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new HCM diagnosis

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  • Michelle
    Hi everyone, It s been a stressful week for both me and my 7-year-old bengal. Last weekend, I woke up to find my cat, Fritz, lying very still next to his
    Message 1 of 7 , Jan 6, 2008
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      Hi everyone,

      It's been a stressful week for both me and my 7-year-old bengal. Last
      weekend, I woke up to find my cat, Fritz, lying very still next to his
      water dish, struggling to breathe. After rushing him to the vet ER, I
      was told by the vet (w/VERY poor bedside manners) that my cat was
      "trying really hard to die." His lungs were already full of fluid,
      and his heart was failing. After lots of sobbing (mine), and
      diuretics (his), Fritz recovered from that particular crisis. They
      referred me to a cardiologist who I saw today.

      The cardiologist officially diagnosed him w/HCM and told me cats like
      him w/a moderate-severe case usually only live for another year/year
      and a half after going into heart failure like he did last weekend. I
      have to say, I didn't cry AT ALL when he told me, and I think maybe he
      and the nurse were kind of expecting me to. But if they saw how much
      I bawled last weekend (after THAT vet basically told me Fritz was
      going to die back then), they'd probably understand that I'm basically
      cried-out for now.

      Still, it's really hard for me to come to grips w/the idea that Fritz
      (my first on-my-own pet) only has a few years (at most) left! I've
      only had him for a year and half, but I've already become a crazy cat
      lady and of course I adore him! For now, he's on 3 different
      medications (I have to go back in 2 weeks for a blood test to see how
      he's doing on the meds) and acting pretty normal.

      For those w/HCM-diagnosed cats (or some other chronic condition), how
      did you first deal w/the news? I hope this gets easier! Right now, I
      just keep cuddling him as much as I can and my eyes get teary when I
      think about it too much! Thanks for reading!
    • elfinmyst@aol.com
      Hi Michelle Welcome to the group, but I am so sorry to hear of Fritz s diagnosis. You will be in shock and no wonder your emotions are all over the place. It
      Message 2 of 7 , Jan 7, 2008
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        Hi Michelle

        Welcome to the group, but I am so sorry to hear of Fritz's diagnosis. You
        will be in shock and no wonder your emotions are all over the place. It took me
        over a month to stop getting up in the night just to check my heart babies
        haven't stopped breathing! I still panic if they suddenly lie down, but it does
        get easier. Sadly, that's because you get used to the idea and remember that
        every day is a beautiful bonus.

        Remember that Fritz doesn't know he is sick and will still purr and enjoy
        his life. With medication, there is every chance he will be stabilised and thank
        goodness he has seen a cardiologist to start him on it. I wouldn't worry too
        much about the life expectancy. Lots of cats here have outlived what they
        were predicted, including a few of mine. With rest, care, love and meds and
        supplements, I have heard of miracles. I`m not promising a cure, and nobody
        knows when their cats will go into CHF again (Milli did on New Years Day) but my
        advice is cry a little, hug Fritz, enjoy him and play with him.

        The shock wears off. That sounds harsh, but it's true. You do get to enjoy
        them and laugh with them, even when there are bad days.

        Hugs

        Lyn

        www.furkids-uk.com






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      • amanda
        Hi, Welcome to the group, though sorry to hear about your fur kitty. My cat was diagnosed almost 3 years ago! We just don`t know when they will get worse ect,
        Message 3 of 7 , Jan 7, 2008
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          Hi, Welcome to the group, though sorry to hear about your fur kitty. My cat was diagnosed almost 3 years ago! We just don`t know when they will get worse ect, but I`ve learnt to take it a day at a time and just enjoy my time with him and of course spoil him :) It is shocking at first and I was always panicking everytime he was sick, but usaully it was an unrealated sickness like a tummy ache . I can`t give any advice about meds because my cat isn`t on any meds, he`s being treated holistically, but meds do have their place, and I`ve heard of many kitties that have lived many years because of the meds that help them. I also have heard that some meds take time to work and for the cat to adjust to the right dosage, hopefully others on this list may help you. I must just say that the list members here are wonderful and always can advise you and give you a shoulder to cry on too :) I hope your kitty gets well and becomes stable soon, hugs and purrs Amanda and Silver chan.

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        • Sharyl Cline
          I know how difficult it is when you are told your beloved companion has limited time left. After the tears, I got mad, then I decided to fight back. My sweet
          Message 4 of 7 , Jan 7, 2008
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            I know how difficult it is when you are told your beloved companion has limited time left. After the tears, I got mad, then I decided to fight back. My sweet Albert was literally given days to live. He survived for 1 1/2 yrs fighting severe periodontal disease, advanced CRF, anemia, then CHF and severe HCM. Education is the best tool in your battle. Learn as much as you can. No vet really knows how long a HCM kitty has left.

            It would help if you could post the meds he is on. Many of us gave our kitties supplements like CoQ10 to strengthen their heart.

            I learned to treasure each and every day we had together.
            Blessed to have had sweet Albert as a companion.
            Sharyl Pequita and Angel Albert

            Still, it's really hard for me to come to grips w/the idea that Fritz
            (my first on-my-own pet) only has a few years (at most) left! I've
            only had him for a year and half, but I've already become a crazy cat
            lady and of course I adore him! For now, he's on 3 different
            medications (I have to go back in 2 weeks for a blood test to see how
            he's doing on the meds) and acting pretty normal.

            For those w/HCM-diagnosed cats (or some other chronic condition), how
            did you first deal w/the news? I hope this gets easier! Right now, I
            just keep cuddling him as much as I can and my eyes get teary when I
            think about it too much! Thanks for reading!



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          • janie
            Sockster was given less than a year, we had just lost his brother and sister to this. With meds and a watchful eye he lived to be 12 about 7 yrs later, no
            Message 5 of 7 , Jan 7, 2008
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              Sockster was given less than a year, we had just lost his brother and
              sister to this. With meds and a watchful eye he lived to be 12 about
              7 yrs later, no problems and the happiest guy in the world. He played
              tell he dropped he paced a lot which means he walked a lot which
              helps. So let go enjoy him and keep your eyes open to problems to stop
              before they get big. None of us have a date how long we will live so
              enjoy and be positive and well informed. Janie
            • jamander33
              Michelle and Fritz, I am so sorry to hear about Fritz. Believe me, it will get easier. Knowledge is power - read everything you can get your hands on. Refer to
              Message 6 of 7 , Jan 7, 2008
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                Michelle and Fritz, I am so sorry to hear about Fritz. Believe me,
                it will get easier. Knowledge is power - read everything you can get
                your hands on. Refer to this group as often as you can. Read old
                posts. You will feel better in time. I did the same thing, crying
                myself to sleep every night even. I feared walking in the house or
                waking up and finding him in pain or worse. But, now we have a game
                plan and we stick to it and we are doing fairly well. You will have
                your highs and lows, but you will make it through. One of the main
                things I have learned to do is to be aware of my cat, Griffins, resp
                rate. That will tell you a lot. If their resp's. get faster, that is
                one way you will know you have a problem. My vet told me that she
                has some patients that have been on heart meds for 7,8 years and
                longer and they are still doing ok. As a matter of fact, when
                Griffin had his dental surgery recently, there was a cat in recovery
                from his dental. He was 9 and had been diagnosed when he was 3 and
                had been completely stable on heart meds since. So, there is hope.
                Please try to find a little peace and start learning as much as you
                can. Keep us posted. You and Fritz will be in my prayers, Amanda and
                Griffin

                > Hi everyone,
                >
                > It's been a stressful week for both me and my 7-year-old bengal.
                Last
                > weekend, I woke up to find my cat, Fritz, lying very still next to
                his
                > water dish, struggling to breathe. After rushing him to the vet
                ER, I
                > was told by the vet (w/VERY poor bedside manners) that my cat was
                > "trying really hard to die." His lungs were already full of fluid,
                > and his heart was failing. After lots of sobbing (mine), and
                > diuretics (his), Fritz recovered from that particular crisis. They
                > referred me to a cardiologist who I saw today.
                >
                > The cardiologist officially diagnosed him w/HCM and told me cats
                like
                > him w/a moderate-severe case usually only live for another
                year/year
                > and a half after going into heart failure like he did last
                weekend. I
                > have to say, I didn't cry AT ALL when he told me, and I think
                maybe he
                > and the nurse were kind of expecting me to. But if they saw how
                much
                > I bawled last weekend (after THAT vet basically told me Fritz was
                > going to die back then), they'd probably understand that I'm
                basically
                > cried-out for now.
                >
                > Still, it's really hard for me to come to grips w/the idea that
                Fritz
                > (my first on-my-own pet) only has a few years (at most) left! I've
                > only had him for a year and half, but I've already become a crazy
                cat
                > lady and of course I adore him! For now, he's on 3 different
                > medications (I have to go back in 2 weeks for a blood test to see
                how
                > he's doing on the meds) and acting pretty normal.
                >
                > For those w/HCM-diagnosed cats (or some other chronic condition),
                how
                > did you first deal w/the news? I hope this gets easier! Right
                now, I
                > just keep cuddling him as much as I can and my eyes get teary when
                I
                > think about it too much! Thanks for reading!
                >
              • Kim Gregory
                ... did you first deal w/the news?
                Message 7 of 7 , Jan 7, 2008
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                  >>For those w/HCM-diagnosed cats (or some other chronic condition), how
                  did you first deal w/the news? <<

                  I'm sorry you are dealing with this too :-( I know that for me it was the hardest thing to get to grips with - I went overboard feeling how unfair it was that we would lose my girl at such a (relatively) young age. I've been through this before with this cat - last year she was diagnosed with bronchitis and people told me that if I was REALLY lucky and did everything right I *might* get to keep her for another 3 years - they were being kind but I found it hard - I wanted more than 3 years, I didnt feel anything less than 8 or 9 years more would be good enough.

                  Her bronchitis is actually well under control - so I should have known better than to allow myself to worry over the big picture - it can so easily distract you from the here and now and in loving and making decisions. But even tho I know in situations such as this we should just take one day at a time - I almost always fall into the trap of looking at the big picture and worrying myself silly. I admire most those who say that they treasure each day - that is the way to go and I strive to feel that way too.

                  I have to say that maybe the bit where we feel overwhelmed by the prognosis is hopefully temporary = I think after the initial shock and horror of such a diagnosis we do settle into it - roll up our sleeves and cope as best we can. I hope you are able to find a way to do this too. Someone said something wise - worry is not a cure!


                  Kim and the assorted fur-kids (UK)
                  An expert opinion is just that - an opinion, trust your own instincts


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