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Re: my cat Hotspur (We're new here.)

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  • brinkett
    ... Hots ... and ... If Hotspur does indeed have RCM, then he s certainly an atypical case. ... It s usually not more than about 12 months, yes. Cats with RCM
    Message 1 of 7 , Dec 2, 2004
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      > And I wondered the same thing that you are wondering, so I
      > called the office and the cardiologist said yes, it is RCM that
      Hots
      > has and not HCM and he explained a little about both conditions
      and
      > just sort of confused me more.

      If Hotspur does indeed have RCM, then he's certainly an atypical
      case.

      > He seems okay except for the eating
      > habits and I keep reading about how the life expectancy after RCM
      > diagnosis is what – 12 months at most and probably a lot less?

      It's usually not more than about 12 months, yes. Cats with RCM are
      usually in CHF when they're diagnosed and the mean survival time for
      cats in CHF is 18 months. Though these are all statistics. Some
      cats survive longer and some don't survive as long. What surprises
      me about Hotspur's case is that he was asymptomatic for so long.

      > Then he said to come back
      > again in May which is also surprising after all the things I've
      read
      > about RCM.

      Not really. Morag's cardiologist said the same thing, but with the
      understanding that she would be seen when required by our regular
      vet. Frequent ultrasounds are not going to be helpful because there
      won't be any improvement, and the cat's regular vet, in consultation
      with the cardiologist, can handle tweaking the meds when required.

      > On the report that the cardiologist sent over to our
      > general vet after our last appointment, there is a summary of
      > Hotspur's condition. It's at home and I'm at work, but when I get
      > home I can type it in a post and if you don't mind, could you read
      it
      > and please tell me what you think? It is a short summary and I
      would
      > sure appreciate it.

      Sure, I'd be curious to read it since Hotspur isn't the "norm".

      > I read about Morag today and I had to go hide in the bathroom to
      > cry. She sure was a beautiful girl.

      Thank you. She certainly was. I've lost some beautiful cats in my
      time but Morag's death affected me the most. She had such a strong
      personality and spirit and left us much too soon.

      Sarah.
    • diane
      Kearra was dx d with HCM in 1995 and put on Atenolol. At some point after that (few years) her murmur disappeared. IIRC she was taken off Atenolol but kept the
      Message 2 of 7 , Dec 2, 2004
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        Kearra was dx'd with HCM in 1995 and put on Atenolol. At some point
        after that (few years) her murmur disappeared. IIRC she was taken off
        Atenolol but kept the aspirin.

        In 1999 or 2000 she was dx'd with RCM (we kept up with the
        ultrasounds). She was put on Enecard. 3 weeks after her 2001
        ultrasound she threw a clot and went into CHF while at the vets.

        Up until the day she threw the clot, she had no outward signs of heart disease.


        Diane
      • lclarizia@aol.com
        Michelle, I tend to agree with Sarah -- five year survival with RCM would be very unlikely. My own experience -- my Baby Boy was initially diagnosed on August
        Message 3 of 7 , Dec 2, 2004
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          Michelle,

          I tend to agree with Sarah -- five year survival with RCM would be very
          unlikely.

          My own experience -- my Baby Boy was initially diagnosed on August 27th with
          HCM, which made sense given his initial symptoms, the ultrasound and the fact
          that it's the most common form. A repeat ultrasound done in October looked
          more like end-stage RCM to the cardiologist who read it (it was done at my
          vet's, he sent it to the cardiologist). I took him to Tuft's Veterinary Hospital
          in November, and as it turns out, it's DCM -- and it's very obviously DCM, all
          four chambers are markedly dilated.

          The point is that as the heart remodels due to the disease, it can look
          different depending on what stage the disease is at. I was present at the first
          and last ultrasounds, and I can easily see how his diagnosis changed, because
          his heart looked completely different 3 weeks ago than it did in August. The
          skill of the ultrsound operator has a lot to do with it as well.

          How many ultrasounds has Hotspur had? I understand the rationale behind not
          repeating ultrasounds, due to costs, especially when there is obvious
          hypertrophy of the ventricle which tends to indicate definite HCM. Thanks to an
          inheritance from my cat-hating grandmother who died in July (oh, the irony!) I was
          able to do the multiple ultrasounds without too much stress financially, and
          my God, it was definitely worth it.

          Do you know what Hotspur's measurements are? I hope he's feeling better too
          --

          Lisa


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • brinkett
          ... point ... off ... That s interesting because one hypothesis is that RCM is end stage HCM. With HCM, the ventricular wall is thickened, but with RCM, it
          Message 4 of 7 , Dec 2, 2004
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            > Kearra was dx'd with HCM in 1995 and put on Atenolol. At some
            point
            > after that (few years) her murmur disappeared. IIRC she was taken
            off
            > Atenolol but kept the aspirin.
            >
            > In 1999 or 2000 she was dx'd with RCM (we kept up with the
            > ultrasounds). She was put on Enecard. 3 weeks after her 2001
            > ultrasound she threw a clot and went into CHF while at the vets.

            That's interesting because one hypothesis is that RCM is end stage
            HCM. With HCM, the ventricular wall is thickened, but with RCM, it
            isn't. So to go from HCM to RCM means that the model of the heart
            has to have changed drastically.

            One interesting point - the resolution of ultrasounds is variable.
            Morag was originally diagnosed with HCM when she had the ultrasound
            done at the regular vet by a very reputable ultrasound technician.
            But when we took her to the cardiologist, she was diagnosed with
            RCM. I asked, why was she diagnosed with HCM just a month ago and
            now it's RCM? The answer - "here at the university, we have a very
            high resolution ultrasound machine", i.e. expensive machine.

            The reason she had been diagnosed with HCM originally is that with
            RCM, the shape of the ventricle is abnormal. The walls aren't
            thickened, but there is fibrous material in the ventricle and the
            wall sometimes protrudes inward. The cardiologist drew me a
            picture. With the lower resolution machine, where the wall was
            bulging inward, it was misinterpreted as the wall being thick
            because the resolution of the machine wasn't high enough to
            differentiate between wall thickness and wall abnormalities.

            Sarah.
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