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Re: [FH] Dilated cardiomyopathy- Kimberly's project

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  • 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 1 of 4 , Oct 2, 2006
      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 2 of 4 , Oct 2, 2006
        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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