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What to watch out for

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  • m3cflvi
    Though I know this group is for those whose cats might have already suffer from HCM, I thought I would like to share some things we learned about April who
    Message 1 of 8 , May 1 5:29 AM
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      Though I know this group is for those whose cats might have already suffer from HCM, I thought I would like to share some things we learned about April who recently passed away. While cats do hide there symptoms of HCM well, there are some things to watch out for. Many of the things I learned weren't obvious at first. However now that I combine them all together, it did show there was a problem.

      Change in sleeping habits. During the last month or so, we noticed April was sleeping more. We didnt think of it as abnormal though since she always was up at night and was compensating. Plus, often times she would lay there with her eyes open.

      Change in sleeping location. April used to always sleep in 2 locations -- the bed, or a kitty bed in the dining room. The last month she had decided to sleep on top of a DVD player that was placed on the top of a cabinet in the bedroom. The player was so small she could barely fit on it. And the surface was hard.

      Being defensive. April had a hard time with the other 2 cats so we didnt think it was abnormal for her to look out for them. However about 6 weeks before she died, we noticed she was looking out and watching for the other cats while sitting on the bed. And she was doing it constantly. Normally she would be content sitting on the bed getting a tummy rub.

      Looking tired. When you are around a cat every day sometimes you dont see them as they really look. I looked at some pics of her during her final months and she did look more tired. When I took the pics I didnt think of it as out of the ordinary since I took the pics when she woke up.

      Coughing. One thing you learn about cats is that they will normally cough up a hairball of something they eat off the floor. In fact today Chelsea coughed up a hairball. April on the other hand rarely did. In her last few weeks we noticed her coughing. Since she rarely did I just thought she was finally getting a hairball. However she didnt cough up anything. But since the other cats have done the same thing I just thought it was normal.

      Change in personality. APril normally was shy. She rarely would venture out to new territory without us escorting her. However, in the last month we noticed she was becoming more bold. For example, she sat on a window perch that was normally owned by the other cats. And she was going in other places she never went. As I understand it, cats dont want to get thrown out of a colony by showing they are sick. SO I feel it was April's way to show she was strong, even though she was really getting weak.
    • Judi Levens
      Thanks for sharing this...it s true that we miss signals like these if we re not alert. Max was definitely sleepier before he went into CHF, less adventurous,
      Message 2 of 8 , May 1 5:35 AM
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        Thanks for sharing this...it's true that we miss signals like these if we're not alert. Max was definitely sleepier before he went into CHF, less adventurous, and I really noticed that his haunches were thinner than normal...I thought it was just aging, but he was only 11 years at the time. He also took to sleeping where we couldn't see him a good part of the day (under a daybed where it was hard to reach him.) I think he was hiding his illness. Next time I'll be more watchful for these signs.








        To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com
        From: joepqwn@...
        Date: Fri, 1 May 2009 12:29:53 +0000
        Subject: [FH] What to watch out for







        Though I know this group is for those whose cats might have already suffer from HCM, I thought I would like to share some things we learned about April who recently passed away. While cats do hide there symptoms of HCM well, there are some things to watch out for. Many of the things I learned weren't obvious at first. However now that I combine them all together, it did show there was a problem.

        Change in sleeping habits. During the last month or so, we noticed April was sleeping more. We didnt think of it as abnormal though since she always was up at night and was compensating. Plus, often times she would lay there with her eyes open.

        Change in sleeping location. April used to always sleep in 2 locations -- the bed, or a kitty bed in the dining room. The last month she had decided to sleep on top of a DVD player that was placed on the top of a cabinet in the bedroom. The player was so small she could barely fit on it. And the surface was hard.

        Being defensive. April had a hard time with the other 2 cats so we didnt think it was abnormal for her to look out for them. However about 6 weeks before she died, we noticed she was looking out and watching for the other cats while sitting on the bed. And she was doing it constantly. Normally she would be content sitting on the bed getting a tummy rub.

        Looking tired. When you are around a cat every day sometimes you dont see them as they really look. I looked at some pics of her during her final months and she did look more tired. When I took the pics I didnt think of it as out of the ordinary since I took the pics when she woke up.

        Coughing. One thing you learn about cats is that they will normally cough up a hairball of something they eat off the floor. In fact today Chelsea coughed up a hairball. April on the other hand rarely did. In her last few weeks we noticed her coughing. Since she rarely did I just thought she was finally getting a hairball. However she didnt cough up anything. But since the other cats have done the same thing I just thought it was normal.

        Change in personality. APril normally was shy. She rarely would venture out to new territory without us escorting her. However, in the last month we noticed she was becoming more bold. For example, she sat on a window perch that was normally owned by the other cats. And she was going in other places she never went. As I understand it, cats dont want to get thrown out of a colony by showing they are sick. SO I feel it was April's way to show she was strong, even though she was really getting weak.










        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Monika Delle
        Good tips from everyone. One thing I discovered with previous sick kitties is to take digital pics every month or so. I lost two cats in three years-one from
        Message 3 of 8 , May 1 9:55 AM
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          Good tips from everyone. One thing I discovered with previous sick
          kitties is to take digital pics every month or so. I lost two cats in
          three years-one from complications from diabetes and the other to
          cancer. I take pictures of them fairly regularly, but recently when I
          was organizing pics, I noticed it was quite obvious something was wrong.
          They looked quite a bit more haggard in the more recent pics yet I
          hadn't noticed until they started acting sick, particularly with the
          cancer kitty. I guess I'd gotten used to their appearance. I took some
          pics of my CRF and heart kitties and compared them to earlier pics and
          they still look great, whew.

          Monika

          Judi Levens wrote:
          >
          >
          > Thanks for sharing this...it's true that we miss signals like these if
          > we're not alert. Max was definitely sleepier before he went into CHF,
          > less adventurous, and I really noticed that his haunches were thinner
          > than normal...I thought it was just aging, but he was only 11 years at
          > the time. He also took to sleeping where we couldn't see him a good
          > part of the day (under a daybed where it was hard to reach him.) I
          > think he was hiding his illness. Next time I'll be more watchful for
          > these signs.
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Westgold
          This is an excellent idea for discussion. I hope everybody who can participate will. It s sad to talk about these things, but it will help all of us. Lots
          Message 4 of 8 , May 1 9:59 AM
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            This is an excellent idea for discussion. I hope everybody who can participate will. It's sad to talk about these things, but it will help all of us. Lots of heart kitties die alone in the middle of the night, and people find them dead on the kitchen floor the next morning. But many of us have been witness -- please share if you can!

            I had one kitty die in my arms from HCM back in 1995. She was a folded Scottish Fold I bred myself, and she was about 18 months old. We did not know she was sick. I didn't know anything about HCM at that time, and she did not have a murmur. If she'd had a murmur, I would have had her checked out, but she seemed perfectly healthy. She developed mammary hyperplasia, swollen mammary glands, so we were taking her to the vet every couple days to keep an eye on that. But her heart sounded fine, and they just said to breed her on her next heat, and it would resolve itself. Her lumps got really huge, the size of small plums. She pretty much stopped eating a couple days before she died. We were able to entice her to eat a little people tuna. We assumed she was just feeling lousy because of the mammary hyperplasia, she was very uncomfortable. That Sunday night we decided we'd take her to a different vet the next morning for another opinion. Shortly before I went to bed she started breathing heavier -- not really serious mouth breathing, but just a little heavier. She was also sitting on a hard place, the marble slab in the window. Maybe because it was cooler there? It was about 2 AM, so we planned to take her to the other vet first thing in the morning. I went to bed, and my boyfriend went home. About an hour later, I was woken up by her screaming. I ran to the living room and found her sitting in the sphynx position and there was a big pool of fluid around her front end. She screamed again, and I picked her up., She went limp, and I tried swinging her the way we swing little kittens, to drain any fluid in the lungs. Nothing really came out. I also tried CPR, but she was so limp and there was no response. We ran her up to the emergency clinic, but she was already dead before we even left. But they looked her over and said it looked like HCM -- something I was totally unfamiliar with at that time. We were stunned. We drove her body straight up to the University of Guelph Vet School, about an hour and a half. They did the necropsy, and sent us a long report. It was definitely HCM, and they said at that time that it was considered a fluke when it happened in Scottish Folds. (Now Folds are in the top 10 for HCM.) They said that it was the extra weight of the swollen glands that caused her heart to fail at that time. And that if we'd gone on and bred her, she would have died during the pregnancy or labor. LATER we developed the roll of film that had the last photos of her. We could see in those photos how sick she looked. Because we saw her everyday, we didn't notice. But she was very puffy in those photos, her cheeks were huge and she looked sad. There are obviously early signs that we miss because we see them everyday. That's why this discussion will be so valuable. PLEASE send in your stories if you lost a dear kitty from heart problems -- please let us know what you saw at the time or in hindsight.

            thank you, Michelle & Tigger Too in Toronto








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            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • joepqwn@gmail.com
            I agree this is valuable and the more info we have the better. I appreciate all who are sharing. One more thing I wanted to add is that after April had her
            Message 5 of 8 , May 1 11:23 AM
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              I agree this is valuable and the more info we have the better. I appreciate
              all who are sharing.

              One more thing I wanted to add is that after April had her oviohysterectomy
              when she was about a year old, she rapidly gained weight. I estimate that
              she went from 10 pounds to 12 pounds in the span of less than 6 months. She
              ate a normal amount of food but seemed to be malnourished in the shelter.
              So we gave her a normal serving and she gained weight. The vet at the time
              didnt seem to be concerned. But I wonder now if that disposition to gain
              weight somehow was a sign even in her early states? There still is much to
              be learned about this disease.





              > This is an excellent idea for discussion. I hope
              > everybody who can participate will. It's sad to talk about these things,
              > but it will help all of us. Lots of heart kitties die alone in the middle
              > of the night, and people find them dead on the kitchen floor the next
              > morning. But many of us have been witness -- please share if you
              > can!



              > I had one kitty die in my arms from HCM back in
              > 1995. She was a folded Scottish Fold I bred myself, and she was about
              > 18 months old. We did not know she was sick. I didn't know anything
              > about HCM at that time, and she did not have a murmur. If she'd had a
              > murmur, I would have had her checked out, but she seemed perfectly
              > healthy. She developed mammary hyperplasia, swollen mammary glands, so we
              > were taking her to the vet every couple days to keep an eye on that. But
              > her heart sounded fine, and they just said to breed her on her next heat,
              > and it would resolve itself. Her lumps got really huge, the size of small
              > plums. She pretty much stopped eating a couple days before she died.
              > We were able to entice her to eat a little people tuna. We assumed she was
              > just feeling lousy because of the mammary hyperplasia, she was very
              > uncomfortable. That Sunday night we decided we'd take her to a different
              > vet the next morning for another opinion. Shortly before I went to
              > bed she started breathing heavier -- not really serious mouth breathing,
              > but
              > just a little heavier. She was also sitting on a hard place, the marble
              > slab in the window. Maybe because it was cooler there? It was about
              > 2 AM, so we planned to take her to the other vet first thing in the
              > morning. I went to bed, and my boyfriend went home. About an hour
              > later, I was woken up by her screaming. I ran to the living room and found
              > her sitting in the sphynx position and there was a big pool of fluid
              > around her front end. She screamed again, and I picked her up., She
              > went limp, and I tried swinging her the way we swing little kittens, to
              > drain
              > any fluid in the lungs. Nothing really came out. I also tried CPR, but
              > she was so limp and there was no response. We ran her up to the
              > emergency clinic, but she was already dead before we even left. But they
              > looked her over and said it looked like HCM -- something I was totally
              > unfamiliar with at that time. We were stunned. We drove her body
              > straight up to the University of Guelph Vet School, about an hour and a
              > half. They did the necropsy, and sent us a long report. It was
              > definitely HCM, and they said at that time that it was considered a fluke
              > when
              > it happened in Scottish Folds. (Now Folds are in the top 10 for
              > HCM.) They said that it was the extra weight of the swollen glands
              > that caused her heart to fail at that time. And that if we'd gone on
              > and bred her, she would have died during the pregnancy or labor. LATER we
              > developed the roll of film that had the last photos of her. We could see
              > in those photos how sick she looked. Because we saw her everyday, we
              > didn't notice. But she was very puffy in those photos, her cheeks were
              > huge and she looked sad. There are obviously early signs that we miss
              > because we see them everyday. That's why this discussion will be so
              > valuable. PLEASE send in your stories if you lost a dear kitty from
              > heart problems -- please let us know what you saw at the time or in
              > hindsight.



              > thank you, Michelle & Tigger Too in
              > Toronto











              >

















              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Westgold
              When there is a weight gain, could it be fluid build-up? That is what I believed happened to my former HCM kitty who died in 1995. The photos showed her all
              Message 6 of 8 , May 1 11:30 AM
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                When there is a weight gain, could it be fluid build-up? That is what I believed happened to my former HCM kitty who died in 1995. The photos showed her all puffed up, like she was really bloated. And I found her in a big pool of fluid right before she died. Is it possible that they can bloat up ALL OVER, and not just have fluid in the heart and/or lungs -- but all over the body?

                take care -- Michelle & Tigger Too in Toronto
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: joepqwn@...
                To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Friday, May 01, 2009 2:23 PM
                Subject: Re: Re: [FH] What to watch out for





                I agree this is valuable and the more info we have the better. I appreciate
                all who are sharing.

                One more thing I wanted to add is that after April had her oviohysterectomy
                when she was about a year old, she rapidly gained weight. I estimate that
                she went from 10 pounds to 12 pounds in the span of less than 6 months. She
                ate a normal amount of food but seemed to be malnourished in the shelter.
                So we gave her a normal serving and she gained weight. The vet at the time
                didnt seem to be concerned. But I wonder now if that disposition to gain
                weight somehow was a sign even in her early states? There still is much to
                be learned about this disease.

                > This is an excellent idea for discussion. I hope
                > everybody who can participate will. It's sad to talk about these things,
                > but it will help all of us. Lots of heart kitties die alone in the middle
                > of the night, and people find them dead on the kitchen floor the next
                > morning. But many of us have been witness -- please share if you
                > can!

                > I had one kitty die in my arms from HCM back in
                > 1995. She was a folded Scottish Fold I bred myself, and she was about
                > 18 months old. We did not know she was sick. I didn't know anything
                > about HCM at that time, and she did not have a murmur. If she'd had a
                > murmur, I would have had her checked out, but she seemed perfectly
                > healthy. She developed mammary hyperplasia, swollen mammary glands, so we
                > were taking her to the vet every couple days to keep an eye on that. But
                > her heart sounded fine, and they just said to breed her on her next heat,
                > and it would resolve itself. Her lumps got really huge, the size of small
                > plums. She pretty much stopped eating a couple days before she died.
                > We were able to entice her to eat a little people tuna. We assumed she was
                > just feeling lousy because of the mammary hyperplasia, she was very
                > uncomfortable. That Sunday night we decided we'd take her to a different
                > vet the next morning for another opinion. Shortly before I went to
                > bed she started breathing heavier -- not really serious mouth breathing,
                > but
                > just a little heavier. She was also sitting on a hard place, the marble
                > slab in the window. Maybe because it was cooler there? It was about
                > 2 AM, so we planned to take her to the other vet first thing in the
                > morning. I went to bed, and my boyfriend went home. About an hour
                > later, I was woken up by her screaming. I ran to the living room and found
                > her sitting in the sphynx position and there was a big pool of fluid
                > around her front end. She screamed again, and I picked her up., She
                > went limp, and I tried swinging her the way we swing little kittens, to
                > drain
                > any fluid in the lungs. Nothing really came out. I also tried CPR, but
                > she was so limp and there was no response. We ran her up to the
                > emergency clinic, but she was already dead before we even left. But they
                > looked her over and said it looked like HCM -- something I was totally
                > unfamiliar with at that time. We were stunned. We drove her body
                > straight up to the University of Guelph Vet School, about an hour and a
                > half. They did the necropsy, and sent us a long report. It was
                > definitely HCM, and they said at that time that it was considered a fluke
                > when
                > it happened in Scottish Folds. (Now Folds are in the top 10 for
                > HCM.) They said that it was the extra weight of the swollen glands
                > that caused her heart to fail at that time. And that if we'd gone on
                > and bred her, she would have died during the pregnancy or labor. LATER we
                > developed the roll of film that had the last photos of her. We could see
                > in those photos how sick she looked. Because we saw her everyday, we
                > didn't notice. But she was very puffy in those photos, her cheeks were
                > huge and she looked sad. There are obviously early signs that we miss
                > because we see them everyday. That's why this discussion will be so
                > valuable. PLEASE send in your stories if you lost a dear kitty from
                > heart problems -- please let us know what you saw at the time or in
                > hindsight.

                > thank you, Michelle & Tigger Too in
                > Toronto

                >

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






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                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • m3cflvi
                I think in the later stages when she got older. But she gained this weight around 1 year old and got HCM at 6 1/2.
                Message 7 of 8 , May 1 11:33 AM
                • 0 Attachment
                  I think in the later stages when she got older. But she gained this weight around 1 year old and got HCM at 6 1/2.



                  --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, joepqwn@... wrote:
                  >
                  > I agree this is valuable and the more info we have the better. I appreciate
                  > all who are sharing.
                  >
                  > One more thing I wanted to add is that after April had her oviohysterectomy
                  > when she was about a year old, she rapidly gained weight. I estimate that
                  > she went from 10 pounds to 12 pounds in the span of less than 6 months. She
                  > ate a normal amount of food but seemed to be malnourished in the shelter.
                  > So we gave her a normal serving and she gained weight. The vet at the time
                  > didnt seem to be concerned. But I wonder now if that disposition to gain
                  > weight somehow was a sign even in her early states? There still is much to
                  > be learned about this disease.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > > This is an excellent idea for discussion. I hope
                  > > everybody who can participate will. It's sad to talk about these things,
                  > > but it will help all of us. Lots of heart kitties die alone in the middle
                  > > of the night, and people find them dead on the kitchen floor the next
                  > > morning. But many of us have been witness -- please share if you
                  > > can!
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > > I had one kitty die in my arms from HCM back in
                  > > 1995. She was a folded Scottish Fold I bred myself, and she was about
                  > > 18 months old. We did not know she was sick. I didn't know anything
                  > > about HCM at that time, and she did not have a murmur. If she'd had a
                  > > murmur, I would have had her checked out, but she seemed perfectly
                  > > healthy. She developed mammary hyperplasia, swollen mammary glands, so we
                  > > were taking her to the vet every couple days to keep an eye on that. But
                  > > her heart sounded fine, and they just said to breed her on her next heat,
                  > > and it would resolve itself. Her lumps got really huge, the size of small
                  > > plums. She pretty much stopped eating a couple days before she died.
                  > > We were able to entice her to eat a little people tuna. We assumed she was
                  > > just feeling lousy because of the mammary hyperplasia, she was very
                  > > uncomfortable. That Sunday night we decided we'd take her to a different
                  > > vet the next morning for another opinion. Shortly before I went to
                  > > bed she started breathing heavier -- not really serious mouth breathing,
                  > > but
                  > > just a little heavier. She was also sitting on a hard place, the marble
                  > > slab in the window. Maybe because it was cooler there? It was about
                  > > 2 AM, so we planned to take her to the other vet first thing in the
                  > > morning. I went to bed, and my boyfriend went home. About an hour
                  > > later, I was woken up by her screaming. I ran to the living room and found
                  > > her sitting in the sphynx position and there was a big pool of fluid
                  > > around her front end. She screamed again, and I picked her up., She
                  > > went limp, and I tried swinging her the way we swing little kittens, to
                  > > drain
                  > > any fluid in the lungs. Nothing really came out. I also tried CPR, but
                  > > she was so limp and there was no response. We ran her up to the
                  > > emergency clinic, but she was already dead before we even left. But they
                  > > looked her over and said it looked like HCM -- something I was totally
                  > > unfamiliar with at that time. We were stunned. We drove her body
                  > > straight up to the University of Guelph Vet School, about an hour and a
                  > > half. They did the necropsy, and sent us a long report. It was
                  > > definitely HCM, and they said at that time that it was considered a fluke
                  > > when
                  > > it happened in Scottish Folds. (Now Folds are in the top 10 for
                  > > HCM.) They said that it was the extra weight of the swollen glands
                  > > that caused her heart to fail at that time. And that if we'd gone on
                  > > and bred her, she would have died during the pregnancy or labor. LATER we
                  > > developed the roll of film that had the last photos of her. We could see
                  > > in those photos how sick she looked. Because we saw her everyday, we
                  > > didn't notice. But she was very puffy in those photos, her cheeks were
                  > > huge and she looked sad. There are obviously early signs that we miss
                  > > because we see them everyday. That's why this discussion will be so
                  > > valuable. PLEASE send in your stories if you lost a dear kitty from
                  > > heart problems -- please let us know what you saw at the time or in
                  > > hindsight.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > > thank you, Michelle & Tigger Too in
                  > > Toronto
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                • Pat
                  Hi joepqwn; This is what Deb Zoran was trying to teach veterinarians about at the end of July in Vancouver. She points out that when gonadectomies, etc., are
                  Message 8 of 8 , May 1 1:09 PM
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Hi joepqwn;

                    This is what Deb Zoran was trying to teach veterinarians about at the end of
                    July in Vancouver. She points out that when gonadectomies, etc., are done
                    on domestic cats, it is the same as plunging a human into menopause.
                    Hormones go haywire so it is natural that leptin, for instance, go

                    Here is what the FDA has to say about menopause and hormones:
                    http://www.fda.gov/WOMENS/menopause/mht-FS.html

                    In fact, there is a ton of study information about this online, some of
                    which relates to cats in specific. The following just relates to leptin,
                    which is one of many hormonal changes that happen which stop our cats from
                    being equivalent to wild felines:
                    http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/full/132/6/1730S
                    http://tinyurl.com/csxxt7
                    http://endo.endojournals.org/cgi/content/full/145/5/2221
                    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=12472&d=1238306523
                    http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/119025498/abstract
                    http://tinyurl.com/co95c9

                    Of course, as it is turning out that our cats handle fat in the diet the
                    same way humans do, it will also follow that heart disease will also be more
                    prominent. While I agree that cats should be altered if not being used as
                    breeders, we all need to pay attention to the results that are unfolding in
                    this past decade after the big push to have cats 'fixed'. It seems our
                    veterinarians are not willing to follow up as they should do, so we don't
                    have a choice. I do sometime wonder what we have been paying them for, as
                    they don't complete their job by providing followup care to prevent these
                    health issues from developing......perhaps they are having too good a time
                    reaping the benefits of not doing so.

                    Pat and all the boys
                    http://felinenutritionalnotes.blogspot.com/
                    http://petfoodpitfalls.blogspot.com/

                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: <joepqwn@...>
                    >But I wonder now if that disposition to gain
                    > weight somehow was a sign even in her early states? There still is much to
                    > be learned about this disease.
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