Newly diagnosed HCM cat - any advice?
- My 7 year-old cat siamese, Cecil, was diagnosed yesterday (Friday) with HCM.
Although he appears to be completely healthy, he went to the emergency clinic Thursday
night with with what turned out to be heart failure. His only symptom was fast, shallow
breathing. After a day in the vet he's now on enalapril and lasix and acts like his old self.
Although this is obviously devastating news, it's still hard to believe since it
seems like he's his completely normal... Since this is all very new and I've only done a couple
hours of research, I'm wondering if anyone has any advice as to what I can do to keep him
as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
- HI, I figure I won't call you "slugspit"
but welcome to you and Cecil.
Many of us here have or had cats with HCM. Many of us had
no idea that our individual kitties were sick until some drastic
emergency came up, like that of Cecil's rapid shallow breathing.
I am sure that you are happy that you took him to the
vet right away!
I am assuming that the HCM was diagnosed based on an
echocardiogram, and the congestive heart failure based
on an x-ray.
The treatment of CHF is most commonly treated with lasix
(a diuretic) and an ACE-inhibitor (often enalapril or benazepril).
If Cecil has a rapid heart rate, some vets and vet cardiologists
will prescribe a beta blocker or a calcium channel inhibitor
to slow the heart rate in hopes of slowing down the advancement
of the disease.
If Cecil's echo indicated an enlarged left atrium, then it might
be a good time to consider adding an anti-clotting therapy as
there is a risk of thromboembolism with this disease. My
cat was given Plavix from the time of her diagnosis to her
death. When she started on the Plavix, her atrium was
only borderline enlarged. She did not suffer a clot during
her 18 months of treatment. Others here have used aspirin,
although that treatment seems to be falling from favor, low
molecular weight heparin (lovenox) or an over-the-counter
Most here would suggest feeding Cecil a high-quality
wet food diet and certain supplements. I am sure
Leah will let you know more about those soon. My
cat took fish oil for omega-3 fatty acids and coenzymeQ10.
Others give their kitties taurine, carnitine and other supplements.
It is my opinion that you should check into the supplements
for yourself and to discuss them with your vet or vet cardiologist/
internist. I decided against certain supplements for
my particular cat's case.
I know how scary this is to learn that your healthy cat has
heart disease. When my cat was diagnosed, I cried for
a few days and then off and on for the rest of the week.
Just keep in mind that Cecil, who you said is back to
normal with his new meds, doesn't know that he is
sick, so try not to let it upset you too much.
Use this time to find out what his regular respiratory
rate and effort are. Many of us have found that by
monitoring this fairly closely, and adjusting the
lasix dose (with vet's approval and direction
of course) we could avoid expensive
trips to the emergency vet. It's best to count
his breaths when he is very calmly resting and
not purring or even better when he is conked-out
sleeping. Normal is considered 20-30 resps/min,
but for many of our cats a normal respiration rate
at home is in the high teens to mid 20's.
Again, welcome to the group, I hope you
are here for many years to come!!
Nala, Camille and heart-kitty angel Cozette (5.30.07)
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "slugspit" <slugspit@...> wrote:
> My 7 year-old cat siamese, Cecil, was diagnosed yesterday (Friday) with HCM.
> Although he appears to be completely healthy, he went to the emergency clinic
> night with with what turned out to be heart failure. His only symptom was fast, shallow
> breathing. After a day in the vet he's now on enalapril and lasix and acts like his old self.
> Although this is obviously devastating news, it's still hard to believe since it
> seems like he's his completely normal... Since this is all very new and I've only done a
> hours of research, I'm wondering if anyone has any advice as to what I can do to keep
> as healthy as possible for as long as possible.