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Sphynx cat with DCM, starting new heart drug tonight...

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  • sphynxfan
    My Sphynx cat Hoagie was diagnosed with DCM in August 07. It is so rare that my vet has only seen three cats with DCM ever (and one of those was in vet
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 27, 2007
      My Sphynx cat Hoagie was diagnosed with DCM in August '07. It is so
      rare that my vet has only seen three cats with DCM ever (and one of
      those was in vet school), so it is great to have information from
      others on the list on this rare type of cardiomyopathy as well as how
      people have been dealing with CHF.

      I've been reading and searching through the list archives for a few
      weeks but this is my first post on the Hoagieman.

      He has been on the usual DCM meds: enalapril, digoxin, lasix, and has
      been doing pretty well, in fact most of the time you couldn't tell he
      was sick, even though I know his heart has a low ejection fraction and
      part of the outer heart wall hardly moves (they think it may be some
      scar tissue but are not sure). The day after Thanksgiving he started
      having some breathing problems and they had to drain 100 cc of
      "chylous effusion" from near his left lung -- sounds similar to
      Renee's cat Kitsu who also has DCM.

      My vet agreed to try a trial run of pimobendan even though it is not
      approved for cats, I just gave Hoagie the first 1.25 mg pill with his
      dinner, he'll be on 1.25 mg, two times a day. I hope he will have good
      results like some of the cats on the list, he is going back to the
      cardiologist in a few days for a checkup and we'll see how he looks.
      For his vitamins and supplements I have him on 1000 mg taurine (2x/
      day), l-carnitine (he doesn't like the taste so however much of one
      capsule he will tolerate), 150 mg coQ-10, nattokinase (2x/day),
      omega-3 fish oil capsules. Luckily he'll eat most of this in his food,
      and he's been keeping up his 14 lb weight well with his healthy appetite.

      I'm wondering about the link between Bartonella and DCM that has been
      discussed before. Even though he has no fur, he lived for about 4
      years at a farm with "regular" cats and dogs in the south, so he could
      have contracted it from fleas or scratches, and his teeth have very
      rapidly gotten worse after having fairly good dental health a year
      ago (Bartonella can cause severe dental disease). I mentioned this to
      my vet and cardio vet but they feel it is a longshot to test for it.

      I just wish I could find out what is causing his DCM since is isn't
      taurine deficiency, but I realize that little
      is known about what causes DCM except for taurine deficiency and some
      genetic factors...

      Anyway, we'll see how he does on his new meds.

      --Stephan
    • elfinmyst@aol.com
      Good luck with the pimobendan. There are only a few cats on it, and my Milli is a candidate if her heart failure becomes worse. Please let me know how it
      Message 2 of 8 , Nov 28, 2007
        Good luck with the pimobendan. There are only a few cats on it, and my Milli
        is a candidate if her heart failure becomes worse. Please let me know how it
        goes.

        If you want the test for Bartonella, I`d ask for it. It would put your mind
        at peace. When Trixi had HCM at 3 months of age, I asked for a thyroid test.
        It was extremely unlikely, but I wanted to be sure, and the thyroid result was
        actually normal. But I felt reassured that I`d tried.



        Lyn :)

        www.furkids-uk.com






        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • MarisaKatnic@aol.com
        In a message dated 11/28/2007 2:47:27 AM Pacific Standard Time, elfinmyst@aol.com writes: Good luck with the pimobendan. There are only a few cats on it, and
        Message 3 of 8 , Nov 28, 2007
          In a message dated 11/28/2007 2:47:27 AM Pacific Standard Time,
          elfinmyst@... writes:

          Good luck with the pimobendan. There are only a few cats on it, and my Milli
          is a candidate if her heart failure becomes worse. Please let me know how it
          goes.



          To share for those that are concerned about the drug Pimobendan, my cat
          Oliver, takes Pimobendan and it is working wonderfully for him. We too, had to
          reach for it to aid in his problem.

          Marisa





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        • Renee Babcock
          I m actually quite happy with the results I m seeing from Kitsu on Pimobendan. He gets half a 1.25mg tablet once a day. Even though his last ultrasound
          Message 4 of 8 , Nov 28, 2007
            I'm actually quite happy with the results I'm seeing
            from Kitsu on Pimobendan. He gets half a 1.25mg
            tablet once a day. Even though his last ultrasound
            showed a little bit of fluids again in his chest, and
            the atria were both enlarged a little bit from his
            previous ultrasound a month earlier, overall, Kitsu
            acts like he feels really well. His contractility is
            now in the normal range, and I think the pimo has a
            lot to do with that (along with digoxin). I've told
            some friends that at least part of his heart is
            working well.

            At Kitsu's last ultrasound, his cardiologist and I had
            a pretty frank discussion, and she honestly thinks he
            may only have a few months, because of the severity of
            his DCM. As she said, the heart muscles have been so
            stretched out for so long, they may not have any
            elasticity to bounce back any. It'll be interesting
            to see how Kitsu does at his next ultrasound in early
            January.

            Since putting Kitsu on pimo (he's been on it 6 weeks
            now), he has had so much more energy. Despite
            everything I do to him (5 pills a day, plus potassium
            gel supplement!) his attitude is so good, and he's
            such a happy, affectionate cat. He's even been seen
            running around chasing after my other cats, and he
            recently initiated a play session with my cat Sam -
            this is so big, because I can't remember the last time
            he did that!

            I've also noticed his breathing is so much more easy
            and relaxed. I know he's extremely ill, but to look
            at him, you wouldn't know it. And for however long he
            has left (and who knows how long that is, although it
            will not be long enough for me), I just want to make
            sure that he has good quality time.

            BTW, Dr. Jones uses pimo on cats all the time. She
            told me that she doesn't think it'll ever be approved
            for use in cats, because the market is just too small.
            At least it's easy (and inexpensive) to get in the US
            now that it's approved for dogs. She told me she used
            to have to import it from Vanauatu!

            Renee
            --- MarisaKatnic@... wrote:

            >
            >
            >
            > In a message dated 11/28/2007 2:47:27 AM Pacific
            > Standard Time,
            > elfinmyst@... writes:
            >
            > Good luck with the pimobendan. There are only a few
            > cats on it, and my Milli
            > is a candidate if her heart failure becomes worse.
            > Please let me know how it
            > goes.
            >
            >
            >
            > To share for those that are concerned about the
            > drug Pimobendan, my cat
            > Oliver, takes Pimobendan and it is working
            > wonderfully for him. We too, had to
            > reach for it to aid in his problem.
            >
            > Marisa
            >


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          • MarisaKatnic@aol.com
            Renee, Happy to hear of your results with the Pimobendan. My cat, Oliver, is also doing incredibly well and, like Kitsu, very sick. When you see them
            Message 5 of 8 , Nov 29, 2007
              Renee,

              Happy to hear of your results with the Pimobendan. My cat, Oliver, is also
              doing incredibly well and, like Kitsu, very sick. When you see them initiate
              play, show no signs of distress and acting "normal" it really warms your
              heart. I don't know what DCM is but Oliver was diagnosed with mitral valve
              dysplasia; tricuspid valve dysplasia; and resolving/static left and right
              congestive heart failure.

              His medications are: Furosemide (Lasix) 40 mg. 3 times daily; Tumil-K 4 meq.
              2 times daily; Pimobendan 2.5 mg. 2 times daily; Spironolactone 6.25 mg. 2
              times daily); and Enalapril 3.75 mg. once daily. Supplements by Standard
              Process®: Feline Cardiac Support™ and Feline Whole Body Support™ one tablet of
              each twice daily. He was diagnosed in June of this year and started the Pimo
              in July.

              Oliver is a large hybrid, a F2 Savannah standing to my knees (I'm 5'7") and
              weighing short of 30 pounds. I'm attaching a photo. This photo was taken
              about the time he was diagnosed as you can see the shave marks where they
              tapped his chest and had him on fluids on his paws.

              Good luck to you and Kitsu. I too, hope to have more years with Oliver than
              what the doctor says and pray for you too.

              Hugs,

              Marisa






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            • Leah Ferron
              Stephen, You may want to consider giving rutin at 500 mg per day for the chyle. There has been lots of discussion on chylous effusion in this group. You can
              Message 6 of 8 , Nov 30, 2007
                Stephen,

                You may want to consider giving rutin at 500 mg per day for the chyle. There has been lots of discussion on chylous effusion in this group. You can search the archives for more information too. Chylous effusion is a very serious condition that must be addressed. Another thing that may be helpful is spironolactone, a diuretic, for the fluids in the chest cavity.

                Leah and her cats and Angel Alec




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              • sphynxfan
                Update on Hoagie with DCM: The new drug he s on, pimobendan (vetmedin) is definitely having an effect. Just a few hours after his first dose he had a burst of
                Message 7 of 8 , Dec 1, 2007
                  Update on Hoagie with DCM:

                  The new drug he's on, pimobendan (vetmedin) is definitely having an
                  effect. Just a few hours after his first dose he had a burst of
                  energy, was jumping up on tables, playing with his sister. The only
                  downside was that I was worried he would over-exert himself and he did
                  get a little winded and had to rest a while. This immediate effect
                  seems similar to what I have read about in dogs with DCM. If you are
                  interested in what has been found with dogs, DCM, and pimobendan I
                  highly recommend the paper I've pasted the abstract for at the end of
                  my post.

                  My cardio vet checked Hoagie two days after he started the
                  pimobendan and he seemed fine, but she wanted to have him get a full
                  blood panel and EKG after a week to make sure there were not problems.
                  He is now off of digoxin, because there are no data on interactions
                  between digoxin and pimobendan and it is safer to just stop the
                  digoxin, which has toxicity issues of its own.

                  His fluid build up was just slightly more than after his tap so we
                  have gone to lasix more frequently, and I've added rutin two times a
                  day. He doesn't care for the taste of rutin but if it is mixed in with
                  enough food he's OK. The vet thinks the chylous aspect of the fluid
                  they removed is just a CHF symptom, but rutin has seemed to help other
                  cats with chylous effusion so I figure it is worth a try.

                  And, his appetite (which has aways been big) is now back 100%, which
                  is great because he started eating a lot less after getting clavamox.
                  We've got him on clindamycin for his dental health (5 days on, then
                  off for a while, then 5 days on, etc, called "pulse" therapy), and he
                  tolerates that antibiotic really well since we got him small capsules
                  of the powdered form compounded specially at the local pharmacist.

                  So, overall he is doing well, and I'm glad to have him off digoxin
                  event though he had no problems with it. Thanks to all for their
                  information and support.

                  Stephan


                  Pimobendan in Heart Failure Therapy – A Silver Bullet?

                  Pearls of
                  Veterinary Practice

                  Pimobendan is a novel agent with properties that are highly desirable
                  in the clinical management
                  of congestive heart failure (CHF) secondary to both dilated
                  cardiomyopathy (DCM) and chronic
                  degenerative valvular disease in dogs. Review of available data
                  suggests that pimobendan is safe,
                  well tolerated, and leads to enhanced quality of life in dogs with CHF
                  secondary to DCM or chronic
                  valvular disease when used in combination with furosemide or other
                  conventional therapies (e.g.,
                  angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, digoxin). Pimobendan leads
                  to a reduction in mortality
                  from CHF associated with DCM, and ongoing studies are evaluating its
                  effects on mortality associated
                  with chronic valvular disease. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 2006;42:90-93.

                  [Interestingly, as I was reading up on DCM I found a recent Japanese
                  study of transgenic mice that have an induced defect (knock-in gene)
                  in the troponin gene (important for the heart muscle filaments) that
                  shows that the DCM induced by the gene is reversed by pimobendan (if
                  given early enough). Idiopathic DCM (like Hoagie has) may have a
                  number of causes including genetics, so it's hard to say how relevant
                  it is, but it's interesting to see that pimobendan seems to work in
                  mice, dogs, humans, and (hopefully) in cats.}




                  --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, MarisaKatnic@... wrote:
                  >
                  > Renee,
                  >
                  > Happy to hear of your results with the Pimobendan. My cat, Oliver,
                  is also
                  > doing incredibly well and, like Kitsu, very sick. When you see
                  them initiate
                • elfinmyst@aol.com
                  Sounds like Hoagie is responding well to Pimobendan. Hopefully other cardiologists will see these results as well as there seems to be growing evidence it is
                  Message 8 of 8 , Dec 2, 2007
                    Sounds like Hoagie is responding well to Pimobendan. Hopefully other
                    cardiologists will see these results as well as there seems to be growing evidence
                    it is helpful in cats.

                    :) Lyn

                    www.furkids-uk.com






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