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I don't want to be here

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  • amy13501971
    Hi - I ve never joined an online support group before, but then again I ve never had a cat with heart disease before. Luke is a 5 1/2 year old male who makes
    Message 1 of 6 , Dec 30, 2006
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      Hi -

      I've never joined an online support group before, but then again I've
      never had a cat with heart disease before. Luke is a 5 1/2 year old
      male who makes me smile. He was just diagnosed with Hypertrophic
      Obstructive Cardiomyopathy. I don't know what to do. The thought of
      him not being with me is almost more then I can bear.

      The cardiologist prescribed 1/4 tablet of a beta blocker called
      Atenolol twice a day. Does this usually help? Is there anything else
      that can be done? Should I start Luke on a low sodium diet?

      What's the typical prognosis? The cardiologist thought Luke would live
      another 3 1/2 years.

      Amy
    • nala nala
      Dear Amy, Welcome to the group. I completely understand not wanting to be here! Last February, my 5.5 yr old cat was diagnosed with hypertrophic obstructive
      Message 2 of 6 , Dec 30, 2006
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        Dear Amy,

        Welcome to the group. I completely understand not
        wanting to be here! Last February, my 5.5 yr old cat
        was diagnosed with hypertrophic obstructive
        cardiomyopathy. I had never belonged to any kind of
        on-line group, support or otherwise, either, but the
        people who make this site work are really good people
        who love their animals dearly and really try to help
        each other with both information and support.

        Atenolol is the standard treatment for the obstructive
        form of the disease. The beta-blocker slows down the
        heart rate allowing more time for the ventricle to
        fill which in turn should increase the volume of blood
        pumped from the heart. Atenolol, in many cases, works
        to reduce the obstruction. In fact, if your boy has a
        heart murmur, it may disappear after a few months of
        treatment. Some kitties don't do well with atenolol,
        but it will take a bit of time for Luke to adjust to
        the meds. If things don't seem quite right after a
        couple of weeks, talk to your vet/cardiologist about
        other treatment possibilities.

        HCM does not progress the same way in all kitties. So
        guessing at prognosis is not always a worthwhile
        activity. Some cats remain stable for years and
        others progress rapidly to congestive heart failure.
        But even then, some kitties do relatively well for
        extended time even with CHF. It sound very positive
        that your cardiologist thinks Luke has several more
        years to be with you.

        Try to focus on making time for your Luke and playing
        with him and loving him as much as possible. Others
        here will have advice for you regarding
        supplementation. It is my understanding that unless
        the kitty has gone into CHF, most cardiologists do not
        think that change to a low-sodium diet is beneficial.
        Also, to not be afraid to play with Luke. He will
        limit the amount he plays according to what his heart
        can handle.

        Nala, Camille and Cozette (heart kitty)


        --- amy13501971 <amy1350@...> wrote:

        > Hi -
        >
        > I've never joined an online support group before,
        > but then again I've
        > never had a cat with heart disease before. Luke is
        > a 5 1/2 year old
        > male who makes me smile. He was just diagnosed with
        > Hypertrophic
        > Obstructive Cardiomyopathy. I don't know what to
        > do. The thought of
        > him not being with me is almost more then I can
        > bear.
        >
        > The cardiologist prescribed 1/4 tablet of a beta
        > blocker called
        > Atenolol twice a day. Does this usually help? Is
        > there anything else
        > that can be done? Should I start Luke on a low
        > sodium diet?
        >
        > What's the typical prognosis? The cardiologist
        > thought Luke would live
        > another 3 1/2 years.
        >
        > Amy
        >
        >


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      • Leah Ferron
        Amy, Belive me when I tell you that we don t want you here either and that is because it means that another kitty has been diagnosed with heart problems. We
        Message 3 of 6 , Dec 30, 2006
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          Amy,

          Belive me when I tell you that we don't want you here either and that is because it means that another kitty has been diagnosed with heart problems. We hate that!!! But since you are here, WELCOME to you and Luke. We are glad you found us because we know how difficult a time this is for you and Luke. We have lots of information to share and a shoulder to lean on.

          Well, it sounds like Luke was diagnosed early, so that is good. Most kitties here find out in the late stages, as is the nature of the disease and the kitties' instincts to hide illnesses. There are things that you can do like feed a good quality canned food and give supplements like CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and others. If you want some more info on these, just email me. You probably won't hear about supplements from your vets but we highly recommend them in this group. Most vets say they won't help but won't hurt.

          Nala is right about prognosis. Do not write your vet's comments on life span in stone. They are often wrong, way wrong. Luke could live to be a grumpy old kitty so don't give up hope on him! Just love him with all you got every day you got him and you will have no regrets!

          We are glad you and Luke found us. We are glad you are here.

          Leah and her cats and Angel Alec



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        • savionna@aol.com
          Hi Amy, ... So Luke is guiding you into new experience. He must be a special guy. ... You re doing a good thing for him by joining with others who are helping
          Message 4 of 6 , Dec 31, 2006
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            Hi Amy,

            In a message dated 12/30/06 4:55:00 PM, amy1350@... writes:


            > I've never joined an online support group before, but then again I've
            > never had a cat with heart disease before. 
            >
            So Luke is guiding you into new experience. He must be a special guy.

            > I don't know what to do.  The thought of
            > him not being with me is almost more then I can bear.
            >
            You're doing a good thing for him by joining with others who are helping
            heart cats lead full lives. So you knew one thing to do.

            Luke is with you now, right? So another thing to learn to do is to treasure
            him every day. It's easy when caring for a cat with a health condition to miss
            the present by getting tangled up in an unknowable future.
            >
            > Should I start Luke on a low sodium diet?
            >
            Not necessarily...altho "low" is relative. What's important in cat nutrition
            is to provide a reasonable balance of nutrients, incl sodium, that falls
            within a generally accepted range for cats. Severely restricting one mineral or
            another can lead to imbalances...and products that severely manipulate one or two
            nutrients (like most Rx foods) usually have such poor ingredients that any
            possible benefit from restricting sodium or whatever is outweighed by the
            overall lack of nutrition. Canned foods that have high-quality, species-appropriate,
            meat-based ingredients...eg Wellness, Nature's Variety, Natural Balance,
            etc...will generally have a good balance of all nutrients that meet a cat's unique
            nutritional needs.

            That said, if you're feeding a food with very high sodium, that would not be
            good for any cat, with or without heart disease.

            If you're interested in information on cat nutrition, some links are below:

            1. http://home.earthlink.net/~jacm2/id1.html
            2. www.catinfo.org
            3. www.maxshouse.com/feline_nutrition.htm
            4. http://rocquoone.com/diet_and_health.htm
            5. www.advancepetfood.com.au/nutrition
            6. ww.drsfostersmith.com/general.cfm?siteid=0&gid=74&ref=2066&subref=AN

            Some canned foods that generally do a good job of meeting a cat's nutritional
            needs incl: Wellness, www.oldmotherhubbard.com; Nature's Variety,
            www.naturesvariety.com; PetGuard, www.petguard.com; Felidae, www.canidae.com; Natural
            Balance, www.naturalbalanceinc.com; By Nature's Organics,
            http://www.bynaturepetfoods.com/index.htm; and Eagle Pack, www.eaglepack.com.

            // Rosemary


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Sue at MAGDRL
            Amy, Hello and welcome to the group. Atenolol will usually help but as someone said, it s a drug that seems to cause more reactions than most - although it s
            Message 5 of 6 , Dec 31, 2006
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              Amy,

              Hello and welcome to the group.

              Atenolol will usually help but as someone said, it's a drug that seems to
              cause more reactions than most - although it's really not many. My girl was
              on it for about 1-1/2 years and then developed an arrhythmia from atenolol
              so we discontinued it. She was already on an ace-inhibitor (enalapril) and
              that is doing fine by itself.

              Don't worry about a low-sodium diet. If Luke is on a good-quality canned
              diet, then that will go a long way to helping his disease.

              Supplements like CoQ10 and l-carnitine are also very helpful.

              There is no typical prognosis. When people ask me about that, I just say
              that my crystal ball is broken. It truly is a guess based on the exposure
              of your vet to other cats with heart disease coupled with research that he's
              read. But there are always exceptions and cats are truly unique in how they
              react to things. I get the impression from the cardiologist that my girl
              should be long-gone but she's just fine.

              There are a lot of experienced people here in the group and I know that
              Pepper would not still be here if it weren't for the advice of these people.
              She already had "moderate" HCM when she was diagnosed in 11/04 and it's
              gotten much worse over time. With supplements and good food, it makes a
              huge difference.


              Sue


              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "amy13501971" <amy1350@...>
              To: <feline-heart@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Saturday, December 30, 2006 4:46 PM
              Subject: [FH] I don't want to be here


              > Hi -
              >
              > I've never joined an online support group before, but then again I've
              > never had a cat with heart disease before. Luke is a 5 1/2 year old
              > male who makes me smile. He was just diagnosed with Hypertrophic
              > Obstructive Cardiomyopathy. I don't know what to do. The thought of
              > him not being with me is almost more then I can bear.
              >
              > The cardiologist prescribed 1/4 tablet of a beta blocker called
              > Atenolol twice a day. Does this usually help? Is there anything else
              > that can be done? Should I start Luke on a low sodium diet?
              >
              > What's the typical prognosis? The cardiologist thought Luke would live
              > another 3 1/2 years.
              >
              > Amy
              >
              >
            • Sara
              Hi Amy - I also had the exact same reaction as you, I instantly thought the worst. Our vet told me Toby would die suddenly and it could be within a couple
              Message 6 of 6 , Jan 2, 2007
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                Hi Amy - I also had the exact same reaction as you, I instantly thought the worst. Our "vet" told me Toby would die suddenly and it could be within a couple days or one month. I pretty much cried for 2 weeks straight, thinking I would come home from work any day and find him gone. That was 4 1/2 YEARS ago! Toby is now going on 5 years old and doing wonderfully on atenolol too, started out on 1/4 tablet once a day, then just this past Sept got pushed up to 1/4 twice a day. I researched everything I could, and got the heck away from that "vet".

                You are doing the right thing, its hard, but try to stay positive!


                ----- Original Message ----
                From: amy13501971 <amy1350@...>
                To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Saturday, December 30, 2006 4:46:08 PM
                Subject: [FH] I don't want to be here


                Hi -

                I've never joined an online support group before, but then again I've
                never had a cat with heart disease before. Luke is a 5 1/2 year old
                male who makes me smile. He was just diagnosed with Hypertrophic
                Obstructive Cardiomyopathy. I don't know what to do. The thought of
                him not being with me is almost more then I can bear.

                The cardiologist prescribed 1/4 tablet of a beta blocker called
                Atenolol twice a day. Does this usually help? Is there anything else
                that can be done? Should I start Luke on a low sodium diet?

                What's the typical prognosis? The cardiologist thought Luke would live
                another 3 1/2 years.

                Amy



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