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New Member - Chloe, Just Diagnosed

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  • zan200
    Hello...After a devastating 3 weeks of back and forth vet visits, my 18 1/2 year old Platinum Burmese, Chloe was today diagnosed with severe cardiomyopathy.
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 6, 2012
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      Hello...After a devastating 3 weeks of back and forth vet visits, my 18 1/2 year old Platinum Burmese, Chloe was today diagnosed with severe cardiomyopathy. Her heart is 3X normal size with fluid around the lungs and heart and she is now considered to be in heart failure. We were told by the specialist that she was pretty much the worst case she's seen...

      Chloe began to seem "off" in October – not eating as much, not as active, so I scheduled a vet visit to see what was going on.
      1st vet visit – blood work taken – no problems, possible arthritis.
      2nd visit- Chloe seemed worse and had had some coughing episodes so back to the vet – diagnosis, possible hairball/ arthritis – prescribed pain meds.
      3rd visit yesterday – Over the weekend Chloe began experiencing breathing problems, open-mouth coughing/choking, episodes of rapid deep breathing – vet now took X-rays and found fluid on her lungs. Gave her Lasix injection and scheduled her for an ultrasound today.

      The ultrasound discovered the severely enlarged heart and above mentioned diagnosis of heart failure. She was given another Lasix injection and I am to start her on ½ tab of Lasix tablets tomorrow AM. I am to take her back Monday for a blood checkup to see if the dosage needs to be adjusted. Low dose aspirin therapy and possible heart-meds have been mentioned, but her prognosis is about as bleak as it can get…

      Chloe has a multitude of other health problems (heart murmur diagnosed 10 years ago-vet said no follow-up was needed, chronic pancreatitis for 10 years, stroke 5 years ago, stage II kidney disease, some arthritis of the spine). She has coped with all these problems spectacularly over the years, and up until a few weeks ago, was a seemingly happy normal senior kitty. She has been taking cyproheptadine 1X per day to help with her appetite, and Pepcid each evening, as prescribed by her vet.

      I am at a complete loss at this point. I trusted my vet (she is a well-respected felines-only specialist) – but she seemed to completely miss the boat all along the way and Chloe is going to pay the price with her life….I am utterly devastated… Chloe's been with me since she was an 8 week old kitten… I will do anything as far as treatments, etc. to help her…

      How long does it take for cardiomyopathy to advance to this stage – months/weeks?

      So sorry for the extremely long note. Any help/info regarding treatments/what I should be doing to help Chloe, etc. would be greatly appreciated.

      Thank you so much,
      Suzanne and Chloe
    • Karen Plasket
      Hi Suzanne, Just wanted to clarify a couple of things...who did the ultrasound? Was it your regular vet, or a board-certified cardiologist? I would recommend
      Message 2 of 5 , Nov 6, 2012
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        Hi Suzanne,
        Just wanted to clarify a couple of things...who did the ultrasound? Was it your regular vet, or a board-certified cardiologist? I would recommend making sure a cardiologist initially does the echocardiogram work-up...your referring vet can then monitor as needed.
        Has she been on any type of medical intervention for her kidney failure?
        Typically, heart disease starts out and can advance very slowly, or not at all...it really just depends on the genetics of the cat, and even luck of the draw (so to speak). My cat was diagnosed with a slight heart murmur when he was about 6, but never went on meds until he was about 12. I know it may seem bleak right now, but Chloe can still have a good quality of life ahead of her. I actually had a cardiologist tell me my cat had about 6 months to live...that was over 4 years ago. Right now, the most important thing is to get and keep the fluid off, as that is what causes her trouble breathing. My cat is on Lasix, too...it is a great medication.
        Karen


        -----Original Message-----
        From: zan200 <zan200@...>
        To: feline-heart <feline-heart@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Tue, Nov 6, 2012 9:43 pm
        Subject: [FH] New Member - Chloe, Just Diagnosed





        Hello...After a devastating 3 weeks of back and forth vet visits, my 18 1/2 year old Platinum Burmese, Chloe was today diagnosed with severe cardiomyopathy. Her heart is 3X normal size with fluid around the lungs and heart and she is now considered to be in heart failure. We were told by the specialist that she was pretty much the worst case she's seen...

        Chloe began to seem "off" in October – not eating as much, not as active, so I scheduled a vet visit to see what was going on.
        1st vet visit – blood work taken – no problems, possible arthritis.
        2nd visit- Chloe seemed worse and had had some coughing episodes so back to the vet – diagnosis, possible hairball/ arthritis – prescribed pain meds.
        3rd visit yesterday – Over the weekend Chloe began experiencing breathing problems, open-mouth coughing/choking, episodes of rapid deep breathing – vet now took X-rays and found fluid on her lungs. Gave her Lasix injection and scheduled her for an ultrasound today.

        The ultrasound discovered the severely enlarged heart and above mentioned diagnosis of heart failure. She was given another Lasix injection and I am to start her on ½ tab of Lasix tablets tomorrow AM. I am to take her back Monday for a blood checkup to see if the dosage needs to be adjusted. Low dose aspirin therapy and possible heart-meds have been mentioned, but her prognosis is about as bleak as it can get…

        Chloe has a multitude of other health problems (heart murmur diagnosed 10 years ago-vet said no follow-up was needed, chronic pancreatitis for 10 years, stroke 5 years ago, stage II kidney disease, some arthritis of the spine). She has coped with all these problems spectacularly over the years, and up until a few weeks ago, was a seemingly happy normal senior kitty. She has been taking cyproheptadine 1X per day to help with her appetite, and Pepcid each evening, as prescribed by her vet.

        I am at a complete loss at this point. I trusted my vet (she is a well-respected felines-only specialist) – but she seemed to completely miss the boat all along the way and Chloe is going to pay the price with her life….I am utterly devastated… Chloe's been with me since she was an 8 week old kitten… I will do anything as far as treatments, etc. to help her…

        How long does it take for cardiomyopathy to advance to this stage – months/weeks?

        So sorry for the extremely long note. Any help/info regarding treatments/what I should be doing to help Chloe, etc. would be greatly appreciated.

        Thank you so much,
        Suzanne and Chloe









        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • elfinmyst@aol.com
        Hi Suzanne I am sorry to hear of Chloe, it must have been such a shock. Unfortunately cats are very good at hiding heart disease and are often first diagnosed
        Message 3 of 5 , Nov 7, 2012
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          Hi Suzanne

          I am sorry to hear of Chloe, it must have been such a shock. Unfortunately
          cats are very good at hiding heart disease and are often first diagnosed in
          heart failure. Do not listen to the prognosis. My Trixi had advanced HCM
          as a 12 week kitten, was given a few months to live. She is 6 years old this
          year. The important thing to do now is get that fluid off her lungs as an
          emergency.

          She may need IV lasix for a short while in the surgery to get the fluid
          away or even a chest tap. Half of a lasix 20mg once a day is not the maximum
          dose and lasix only lasts about 8 hours, so ideally she'll need it
          twice/three times a day. Trixi needed 5 mg every 4 hours through day and night at
          her crisis.

          Unfortunately lasix does make kidney disease worse, so it will be a case of
          balancing her needs, but right now the heart is the most important and it
          is vital to get that fluid away. Heart helping drugs such as fortekor or
          atenolol might be given.

          Is she on steroids for the pancreatitis? They are dangerous in a cat with
          HCM and can push into heart failure. If she is on them, unless essential,
          she needs to be weaned off as sooon as possible.

          Lyn

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

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • zan200
          Hi Dr. Karen, Thank you so much for your response. My regular feline vet has a parternship with a Board Certified Internal Medicine specialist who performs
          Message 4 of 5 , Nov 7, 2012
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            Hi Dr. Karen,

            Thank you so much for your response. My "regular" feline vet has a parternship with a Board Certified Internal Medicine specialist who performs echocardiograms, ultrasounds and endoscopies at the "regular" vet's office. She has her own equipment, nurse, etc. - does a complete consult and goes over the results and treatment plan. She was familiar with Chloe as she performed her ultrasound following the pancreatitis diagnosis 10 years ago. She also was the Dr. that found the heart murmur.

            Chloe is on no meds for the kidney failure - she been at stage II for over a year and it has not progressed. Chloe had a complete blood work up October 12th - no thyroid problems, no increase in kidney levels - everything checked out OK - except for my repeatedly telling the vet that something was "off" with her appetite and general appearance.

            Prior to this, the only meds Chloe takes are cyproheptadine for appetite and Pepcid - PM for acid reduction.

            Chloe is extremely hyper-sensitive to drugs/vaccines, etc. Hence the need to administer new drugs one at a time at a much lower than normal dosage. Vet started her on the 1/2 tab of Lasix 2X per day. It is definitely working so far - Chloe amazingly seems much more her old self. Vet is concerned about the Lasix's effect on Chloe's kidneys and will do a blood recheck on Monday, but removing the fluid is the primary concern.

            Originally, Dr. wanted to tap the excess fluid, but the ultrasound revealed the heart was so enlarged there was no room in the chest cavity to safely do the procedure, so the Lasix injection was administered. The specialist said Chloe's condition was so critical, stress during the ultrasound could have possibly triggered a fatal event right there.

            I'm still trying to digest all the information the vet gave me as I was pretty much in shock at the time – I take Chloe in for regular senior checkups, blood work, etc. so I'm still trying to figure out how and why the vet missed what was going on…

            I have a few questions regarding diet, but will post them separately.

            Thank you so much for all your help and support – it is greatly, greatly appreciated.

            Suzanne and Chloe
            --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, Karen Plasket <slammerfold@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > Hi Suzanne,
            > Just wanted to clarify a couple of things...who did the ultrasound? Was it your regular vet, or a board-certified cardiologist? I would recommend making sure a cardiologist initially does the echocardiogram work-up...your referring vet can then monitor as needed.
            > Has she been on any type of medical intervention for her kidney failure?
            > Typically, heart disease starts out and can advance very slowly, or not at all...it really just depends on the genetics of the cat, and even luck of the draw (so to speak). My cat was diagnosed with a slight heart murmur when he was about 6, but never went on meds until he was about 12. I know it may seem bleak right now, but Chloe can still have a good quality of life ahead of her. I actually had a cardiologist tell me my cat had about 6 months to live...that was over 4 years ago. Right now, the most important thing is to get and keep the fluid off, as that is what causes her trouble breathing. My cat is on Lasix, too...it is a great medication.
            > Karen
            >
            >
            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: zan200 <zan200@...>
            > To: feline-heart <feline-heart@yahoogroups.com>
            > Sent: Tue, Nov 6, 2012 9:43 pm
            > Subject: [FH] New Member - Chloe, Just Diagnosed
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Hello...After a devastating 3 weeks of back and forth vet visits, my 18 1/2 year old Platinum Burmese, Chloe was today diagnosed with severe cardiomyopathy. Her heart is 3X normal size with fluid around the lungs and heart and she is now considered to be in heart failure. We were told by the specialist that she was pretty much the worst case she's seen...
            >
            > Chloe began to seem "off" in October – not eating as much, not as active, so I scheduled a vet visit to see what was going on.
            > 1st vet visit – blood work taken – no problems, possible arthritis.
            > 2nd visit- Chloe seemed worse and had had some coughing episodes so back to the vet – diagnosis, possible hairball/ arthritis – prescribed pain meds.
            > 3rd visit yesterday – Over the weekend Chloe began experiencing breathing problems, open-mouth coughing/choking, episodes of rapid deep breathing – vet now took X-rays and found fluid on her lungs. Gave her Lasix injection and scheduled her for an ultrasound today.
            >
            > The ultrasound discovered the severely enlarged heart and above mentioned diagnosis of heart failure. She was given another Lasix injection and I am to start her on ½ tab of Lasix tablets tomorrow AM. I am to take her back Monday for a blood checkup to see if the dosage needs to be adjusted. Low dose aspirin therapy and possible heart-meds have been mentioned, but her prognosis is about as bleak as it can get…
            >
            > Chloe has a multitude of other health problems (heart murmur diagnosed 10 years ago-vet said no follow-up was needed, chronic pancreatitis for 10 years, stroke 5 years ago, stage II kidney disease, some arthritis of the spine). She has coped with all these problems spectacularly over the years, and up until a few weeks ago, was a seemingly happy normal senior kitty. She has been taking cyproheptadine 1X per day to help with her appetite, and Pepcid each evening, as prescribed by her vet.
            >
            > I am at a complete loss at this point. I trusted my vet (she is a well-respected felines-only specialist) – but she seemed to completely miss the boat all along the way and Chloe is going to pay the price with her life….I am utterly devastated… Chloe's been with me since she was an 8 week old kitten… I will do anything as far as treatments, etc. to help her…
            >
            > How long does it take for cardiomyopathy to advance to this stage – months/weeks?
            >
            > So sorry for the extremely long note. Any help/info regarding treatments/what I should be doing to help Chloe, etc. would be greatly appreciated.
            >
            > Thank you so much,
            > Suzanne and Chloe
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • zan200
            Hi Lyn, Thanks so much for your help...I didn t realize I needed to post notes to the group address, so please excuse any multiple notes that may have ended up
            Message 5 of 5 , Nov 7, 2012
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              Hi Lyn,
              Thanks so much for your help...I didn't realize I needed to post notes to the group address, so please excuse any multiple notes that may have ended up as direct emails - stress has definitely gotten the better of me...

              Chloe was originally scheduled to have a chest tap after her ultrasound. Unfortunately, her heart was so massively enlarged the Ultrasound Vet said it was too dangerous to attempt it as her heart was filling her entire chest cavity.

              She did receive 2 Lasix injections Monday and Tuesday. I am to give her 1/2 tab 2X per day until we return for blood work next Monday to check her kidneys. I'm afraid to get my hopes up but I can tell the Lasix is helping - no signs of the dreadful respiratory symptoms (deep open-mouth rapid breathing, panting, etc.)she had been experiencing.

              Chloe is highly sensitive to most drugs and thankfully is not on any type of steroids - she was given one dose of steriods many, many years ago after the onset of her pancreatitis and had a terrible reaction. She takes cyproheptadine to help with her appetitie and Pepcid every PM for acid stomach - she's been on both those drugs for about 5 years with no problems.

              Because of her prior history of bad drug reactions, the vet said to start small with the Lasix and see how she does, then move on to trying baby aspirin, then a heart med. She also mentioned a low-salt diet, but not to push anything as Chloe brings the term "finicky eater" to a new level. I have some questions regarding diet, but will post them in a separate note.

              Again, thank you so much for you help and support,
              Suzanne and Chloe




              --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, elfinmyst@... wrote:
              >
              > Hi Suzanne
              >
              > I am sorry to hear of Chloe, it must have been such a shock. Unfortunately
              > cats are very good at hiding heart disease and are often first diagnosed in
              > heart failure. Do not listen to the prognosis. My Trixi had advanced HCM
              > as a 12 week kitten, was given a few months to live. She is 6 years old this
              > year. The important thing to do now is get that fluid off her lungs as an
              > emergency.
              >
              > She may need IV lasix for a short while in the surgery to get the fluid
              > away or even a chest tap. Half of a lasix 20mg once a day is not the maximum
              > dose and lasix only lasts about 8 hours, so ideally she'll need it
              > twice/three times a day. Trixi needed 5 mg every 4 hours through day and night at
              > her crisis.
              >
              > Unfortunately lasix does make kidney disease worse, so it will be a case of
              > balancing her needs, but right now the heart is the most important and it
              > is vital to get that fluid away. Heart helping drugs such as fortekor or
              > atenolol might be given.
              >
              > Is she on steroids for the pancreatitis? They are dangerous in a cat with
              > HCM and can push into heart failure. If she is on them, unless essential,
              > she needs to be weaned off as sooon as possible.
              >
              > Lyn
              >
              > _www.myfurkids.co.uk_ (http://www.myfurkids.co.uk/)
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
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