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RE: [FH] Introduction #2

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  • Cheryl
    Hi Jan & Tim, Thanks so much for posting! Vizzy actually ate about 7/8ths of a can of Fancy Feast last night and about half a can this morning, although he is
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 2, 2009
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      Hi Jan & Tim,
      Thanks so much for posting! Vizzy actually ate about 7/8ths of a can of
      Fancy Feast last night and about half a can this morning, although he is
      still refusing his meds (who can blame him?). I am so pleased to hear about
      a kitty who is doing well with his RCM, even after so many taps and all the
      drugs/fluids. I second Jan's message - thanks so much to everyone on this
      list.

      Cheryl & Vizzy

      -----Original Message-----
      From: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com [mailto:feline-heart@yahoogroups.com] On
      Behalf Of Jan Dunn
      Sent: Thursday, July 02, 2009 1:06 PM
      To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [FH] Introduction #2

      Hi,

      My cat, Tim, also has RCM/CHF. He went down the food trail the same way
      Vizzy did. Tim is 16. He was diagnosed 4/8/09 with an ultrasound. I had
      originally taken him to the vet for constipation. They gave fluids along
      with the enema. Two days later he was breathing with his mouth open. That
      is when he was first tapped. He was tapped every two weeks until it was up
      to 250 cc for one tap. They told me to prepare myself. Then I read on the
      list someone using Pimobendan. It is used off label in cats. My vet
      consulted a feline cardiologist and things started to look up for Tim.
      Within a week he was feeling better. He is on a lot of drugs besides the
      Pimobendan. Diltiazem, lasix 12.5 twice a day, surfax (stool softener),
      Benazepril, Mirtazapine, Tumil-K, Fluids every other day 75ml and recently
      started Rutin. With all the drugs his kidneys are not happy. It was 50 ml
      of fluid every third day. It was after the Rutin and an increase in lasix
      that there is a substantial decrease to the amount of fluid when tapping. I
      am hoping he will no longer need tapping. My mother in law also has CHF and
      when she was tapped she said it did not hurt.


      I have not posted to the list before this, but have been reading it in
      digest form everyday. I also joined the assisted feeding list. I am
      feeding Tim four to five times a day. He does eat a very small amount of
      food on his own, but not enough to even sustain himself. So I help him.
      Last night was really great. He has a new toy that moves a string up and
      down. He was actually playing with it. He is feeling much better. He is
      still just bones and fur, but I am hoping he will soon start putting on
      weight. So much for preparing myself thanks to this list. I know it is
      inevitable, but we are buying quality time here. Thank you list!

      Jan and Tim

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    • Jean
      Hi Jan, I m so glad that Tim is feeling better! I may or may not be someone whose experience with pimobendan you read about on the group - I don t post as much
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 2, 2009
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        Hi Jan,

        I'm so glad that Tim is feeling better! I may or may not be someone whose
        experience with pimobendan you read about on the group - I don't post as
        much as I should, I'm almost always online/checking email via a mobile
        device and can't easily use the email address I'm subscribed to yahoo with
        through it, though I receive list emails forwarded to my real email account.
        So while I *should* get on a real computer more often to respond, I usually
        only wind up doing so in a timely manner when there's a cat in crisis or
        when it's something I actually have experience with.

        My RCM kitty had an amazing quality of life increase with pimobendan - he
        was only nine when he went into CHF and was diagnosed, and we tried
        pimobendan after he didn't tolerate his first cocktail of meds. (Including
        digoxin, though his dig levels were normal and they probably weren't part of
        the problem.) But I'm so grateful to that drug. Like Tim playing with a
        string, he got awfully spry once he was on his full dose! (Due to his
        previous issues I dawdled even starting him on it, wary of messing with a
        stable situation despite his heart needing more support, and we started him
        at once a day moving up to twice a day after seeing his response. But I
        think there was noticeable improvement in his energy level even after a week
        on the half dose.) He was in crisis and diagnosed in November (then in
        another crisis for the rest of November), and off the top of my head I don't
        remember exactly when he started the pimo - but he started chirping again
        and for a few months, he was acting like he was a few years younger, even
        wrestling and running around with my younger kitty.

        He's a bit less spry now than he was earlier this year, though I guess
        that's to be expected with the disease progression. (His four month follow
        up echo showed some progression, though he was classified as severe RCM to
        begin with, so the most important finding for me - since I expected his
        heart to be worse - was that in March he had contrast ("smoke") on his echo,
        a great breeding ground for clots to form - there hadn't been any contrast
        in November. None had formed at that time, thank goodness, and since he got
        so stressed by the exam that he needed an injection of lasix and an
        increased dose for a few days he's banned from further follow ups. But it
        was ironic, as the poor thing started wheezing like crazy (though his
        respiration rate never got crazy), that it was the pimobendan that had him
        feeling well and energetic enough to fight his exam. He'd done the same
        thing when having follow-up bloodwork the month before - though with no
        wheezing or CHF issues, just a warning to watch him closely due to his
        resistance - so neither the cardiologist or myself thought that it was worth
        the likelihood of destabilization from further exams.

        I know no two cases are alike, but just in case it's of any use to hear how
        another RCM cat is doing - I know it could all go wrong at any point, but
        Patches has been stable since the end of Nov (CHF/hospitalization/diagnosis
        November 10 and 11) and feeling GOOD since the end of December. He hasn't
        needed a lasix increase to keep his respiration rate stable (he was at 12.5
        mg 2x/day for the first week or two post-hospitalization and at 10 mg 2x/day
        since then), but I have no idea if the pimobendan has helped with that. (I'm
        thinking that anything that supports his heart can't HURT in keeping fluid
        from accumulating.)

        I hope Tim keeps improving, appetite-wise. We had a really rough go of it
        after his first set of meds made Patches so sick, so I sympathize with
        assist (and syringe) feeding and hydrating. It's good that he is eating SOME
        on his own - I hope that keeps improving as he feels better.

        Please keep us updated!

        Jean


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