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Intro to Charlie

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  • Nicole Sycz
    Hello everyone. First I want to say how thankful I am to have found this group. My little boy Charlie was diagnosed with HCM on Friday evening, and I am having
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 10, 2013
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      Hello everyone.

      First I want to say how thankful I am to have found this group. My little boy Charlie was diagnosed with HCM on Friday evening, and I am having a very hard time coping with this diagnosis.

      My husband and I welcomed Charlie and his brother Leo into our lives about 5 years ago, after losing our cat David. David had ingested something that blocked his intestines, and by the time we realized something was wrong, it was too late. We had to have him euthanized, and I was absolutely heartbroken. When I was ready, I knew I needed at least 2 cats because I have way too much love to give.

      I'm not sure if this is typical, but very shortly after joining our family, Charlie and Leo picked their favorite human. They love us both, of course, but my husband is Leo's best friend and I am Charlie's.

      Both cats have always been fairly healthy. They had some intestinal issues when they were babies, but after a lot of visits to the vet and switching foods to find one that agreed with them, everything was great. Until Friday morning, that is.

      We woke up to the cats running around and playing/fighting. All of a sudden, Charlie was laying on his side howling in pain. The poor guy had an accident on the floor and was having a lot of trouble breathing. I got him to vet as soon as they would see me. I was afraid he had fallen and gotten hurt or something. I was not expecting the news I received that day.

      When I arrived, they were all ready to sedate him and take X-rays. The X-rays revealed an enlarged heart and fluid in his lungs. They gave him a bunch of medicine (Lasix is one. I forget what the others are) and put him into an oxygen chamber.

      Fortunately, his breathing improved in the oxygen chamber. They weaned him off, and he was doing ok breathing with just the room air. We were allowed to bring him home Friday night. We were given 2 pills to give him daily and some baby aspirin to give him every 3 days. He has a checkup next Friday, and an appointment with a cardiologist.

      He still seems to be doing ok. We have to keep him separated from Leo for a week, and that is very hard. Leo just stands in front of the bedroom door crying. We let him in to see Charlie, but he gets too excited so the visits are short.

      I apologize for rambling. I am very thankful to have found people who are dealing with this and who know how I feel about having a cat with a very unpredictable illness. Thank you for reading my story.

      Nicole
    • binarina1
      I m four months in now, and it does get easier. I was a nervous wreck at first, but you get yourself into a routine with food and meds and it makes it easier.
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 10, 2013
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        I'm four months in now, and it does get easier. I was a nervous wreck at first, but you get yourself into a routine with food and meds and it makes it easier. Get yourself a pill cutter if you need to halve pills, and an organiser so you have them all ready when needed.

        It's hard, but everyone who's found their way here obviously greatly values their pets and will try their best for them. This group is great for advice, I've read through so many messages.

        The best advice I can give is getting the meds into Charlie at roughly the same time of day everyday if you can. I count the tablets as I'm giving them, so my cat knows when it's coming to an end. And I feed him at the same times each day. The routine really helps us both.

        All the best.

        --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, "Nicole Sycz" wrote:
        >
        > Hello everyone.
        >
        > First I want to say how thankful I am to have found this group. My little boy Charlie was diagnosed with HCM on Friday evening, and I am having a very hard time coping with this diagnosis.
        >
        > My husband and I welcomed Charlie and his brother Leo into our lives about 5 years ago, after losing our cat David. David had ingested something that blocked his intestines, and by the time we realized something was wrong, it was too late. We had to have him euthanized, and I was absolutely heartbroken. When I was ready, I knew I needed at least 2 cats because I have way too much love to give.
        >
        > I'm not sure if this is typical, but very shortly after joining our family, Charlie and Leo picked their favorite human. They love us both, of course, but my husband is Leo's best friend and I am Charlie's.
        >
        > Both cats have always been fairly healthy. They had some intestinal issues when they were babies, but after a lot of visits to the vet and switching foods to find one that agreed with them, everything was great. Until Friday morning, that is.
        >
        > We woke up to the cats running around and playing/fighting. All of a sudden, Charlie was laying on his side howling in pain. The poor guy had an accident on the floor and was having a lot of trouble breathing. I got him to vet as soon as they would see me. I was afraid he had fallen and gotten hurt or something. I was not expecting the news I received that day.
        >
        > When I arrived, they were all ready to sedate him and take X-rays. The X-rays revealed an enlarged heart and fluid in his lungs. They gave him a bunch of medicine (Lasix is one. I forget what the others are) and put him into an oxygen chamber.
        >
        > Fortunately, his breathing improved in the oxygen chamber. They weaned him off, and he was doing ok breathing with just the room air. We were allowed to bring him home Friday night. We were given 2 pills to give him daily and some baby aspirin to give him every 3 days. He has a checkup next Friday, and an appointment with a cardiologist.
        >
        > He still seems to be doing ok. We have to keep him separated from Leo for a week, and that is very hard. Leo just stands in front of the bedroom door crying. We let him in to see Charlie, but he gets too excited so the visits are short.
        >
        > I apologize for rambling. I am very thankful to have found people who are dealing with this and who know how I feel about having a cat with a very unpredictable illness. Thank you for reading my story.
        >
        > Nicole
        >
      • Westgold
        welcome to the group nobody wants to join. We will do everything we can to help you. Your next step is to see the cardiologist for the echocardiogram, it is
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 10, 2013
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          welcome to the group nobody wants to join. We will do everything we can to help you. Your next step is to see the cardiologist for the echocardiogram, it is the only way to ascertain his heart's status. Once that test is done, the cardiologist will tell you what needs to be done, which meds, etc. Controlling the fluid buildup in the lungs will be your biggest challenge. Be sure to discuss that thoroughly with the cardiologist. Charlie will need meds, probably lasix, be sure you know when and how to use it when you see Charlie having trouble breathing, etc. Don't leave until you totally understand.

          Is Leo a full brother? If so, he has a 25% chance of also having this heart disease -- you'll need to get him echoed too. If he has it, you can start the meds early, and if he doesn't, then you won't have to worry.

          HCM is not an automatic death sentence, don't let anybody give you a timeline. Many of us have kitties diagnosed when they were young, and they're still ticking years later. My Tigger was dx at 5 months, and is 8 1/2 years old now. He's just fine on atenolol and hasn't had any fluid problems. There are great meds, and more can be added if necessary.

          You are blessed that you had this warning episode -- some cats just drop dead of HCM with no warning. Now you have the opportunity to take care of things properly -- he could live a normal lifespan!

          take care -- Michelle & Tigger Too in Toronto


          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Nicole Sycz
          To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Sunday, February 10, 2013 3:55 PM
          Subject: [FH] Intro to Charlie



          Hello everyone.

          First I want to say how thankful I am to have found this group. My little boy Charlie was diagnosed with HCM on Friday evening, and I am having a very hard time coping with this diagnosis.

          My husband and I welcomed Charlie and his brother Leo into our lives about 5 years ago, after losing our cat David. David had ingested something that blocked his intestines, and by the time we realized something was wrong, it was too late. We had to have him euthanized, and I was absolutely heartbroken. When I was ready, I knew I needed at least 2 cats because I have way too much love to give.

          I'm not sure if this is typical, but very shortly after joining our family, Charlie and Leo picked their favorite human. They love us both, of course, but my husband is Leo's best friend and I am Charlie's.

          Both cats have always been fairly healthy. They had some intestinal issues when they were babies, but after a lot of visits to the vet and switching foods to find one that agreed with them, everything was great. Until Friday morning, that is.

          We woke up to the cats running around and playing/fighting. All of a sudden, Charlie was laying on his side howling in pain. The poor guy had an accident on the floor and was having a lot of trouble breathing. I got him to vet as soon as they would see me. I was afraid he had fallen and gotten hurt or something. I was not expecting the news I received that day.

          When I arrived, they were all ready to sedate him and take X-rays. The X-rays revealed an enlarged heart and fluid in his lungs. They gave him a bunch of medicine (Lasix is one. I forget what the others are) and put him into an oxygen chamber.

          Fortunately, his breathing improved in the oxygen chamber. They weaned him off, and he was doing ok breathing with just the room air. We were allowed to bring him home Friday night. We were given 2 pills to give him daily and some baby aspirin to give him every 3 days. He has a checkup next Friday, and an appointment with a cardiologist.

          He still seems to be doing ok. We have to keep him separated from Leo for a week, and that is very hard. Leo just stands in front of the bedroom door crying. We let him in to see Charlie, but he gets too excited so the visits are short.

          I apologize for rambling. I am very thankful to have found people who are dealing with this and who know how I feel about having a cat with a very unpredictable illness. Thank you for reading my story.

          Nicole





          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Westgold
          keep calm and carry on ! he doesn t know he s sick, so treat him as normally as you can. Play a little, just don t overdo. Stop the second he sits or lies
          Message 4 of 4 , Feb 10, 2013
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            keep calm and carry on ! he doesn't know he's sick, so treat him as
            normally as you can. Play a little, just don't overdo. Stop the second he
            sits or lies down or shows any heavy breathing. Keep an eye on his resting
            breaths per minute --- 22-28 is perfect, over 30 is a warning, and 40 is an
            emergency. That is the earliest indicator of fluid in the lungs, heavy or
            labored or fast breathing --

            If you can keep the fluid under control, you've won most of the battle. Ask
            the cardio to give you some extra lasix to have on hand, in case you see a
            sudden problem.

            Don't let anybody give you a timeline!!! Just carry on, do the best you
            can. This is a terrible disease, and it can turn on a dime. Be prepared!!
            Know where the ER is and their hours, keep a carrier right by the door.

            If there's any chance Leo may be rlated -- I'd get him checked. Otherwise
            you'll just worry about him. They pick up on our anxiety, so you have to
            learn to control it. Treat Charlie as normally as possible. Keep his as
            stress-free as possible, it will help.



            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Nicole Sycz" <ndolbin_1029@...>
            To: "Westgold" <westgold@...>
            Sent: Sunday, February 10, 2013 7:13 PM
            Subject: Re: Intro to Charlie


            Thanks so much for your response.

            Our vet has a cardiologist who comes into the office every few Wednesdays.
            They put a call into her about Charlie and they are trying to get her in
            ASAP.

            The vet gave us two different meds. One is a diuretic and the other is an
            ACE inhibitor. I know the diuretic is to help control the fluid buildup.

            We think Leo is a his biological brother but we aren't 100% sure. We rescued
            these guys from a woman who fostered a bunch of cats (way too many in my
            opinion, but that's another story) and she said they were litter mates. The
            vet knows this and has asked us to bring Leo in for a check up when things
            calm down a bit.

            I have been a wreck all weekend after the vet said that 2 years seems to be
            the average lifespan after prognosis, but I've already seen a lot of stories
            on here that have debunked that. It gives me hope. I am so lucky that this
            episode wasn't fatal, and my heart breaks for all the people who have had
            that happen to their poor kitties.

            Thanks again and take care

            Nicole and Leo & Charlie

            --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, "Westgold" wrote:
            >
            > welcome to the group nobody wants to join. We will do everything we can
            > to help you. Your next step is to see the cardiologist for the
            > echocardiogram, it is the only way to ascertain his heart's status. Once
            > that test is done, the cardiologist will tell you what needs to be done,
            > which meds, etc. Controlling the fluid buildup in the lungs will be your
            > biggest challenge. Be sure to discuss that thoroughly with the
            > cardiologist. Charlie will need meds, probably lasix, be sure you know
            > when and how to use it when you see Charlie having trouble breathing, etc.
            > Don't leave until you totally understand.
            >
            > Is Leo a full brother? If so, he has a 25% chance of also having this
            > heart disease -- you'll need to get him echoed too. If he has it, you can
            > start the meds early, and if he doesn't, then you won't have to worry.
            >
            > HCM is not an automatic death sentence, don't let anybody give you a
            > timeline. Many of us have kitties diagnosed when they were young, and
            > they're still ticking years later. My Tigger was dx at 5 months, and is 8
            > 1/2 years old now. He's just fine on atenolol and hasn't had any fluid
            > problems. There are great meds, and more can be added if necessary.
            >
            > You are blessed that you had this warning episode -- some cats just drop
            > dead of HCM with no warning. Now you have the opportunity to take care of
            > things properly -- he could live a normal lifespan!
            >
            > take care -- Michelle & Tigger Too in Toronto
            >
            >
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: Nicole Sycz
            > To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com
            > Sent: Sunday, February 10, 2013 3:55 PM
            > Subject: [FH] Intro to Charlie
            >
            >
            >
            > Hello everyone.
            >
            > First I want to say how thankful I am to have found this group. My
            > little boy Charlie was diagnosed with HCM on Friday evening, and I am
            > having a very hard time coping with this diagnosis.
            >
            > My husband and I welcomed Charlie and his brother Leo into our lives
            > about 5 years ago, after losing our cat David. David had ingested
            > something that blocked his intestines, and by the time we realized
            > something was wrong, it was too late. We had to have him euthanized, and I
            > was absolutely heartbroken. When I was ready, I knew I needed at least 2
            > cats because I have way too much love to give.
            >
            > I'm not sure if this is typical, but very shortly after joining our
            > family, Charlie and Leo picked their favorite human. They love us both, of
            > course, but my husband is Leo's best friend and I am Charlie's.
            >
            > Both cats have always been fairly healthy. They had some intestinal
            > issues when they were babies, but after a lot of visits to the vet and
            > switching foods to find one that agreed with them, everything was great.
            > Until Friday morning, that is.
            >
            > We woke up to the cats running around and playing/fighting. All of a
            > sudden, Charlie was laying on his side howling in pain. The poor guy had
            > an accident on the floor and was having a lot of trouble breathing. I got
            > him to vet as soon as they would see me. I was afraid he had fallen and
            > gotten hurt or something. I was not expecting the news I received that
            > day.
            >
            > When I arrived, they were all ready to sedate him and take X-rays. The
            > X-rays revealed an enlarged heart and fluid in his lungs. They gave him a
            > bunch of medicine (Lasix is one. I forget what the others are) and put him
            > into an oxygen chamber.
            >
            > Fortunately, his breathing improved in the oxygen chamber. They weaned
            > him off, and he was doing ok breathing with just the room air. We were
            > allowed to bring him home Friday night. We were given 2 pills to give him
            > daily and some baby aspirin to give him every 3 days. He has a checkup
            > next Friday, and an appointment with a cardiologist.
            >
            > He still seems to be doing ok. We have to keep him separated from Leo
            > for a week, and that is very hard. Leo just stands in front of the bedroom
            > door crying. We let him in to see Charlie, but he gets too excited so the
            > visits are short.
            >
            > I apologize for rambling. I am very thankful to have found people who
            > are dealing with this and who know how I feel about having a cat with a
            > very unpredictable illness. Thank you for reading my story.
            >
            > Nicole
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
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