Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

CHF: How do you know the time has come?

Expand Messages
  • michellekirkpatrick23
    Our cat Dodger was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism 8mths ago. Treatment with meds didn t work, and monthly to weekly visits to have blood levels checked
    Message 1 of 9 , Nov 26, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      Our cat Dodger was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism 8mths ago.
      Treatment with meds didn't work, and monthly to weekly visits to have
      blood levels checked stressed Dodger out beyond belief!
      We finally agreed to have the radioactive iodine treatment in Oct.
      Dodger did really well for about 1 1/2 weeks...eating regularly and
      putting on weight. Then he started with heavy breathing, but still
      eating and acting normally.
      We took him in for a "routine" thyroid level check, and as usual, he
      stressed out. This time though, he started hyperventilating at the
      vet's office. They had to quickly take him back and put him on oxygen
      because he was turning blue.
      We were shocked when the vet came and told us he did an xray, and he
      couldn't even see Dodger's heart because of all the fluid! He said
      Dodger was in congestive heart failure. He drained 120 cc of clear
      fluid. gave him oxygen and diueretic. The vet suggested we take
      Dodger to the ER vet for oxygen therapy and ultrasound to determine
      the cause of the CHF.
      We thought Dodger was dying, and we wanted to bring him home with us.
      He instantly improved at home, and the vet prescribed Enacard and
      Fueriside twice a day. We started him on the meds, and while he had
      continued to eat, purr and act normally...the labored breathing
      continued. We took him back to the ER this past Sunday, thinking we
      would try and get the ultrasound to find out his exact prognosis.
      The vet said Dodger had a 50/50 chance of making it through the
      testing, and even then he would have a few months at most. He
      couldn't guarantee Dodger would have good quality of life for those
      months. We had discussed the fact that we might have to put Dodger to
      sleep. My boyfriend decided not to chance the testing, but also was
      not ready for the other.
      Once again, we brought Dodger home, thinking he was leaving us soon.
      And yet again, days have passed and his breathing remains labored, he
      remains in one spot, and as of today he has stopped eating. I tried
      to get my boyfriend to take him in last night and put him to sleep
      and he agreed. Then when we picked up Dodger and wrapped him up, he
      knew we were off to the vet and he meowed loudly and jumped down. My
      boyfriend took this as a sign that Dodger isn't "ready".

      I guess my question is, how will we know when the end is really close
      for Dodger so we can make it peaceful, with less suffering?
    • Carol
      Michelle, No one can really know how long a heart kitty has. Vets only can go by what they ve seen in some cats in the past and each cat is different. When my
      Message 2 of 9 , Nov 27, 2008
      • 0 Attachment
        Michelle,

        No one can really know how long a heart kitty has. Vets only can go
        by what they've seen in some cats in the past and each cat is
        different. When my angel Sweetie went into CHF the first time, they
        said she had a month. She lived 10 more months and most of that
        time she was okay. Yes, she had other episodes of CHF, 3 of them,
        but she bounced back and in the end it wasn't her heart that took
        her, it was her kidney failure. She had CRF for 3 years prior to her
        heart problems.

        With the right medications and supplements, I think heart kitties,
        even ones that have had CHF, can rebound and feel better. You have
        to be on top of it all the time though, and it's not always easy,
        but it's possible to help them feel better for the time they have
        left.

        Taking things like CoQ10, DMG (dimethylglycine), taurine, L-
        carnitine, along with their meds, heart meds and diuretics, I think
        can improve and extend their quality of life.

        If you haven't seen a cardiologist vet yet, I think it'd be worth it
        to take him to get an ultrasound to see exactly what's going on with
        the heart, so they can prescribe the proper meds to handle it. I
        know how stressful it is for him, but maybe you can have the vet
        give you a mild sedative for him for the car trip.

        Keep trying to feed him, assist feed him if you have to. We had to
        do that with our angels Sweetie and Chris, and when they felt better
        they ate on their own again. Entice him with yummy stuff, low salt
        tuna or clam juice poured on top of his regular food. Whatever it
        takes to get him to eat. The heart needs nutrition to function
        properly and if he's not eating at all, try to get something into
        him as best you can. Baby food meat is good too. We use Beechnut
        Stage 1 meats. They don't have any spices or junk in them, only meat
        and broth. You don't want anything with onion or garlic in it.

        Hang in there. I hope he's feeling better.

        hugs,
        Carol and Snowball and the gang
      • Carol
        hi again, Michelle. I just wanted to tell you that an ultrasounds is a very non invasive test. They just lay the kitty on their back in a cradle type thing
        Message 3 of 9 , Nov 27, 2008
        • 0 Attachment
          hi again, Michelle.

          I just wanted to tell you that an ultrasounds is a very non invasive
          test. They just lay the kitty on their back in a cradle type thing
          (that's what our vet does), and shave the area, spread the gel on
          them and run the ultrasound probe over the area. In the case of the
          abdomen and torso area, it's like getting a massage, really! I
          always stay it the room with Snowball and I hold her for them. You
          can ask if you can do that too. It's very much not stressful. At
          least it's not been for my guys.

          For the heart ultrasound, they shave a tiny area under the arm,
          usually the left, and lay the kitty on their side. It's really not
          awful at all.

          The whole thing, ultrasound of Snowball's abdomen and heart, only
          took about 15-20 minutes. The whole time I was just rubbing the top
          of her head between her ears. That is the calming/focus point in
          Chinese medicine. My acupuncture vet told me if you rub that spot,
          little circle massage, it can calm down the animal. I do this on my
          guys all the time when they get tests, blood tests, blood pressure
          tests, ultrasounds, and it does seem to help calm them down.

          Anyway, I just wanted to reassure you that the ultrasound is not
          anything that is going to hurt Dodger. Why the vet said that thing
          about 50/50 chance of making it though the test, is just
          irresponsible of them to say that. I could see if it was a surgery
          or something like that, but an ultrasound is a very easy, non-
          invasive test to do, and you'll find out a LOT of information.

          hugs,
          Carol and Snowball and the gang
        • Suzianne Painter-Thorne
          I agree with Carol. My Boo has had two ultrasounds and they re not invasive at all. I don t know why a vet would say a cat could die during it, it s not like a
          Message 4 of 9 , Nov 27, 2008
          • 0 Attachment
            I agree with Carol. My Boo has had two ultrasounds and they're not invasive
            at all. I don't know why a vet would say a cat could die during it, it's not
            like a stress test they do with people (though the idea of getting a cat on
            a tredmill makes me giggle).

            My husband is a CT tech for people and I asked him about this and he said
            ultrasound is just sound waves being sent through the body. The only way it
            would be invasive is if they were doing some kind of biopsy during the
            procedure, but otherwise, it's a safe and effective test. It's really the
            best way to see the condition the heart is in (i.e., assess any thickening
            of the heart wall(s)).

            Sue & Boo (who is still growing her fur back from her last ultrasound).


            On 11/27/08 3:47 PM, "Carol" <carolroars@...> wrote:
            > I just wanted to tell you that an ultrasounds is a very non invasive
            > test. They just lay the kitty on their back in a cradle type thing
            > (that's what our vet does), and shave the area, spread the gel on
            > them and run the ultrasound probe over the area.
          • elfinmyst@aol.com
            Hi All my heart cats havbe regular ultrasounds and the only risk I can see is if they become very very stressed. Trixi did once and she collapsed, but they
            Message 5 of 9 , Nov 28, 2008
            • 0 Attachment
              Hi

              All my heart cats havbe regular ultrasounds and the only risk I can see is
              if they become very very stressed. Trixi did once and she collapsed, but they
              gentle reassured her and she recovered well. Apart from that episode, the only
              thing I`ve noticed with ultrasounds is that I always seem to have cats with
              bald patches!

              The benefits greatly outweigh the risks. Occasionally a wriggly or vicious
              cat might need a sedative.

              Lyn

              _www.myfurkids.co.uk_ (http://www.myfurkids.co.uk/)


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • BubbaCat1@aol.com
              Charlie never minded his ultrasounds, and with chylous effusion he had them weekly. The cardiologist s exam table had a hole thru the bottom so Charlie would
              Message 6 of 9 , Nov 28, 2008
              • 0 Attachment
                Charlie never minded his ultrasounds, and with chylous effusion he had them
                weekly. The cardiologist's exam table had a hole thru the bottom so Charlie
                would lay normally (upright) on the table but the doc could slip his hand (and
                the sensor) up from underneath to do the ultrasound. I thought this was a
                wonderful idea since Charlie didn't like being on his back very much. The
                cardiologist always made sure I was near Charlie's face when we re-positioned him,
                noting that patients are much less stressed when mom (or dad) is close and
                "hands-on".

                I would insist on being in the room when any procedure is being done. If he
                started to get stressed, YOU would be the first to see it coming and can stop
                the procedure if necessary.

                Jo

                **************Life should be easier. So should your homepage. Try the NEW
                AOL.com.
                (http://www.aol.com/?optin=new-dp&icid=aolcom40vanity&ncid=emlcntaolcom00000002)


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Kristi
                Sally was diagnosed with HCM at the age of 13 months and started taking daily medication for it at the age of 2. She had yearly ultrasounds to check to see
                Message 7 of 9 , Nov 28, 2008
                • 0 Attachment
                  Sally was diagnosed with HCM at the age of 13 months and started
                  taking daily medication for it at the age of 2. She had yearly
                  ultrasounds to check to see how her heart was doing. Her IM vet even
                  commented on how much of a pro she got to be at them. Some pets have
                  to be anesthetized for them but she was very calm and compliant. At
                  the age of 7, I took her to the vet when she was having trouble
                  breathing only to be told she was in CHF. They put her on Lasix,
                  which she took for the next three years without too much trouble.

                  In April of this year, Sally was diagnosed with GI lymphoma and put
                  on a chemo protocol which included Prednisone. I had no idea at the
                  time what Prednisone means to a heart kitty so I went ahead and gave
                  it to her. After only 4 doses, I had to rush her to the emergency
                  vet. Once again, she was in CHF. She was put back on Lasix and
                  seemed to recover. Three weeks later, after trying the metabolized
                  version of Prednisone (Methylprednisolone), she was back at the ER
                  with another episode of CHF. This time I was told that she might not
                  make it. It took her over twelve hours of being in the O2 cage
                  before her breathing returned to normal and another 12 hours before I
                  could bring her home.

                  Sally had her 14th birthday on November 3rd. She has HCM, Mitral
                  Valve regurgitation, small cell intestinal lymphoma (now in
                  remission), is in the early stage of kidney failure and arthritis to
                  boot. If not for the meds and the special diet, you wouldn't know
                  she was ill. She lives a normal HAPPY life.

                  I credit her survival to her vets. If Dodger hasn't already seen a
                  specialist, then either a cardiologist or internal medicine vet would
                  be your best bet. There are meds and supplements you can give him
                  that are relatively low in side effects and should allow him to at
                  least be comfortable and at best live a pretty normal life. An
                  ultrasound might stress him out, but I can't believe that vet only
                  gave him a 50/50 chance of making it through. It's no more stressful
                  than an X-ray. It only lasts a little bit longer. Sally has had
                  dozens of ultrasounds and, even as sick as she was, had no trouble
                  with them. To have one done would give you the answers you need to
                  determine a path for Dodger.

                  My point is that CHF isn't necessarily a death sentence. If you
                  treat Dodger and he doesn't respond, then it may be that his time is
                  near. However, I was told twice this year that Sally wouldn't make
                  it. As I type, she is lying near me curled up in her blanky, cooing
                  happily in her "turkey coma".

                  Good luck. We're hoping for the best for you!!

                  Kristi & Sally Maria


                  --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, "michellekirkpatrick23"
                  <michellekirkpatrick23@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Our cat Dodger was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism 8mths ago.
                  > Treatment with meds didn't work, and monthly to weekly visits to
                  have
                  > blood levels checked stressed Dodger out beyond belief!
                  > We finally agreed to have the radioactive iodine treatment in Oct.
                  > Dodger did really well for about 1 1/2 weeks...eating regularly and
                  > putting on weight. Then he started with heavy breathing, but still
                  > eating and acting normally.
                  > We took him in for a "routine" thyroid level check, and as usual,
                  he
                  > stressed out. This time though, he started hyperventilating at the
                  > vet's office. They had to quickly take him back and put him on
                  oxygen
                  > because he was turning blue.
                  > We were shocked when the vet came and told us he did an xray, and
                  he
                  > couldn't even see Dodger's heart because of all the fluid! He said
                  > Dodger was in congestive heart failure. He drained 120 cc of clear
                  > fluid. gave him oxygen and diueretic. The vet suggested we take
                  > Dodger to the ER vet for oxygen therapy and ultrasound to determine
                  > the cause of the CHF.
                  > We thought Dodger was dying, and we wanted to bring him home with
                  us.
                  > He instantly improved at home, and the vet prescribed Enacard and
                  > Fueriside twice a day. We started him on the meds, and while he had
                  > continued to eat, purr and act normally...the labored breathing
                  > continued. We took him back to the ER this past Sunday, thinking we
                  > would try and get the ultrasound to find out his exact prognosis.
                  > The vet said Dodger had a 50/50 chance of making it through the
                  > testing, and even then he would have a few months at most. He
                  > couldn't guarantee Dodger would have good quality of life for those
                  > months. We had discussed the fact that we might have to put Dodger
                  to
                  > sleep. My boyfriend decided not to chance the testing, but also was
                  > not ready for the other.
                  > Once again, we brought Dodger home, thinking he was leaving us
                  soon.
                  > And yet again, days have passed and his breathing remains labored,
                  he
                  > remains in one spot, and as of today he has stopped eating. I tried
                  > to get my boyfriend to take him in last night and put him to sleep
                  > and he agreed. Then when we picked up Dodger and wrapped him up, he
                  > knew we were off to the vet and he meowed loudly and jumped down.
                  My
                  > boyfriend took this as a sign that Dodger isn't "ready".
                  >
                  > I guess my question is, how will we know when the end is really
                  close
                  > for Dodger so we can make it peaceful, with less suffering?
                  >
                • dshale1
                  Pye has had three echocardiograms with two different cardioloigists and neither of them even shaved her. Maybe they just do that with long-haired cats? At the
                  Message 8 of 9 , Dec 1, 2008
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Pye has had three echocardiograms with two different cardioloigists
                    and neither of them even shaved her. Maybe they just do that with
                    long-haired cats?

                    At the last one her blood pressure was a little higher than usual but
                    still normal, and that's the only sign of stress that I could tell.
                    That was probably because she could hear a dog barking in the waiting
                    room. For our cat, the x-rays are more stressful than the echoes
                    because she hates to be placed on her back.
                    -Susan


                    --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, elfinmyst@... wrote:
                    >
                    > Hi
                    >
                    > All my heart cats havbe regular ultrasounds and the only risk I can
                    see is
                    > if they become very very stressed. Trixi did once and she collapsed,
                    but they
                    > gentle reassured her and she recovered well. Apart from that
                    episode, the only
                    > thing I`ve noticed with ultrasounds is that I always seem to have
                    cats with
                    > bald patches!
                    >
                    > The benefits greatly outweigh the risks. Occasionally a wriggly or
                    vicious
                    > cat might need a sedative.
                    >
                    > Lyn
                    >
                  • jintzr
                    What dose of furosemide did they put Dodger on? Sounds like perhaps he may need a stronger dose, if he is still having labored breathing. They can also add
                    Message 9 of 9 , Dec 1, 2008
                    • 0 Attachment
                      What dose of furosemide did they put Dodger on? Sounds like perhaps
                      he may need a stronger dose, if he is still having labored
                      breathing. They can also add other diuretics if furosemide is not
                      getting rid of all the fluid. There are other medications that can
                      help, and I think someone already mentioned the supplements that can
                      help, also.

                      Did they also do a blood test to test Dodger's kidney function?
                      Hyperthyroidism can cause some kidney disfunction.

                      The last echo my cat Ren had, the cardiologist thought Ren was so bad
                      he might not survive the car ride home. Ren lived a full, happy,
                      good life for a year after that. I know many other cats have went on
                      to live much longer. You can't really go by time-lines, cats are
                      amazing and continue to surprise us.

                      It just sounds to me like they maybe don't have the medication or
                      dosage quite right yet. An echocardiogram or ultrasound would help,
                      but if you are worried about Dodger getting really upset and
                      stressed, talk with them about some other medications, dosages,
                      options for him.

                      --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, "michellekirkpatrick23"
                      <michellekirkpatrick23@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Our cat Dodger was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism 8mths ago.
                      > Treatment with meds didn't work, and monthly to weekly visits to
                      have
                      > blood levels checked stressed Dodger out beyond belief!
                      > We finally agreed to have the radioactive iodine treatment in Oct.
                      > Dodger did really well for about 1 1/2 weeks...eating regularly and
                      > putting on weight. Then he started with heavy breathing, but still
                      > eating and acting normally.
                      > We took him in for a "routine" thyroid level check, and as usual,
                      he
                      > stressed out. This time though, he started hyperventilating at the
                      > vet's office. They had to quickly take him back and put him on
                      oxygen
                      > because he was turning blue.
                      > We were shocked when the vet came and told us he did an xray, and
                      he
                      > couldn't even see Dodger's heart because of all the fluid! He said
                      > Dodger was in congestive heart failure. He drained 120 cc of clear
                      > fluid. gave him oxygen and diueretic. The vet suggested we take
                      > Dodger to the ER vet for oxygen therapy and ultrasound to determine
                      > the cause of the CHF.
                      > We thought Dodger was dying, and we wanted to bring him home with
                      us.
                      > He instantly improved at home, and the vet prescribed Enacard and
                      > Fueriside twice a day. We started him on the meds, and while he had
                      > continued to eat, purr and act normally...the labored breathing
                      > continued. We took him back to the ER this past Sunday, thinking we
                      > would try and get the ultrasound to find out his exact prognosis.
                      > The vet said Dodger had a 50/50 chance of making it through the
                      > testing, and even then he would have a few months at most. He
                      > couldn't guarantee Dodger would have good quality of life for those
                      > months. We had discussed the fact that we might have to put Dodger
                      to
                      > sleep. My boyfriend decided not to chance the testing, but also was
                      > not ready for the other.
                      > Once again, we brought Dodger home, thinking he was leaving us
                      soon.
                      > And yet again, days have passed and his breathing remains labored,
                      he
                      > remains in one spot, and as of today he has stopped eating. I tried
                      > to get my boyfriend to take him in last night and put him to sleep
                      > and he agreed. Then when we picked up Dodger and wrapped him up, he
                      > knew we were off to the vet and he meowed loudly and jumped down.
                      My
                      > boyfriend took this as a sign that Dodger isn't "ready".
                      >
                      > I guess my question is, how will we know when the end is really
                      close
                      > for Dodger so we can make it peaceful, with less suffering?
                      >
                    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.