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Dilated cardiomyopathy- Kimberly's project

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  • pjmartin87654
    Hello Kimberly, I am having problems getting much information on dilated cardiomyopaty. Otis s X-ray led to this diagnosis. It was a routine X-ray and asthma
    Message 1 of 4 , Oct 1, 2006
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      Hello Kimberly,

      I am having problems getting much information on dilated
      cardiomyopaty. Otis's X-ray led to this diagnosis. It was a routine
      X-ray and asthma was the suspected culprit. I really hope that you
      can get your project going, Kimberly.

      There is a lot of information that I do not know. Is dilated
      cardiomyopathy a more serious illness than hypertrophic
      cardiomyopathy? I read from Merck book, which somebody kindly
      posted, that two weeks after diagnosis was about what can be
      expected and that the outlook for cats is really grave. We were told
      by our own vet that six months would be about the most we could
      expect Otis to survive for. I don't know if this is correct. I am
      really upset.

      We lost one cat suddenly to the hypertrophic form two years ago. The
      poor little kitty just dropped dead and the necropsy showed that it
      was the hypertrophic form. Are the treatments basically the same for
      both forms of the illness? Is there a typical pattern of the
      progress of the dilated form of the disease? Our vet feels that the
      X-ray gave a definnitive diagnosis and that an ultrasound could
      stress him into a danger zone. The odd thing is that we never
      realized just how sick he was. He is a big, healthy-looking boy.

      Otis will have a blood test on Wednesday to check his digoxin level.
      He is on a 1/2 tablet every other day. He's also on taurine, COQ10,
      and fortekor. Since he was put on medication, his "wheezing" had
      ceased completely unto last night. His first X-ray showed no fluid
      in the area of the lungs, so he's not on Lasix.

      Jean and Otis,
      Lantzville BC
    • Janie
      Dumb Question? Maybe. How can he tell by an xray? I guess he sees an enlargement? I think a blood test is more stressful than an echo. Get the echo as soon
      Message 2 of 4 , Oct 2, 2006
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        Dumb Question? Maybe. How can he tell by an xray? I guess he sees an
        enlargement? I think a blood test is more stressful than an echo. Get
        the echo as soon as you feel hes up to it. Maybe you can go in with
        him. I always go in with them and it is so dark and quiet you could go
        to sleep. Get him on the right meds. If its Gods will He will pass
        the 6 month mark. I have DCM and I'm past 5 yrs and I take betta
        blockers to make my heart strong. I think in cats you see more sudden
        death in HCM than the other. I never will forget Sockster passed all
        test ekg blood test blood pressure and if I hadnt done the echo I would
        not of guessed he was sick. They gave hom 6 mo. He lived a happy life 5
        yrs and died in an hour. So as with people we just dont know. Janie
      • nala nala
        Dear Jean, Again, I am sorry to hear about Otis predicament. My cardiologist has advised against travel with my heart kitty as she fears that the stress of
        Message 3 of 4 , Oct 2, 2006
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          Dear Jean,

          Again, I am sorry to hear about Otis' predicament. My
          cardiologist has advised against travel with my heart
          kitty as she fears that the stress of the travel will
          precipitate an acute episode of CHF.

          If I remember correctly, you must take a ferry to see
          a heart specialist? Is your regular vet on the island
          near you? My cardiologist is mobile - she comes to my
          vet's office. Perhaps there is an internal medicine
          or cardiologist who travels in or around your region
          or in Victoria - is that very far away?

          Perhaps you can ask your vet why he/she favors the
          diagnosis of DCM over other myopathies without an
          ultrasound?

          Do you and the vet suspect the wheezing is related to
          the heart dysfunction, or do you think there is
          something else going on that has not yet been
          addressed?

          It is my understanding that an enlarged heart on an
          x-ray is not necessarily conclusive about disease
          origin, but sometimes based on the shape of the heart,
          one disease may be indicated over another. I believe
          that hypothermia (low body temperature) is also common
          in DCM, but not in HCM or RCM. From the limited
          reading I have done on DCM, digitalis and taurine are
          the standards for feline DCM, but digitalis is
          generally not prescribed for HCM. If the left atrium
          is enlarged, there is a risk for blood clots, and
          aspirin or plavix might be useful. In dogs, carnitine
          supplementation may also be useful, I don't know about
          cats.

          To answer the question of whether treatment for HCM
          and DCM are the same - look at

          http://www.vin.com/proceedings/Proceedings.plx?CID=WSAVA2004&PID=8582&O=Generic

          "Diagnosis of HC is not difficult, but does require
          special testing to confirm clinical suspicions.
          Without the aid of echocardiography, dilated and
          restrictive (RC) cardiomyopathies can be difficult to
          distinguish from HC. This distinction is especially
          important in the case of DC, because it requires an
          entirely different therapeutic approach and prognosis.
          Other disorders that produce left ventricular and
          septal hypertrophy, such as hyperthyroidism, systemic
          hypertension, and aortic stenosis, must also be ruled
          out."
          (Unfortunately, treatment for DC is not included here)

          I think Susan included these links under "links" on
          message board site, but I include a few of them again
          for you. You may have already seen them.

          http://www.vin.com/proceedings/Proceedings.plx?CID=WALTHAMOSU2002&PID=2990

          http://www.vetgo.com/cardio/concepts/concsect.php?conceptkey=85#85
          (This link doesn't go to feline DCM directly, but
          starts at
          15 What is feline dilated cardiomyopathy?)

          http://maxshouse.com/Cardiology/myocardial_diseases_of_the_cat.htm

          I hope some of the info is useful.

          Sincerely,

          Nala, Camille and Cozette


          > Hello Kimberly,
          >
          > I am having problems getting much information on
          > dilated
          > cardiomyopaty. Otis's X-ray led to this diagnosis.
          > It was a routine
          > X-ray and asthma was the suspected culprit. I really
          > hope that you
          > can get your project going, Kimberly.
          >
          > There is a lot of information that I do not know. Is
          > dilated
          > cardiomyopathy a more serious illness than
          > hypertrophic
          > cardiomyopathy? I read from Merck book, which
          > somebody kindly
          > posted, that two weeks after diagnosis was about
          > what can be
          > expected and that the outlook for cats is really
          > grave. We were told
          > by our own vet that six months would be about the
          > most we could
          > expect Otis to survive for. I don't know if this is
          > correct. I am
          > really upset.
          >
          > We lost one cat suddenly to the hypertrophic form
          > two years ago. The
          > poor little kitty just dropped dead and the necropsy
          > showed that it
          > was the hypertrophic form. Are the treatments
          > basically the same for
          > both forms of the illness? Is there a typical
          > pattern of the
          > progress of the dilated form of the disease? Our
          > vet feels that the
          > X-ray gave a definnitive diagnosis and that an
          > ultrasound could
          > stress him into a danger zone. The odd thing is that
          > we never
          > realized just how sick he was. He is a big,
          > healthy-looking boy.
          >
          > Otis will have a blood test on Wednesday to check
          > his digoxin level.
          > He is on a 1/2 tablet every other day. He's also on
          > taurine, COQ10,
          > and fortekor. Since he was put on medication, his
          > "wheezing" had
          > ceased completely unto last night. His first X-ray
          > showed no fluid
          > in the area of the lungs, so he's not on Lasix.
          >
          > Jean and Otis,
          > Lantzville BC
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >


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        • pjmartin87654
          Hello Nala, There are no heart specialists in British Columbia. There are three internal medicine people in Vancouver. We took Otis s brother, Milo, there for
          Message 4 of 4 , Oct 2, 2006
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            Hello Nala,

            There are no heart specialists in British Columbia. There are three
            internal medicine people in Vancouver. We took Otis's brother, Milo,
            there for chemo. It was a long trip- car to the ferry, 1 3/4 hours
            on the boat, then a half hour drive to the animal hospital. We often
            waited hours for our scheduled visits which gave us real problems
            booking a return ferry. We may have to do that, but we don't really
            want to.

            There is a visiting internist who comes up from the States to
            Victoria every six weeks or so. Victoria is a 2 1/14 hour drive from
            Nanaimo. We can get ultrasounds done locally. The itinerant lady vet
            sends the results to Guelph for analysis. Apparently she's quite
            competent. Their machine may not be as good as the ones in
            Vancouver. I do know that it's portable. Our vet argued that it was
            not really necessary to do an ultrasound as the very enlarged heart
            was shaped like an extended oval rather than a heart shape.
            Apparently the enlarged heart is putting pressure on the lungs,
            which causes the occasional wheezing spells. She thinks that it is
            heart related.

            Thanks for the links. They were really useful. I have a day more to
            prepare for Otis's next vet visit and we have lots to discuss. Our
            own vet is off to Prague for the Small Animal Conference, so we get
            the owner of the hospital this time. It will be interesting to see
            what he has to say about the X-ray.

            One of the pages on the links said the prognosis was grim, so I'm so
            glad to have had some positive stories. The odd thing is that Otis
            looks really well. He is a bit chubby, but contented, full of purrs,
            and quite happy. Had it not been for the X-ray and the preiodic
            wheezing, we'd never have known how sick he is. He doesn't appear to
            be in any pain at all

            Jean and Otis,
            Lantzville (just north of Nanaimo) Bc

            --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, nala nala <nala_zq@...> wrote:
            >
            > Dear Jean,
            >
            > Again, I am sorry to hear about Otis' predicament. My
            > cardiologist has advised against travel with my heart
            > kitty as she fears that the stress of the travel will
            > precipitate an acute episode of CHF.
            >
            > If I remember correctly, you must take a ferry to see
            > a heart specialist? Is your regular vet on the island
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