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New here with HCM diagnosis

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  • schatziesue
    Hi all...I have been reading much on your forum today and would love some input. My cat - Spice is a 5 year old female. I have had her since birth. Her
    Message 1 of 5 , Dec 30, 2007
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      Hi all...I have been reading much on your forum today and would love
      some input. My cat - Spice is a 5 year old female. I have had her
      since birth. Her mother is a siamese but I do not know her dad and
      they catagorize her as an american short hair. I first oticed a
      problem a week ago when she refused her treats and seemed much
      lighter in my arms. REalized she was not eating and took her to the
      vet right away. They barely looked at her, said she had an infection
      gave her clavamox and sent her home. I know that kitties must eat
      and had also noticed that she was ot drinking or going to the box. I
      reasearched on line and from sysmptons thought it ws fatty liver so I
      started a force feeding program with a mixture of baby food or cat
      food with pedialite round the clock every 3 to 4 hours. Once daily
      vomiting and one week later, I became extremely concerned and found
      another vet. He did confirm the fatty liver but said it was
      secondary to hcm. This was on friday. He put her on atenolol and
      benazepril and has me to continue with the feedings every 4 hours.
      She is not very active, just lays in her bed. she is alert and her
      eyes follow everything with interest. Her breathing is very fast
      though..around 55 a minute, which is actully down from yesterday when
      they were over 70. will that improve as the medication gets into her
      system? He did not indicate how soon we should see improvemnet but
      we go back on the 7th to be checked.

      any help or advise that you can give me would be great. She did just
      poop for the first time in over a week and has stared urinating
      regularly.

      I am so glad to find a group like you for support as I am very
      concerned.

      Shannon
    • elfinmyst@aol.com
      Hi Shannon Welcome to you and Spice, although I`m sorry to hear Spice has HCM. HCM is not uncommon in American and British shorthairs. I ve never heard of
      Message 2 of 5 , Dec 31, 2007
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        Hi Shannon

        Welcome to you and Spice, although I`m sorry to hear Spice has HCM. HCM is
        not uncommon in American and British shorthairs. I've never heard of fatty
        liver being secondary to HCM, although it can affect the other organs. Cats can
        get fatty liver from not eating though, so it is vital to eat regularly.

        I'd be worried about the not drinking and peeing. Has Spice had any tests
        and has she had an ultrasound to diagnose the type of HCM she has? HCM can
        occasionally be confused with heart problems caused by thyroid or anaemia for
        example. Please could you tell us about Spice's blood test results.

        Her respiration rate was certainly high as seen in a heart problem kitty,
        but that can also be caused by an infection. I'm glad the breathing rate is
        slower, but is still too high. Atenolol is usually given in small doses and
        increased and if there are signs of heart failure, then it is reduced until kitty
        is stable. Normally cats wouldn't be diagnosed with HCM without an
        ultrasound to confirm it.

        Please could you give more details of Spice's diagnosis and test results. If
        you read up in this forum, you'll find a wealth of information as well.

        :) Lyn
        www.furkids-uk.com






        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • bluestar.light
        Hi Shannon, I am so sorry to hear about the trouble with Spice. It is so hard especially in this initial phase of getting a diagnosis and being sure that
        Message 3 of 5 , Dec 31, 2007
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          Hi Shannon, I am so sorry to hear about the trouble with Spice. It
          is so hard especially in this initial phase of getting a diagnosis
          and being sure that you've got the right vet. Would you mind sharing
          what tests have already been done on Spice? Odds are you will end up
          spending more than you ever imagined so I think it's really worth it
          to shop around and feel very good about your vet and the diagnoses.
          The main thing that concerns me is that her breathing rate is still
          so high despite the medication. For my kitty Gracie, I've been told
          to watch her breathing rate to determine whether she's gone into CHF -
          it did go up to 40 a minute and she had begun mild CHF for the first
          time - Lasix (a diuretic) was what brought her out of it. It's
          possible Spice was already dehydrated which was why your vet didn't
          put her on it, but I don't know how well a cat can pull out of heart
          failure without it. Still every case and cat are different, my only
          real advice is get even a third opinon if you have any doubts - it is
          worth it in the long run.

          blue & gracie


          --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, "schatziesue"
          <SchatziesPlace@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi all...I have been reading much on your forum today and would
          love
          > some input. My cat - Spice is a 5 year old female. I have had
          her
          > since birth. Her mother is a siamese but I do not know her dad and
          > they catagorize her as an american short hair. I first oticed a
          > problem a week ago when she refused her treats and seemed much
          > lighter in my arms. REalized she was not eating and took her to
          the
          > vet right away. They barely looked at her, said she had an
          infection
          > gave her clavamox and sent her home. I know that kitties must eat
          > and had also noticed that she was ot drinking or going to the box.
          I
          > reasearched on line and from sysmptons thought it ws fatty liver so
          I
          > started a force feeding program with a mixture of baby food or cat
          > food with pedialite round the clock every 3 to 4 hours. Once daily
          > vomiting and one week later, I became extremely concerned and found
          > another vet. He did confirm the fatty liver but said it was
          > secondary to hcm. This was on friday. He put her on atenolol and
          > benazepril and has me to continue with the feedings every 4 hours.
          > She is not very active, just lays in her bed. she is alert and
          her
          > eyes follow everything with interest. Her breathing is very fast
          > though..around 55 a minute, which is actully down from yesterday
          when
          > they were over 70. will that improve as the medication gets into
          her
          > system? He did not indicate how soon we should see improvemnet but
          > we go back on the 7th to be checked.
          >
          > any help or advise that you can give me would be great. She did
          just
          > poop for the first time in over a week and has stared urinating
          > regularly.
          >
          > I am so glad to find a group like you for support as I am very
          > concerned.
          >
          > Shannon
          >
        • schatziesue
          Thanks...her breathing is down to 28 today. She is not anemic or dehydrated. I had blood work done a full panel but could not afford to do the ultrasound. I
          Message 4 of 5 , Dec 31, 2007
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            Thanks...her breathing is down to 28 today. She is not anemic or
            dehydrated. I had blood work done a full panel but could not afford
            to do the ultrasound. I will be able to in a couple of weeks.
            She is very alert but not very active although she is not an overly
            active kitty. She also double her food intake today by syrnge at the
            last feeding. and ther has been no vomiting since friday when they
            put her on the meds. Diagnosis was based on the heart murmur and
            bloodwork. i think the liver is a seperate issue because she felt so
            bad that she stopped eating. i am just worried about the meds she
            is on and if they are right. also I have been giving her
            pedialyte...is that wrong? I thought it would be good for the
            electrolytes but now I am not sure.

            Shannon




            --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, "bluestar.light"
            <bluestar.light@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Shannon, I am so sorry to hear about the trouble with Spice.
            It
            > is so hard especially in this initial phase of getting a diagnosis
            > and being sure that you've got the right vet. Would you mind
            sharing
            > what tests have already been done on Spice? Odds are you will end
            up
            > spending more than you ever imagined so I think it's really worth
            it
            > to shop around and feel very good about your vet and the
            diagnoses.
            > The main thing that concerns me is that her breathing rate is still
            > so high despite the medication. For my kitty Gracie, I've been
            told
            > to watch her breathing rate to determine whether she's gone into
            CHF -
            > it did go up to 40 a minute and she had begun mild CHF for the
            first
            > time - Lasix (a diuretic) was what brought her out of it. It's
            > possible Spice was already dehydrated which was why your vet didn't
            > put her on it, but I don't know how well a cat can pull out of
            heart
            > failure without it. Still every case and cat are different, my
            only
            > real advice is get even a third opinon if you have any doubts - it
            is
            > worth it in the long run.
            >
            > blue & gracie
            >
            >
            > --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, "schatziesue"
            > <SchatziesPlace@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Hi all...I have been reading much on your forum today and would
            > love
            > > some input. My cat - Spice is a 5 year old female. I have had
            > her
            > > since birth. Her mother is a siamese but I do not know her dad
            and
            > > they catagorize her as an american short hair. I first oticed a
            > > problem a week ago when she refused her treats and seemed much
            > > lighter in my arms. REalized she was not eating and took her to
            > the
            > > vet right away. They barely looked at her, said she had an
            > infection
            > > gave her clavamox and sent her home. I know that kitties must
            eat
            > > and had also noticed that she was ot drinking or going to the
            box.
            > I
            > > reasearched on line and from sysmptons thought it ws fatty liver
            so
            > I
            > > started a force feeding program with a mixture of baby food or
            cat
            > > food with pedialite round the clock every 3 to 4 hours. Once
            daily
            > > vomiting and one week later, I became extremely concerned and
            found
            > > another vet. He did confirm the fatty liver but said it was
            > > secondary to hcm. This was on friday. He put her on atenolol
            and
            > > benazepril and has me to continue with the feedings every 4
            hours.
            > > She is not very active, just lays in her bed. she is alert and
            > her
            > > eyes follow everything with interest. Her breathing is very fast
            > > though..around 55 a minute, which is actully down from yesterday
            > when
            > > they were over 70. will that improve as the medication gets into
            > her
            > > system? He did not indicate how soon we should see improvemnet
            but
            > > we go back on the 7th to be checked.
            > >
            > > any help or advise that you can give me would be great. She did
            > just
            > > poop for the first time in over a week and has stared urinating
            > > regularly.
            > >
            > > I am so glad to find a group like you for support as I am very
            > > concerned.
            > >
            > > Shannon
            > >
            >
          • nala nala
            Hi Shannon, With all of that change in the household, that could be part of the reason why Spice stopped eating. Some cats do better with change and
            Message 5 of 5 , Jan 1, 2008
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              Hi Shannon,

              With all of that change in the household,
              that could be part of the reason why
              Spice stopped eating. Some cats
              do better with change and transient
              situations than others do.

              > The first vet was so horrible... he did
              > not even listen to her heart..and this is not the
              > first time that they have
              > been " poke with a finger here is some medicine now
              > pay"

              I am glad that you found a new vet! That
              doesn't sound like a particularly thorough
              exam. All vets I have worked with listen
              to the heart, lungs and abdomen, then
              do some poking.

              >She was never
              > dehydrated and she did not stop drinking water till
              > about the same time that i
              > noticed her not eating.

              I don't know what you are feeding Spice and the
              other kitties, but you might be surprised at
              how quickly a cat can become dehydrated once
              they stop eating or drinking. But, what really
              made me think Spice was dehydrated was that
              you mentioned that after the first vet
              prescribed meds, that when you started feeding
              her, she threw up daily. For my cats, they
              throw up more liquid than they take in which
              leads to a net loss of liquid and dehydration.

              There was a large amount of
              > stress in the house over the
              > previous 2 months.
              > in November I dog sat for
              > 4 additional dogs, in early December I again dog sat
              > for a dog that seemd to
              > stress he a lot. I have told all that I will no
              > longer dog sit for them.

              I
              > too am leaning more toward the fatty liver than the
              > heart condition but this
              > vet seemed so good and I am afraid to stop the meds
              > in case they are
              > correct.

              I don't think the meds are hurting too much, so I
              wouldn't
              want to stop the meds until someone did a
              thorough cardiac exam.

              I have an inheritance coming in the next
              > couple of weeks that will allow
              > me to take her to a cat specialist that I found in
              > Austin ( abuot 20 miles
              > from me) She specializes in only cats and has a cat
              > hospital here.

              I would opt for a veterinary cardiologist rather than
              a cat specialist if one is available. The cat
              specialist
              may see more cases of feline heart problems compared
              to a regular vet, but it is unlikely that the feline
              specialist is a cardiologist. It is possible that the
              clinic works with a cardiologist, I would ask about
              that before making the appointment.

              My regular vet was a 30-40 minute drive from my
              apartment. When things got rough with my kitty,
              I took her to a specialty clinic that was 40-60
              minutes away and switched vets to one that was
              only a 10 min drive. I would be more concerned
              right now with getting a proper diagnosis than
              how far the clinic was.


              >Will it
              > hurt her to take them and is there anything I can
              > watch for that would
              > indicate that they are hurting her?

              For an ultrasound of the heart (echocardiogram)
              there is very little that is done. I always helped
              hold my cat still during her exams, but some
              practices don't allow owners to be with their
              animals. The doctor put a gel on my kitty's
              chest and then used the ultrasound probe
              to image the heart which appeared on a computer
              screen. They didn't need to shave her or
              sedate her. My cat's cardiologist wanted to
              see my cat's heart work normally - so she
              didn't use any sedation on my cat. It takes
              about 5-10 minutes for the echo and another
              5 min or so for the exam. The doctor might
              also want to take an x-ray of the chest which
              can take another 10 minutes or so. For me
              the ultrasound and exam cost around $300
              and the x-rays (for 2 views) another $150.
              Then the clinic that allowed the cardiologist
              to come started charging me another $100
              "use" fee, so I switched to a clinic that
              didn't charge this fee. (The cardiologist
              had a mobile ultrasound and traveled
              from clinic to clinic - she didn't have
              her own office).

              >If you cannot
              > diagnose with just the bloodwork,
              > how would this vet have come up with this?

              I think that because your 5 year old kitty
              has a murmur, he is guessing that it
              HCM is the most likely cause.

              If he did not do an x-ray, he wouldn't know whether
              or not the heart is enlarged, which only happens
              over time. A cat can have heart disease
              with a heart that looks normal on radiographs.
              When he listened to her heart, he probably listened
              to her lungs and he might have heard crackles or
              congestion in the lungs. This would suggest
              that the heart wasn't pumping well enough to
              prevent fluid from backing up into the lungs.
              X-rays would show evidence of fluid as well. For
              my cat, her lungs usually sounded clear, but on
              X-ray, there was often a small amount of fluid
              present.

              Another cause of heart murmurs is hyperthyroidism,
              and the bloodwork should have ruled that out, and
              hyperT is rare in cats as young as Spice.

              So, by detecting the heart murmur, listening to
              the lungs for abnormal sounds and ruling out
              hyperthyroidism, the vet is making he best
              guess that Spice has HCM.

              > sorry to seem so full of
              > need and questions,

              This is completely normal and not something
              that you should feel you need to apologize
              for!

              >I just want to make sure I am
              > doing the right thing and not
              > hurting her further in my quest for help.

              I understand. We are or have been in that
              same position.
              >
              > thank you so much for your time and assistance.

              You're welcome. I hope that some of the
              info you find here is useful.

              If you have the time and presence of mind, these links
              might be useful for you.

              http://maxshouse.com/heart_murmurs.htm
              http://maxshouse.com/hypertrophic_cardiomyopathy.htm
              http://maxshouse.com/arterial_thromboembolism.htm




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