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Re: New member, kitty with dilated cardiomyopathy

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  • Karen
    My cat also was diagnosed with dilated HCM at age 14 after he threw a blood clot. He was rushed to emergency hospital and had echocardiogram on the heart. The
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 1, 2005
      My cat also was diagnosed with dilated HCM at age 14 after he threw a
      blood clot. He was rushed to emergency hospital and had
      echocardiogram on the heart. The vets said he had pretty late stage
      disease and only gave him a couple months to live based on his heart
      condition. He was on heparin injections every 8 hours (for first 3
      months until I discontinued it) which reduced the likelihood of
      another clot, although they said it was still extremely likely he
      would get another clot eventually which would be fatal (or require
      euthanasia). I immediately did a lot of research and when he came
      home a week later, I put him on a number of supplements which I
      believe helped him tremendously and enabled his next 15 months to be
      very high quality, happy ones. I figured it was worth a try to
      supplement, especially since they changed their prognosis from
      a "couple months" to "about a week" after it was apparent the
      circulation was not returning to his leg. Every situation is
      different. I would consult with a homeopathic vet who is knowledgable
      about feline nutrition and see what they recommend for your kitty,
      since he is still pretty young, and quite heavy, he may have
      different needs. (mine was only about 7 or 8 pounds) If you want to
      read more about the supplements I gave Ziggy please scroll down to
      last link on his website (Sept 2004). Best of luck with Starbucks,
      what a lovely name. I wish him many more years to come!


      --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, "Diane" <dwilliam@e...> wrote:
      > Hello, I'm so glad I found you all! My cat Starbucks was diagnosed
      > Saturday with dilated cardiomyopathy. He is 8 years old, a neutered
      > male who I took in as a rescue along with his littermates when he
      > about 3 weeks old. He weighs 22 pounds and is a large boned cat,
      > fat; his littermates are as well and because they are rescues I
      > know their history, but they are big fluffy gorgeous cats and I've
      > been told they look like Maine Coon cats.
      > He'd been very healthy but Thursday night I noticed him breathing
      > funny, like he was trying to throw up a hairball. Something seemed
      > funny though so I went over to him and his eyes were glassy and his
      > gums slightly pale. I called my vet and she told me to come right
      > An xray was done there which showed a lot of fluid in his chest
      > cavity. He was having a lot of trouble breathing so was given
      > My vet suggested that he be transported to a good animal ER about
      > min. away, where they had an ultrasound machine. They did a chest
      > there and removed a lot of fluid. One was done which showed fluid in
      > chest and lungs but the cardiologist was not there that evening so
      > they waited until Sat. to do an echocardiogram. The cardiologist
      > phoned me to say that the test showed a very enlarged heart and a
      > clear diagnosis, in his mind, of DCM. He said it was only the 2nd
      > case in cats he'd seen but he treats it in dogs frequently. He
      > quite pessimsitic about Star's chances. I asked if he was suffering
      > and he said no, in fact Star had eaten a can of cat food and was
      > looking around at the other animals. That didn't sound like he was
      > 'death's door' so I said I wanted to try any treatments suggested,
      > not to put him to sleep. The vet agreed but warned about the risk
      > sudden death and embolism.
      > Yesterday he was still stable and had not required another chest tap
      > so was released when I asked to bring him home. He's being given
      > Lasix, Digoxin and Enalapril, plus I was told to supplement with
      > taurine. I know the link between taurine deficiency and DCM, but
      > has always been fed good commercial food (for past 3 years the Nutro
      > Natural Cat, previously it was Iams.) However, I have done a lot of
      > reading in the past 24 hours online and it sounds like some studies
      > showed an inexplicable reason why some cats don't absorb or process
      > the taurine in food properly and still end up with a deficiency. I
      > started the medications and taurine yesterday afternoon. Also, I
      > him the homeopathic Calc. Fluor, which was recommended because it
      > help weak and stretched tissue incld. the heart. I have no idea if
      > will work, but I have some belief in homeopathy and thought it
      > wouldn't hurt. This morning he seemed better to me, his breathing
      > much less labored. Part may be because he's home and less
      > He has eaten 4 times today, not a lot each time, about 2
      > each time of Science Diet canned, but he followed me into the
      > and meowed at the fridge each time. I'm taking this as a good
      > I am probably talking too much but I don't know what is important!
      > He's urinating copiously, I guess because of the Lasix? He is also
      > drinking a lot. I'm worried about the Lasix because I would assume
      > can cause electrolyte imbalance but nothing was said about that. I
      > did give him 3 teaspoons of Pedialyte a few times today, but was
      > nervous. Also, I've read a lot about giving baby aspirin to help
      > risk of blood clot but the er vet didn't tell me to do it. Should I
      > anyway? I will be seeing my regular vet Tues morning; she is going
      > do a blood test to check for his taurine plasma levels, as requested
      > by the cardiologist. (because of Memorial Day weekend labs were
      > closed and the sample had to be kept iced, so he decided it would be
      > better to start Star on the taurine supplement now and do the sample
      > Tuesday, thinking that it would not be enough time to make a huge
      > change in his plasma levels. Does anyone know if that sounds
      > I feel that something is helping, and while he obviously isn't 100%
      > just doesn't seem like he's at anywhere near the end. My husband
      > home this evening and commented how much better he looks.
      > I'm going to the Files and Links sections now to read, since I am
      > some of my questions are answered in there. However, if anyone has
      > any advice or thoughts, especially about the aspirin, I'd love the
      > help. Thank you very much, and I will send prayers to any of you
      > whose little buddies are suffering with heart problems too. Diane
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