aol.com
                      In a message dated 12/3/2004 10:32:46 AM Eastern Standard Time, ... That picture is priceless!!! And, if he were on a pillow with his head hanging down, he d
                      Message 10 of 10 , Dec 5, 2004
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                        In a message dated 12/3/2004 10:32:46 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                        somnamblst@... writes:


                        > That is interesting. Not sure where the vagus nerve is
                        > but the place Rudy puts pressure on is the middle of
                        > his sternum. It is a place where a normally laying cat
                        > would never come into contact with any object. Like I
                        > said he used to use hard wooden furniture to put
                        > pressure there, now he mostly uses the hump on
                        > upholstered furniture. I think he switched because
                        > this way he can be more in a upside down position
                        > because he can hang on to the upholstery. I am
                        > attaching a photo of him doing it on hard furniture. I
                        > don't have a new pic of his new way of doing it. In
                        > the photo his head is up because he was looking at me,
                        > but usually his head is lower.
                        >

                        That picture is priceless!!! And, if he were on a pillow with his head
                        hanging down, he'd be doing just what Baby Boy does.

                        The vagus nerve is a cranial nerve, originating in the brain, coming down
                        through the spinal column and branching all over the abdomen. Branches go to
                        various organs -- heart, lungs, digestive system. Excuse the indelicacy,
                        everyone -- but there's a a thing called "vasovagal syncope" which can occur while
                        straining during bowel movements -- or where any severe pressure is put on a
                        branch of the vagus nerve. The pressure on the nerve interrupts the normal
                        breathing/heart rate and results in fainting.

                        I might be wrong, but I think that's what they're doing.


                        > My vet has mentioned the possiblity of allergies.
                        >

                        What was the connection between allergies and posture?

                        > As far as playing, why not institute in place games
                        > like bopping the top of his head with a feather,
                        > rather than anything that involves chasing anything?
                        >

                        That's a good idea -- I brought home a toy for the kitten last night, and the
                        adult cats got into it too. There I was, thinking slow DOWN, Baby Boy, your
                        heart's not up to this!!! Why I don't think of these things while buying
                        stuff at Petco, I don't know.

                        Lisa


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