Re: [FH] Let's talk about clots
- Our Lester, a 20-pound Maine Coon, has had 2 clots and, thanks to some very good luck and great vets, is doing quite well.
I can still remember the day of his first clot, which was almost 2 years ago, so vividly. He likes to sometimes sit behind my computer desk. It was a Saturday morning around 11:00 a.m. He came out from behind my desk and meowed -- not unusual in itself, but the meow was slightly different. Then I looked at him and noticed his eyes were a bit glassy. He then started walking to the kitchen and his gait seemed a bit off. Something told me to get him to the vet right away. We called, our vet had us in there within 15 minutes and immediately gave him a shot of some anti-inflammatory. Lester really didn't evidence any pain or limping but the slightly altered gait, the somewhat strange meow and the glassy eyes were enough to get us to the vet right away.
The vet immediately recognized it was a clot and, after giving Lester the anti-inflammatory shot, wrote us a script for Plavix and he has been on that ever since. By that evening there was no outward evidence of the clot at all but his appetite was affected somewhat. We tried feeding him by putting a bit of the wet food he likes on a chopstick and letting him lick it off that while sitting on my husband's lap. That seemed to help and he headed for his food dish on his own.
About 2 weeks later he was seen by a cardiac vet and had an echocardiogram. That was when he was formally diagnosed as having HCM. At that time he was put on two other meds -- atenolol and enalapril and the specialist suggested he stay on the Plavix.
Approximately 4 or 5 months later he had another clot. This time the only evidence was his tail was dragging on the floor. It must have happened sometime during the overnight hours as the night before he had seemed just fine. Once again, we got him to the vet right away. The vet gave him a low-dose Aspirin when we got there. It was amazing to watch what happened over the next few hours. Within an hour, his tail was no longer dragging completely. Within a couple of hours, it was up off the floor and finally, within about 6 hours, that glorious Maine Coon tail was waving in the air again.
He had another echo done shortly after the second incident and the consensus of the vets was that he should be kept on a low-dose Aspirin every 3 to 4 days along with the other 3 meds. He has been on that regimen ever since and we are now well past the one-year mark since the second incident.
Lester has never evidenced any pain or discomfort other than that one somewhat odd meow along with the altered gait at the time of the first clot and the dragging tail at the time of the second. He remained as affectionate and wanted pats and cuddles throughout and didn't appear to have pain anywhere when he was stroked.
We realise every day with him is to be cherished and are very grateful we live so close to the vets' office and that they knew so immediately exactly what to do.
Cathi in Toronto
> -----Original Message-----
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On
> Behalf Of Westgold
> Sent: Monday, April 06, 2009 8:06 PM
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: [FH] Let's talk about clots
> Hi --- only one person answered my question about clots a few days ago, I
> guess I shouldn't post on the weekends when everybody is so busy. But there
> have been a couple more posts about clots since then. Can we talk about
> It would be a GREAT help to all of us if everybody has has had a cat get a
> clot would write in and tell us *exactly* what happened. This would be so
> helpful to those of us who need to know what to watch for, and what to do
> about it if it happens. Please take the time to answer as many of these
> questions as you can, it will help us all SO MUCH!
> 1> What was the very first sign you noticed? Did your kitty cry out,
> collapse, fall off a chair, start biting at his leg, what?
> 2> How much pain did your kitty seem to have? Was he crying, growling, etc
> -- and was this happening even before you touched his leg, or did it start
> when you touched his leg?
> 3> Where exactly did the pain seem to be? Where was the worst reaction
> when you touched it? What part of the leg exactly? Both legs or just one?
> 4> Did he seem to be totally paralyzed or disabled, unable to move, or was
> he able to move around ok on the other 3 legs? Was anything else different
> -- the way he looked, his eyes, etc?
> 5> Did you give an aspirin or other medicine when you saw this happening?
> If he got better on his own in a short period of time, with or without your
> giving him an aspirin or other blood thinner, how did it seem to happen?
> Was he suddenly all okay, or did use of the leg come back slowly?
> 6> If you took him out to the vet immediately, what exactly did the vet do?
> Did he recognize instantly that it was a clot? What did the exam consist
> of? Did the vet give an IV or a shot, and if so, of what? Did he give
> aspirin or some other clot buster? Did the vet ever suggest amputation of a
> leg because of a clot in it?
> 7> And what was the outcome for your kitty? If he didn't recover from the
> clot, did he move up to Heaven on his own, or were you advised to help him
> get there? If he died, how long did it take? If he died instantly, did you
> do a necropsy to see if it was the clot or the HCM itself that caused the
> heart to just give out at that time? If it was the clot that caused death,
> was it just in the legs or did it move to the lungs or heart, etc? Is a
> clot just in the leg enough to cause death?
> Or did he recover with or without treatment? Did he recover completely, or
> are there lingering effects? If so, what are they? What did the vet say
> about the possibility of recurrance? If you have one small clot that
> dissolves, with or without treatment, did your vet say that your kitty is
> more likely to have another one? Is a small clot a signal that a big one is
> coming soon, the way a TIA signals that a stroke is coming in a person?
> 8> And if your kitty did live through one or more clots, what kind of
> treatment did your vet put him on to help prevent more?
> 9> And how many kitties on this list are on blood thinners to prevent
> clots, *before* anything happens? Do you believe that all HCM kitties
> should be on blood thinners? And if so, please tell us which ones you find
> to work for you.
> thank you all SO MUCH -- this information will help us all, more than you
> know. We're so worried about our babies.
> thanks, Michelle & Tigger Too, in Toronto