Re: [FH] Re: Recently diagnosed with RCM
- In a message dated 12/30/2004 6:46:38 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> Believe me - all I've done is watch this cat breathe since I broughtThat sounds painfully familiar.
> her home from the hospital a few weeks ago! :-)
> She's a fairly quick, shallow breather with her lungs clear, butSarah's advice was excellent -- and it sounds like you are doing just that.
> still in the 30ish range/minute. She saw her regular vet the other
> day and the cardiologist yesterday, neither of whom thought her
> respiration unusual and said she sounded clear. I've gotten into the
> habit of "feeling" her lungs while she breathes - I figure if I can
> feel them crackling then we're most definitely in trouble.
Sometimes it's very small clues which let us know a crisis is in progress, and
you can't always go by respiration rates. During Baby Boy's last crisis his
rate was the same as it has been, but he was really "pulling" his chest in
when he breathed. Well, 120 mls of fluid between the lungs and the pleura will
do that. Another clue for him is that his head will move when he inhales --
but this is just him, it may not apply to your cat at all.
The breathing patterns and rates can change over time. When Baby Boy was
first diagnosed, four months ago he was breathing around 36 breaths per minute
while awake, 32 when asleep. Then he started his meds and went to 32 awake, 28
asleep. Then he started some NEW meds and went to 28 awake, 24 asleep. How,
while still on the same meds he has gone down to 20 awake, 16 asleep which is
the same as his adult brother cat (the kitten is useless as a control, they
breath faster anyway). So, be prepared for some changes -- you also have to
look at them in context with the cat's behavior as a whole. Over time, you will
get very, very good at knowing when there is a problem, even if it's not
obvious to anyone else, even a vet, and nine times out of ten you will be right in
thinking there might be a problem. Early intervention is better than waiting
for a full-blown crisis. It can mean the difference between just upping the
diuretics temporarily or having to have a chest tap.
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