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Re: [FH] New member--cat has heart murmur

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  • Leah Ferron
    Susan, Welcome to you and your kitty (please let us know her name). I am glad that you found us. Please don t worry, it will get you nowhere but maybe get you
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 2, 2007
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      Susan,

      Welcome to you and your kitty (please let us know her name). I am glad that you found us. Please don't worry, it will get you nowhere but maybe get you some indigestion. Bad humor, I know, but I want you to feel better. We all know how hard it is to wait to get the answers we need.

      You are absolutely doing the best thing by getting the echo. It is the only sure way of knowing what is going on with your kitty's heart. Heart murmurs are not normal in a grown kitty and generally means something isn't as it should be. That being said, regular vets know very little about heart problems and your vet could be mistaken. Generally a heart murmur isn't mistaken but it is a good sign that her heart did not look enlarged on the x-ray. If your kitty's murmur is something like cardiomyopathy, you may just catch it before any signs show. That would be very good. Early detection of heart disease does not come often in the kitty world because they are masters at hiding their diseases. If your kitty has a heart problem, you would probably be at the beginning stages and able to fight the disease better than most of us have. With proper medication and a combination of supplements, like the CoQ10 you mentioned, it would really give her a leg up (no pun intended). If you
      wanted to start supplements before the echo, you could. Most vets say the supplements won't hurt but won't help either. We disagree. If you want more info on supplements, just email me.

      Your vet is right in that there are things like thyroid problems that can cause heart problems so it is good that you are having the bloodwork done. The cardiologist would probably request it anyways. Be sure to take copies of all the tests with you to the exam including the x-rays.

      Be sure to ask us any questions that you may have even if it isn't heart related because it often is. Also, read some recent postings so that you can develop questions for the cardiologist before the exam. If the cardio sees that you are a concerned owner willing to help your pet, they will be more willing to work on the problem, should there be one, than to just give up (as some of us have experienced). I am not trying to scare you but to inform you. Education is your best tool for defense in heart problems. Glad to have you both!

      Leah and her cats and Angel Alec




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    • Leah Ferron
      This was meant for the group too. dshale1 wrote: Thanks, Leah. Our cat s name is Pye. It is very upsetting for my husband and me to watch
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 3, 2007
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        This was meant for the group too.

        dshale1 <Dshale1@...> wrote: Thanks, Leah. Our cat's name is Pye. It is very upsetting for my
        husband and me to watch her have these problems--the asthma wasn't so
        bad because it was always mild and the Flovent controlled it
        completely. But seeing her limp around from the joint disease has been
        hard on us, and now this. Our other two cats have been pretty healthy,
        never anything serious, so it seems unfair she is having all these
        problems.

        Thanks for your encouragement as well. Our vet owns the oldest
        felines-only clinic in the city and we have a lot of trust in his
        diagnostic skills. Also, he is good for me because I tend to be an
        alarmist and worry about the smallest thing with our cats and his
        manner is reassuring and sensible.

        The veterinary specialist we took Pye to for consultation on her joint
        x-rays asked why our vet took so many views of her chest and I said
        because he thought he heard a faint heart murmur. So I know he looked
        at her heart from many angles. The specialist also said her heart
        looked normal although of course he is not a cardiologist either. The
        x-rays were done in early Sept., however, so I suppose something might
        have changed since then.

        My concern with giving Pye the CoQ-10 was that it might make her heart
        look better on the ultrasound than it does now so we wouldn't really
        know the true state of her health.

        The cardiologist comes to the vet clinic to do the ultrasounds so she
        will have all the x-rays and information right there. If they will let
        me be there I certainly want to be but at this point they said
        normally they have you drop off the cat in the morning and then come
        pick her up when the cardiologist is done. I am going to ask if I can
        just sit and wait. I would rather talk to the cardiologist directly
        than have my vet relay the information to me.

        We are feeling really bad right now because we think this is our fault
        for not keeping Pye from getting overweight. I know the joint problems
        are due to her being overweight and of course heart problems are more
        likely in overweight cats too. At one time, when her asthma started to
        flare up, she was up to 14 lbs. because she felt so bad she would just
        eat and sleep. Now she is just under 12 pounds but 11 would be ideal.

        Thanks to all who have responded. This is really scary and I know you
        have all been here. It is hard to wait.
        -Susan





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      • Leah Ferron
        Susan, We all understand how hard it is to see our kitties in any kind of distress. My husband always jokes that if I had to choose between him and the
        Message 3 of 6 , Apr 3, 2007
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          Susan,

          We all understand how hard it is to see our kitties in any kind of distress. My husband always jokes that if I had to choose between him and the kitties, the kitties come first. Because he is a man, and they are always right, I do not fight him over the statement (he he he). All kidding aside, please don't think any of what is happening to Pye as your fault. Pye is a much loved kitty and I bet if you asked her if she would live her life over again like it is - she would. A lot of what happens is genetic, especially the heart stuff.

          If you want to wait to give the CoQ10, that's OK. I don't think the CoQ10 will make the heart look better. It generally helps to slow down the progression of the disease. Nothing can reverse the harm already done (except in rare occasions like with hyperthyroidism or taurine deficiency) so I wouldn't worry too much about that. But if you feel better waiting, then do it.

          Be sure to cherish your time with her rather than worry, if you can. Loving her as much as you can will never be an act that you regret - worrying may be.

          Leah and her cats and Angel Alec




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        • dshale1
          Thanks for your kind words, Leah. I have started giving Pye the CoQ10 since the general consensus seems to be that it can t hurt and might help. Plus, she
          Message 4 of 6 , Apr 3, 2007
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            Thanks for your kind words, Leah.

            I have started giving Pye the CoQ10 since the general consensus seems
            to be that it can't hurt and might help. Plus, she licks it willingly
            off my finger so it's easy to do. I had 100 mg. capsules on hand--I
            think this is probably too much so I only squeeze out about half and
            take the rest myself. Does that sound about right?

            I was just told that the ultrasound would not be until May 14--I don't
            know on earth I can stand to wait that long. They put me on a waiting
            list for a cancellation in April, but my husband says who would cancel
            an appointment to get an ultrasound of their cat's heart? I am sure
            everyone else gets just as frantic about it as we are.

            We are naturally paying more attention to Pye (partly looking for
            signs she may be sick, although she seems the same as ever)and trying
            to keep the other cats from annoying her. If she does have a heart
            problem, it's just so hard to imagine because she seems happy and
            healthy, except for her bad knees. But from what I've read, the fact
            that the cat seems healthy and playful doesn't mean much when it comes
            to heart disease.

            I guess you are right, that with heart problems it might be genetic. I
            mean, my sister had a very obese cat who never got heart disease and
            my brother in law also has a 15 year old fat cat that has kidney
            problems but not heart disease. These cats are/were a lot fatter than
            Pye ever was.

            Someone mentioned checking the gums to see if they are pale or blue, I
            think. How do you tell when the cat's gums are naturally dark, since
            she is a grey cat?
            -Susan
          • Leah Ferron
            Susan, If you are checking gums for hydration purposes, you want them to be slick and wet. If they are tacky, then Pye may be dehydrated. It is more difficult
            Message 5 of 6 , Apr 4, 2007
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              Susan,

              If you are checking gums for hydration purposes, you want them to be slick and wet. If they are tacky, then Pye may be dehydrated. It is more difficult with dark gums to check color. But if the gums are naturally pink and not black like Pye's then you don't want the gums to be white and colorless.

              Leah and her cats and Angel Alec




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