- My name is Jessica and my cat, Moses and I are new to the group. Moses was just diagnosed with HCM on Wednesday of this week and while I've been doing a lot of reading about the disease, I have a couple of questions that I cannot find the answers to.
Moses is a 7 year old, shaded silver Persian, who my husband and I adopted almost three years ago. He had an x-ray taken last week because he has a spinal problem and the vet wanted to track the progression of it. On the x-ray, his heart appeared to be a little enlarged so we were referred to a cardiologist. My first male Persian died suddenly from HCM when he was six, so I didn't want to play around with any potential heart issues.
To make a long story short, the cardiologist diagnosed him with HCM. Moses did have blood taken to rule out hyperT and kidney disease, so it's official. The vet said that he thinks we caught it early, which is good. However, Moses' heart rate was 220 and the vet would like to see it at 140 or less. He wanted me to check his resting heart rate at home and said that I have to count his respirations for 15 seconds and times that by four. Has anyone done this at home before?
He prescribed Atenolol to start with. Moses gets 1/4 tab of 25mg once a day. I plan to call him next week with an update of Moses' resting heart rate and to ask about the need for other types of meds.
The other thing he wants me to start is giving Moses a half of a baby aspirin every three days to help prevent a blood clot. I keep reading about nattokinase and how it can help prevent blood clots. Is it better than aspirin?
Also, I've read on here how some of the members have had good results with Cardio-Strength so I've ordered some of that. It contains 250mg of taurine per capsule... Is that about what a cat with heart disease should get?
Also, he already had an appointment set up with a vet that does acupuncture for his spine. Now I'm wondering if acupuncture can address some issues with his heart. Has anyone had an experience with this?
- Welcome Jessica and Moses,
Here is my 2 cents on a few of your questions....
<He wanted me to check his resting heart rate at home and said that I have to count his respirations for 15 seconds and times that by four. Has anyone done this at home before?>
Yes, it's common protocol. Home monitoring of heart rate and respirations is very important as it can be the 1st sign that fecal matter is about to hit the fan. Get used to what Moses heart rate, breathing and body language looks like when he is doing well. Etch this into your grey matter. So you can quickly determine when things are changing and you need to intervene.
<I keep reading about nattokinase and how it can help prevent blood clots. Is it better than aspirin?>
I prefer nattokinase over aspirin anytime. I feel it's much more effective with much less risk. I would also be giving Moses some high quality fish or marine body oil (for omega 3's).
<It contains 250mg of taurine per capsule... Is that about what a cat with heart disease should get?>
Others need to comment. I feed raw heart as my way to get those heart healthy nutrients rather than use a supplement.
<he already had an appointment set up with a vet that does acupuncture for his spine. Now I'm wondering if acupuncture can address some issues with his heart. Has anyone had an experience with this?>
Yes. Acupuncture will help support his overall body, by opening up blocked meridians. Which will make his meds work better in addition to increasing his quality of life. You may also want to look into chiropractic for his spine.
Deena and Clara (early HCM)
- Hi Jessica
I am sorry to hear Moses has HCM. It is better to be caught early and now it
can be controlled. I can answer some of your questions from my own
Counting breaths.. do this when kitty is resting quietly and not purring. I
can't count my Topsy's breathing as she even purrs in her sleep! Also don't
count whilst dreaming as it goes up. Count for 15 seconds and times by 4. I
always am concerned when it goes over 30 and worried at 40 over 15 seconds.
Heart rate and breathing rate are two different things. You can count heart
rate with a stethoscope or by placing your finger at the top of the inside
leg (like taking a pulse) and counting for 15 secs. I can't seem to get heart
rates as they immediately purr when I touch them.
I have cats on Atenolol with a lot of success. It does reduce the heart
rate, although they were subdued for a few weeks at first. You`ll need a second
ultrasound to be sure it is helping, usually in 2 or 3 months?
I don't know anything about clots..
Cardio S is wonderful. All my heart kits take it and with no ill effects at
all. Only problem is the darn pill is huge, but my greedies gulp it in
chicken. My cardiologist was happy my cats take it and as they are outliving their
diagnosis , that's helping for sure.
Hope that helps.
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