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Newly diagnosed HCM kitty in my family

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  • lauren.cellphone
    Hello! My beloved kitty, Seegwa, was diagnosed with HCM just 3 days ago. I noticed she hadn t eaten for about a day and a half-- that was the only sign I
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 26, 2008
      Hello! My beloved kitty, Seegwa, was diagnosed with HCM just 3 days
      ago. I noticed she hadn't eaten for about a day and a half-- that was
      the only sign I recognized something was wrong. When we took her to the
      vet, we found out her lungs were fluid filled and her left ventricle
      seems to be smaller than the rest. Needless to say it was a scramble
      and I haven't slept for a few days more than a few hours at a time.
      "Sleep when the baby sleeps" theory.

      Anyway, Seegwa is 6yrs old. I am doing all the research I can to keep
      her living a healthy life. She is currently taking Lasix twice a day,
      but it makes her rather groggy, and she won't eat on her own. It is
      Nutri-cal (lovely high calorie gel) and chicken baby food in a syringe
      for the last few days.

      I am trying everything under the sun to get her to eat, however she also
      has food allergies. She can't eat fish, potatoes, flax seed--- these
      things seem to be in "normal" kitty food.

      If anyone has any tips or links to good reputable information site I
      would really appreciate it. In my 26yrs of life, I haven't had to deal
      with this ever before.... it is a shock to say the least.

      Lauren
    • elfinmyst@aol.com
      Hello Lauren Please take kitty to a veterinary cardiologist. With HCM that has progressed to heart failure, you ll need more than Lasix. Usually an ace
      Message 2 of 4 , Dec 27, 2008
        Hello Lauren

        Please take kitty to a veterinary cardiologist. With HCM that has progressed
        to heart failure, you'll need more than Lasix. Usually an ace inhibitor is
        given, but you need an ultrasound scan to confirm the diagnoses exactly.

        I use cardiostrength (cardio S in the UK) It has helped all my heart cases
        and they are all outliving their prognosis. I have cats on beta blockers, but I
        wouldn't thought that was recommended with cats already in heart failure.
        The lasix will help clear the lungs, but I would consider spironolactone as
        well as the two work differently and complement each other to clear fluid.

        She will be feeling awful with fluid build up, which explains the lack of
        eating. If it is severe, I would request a chest tap to remove the fluid
        immediately and get her eating.

        Lyn

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


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      • Jean
        Hi Lauren, Also 26, also with a baby (Patches) in heart failure. And just starting to get some sleep again (we re about six weeks in from diagnosis after the
        Message 3 of 4 , Dec 27, 2008
          Hi Lauren,

          Also 26, also with a baby (Patches) in heart failure. And just starting to
          get some sleep again (we're about six weeks in from diagnosis after the
          onset of congestive heart failure).

          I definitely agree with Lyn's advice to take Seegwa to a veterinary
          cardiologist - my primary vet sent Patches straight there when I picked him
          up after he'd stabilized from the CHF (after a night on lasix in the oxygen
          chamber); while they *could* do an echocardiogram in-house, the logic was if
          you're going to do it, you may as well have experts looking at it. But the
          echo is the only way to definitively diagnose the type of heart failure
          (Patches has restrictive cardiomyopathy rather than the more common
          hypertrophic cardiomyopathy - x-rays can't distinguish between the two), and
          they sometimes call for different medications. The cardiologist will
          probably also add a blood thinner of some kind, since heart kitties are more
          likely to throw clots.

          I'm not positive about this, but my understanding is that a chest tap will
          only help Seegwa is/was collecting fluid AROUND her lungs - Patches
          collected it interstitially within the lungs, and I don't believe a tap can
          aid in fluid removal in those cases. In his case as he was recovering at
          home, his respiration rate continued to drop and return to a normal range
          over 5-7 days. (Your vet or cardiologist will probably also recommend you
          try to get her respiration rate each day, preferably while she's completely
          asleep - under 30 a minute is normal for a cat. Patches came home right
          around 26-28 a minute, then dropped down to what's his normal dead asleep
          rate of 18-20/minute. The goal with watching her respirations is that you
          can ideally catch them going up - signaling fluid building back up in the
          lungs - before it's critical, and possibly adjust the lasix dose at home
          with vet consultation.)

          Good luck! I hope she starts feeling better soon, and gets her appetite
          back. If it keeps up, an appetite stimulant from the vet may also be helpful
          to jump-start her appetite again.

          Jean


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        • savionna@aol.com
          Hi Lauren, ... This is a problem with many cats, esp those on meds that can cause dig. upset. ... Assist feeding is fine...and even necessary, since cats
          Message 4 of 4 , Jan 5, 2009
            Hi Lauren,

            In a message dated 12/26/08 7:28:50 PM, lauren.cellphone@... writes:

            > she won't eat on her own.
            >
            This is a problem with many cats, esp those on meds that can cause dig.
            upset.

            >   It is
            > Nutri-cal (lovely high calorie gel) and chicken baby food in a syringe
            > for the last few days.
            >
            Assist feeding is fine...and even necessary, since cats cannot go long
            without food b/c of the way their metabolism works (and I'll leave it at that). I'm
            not a big fan of NutriCal, which is basically sugars and oils, which are not
            species-appropriate...but you do what you gotta do. Pure meat baby food (eg
            BeechNut turkey or chicken and broth) is fine. Some other options are Eukanuba
            Maximum Calorie (Rx from vets), which is meant for short-term supplementary
            feeding...and has the advantage of containing about 56 calories per oz, which is
            considerably more than most baby food meat and also Hill's a/d (the other
            common vet Rx supplemental feeding product) at 32 cal/oz. The guideline for calorie
            intake is about 20-30 calories per lb ideal body weight per day (adjusted for
            the individual)...and I think a reasonable goal is to get at least half that
            into the cat daily.

            Some other options for tempting the appetite incl heating the (meat-based)
            food to help release the aroma and using toppings such as a hard stinky cheese
            (eg Parmesan), crushed dehydrated meat treats (eg Halo Liv-A-Littles), Wysong
            PDG (which some caregivers have found useful to stimulate appetite), and
            Rosie's Rosedust (another dehydrated meat powder product). Since you mention a
            problem with fish, I'll leave out the juice from water-packed tuna and dehydrated
            fish treats such as bonita flakes.

            If nausea is a problem, something like slippery elm bark can be helpful to
            soothe the dig. tract (there's lots in the archives on this...or ask). The only
            caveat is to allow 30-60 min before/after other remedies and meds in case it
            interferes with absorption.

            > She can't eat fish, potatoes, flax seed--- these
            > things seem to be in "normal" kitty food.
            >
            They shouldn't really be in any cat food. There are a number of
            higher-quality canned products without fish and starches such as potatoes and grains
            (starches are used mainly in dry cat food, which is not species-appropriate either,
            to hold the dough together for manufacture...they're used in canned cat food
            as cheap filler). Flax is a bit harder to avoid, but in some higher-quality
            canned products the amt is none to minimal. Eg, By Nature Organics, NaturaPet EVO
            95% meat products, and Evanger's Organic Turkey have no flax listed. Wellness
            grainfree (meat flavors) has it at about ingredient #15, By Nature 95% meat
            at about ingredient #11. Whether that's enough to set off a reaction for your
            cat, I don't know...but "allergy"-type reactions are complicated by all kinds
            of factors, such as amt/frequency of exposure, combination with other
            ingredients, source of ingredient, etc. So some cats can tolerate "allergenic"
            ingredients depending on product. // Rosemary


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