Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

What is a normal heart rate?

Expand Messages
  • daisyfoxworth
    The wonderful forum FAQ indicates it should be in the range of 130-140. At rest at home Ginger varies from 180 to 200 (I have a good BP monitor that also
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 2, 2010
    • 0 Attachment
      The wonderful forum FAQ indicates it should be in the range of 130-140. At rest at home Ginger varies from 180 to 200 (I have a good BP monitor that also provides HR). While at the vet's yesterday for an ultrasound her HR was 188 which the cardiologist said was normal. (I use flower essences to calm her at the vets so I'm not surprised the reading was consistent with what I see at home.)

      I thought 188 was high and a reflection of her thyroid disease. She was diagnosed hyperthyroid in 2007 and has done well on methimazole, but as of the most recent bloodwork her T4 suddenly shot up so we're in the process of trying to bring it back down. X-ray and ultrasound didn't show any serious issues fortunately. So I thought there was a hyperthyroid-induced tachycardia that might respond to an increased methimazole dose, unless she is already in normal range for HR.

      Ultrasound diagnosis if it seems relevant, and assuming I understand all the acronyms, is "mild mitral regurgitation and aortic insufficiency with mild left ventricular ejection" No medications indicated at this time. Ginger is about 18 and a very sedate cat.

      Would appreciate any feedback.

      Thanks, Daisy
    • Carol R.
      hi Daisy, When I read your post I just shiver inside. All the things you said that your vet said are going on with Ginger, as the exact same diagnosis as
      Message 2 of 6 , Mar 2, 2010
      • 0 Attachment
        hi Daisy,



        When I read your post I just shiver inside. All the things you said that your vet said are going on with Ginger, as the exact same diagnosis' as Snowball had. Snowball had a high heart rate for two years. It was always between 160 and 200, sometimes over 200, but most of the time around 180...and 180 is not "normal". I don't care what any vet says to you. Even 160 is too high for a heart kitty. My holistic vet and my regular vet were always concerned about Snowball's high heart rate. The cardiologist for the whole first year she had it said the same thing... no meds at this time. He was wrong. Flat out wrong. I feel if she had been started on something earlier to slow down her heart rate, which by the way, was cause from her hyperthyroid (which we mostly had under control with spikes here and there...adjusted her methimazole, just like you do)...she might still be here. Having a high heart rate wears out the heart so much faster. I don't care how "mild" the heart diagnosis is... if the heart rate can't be slowed down, the heart is going to suffer from that, and that "mild" HCM and any other mild problem will quickly become a severe one.



        Just last June Snowball had an ultrasound, the cardiologist said her heart was still in mild to moderate HCM, but that now her upper chamber was beginning to be enlarged. He said the enlargement was likely from the uncontrolled rapid heart rate. The rapid heart rate is like over exercising the heart muscle and it just becomes bigger and bigger, because the bigger the muscle gets, the less efficient it is at pumping the blood, so it pumps even faster to get the same amount of blood to go where it needs to go, and the heart muscle keeps enlarging. It's a viscous circle. If you don't control the rapid heart rate, the heart muscle will enlarge and the heart will age quickly and then you're in trouble.



        We started Snowball on Atenolol, or I should say we tried to, last July. She couldn't tolerate it. It made her nauseated and she would just puke it up. We called many times to the cardiologist about this, but never got a call back. Thinking back now, I should have just gone to another cardiologist, but they only other one was 4 hours away and Snowball couldn't have made that trip in the car... so I did nothing. Big mistake on my part.



        By October she was even worse. Her heart rate was always 200. I tried flower essences, we did acupuncture which helped some, but it wasn't the solution. We found out we could get the Atenolol in transdermal cream, so we tried that starting in October. Snowball continued to have rapid heart rate so we had another ultrasound done in mid December. That one was a shock to us. Just six months before her diagnosis was "mild to moderate"... now the cardiologist told us she was in "end stage". The walls of her heart had become loose and floppy, no longer able to pump the blood properly at all. So in a desperate effort, we stopped the transdermal cream, which clearly wasn't working, and started the pills again, hoping Snowball could keep them down. At the same time we had her thyroid rechecked and it was how HYPO-thyroid. So we had to stop the methimazole. That was December 16th. We kept her off the methimazole till the end of December and then had her rechecked December 30th. The next day the results came back that her thyroid was through the roof again. It was so high it wasn't readable. We started methimazole again, increased her Atenolol per the vet, and hoped we were on the right track.



        We never found out, because she died the next day from throwing a massive clot that then sent her into congestive heart failure.



        I'm not telling you all of this to scare you into doing anything. I'm just sharing what happned to us... from us not getting Snowball's rapid heart rate under control soon enough. I can't stress enough how very important it is that you do that. When your vet tells you no meds are necessary at early stage problems... I would get another opinion right away. You don't have time to waste. Kitties' lives go by so much faster than ours in the time frame we have. Six months can be years to their little bodies and when they're already older, that doesn't give you the luxury of waiting to see how things go. You just may not have the time.



        This is for everyone...please, please... if your kitty has an elevated heart rate, this is a very serious situation and it needs to be addressed. However you do that, be with medication or herbs, acupuncture, holistic vet or allopathic... just get it treated as soon as possible. Try to find the underlying cause if you can, but if you can't, at least get them on medication to control it.



        I miss my Snowball every day and cry still every day. I can't breathe sometimes. And I still am blaming myself for not getting her help sooner. So many things I know now that I didn't before this experience... maybe that's what Snowball wanted to teach me? I don't know, but I do know that if any of my other guys gets the same illness as Snowball had, I'll know what to do now.... I'm just so saddened that I had to learn this lesson by losing my little Snowball.



        One last thing... about the thyroid panels they do with the regular bloodwork... they were NEVER accurate with Snowball. The only lab that did it accurately was the one we found out about in December. It's Hemopet. It's worth the extra effort it takes to send it down to Hemopet to get accurate results. You can find out about Hemopet at http://www.hemopet.org or at http://www.itsfortheanimals.com/HEMOPET.HTM and there are forms at the itsfortheanimals site that tell you how to get and send in the blood samples.



        We will never rely on a regular thyroid panel from the local labs anymore for any of our guys.



        Anyway... I hope any of this helps anyone out there dealing with this.











        Carol & Angel Snowball *5/10/91 to 1/1/10*
        & the gang


        http://carolandsteveskitties.shutterfly.com/

        Snowball's videos
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0o6bLwo5jPE
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxKQH2mM-d0
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qg48_zK3b24
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODcUI5PReXo
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqO6UZ4a3VE







        > To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com
        > From: daisyfoxworth@...
        > Date: Tue, 2 Mar 2010 13:33:36 +0000
        > Subject: [FH] What is a normal heart rate?
        >
        > The wonderful forum FAQ indicates it should be in the range of 130-140. At rest at home Ginger varies from 180 to 200 (I have a good BP monitor that also provides HR). While at the vet's yesterday for an ultrasound her HR was 188 which the cardiologist said was normal. (I use flower essences to calm her at the vets so I'm not surprised the reading was consistent with what I see at home.)
        >
        > I thought 188 was high and a reflection of her thyroid disease.

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • daisyfoxworth
        ... # Thanks, Carol. I m so sorry about Snowball. I didn t understand all the details at the time but I remember how hard you tried. # The current flurry to
        Message 3 of 6 , Mar 2, 2010
        • 0 Attachment
          --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, Carol R. <carolroars@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > 180 is not "normal". I don't care what any vet says to you. Even 160 is too high for a heart kitty. My holistic vet and my regular vet were always concerned about Snowball's high heart rate. The cardiologist for the whole first year she had it said the same thing... no meds at this time.

          # Thanks, Carol. I'm so sorry about Snowball. I didn't understand all the details at the time but I remember how hard you tried.

          # The current flurry to re-evaluate her heart is actually the result of a body scan/energy healing/animal communication session in January. Ginger said she was very concerned about her heart and was having a little trouble breathing. That's when I joined this group. At least now I'm in a position to monitor a few more things with Ginger, including blood pressure and heart rate. No systolic hypertension from what I can tell.

          # For two years I have focused almost entirely on her kidney disease and I have managed to keep it in the very early stages. She is doing so well that my vet has grown very deferential to what I want to do. That may be important in counteracting the cardiologist's recommendations. (I think he may have been a little dismissive because of her age.) So I'm looking for back-up about where I should aim for heart rate.

          # I probably will send blood to Dodds after the next blood draw because I can see it could be more difficult from hereon to manage an appropriate T4 level.

          Daisy and Ginger
        • Westgold
          Carol, thank you for writing this down for everybody, it must have been extremely difficult. But please do not blame yourself for what happened. Our kitties
          Message 4 of 6 , Mar 2, 2010
          • 0 Attachment
            Carol, thank you for writing this down for everybody, it must have been extremely difficult. But please do not blame yourself for what happened. Our kitties are very fragile, and we never get to keep them as long as we want, no matter what we do.

            But everybody, please read her letter carefully, I've left it pasted below. If your kitty has heart problems, he must be under the care of a good cardiologist. Your regular vet, no matter how great he is, cannot interpret the tests thoroughly enough, and cannot give you the whole story. I know it's expensive to get a thorough exam from a cardiologist, but that is the ONLY way to truly know what is going on with your kitty's heart. If your kitty is dx with HCM and the cardiologist doesn't give atenolol, ask WHY. And if you don't like that answer, tell him you want it anyway. (When my Scottish Fold Tigger saw his first cardiologist in 2005, he said that Tigger's HCM was mild, but he wanted him on atenolol anyway. He said that if Tigger had been a DSH he wouldn't have prescribed it, because DSH are generally stronger than some purebreds.) When I look back at that NOW, with all I know NOW, egads!!!! Do not accept a dumb answer like that!!

            If your cardiologist refuses to prescribe it, and you don't accept his reasons, talk to your regular vet -- he can prescribe it. Atenolol comes in all kinds of forms, you just need to find a compounding pharmacy. Tigg didn't like it in treat form, so we got the beef-flavored liquid, which mixes easily in his wet food, and he doesn't even know it's there. This is much easier on them than putting them under the stress of pinning them down and shoving a pill down their throat a couple times a day. It also comes in cream, and a couple other things I think -- talk to the pharmacist.

            And if your cardiologist doesn't return your phone call right away, call 6 times a day until he does. The squeeky wheel gets the grease. Don't just sit and wait -- take action immediately if you feel that something is wrong. I have a friend who went BLIND because her dr told her to wait 10 days before coming back to see him, and when she called she was told to wait the 10 days, etc. Each day she got worse until it was too late, and she was totally blind. Do not accept that kind of treatment from any doctor. I would have gone to the hospital screaming bloody murder if I was getting worse each day. You have to be the same kind of advocate for your dear kitty.

            take care -- Michelle & Tigger Too in Toronto
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Carol R.
            To: Groups Feline Heart
            Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2010 12:08 PM
            Subject: RE: [FH] What is a normal heart rate?




            hi Daisy,

            When I read your post I just shiver inside. All the things you said that your vet said are going on with Ginger, as the exact same diagnosis' as Snowball had. Snowball had a high heart rate for two years. It was always between 160 and 200, sometimes over 200, but most of the time around 180...and 180 is not "normal". I don't care what any vet says to you. Even 160 is too high for a heart kitty. My holistic vet and my regular vet were always concerned about Snowball's high heart rate. The cardiologist for the whole first year she had it said the same thing... no meds at this time. He was wrong. Flat out wrong. I feel if she had been started on something earlier to slow down her heart rate, which by the way, was cause from her hyperthyroid (which we mostly had under control with spikes here and there...adjusted her methimazole, just like you do)...she might still be here. Having a high heart rate wears out the heart so much faster. I don't care how "mild" the heart diagnosis is... if the heart rate can't be slowed down, the heart is going to suffer from that, and that "mild" HCM and any other mild problem will quickly become a severe one.

            Just last June Snowball had an ultrasound, the cardiologist said her heart was still in mild to moderate HCM, but that now her upper chamber was beginning to be enlarged. He said the enlargement was likely from the uncontrolled rapid heart rate. The rapid heart rate is like over exercising the heart muscle and it just becomes bigger and bigger, because the bigger the muscle gets, the less efficient it is at pumping the blood, so it pumps even faster to get the same amount of blood to go where it needs to go, and the heart muscle keeps enlarging. It's a viscous circle. If you don't control the rapid heart rate, the heart muscle will enlarge and the heart will age quickly and then you're in trouble.

            We started Snowball on Atenolol, or I should say we tried to, last July. She couldn't tolerate it. It made her nauseated and she would just puke it up. We called many times to the cardiologist about this, but never got a call back. Thinking back now, I should have just gone to another cardiologist, but they only other one was 4 hours away and Snowball couldn't have made that trip in the car... so I did nothing. Big mistake on my part.

            By October she was even worse. Her heart rate was always 200. I tried flower essences, we did acupuncture which helped some, but it wasn't the solution. We found out we could get the Atenolol in transdermal cream, so we tried that starting in October. Snowball continued to have rapid heart rate so we had another ultrasound done in mid December. That one was a shock to us. Just six months before her diagnosis was "mild to moderate"... now the cardiologist told us she was in "end stage". The walls of her heart had become loose and floppy, no longer able to pump the blood properly at all. So in a desperate effort, we stopped the transdermal cream, which clearly wasn't working, and started the pills again, hoping Snowball could keep them down. At the same time we had her thyroid rechecked and it was how HYPO-thyroid. So we had to stop the methimazole. That was December 16th. We kept her off the methimazole till the end of December and then had her rechecked December 30th. The next day the results came back that her thyroid was through the roof again. It was so high it wasn't readable. We started methimazole again, increased her Atenolol per the vet, and hoped we were on the right track.

            We never found out, because she died the next day from throwing a massive clot that then sent her into congestive heart failure.

            I'm not telling you all of this to scare you into doing anything. I'm just sharing what happned to us... from us not getting Snowball's rapid heart rate under control soon enough. I can't stress enough how very important it is that you do that. When your vet tells you no meds are necessary at early stage problems... I would get another opinion right away. You don't have time to waste. Kitties' lives go by so much faster than ours in the time frame we have. Six months can be years to their little bodies and when they're already older, that doesn't give you the luxury of waiting to see how things go. You just may not have the time.

            This is for everyone...please, please... if your kitty has an elevated heart rate, this is a very serious situation and it needs to be addressed. However you do that, be with medication or herbs, acupuncture, holistic vet or allopathic... just get it treated as soon as possible. Try to find the underlying cause if you can, but if you can't, at least get them on medication to control it.

            I miss my Snowball every day and cry still every day. I can't breathe sometimes. And I still am blaming myself for not getting her help sooner. So many things I know now that I didn't before this experience... maybe that's what Snowball wanted to teach me? I don't know, but I do know that if any of my other guys gets the same illness as Snowball had, I'll know what to do now.... I'm just so saddened that I had to learn this lesson by losing my little Snowball.

            One last thing... about the thyroid panels they do with the regular bloodwork... they were NEVER accurate with Snowball. The only lab that did it accurately was the one we found out about in December. It's Hemopet. It's worth the extra effort it takes to send it down to Hemopet to get accurate results. You can find out about Hemopet at http://www.hemopet.org or at http://www.itsfortheanimals.com/HEMOPET.HTM and there are forms at the itsfortheanimals site that tell you how to get and send in the blood samples.

            We will never rely on a regular thyroid panel from the local labs anymore for any of our guys.

            Anyway... I hope any of this helps anyone out there dealing with this.

            Carol & Angel Snowball *5/10/91 to 1/1/10*
            & the gang


            http://carolandsteveskitties.shutterfly.com/

            Snowball's videos
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0o6bLwo5jPE
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxKQH2mM-d0
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qg48_zK3b24
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODcUI5PReXo
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqO6UZ4a3VE

            > To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com
            > From: daisyfoxworth@...
            > Date: Tue, 2 Mar 2010 13:33:36 +0000
            > Subject: [FH] What is a normal heart rate?
            >
            > The wonderful forum FAQ indicates it should be in the range of 130-140. At rest at home Ginger varies from 180 to 200 (I have a good BP monitor that also provides HR). While at the vet's yesterday for an ultrasound her HR was 188 which the cardiologist said was normal. (I use flower essences to calm her at the vets so I'm not surprised the reading was consistent with what I see at home.)
            >
            > I thought 188 was high and a reflection of her thyroid disease.

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





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • cococy45
            Daisy, we lost Tootsie on Jan. 1 but we still have her sister Mellie with us and she will be 18 in June. You can do a search on them as they both had/have
            Message 5 of 6 , Mar 3, 2010
            • 0 Attachment
              Daisy, we lost Tootsie on Jan. 1 but we still have her sister Mellie with us and she will be 18 in June. You can do a search on them as they both had/have heart issues. Mellie had a stroke in May of 2008, but the vet dx it as seizures (her regular vet was not in so we took her to the acupuncture vet who saw Tootsie for monthly acupuncture), he noticed a heart murmur and recommended she have an echo by a local vet. The heart echo vet dx her as having advanced HCM and advised other vet and regular vet that nothing could be done for her, and thus the other two vets recommended we put her down as she had both seizure disorder and advanced HCM. I joined the feline epilepsy group and then learned about this heart group and a specialty clinic was recommended to us (clinic is 2+ hrs away). It took 3 wks to get the appt with the cardiologist but it was well worth it! He did his own echo plus other heart tests and his dx was that she did not have HCM at all. Instead, she had an extremely rapid heart rate of 220+ which caused the mitral valve flap to be pulled down/over thus partially blocking the outflow of blood from the heart to the body. This lack of proper blood flow had caused damage to certain organs (kidneys) and was the probably cause of the stroke - she was seen by a neurologist a month later who dx left forebrain damage probably caused by a stroke as she improved each month. Mellie was put on 1/4 atenolol twice daily and tolerated it very well, she had none of the puking incidents as did Carol's dear Snowball, but Mellie did become very lethargic and after some months her dosage was cut to once daily dosing of 1/4 tablet which she remains on. She had a checkup in midJanuary and got a very good review.

              A few weeks after her stroke I did talk with her regular vet and asked if he'd ever noticed a heart murmur or very rapid heart rate. He said he had noticed both but considered themn to be caused by clinic stress. I then purchased my own stethoscope and monitored her at home. It took the atenolol at least a couple months of twice daily dosing to begin to bring down the rate - it was 220 even at home so vets do a huge injustice to their patients by assuming clinic stress causes such problems. We now take her to a cats only clinic where she is not stressed.

              Tootsie was Mellie's sister. Toots had been dx with crf in 2002 and had had her blood pressure taken only once when at the university vet. school where we'd taken her for evaluation. Her bp back then in 2002 was within normal range. However, Tootsie started going downhill about the latter part of 2007, just didn't seem right, bloodwork was done but vet could not get enough blood for complete readings. Late 2008 we took her to the cats only clinic and they did bloodwork with no problems and it was good. Bloodwork was repeated mid 2009 and her renal values were actually in normal range! Urinalysis was done the following week and it was normal for her (she had proteinuria). So the following week we took her back for a blood pressure check as we were all amazed that had never been checked since her visit to the university in 2002. It was twice what it should have been! We were told to not hesitate in getting her to the cardiologist! Two days later she was at the specialty clinic where her bp was confirmed at that very high level, plus she had severe arrhythmia. The cardiologist felt she was in no danger of throwing clots and she was put on amlodipine for her bp and sotolol was started a few weeks later to address the arrhythmia. She was also later seen by the neurologist as she had very severe pain from bone spurs along her spine. It was actually that pain that caused her the greatest problems - there were a couple time she could barely stand up or would fall over when trying to stand. For her pain she took tramadol twice daily, gabapentin once daily, and part of a baby aspirin every 3 days but still she had great discomfort.

              Tootsie's final day she was totally unable to move and moaned in excruciating pain when touched. We thought one of the bone spurs had done more damage to the spinal cord and took her to the emergency center where we made the heartbreaking decision to ease her out of her pain. When we took Mellie for her recheck in mid January, the cardiologist said his best guess was that Tootsie had thrown multiple clots which caused severe neurological damage.

              We want our drs to be able to predict the problems before they happen, but they cannot. We all do the best we can and learn so much along the way. One of the things we learn is to stand up for our little friends just as we need to stand up for ourselves when it comes to our own healthcare.

              My best to you and Ginger.

              carol and mellie

              --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, "daisyfoxworth" <daisyfoxworth@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              >
              > --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, Carol R. <carolroars@> wrote:
              > >
              > >
              > > 180 is not "normal". I don't care what any vet says to you. Even 160 is too high for a heart kitty. My holistic vet and my regular vet were always concerned about Snowball's high heart rate. The cardiologist for the whole first year she had it said the same thing... no meds at this time.
              >
              > # Thanks, Carol. I'm so sorry about Snowball. I didn't understand all the details at the time but I remember how hard you tried.
              >
              > # The current flurry to re-evaluate her heart is actually the result of a body scan/energy healing/animal communication session in January. Ginger said she was very concerned about her heart and was having a little trouble breathing. That's when I joined this group. At least now I'm in a position to monitor a few more things with Ginger, including blood pressure and heart rate. No systolic hypertension from what I can tell.
              >
              > # For two years I have focused almost entirely on her kidney disease and I have managed to keep it in the very early stages. She is doing so well that my vet has grown very deferential to what I want to do. That may be important in counteracting the cardiologist's recommendations. (I think he may have been a little dismissive because of her age.) So I'm looking for back-up about where I should aim for heart rate.
              >
              > # I probably will send blood to Dodds after the next blood draw because I can see it could be more difficult from hereon to manage an appropriate T4 level.
              >
              > Daisy and Ginger
              >
            • daisyfoxworth
              ... Carol, Carol, and Michelle, thank you so much for your responses. I have a much better understanding now of what I need to accomplish, and the urgency in
              Message 6 of 6 , Mar 3, 2010
              • 0 Attachment
                --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, "Westgold" <westgold@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > If your cardiologist refuses to prescribe it, and you don't accept his reasons, talk to your regular vet -- he can prescribe it.


                Carol, Carol, and Michelle, thank you so much for your responses. I have a much better understanding now of what I need to accomplish, and the urgency in doing it.

                Daisy and Ginger
              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.