Re: [FH] Clipsy's echocardiogram on a very HOT day
- Ah..... what we do for love .....
----- Original Message -----
From: Jim Sinclair
To: email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
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
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!
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@...
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