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Re: New to this -- desperately need advice

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  • Sue
    I m new to this too, so I can t give you much advice. I also have a CRF cat, but he s the sweetheart and my cardiomyopathy cat is the aloof, difficult cat.
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 22, 2009
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      I'm new to this too, so I can't give you much advice. I also have a CRF cat, but he's the sweetheart and my cardiomyopathy cat is the aloof, difficult cat. He started limping shortly after Christmas, and it took about 6 weeks before the limping went away completely. He has been on Enalapril, which dilates the blood vessels and brings down blood pressure, and aspirin to help thin the blood and prevent more clots. Good luck to you, and I hope you don't need to say goodbye to either for quite a while. Since Franki has gotten into the litter pan by herself, I wonder if the clot hasn't started to dissolve. I think that would be promising for continued improvement.
      --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, "puppys_mom" <maryann.hammers@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hello friends. I'm VERY new to this whole thing, quite scared and sad. I'm hoping some of you can help provide insight and clarification.
      >
      > Please bear with me. This is a long note.
      >
      > Here's the background: For the past few weeks, Franki (my youngest cat, age 11) hasn't been eating or drinking much. She's been sleeping all the time. She was always a docile, sweet, lazy cat, so I wasn't too worried -- but I was planning to bring her to the vet in a few days, when I had to bring in my oldest cat Puppy (who has chronic renal failure). Here's what happened:
      >
      > Monday evening, 5:15 p.m.: Franki used the litter box normally. All seemed well. A few minutes later, she went running to the litter box again, but this time her legs were wobbling strangely. Then she fell to the ground, and began panting and mewing in pain. (This is such a quiet cat, I rarely, rarely hear her mew.) I rushed her to the one vet I could find who would see me at 6 pm.
      >
      > He took Xrays, tentatively diagnosed an enlarged heart, which led to clot which lodged in her spine, which caused her sudden lameness. He didn't offer treatment, but gave me the phone number of another vet who does at-home euthanasia, and sent us home. She actually ate when I brought her home, but I think that was the last time she had an appetite.
      >
      > Tuesday morning: I started calling vets and going online trying to get a second opinion or some information. Only one vet called me back. He suggested that I not give up yet. He suggested baby aspirin every 48-72 hours. Said it couldn't hurt, and might (long shot) help her regain ability to walk. He also suggested I try to keep her cold little legs warm. If we can get her walking again, then we can deal with the underlying cause: cardiomyopathy. So I did the aspirin, hot-water bottles and blankets, but I can't massage her legs like he suggested (she cries).
      >
      > Wednesday: She perked up. Wide awake, seemed comfortable. Still couldn't walk. Wouldn't eat, but did drink a little.
      >
      > Thursday morning: The vet came over for a housecall visit. Said the bad leg has a weak pulse, and seems to have some feeling/muscle contraction. Pads are now dark pink/purply. He said it's worth continuing the aspirin for at least 5 more days, to see if things improve.
      >
      > The baby aspirin seemed to be helping the legs a bit. But starting Thursday afternoon, she had horrible diarrhea all day long (even though she wasn't eating), which is doubly bad since she cannot stand up. So she sat on it and messed all over herself. I gave up on trying to wipe her off (yuk, I was just smearing it around), and instead ended up having to give her 4 baths, which of course she hated. I felt like a mean ogre.
      >
      > By Thursday night, Franki seemed to worsen. She wouldn't eat. Vet prescribed Science Diet A/D, and I finally got her to lick a little of that off a spoon or my finger and drink a water. I was supposed to give her another aspirin, but did not, because it is apparently so toxic to her system. She finally fell asleep, but seemed uncomfortable, sick, was lightly trembling and nonresponsive. I felt so terrible, guilty and grief-stricken. In trying to help her, am I hurting her more? I finally went to bed at 1 a.m., planning to euthanize her on Friday.
      >
      > Friday morning: I woke up and found Franki sitting wide awake by her new shallow litter pan (she can't get in and out of the regular litter box). She had used it by herself. Managed to get herself there and everything. She takes 3 steps, falls, rests, and takes another 3 steps. Diarreah is finally gone.
      >
      > I called vet. Told him I was not going to give her aspirin cuz it makes her so sick. Told him this isn't working. Told him this is no life for a cat. But also told him that she's walking slightly better.
      > So he feels it's worthwhile to give her more time to walk, and then deal with the cardiomyopathy.
      >
      > By Friday night, Franki seemed quite comfortable.
      >
      > Saturday morning: She ate a little (spoonfed), got out of her bed, stumbled,got back in her bed. Her breathing seems fast and shallow. She pees in her bed, probably cuz it's too much trouble to get up. Now sleeping comfortably. I do not think she is in pain.
      >
      > My friends, I'm so torn. What is the right thing to do? I'm half feeling like I should say goodbye right now, but at this moment she is sleeping and does not seem uncomfortable. I'm pretty sure she will never walk again. But if she spends her life in my office, with me and the other cats, with her bed, food and water and litter box nearby, is that so bad? I think it's not so bad.
      >
      >
      > I've read that cardiomyopathy can be managed, and cats live an average of 3 good years with treatment. But I worry she may be in pain, or that she is uncomfortable or that I'm putting her through too much -- killing her with kindness.
      >
      > I dread saying goodbye to my sweetest, most loving, purringest cat. Isn't it funny, Puppy my old grouchy girl is hanging in there so well more than a year after her "fatal" chronic kidney failure diagnosis. And it seems I'll lose my baby, Franki, first. I'm really glad that for the past several days before this episode she got in the habit of going to bed with me, snuggling under my arm, and purring loudly all night. It was her favorite part of the day and a nice memory for me.
      >
      > Any insight would be so appreciated. I know the members of this group will understand my dilemma.
      >
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