Sorry to hear about Scruffy's dx but know that he can have a good quality of life. He just needs to be stabilized. What dose of furosemide is he on? Usually when the breathing rate is increasing it is indicative of fluid building up... you want to combat that before it becomes an emergency. Perhaps the dose of furosemide is not enough?
My Boo was dx with DCM (very rare in cats... you are the first I have heard of in awhile in this group!) back in Oct 2011 after also suffering CHF. After days in oxygen she survived and stabilized with the right meds. I think your priority needs to be getting the correct diuretic dose and I would also inquire as to starting him on vetmedin.
Don't give up, your boy is obviously a fighter!!
From: marcid.weston <marcid.weston@...
Sent: Thursday, February 21, 2013 11:50 AM
Subject: [FH] New To Group with a Sweet DCM Boy...
Greetings to the lovely, hopeful cat-parents in this group, and thanks for the information so generously shared. My fur-baby Scruffy is 17 and crashed last Monday, rushed to the emergency clinic in respiratory distress. He has been diagnosed with DCM (dialated cardiomyopathy) complicated by a large (2cm x 1.5cm) clot in his left ventricle. They stabilized him by draining 150 ml of fluid from his chest and sent him home on furosemide, benazepril HCL and clopidrogel bisulfate. Once he recoverd from the stress of the clinic visit, he has had a pretty good week -happy, interactive and eating well. I don't think that the drugs are working as well as hoped though, as his resting respiration rate has been gradually creeping up (best day was 24 breaths per minute with 93% O2 saturation, today he is at 31 bpw with unknown saturation).
Scruffy was likely abused before he decided to adopt us, and being handled by strangers is stressful for him in the extreme. I am wrestling with the question of whether to try another thoracticentises when his breathing gets into the distressed range again (looking like this will happen about 2 weeks from the first one at his current rate of deterioration) or to gently let him go while he is still comfortable and content at home. I don't want to rob him of any quality time he may have, but likewise I don't want to drag things out for him through selfishness or ignorance. We do have an emergency plan in place should he throw a clot or suddenly go into distress, with buprenorphine on hand to ease his pain and stress in a crisis until we can get to help.
I have access to a 4.5 l/m oxygen concentrator and although Mr. Scruff is not happy in a cage I was thinking of setting up an oxygen tent at for short-term periods of respite or emergencies. Does anyone have experience regarding whether this will help?
I am sorry to be "meeting" you under these circumstances, and to be asking for help instead of providing it, but any words of advice, wisdom or comfort would be sincerely appreciated. Sadly and with thans, "Scruffy's Mom"
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