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Re: New here with HCM diagnosis

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  • 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 1 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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