Followup on Seymour ... good news!
- Hi, I posted here about a month ago about our 4-year-old Maine
Coon/Norwegian Forest Cat mix Seymour, who had an episode of
severely dilated eyes, agitation and vision impairment, but he
checked out fine at the opthamologists and then upon further
investigation we found out most likely he had an enlarged heart.
That suspicion stemmed from a likely murmur that was heard by the
opthomologist, although our regular vet didn't hear it, and an X-
ray. His bloodwork checked out absolutely normal.
I've not posted anything since then because we've really been in
kind of a holding pattern on things. Seymour quickly snapped back to
normal and has been fine, absolutely his normal self, and I didn't
go ahead and start him on any of the recommended supplements because
I wanted to get him checked out at the cardiologist's first and see
exactly what we were dealing with. We have been giving him a baby
asprin every four days, as per our regular vet's instructions, to
try to prevent any potential clots (we never have found out what
caused that incident, although the suspicion is a possible mini-
Because of a variety of things (we were out of town for a while), we
were not able to get to the cardiologist's until today. Seymour had
an echocardiogram and a Doppler study done this morning.
The results were encouraging. Seymour does have feline hypertrophic
cardiomyopathy, in that he has a mild to moderate ... the
cardiologist, who we really liked and was really good about
explaining every step of the procedures in detail not just to me but
to our two kids, who went with me to keep Seymour company on the 65-
mile trip, said it was really on the border between the two
descriptions ... enlargement of the walls of his left atrium and
left ventricle, as well as enlargement of the papillary muscles in
his left ventricle. The cardiologist said unlike with the walls of
the atrium and ventricle, she could not determine exactly how big
the papillaries were from her exam, she just said "there a bit
bigger than I'd like them to be."
Her suggested treatment? Nothing, other than continuing the asprin
and increasing it to every three days. She said that again, Seymour
is right on the border between treating with medicine and not
treating with medicine. She said that treating him with medicine
would not hurt him, but that in her opinion we should not start it
yet and continue to monitor the situation and repeat the cardiac
exam in nine months and see if there was any need to change this
approach. However, she also said that if he should have another
incident like the one on Memorial Day that started this, we were to
bring him in sooner than nine months and we would immediately
revisit whether to start medicine or not.
She said there are no guarantees, but that she expects us to have
Seymour around to enjoy for many more years.
So, as I said, it was an encouraging report.
My question ... and I know I probably asked this a month ago, but I
don't feel like doing a search and I can't find my notes ... is
regarding adding supplements to the mix.
According to the vet, this is not an acute, severe situation, so I
don't know that I need to fill him full of stuff. However, I would
like to do something to help him maintain the status quo situation.
What supplements would be best for doing that?
Did you have Seymour's blood pressure checked? I would probably get
that done to rule out any kind of damage to the eyes from high blood
pressure (can cause detached retina/blindness).
As far as supplements, these are some of the ones that we give our
~CoQ10 30 to 60mg/day (CoQ10 that has a tiny bit of vitamin E in it
is said to absorb better than straight CoQ10 powder),
~DMG/dimethylglycine 125mg/day (it comes in foil wrapped sublinqual
tablets that you can cut in half and give half twice a day, but make
sure you wrap up the unused half well or it being exposed to light
and air will make it melt).
~a supplement called Cardio Strength by VetriScience (Cardio S in
the UK) has some of the above, so if you use this one, don't give as
much of the others separately.
~Nattokinase 50 to 72mg/day (Nattokinase is an enzyme that helps
prevent and/or disolve clots. The difference between Natto and
something like Heparin that is the medication often prescribed for
clots, is that the Natto actually "digests" the clot, where the
Heparin just breaks it up. You don't give Natto at the same time as
any other blood thinner type drug (aspirin or heparin), since they
all have the same actions as blood thinners. There are many
brands...this is the one that we used: NattoZyme by Nutricology
I'd definitely get his blood pressure checked just to rule out
anything going on there.
Carol and Snowball and the gang
- Sally was officially diagnosed at the age of 2 with moderate HCM.
She also had a grade III murmur that was first noticed when she was
8 months old. I started her on twice daily Diltiazem and per the IM
specialist's recommendations, brought her in for an ultrasound every
year. Over time, her left ventricle went from 1.8 to almost normal
She is now 13.5, her HCM is still considered moderate, still a grade
III murmur but now she is also taking Lasix and Enalapril for mitral
valve regurgitation. She is also fighting off lymphoma which
doesn't make the situation easier. Her vets were concerned about
her heart deteriorating after two episodes of medication related
CHF, but the cardiologist and IM specialist were both pleasantly
surprised to see that her heart wasn't enlarged and still looked
I haven't tried giving her supplements for her heart. She has IBD
and normally vomits anywhere from 2-3 times a week to daily. She
has had strong reactions to almost every medication I have ever
given her, even antibiotics have made her sick. The only thing she
seem to be able to tolerate is Clavamox. I didn't want to aggravate
things with supplements and she hasn't seemed to need anything other
than the Diltiazem.
Her HCM hasn't kept her from living a normal, healthy life. Yes
she's made a few more trips to the vet than normal and I've gotten
VERY good with a pill gun, but if you didn't know she had a heart
problem, you wouldn't have been able to tell anything was wrong with
her. As long as you have Seymour's heart checked once a year, you
should be fine. You sound like you're pretty in tune with him and
know when something's not right. Keep up with that! Sally's
breaths per minute vary but when she starts wheezing or making a
sound almost like a rusty purr then I know there's trouble. HCM is
not a death sentence! I think you'll have many many happy years
wtih your sweet boy.
Kristi & Sally Maria