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my kitty has restrictive cardiomyopathy please give any info you can

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  • jorae17@att.net
    My almost 4 year old siamese was just diagnosed with this and the vet said he would probably only live 6-8 months. Is there any info or advice on what to give
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 3, 2009
      My almost 4 year old siamese was just diagnosed with this and the vet said he would probably only live 6-8 months. Is there any info or advice on what to give him to make him feel better or help him out? He is currently on Lasix and Enapril.
    • Jean
      I m so sorry about your kitty. I have a now-10 year old who was diagnosed with severe restrictive cardiomyopathy in November of last year after going into
      Message 2 of 3 , Aug 4, 2009
        I'm so sorry about your kitty. I have a now-10 year old who was diagnosed
        with severe restrictive cardiomyopathy in November of last year after going
        into congestive heart failure - he was treated overnight at our primary
        vet's hospital, but they strongly recommended that I see a veterinary
        cardiologist as well. It sounds like they've already done an echocardiogram
        to diagnose restrictive cardiomyopathy (since you can't definitively
        diagnose by x-ray, and restrictive cardiomyopathy is less common). They sent
        Patches home on the same meds, lasix and enalapril, and then the
        cardiologist added digoxin and plavix after examining him and diagnosing his
        gallop heart rhythm. He wound up not tolerating the plavix (and all of his
        other meds, other than the lasix, were changed at that time too since he was
        also having liver issues and we weren't sure what was causing what), and his
        primary vet and cardiologist both strongly felt that his heart needed more
        support since he was no longer on the digoxin. He started pimobendan
        (vetmedin), and has done REALLY well on it - even after a week on the
        half-dose we started him on, he noticeably had more energy and became much
        more spry, like he got a few years younger. It's used (and tested) more in
        dogs than cats at this point, but IS used off-label in cats and anecdotally
        it seems very promising. In dogs, it increases both the quality and length
        of life. I don't know how much it has to do with Patches still being here
        (now almost nine months later!), but it's definitely improved his quality of
        life - he runs around and wrestles more with his sister, and chirps and
        trills more often.

        The life expectancy is so hard to guess - my cardiologist hesitated to
        hazard a guess despite his severe condition, and it really largely depends
        on how quickly the disease progresses and how they respond to the meds. The
        enalapril should help slow the rate of the damage to the heart. Depending on
        how enlarged your kitty's heart is, blood thinners (most commonly plavix or
        aspirin; some on this list use something called nattokanise, which I think
        there's information on in the "files" section and others can tell you more
        about; there are fewer human (or feline) studies on it, but it doesn't seem
        to have the risk for side effects the way plavix and aspirin do; there are
        also injectable blood thinners, though they're pretty expensive) can help
        reduce the risk of clot formation. (Basically clots can form in the enlarged
        heart, and then eventually break loose and get into the bloodstream; if
        there's contrast or "smoke" on the echo, that means that some blood is
        pooling/swirling stagnantly in the enlarged heart and it makes clots more
        likely to form.) Just based on my experience, and what I've heard from
        others whose dogs and cats have been on pimobendan, I would definitely
        consider asking your vet or cardiologist about whether it would be
        appropriate for your kitty.

        Good luck - I'm so sorry it's struck your kitty, especially so young.
        There's no way to know how long he'll have - many kitties outlive their
        diagnoses, and others don't. We thought we would lose Patches several times
        that first month, since he got very sick from his new meds after the
        congestive heart failure, but since then he's mostly done very well. He only
        really destabilized again after his 4-month follow-up echo - he had more
        energy by then, and fought the fact that he was being restrained. But he
        came through that with extra lasix at home without needing to be
        hospitalized again. Basically at this point, as long as he's happy, I'm
        happy. A lot of people on this list use supplements like cardiostrength and
        may be able to chime in about them. WIth restrictive cardiomyopathy,
        unfortunately the heart isn't going to get any BETTER, and will likely keep
        progressing, but hopefully the enalapril will slow the rate of the disease,
        and the lasix and possibly other meds (if pimobendan is appropriate, for
        instance) can keep them feeling well for as long as possible.

        Jean


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      • janie
        My vet said my cat would live a year. He lived to be 12 he was 5 at the time. Dont believe everything you hear just do your best to keep them healthy and love
        Message 3 of 3 , Aug 4, 2009
          My vet said my cat would live a year. He lived to be 12 he was 5 at
          the time. Dont believe everything you hear just do your best to keep
          them healthy and love them. Lots of cats on here with that sentence
          but they are past the date. Janie
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