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  • MrGoji@aol.com
    Hello all - Today is my first day at this group, and it is really interesting. I would like to tell you about my kitty, and I appreciate any info or
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 26, 2000
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      Hello all -
      Today is my first day at this group, and it is really interesting. I would
      like to tell you about my kitty, and I appreciate any info or suggestions
      that you have.

      Frannie came to live with us 5 years ago, and we got her from the alley. We
      took her to the vet; he estimated that she was 8 or 9 years old, so if he was
      right, she is now 13 or 14. About 3 years ago, at a regular checkup, the vet
      noticed that she had lost about a pound since the previous year's visit
      (previous = 9.5/10 lbs). He suggested that it might be cardiomyopathy and we
      did a test, was it an xray? or an echocardiogram? anyway we found out that
      she is experiencing some thickening of her heart's walls. He put her on
      diltiazem, which Thank God is in a capsule, and we open it up onto her food
      every night.

      When he tested her, she did not want to be still, so he had to "put her
      under" for awhile. I hate that! I suppose it is okay, I mean she certainly
      recovered from it, but we were so scared when she came home that day - she
      was SO drugged, she couldn't walk, her eyes were barely open, and she just
      slept for SO LONG. The next day she was MUCH improved, and the next day she
      was back to normal. Maybe I am just being overly worried. Anyway, she has now
      been on the same dosage of diltiazem for about three years, and she seems
      great, but she has gone down to about 7 or 7.5 pounds.

      My questions are these: should I get new tests done? It seems like it
      stresses her out so much (and stresses her heart out so much) that I wonder
      if the little bit of vague information that we get out of it is worth all
      that. But I am very willing to be wrong, I do want her to be as healthy and
      happy as she can be. And the more I read on this board, the more I realize
      how much I don't know! creatinine? liver levels? what is CRF? I feel really
      dumb.

      We have fed her Nutro and Iams and lately Solid Gold Katzenflocken, and she
      is always ravenous (but if we let her eat as much as she wants, she
      eventually throws up). About 3 weeks ago, I started making a lot of her food,
      based on what I have been reading in The New Natural Cat, and on the web,
      etc. Raw food seems to be quite popular, what do any of you think about the
      raw-food diet? any pros or cons that you have experienced? also, what should
      we add or subtract from her diet, to help her with the cardiomyopathy? I am
      willing and able to make all of her food, and I would really love to fatten
      her up. She is quite petite, she will never be one of those 20 pound
      tigresses, but she is too little now. Otherwise, she seems to be well - she
      plays for shorter periods of time now, than she used to, but that could just
      be an aging kitty. That said, she is sprightly enough that no one who knows
      her thinks she is even 13 yet. Some things I have read have said that 3 years
      is the most you can hope for, with cardiomyopathy - and she has had it for
      three years now! But I believe I read that someone here has had their cat on
      dil. for longer than that. What should I be watching for?

      I apologize for the length of this message. Thank you for any advice you can
      give to me and Frannie - our whole family (including the dachsund)
      appreciates it.
      Beth
    • Jonathan Rosenberg
      ... Welcome, beth. Glad to have you. ... I m an amateur with this, so please don t take what I say in this message as gospel. But it is what I have learned
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 26, 2000
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        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: MrGoji@... [mailto:MrGoji@...]
        > Sent: Monday, June 26, 2000 3:51 AM
        > To: feline-heart@egroups.com
        > Subject: [feline-heart] I'm new here

        > Today is my first day at this group, and it is really interesting.

        Welcome, beth. Glad to have you.

        > I would like to tell you about my kitty, and I appreciate any info or
        > suggestions that you have.

        > Frannie came to live with us 5 years ago, and we got her from the
        > alley. We took her to the vet; he estimated that she was 8 or 9 years
        > old, so if he was right, she is now 13 or 14. About 3 years ago, at a
        > regular checkup, the vet noticed that she had lost about a pound since
        > the previous year's visit (previous = 9.5/10 lbs). He suggested that
        > it might be cardiomyopathy and we did a test, was it an xray? or an
        > echocardiogram?

        I'm an amateur with this, so please don't take what I say in this message as
        gospel. But it is what I have learned through experience & reading.

        The only way to definitevly diagnose cardiomyopathy is with an
        echocardiogram (ultrasound). Sometimes, x-rays are used in conjunction with
        this.

        > anyway we found out that she is experiencing some thickening of her
        > heart's walls. He put her on diltiazem, which Thank God is in a
        > capsule, and we open it up onto her food every night.

        Are you sure she is getting ALL of the medicine during that meal?

        > When he tested her, she did not want to be still, so he had to "put her
        > under" for awhile. I hate that! I suppose it is okay, I mean she
        > certainly recovered from it . . .

        A cat must be very still during a x-ray, since it is like taking a still
        photograph. If the patient moves during the exposure, the picture will be
        blurred & worthless.

        An echo, however, is more like looking through a video camera: the
        radiologist watches in real time as the echo shows a live "picture".

        When Lynx has his echoes he is not drugged at all, though they tell me he is
        very "squirmy". Maybe Frannie is more than "squirmy"? Could she be
        unmanageable during this procedure? What do you think?

        > My questions are these: should I get new tests done? It seems like it
        > stresses her out so much (and stresses her heart out so much) that I
        > wonder if the little bit of vague information that we get out of it is
        > worth all that. But I am very willing to be wrong, I do want her to be
        > as healthy and happy as she can be. . . .

        I really wouldn't pass on the echocardiograms. They give much more than a
        "little bit of vague information". They really give a very good picture of
        the shape & health of the heart. Is Frannie seeing a feline cardiologist?
        I'm wondering whether a vet with better technique could do the echog without
        putting her under?

        > I apologize for the length of this message. Thank you for any
        > advice you can give to me and Frannie - our whole family (including]
        > the dachsund) appreciates it.

        Please write often & keep us informed on Frannie's progress.

        Oh, yeah ... give her a kiss for me.

        > Beth

        --
        JR
        & Tabby (RB), Licorice, Tigger, Lynx
      • Jeanne Warner
        Hi! Dom is also on Dilitizem but he was only diagnosed 6 months ago. But, maybe I can give you some input on what I have learned so far. He has had 2
        Message 3 of 5 , Jun 26, 2000
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          Hi!

          Dom is also on Dilitizem but he was only diagnosed 6 months ago. But,
          maybe I can give you some input on what I have learned so far.

          He has had 2 ultrasounds. We have a feline cardiologist and
          while he doesn't enjoy the drive to get there, I know it is
          worthwhile. When he does the ultrasound, kitty is totally awake. He
          has my husband and I in the room when he is doing the ultrasound so
          he can show us Doms heart and explain what is happening with him. He
          has a lab tech that is wonderful with the animals and she holds Dom
          but they always have me pet him and stay with him so it is less
          stressful. We will have our next ultrasound in 7 months. So, that is
          a total of 3 ultrasounds in about 13-14 months.

          Our doc has told me that Dom may live 5 years or longer. As long as
          they do not develop a blood clot and do well on the heart meds, he
          tells me anything is possible. He just suggests keeping stress to a
          minumum.

          We have a different problem with weight. Dom eats Nutro lite food as
          he was almost 17 pounds when diagnosed with HCM. He has now lost over
          1 pound but still has about 2 more pounds to go. I also have his
          Dilitazem formulated into a tuna flavored liquid that I mix with meat
          baby food and feed it to him. He seems to enjoy this and licks the
          plate clean.

          Since I don't know if your vet was running the tests or if you have a
          cardiologist, it is hard to say what you should do next. But, I would
          recommend the ultrasound. Dom who gets super stressed over most
          anything doesn't really mind this procedure.

          Good luck!
          Jeanne & Dom



          --- In feline-heart@egroups.com, MrGoji@a... wrote:
          > Hello all -
          > Today is my first day at this group, and it is really interesting.
          I would
          > like to tell you about my kitty, and I appreciate any info or
          suggestions
          > that you have.
          >
          > Frannie came to live with us 5 years ago, and we got her from the
          alley. We
          > took her to the vet; he estimated that she was 8 or 9 years old, so
          if he was
          > right, she is now 13 or 14. About 3 years ago, at a regular
          checkup, the vet
          > noticed that she had lost about a pound since the previous year's
          visit
          > (previous = 9.5/10 lbs). He suggested that it might be
          cardiomyopathy and we
          > did a test, was it an xray? or an echocardiogram? anyway we found
          out that
          > she is experiencing some thickening of her heart's walls. He put
          her on
          > diltiazem, which Thank God is in a capsule, and we open it up onto
          her food
          > every night.
          >
          > When he tested her, she did not want to be still, so he had to "put
          her
          > under" for awhile. I hate that! I suppose it is okay, I mean she
          certainly
          > recovered from it, but we were so scared when she came home that
          day - she
          > was SO drugged, she couldn't walk, her eyes were barely open, and
          she just
          > slept for SO LONG. The next day she was MUCH improved, and the next
          day she
          > was back to normal. Maybe I am just being overly worried. Anyway,
          she has now
          > been on the same dosage of diltiazem for about three years, and she
          seems
          > great, but she has gone down to about 7 or 7.5 pounds.
          >
          > My questions are these: should I get new tests done? It seems like
          it
          > stresses her out so much (and stresses her heart out so much) that
          I wonder
          > if the little bit of vague information that we get out of it is
          worth all
          > that. But I am very willing to be wrong, I do want her to be as
          healthy and
          > happy as she can be. And the more I read on this board, the more I
          realize
          > how much I don't know! creatinine? liver levels? what is CRF? I
          feel really
          > dumb.
          >
          > We have fed her Nutro and Iams and lately Solid Gold Katzenflocken,
          and she
          > is always ravenous (but if we let her eat as much as she wants, she
          > eventually throws up). About 3 weeks ago, I started making a lot of
          her food,
          > based on what I have been reading in The New Natural Cat, and on
          the web,
          > etc. Raw food seems to be quite popular, what do any of you think
          about the
          > raw-food diet? any pros or cons that you have experienced? also,
          what should
          > we add or subtract from her diet, to help her with the
          cardiomyopathy? I am
          > willing and able to make all of her food, and I would really love
          to fatten
          > her up. She is quite petite, she will never be one of those 20
          pound
          > tigresses, but she is too little now. Otherwise, she seems to be
          well - she
          > plays for shorter periods of time now, than she used to, but that
          could just
          > be an aging kitty. That said, she is sprightly enough that no one
          who knows
          > her thinks she is even 13 yet. Some things I have read have said
          that 3 years
          > is the most you can hope for, with cardiomyopathy - and she has had
          it for
          > three years now! But I believe I read that someone here has had
          their cat on
          > dil. for longer than that. What should I be watching for?
          >
          > I apologize for the length of this message. Thank you for any
          advice you can
          > give to me and Frannie - our whole family (including the dachsund)
          > appreciates it.
          > Beth
        • brunobaby@accesshub.net
          ... How do you formulate this tuna-flavored Diltiazem? We ve tried everything short of a puppet show to get Pongo s meds into him. We ve wedged the pills into
          Message 4 of 5 , Jun 27, 2000
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            Jeanne said:

            >I also have his
            >Dilitazem formulated into a tuna flavored liquid that I mix with meat
            >baby food and feed it to him. He seems to enjoy this and licks the
            >plate clean.

            How do you formulate this tuna-flavored Diltiazem?

            We've tried everything short of a puppet show to get Pongo's meds into him.
            We've wedged the pills into his jaw, hid them in a treat, mixed them
            crushed with water from a tuna fish can, chicken-flavored baby food,
            unsalted chicken broth. What seems to work the best is crushing each pill
            into a tiny blob of warm canned food, waiting until he cleans the dish, and
            giving him another tiny blob of crushed pill food.

            We just got a good report from the vet on Pongo's tests and can keep giving
            him the Vasotec. Yay!

            -- Melinda and Pongo
          • Jeanne Warner
            Hi! Glad to hear that the test went well and that the Vasotec hasn t affected Pongo! We had the same results about a week agao and I was thrilled too. On the
            Message 5 of 5 , Jun 28, 2000
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              Hi!

              Glad to hear that the test went well and that the Vasotec hasn't
              affected Pongo! We had the same results about a week agao and I was
              thrilled too.

              On the tuna flavored liquid drugs--here is what I do. I have my
              cardiologist write a prescription for the drug. Then I have a
              pharmacist that formulates the meds for me. When I first started
              this, I called all of the pharmacies in our area and found 2 in our
              little town that will do this for pets. You vet or cardiologist may
              already know someone if you ask them. I have been told that you can
              also order them by mail if you totally couldn't find someone. He
              charges me $2. to formulate it plus the cost of the drug. Dom takes
              dilitizem and vasotec and he was able to put this into 1 bottle. I
              have my choice of lots of flavors, tuna, chicken hearts, chocolate
              and I don't remember all of the others. I choose tuna the first time
              and since Dom likes it, I never changed! My cardiologist says that I
              can add it to anything that Dom will eat. He doesn't care what it has
              to be but Dom has allergies so I tried the chicken baby food and
              again, he eats that, so I am not changing a thing! I had tried some
              different canned cat foods but he didn't like those as well. If he
              hesitates to eat, I just crumble a few Tender Vittles or Whisker
              Lickens acros the top and he can't resist that. Thank heavens I found
              the formulated drugs as if I had to give him a bunch of pills each
              day, I would need a cardiologist! Ha! This is totally stress free for
              Dom and me.
              Good luck in finding the pharmacist.
              Jeanne & Dom





              --- In feline-heart@egroups.com, brunobaby@a... wrote:
              > Jeanne said:
              >
              > >I also have his
              > >Dilitazem formulated into a tuna flavored liquid that I mix with
              meat
              > >baby food and feed it to him. He seems to enjoy this and licks the
              > >plate clean.
              >
              > How do you formulate this tuna-flavored Diltiazem?
              >
              > We've tried everything short of a puppet show to get Pongo's meds
              into him.
              > We've wedged the pills into his jaw, hid them in a treat, mixed them
              > crushed with water from a tuna fish can, chicken-flavored baby food,
              > unsalted chicken broth. What seems to work the best is crushing
              each pill
              > into a tiny blob of warm canned food, waiting until he cleans the
              dish, and
              > giving him another tiny blob of crushed pill food.
              >
              > We just got a good report from the vet on Pongo's tests and can
              keep giving
              > him the Vasotec. Yay!
              >
              > -- Melinda and Pongo
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