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is this the start of chf?

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  • kateydiddles29
    My 5 y/o boy, Zax, was diagnosed with HCM in early November 2011 after he vomited and became lethargic. At the emergency vet (it was on a sunday), we were
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 6, 2011
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      My 5 y/o boy, Zax, was diagnosed with HCM in early November 2011 after he vomited and became lethargic. At the emergency vet (it was on a sunday), we were told he had a heart murmur (first we heard of this). A chest xray revealed he had a small amount of fluid in his lungs. He was immediately started on Lasix and Enalapril but allowed to come home since he seemed stable. An echo done 3 days later confirmed the HCM with a dilated left ventricle and left atrium. Vet felt he was not at high risk for a clot since he has a normal heart rate and no systolic anterior motion according to the echo.

      His heart rate has been consistently around 130's at home (over 200 at the vets!). His resting respiration rates have generally been round 14 per minute while he's sound asleep. Tonight, he had a weird episode where his rrr seemed to be 30 in a minute. He appeared to be sound asleep. He was lying in front of the fireplace and might have gotten too hot. Maybe he was dreaming? He was not panting. He also had been acting normally and eating well earlier today. At any rate, because the rrr was so high, we opted to give him an extra Lasix dose.

      Per our vet's instructions, we then watched him for 2 hours and checked his rrr again-it was down to 15. Just a few minutes ago it was 14 and he seems to be resting comfortably.

      I plan on calling my vet tomorrow morning but, in the meantime, can someone please help me figure out what's going on with Zax? Was he heading into another episode of congestive heart failure and we hopefully stopped it with the extra Lasix dose? Could it simply be because he should be on a bit higher Lasix dose than he is and since it's such a recent diagnosis, we are trying to figure out the correct dosage for him? Could he simply have been too hot and I gave him a Lasix dose when he didn't really need it? How often do you find you need to up your cat's Lasix dose due to an episode like this? I plan on staying up with him most of tonight and monitoring his breathing every hour or so.

      Thanks in advance from an anxious mom who's new to all this heart stuff!

      Karen
    • acrocat@rocketmail.com
      Hi Katey 30 is still within the normal range; I d say 30 or less. He could have been hot or just having a dream :) It s great that you re monitoring RR,
      Message 2 of 4 , Dec 6, 2011
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        Hi Katey

        30 is still within the normal range; I'd say 30 or less. He could have been hot or just having a dream :) It's great that you're monitoring RR, that is very helpful.

        Adriann
      • elfinmyst@aol.com
        Hi Karen I am sorry to hear of Zax being poorly. Respiration rates over 30 at rest are a red flag, but if he was dreaming or hot it could go over 30. If mine
        Message 3 of 4 , Dec 7, 2011
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          Hi Karen

          I am sorry to hear of Zax being poorly. Respiration rates over 30 at rest
          are a red flag, but if he was dreaming or hot it could go over 30. If mine
          are asleep and breathing quickly I just gently say their name or touch them
          and they then go back to a more peaceful breathing rate as it's usually
          just a dream..

          WHat dose of medications is he on? It's good he has been caught early and
          can have treatment to help stabilise his disease. Another thing you can do
          to help is add the supplement cardiostrength which seems to be very
          beneficial for my 3 cats who take it. If you are worried about clots you can add
          nattokinase supplement as well which is available on the internet, but you
          need a version with the vitaminK removed like Doctor's Best.

          Lasix lasts 8 hours so if his breathing is fast again in the morning,
          you'll know he's building up fluid and then its time to ring the vet/cardio and
          discuss upping the dose of lasix. It's absolutely fine to give an extra
          dose if you are ever worried, unless they're already on the maximum dose, I do
          it when needed.

          Lyn

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

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        • joanne marbut
          Lasix can tax the kidneys and extra doses between scheduled meds shouldn t be given. So, unless the vet says it s o.k. to give an extra dose, I wouldn t.
          Message 4 of 4 , Dec 7, 2011
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            Lasix can tax the kidneys and extra doses between scheduled meds shouldn't be given. So, unless the vet says it's o.k. to give an extra dose, I wouldn't.  It's normal for cats breathing to rapidly rise and fall even when still. It's the duration of time that matters-if the cat continues for five minutes then there may be a problem; if it subsides after a couple then it's normal. Heat, dreams, play, eating-they can all make a cat breathe fast. Cats are naturally apprehensive/anxious/ready to run creatures and when very alert, may also breathe fast.  If your cat was having an episode, then the ER/vet would be the first place to go because the cat might need IV lasix and oxygen to halt the progression of CHF.  If you have another cat who isn't sick or can watch someone else's normal cat, you'll see the breathing fluctuates.  It's only because you are aware now of your cat because of the disease that you are noticing every little change. But that's also
            good. You'll know how the cat is reacting to the disease, to the meds, to situations and will notice the day to day changes in the cat.  My cat, when beginning a CHF episode-of which she's had two since initially sick two years ago-became anxious, needed a lot of attention and petting, and then I noticed her chest didn't subside after a few minutes. One episode she seemed to have a glazed over look and couldn't seem to move about well and collapsed. Signs of pain, anxiety, heavy breathing, glazed looks, inability to register their surroundings, and inability to move or a collapse are possible signs to look for in your cat. 

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