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Clipsy's echocardiogram on a very HOT day

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  • Jim Sinclair
    It s been six months since Clipsy s CHF episode and HCM diagnosis. Clipsy had an appointment with the cardiologist at Cornell, about a two-hour drive away, for
    Message 1 of 8 , Jul 5, 2011
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      It's been six months since Clipsy's CHF episode and HCM diagnosis.
      Clipsy had an appointment with the cardiologist at Cornell, about a
      two-hour drive away, for a follow-up exam and echocardiogram. Here's
      how our day went:

      Couldn't fall asleep last night until after 3 a.m.  Slept through the
      alarm this morning. Woke up half an hour late, rushed to feed dogs,
      medicate cats, clean litterboxes, grab a quick breakfast. Put Clipsy
      in her carrier and took her outside so she wouldn't be frustrated at
      hearing and smelling the other cats getting fed when she couldn't have
      breakfast. Fed the other six cats. Prepared Clipsy's breakfast and put
      it in a bag with a freezer pack thing, then put the bag into a cooler
      in my van. Put Clipsy's carrier on the passenger seat and headed for
      Ithaca.

      My van's air conditioner is broken. I drove with the window open--very
      noisy. And still hot. Was running low on gas but didn't have time to
      stop and buy more on the way to the appointment. This turned out to be
      a very good thing.

      Got to the appointment on time. Examination and echocardiogram showed
      that Clipsy's heart disease has progressed. I'll be posting numbers on
      the Feline Heart group tomorrow; too exhausted to do it tonight.
      Cardiologist increased her furosemide dose and suggested adding
      Plavix. I need to research prices on that. If it's as expensive as the
      cardiologist estimated, I can't afford it. :-(

      Left the hospital around 2 p.m., during the hottest part of the day.
      Van was broiling. Clipsy's breakfast was still nice and cool, and the
      freezer pack was also nice and cool, but no longer frozen. I fed
      Clipsy the food and put the freezer pack in her carrier to try to keep
      her cool. She did not want to stay in the carrier. I left the carrier
      open with the freezer pack in it, under the towel, in case she wanted
      to go back inside after exploring the rest of the van and not finding
      anywhere cooler.

      Since I hadn't had time to stop for gas on the way to the hospital in
      the morning, I had to stop on the way home. When I stopped, I checked
      on Clipsy in the back of the van, and saw that she was panting
      open-mouthed. Probably only panting, but the last time I saw her
      breathing open-mouthed was six months ago tonight, when she was about
      to die from congestive heart failure, so I was sort of alarmed. I went
      into the gas station and bought a bag of ice, which I put on top of
      her carrier so the cold air would flow downward and cool the carrier.
      I then stuffed Clipsy back into the carrier over her protests.

      By the time I'd finished pumping gas, Clipsy was no longer panting.
      Her mouth was closed. But her breathing was still very fast. I called
      Cornell back and asked how to determine if she was in danger, if I
      should turn around and bring her back to the hospital or if I should
      continue on home. The cardiologist said if she wasn't breathing
      open-mouthed, she would probably be all right. I checked on her
      again--still breathing close-mouthed, seemed to be a little slower,
      color was good, she was alert and responsive and grumpy about being
      closed inside the carrier (probably because melting ice was dripping
      out of the ice bag and into the carrier). Started driving toward home
      again. Meanwhile called my regular vet's office and asked them for
      advice. They recommended bringing her in to be assessed when we got
      back into town.

      So I did. Got her to my vet's office shortly before 4. They took her
      back for a technician to examine. A little later the receptionist came
      out and said one of the vets had checked her and wanted to administer
      some subQ fluids. I asked if this was safe, given her heart
      condition--the cardiologist had warned me NOT to give her fluids at
      home, and had just increased her dose of furosemide, which is a
      diuretic, to flush more fluids *out* of her system. Vet thought she
      was a bit dehydrated and would tolerate a small amount of fluid. I
      consented.

      I had originally planned to go straight home from Cornell to drop
      Clipsy off and then go out again for groceries. Now it was several
      hours later than I had hoped to be home, and I still hadn't bought
      groceries. I left Clipsy at the nice air-conditioned vet's office to
      get fluids and then be monitored to make sure they didn't collect in
      her chest, while I went to the supermarket up the street from the
      office and got my groceries. Went back to the vet's. Clipsy had taken
      the fluids well and was resting comfortably, calm and relaxed. Took
      her back into my broiling hot van, tried to put her into the carrier
      with the bag of melting ice on top, gave in to her loud and strenuous
      objections and allowed her to go where she wanted, which turned out to
      be under the back seat. Drove home. Took Clipsy into the house, then
      unloaded groceries, vet papers, melting ice, and cat carrier from the
      van. Discovered the reason for Clipsy's loud and strenuous objections
      to being put in the carrier: Enough melted ice had trickled in that
      the towel in the carrier was completely soaked. Hung it up to dry.

      After a hurried trip back out to the post office to mail bill payments
      before the last mail pickup of the day, I came back home and fed
      animals. Xena did not show up for dinner. This is highly unusual.
      Called her, searched for her, finally put her dinner in the
      refrigerator while I poop-scooped in the yard, cleaned cat litter
      boxes, and took out trash and recycling. Then did a thorough search of
      the house, shining flashlight under and behind furniture, checking
      open windows to see if there were any loose screens she could have
      pushed or fallen through, going outside and looking under the front
      porch. Called her many many times. The six other cats were very
      interested in this new game of hide-and-seek-with-a-flashlight, so I
      kept finding cats everywhere I looked, but none of them were Xena.

      I wasn't sure how worried I should be about this. On one hand, Xena is
      only eight years old and has no known health problems so there's no
      reason to expect that she was lying dead or dying somewhere in the
      house. Maybe she was just spooked by the noise from leftover
      firecrackers that people were setting off outside. On the other hand,
      none of the other cats appeared upset by the noise, I had now been
      home and calling for her for several hours with no response, and it's
      very unlike her to skip a meal.

      At some point, being exhausted and sweat-soaked from driving all those
      miles in the same un-air-conditioned vehicle that Clipsy had been in,
      I quit searching and took a shower. After showering I noticed Zephyr,
      4-month-old kitten, pawing at the bottom of the closed door into the
      kitchen. I had already looked for Xena in the kitchen, but since
      Zephyr now appeared so intent on something she perceived to be on the
      other side of that door, I opened the door--and there was Xena!
      Whew!!!!!

      Ate dinner, triaged emails, watched the 11:00 news. Clipsy is sound
      asleep on my bed, looking comfortable and breathing easily. I think
      I'm going to join her very soon.

      Does anyone have any idea how to create a cooling station for cats in
      a house, or a vehicle, that doesn't have air conditioning?

      Jim Sinclair  jisincla@...
      www.jimsinclair.org
      http://moosepuppy.petfinder.com
    • elfinmyst@aol.com
      Hi Jim Whoa what a day you had! I think my blood pressure would have been through the roof by that point, never mind the cats. Plavix is horribly expensive but
      Message 2 of 8 , Jul 6, 2011
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        Hi Jim

        Whoa what a day you had! I think my blood pressure would have been through
        the roof by that point, never mind the cats. Plavix is horribly expensive
        but is available as a generic in the UK called clopidogrel which is a
        quarter of the price. You can get a prescription to take to the pharmacy, but I`m
        not sure if its available in the states.

        Lyn:)

        _www.myfurkids.co.uk_ (http://www.myfurkids.co.uk/)

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • acrocat@rocketmail.com
        Jim, what a day you two had! My only idea would be to use a clip-on fan (they make them for cages, you can even get ones that you can attach an ice pack to)
        Message 3 of 8 , Jul 6, 2011
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          Jim, what a day you two had! My only idea would be to use a clip-on fan (they make them for cages, you can even get ones that you can attach an ice pack to) for the carrier. They make cool water blankets but cats seem to hate them. If you ever have to do this again, I'm sure Cornell would allow you to keep her there for a few hours till it got a little cooler out, if you have the time to hang out in Ithaca and wait. I did that once with my cat, picking him up after the sun went down (though I didn't live 2 hours away!).

          --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, Jim Sinclair <jisincla@...> wrote:
          A little later the receptionist came
          > out and said one of the vets had checked her and wanted to administer
          > some subQ fluids. I asked if this was safe, given her heart
          > condition--the cardiologist had warned me NOT to give her fluids at
          > home, and had just increased her dose of furosemide, which is a
          > diuretic, to flush more fluids *out* of her system. Vet thought she
          > was a bit dehydrated and would tolerate a small amount of fluid.

          Can I just say, good for you for questioning and AAAAAAAARRGGGH for the vet. Your cardiologist increases the furosemide the same day the vet advises SQ fluids. When a cat with heart disease and CHF comes in for breathing quickly, why prescribe fluids? This drives me bonkers. There are other ways to cool a cat besides the rather inefficient use of SQ fluids. And a cat that is eating and drinking well will re-hydrate herself. I'm sure they gave her a micro-amount out of nervousness, which brings the question--why bother?
          /soapbox

          Anyway ... for the Plavix, ask compounding companies too as sometimes they can be a little cheaper (it makes no sense, but sometimes they are) and Plavix tastes terrible anyway.

          Adriann
        • tobythelegend
          Generic Plavix is not yet available in the United States. The common prescription for Plavix is 1/4 pill, once per day. Pills run $8 or so each, so the cost
          Message 4 of 8 , Jul 6, 2011
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            Generic Plavix is not yet available in the United States. The common prescription for Plavix is 1/4 pill, once per day. Pills run $8 or so each, so the cost is about $2 a day. Pricey.
          • janie
            Wow what a day. I think I would borrow a car or do the test in cool weather. I know Boomer who has not got heart condition. I chased her all over the house
            Message 5 of 8 , Jul 6, 2011
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              Wow what a day. I think I would borrow a car or do the test in cool
              weather. I know Boomer who has not got heart condition. I chased her
              all over the house then got her in the carrier and our car was cooling
              down. We only go 3 miles to the vet and she was opened mouth
              breathing. I got her head by the air and got her inside and she got
              all right. I swore never to take her again in the horrid heat unless I
              have to. I think it could make a difference in your numbers too. Each
              day you take a test it can be different of course if it's a lot worse
              that would be different. Its very dangerous. Try to get a friend if
              possible. You did some smart things to take care of her. Great job.
              Dont worry too much if the test is a littlw worse.Good luck Janie
            • Carol
              Hi Jim and everyone, If you have to go out with Clipsy again on another hot day, without the a/c in the car, try this. They use it for bunnies. I volunteered
              Message 6 of 8 , Jul 6, 2011
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                Hi Jim and everyone,

                If you have to go out with Clipsy again on another hot day, without the a/c in the car, try this. They use it for bunnies. I volunteered last weekend at a bunny fair here in San Jose, CA, and they talked about cooling down the bunnies on hot days with using full water bottles that they freeze. Put the bottle inside a sock or something soft and lay them next to them inside their carriers. This is a great idea to work for any critter that has to travel inside a carrier or even in the car loose. Just place the frozen water bottles under a blanket and them on top of the blanket. Remember to freeze the water bottle with the top off, then put the top on after it's frozen, otherwise the water will expand and crack the bottle in the freezer.

                I hate these hot days. I hope the summer cools off for our kitties soon.

                Carol and Angel Snowball *5/10/91 to 1/1/10*



                and the gang
                http://carolandsteveskitties.shutterfly.com/







                and the gang
                http://carolandsteveskitties.shutterfly.com/






                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • mec2973
                I think my pharmacist said that generic Plavix is expected to come to the US next year sometime. I told him I was looking forward to it.
                Message 7 of 8 , Jul 6, 2011
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                  I think my pharmacist said that generic Plavix is expected to come to the US next year sometime. I told him I was looking forward to it.


                  --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, "tobythelegend" <tobythelegend@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Generic Plavix is not yet available in the United States. The common prescription for Plavix is 1/4 pill, once per day. Pills run $8 or so each, so the cost is about $2 a day. Pricey.
                  >
                • Westgold
                  Ah..... what we do for love ..... ... From: Jim Sinclair To: felineibd1@yahoogroups.com ; feline-heart@yahoogroups.com Sent: Wednesday, July 06, 2011 12:54 AM
                  Message 8 of 8 , Jul 6, 2011
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                    Ah..... what we do for love .....
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: Jim Sinclair
                    To: felineibd1@yahoogroups.com ; feline-heart@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Wednesday, July 06, 2011 12:54 AM
                    Subject: [FH] Clipsy's echocardiogram on a very HOT day



                    It's been six months since Clipsy's CHF episode and HCM diagnosis.
                    Clipsy had an appointment with the cardiologist at Cornell, about a
                    two-hour drive away, for a follow-up exam and echocardiogram. Here's
                    how our day went:

                    Couldn't fall asleep last night until after 3 a.m. Slept through the
                    alarm this morning. Woke up half an hour late, rushed to feed dogs,
                    medicate cats, clean litterboxes, grab a quick breakfast. Put Clipsy
                    in her carrier and took her outside so she wouldn't be frustrated at
                    hearing and smelling the other cats getting fed when she couldn't have
                    breakfast. Fed the other six cats. Prepared Clipsy's breakfast and put
                    it in a bag with a freezer pack thing, then put the bag into a cooler
                    in my van. Put Clipsy's carrier on the passenger seat and headed for
                    Ithaca.

                    My van's air conditioner is broken. I drove with the window open--very
                    noisy. And still hot. Was running low on gas but didn't have time to
                    stop and buy more on the way to the appointment. This turned out to be
                    a very good thing.

                    Got to the appointment on time. Examination and echocardiogram showed
                    that Clipsy's heart disease has progressed. I'll be posting numbers on
                    the Feline Heart group tomorrow; too exhausted to do it tonight.
                    Cardiologist increased her furosemide dose and suggested adding
                    Plavix. I need to research prices on that. If it's as expensive as the
                    cardiologist estimated, I can't afford it. :-(

                    Left the hospital around 2 p.m., during the hottest part of the day.
                    Van was broiling. Clipsy's breakfast was still nice and cool, and the
                    freezer pack was also nice and cool, but no longer frozen. I fed
                    Clipsy the food and put the freezer pack in her carrier to try to keep
                    her cool. She did not want to stay in the carrier. I left the carrier
                    open with the freezer pack in it, under the towel, in case she wanted
                    to go back inside after exploring the rest of the van and not finding
                    anywhere cooler.

                    Since I hadn't had time to stop for gas on the way to the hospital in
                    the morning, I had to stop on the way home. When I stopped, I checked
                    on Clipsy in the back of the van, and saw that she was panting
                    open-mouthed. Probably only panting, but the last time I saw her
                    breathing open-mouthed was six months ago tonight, when she was about
                    to die from congestive heart failure, so I was sort of alarmed. I went
                    into the gas station and bought a bag of ice, which I put on top of
                    her carrier so the cold air would flow downward and cool the carrier.
                    I then stuffed Clipsy back into the carrier over her protests.

                    By the time I'd finished pumping gas, Clipsy was no longer panting.
                    Her mouth was closed. But her breathing was still very fast. I called
                    Cornell back and asked how to determine if she was in danger, if I
                    should turn around and bring her back to the hospital or if I should
                    continue on home. The cardiologist said if she wasn't breathing
                    open-mouthed, she would probably be all right. I checked on her
                    again--still breathing close-mouthed, seemed to be a little slower,
                    color was good, she was alert and responsive and grumpy about being
                    closed inside the carrier (probably because melting ice was dripping
                    out of the ice bag and into the carrier). Started driving toward home
                    again. Meanwhile called my regular vet's office and asked them for
                    advice. They recommended bringing her in to be assessed when we got
                    back into town.

                    So I did. Got her to my vet's office shortly before 4. They took her
                    back for a technician to examine. A little later the receptionist came
                    out and said one of the vets had checked her and wanted to administer
                    some subQ fluids. I asked if this was safe, given her heart
                    condition--the cardiologist had warned me NOT to give her fluids at
                    home, and had just increased her dose of furosemide, which is a
                    diuretic, to flush more fluids *out* of her system. Vet thought she
                    was a bit dehydrated and would tolerate a small amount of fluid. I
                    consented.

                    I had originally planned to go straight home from Cornell to drop
                    Clipsy off and then go out again for groceries. Now it was several
                    hours later than I had hoped to be home, and I still hadn't bought
                    groceries. I left Clipsy at the nice air-conditioned vet's office to
                    get fluids and then be monitored to make sure they didn't collect in
                    her chest, while I went to the supermarket up the street from the
                    office and got my groceries. Went back to the vet's. Clipsy had taken
                    the fluids well and was resting comfortably, calm and relaxed. Took
                    her back into my broiling hot van, tried to put her into the carrier
                    with the bag of melting ice on top, gave in to her loud and strenuous
                    objections and allowed her to go where she wanted, which turned out to
                    be under the back seat. Drove home. Took Clipsy into the house, then
                    unloaded groceries, vet papers, melting ice, and cat carrier from the
                    van. Discovered the reason for Clipsy's loud and strenuous objections
                    to being put in the carrier: Enough melted ice had trickled in that
                    the towel in the carrier was completely soaked. Hung it up to dry.

                    After a hurried trip back out to the post office to mail bill payments
                    before the last mail pickup of the day, I came back home and fed
                    animals. Xena did not show up for dinner. This is highly unusual.
                    Called her, searched for her, finally put her dinner in the
                    refrigerator while I poop-scooped in the yard, cleaned cat litter
                    boxes, and took out trash and recycling. Then did a thorough search of
                    the house, shining flashlight under and behind furniture, checking
                    open windows to see if there were any loose screens she could have
                    pushed or fallen through, going outside and looking under the front
                    porch. Called her many many times. The six other cats were very
                    interested in this new game of hide-and-seek-with-a-flashlight, so I
                    kept finding cats everywhere I looked, but none of them were Xena.

                    I wasn't sure how worried I should be about this. On one hand, Xena is
                    only eight years old and has no known health problems so there's no
                    reason to expect that she was lying dead or dying somewhere in the
                    house. Maybe she was just spooked by the noise from leftover
                    firecrackers that people were setting off outside. On the other hand,
                    none of the other cats appeared upset by the noise, I had now been
                    home and calling for her for several hours with no response, and it's
                    very unlike her to skip a meal.

                    At some point, being exhausted and sweat-soaked from driving all those
                    miles in the same un-air-conditioned vehicle that Clipsy had been in,
                    I quit searching and took a shower. After showering I noticed Zephyr,
                    4-month-old kitten, pawing at the bottom of the closed door into the
                    kitchen. I had already looked for Xena in the kitchen, but since
                    Zephyr now appeared so intent on something she perceived to be on the
                    other side of that door, I opened the door--and there was Xena!
                    Whew!!!!!

                    Ate dinner, triaged emails, watched the 11:00 news. Clipsy is sound
                    asleep on my bed, looking comfortable and breathing easily. I think
                    I'm going to join her very soon.

                    Does anyone have any idea how to create a cooling station for cats in
                    a house, or a vehicle, that doesn't have air conditioning?

                    Jim Sinclair jisincla@...
                    www.jimsinclair.org
                    http://moosepuppy.petfinder.com




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