- Hi my name is Gina. My 4.5 dsh handsome and dashing Tuxedo,
SweetPete, was diagnosed with HOCM
on June 20th of this year.
He was known to have a Grade 3 murmur, but it was thought to be
functional and innocent. However, in February of this year, while we
were wintering in Florida, SweetPete began to lose weight. He had
always been a large, muscular and somewhat chunky cat...the feline
equivalent of a well set up fullback. His weight varied, by season
between, 13.5 and 14.5 pounds
By April, he had lost enough for me to be alarmed and to set up an
appointment for a full blood panel and urinalysis. His appetite had
increased, as had his thirst and urine output. I was concerned that
we were looking at diabetes or, less probably (because of age),
hyperthyroidism. All tests came back normal, but his weight was down
about a half pound. I know that doesn't sound like much, but he
looked very different. Actually, he looked good slim, and lanky more
like a swimmer than a football player but it just wasn't him.
We returned to Michigan in late May and I immediately brought him to
his regular doctor for a weigh in. Pete was down another 8 ounces so
another blood panel and urinalysis was run and once again all results
were normal. His doctor, at that point, suggested that he be checked
by a cardiologist, just to be safe. The specialist's first reaction
to seeing Pete was, "Wow, what a nice big cat. I was expecting a
skinny, sickly looking little fellow." Pete was still over 12
1/4pounds but losing at a rate of about 2 ounces a week.
By early July, Pete was looking very thin through the flanks and was
begging for food throughout the day. He went from a cat that never
ate "treats" to one that was scratching at the cabinet door 10 times
a day. He also seemed to crave salt. He developed a taste for fried
ham, barbecued ribs, smoked salmon, anchovies, the salt from salted
almonds and vanilla ice cream. Please understand these were not foods
that were being offered to him, but rather things that he was jumping
on the table to steal from us. Back to the doctor for further
testing. His kidneys seem to be fine and he appears to be
concentrating his urine correctly. But, this time the Free T4
Equilibrium Dialysis was run and he registered 62.1 (normal 10-50).
Pete appears to be asymptomatic for heart disease. He plays like a
kitten, is never lethargic, does not pant, his resting respiration is
between 36-42 (a bit high) . He is eating about 3/4-1 cup of RC # 33
plus 1/2 cup of RC Kitten #34. However, on some days, he seems to eat
non-stop. He continues to beg for Whiskas Temptations throughout
the day. I can't quantify how much he drinks because he will only
drink from a running faucet in the bathroom. However, he asks for it
to be turned on about 10+ times a day. This week he looks like he may
have gained an ounce or two...at least, he looks a bit more filled
out through the pelvis area.
Just moments, ago, I heard from the cardiologist that we will be
treating for the hyperthyroidism, but he does not feel that the HOCM
is a secondary manifestation of an over active thyroid gland. I
should be hearing from SweetPete's primary care physician with in a
day or so to find out what the treatment will be.
I know many of you have run into multiple illness with your HCM cats,
so if you have any suggestions as to what can be done to extend
Pete's life (comfortably) for more than the 2 years he has been
given, please, please write to me, either through the group or
privately smudgepooka@... .
I will try to figure out how to post his picture in the Gallery and
also to attach a copy of the cardiology report for those interested.
It is very good to have a place to come for information and support
when your heart is breaking. Thank you .
- Hello Gina
Welcome to you and SweetPete, although I`m sorry SweetPete is poorly. Ignore
the 2 year diagnosis, lots of cats here outlive their diagnosis by many many
years. I have a HOCM boy who has just turned 2 and he has Atenolol which
stabilised his condition. He was diagnosed as a very small kitten and the
atenolol has helped the valve problems and his heart.
He also takes cardio strength (Cardio S) which is a supplement and this has
also helped him enormously.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]