Re: New Member - My 2 y.o. Larry has HCM
- Hi Jessica
--- In email@example.com, "jesseddins" <Jessica.Eddins@...> wrote:
the vet said he is mid-stage HCM, but early-ish mid-stage...I don't have the echo report but if you have any questions I should ask I can get a copy pretty easily.
One question that everyone should ask when their cats are evaluated is if there is any left atrial enlargement. HCM means one chamber (there are four, two left and two right), the left VENTRICLE, is too thick. This thickness means that the heart is less efficient and can be overwhelmed; when this happens, the left ATRIUM gets bigger and bigger to compensate. When it can no longer compensate, the cat goes into congestive heart failure. So the biggest marker of risk for CHF, then, is LA enlargement. Now since cats are often medical mysteries, they can rarely have heart failure without a great deal of LA enlargement, usually due to something else (steroids, for example), but for the most part the high-risk kitties are the ones with the biggest left atrium.
> One worry I have is that we adopted a one year-old cat in January; Larry and our new addition (Gidget) just adore each other, and bound around like a couple of kittens--I cringe thinking about his heart rate through all of this,
The atenolol forces his heart rate to stay slower than it would otherwise.
> One question I have for anyone out there is about food you feed your HCM cats... pre-HCM diagnosis, I was feeding Larry dry Natural Balance Premium and half a can of wet Fancy Feast (he loved that stuff) daily. The vet said the dry food was good, but the salt content in Fancy Feast might be detrimental to his heart,
I have looked at a bunch of different foods and honestly, dry foods tended to be salter IIRC. Also, cheap foods tend to be saltier. You can and should feed your kitty regular canned cat food rather than baby food, you can just call the company to find out the sodium content. The current recommendation is for the food to be equal to or less than 0.5% sodium *on a dry matter basis*. They can give you an 'as-fed' value or a 'dry matter basis' value, you want the latter. Comparing foods on a dry matter basis allows you to compare wet and dry foods, because otherwise the numbers are off due to the amount of water in the canned food.
I should add that probably the most important aspect of the whole sodium thing is to keep the sodium level consistent. You don't want to have his daily sodium content be anywhere from 0.2-0.5, then all of a sudden give him some cold cuts and he gets a whopping 1.8-2.4 that day. A little variety is fine, but keep it in the same ball park.
Hope this helps :)