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New Member - Kalysta, and Bob

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  • Bob S
    Hi all, I wanted to introduce myself and my kitty and give her background (before I might actually need urgent info in the event of an emergency). This is all
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 9, 2012
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      Hi all,

      I wanted to introduce myself and my kitty and give her background (before I might actually need urgent info in the event of an emergency). This is all new to me, so I am learning as much as I can, as quickly as I can, so I can become more attuned to what constitutes an emergency.

      Kalysta is my little lymphoma miracle kitty. Diagnosed Labor Day 2007 with large cell lymphoma, she did 18 months of chemo and this upcoming March will have been off chemo for 4 years. She was 8 years old when diagnosed and she just had her 14th birthday last month. A LOT of prayer and Daddy-care are got her through that cruddy disease. (I am a long-term member/moderator of the feline lymphoma group.)

      I took her into the vet on 11/20 because I observed a inconsistent but unusual-for-her cough/hack. Full bloodwork turned up nothing. Xray should possible fluid around her lungs, which I later learned was possible pleural effusion and the cause for her cough/hacking. It was recommended that I visit with an internist/oncologist, to which I readily agreed, especially after my lymphoma experience.

      On the 26th, the specialist examined her and performed took an ultrasound(s). The fluid was due to pleural effusion and she was diagnosed with HCM. She was given Lasix and Benazepril. By this time, Kalysta was already becoming inappetant and I began syringe-feeding.

      On 12/04, I took her back for a followup visit for the fluid. It is gone, so I am currently weaning her off the Lasix, with the last dose tonight. Kalysta was still not eating and despite my assisted feeding, she lost a couple of more ounces. I consented to full body ultrasounds to rule out a lymphoma relapse, and they came back clean.

      So, that is where Kalysta and I are today. She is still not stable on her weight, although I increased her caloric intake. She now gets ~40 cc's AD syringed 4 times a day, which is just about 1 can; a LOT for a cat who only eats dry food normally and should weigh around 9lbs, down to 7lbs now.

      She walks very wobbily, which I attribute to her weightloss. Much to my ignorance regarding HCM, I know that there can be other factors to this weakness, including throwing a clot, etc, all of which I am trying to learn. According to an IM who is a member of the lymphoma group, the Lasix can also cause inappetance and feeling crappy because of the hit on potassium in a cat.

      Hanging in there and trying to make sure Kalysta is getting enough nutrition/food until she eats on her own. I know that this disease will need daily attention, I know. and here I thought Lymphoma was a long and tough road to hoe, but it seems like HCM might have even be more taxing.

      Bob
    • Laurie Stead
      Hi Bob, I am sorry for the HCM dx especially after being through so much already. Did the cardiologist recommend stopping the lasix?  Although the fluid is
      Message 2 of 4 , Dec 9, 2012
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        Hi Bob,

        I am sorry for the HCM dx especially after being through so much already.

        Did the cardiologist recommend stopping the lasix?  Although the fluid is gone (wonderful news!), you want to do what you can to prevent it from returning.  What dose is she getting?  You may want to cut back over time but weaning her off it altogether may not be a good idea. 

        Did you have the potassium level checked?  This may be the cause of the wobbly walking and inappetance.

        Also, have you tried an appetite stimulant?

        In the future, you may want to look into adding Plavix to help prevent blood clots.  Vetmedin has also been a wonder drug for many in this group.

        The best to your Kalysta (luv the name!).

        Laurie


        --- On Sun, 12/9/12, Bob S <rsifuent@...> wrote:

        From: Bob S <rsifuent@...>
        Subject: [FH] New Member - Kalysta, and Bob
        To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Sunday, December 9, 2012, 5:49 PM
















         









        Hi all,



        I wanted to introduce myself and my kitty and give her background (before I might actually need urgent info in the event of an emergency). This is all new to me, so I am learning as much as I can, as quickly as I can, so I can become more attuned to what constitutes an emergency.



        Kalysta is my little lymphoma miracle kitty. Diagnosed Labor Day 2007 with large cell lymphoma, she did 18 months of chemo and this upcoming March will have been off chemo for 4 years. She was 8 years old when diagnosed and she just had her 14th birthday last month. A LOT of prayer and Daddy-care are got her through that cruddy disease. (I am a long-term member/moderator of the feline lymphoma group.)



        I took her into the vet on 11/20 because I observed a inconsistent but unusual-for-her cough/hack. Full bloodwork turned up nothing. Xray should possible fluid around her lungs, which I later learned was possible pleural effusion and the cause for her cough/hacking. It was recommended that I visit with an internist/oncologist, to which I readily agreed, especially after my lymphoma experience.



        On the 26th, the specialist examined her and performed took an ultrasound(s). The fluid was due to pleural effusion and she was diagnosed with HCM. She was given Lasix and Benazepril. By this time, Kalysta was already becoming inappetant and I began syringe-feeding.



        On 12/04, I took her back for a followup visit for the fluid. It is gone, so I am currently weaning her off the Lasix, with the last dose tonight. Kalysta was still not eating and despite my assisted feeding, she lost a couple of more ounces. I consented to full body ultrasounds to rule out a lymphoma relapse, and they came back clean.



        So, that is where Kalysta and I are today. She is still not stable on her weight, although I increased her caloric intake. She now gets ~40 cc's AD syringed 4 times a day, which is just about 1 can; a LOT for a cat who only eats dry food normally and should weigh around 9lbs, down to 7lbs now.



        She walks very wobbily, which I attribute to her weightloss. Much to my ignorance regarding HCM, I know that there can be other factors to this weakness, including throwing a clot, etc, all of which I am trying to learn. According to an IM who is a member of the lymphoma group, the Lasix can also cause inappetance and feeling crappy because of the hit on potassium in a cat.



        Hanging in there and trying to make sure Kalysta is getting enough nutrition/food until she eats on her own. I know that this disease will need daily attention, I know. and here I thought Lymphoma was a long and tough road to hoe, but it seems like HCM might have even be more taxing.



        Bob
















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      • elfinmyst@aol.com
        Hi Bob I am sorry to hear of Kalysta, she is very brave. It s good news the lasix worked so well and quickly but I would also be wary of reducing it until it
        Message 3 of 4 , Dec 9, 2012
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          Hi Bob

          I am sorry to hear of Kalysta, she is very brave. It's good news the lasix
          worked so well and quickly but I would also be wary of reducing it until it
          is certain she is out of heart failure. The potassium and kidney levels
          need to monitored as well, either could cause her appetite to have problems
          and potassium depletion can cause nervous disorders like walking wobbly. It
          is easy to get a potassium supplement, mine came as beef flavour liquid.

          CoQ 10 helps all my cat with heart problems at 30mg per day. Most of the
          forum cats here are on that so it is something to consider from the health
          store or as Cardiostrength which is made for cats with heart problems. You
          can also consider nattokinase (must have vitamin K removed) to prevent blood
          clots if she is at risk of those.

          Count breaths, see what is normal when she is at rest, but not dreaming. It
          should be around 20. Up to 30 is considered normal, over 30 caution and
          over 40 an emergency. But the most important is to see what she is like
          normally so you can see changes quickly.

          Enjoy her! She can still play if she feels like it and enjoy her toys and
          some exercise. She is totally unaware she is sick. I used to be constantly
          checking mine and worrying, but that worried them. So enjoy every day with
          her.

          Lyn:)

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

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Laurie Stead
          Hi Bob, I have included the group so they will have all the information to offer their help as well.  I don t have personal experience with appetite
          Message 4 of 4 , Dec 10, 2012
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            Hi Bob,

            I have included the group so they will have all the information to offer their help as well.  I don't have personal experience with appetite stimulants so maybe others do.

            Finding a cardiologist is really important as they have the best knowledge when it comes to diagnosing and treating HCM. Is there an area Vet Emergency Hospital that may have a cardiology department?  That is how I found Boo's cardiologist who saved her life.  Also get full blood work done so you can see the potassium and kidney levels.  This may explain what is causing the inappetance and wobbly walking and gives you a benchmark for future blood work.

            You mentioned a lot of drinking/urinating which you will see from the lasix... but again blood work will show if there is a
            kidney issue at all.  Yes, long term use of lasix can cause issues but it is important to keep the fluid away right now.  I can't stress enough my personal feeling that lasix is important here.

            She is indeed a miracle and I have a feeling with your diligence she will fight this too.  So keep doing what you're doing but try to find a cardiologist and continue with the lasix for now (did I say that already?? ;-))

            Keep us posted.
            Laurie


            --- On Sun, 12/9/12, Bob S <rsifuent@...> wrote:

            From: Bob S <rsifuent@...>
            Subject: Re: [FH] New Member - Kalysta, and Bob
            To: "Laurie Stead" <kittykatwhiskas@...>
            Date: Sunday, December 9, 2012, 6:41 PM

            Thanks for the reply, Laurie.

            In the past, neither cyproheptadine or mirtazapine worked for her.

            Not sure about if a bonafide cardiologist is available to me. I just moved to Bartlesville, OK from KCMO. The local family vet here referred me to a board-certified oncologist in Tulsa, based on
            Kalysta's history.

            She did recommend that Lasix wasn't necessarily good for cats on a long-term basis, and Dr. Jory, an IM with lots of oncology experience, in the lymphoma group also said to be careful with Lasix... so I was told to wean her off of it. Also, Kalysta really had an immeasurable amount of fluid. What alarmed me about any fluid in the chest is the possibility of mediastinal lymphoma, a very aggressive form of lymphoma... although, I had no knowledge of fluid associated with any other disease... again my ignorance of and surprise that Kalysta could have had heart disease.

            I haven't had more blood work done, but Kalysta does have another IM/onc visit at the end of the month for another full body U/S.

            If she doesn't perk up in the next couple of days, I might have to take her back to the local vet for more blood work done. I don't know how long it takes for the heart meds to kick in, so I am doing my due diligence on the
            homefront for her, making sure she is hydrated and fed. With lymphoma, I would attribute her losing weight despite being fed enough to malabsorption since cancer feeds on nutrition, at least small cell does.

            I've been here before, but still it does take its toll on you. She's sleeping too much. I wake her to feed her. She gets mad. Syringe-feeding can get messy. You try to clean her. She gets mad. She drinks, a lot, thank God. But she becomes too weak to get to the litter box, so you put her in the box and she pees. Yet, other times she pees in bed. Vicious cycle. It takes a lot of patience and tolerance. We do the best we can, don't we? Thankfully, every now and then we are blessed with a little miracle, our little miracle.

            Bob



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