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Re: [FH] my kitty has restrictive cardiomyopathy please give any info you can

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  • 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 1 of 3 , Aug 4, 2009
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      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 2 of 3 , Aug 4, 2009
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        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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