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Re: Dilated cardiomyopathy- Kimberly's project

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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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