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Willow - Newly diagnosed HCM

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  • rockymtnhi68
    Hi everyone - I m new to this board. So glad I found it. My kitty is Willow. She s 11 yrs old. She started coughing 4 wks ago and the vet thought she had
    Message 1 of 5 , Sep 8, 2009
      Hi everyone - I'm new to this board. So glad I found it. My kitty is Willow. She's 11 yrs old. She started coughing 4 wks ago and the vet thought she had asthma. Had a "bronchial pattern" on the x-ray, but also an enlarged heart. Echo done by non-cardiologist. They said she had mild to moderate left atrium dilation and mitral valve insufficiency. Asthma meds did nothing, she kept getting worse. Then, this past Sat., she started having difficulty breathing. Took her to emergency clinic, she was in congestive heart failure. They got her stabilized overnight and transferred her to another clinic with cardiologists on staff. New echo by cardiologist revealed she has SEVERE HCM and congestive heart failure. She also has two blood clots already in her heart. She stayed there one more day and night and after several injections of lasix, her x-rays looked good. Her breathing is down to 28 resp per minute now. Normal. She went home on lasix (10 mg 2x per day) and Plavix (human drug) to help thin her blood. My question is, has anyone else found out their cat already had clots in her heart? Can they dissolve or is she just a ticking time bomb waiting for a saddle thrombosis? I'm beside myself with fear. She is my BABY. Although she's stable right now, she's eating if I coax her with her favorite food, drinking, etc. But she's staying under the bed. Probably good since the Dr. said we should keep her quiet due to the clots. Is this a definite death sentence with the clots already there? Should I have spared her future misery and put her to sleep? I just couldn't do it yet. The Dr. told me the average life span after a diagnosis this severe is 6 mos but she had one cat live 3 more years. I'm just scared to death. Any help or advice would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks so much.
    • Linda Irrgang
      Remember to be aware that no steroids for heart kitties as it can send them into congestive heart failure or complicate a pre-exisiting heart condtion/ esp
      Message 2 of 5 , Sep 8, 2009
        Remember to be aware that no steroids for heart kitties as it can send them
        into congestive heart failure or complicate a pre-exisiting heart condtion/
        esp hcm...



        Linda

        _____

        From: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com [mailto:feline-heart@yahoogroups.com] On
        Behalf Of rockymtnhi68
        Sent: Tuesday, September 08, 2009 10:55 AM
        To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [FH] Willow - Newly diagnosed HCM





        Hi everyone - I'm new to this board. So glad I found it. My kitty is Willow.
        She's 11 yrs old. She started coughing 4 wks ago and the vet thought she had
        asthma. Had a "bronchial pattern" on the x-ray, but also an enlarged heart.
        Echo done by non-cardiologist. They said she had mild to moderate left
        atrium dilation and mitral valve insufficiency. Asthma meds did nothing, she
        kept getting worse. Then, this past Sat., she started having difficulty
        breathing. Took her to emergency clinic, she was in congestive heart
        failure. They got her stabilized overnight and transferred her to another
        clinic with cardiologists on staff. New echo by cardiologist revealed she
        has SEVERE HCM and congestive heart failure. She also has two blood clots
        already in her heart. She stayed there one more day and night and after
        several injections of lasix, her x-rays looked good. Her breathing is down
        to 28 resp per minute now. Normal. She went home on lasix (10 mg 2x per day)
        and Plavix (human drug) to help thin her blood. My question is, has anyone
        else found out their cat already had clots in her heart? Can they dissolve
        or is she just a ticking time bomb waiting for a saddle thrombosis? I'm
        beside myself with fear. She is my BABY. Although she's stable right now,
        she's eating if I coax her with her favorite food, drinking, etc. But she's
        staying under the bed. Probably good since the Dr. said we should keep her
        quiet due to the clots. Is this a definite death sentence with the clots
        already there? Should I have spared her future misery and put her to sleep?
        I just couldn't do it yet. The Dr. told me the average life span after a
        diagnosis this severe is 6 mos but she had one cat live 3 more years. I'm
        just scared to death. Any help or advice would be GREATLY appreciated.
        Thanks so much.





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Kristen G
        Hi (?),  I know how scary the diagnosis can be.  Please try not to focus on the number of months that Willow may/may not have left.  She doesn t know it,
        Message 3 of 5 , Sep 8, 2009
          Hi (?),  I know how scary the diagnosis can be.  Please try not to focus on the number of months that Willow may/may not have left.  She doesn't know it, and you don't want to stress her out!  She might be hiding under the bed just from the stress of the last few weeks.  It is a great that you have already found a cardiologist and have a definite diagnosis because now you can focus on getting the right meds for Willow and knowing what to watch for.  I don't know anything about blood clots, so I can't help you there.  Hopefully some other members with experience will offer some good advice.  Kitties with heart problems can lose weight quickly, so coaxing her to eat is important.  Also, watch her breathing as fluid in the lungs can be very bad and avoid giving steriods because that can harm the heart. 

          Hugs to you and Willow,
          Kristen




          ________________________________
          From: rockymtnhi68 <rockymtnhi68@...>
          To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Tuesday, September 8, 2009 1:55:20 PM
          Subject: [FH] Willow - Newly diagnosed HCM

           
          Hi everyone - I'm new to this board. So glad I found it. My kitty is Willow. She's 11 yrs old. She started coughing 4 wks ago and the vet thought she had asthma. Had a "bronchial pattern" on the x-ray, but also an enlarged heart. Echo done by non-cardiologist. They said she had mild to moderate left atrium dilation and mitral valve insufficiency. Asthma meds did nothing, she kept getting worse. Then, this past Sat., she started having difficulty breathing. Took her to emergency clinic, she was in congestive heart failure. They got her stabilized overnight and transferred her to another clinic with cardiologists on staff. New echo by cardiologist revealed she has SEVERE HCM and congestive heart failure. She also has two blood clots already in her heart. She stayed there one more day and night and after several injections of lasix, her x-rays looked good. Her breathing is down to 28 resp per minute now. Normal. She went home on lasix (10 mg 2x per day) and
          Plavix (human drug) to help thin her blood. My question is, has anyone else found out their cat already had clots in her heart? Can they dissolve or is she just a ticking time bomb waiting for a saddle thrombosis? I'm beside myself with fear. She is my BABY. Although she's stable right now, she's eating if I coax her with her favorite food, drinking, etc. But she's staying under the bed. Probably good since the Dr. said we should keep her quiet due to the clots. Is this a definite death sentence with the clots already there? Should I have spared her future misery and put her to sleep? I just couldn't do it yet. The Dr. told me the average life span after a diagnosis this severe is 6 mos but she had one cat live 3 more years. I'm just scared to death. Any help or advice would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks so much..







          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • m3cflvi
          Hi, I agree its best to focus on the time you have, and not worry so much about how long she might have. We lost out cat April to HCM and saddleblock, but
          Message 4 of 5 , Sep 8, 2009
            Hi,

            I agree its best to focus on the time you have, and not worry so much about how long she might have.

            We lost out cat April to HCM and saddleblock, but didnt know she had it till she got the clot. If I knew I would have just taken each day at a time. She had been under stress from the other cats.

            As far as the clots, I understand they typically form weeks before the saddleblock. Something like a fall or jump can then cause the thrombosis. As an example the morning April got the saddleblock, she earlier took a huge jump from her window perch to the tub. In speaking with an HCM researcher I discovered that the act of jumping is what may have caused her to get the saddleblock. But the clot had formed in her weeks before.

            Our emergency room vet said we should put her to sleep right away. We fought it hoping that she would get better. Sadly, she got a clot then in her right paw the next morning. It is hard to deal with 11 months later after her passing.

            As far as hiding under the bed, I think cats like to hide when they feel sick. As an example, Beanie, a 10 year calico had suffered a bad fall last December. When we took her home, she began to hide in the closet. Our doctor said its nothing to worry about as long as she is eating. She also began to hide under the sink. To help her feel comfortable, I put a few blankets in the closet and a cat bed under the sink. Eventually she came out and recovered. But whats cute is that she still likes to go in the closet just for comfort. Before her fall she never went into the closet. One thing we did was to give her treats and just talk to her and pet her.

            All the best,

            Joe and Edith


            --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, Kristen G <apacheadd@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi (?),  I know how scary the diagnosis can be.  Please try not to focus on the number of months that Willow may/may not have left.  She doesn't know it, and you don't want to stress her out!  She might be hiding under the bed just from the stress of the last few weeks.  It is a great that you have already found a cardiologist and have a definite diagnosis because now you can focus on getting the right meds for Willow and knowing what to watch for.  I don't know anything about blood clots, so I can't help you there.  Hopefully some other members with experience will offer some good advice.  Kitties with heart problems can lose weight quickly, so coaxing her to eat is important.  Also, watch her breathing as fluid in the lungs can be very bad and avoid giving steriods because that can harm the heart. 
            >
            > Hugs to you and Willow,
            > Kristen
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > ________________________________
            > From: rockymtnhi68 <rockymtnhi68@...>
            > To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com
            > Sent: Tuesday, September 8, 2009 1:55:20 PM
            > Subject: [FH] Willow - Newly diagnosed HCM
            >
            >  
            > Hi everyone - I'm new to this board. So glad I found it. My kitty is Willow. She's 11 yrs old. She started coughing 4 wks ago and the vet thought she had asthma. Had a "bronchial pattern" on the x-ray, but also an enlarged heart. Echo done by non-cardiologist. They said she had mild to moderate left atrium dilation and mitral valve insufficiency. Asthma meds did nothing, she kept getting worse. Then, this past Sat., she started having difficulty breathing. Took her to emergency clinic, she was in congestive heart failure. They got her stabilized overnight and transferred her to another clinic with cardiologists on staff. New echo by cardiologist revealed she has SEVERE HCM and congestive heart failure. She also has two blood clots already in her heart. She stayed there one more day and night and after several injections of lasix, her x-rays looked good. Her breathing is down to 28 resp per minute now. Normal. She went home on lasix (10 mg 2x per day) and
            > Plavix (human drug) to help thin her blood. My question is, has anyone else found out their cat already had clots in her heart? Can they dissolve or is she just a ticking time bomb waiting for a saddle thrombosis? I'm beside myself with fear. She is my BABY. Although she's stable right now, she's eating if I coax her with her favorite food, drinking, etc. But she's staying under the bed. Probably good since the Dr. said we should keep her quiet due to the clots. Is this a definite death sentence with the clots already there? Should I have spared her future misery and put her to sleep? I just couldn't do it yet. The Dr. told me the average life span after a diagnosis this severe is 6 mos but she had one cat live 3 more years. I'm just scared to death. Any help or advice would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks so much..
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • Judi Levens
            Hi: I don t know about the blood clots in Willow s heart, but I do know that if they were giving her any steroids for her asthma that this can cause
            Message 5 of 5 , Sep 9, 2009
              Hi: I don't know about the blood clots in Willow's heart, but I do know that if they were giving her any steroids for her asthma that this can cause congestive heart failure and also cause the echo to appear worse than the disease actually is. My cat had this experience...he went into CHF from steroids for asthma and was diagnosed with severe heart disease (HCM) but after being on meds for 6 months (lasix and enalapril) his next echo showed mild to moderate heart disease, and he now does fine with just enalapril...worth checking out...good luck...Judi and Max









              To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com
              From: rockymtnhi68@...
              Date: Tue, 8 Sep 2009 17:55:20 +0000
              Subject: [FH] Willow - Newly diagnosed HCM





              Hi everyone - I'm new to this board. So glad I found it. My kitty is Willow. She's 11 yrs old. She started coughing 4 wks ago and the vet thought she had asthma. Had a "bronchial pattern" on the x-ray, but also an enlarged heart. Echo done by non-cardiologist. They said she had mild to moderate left atrium dilation and mitral valve insufficiency. Asthma meds did nothing, she kept getting worse. Then, this past Sat., she started having difficulty breathing. Took her to emergency clinic, she was in congestive heart failure. They got her stabilized overnight and transferred her to another clinic with cardiologists on staff. New echo by cardiologist revealed she has SEVERE HCM and congestive heart failure. She also has two blood clots already in her heart. She stayed there one more day and night and after several injections of lasix, her x-rays looked good. Her breathing is down to 28 resp per minute now. Normal. She went home on lasix (10 mg 2x per day) and Plavix (human drug) to help thin her blood. My question is, has anyone else found out their cat already had clots in her heart? Can they dissolve or is she just a ticking time bomb waiting for a saddle thrombosis? I'm beside myself with fear. She is my BABY. Although she's stable right now, she's eating if I coax her with her favorite food, drinking, etc. But she's staying under the bed. Probably good since the Dr. said we should keep her quiet due to the clots. Is this a definite death sentence with the clots already there? Should I have spared her future misery and put her to sleep? I just couldn't do it yet. The Dr. told me the average life span after a diagnosis this severe is 6 mos but she had one cat live 3 more years. I'm just scared to death. Any help or advice would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks so much.










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