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Re: [FH] New Member - Homer Cat with end Stage Cardiomyopathy (long)

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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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