I don't know how much my story will help with the signs and all that but here goes:
I had a domestic long hair male that was undiagnosed and only 4 and a half years old. A few week's before his first heart attack he had been throwing up a fair amount (about once a day). Since he had always had a weak stomach my boyfriend and I decided to hold off on taking him to the vet and decided to see if he kept it up. He stopped throwing up that often and seemed normal. Then one day I was laying in bed and I heard him meow. It was a horrible sound and I knew instantly something was wrong.
He tried to jump on the bed but didn't make it. He lost control of his bowel's and laid there panting for breath. We freaked. We rushed him to the animal hospital thinking he had eaten something bad. We waited 40 minutes before they saw us, once the vet saw him he said he had thought he'd had a heart attack and that he had some fluid in his lungs. Thing's weren't really explained well. We left him there for night and we were told he'd be fine and we could pick him up tomorrow.
We picked him up the next morning and he came home with us. They had given us some lasix for the pulmonary edema and we had an appointment that night for a stat ECHO. We brought him back that night and they did they ECHO. I can honestly say I had NO clue he was sick. No one explained any of it to me, they told me what he had then they gave me a prescription and a pamphlet on HCM. They didn't say how bad his heart was or how dim his future looked, and believe me I asked. But anyways it doesn't really matter anymore hindsight is 20/20.
The next morning I gave him his first dose of medication and 2 hours later he had a massive heart attack. He lost his bowels and couldn't even so much as hold his head up. He was panting even worse for breath and looking at him I knew there was nothing I could do for him but try to end his suffering. The race to the vet's began. I phoned my vet told them it was an emergency and asked to bring him in, they said they were booked up for the day and to call back tomorrow (lol this is the part where I get a little bitter) they didn't even so much as give us an alternative vet to take him to. So we drove around for 30 minutes with him unable to even lift his head or breathe. Finally we found someone who would end my baby's suffering but alas.....to late.
He died while the vet was trying to find a vein to give him the drug.
I don't really know what you guys can learn from that....I missed a lot of things..
vomiting, lethargy, weightloss...stupidly obvious things really.
The most important thing I learned that day though was to make sure that your vet will ALWAYS take and emergency. Needless to say the vet I had at the time is NO LONGER my vet.
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