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New Member - Homer Cat with end Stage Cardiomyopathy (long)

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  • choisak
    Hi all, I m reeling a little today to find my time left with my Homer is limited. We thought he had asthma. Over the last couple of years he occasionally
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 3, 2008
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      Hi all, I'm reeling a little today to find my time left with my Homer
      is limited.

      We thought he had asthma. Over the last couple of years he
      occasionally seemed to have breathing problems - his purr would
      "catch" and sometimes he would snore pretty loudly. Then we witnessed
      a classic asthma attach with his throat stretched out and coughing.
      His vet gave him a shot of prednisone (short-acting) and spent some
      time listening to his heart and lungs when he had his dental the next
      week. They sounded OK.

      Over the past year, he has lost some weight and was looking really
      skinny in his haunches. I thought maybe thyroid, but he did not have
      increased appetite nor did he drink much water. I put it off to an
      exclusively wet diet and his very large frame (really skinny, he is
      still 21 lbs).

      Fast-forward to this spring. Again, one day about a month ago I came
      upon him doing another "asthma attack". Then he seemed to be fine.
      Over about the last week, though we noticed increased episodes of
      coughing, and decreased appetite (but its getting hot, he doesnt eat
      as much in the summer).

      Saturday we finally took him to the vet. So much is going on with us
      with an upcoming job transfer that we took out time to make the
      appointment. Vet heard the crackly breathing. X-rays showed air in
      the lungs, but also plural effusion and interstitial....something.
      Since he was wheezing from stress, he got another steroid shot and a
      bronchodilator. She tried to do a tap to remove some of the fluid,
      but got nothing. Recommended we see a specialist right away.

      Monday AM, called the specialists clinic, no appointments until next
      week, but Homer's breathing was noticeably more labored. Took him to
      the ER right away. X-rays showed tons of fluid, ER doc got about 100
      ml out. Heart sounds OK. Preliminary - CHF. Cardio consult in the
      afternoon with Echo and EKG.

      The cardiologist is calling it Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM), advanced,
      decompensated. The left atrium is markedly increased in size, the left
      ventricular internal dimension severely increased with decreased wall
      thicknesses and depressed wall motion. Said he's had this for a long
      time tp be this advanced (why didn't we know!)

      No idea what could have caused it. He suggested maybe a taurine test,
      but he's been eating commercial food all his life (he won't even touch
      the raw rabbit that his sister devours).

      He's on Lasix 12.5 mg bid, Plavix 18.85 mg sid and Enlapril 1.25 mg
      sid. Recommended to measure taurine level then supplement. Prognosis
      is gaurded.

      We're going away for the weekend, have already arranged for the
      regular vet to board him. We have a move in the near future and the
      thought of house-hunting and all is really stressing us. Hopefully we
      get some quality time with him - he's feeling pretty exhausted right
      now, he dove right under the bet when we got home.

      Thanks for listening.
    • Judi Levens
      Hi; I can totally relate to what you are saying. We had almost the same scenario last end of Sept/Oct 1. Our Max does have asthma and was having similar
      Message 2 of 7 , Jun 3, 2008
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        Hi; I can totally relate to what you are saying. We had almost the same scenario last end of Sept/Oct 1. Our Max does have asthma and was having similar breathing problems (and thinning haunches, etc). He was given steroids for the asthma (because we were going away for a week and we wanted to make sure he had the "long acting" kind to keep him safe for the whole time.) Long story short, he had 3 asthma shots, the first, a second of the "quick acting kind" since he wasn't responding the next day, and then a couple of days later when our pet sitter found him having difficulty breathing he gave him another quick acting one. Steroids pushed him into CHF. He had what appeared to be bad HCM. We had him on lasix and enalapril all winter and he did wonderfully. During that time I read about a study of cats pushed into CHF by steroids and that many of them recover very well (they all had a milder level of HCM, but wouldn't have normally had CHF without the steroids.) Max's recent visit to the vet said mild to moderate heart disease with no signs of CHF present. He is off lasix and enalapril and on diltiazem.
        You may have lots more time with Homer...but, you need to see a specialist...an internist is OK, but a cardiologist is better. He needs great care right now to recover his strength. His meds, supplements and quiet with you there as much as you can manage till he gets his strength back. In our case, Max was ready to travel to Mexico from San Francisco in 6 weeks (we delayed for 2 weeks) and he spent the next 6 months there (with no emergency vet support!) and returned home 2 weeks ago a much healthier cat. I am so sorry that you have to move during this time; it is a tremendous stress for you and for Homer too, but some things can't be avoided, and our animals know when we are doing our best for them.
        We spend a lot of time trying to mentally communicate with Max; sent him relaxing thoughts, slow breaths, calm feelings and support. I really think it helped him.
        Mostly, I just wanted to give you some hope that the situation may not be as bad as it appears. There are many people on this blog who have had animals who were "end stage" upon diagnosis who are still living years later due to knowledge and care. I think that the regular vets don't understand heart disease at all (at least mine didn't...he is about 55-60, and I don't think it used to be something animals survived.) Today, that has changed...the animals take the same meds as humans, and their hearts actually improve...they never heal completely, but they get much stronger and live.
        Good luck with Homer...please let us know how you do.
        Judi and Max (and John and Angel Cleo)


        To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.comFrom: choisak@...: Tue, 3 Jun 2008 11:10:03 +0000Subject: [FH] New Member - Homer Cat with end Stage Cardiomyopathy (long)




        Hi all, I'm reeling a little today to find my time left with my Homeris limited.We thought he had asthma. Over the last couple of years heoccasionally seemed to have breathing problems - his purr would"catch" and sometimes he would snore pretty loudly. Then we witnesseda classic asthma attach with his throat stretched out and coughing. His vet gave him a shot of prednisone (short-acting) and spent sometime listening to his heart and lungs when he had his dental the nextweek. They sounded OK.Over the past year, he has lost some weight and was looking reallyskinny in his haunches. I thought maybe thyroid, but he did not haveincreased appetite nor did he drink much water. I put it off to anexclusively wet diet and his very large frame (really skinny, he isstill 21 lbs).Fast-forward to this spring. Again, one day about a month ago I cameupon him doing another "asthma attack". Then he seemed to be fine. Over about the last week, though we noticed increased episodes ofcoughing, and decreased appetite (but its getting hot, he doesnt eatas much in the summer).Saturday we finally took him to the vet. So much is going on with uswith an upcoming job transfer that we took out time to make theappointment. Vet heard the crackly breathing. X-rays showed air inthe lungs, but also plural effusion and interstitial....something. Since he was wheezing from stress, he got another steroid shot and abronchodilator. She tried to do a tap to remove some of the fluid,but got nothing. Recommended we see a specialist right away.Monday AM, called the specialists clinic, no appointments until nextweek, but Homer's breathing was noticeably more labored. Took him tothe ER right away. X-rays showed tons of fluid, ER doc got about 100ml out. Heart sounds OK. Preliminary - CHF. Cardio consult in theafternoon with Echo and EKG. The cardiologist is calling it Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM), advanced,decompensated. The left atrium is markedly increased in size, the leftventricular internal dimension severely increased with decreased wallthicknesses and depressed wall motion. Said he's had this for a longtime tp be this advanced (why didn't we know!)No idea what could have caused it. He suggested maybe a taurine test,but he's been eating commercial food all his life (he won't even touchthe raw rabbit that his sister devours).He's on Lasix 12.5 mg bid, Plavix 18.85 mg sid and Enlapril 1.25 mgsid. Recommended to measure taurine level then supplement. Prognosisis gaurded.We're going away for the weekend, have already arranged for theregular vet to board him. We have a move in the near future and thethought of house-hunting and all is really stressing us. Hopefully weget some quality time with him - he's feeling pretty exhausted rightnow, he dove right under the bet when we got home. Thanks for listening.







        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • choisak
        Judi and everyone else who has responded to me: Thanks for your kind words and encouragement. Homer did see a cardiologist yesterday, and I had a
        Message 3 of 7 , Jun 3, 2008
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          Judi and everyone else who has responded to me:

          Thanks for your kind words and encouragement. Homer did see a
          cardiologist yesterday, and I had a communication from someone who saw
          this Dr. in the past and highly recommended him.

          The first job is to get him calmed down. He gets upset when there are
          people in the house, let alone his stay in the ER. I've gotten him to
          eat under the bed, I had to chase him down when he finally came out to
          give him his Lasix (poor thing is terrified of me now, I had to drag
          him from there yesterday to take him in).

          I'm waiting for the Dr. to call me and I'll ask about supplements etc.

          Thanks again,

          Cara
        • lorkatz2004
          ... yes, this diagnosis is a shock to all of us when we received it. First................the one golden rule of heart disease is never, ever let the vet give
          Message 4 of 7 , Jun 3, 2008
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            ---
            yes, this diagnosis is a shock to all of us when we received it.

            First................the one golden rule of heart disease is never,
            ever let the vet give them a shot of prednisone. It will put them
            almost immediately into heart failure. Prednisone or prednisolone is
            too much for an already ailing heart.

            With DCM, check the taurine but with this much advancement, I do not
            think you will see any difference regarding heart treatment.

            Start with coenzyme 30 mg. You can buy this in the stores. I get
            natures brand. It will help strengthen his heart........and I notice
            you are already on plavix which is a blood thinner. Good, because
            most of our heart cats are prone to throw clots.

            Finally............love him. We are all dealing with a fatal
            illness...........just do the best you can.

            Be carful of feeding rabbit............it is noted always that this
            food is low in taurine. If you have not supplementing this in the
            past with extra taurine, this could be where you are having problems.
            If this is the case, I would have his sister checked for cardiomypathy
            also.

            Hugs
            Cathy



            In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, "choisak" <choisak@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi all, I'm reeling a little today to find my time left with my Homer
            > is limited.
            >
            > We thought he had asthma. Over the last couple of years he
            > occasionally seemed to have breathing problems - his purr would
            > "catch" and sometimes he would snore pretty loudly. Then we witnessed
            > a classic asthma attach with his throat stretched out and coughing.
            > His vet gave him a shot of prednisone (short-acting) and spent some
            > time listening to his heart and lungs when he had his dental the next
            > week. They sounded OK.
            >
            > Over the past year, he has lost some weight and was looking really
            > skinny in his haunches. I thought maybe thyroid, but he did not have
            > increased appetite nor did he drink much water. I put it off to an
            > exclusively wet diet and his very large frame (really skinny, he is
            > still 21 lbs).
            >
            > Fast-forward to this spring. Again, one day about a month ago I came
            > upon him doing another "asthma attack". Then he seemed to be fine.
            > Over about the last week, though we noticed increased episodes of
            > coughing, and decreased appetite (but its getting hot, he doesnt eat
            > as much in the summer).
            >
            > Saturday we finally took him to the vet. So much is going on with us
            > with an upcoming job transfer that we took out time to make the
            > appointment. Vet heard the crackly breathing. X-rays showed air in
            > the lungs, but also plural effusion and interstitial....something.
            > Since he was wheezing from stress, he got another steroid shot and a
            > bronchodilator. She tried to do a tap to remove some of the fluid,
            > but got nothing. Recommended we see a specialist right away.
            >
            > Monday AM, called the specialists clinic, no appointments until next
            > week, but Homer's breathing was noticeably more labored. Took him to
            > the ER right away. X-rays showed tons of fluid, ER doc got about 100
            > ml out. Heart sounds OK. Preliminary - CHF. Cardio consult in the
            > afternoon with Echo and EKG.
            >
            > The cardiologist is calling it Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM), advanced,
            > decompensated. The left atrium is markedly increased in size, the left
            > ventricular internal dimension severely increased with decreased wall
            > thicknesses and depressed wall motion. Said he's had this for a long
            > time tp be this advanced (why didn't we know!)
            >
            > No idea what could have caused it. He suggested maybe a taurine test,
            > but he's been eating commercial food all his life (he won't even touch
            > the raw rabbit that his sister devours).
            >
            > He's on Lasix 12.5 mg bid, Plavix 18.85 mg sid and Enlapril 1.25 mg
            > sid. Recommended to measure taurine level then supplement. Prognosis
            > is gaurded.
            >
            > We're going away for the weekend, have already arranged for the
            > regular vet to board him. We have a move in the near future and the
            > thought of house-hunting and all is really stressing us. Hopefully we
            > get some quality time with him - he's feeling pretty exhausted right
            > now, he dove right under the bet when we got home.
            >
            > Thanks for listening.
            >
          • lorkatz2004
            ... my apologies..........I see where he eats commercial and his sister eats the rabbit. I had my cardio tell me that some cats just need more taurine or their
            Message 5 of 7 , Jun 3, 2008
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              ---
              my apologies..........I see where he eats commercial and his sister
              eats the rabbit.

              I had my cardio tell me that some cats just need more taurine or their
              body just does not absorb it like the other cats.......it is not
              something you did. It just happens........commercial food has the
              taurine in it.

              Cathy





              In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, "lorkatz2004" <cbower@...> wrote:
              >
              > ---
              > yes, this diagnosis is a shock to all of us when we received it.
              >
              > First................the one golden rule of heart disease is never,
              > ever let the vet give them a shot of prednisone. It will put them
              > almost immediately into heart failure. Prednisone or prednisolone is
              > too much for an already ailing heart.
              >
              > With DCM, check the taurine but with this much advancement, I do not
              > think you will see any difference regarding heart treatment.
              >
              > Start with coenzyme 30 mg. You can buy this in the stores. I get
              > natures brand. It will help strengthen his heart........and I notice
              > you are already on plavix which is a blood thinner. Good, because
              > most of our heart cats are prone to throw clots.
              >
              > Finally............love him. We are all dealing with a fatal
              > illness...........just do the best you can.
              >
              > Be carful of feeding rabbit............it is noted always that this
              > food is low in taurine. If you have not supplementing this in the
              > past with extra taurine, this could be where you are having problems.
              > If this is the case, I would have his sister checked for cardiomypathy
              > also.
              >
              > Hugs
              > Cathy
              >
              >
              >
              > In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, "choisak" <choisak@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Hi all, I'm reeling a little today to find my time left with my Homer
              > > is limited.
              > >
              > > We thought he had asthma. Over the last couple of years he
              > > occasionally seemed to have breathing problems - his purr would
              > > "catch" and sometimes he would snore pretty loudly. Then we witnessed
              > > a classic asthma attach with his throat stretched out and coughing.
              > > His vet gave him a shot of prednisone (short-acting) and spent some
              > > time listening to his heart and lungs when he had his dental the next
              > > week. They sounded OK.
              > >
              > > Over the past year, he has lost some weight and was looking really
              > > skinny in his haunches. I thought maybe thyroid, but he did not have
              > > increased appetite nor did he drink much water. I put it off to an
              > > exclusively wet diet and his very large frame (really skinny, he is
              > > still 21 lbs).
              > >
              > > Fast-forward to this spring. Again, one day about a month ago I came
              > > upon him doing another "asthma attack". Then he seemed to be fine.
              > > Over about the last week, though we noticed increased episodes of
              > > coughing, and decreased appetite (but its getting hot, he doesnt eat
              > > as much in the summer).
              > >
              > > Saturday we finally took him to the vet. So much is going on with us
              > > with an upcoming job transfer that we took out time to make the
              > > appointment. Vet heard the crackly breathing. X-rays showed air in
              > > the lungs, but also plural effusion and interstitial....something.
              > > Since he was wheezing from stress, he got another steroid shot and a
              > > bronchodilator. She tried to do a tap to remove some of the fluid,
              > > but got nothing. Recommended we see a specialist right away.
              > >
              > > Monday AM, called the specialists clinic, no appointments until next
              > > week, but Homer's breathing was noticeably more labored. Took him to
              > > the ER right away. X-rays showed tons of fluid, ER doc got about 100
              > > ml out. Heart sounds OK. Preliminary - CHF. Cardio consult in the
              > > afternoon with Echo and EKG.
              > >
              > > The cardiologist is calling it Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM), advanced,
              > > decompensated. The left atrium is markedly increased in size, the left
              > > ventricular internal dimension severely increased with decreased wall
              > > thicknesses and depressed wall motion. Said he's had this for a long
              > > time tp be this advanced (why didn't we know!)
              > >
              > > No idea what could have caused it. He suggested maybe a taurine test,
              > > but he's been eating commercial food all his life (he won't even touch
              > > the raw rabbit that his sister devours).
              > >
              > > He's on Lasix 12.5 mg bid, Plavix 18.85 mg sid and Enlapril 1.25 mg
              > > sid. Recommended to measure taurine level then supplement. Prognosis
              > > is gaurded.
              > >
              > > We're going away for the weekend, have already arranged for the
              > > regular vet to board him. We have a move in the near future and the
              > > thought of house-hunting and all is really stressing us. Hopefully we
              > > get some quality time with him - he's feeling pretty exhausted right
              > > now, he dove right under the bet when we got home.
              > >
              > > Thanks for listening.
              > >
              >
            • Renee Babcock
              Hi Cara, my cat Kitsu was diagnosed with DCM and CHF in September last year. At the time of his diagnosis, his prognosis was quite poor, Dr. Jones giving him
              Message 6 of 7 , Jun 3, 2008
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                Hi Cara, my cat Kitsu was diagnosed with DCM and CHF in September last year. At the time of his diagnosis, his prognosis was quite poor, Dr. Jones giving him at most a few weeks to months. In Kitsu's case, there was no warning at all about his heart disease - he had some labored breathing, I took him to my vet, and he needed to have about 140ml of chylous effusion removed. My vet referred me to the cardiologist, but before I could get an appointment with her, Kitsu had labored breathing again, and she saw him on an emergency basis, again to remove fluids. Kitsu also has a pronounced atrial fibrillation (arrhythmia).

                Dr. Jones started him on lasix (he currently gets half a 12.5 pill twice a day, originally the doses were much higher), enalapril and digoxin (for the atrial fibrillation, although we've never fully gotten that under control). We've been adjusting his medications a lot, and she actually took him off enalapril and put him on pimobendan after a few weeks.

                I saw your post over at FDMB and Jess' reponse about pimobendan, and I highly recommend it. The change in Kitsu was immediate on it: he had so much more energy. In December, Kitsu had to have 2 more chest taps for fluids, and at that time I added rutin (it helps with the chylous effusions). I was able to dramatically reduce his lasix dose to its current level).

                I would suggest asking your cardiologist about pimobendan. While it hasn't improved his heart as much as we'd like, as Dr. Jones says, his heart was just so badly diseased by the time it was caught, that it will probably never recover. And the benefit has been great for him as far as making him feel better.

                In addition, I give Kitsu half a potassium tablet a day, since the lasix does tend to make the levels too low (which makes kitty sick). I've also started giving him half a Pepcid every day, because of the lower potassium levels, to help with the nausea (so he won't just stop eating)

                It's a lot to deal with, I know! I lost my dad last year in Feb (cancer) and my diabetic cat Sam was diagnosed with lymphoma in April, so I already had a lot to deal with. Kitsu's illness just came out of the blue, and was so unexpected, especially since he was only 6 at the time (and just between us, Kitsu is also probably my most favorite cat I've ever had).

                Kitsu turned 7 in April, and so far, he's really doing great, and has far exceeded Dr. Jones' survival expectations. So don't give up hope on Homer - cats are so resilient, and maybe he'll do better than your cardiologist thinks as well! All we can do is just take each day as we have it, and truthfully some days are better than others.

                But in the end, most days are pretty good. Kitsu doesn't "know" he's so seriously ill and will live a much shorter life than I'd like. And really, he just wants to be a cat. He wants to play, and I've decided to go ahead and just play with him - I'm careful to not let him get too winded, but it makes him happier just to play, so that's what I'm going to do.

                In December, I wasn't sure if he'd make it into the new year, but I set a goal of getting him to his 7th birthday, which I did. Now I have a new goal: to get him to the 1 year anniversary of his diagnosis (Sept. 19). After that, we'll see. :-)

                Renee (and Kitsu)


                --- On Tue, 6/3/08, choisak <choisak@...> wrote:

                > From: choisak <choisak@...>
                > Subject: [FH] New Member - Homer Cat with end Stage Cardiomyopathy (long)
                > To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com
                > Date: Tuesday, June 3, 2008, 6:10 AM
                > Hi all, I'm reeling a little today to find my time left
                > with my Homer
                > is limited.
                >
                > We thought he had asthma. Over the last couple of years he
                > occasionally seemed to have breathing problems - his purr
                > would
                > "catch" and sometimes he would snore pretty
                > loudly. Then we witnessed
                > a classic asthma attach with his throat stretched out and
                > coughing.
                > His vet gave him a shot of prednisone (short-acting) and
                > spent some
                > time listening to his heart and lungs when he had his
                > dental the next
                > week. They sounded OK.
                >
                > Over the past year, he has lost some weight and was looking
                > really
                > skinny in his haunches. I thought maybe thyroid, but he
                > did not have
                > increased appetite nor did he drink much water. I put it
                > off to an
                > exclusively wet diet and his very large frame (really
                > skinny, he is
                > still 21 lbs).
                >
                > Fast-forward to this spring. Again, one day about a month
                > ago I came
                > upon him doing another "asthma attack". Then he
                > seemed to be fine.
                > Over about the last week, though we noticed increased
                > episodes of
                > coughing, and decreased appetite (but its getting hot, he
                > doesnt eat
                > as much in the summer).
                >
                > Saturday we finally took him to the vet. So much is going
                > on with us
                > with an upcoming job transfer that we took out time to make
                > the
                > appointment. Vet heard the crackly breathing. X-rays
                > showed air in
                > the lungs, but also plural effusion and
                > interstitial....something.
                > Since he was wheezing from stress, he got another steroid
                > shot and a
                > bronchodilator. She tried to do a tap to remove some of
                > the fluid,
                > but got nothing. Recommended we see a specialist right
                > away.
                >
                > Monday AM, called the specialists clinic, no appointments
                > until next
                > week, but Homer's breathing was noticeably more
                > labored. Took him to
                > the ER right away. X-rays showed tons of fluid, ER doc got
                > about 100
                > ml out. Heart sounds OK. Preliminary - CHF. Cardio
                > consult in the
                > afternoon with Echo and EKG.
                >
                > The cardiologist is calling it Dilated Cardiomyopathy
                > (DCM), advanced,
                > decompensated. The left atrium is markedly increased in
                > size, the left
                > ventricular internal dimension severely increased with
                > decreased wall
                > thicknesses and depressed wall motion. Said he's had
                > this for a long
                > time tp be this advanced (why didn't we know!)
                >
                > No idea what could have caused it. He suggested maybe a
                > taurine test,
                > but he's been eating commercial food all his life (he
                > won't even touch
                > the raw rabbit that his sister devours).
                >
                > He's on Lasix 12.5 mg bid, Plavix 18.85 mg sid and
                > Enlapril 1.25 mg
                > sid. Recommended to measure taurine level then supplement.
                > Prognosis
                > is gaurded.
                >
                > We're going away for the weekend, have already arranged
                > for the
                > regular vet to board him. We have a move in the near future
                > and the
                > thought of house-hunting and all is really stressing us.
                > Hopefully we
                > get some quality time with him - he's feeling pretty
                > exhausted right
                > now, he dove right under the bet when we got home.
                >
                > Thanks for listening.
                >
                >
                > ------------------------------------
                >
                > Your reply will go to the author of this message. If you
                > feel your reply will benefit the entire group, please
                > change the "To:" line to
                > feline-heart@yahoogroups.comYahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
              • Kristi
                Enjoy the time you have with Homer but he may surprise you. Sally was diagnosed with HCM officially at the age of 2 (vet first heard a murmur when she was 8
                Message 7 of 7 , Jun 3, 2008
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                  Enjoy the time you have with Homer but he may surprise you.

                  Sally was diagnosed with HCM officially at the age of 2 (vet first
                  heard a murmur when she was 8 months old). She has been on
                  Diltiazem ever since. In April, at the age of 13, she was diagnosed
                  with GI Lymphoma and put on Leukeran and Prednisolone. After only 4
                  doses of the Pred, I had to rush her to the emergency vet as her
                  lungs had filled with fluid. She spent 8 hours in an oxygen cage,
                  had 2 shots of Lasix and came home with a RX for 12.5mg Lasix. Her
                  vet thought that maybe she'd tolerate Methylpred better since it
                  doesn't cause as much fluid retention as regular Pred. Same thing
                  happened. After 4 doses, I rushed her again to the emergency vet.
                  This time it took 12 hours in the oxygen cage and four shots of
                  Lasix to get her breathing back to normal.

                  She has seen a cardiologist since and she is now on Enalapril as
                  well as the Diltiazem, Lasix and Leukeran. No more steroids for her
                  which is unfortunate because her with her type of cancer, it's the
                  steroid that causes remission.

                  Sally has done extremely well over the years, even to the point
                  where her heart function IMPROVED because of the meds. I have
                  chosen to put her heart and lungs over her cancer. There is one
                  last steroid we might attempt in a couple of months (once her heart
                  stabilizes) but I haven't decided if I'm going to try it yet. She
                  is doing well lately, seems very happy, eating well and gaining
                  weight.

                  Love your kitty. Spoil him. Give him whatever he wants whenever he
                  wants it. Like I said, he may just surprise you. I thought Sally's
                  HCM was a death sentence when she was first diagnosed. Little did I
                  know then how much will power this little bugger has!! No matter if
                  your time with him is long or short, just take each day as it comes
                  and enjoy him all you can.

                  Good luck!

                  Kristi & Sally
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