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HMC - My cat Rocky

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  • marthehorndavis
    I am new to the group and lost my male orange tabby on November 29, 2004, Like all cats, he was the sweetest boy who would put his feet in my slippers and
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 30, 2005
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      I am new to the group and lost my male orange tabby on November 29,
      2004, Like all cats, he was the sweetest boy who would put his feet
      in my slippers and follow us through the house always bending the
      rules. His final diagnosis was a congenital disorder of the heart
      resulting in enlargement. His condition came on unexpectedly while
      he was on medication for for urinary infection because he was
      urinating outside the litter box. I have searched the web to find
      clues as to what happened so I will pass along his story in case
      someone else has had a similar experience. Of course my heart aches
      and as always we wonder if there was more that could have been done.

      I took him to my vet on November 10, when I discovered him straining
      outside the litter box. Having had cats all my life I was aware of
      the dangers of blockage and upon bringing him to my vet, I was
      relieved to discover that all that was required was a course of Orbax
      and change to disolution diet. My cat responded well to the meds
      until the 4th day when I noticed his sides moving in and out...and he
      had laid down. Then he seemed fine and I thought he may have had
      some digestive discomfort, as a side effect of the drug was vomitting
      and diarreha. The medicine however is a derivative of enrofloxin
      which is prohibited for use in livestock for fear of residual buildup
      and consumption by humans. Also it is in the same family as cipro
      which has caused countless problems...for people. It is a quinolone
      and should not be used in animals prone to seizures..(I read later)
      Rocky suddenly on the 4th day same day after his little episode of
      laying down and breathing quickly, at about 2:00 am started to foam
      at the mouth, his breathing became laboured and he was in certain
      distress. I thought he was vomitting but as his condition worsened
      (he had a bowel movement and ran and urine leakage) I called the
      emergency vet. His gums were pale and I got him in. His condition
      was poor, temp low, pupils dilated, heart rate elevated, pulse weak,
      bloodwork normal except for slightly elevated glucose. He received
      ampicillan, lasix, fluids, something to calm him down and oxygen. It
      took about 12 hours to stabilize him. He had cackling sounds from
      the lungs, and the lungs were filled with fluid. His heart seemed
      enlarged. Pneumonia, neoplasiza, respiratory disease, heart disease
      were all considered.(November 14) He was sent home on lasix and we
      were told to wait a couple of days/not out of the woods yet if he
      gets better; they told me and to take him to my regular vet for
      follow up. When I brought him to my regular vet (November 18)he was
      surprized with what had happened and I suggested that perhaps he
      could have had a reaction to orbax, My vet said it could have been a
      convulsion, an insect sting, a reaction and possibly a one time
      thing. Problem was when I brought Rocky in,(4 days after ordeal) he
      looked fine and picked up so quickly again. I was instructed to stop
      the lasix and Rocky was fine until the 21 of November and we ended up
      at emergency with the same thing. He was off the antibiotics in case
      there was a connection since the first time at emergency, and at the
      Emergency Vet, 2nd time November 21-22 his condition was grave, heart
      beats over 200, it took 24 hours this time to stablize him, the
      oxygen room was not sufficient and he required a nasal tube, even
      after this it took a while. Rather than resume more testing there, I
      took him to my own vet immediately the next morning. Rocky of course
      looked better but still rocovering from the ordeal, I asked about an
      ultrasound, my vet said the heart sounded quite bad, and prescribed
      fortekor, baby aspirin 2x a week and lasix. Rocky improved for a few
      days and then to my horror, the same situation presented itself even
      more seriously than before in spite of the medication. The next
      morning at the vet, he was not doing well, my vet tried doing a
      number of things, Rocky improved after a couple of hours and then
      crashed...a few hours later and in a coma, his heart stopped at the
      veterinary office. I had signed a form in the event that things got
      too bad. He was in intensive care and my vet was unable to save
      him. He got very sick very quickly and lasted about 19 days from
      the initial visit to the vet for the urinary problem. He lasted 2
      weeks from the initial episode with his heart on November 13-14. The
      days in between he made such an effort to live and do everything like
      before...but his heart couldn't do it. My vets final diagnosis was
      congenital heart disorder, his heart was like an elastic band
      apparently and not pumping efficiently. It happened so quickly and I
      was not educated in this area. I didn't know that cats can suddenly
      die from heart failure. I didn't realize it was so common. In
      Rocky's case there was not indication.

      So at the end of it all , there is grief, and I feel sad for what he
      went through, even though I know that I probably saved him from sure
      death at the animal control, 5 years is nothing. You always wonder if
      more could have been done.

      I wonder if certain antibiotics affect the heart and would be curious
      to know if other people have had cats go into heart failure while on
      certain antibiotics. I know orbax is a wonder drug but wonder what
      orbax does (if anything) to the heart....I question did the
      underlying urinating problems signify heart disease and Rocky got
      sick in spite of the antibiotics ie the heart problem was already
      there. I wonder if he had an analyphic reaction to the
      medication...ie cause and effect.

      Previous to the urinating issues, he seemed healthy. My vet said it
      could have been a convulsion, an insect sting, a reaction and
      generallly a one time thing. Problem was when I brought Rocky in he
      looked fine and picked up so quickly again. My vet prescribed
      orbafloxacin apparently safe between 1.5 to 7.5 mg/kg. Rocky got 22.7
      mg once daily: he weighed 14 pounds, and I have wondered if he had a
      reaction to the drug. On the other hand the urinating outside the
      kitty litter may have been a sign of serious underlying heart disease.

      It is sad what these animals go through, and I feel sorry for
      everyone who has lost a cat to this. I wonder about reasons for this
      being so common these days...is it diet, exercise, medications. I
      apologize for the lengthiness of this but I want to try to prevent
      this from happening in the future....with other cats.

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