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Re: [FH] Re: TJ in Houston - HCM-Sugar Land costs

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  • Anne Bissonnette
    My Sugar Ray passed on March 24, 2008 from DCM. He was approximately 8 1/2 to 9 years old, as we figured it. He had been coughing (I thought it was hairballs)
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2010
      My Sugar Ray passed on March 24, 2008 from DCM. He was approximately 8 1/2
      to 9 years old, as we figured it.

      He had been coughing (I thought it was hairballs) and breathing funny from
      about Thanksgiving in 2007 (I thought oh, well--he had a little cold!), and
      when we rushed him into emergency on Christmas night he had congestive heart
      failure and the vet didn't think he would make it through the night. But he
      did and for 3 months I gave him medicine 6 times a day--he would run when he
      saw me coming and it broke my heart. He took Lasix, Enacard, Vetmedin and
      then 1/4 of a baby aspirin every 3 rd day--along with 500-1000 ml of
      Taurine, just in case. They later added a Potassium supplement. He had to
      have his chest drained at least once more also.

      Then on Easter Sunday, I realized that this was not the life he wanted and
      that I had to let him go. It broke my heart. When my Golden had died 6
      years before, I would tell myself that I had heard that cats could live to
      be 20 years old--Sugar was my first cat, so I knew nothing about them--and I
      comforted myself that Sugar and I would grow old together. But God had
      different plans.

      If I had only known to get him in to the vet before the DCM became so
      advanced, I know I could have kept my angel with me longer--his heart was
      just too damaged, and I have to deal with the fact that my stupidity was to
      blame. I later found out that it is mainly an inherited condition that
      affects mainly male cats, and usually at about 8 years of age.

      After the first month I ordered his meds from Drs. Foster and Smith and that
      saved me quite a bit of money! lMy veterinary practice does its own
      ultrasound (I am in Sugar Land, TX) and they did it the next morning after
      we took him in Christmas night. The vet did tell me that he was surprised
      it was DCM which it much less common than HCM. At that time (in 2008) the
      cost of just the ultrasound at my vet (& I say this realizing that my vet is
      much more expensive than many others in the Houston area) was $319.50.

      Skipping ahead in May 2008 my husband and I adopted our bengal Kody at the
      CAPS shelter in Houston. After adopting him and reading about bengals I
      have now found that HCM is very, very common in this breed. I took Kody to
      the vet last week for a slight cough at night. I didn't think it was
      anything, but I will not repeat what happened to Sugar. When the vet came
      back in and told me the Xrays seemed to show an "slightly enlarged" heart I
      thought "Oh, please don't let this happen again!" As Kody had been sedated
      for the Xrays, the vet suggested that it might be a good idea to do an
      ultrasound while he was still out. The charges for the ultrasound this time
      was $369.50, the anesthesia was $77.00 and he sent the results of both the
      Xrays and ultrasound onto a radiologist to review for $77.00. Both the vet
      and radiologist concurred that the measurements do not indicate HCM-but that
      the heart does look slightly large, probably due to pericardial fat--so this
      is something I am trying to deal with right now.

      I do not know what the certified cardiologists charge at Gulf Coast, but
      this will give you some idea of what it might cost. I do not think that
      they run much higher. I know from the Bengals_L list that at some cat shows
      the breeders get together and bring a cardioligist into screen, and get a
      group rate of as low as $100.00 per cat in some locations. If they arrange
      that at a cat show near Houston, I would love to take Kody in for a 2nd
      opinion.

      Sorry this is so long

      Anne


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