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Intro

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  • Becky
    Hi List, I joined because of the CRF and Friends of Avatar list. Thought I d start the ball rolling by introducing my HCM cat, Merry. I manage an all cat
    Message 1 of 16 , Apr 3, 2000
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      Hi List,

      I joined because of the CRF and Friends of Avatar list.

      Thought I'd start the ball rolling by introducing my HCM cat, Merry.
      I manage an all cat themed gift store(named All About Cats) and
      almost 5 years ago, an older woman decided Merry wasn't for her and
      left Merry at the store. She'd had Merry bred, (Merry is a calico
      Scottish Fold)so Merry arrived pregnant. She had 2 kittens in the
      backroom and raised them at the store. Darrell still lives with us
      there.

      Over 3 years ago Merry was dx'ed with HCM. At that time her old vet
      had dx'ed her with asthma, and Merry was in a rapid decline. She was
      having a hard time breathing and then when she started having mini-
      strokes I took her to a new vet in town and said "something ain't
      right", Hcm was quickly discovered.

      Merry has had many ups and downs, with the biggest trick being
      managing her care in a very public place. It often feels like the
      entire town has the feeling that Merry owes them some of her time,
      even if she's feeling crummy. Giving her a private place can be
      tricky. In Oct. of 1999 she took a turn for the worse, and an x-ray
      showed a mass on her liver. We took her in for an ultrasound and
      found that the liver mass was backed up blood, that she also had DCM
      and a leaky valve.

      Merry now takes cardizem, enacard, lasix and potassium, all once a
      day. She doing great again, she looks better than she has for years.

      Sorry to be so long winded,

      Becky and Merry(and the Spirit of Linus)
      ps. if you want, you can see Merry and Darrell at
      http://www.allaboutcats.com
    • Diane
      Hi Becky, How old is Merry? Kearra was dx d when she was 3.5 yrs and I was devestated! This was in 5/95, so it s been almost 5 years. She is on Enacard now,
      Message 2 of 16 , Apr 3, 2000
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        Hi Becky,

        How old is Merry? Kearra was dx'd when she was 3.5 yrs and I was
        devestated! This was in 5/95, so it's been almost 5 years. She is on
        Enacard now, but she started on Atenonol. We had (and still have) no
        outward signs; it was at a physical that the vet noticed the murmer.

        Have you found a better price for Enacard than the $25 the vet charges? The
        Atenonal was cheap compared to this. :(


        Diane
      • Becky Houck
        Hi Diane, So it s taken awhile for an answer. I had to work yesterday. Let s see....we got Merry when she was 3, and pregnant. She had a crash (that was
        Message 3 of 16 , Apr 4, 2000
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          Hi Diane,
          So it's taken awhile for an answer. I had to work yesterday. Let's
          see....we got Merry when she was 3, and pregnant. She had a crash (that was
          mis-dx'ed) following the birth of the kittens. No, we wouldn't have allowed
          the pregnancy to continue if we had known how rough it was going to be on
          her. She'll be 8 in May and has been correctly dx'ed for over 3 years.
          Merry has quite a few outward signs, but is the toughest little cat that I
          have ever met. Even during her lastest crash(Oct-Dec) when she could only
          walks a few feet at a time, she refused to give up, regularly holding court
          on a cat tree in the front window while allowing her adoring fans to pay
          homage to her. For the chosen few, Merry awards the great honor of allowing
          them to hold her in her prescribed position of "up against your right
          shoulder, like a baby, keep moving, Merry doesn't like to just stand
          around" while she rubs her head in their hair and happily drools on them.
          Ahhh....the love of a cat.

          Merry is quite lucky. She simply stares at the store's checkbook, it falls
          open and starts paying her bills. However, the vet is quite generous in her
          charges toward Merry, and often stops by on a Sat. afternoon with whatever
          meds Merry needs. One of the hardest things has been keeping Merry
          eating(sounds familar, huh). I think that she has lost some of her sense of
          smell due to the mini-strokes. I took in a leftover can of a/d when Linus
          passed over, and now we have to buy it by the case for Merry. Most of the
          time she has to lap it slightly thinned with water(warm. of course) to keep
          her eating long enough to get a decent amount in her. However she has
          perfected her "feed me" stare to the point that customers often can tell
          what she wants.

          Is Kearra a breed? 3.5 years seems sooooo young doesn't it? Have you done
          an ultrasound?

          Once again, I've gotten long winded......

          Becky and Merry(plus the Spirit of Linus)

          At 11:31 AM 04/03/2000 -0400, you wrote:
          >Hi Becky,
          >
          >How old is Merry? Kearra was dx'd when she was 3.5 yrs and I was
          >devestated! This was in 5/95, so it's been almost 5 years. She is on
          >Enacard now, but she started on Atenonol. We had (and still have) no
          >outward signs; it was at a physical that the vet noticed the murmer.
          >
          >Have you found a better price for Enacard than the $25 the vet charges? The
          >Atenonal was cheap compared to this. :(
          >
          >
          >Diane
          >
          >
          >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          >feline-heart-unsubscribe@onelist.com
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >

          houck@...
        • smoot smith
          Hi everyone, I have been lurking on the list for a few days now. This is the second intro i`ve typed,no idea what became of the first one... On March 22 our
          Message 4 of 16 , Apr 9, 2000
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            Hi everyone,

            I have been lurking on the list for a few days now. This is the second
            intro i`ve typed,no idea what became of the first one...

            On March 22 our vet discovered an irregular heartbeat on Iggy, who is 13
            y/o, in early stages of CRF and has been stable for 15 months without
            fluids.
            At this time, Iggy is still undergoing various tests to determine the
            cause. Last week he had full urine/blood pannels,T-4(withing range)
            BP(withing range) EKG sent to Cardiopet(which confirmed the irregular
            heart beat).

            Next week he is scheduled for a TCO2,an ultrasound and cardio consult.
            Please wish us good luck, while i`ve accepted the CRF and while Iggy is
            doing very well on that front, the heart problem has me very worried.

            Our vet wants Iggy to begin taking a potassium supplement(tumil-k),and i
            have misgivings about it. While it will help with the depletion in
            excess urination, i wonder about the effect of potassium on the heart
            muscle, although i`ve also read that a low potassium value can lead to
            irregular heart beat. Iggy`s potassium values are right in mid-range.
            Any thoughts?

            From what i understand at this point(which is, i`ll concede, minute) an
            irregular heart beat has to do with the valves and or electrical input
            more than with the heart itself...no?

            Is there a relationship between subq`s fluids and the onset of heart
            disease in an animal who is..succeptible?
            I`m asking this because the nite before the irregular heart beat was
            heard, Iggy has been given fluids by an emergency clinic vet.(Poor guy
            was stressed out as he saw my bags and plane ticket by the front door
            and began to vomit)

            Thanks for the list!
            I`ll appreciate any input you have..any valiums you can spare:)

            Chia
          • JoWC123@aol.com
            Hi, I m Jo, an active member of FOA and a graduate of the CRF list. Some of you might know me as Yoda s Mom. He lived 3 1/2 years with CRF and over four
            Message 5 of 16 , Apr 10, 2000
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              Hi,

              I'm Jo, an active member of FOA and a graduate of the CRF list. Some of you
              might know me as Yoda's Mom. He lived 3 1/2 years with CRF and over four
              months with heart failure.

              We had a post on the FOA list about this list and I decided to come over and
              see if any of my experience with a CRF/cardiomyopathy cat might be of help.

              I had planned on mostly lurking, but of course I found myself responding to
              Katie's situation. And of course, crying about my lost baby. So I don't
              know if this will work or not, I am coming up on the one year anniversary,
              and am finding it hard.

              Jo and the brown boys, Loki and angel Yoda
            • diane@mathermotorsports.com
              Jo, If you are strong enough to help, we would sure love to have you! When I looked this am, we were at 30 members and a couple more have joined today. I don t
              Message 6 of 16 , Apr 10, 2000
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                Jo,

                If you are strong enough to help, we would sure love to have you!
                When I looked this am, we were at 30 members and a couple more have
                joined today. I don't know how many of us are combo CRF/heart cases.
                So far Frisky is not, really, though she did detect a *slight* murmer
                in him. I'm more worried about our other two.

                And guess what I found today? Kearra dos *not* have HCM like I've
                thought for the past 5 years, what she has is more rare in cats. I
                must've written it down wrong way back when. However, that is what
                Mudgie has. Sigh.

                The vet will send me both reports Wed (didn't even know there were
                reports!). I told her my head was getting too full with all the CRF
                stuff with Frisky :)


                Diane
                74 MII Ghia
                http://www.74ghia.com

                Mustang II Registry!!!
                http://www.racer.net/mathermotors/registry/registry.html
              • carol dunning
                Hi Everyone, My cat s name is Baby and we are on the CRF list also. He s 15 and was diagnosed in January with beginning CRF. He has always had a heart murmur
                Message 7 of 16 , Apr 10, 2000
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                  Hi Everyone,

                  My cat's name is Baby and we are on the CRF list also. He's 15 and was
                  diagnosed in January with beginning CRF. He has always had a heart murmur
                  and we just had a ECHO and an EKG done to see what we could do about heart
                  meds.

                  He was just diagnosed with Hypertropic Cardiomyopathy and is being put on
                  Atenolol. He had his BP checked and it was normal at 150. We're giving him
                  sub q fluids of 150 ml 3x week and he has absorbed all of this through his
                  kidney's so far. We're monitoring this closely.

                  Just thought I would introduce myself and if anyone has any experience with
                  Atenolol I would love to hear about it. Thanks for being here.

                  Hugs,

                  Carol and Baby
                • Heather.M.Hamilton@WellsFargo.COM
                  I just realized I posted without ever sending an intro. In July I lost my favorite cat, Alchy. I woke up and he was laying by the bed on the floor stretched
                  Message 8 of 16 , Dec 26, 2001
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                    I just realized I posted without ever sending an intro.

                    In July I lost my favorite cat, Alchy. I woke up and he was laying by the
                    bed on the floor stretched out on his side. He hadn't died very long before
                    I got up. The vet did an autopsy and said he looked perfectly healthy. He
                    guess his heart quit working. Maybe the upper and lower parts of the heart
                    quit communicating. I still miss him so much and cry whenever I think of
                    him. I found a card at Michael's the other day with a cat on it that looked
                    exactly like him.

                    I also have 2 9 year old calico females, Angel and Luci. A month or two ago
                    they went in to the vet and both have gingivitis pretty bad. Luci also has
                    a grade 2 heart murmur. He thought she had also lost a bit of weight too so
                    we did a thyroid test. It was normal but on the higher side. I have the
                    paperwork at home so I don't know the number. Now she has the icky eye.
                    The vet put them on CoQ10 for the gingivitis which is great for Luci since
                    it's good for muscles too. He also wanted to clean their teeth and possibly
                    pull one of Luci's top canines. I told him to give me 6 months to switch
                    them to raw and get their teeth cleaned up. In 6 months I'll do bloodwork
                    on them either way. If their teeth are still bad I'll have them cleaned.
                    Hopefully they'll be in better shape. Also, I'll probably do an ultrasound
                    on Luci's heart then. I have switched them to raw but so far it's mostly
                    ground chicken or turkey and ground chicken necks and backs. I'm having a
                    hard time getting them to eat offal. They eat the pulped veggies when I mix
                    them in with the ground meat. I don't see any signs of them throwing up
                    anymore and I can hardly tell when they poop since there's much less stink.

                    And I have an almost 5 month old kitten, Logan. He's the most evil kitten
                    I've ever had or met. Every day he gets a little better though. He finally
                    quit sucking on my ears and kneading his nails into my neck a few days ago.
                    Now he sleeps down by the dogs at the end of the bed or on top of my head on
                    the pillow. He eats almost anything I put in front of him.

                    Heather Hamilton
                    Minneapolis, MN
                    http://www.isd.net/msp04536/
                  • Bill & Linda Fischbach
                    Hi Heather, I am so sorry about your Alchy; we also had a cat who was in trouble one minute and gone the next. If your cats are in relatively good health, I
                    Message 9 of 16 , Dec 26, 2001
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                      Hi Heather,

                      I am so sorry about your Alchy; we also had a cat who was in trouble one
                      minute and gone the next.

                      If your cats are in relatively good health, I wouldn't wait to have the
                      dental work done. Bad teeth can cause lots of other problems. I don't
                      know about this, but I wouldn't think any diet would help a really bad
                      tooth. Of course get the eye cleared up. But sometimes if you wait for
                      dental work a cat can get sicker; then the dental work is more dangerous --
                      and not having it will cause problems.

                      Our cat has early CRF and heart problems. I requested dental work done,
                      and the vet agreed. Mittens had blood work just prior to the dental work,
                      and I stayed with him during the bloodwork, wait for results, and even while
                      they induced anesthesia, so he wasn't too afraid or stressed. Mittens had
                      the new anesthesia, his BP was monitored the whole time he was under and he
                      was fine. I'm glad to have that done.

                      Linda

                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: <Heather.M.Hamilton@...>
                      To: <feline-heart@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Wednesday, December 26, 2001 8:59 AM
                      Subject: [feline-heart] Intro


                      > I just realized I posted without ever sending an intro.
                      >
                      > In July I lost my favorite cat, Alchy. I woke up and he was laying by the
                      > bed on the floor stretched out on his side. He hadn't died very long
                      before
                      > I got up. The vet did an autopsy and said he looked perfectly healthy.
                      He
                      > guess his heart quit working. Maybe the upper and lower parts of the
                      heart
                      > quit communicating. I still miss him so much and cry whenever I think of
                      > him. I found a card at Michael's the other day with a cat on it that
                      looked
                      > exactly like him.
                      >
                      > I also have 2 9 year old calico females, Angel and Luci. A month or two
                      ago
                      > they went in to the vet and both have gingivitis pretty bad. Luci also
                      has
                      > a grade 2 heart murmur. He thought she had also lost a bit of weight too
                      so
                      > we did a thyroid test. It was normal but on the higher side. I have the
                      > paperwork at home so I don't know the number. Now she has the icky eye.
                      > The vet put them on CoQ10 for the gingivitis which is great for Luci since
                      > it's good for muscles too. He also wanted to clean their teeth and
                      possibly
                      > pull one of Luci's top canines. I told him to give me 6 months to switch
                      > them to raw and get their teeth cleaned up. In 6 months I'll do bloodwork
                      > on them either way. If their teeth are still bad I'll have them cleaned.
                      > Hopefully they'll be in better shape. Also, I'll probably do an
                      ultrasound
                      > on Luci's heart then. I have switched them to raw but so far it's mostly
                      > ground chicken or turkey and ground chicken necks and backs. I'm having a
                      > hard time getting them to eat offal. They eat the pulped veggies when I
                      mix
                      > them in with the ground meat. I don't see any signs of them throwing up
                      > anymore and I can hardly tell when they poop since there's much less
                      stink.
                      >
                      > And I have an almost 5 month old kitten, Logan. He's the most evil kitten
                      > I've ever had or met. Every day he gets a little better though. He
                      finally
                      > quit sucking on my ears and kneading his nails into my neck a few days
                      ago.
                      > Now he sleeps down by the dogs at the end of the bed or on top of my head
                      on
                      > the pillow. He eats almost anything I put in front of him.
                      >
                      > Heather Hamilton
                      > Minneapolis, MN
                      > http://www.isd.net/msp04536/
                      >
                      >
                      > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                      > feline-heart-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                      >
                      >
                    • Heather.M.Hamilton@WellsFargo.COM
                      When Luci eats she never seems to eat much. Maybe I will discuss the dental with the vet today when I bring her in. They only had one time slot to squeeze me
                      Message 10 of 16 , Dec 26, 2001
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                        When Luci eats she never seems to eat much. Maybe I will discuss the dental
                        with the vet today when I bring her in. They only had one time slot to
                        squeeze me in today. The cats had their teeth cleaned for the first, and so
                        far only, time in 1998. And boy have prices gone up. Now I think they
                        quoted me $500 to do both cats - so $250 each. That includes everything but
                        extractions. I think it was half the price in '98. I figured it would take
                        a miracle to get Luci's bad tooth better. It's working it's way out and
                        it's a bit loose. So if she needs to go under anyways I guess sooner is
                        better. Maybe that is why she's losing weight. I'm sure bad teeth aren't
                        good for her heart problem either. They're red around the canines but it
                        doesn't look like they're pussing or anything.

                        Thanks!

                        Heather

                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: Bill & Linda Fischbach [mailto:fischbl@...]
                        Sent: Wednesday, December 26, 2001 9:21 AM
                        To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [feline-heart] Intro


                        Hi Heather,

                        I am so sorry about your Alchy; we also had a cat who was in trouble one
                        minute and gone the next.

                        If your cats are in relatively good health, I wouldn't wait to have the
                        dental work done. Bad teeth can cause lots of other problems. I don't
                        know about this, but I wouldn't think any diet would help a really bad
                        tooth. Of course get the eye cleared up. But sometimes if you wait for
                        dental work a cat can get sicker; then the dental work is more dangerous --
                        and not having it will cause problems.

                        Our cat has early CRF and heart problems. I requested dental work done,
                        and the vet agreed. Mittens had blood work just prior to the dental work,
                        and I stayed with him during the bloodwork, wait for results, and even while
                        they induced anesthesia, so he wasn't too afraid or stressed. Mittens had
                        the new anesthesia, his BP was monitored the whole time he was under and he
                        was fine. I'm glad to have that done.

                        Linda
                      • MOTTOLA FAMILY
                        From: MOTTOLA FAMILY To: Feline Heart Group Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2003 12:57 PM Subject: Intro Hi everyone. I m so glad I found this group. My name is
                        Message 11 of 16 , Nov 13, 2003
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                          From: MOTTOLA FAMILY
                          To: Feline Heart Group
                          Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2003 12:57 PM
                          Subject: Intro


                          Hi everyone. I'm so glad I found this group. My name is Deena and I live in MA. I have a 2.5 yr old Toller named Buddie and the coolest 3 yr old Norwegian named Mr. Pepe (he looks like a skunk) Mr. P was just diagnosed with severe hypertropic cardiomyopathy. Docs words: significant muscle thickening and a massively dilated left atrium. He is at Tufts Med School for diagnosis and a treatment plan is being developed. I'm still in shock but hopefully I found the right place for support and guidance. My goal is palliative care at home and to give him the best possible quality of life I can. Each day with him will be viewed as a gift. Hopefully you guys can provide ideas on diet, lifestyle, treatment, expectations, etc. I am holistically minded and feel that both alternative and allopathic medicine may play a role here.

                          2 days ago, Mr. Pepe was an energetic (sometimes too much energy) and incredibly healthy looking cat who loved life. He spent his morning chasing birds in the yard. His afternoon was spent at the beach bossing the obnoxious dogs around. His night was spent in the ER, inches away from pulmonary arrest. The past few days have been a roller coaster of hope/crushed hope, so I am very fried. His only medical situation was this funky intermittent limp, which started a year ago, and bothered me more than him. After several months of not being able to figure it out, we decided it might be tick related and treated it with Ledum. Within hours we saw improvement and in 3 days the limp was gone, so we figured we nailed the diagnosis correctly. Then this, so know I wonder if they are connected?

                          I look forward to any advice, tricks, etc that you can pass along. I'm still trying to process this all, because it happened so quickly. Once I get over the shock, I'll work on my plan and might need some hand-holding.

                          My first of what I'm sure will be a million questions for you is:
                          Is there a such thing as too much natural taurine in a diet? I read that a high taurine/low sodium diet is best. He is raw fed and eats a good variety of different meats. His absolute favorite is heart. I don't want to overdo it if harmful, but on the other hand where his days are so numbered I want him to enjoy life to it's fullest.


                          Deena

                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Sara
                          Hi Deena, I was really close to bringing my Persian Toby into Tufts, I am in CT. He is 1 1/2 yr old with obstructive HCM. I was were you are right now, still
                          Message 12 of 16 , Nov 13, 2003
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                            Hi Deena,

                            I was really close to bringing my Persian Toby into Tufts, I am in CT. He is 1 1/2 yr old with obstructive HCM. I was were you are right now, still getting over the initial shock, I cried for days. But now I realized I won't be able to give him the best qualify of however long he has left if I stayed in that state of mind.

                            Have they given you meds for him? I've heard hearts are excellent for him. I'm debating if there is nothing more our regular vet can do. We recently changed vets because our first vet told me exactly squat about this disease. The second one seems pretty knowledgable. I'd be interested to know what Tufts tell you about him.

                            - Sara

                            MOTTOLA FAMILY <mottola@...> wrote:

                            From: MOTTOLA FAMILY
                            To: Feline Heart Group
                            Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2003 12:57 PM
                            Subject: Intro


                            Hi everyone. I'm so glad I found this group. My name is Deena and I live in MA. I have a 2.5 yr old Toller named Buddie and the coolest 3 yr old Norwegian named Mr. Pepe (he looks like a skunk) Mr. P was just diagnosed with severe hypertropic cardiomyopathy. Docs words: significant muscle thickening and a massively dilated left atrium. He is at Tufts Med School for diagnosis and a treatment plan is being developed. I'm still in shock but hopefully I found the right place for support and guidance. My goal is palliative care at home and to give him the best possible quality of life I can. Each day with him will be viewed as a gift. Hopefully you guys can provide ideas on diet, lifestyle, treatment, expectations, etc. I am holistically minded and feel that both alternative and allopathic medicine may play a role here.

                            2 days ago, Mr. Pepe was an energetic (sometimes too much energy) and incredibly healthy looking cat who loved life. He spent his morning chasing birds in the yard. His afternoon was spent at the beach bossing the obnoxious dogs around. His night was spent in the ER, inches away from pulmonary arrest. The past few days have been a roller coaster of hope/crushed hope, so I am very fried. His only medical situation was this funky intermittent limp, which started a year ago, and bothered me more than him. After several months of not being able to figure it out, we decided it might be tick related and treated it with Ledum. Within hours we saw improvement and in 3 days the limp was gone, so we figured we nailed the diagnosis correctly. Then this, so know I wonder if they are connected?

                            I look forward to any advice, tricks, etc that you can pass along. I'm still trying to process this all, because it happened so quickly. Once I get over the shock, I'll work on my plan and might need some hand-holding.

                            My first of what I'm sure will be a million questions for you is:
                            Is there a such thing as too much natural taurine in a diet? I read that a high taurine/low sodium diet is best. He is raw fed and eats a good variety of different meats. His absolute favorite is heart. I don't want to overdo it if harmful, but on the other hand where his days are so numbered I want him to enjoy life to it's fullest.


                            Deena

                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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                          • Kristen
                            Hi everyone, I just found and joined this group today. My name is Kristen. I have two cats at home, both boys, Chico and Whiskey. Chico, my savannah boy, was
                            Message 13 of 16 , Feb 20, 2008
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                              Hi everyone, I just found and joined this group today. My name is
                              Kristen. I have two cats at home, both boys, Chico and Whiskey.
                              Chico, my savannah boy, was diagnosed with HCM about a year ago or
                              more already. I'd have to look back at my records to be sure. He is
                              on two medications which I give him daily, lasix and enapril(I
                              think). I originally took him to the vet because he was coughing, I
                              didn't know what was wrong. He hadn't even turned one yet. After
                              xrays, and a heart ultrasound, my vet diagnosed him with HCM. He
                              since has had 2 more ultrasounds, both showing the same. He seems
                              to be doing well for the most part, he sleeps a lot. He doesn't
                              really act like a young cat, to me anyway, but he does play some and
                              he is always hungry and has a good appetite. I'm still in the denial
                              stage, I want to take him to a feline cardiologist, even though I
                              feel my vet is very qualified. There are none local, and Chico isn't
                              the easiest traveler. If he in fact really has a heart condition, I
                              don't want to put any more stress on him that absolutely necessary.
                              I could go on and on, but I just meant for this to be an introduction
                              more than anything. I look forward to reading about other's
                              experiences with this disease, and I look forward to any
                              advice/suggestions you can give me to make sure Chico has the best
                              quality of life for as long as possible.
                              Thanks,
                              Kristen
                            • midnightlydy
                              Hi Kristen, and Welcome! First of all, our hearts and prayers go out to you and your beloved furry children, most especially Chico! Please feel free to ask
                              Message 14 of 16 , Feb 20, 2008
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                                Hi Kristen, and Welcome!

                                First of all, our hearts and prayers go out to you and your beloved
                                furry children, most especially Chico! Please feel free to ask any
                                and all questions of the group here, you'll find the people most
                                helpful here!

                                It is heartening to know that Chico seems to be holding his own after
                                a year post-DX! HOORAH!

                                I have found out that it can be very hard to diagnose heart problems
                                in cats because they compensate so well by limiting their activity.
                                However, sitting upright or seeming reluctant to lie down are classic
                                signs of fluid building up CHF (congestive heart failure) in the lungs
                                as the heart starts to actually fail. These postures help keep the
                                fluid away from the heart and the top of the lungs.

                                Other signs of heart failure can include difficulty breathing,
                                fainting, lethargy, lack of appetite, coughing, gagging, or labored,
                                rapid, or very shallow breathing. If a blood clot forms, the clot can
                                get lodged in an artery leading to the hind legs and cause paralysis
                                as well as a lot of pain.

                                I can understand you questioning the ultrasound results, but did your
                                vet also perform the following:

                                * Electrocardiogram (ECG) - May show several patterns distinctive
                                with HCM.
                                * Echocardiography or Doppler - Often used to confirm or enhance
                                other findings.
                                * Blood Work-Up - Elevated values may reflect systemic arterial
                                hypertension or hyperthyroidism.

                                These other diagnostic findings will help to confirm the diagnosis of
                                feline HCM once and for all, especially if you are still unconvinced
                                of the diagnosis.

                                What you might want to do, is to have your vet send a consult out to
                                the nearest vet cardiologist with all of his/her findings, and getting
                                an opinion as to whether a visit would be warranted after all.

                                We took Tank the Cat 72 miles round trip to Angell Memorial Hospital
                                in Jamaica Plain, Boston, MA to see his cardiologist via automobile.
                                It was not suggested that Tank be tranquilized for the trip – not good
                                for feline cardiac patients, but you might want to check with your vet
                                just the same. He did pretty well, under the circumstances, at least
                                he did not go into cardiac arrest on either trip. Quite frankly, if
                                he survived THAT trip, we felt that he would do well after that – he
                                lived 16 months more!

                                Our beloved Tank the Cat had a similar DX as your cat. He was seven
                                when diagnosed in 2005 and his weight was 13.2 pounds. His condition
                                was severe and was not expected to survive more than two to three
                                months after the initial diagnosis of HCF w/ CHF (congestive heart
                                failure).

                                He lived another year and a half with the following regimen upon
                                advice from his Vet and Cardiac Vet:

                                Non-enteric coated orange baby aspirin 81 mg. 1/2 a tab twice a week
                                on Wednesday and Saturday.

                                Atenolol 1/4 tab 12.5 mg twice a day. Beta-blocker

                                Furosemide (Lasix) 1/2 tab 40 mg. twice a day. Diuretic

                                You might suggest to your vet that Chico be put on a regimen twice a
                                week of non-enteric coated baby aspirin of a dosage appropriate to
                                Chico's weight.

                                NOTE: Give aspirin to an animal ONLY on the advice of an veterinarian
                                - NEVER self medicate!

                                In cardiac cases in both human and animal, aspirin can be helpful to
                                assist the vascular system and the heart. This compound helps to
                                prevent blood clotting by thinning the blood, but the usual dose for
                                that is either one regular or one "low dose" aspirin a day for humans.

                                Feline side effects of aspirin could include gastrointestinal
                                problems, respiratory difficulties, neurological problems, bleeding
                                disorders, and kidney failure. Gastrointestinal problems are common in
                                dogs, whereas central nervous system depression is most common in
                                cats. Which is why aspirin should be given to felines and canines
                                ONLY with advice of the veterinarian.

                                CHF:
                                You did not say if Chico was diagnosed with CHF, but it can accompany HCM.

                                What to watch for:
                                If your cat begins to exhibit signs like poor appetite, panting,
                                coughing after even the slightest exertion and blue lips/tongue/gums.
                                Kitty may appear to be out of breath, and not so often your cat may
                                even throw up a reddish colored fluid. This may, or may not be
                                accompanied by fainting spells. CHF is a very serious disease and as
                                such, any troubling signs warrant an immediate trip to the vet.

                                Misc:
                                Keep your beloved active, but as stress free as possible. Keep him
                                indoors. Keep as quiet of an atmosphere as possible. If you have
                                multiple flights, sequester him to one floor preferably the first, the
                                stress of going up and down the stairs can overtax the heart. Keep
                                the rooms cool so he does not breathe harder.

                                If Chico begins to labor, do not be surprised if Whiskey attacks him.
                                We were shocked when Silkie the Cat attacked Tank the Cat when he was
                                having one of his bad moments. He would let out a yeowl in pain and
                                slump over and lose consciousness for a short time, and then she would
                                run over and bat at him with her paw, making him yeowl even more. He
                                is the Alpha male and she would normally just go about her business
                                being Silkie, never being hostile, except when Tank is ill. Try to
                                keep Whiskey away from Chico when he is having an attack if this happens.

                                If I can be of further assistance, you need only fire off an e-mail.

                                Best wishes,
                                Isadora, owned by Silkie, the Cat, and overseen by Angel Tank the Cat


                                --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, "Kristen" <kristen6105@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Hi everyone, I just found and joined this group today. My name is
                                > Kristen. I have two cats at home, both boys, Chico and Whiskey.
                                > Chico, my savannah boy, was diagnosed with HCM about a year ago or
                                > more already. I'd have to look back at my records to be sure. He is
                                > on two medications which I give him daily, lasix and enapril(I
                                > think). I originally took him to the vet because he was coughing, I
                                > didn't know what was wrong. He hadn't even turned one yet. After
                                > xrays, and a heart ultrasound, my vet diagnosed him with HCM. He
                                > since has had 2 more ultrasounds, both showing the same. He seems
                                > to be doing well for the most part, he sleeps a lot. He doesn't
                                > really act like a young cat, to me anyway, but he does play some and
                                > he is always hungry and has a good appetite. I'm still in the denial
                                > stage, I want to take him to a feline cardiologist, even though I
                                > feel my vet is very qualified. There are none local, and Chico isn't
                                > the easiest traveler. If he in fact really has a heart condition, I
                                > don't want to put any more stress on him that absolutely necessary.
                                > I could go on and on, but I just meant for this to be an introduction
                                > more than anything. I look forward to reading about other's
                                > experiences with this disease, and I look forward to any
                                > advice/suggestions you can give me to make sure Chico has the best
                                > quality of life for as long as possible.
                                > Thanks,
                                > Kristen
                                >
                              • Tamara
                                Hi,   I just joined the group yesterday, as I just found out Saturday that 1 of my kitties, 12 yo Annie has a heart murmur.  She will be getting x-rays and
                                Message 15 of 16 , Sep 14, 2009
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Hi,
                                   
                                  I just joined the group yesterday, as I just found out Saturday that 1 of my kitties, 12 yo Annie has a heart murmur.  She will be getting x-rays and an echocardiogram this week or next.  Unfortunately, it will be my 3rd round with heart disease with a cat.  I lost 1 cat in 1995 to DCM and another in 2000 to HCM (secondary to hyperthyroidism).  I guess I will know more after these tests, but am here to learn as much as I can.
                                   
                                  I found Annie when she was about 4 mos. old and I've always thought she came from a nearby feral community that lived in a park a couple of blocks from my home.  She has had many health issues, including stomatitis, she had a "mystery" infection in her chest in 2006 and while dealing with that, they found on those x-rays that she had some healed broken ribs.  I actually brought her into the vet to look at a squinty, watering eye and during the exam the heart murmur was discovered.



                                  Peace to all,
                                  Tamara
                                   
                                  "War is a failure of the imagination."  William Blake




                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • m3cflvi
                                  Hi Tamara, Welcome to the group. I wish you the best with Annie. I ve been with the group for about 6 months. We lost our kitty to HCM last Oct, and I want to
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Sep 14, 2009
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    Hi Tamara,

                                    Welcome to the group. I wish you the best with Annie.

                                    I've been with the group for about 6 months. We lost our kitty to HCM last Oct, and I want to learn more about this disease.

                                    Please keep us posted.

                                    Joe, with Beanie, Chelsea and April (R.I.P.)

                                    --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, Tamara <savepawsfurever@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Hi,
                                    >  
                                    > I just joined the group yesterday, as I just found out Saturday that 1 of my kitties, 12 yo Annie has a heart murmur.  She will be getting x-rays and an echocardiogram this week or next.  Unfortunately, it will be my 3rd round with heart disease with a cat.  I lost 1 cat in 1995 to DCM and another in 2000 to HCM (secondary to hyperthyroidism).  I guess I will know more after these tests, but am here to learn as much as I can.
                                    >  
                                    > I found Annie when she was about 4 mos. old and I've always thought she came from a nearby feral community that lived in a park a couple of blocks from my home.  She has had many health issues, including stomatitis, she had a "mystery" infection in her chest in 2006 and while dealing with that, they found on those x-rays that she had some healed broken ribs.  I actually brought her into the vet to look at a squinty, watering eye and during the exam the heart murmur was discovered.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Peace to all,
                                    > Tamara
                                    >  
                                    > "War is a failure of the imagination."  William Blake
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    >
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