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Re: [FH] New member: Libby and Sammy

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  • Westgold
    Hi -- welcome to the group nobody wants to join. But we are happy to do everything we can to help you & Sammy. It sounds like fluid buildup is his most
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 4 11:03 AM
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      Hi -- welcome to the group nobody wants to join. But we are happy to do everything we can to help you & Sammy.

      It sounds like fluid buildup is his most serious problem, and you can kinda monitor that yourself. Just watch his breathing. If the breaths per minute at rest approach 40, then it's trouble. Over 40 is serious and needs immediate attention. When the fluids build up, it's like they're drowning, and it's very painful.

      If this keep recurring, then maybe he needs more lasix, or some other diuretic. You need to discuss this seriously with the cardiologist, he's the only one who can really know the best meds. As long as Sammy has a good quality of life -- and it sure sounds like he does -- it's mainly a matter of keeping the fluids under control.

      I have no experience with fluid control myself, so i hope some others can help advise you on that.

      We're here for yoiu!

      take care -- Michelle & Tigger Too in Toronto
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: libbylynskey
      To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Saturday, August 04, 2012 1:55 PM
      Subject: [FH] New member: Libby and Sammy



      Hi everybody! Here I am on another kitty health board. Just when I start feeling competent about one condition, they throw another one at me.

      I'm here to try to determine if I am doing all I can reasonably do to keep Sammy with me (comfortably) for as long as possible. I feel like his time is coming to an end, and I can't come to grips with basically just stuffing meds into him and waiting for him to die, when he mostly is still acting like he feels fine. Is there something I should be doing that I am not?

      My kitty Sammy was diagnosed with HCM and CHF back in March, when he went in for a dental and had trouble under anesthesia. At that time, my vet sent me to the ER vet because she knew the cardiologist (board certified) was there that day. Long story short, they did all the diagnostics and didn't really expect him to make it through the night, but he only ended up being hospitalized for one night before coming home. The outlook was still grim and they told me not to expect a whole lot of time, could be a day, could be a year. I'm sure you have all heard that.

      He came home on Lasix, enalapril, and Plavix. He has gotten the Plavix only sporadically because he HATES it and I guess my pilling technique doesn't do the job. The other meds he will take in treats. After about a month he was totally acting like himself. He's a youngish cat, maybe 7-8 years old, so that includes cuddling, talking, playing, chasing his brother. He seems to pace himself fairly well. His play sessions are shorter than they used to be, and he gets winded fairly easily, but he recovers quickly.

      Last Saturday I took him to the vet because I had noticed his breathing getting more noisy. He has also been sneezing so I hoped maybe he just had a URI rather than something heart related. My vet listened to his heart and became very alarmed at his heart rhythm. She sent me back to ER because she wanted them to do an ECG and consult with the cardiologist. So, again, I heard that his arhythmia could be immediately life threatening and his BP was very high. They dosed him up on Lasix and I chose to bring him home. We added Diltiazem to his meds and I have been diligent about getting all the meds in this week.

      So it has been another week and he is moving slower than usual, but his personality is still completely intact. He is alert, interested, everything indicating that he feels fine. His breathing is still noisy and it takes him longer to recover when he gets winded. He has to take a break even after coming up the stairs. When he is rested his heart rate is still around 30. Today he seems to be getting winded even more quickly and I am concerned but not panicky, if that makes sense.

      If he starts seeming distressed then obviously I will rush to the vet. He gets so extremely stressed in the car and at the vet that right now I'm thinking that I don't want to take him back until he is under distress (and then it will probably be to let him go, and that even if he wasn't ready that the car ride might push him over the edge). I don't feel like he is anywhere near ready to go, but I know his body will eventually make that decision against my will or Sammy's.

      Wow, that was long! I know that Lasix, Plavix, and Enalapril are fairly standard and I know I am lucky that a board certified cardiologist has been working with us. I know I can't make this all go away but I also don't want to miss anything obvious. It's so much easier to deal with sickness when the cat LOOKS sick. Thanks for listing.

      Libby





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • elfinmyst@aol.com
      Hi Libby I`m sorry to hear of Sammy. He sounds a little fighter. I agree his fluid build up is serious and he may need more lasix or the addition of
      Message 2 of 6 , Aug 4 11:16 AM
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        Hi Libby

        I`m sorry to hear of Sammy. He sounds a little fighter. I agree his fluid
        build up is serious and he may need more lasix or the addition of
        spironolactone. Your cardiologist will work with you on that.

        Something that seems to help my cats and a lot of others is Coenzyme Q at
        30mg from the health food store. It can be squeezed onto food from the
        capsule or squirted on a paw or into the mouth. It's vital he gets his plavix
        daily to protect him against clots but if there is no way he will take it
        then consider switching to nattokinase, a diet supplement (must be with
        vitamin K removed) that dissolves clots. But please try and ensure he gets his
        plavix daily. I put it into chicken paste and my cat licks it up, or you can
        get the pharmacy to compound it perhaps?

        Ignore the prognosis. My Trix was diagnosed with advanced HCM at 12 weeks
        old, given 2 months to live and is five years old now. There are other meds
        can be added like vetmedin. His blood pressure needs to be under control as
        well to help his heart out so it's good they picked that up.

        Lyn

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Laurie Stead
        Hi Libby, I am sorry about Sammy s dx, but he certainly can have a great quality of life while on the right meds.  My Boo is on lasix, benazepril, plavix and
        Message 3 of 6 , Aug 4 11:32 AM
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          Hi Libby,

          I am sorry about Sammy's dx, but he certainly can have a great quality of life while on the right meds.  My Boo is on lasix, benazepril, plavix and vetmedin.  What dose of lasix does Sammy get?  Sounds like it may not be adequate for the fluid to be building back up while taking lasix.  It's also important to get the Plavix in him.   Since he takes the other pills in treats, is it that the plavix is a larger size pill?  Not sure what dose he is on but maybe you can cut the pill and give it in two treats to help hide it better?

          Get used to what is a normal RRR for Sammy.  This will be able to alert you to when breathing is an issue, before it is an emergency.  For instance if typically it is 30 beats per minute at rest, if you are now counting 36... it is time to watch carefully since over 40 is a clear emergency.

          Boo was given months at best and that was October 2011.  She is doing quite well on her meds and you wouldn't even know she was ill.  So I know it is difficult, but stay positive especially around Sammy... they sense our stress.  This was the best advice I ever received from this group.  I was so scared, watching Boo like a hawk that I was basically stressing her out.  Enjoy your time with Sammy!  A lot of kitties don't make it out of CHF, we were lucky to be given this precious time. 

          Laurie and Boo






          --- On Sat, 8/4/12, libbylynskey <libbyl@...> wrote:

          From: libbylynskey <libbyl@...>
          Subject: [FH] New member: Libby and Sammy
          To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Saturday, August 4, 2012, 1:55 PM
















           









          Hi everybody! Here I am on another kitty health board. Just when I start feeling competent about one condition, they throw another one at me.



          I'm here to try to determine if I am doing all I can reasonably do to keep Sammy with me (comfortably) for as long as possible. I feel like his time is coming to an end, and I can't come to grips with basically just stuffing meds into him and waiting for him to die, when he mostly is still acting like he feels fine. Is there something I should be doing that I am not?



          My kitty Sammy was diagnosed with HCM and CHF back in March, when he went in for a dental and had trouble under anesthesia. At that time, my vet sent me to the ER vet because she knew the cardiologist (board certified) was there that day. Long story short, they did all the diagnostics and didn't really expect him to make it through the night, but he only ended up being hospitalized for one night before coming home. The outlook was still grim and they told me not to expect a whole lot of time, could be a day, could be a year. I'm sure you have all heard that.



          He came home on Lasix, enalapril, and Plavix. He has gotten the Plavix only sporadically because he HATES it and I guess my pilling technique doesn't do the job. The other meds he will take in treats. After about a month he was totally acting like himself. He's a youngish cat, maybe 7-8 years old, so that includes cuddling, talking, playing, chasing his brother. He seems to pace himself fairly well. His play sessions are shorter than they used to be, and he gets winded fairly easily, but he recovers quickly.



          Last Saturday I took him to the vet because I had noticed his breathing getting more noisy. He has also been sneezing so I hoped maybe he just had a URI rather than something heart related. My vet listened to his heart and became very alarmed at his heart rhythm. She sent me back to ER because she wanted them to do an ECG and consult with the cardiologist. So, again, I heard that his arhythmia could be immediately life threatening and his BP was very high. They dosed him up on Lasix and I chose to bring him home. We added Diltiazem to his meds and I have been diligent about getting all the meds in this week.



          So it has been another week and he is moving slower than usual, but his personality is still completely intact. He is alert, interested, everything indicating that he feels fine. His breathing is still noisy and it takes him longer to recover when he gets winded. He has to take a break even after coming up the stairs. When he is rested his heart rate is still around 30. Today he seems to be getting winded even more quickly and I am concerned but not panicky, if that makes sense.



          If he starts seeming distressed then obviously I will rush to the vet. He gets so extremely stressed in the car and at the vet that right now I'm thinking that I don't want to take him back until he is under distress (and then it will probably be to let him go, and that even if he wasn't ready that the car ride might push him over the edge). I don't feel like he is anywhere near ready to go, but I know his body will eventually make that decision against my will or Sammy's.



          Wow, that was long! I know that Lasix, Plavix, and Enalapril are fairly standard and I know I am lucky that a board certified cardiologist has been working with us. I know I can't make this all go away but I also don't want to miss anything obvious. It's so much easier to deal with sickness when the cat LOOKS sick. Thanks for listing.



          Libby



























          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • libbylynskey
          Thanks, everyone, for the support. Sammy and I appreciate it! He actually seems quite a bit better the past couple of days, so I m hoping that means he s not
          Message 4 of 6 , Aug 7 8:59 AM
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            Thanks, everyone, for the support. Sammy and I appreciate it! He actually seems quite a bit better the past couple of days, so I'm hoping that means he's not quite done yet. Last week I thought his breathing was a little bit worse each day, but yesterday I noticed that his breathing wasn't audible at all. He also was more playful - really more playful than I would like because he gets pretty rowdy and I would like for him to take it easy. I guess as long as he is having fun and feeling good I'll let him do what he wants. Might as well spoil him while I can.

            He has been taking his medicine much better. I'm not sure why he hates the Plavix so much, except that I think it tastes bad. I got some empty capsules from the health food store and now I just put all of his SID pills into one capsule, coat it with a glop of butter, and down the hatch it goes. Lasix is twice a day but he eats that in a treat so no problem there.

            I'm trying to stay realistic, but I'm kind of excited about the improvements the past few days and I'm hoping that means I can have at least a few more months with Sammy, rather than just days or weeks that I thought last week. He has a BIG personality and even though I have two other cats, it's hard to imagine the house without him. The longer I can put that off, the better.

            Libby and Sammy
          • Suzianne Painter-Thorne
            Thanks to everyone who replied on and off list to my question about monitoring blood pressure for my friend s Greyhound. I will pass on the tips and info. Much
            Message 5 of 6 , Aug 7 9:33 AM
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              Thanks to everyone who replied on and off list to my question about
              monitoring blood pressure for my friend's Greyhound. I will pass on the tips
              and info.

              Much appreciated,

              Sue & Boo
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