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HCM took my Sammy Without Notice

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  • erinleighirish
    My cat Sammy was a 4 year old purebred Tonkinese male. I got him in March 04 from the Huron Valley Humane Society. He was not known to have any health
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 2005
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      My cat Sammy was a 4 year old purebred Tonkinese male. I got him in
      March '04 from the Huron Valley Humane Society. He was not known to
      have any health conditions other than mild allergies. I have never
      seen a cat anything like Sammy. I honestly think he was a dog trapped
      in a cat's body. He was 15lbs (not overweight according to his vet),
      barked at birds, played fetch, loved playing tug-of-war with his cat
      toys (all of which broke because of his size/strength), and learned
      how to sit up on his hind end for treats. Sammy followed me
      everywhere, and would get very upset when I would close a door
      blocking him from me. Sammy also seemed had an innate ability to know
      when I, or anyone, needed some love and would plop in your lap look
      in to your eyes and ever so delicately bite you nose as if he was
      giving you a kiss.

      About a year ago I moved Sammy in with my now ex-boyfriend who had a
      cat that was similar in size to Sammy. We thought both cats would be
      happy having a buddy. The cats quickly became like brothers. My ex
      really loved Sammy and when we broke up I opted to leave Sammy with
      my ex, because I didn't have a place to keep, and didn't have the
      heart to take him from an excellent home. That was in early May.

      This past Wednesday, right after I fell asleep at 11am (I work
      midnights) I started getting phone calls from a phone number I didn't
      recognize so I didn't answer my phone. I received 2 more calls over
      an hour. Annoyed as can be when I finally woke up I plugged the
      number into a reverse phone directory and discovered that the number
      belonged to a vet clinic about a block from my ex's house. I called
      the number, and the girl that answered the phone told me, "Your ex-
      boyfriend brought your cat in, he had a broken back and was
      euthanized." My knees literally buckled and I fell to the floor in
      uncontrollable sobs, and thinking I was going to throw up.

      I mean, cats just don't break their backs without something traumatic
      happening to them. When I got some control of myself I called my ex-
      boyfriend who told me the cat hadn't broken his back, but had a
      severe/massive blood clot that cause Sammy to lose the use of his
      hind legs. My ex said that Sammy had also ripped his front toe-nails
      out in the night. The best thing for the cat was to be put down, he
      would have never had use of his hind legs again, that is if he even
      recovered enough to leave the vet clinic.

      I have some medical training, and I need more specifics, especially
      since I had received conflicting statements. The vet called me and
      began giving a general description of what happened. She first
      explained that Sammy's symptoms were NOT caused by any kind of trauma
      and that he had NOT broken his back. She told me Sammy suffered a
      major blood clot (saddle thrombosis), caused by the inward thickening
      of his left ventricle. She said that when Sammy arrived at her office
      his back legs were cold, and did not have any pulses. I begged her to
      be honest with me, and she did tell me that Sammy suffered
      EXCRUCIATING pain, until he was finally put down. She said the reason
      he pulled out his own front toenails was because cats go in to
      psychotic-like panic when they can't use their hindlegs. She also
      told me that at the point Sammy was there was nothing that could be
      done for him.

      I did learn that HCM is often difficult to detect, an ultrasound
      which costs over $1000, is about the only way to detect it. Even if
      my ex and I did know that Sammy had HCM, even with treatment it would
      have only delayed the inevitable.

      Somehow, even though I knew what happened to Sammy was not my fault
      it still does not alleviate my guilt. I also didn't get to say
      goodbye to him. I hope Sammy is in a better place now, and can be at
      peace. I loved him dearly, and always will.
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