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My cat Sophia - hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

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  • HOPE
    Hello everyone I have been reading every message since I found this group. There is lots of great information and support! I do have a question, but here is a
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 18, 2013
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      Hello everyone
      I have been reading every message since I found this group. There is lots of great information and support!
      I do have a question, but here is a little background on my situation first. Sorry if it is lengthy.
      On March 17, my cat Sophia went into heart failure. I had no idea what was happening and brought her into the emergency clinic immediately.
      They kept her overnight, cleared fluid from her lungs, put her on oxygen and she recovered.
      I made an appt with a cardiologist, but had to wait two weeks to get in:/
      My regular vet saw her frequently and she was stable on lasix.
      (Ironically, I had shoulder surgery 2 weeks prior to this so fortunately I am home to care for and monitor her closely).
      Anyway..... The cardiologist diagnosed her with severe hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. No murmur, normal thyroid, no formation of clots.
      She is now on 12.5 mg of Lasix twice a day, Plavix once a day, Enalapril once a day, and 1/4 baby aspirin twice a week.

      The cardiologist said Enalapril could be started one week after he saw her, but it wasn't mandatory. He said it basically helped the lasix work better.
      She was responding well to everything, but literally one week after he saw her, her breathing rate increased tremendously.
      I googled Enalapril and read how it helped the heart, not so much how it helped the lasix as the dr explained.
      I immediately gave her one and she responded beautifully, so now that is a part of her routine.
      Her appetite is still very good, she interacts with the other cats (I have 4:), and she has the cutest bursts of energy and playfulness that I love to see, but wow does it tire her out!
      I also ordered the coq10 and will start her on that.
      My question is I look at her and think if I didn't know she was my little heart patient, I would think there is nothing wrong!
      What else do I look for besides the breathing?
      How do I know if there is fluid build up again? What signs do you look for?
      Also, The cardiologist said Sophia has one year to live, give or take, and when I think of that prognosis, my heart breaks.
      Have any of you had this prognosis but your cat lived longer?
      I don't want her to ever suffer and the dr said she is not suffering, but she will be if there is a clot or fluid build up.

      Thank you for taking the time to read this and respond.
      This is all new to me. I have an amazing vet - he has been our family vet for over 20 years and he said this is rare for him too.
      Thanks again
      Hope
    • elfinmyst
      Hi Hope You have done everything exactly right. All of those drugs are essential to remove fluid and stabilise the heart. Now she is stable it is important to
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 19, 2013
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        Hi Hope

        You have done everything exactly right. All of those drugs are essential to
        remove fluid and stabilise the heart. Now she is stable it is important to
        monitor her.

        The best way is to count breaths. Do this as she is sleeping softly. Count
        for 15 seconds and times by 4. up to 30 is normal, 30+ alarm and 40+
        emergency in my experience. But the most important thing is to watch the pattern,
        see what is normal now she is stable. Then you can see any changes
        quickly, either in an increase in rate or a change in pattern (open mouth,
        gasping, double breaths, drawing in her tummy) All these signs are urgent. As is
        being unable to lie down comfortably and sitting up on her front paws.

        But don't do this all the time. Once a day is plenty:)

        Trixi was diagnosed with severe HCM at 12 weeks old. She was given a few
        months to live. Since then she has had a clot to her heart and takes a lot of
        medicaitons. She is 7 this August. Milli was given a year as a kitten and
        is 7 in June:) Medications and getting help quickly can do an awful lot.
        And remember, your cat has no intention whatsoever to listen to the
        cardilogist.

        Enjoy every day. Toby had mild HCM and was 6 years old. He went to the vet
        for a vaccination and as they checked his tummy, a liver tumour burst and
        he died that day. We had no idea whatsover he had a large tumour.

        Lyn

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

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Janette
        Zeke had a recent episode of very deep heavy breathing. Not fast, just seemed labored - ie - very deep breaths. My vet told me to increase lasix to every 6 - 8
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 19, 2013
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          Zeke had a recent episode of very deep heavy breathing. Not fast, just seemed labored - ie - very deep breaths. My vet told me to increase lasix to every 6 - 8 hours. It took a couple of days, but his breathing settled down to a more normal looking level. Occassionally he opens his mouth, but only for a minute.

          As far as life expectancy - I think most of us take it one day at a time. Zeke was diagnosed March 2012 with "early heart failure", then congestive heart failure several months ago. At the time of his initial diagnoses the vet thought he'd have another 6 months. Here it is over a year later - and for the most of that time, things went very well. He has been on atenolol 1/4 tab, 1/4 benezapril and 1/4 tab of amlodipine for high blood pressure. Now we're also giving him the lasix (feurosemide) 12.5 - 3 times a day. A few weeks ago he was also diagnosed with diabetes so now we have to add insulin to his routine - his blood glucose will not regulate. We monitor his levels by sticking his hear (he loves that!...not!) He's at the point now where we thought were going to lose him at any time over the last few weekends (always on Sat eve or Sunday of course!)

          The point is you have to decide that it's quality of life that's important. forget about time lines. For us - we take it one day at a time. Some days are better than others. The stress is difficult (for us - not the cat)but we do what we must. When the time comes, we'll do what we must for Zeke. Enjoy the days you have, spoil your kitty and love them every day.

          Janette

          ---
        • Laurie Stead
          Hi Janette, I am glad Zeke is doing better.  The ups and downs certainly keep us on our toes. I was wondering if you have discussed vetmedin with the
          Message 4 of 5 , Apr 19, 2013
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            Hi Janette,

            I am glad Zeke is doing better.  The ups and downs certainly keep us on our toes. I was wondering if you have discussed vetmedin with the cardiologist?  This drug really helped to stabilize Boo and I know lots of others in the group swear by it too.

            Laurie


            ________________________________
            From: Janette <jsquare@...>
            To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Friday, April 19, 2013 10:37 AM
            Subject: [FH] Re: My cat Sophia - hypertrophic cardiomyopathy



             
            Zeke had a recent episode of very deep heavy breathing. Not fast, just seemed labored - ie - very deep breaths. My vet told me to increase lasix to every 6 - 8 hours. It took a couple of days, but his breathing settled down to a more normal looking level. Occassionally he opens his mouth, but only for a minute.

            As far as life expectancy - I think most of us take it one day at a time. Zeke was diagnosed March 2012 with "early heart failure", then congestive heart failure several months ago. At the time of his initial diagnoses the vet thought he'd have another 6 months. Here it is over a year later - and for the most of that time, things went very well. He has been on atenolol 1/4 tab, 1/4 benezapril and 1/4 tab of amlodipine for high blood pressure. Now we're also giving him the lasix (feurosemide) 12.5 - 3 times a day. A few weeks ago he was also diagnosed with diabetes so now we have to add insulin to his routine - his blood glucose will not regulate. We monitor his levels by sticking his hear (he loves that!...not!) He's at the point now where we thought were going to lose him at any time over the last few weekends (always on Sat eve or Sunday of course!)

            The point is you have to decide that it's quality of life that's important. forget about time lines. For us - we take it one day at a time. Some days are better than others. The stress is difficult (for us - not the cat)but we do what we must. When the time comes, we'll do what we must for Zeke. Enjoy the days you have, spoil your kitty and love them every day.

            Janette

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • melissakorzeniowski
            Janette I am glad to hear Zeke is breathing better. It was perfect timing for your paragraph on life expectancy - Oreo and I had a rough day today at the
            Message 5 of 5 , Apr 19, 2013
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              Janette

              I am glad to hear Zeke is breathing better.

              It was perfect timing for your paragraph on life expectancy - Oreo and I had a rough day today at the hospital (cardio noticed more fluid in chest, will not put on diuretic because she has CRF and IM vet will not give fluids sq as can overwhelm her heart but her kidney values are worsening)and the vets had the "quality of life" talk with me today.

              So it is very comforting to hear of a kitty that has well outlived what his doctors had suggested.

              --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, "Janette" <jsquare@...> wrote:
              >

              > As far as life expectancy - I think most of us take it one day at a time. Zeke was diagnosed March 2012 with "early heart failure", then congestive heart failure several months ago. At the time of his initial diagnoses the vet thought he'd have another 6 months. Here it is over a year later - and for the most of that time, things went very well. He has been on atenolol 1/4 tab, 1/4 benezapril and 1/4 tab of amlodipine for high blood pressure. Now we're also giving him the lasix (feurosemide) 12.5 - 3 times a day. A few weeks ago he was also diagnosed with diabetes so now we have to add insulin to his routine - his blood glucose will not regulate. We monitor his levels by sticking his hear (he loves that!...not!) He's at the point now where we thought were going to lose him at any time over the last few weekends (always on Sat eve or Sunday of course!)
              >
              > The point is you have to decide that it's quality of life that's important. forget about time lines. For us - we take it one day at a time. Some days are better than others. The stress is difficult (for us - not the cat)but we do what we must. When the time comes, we'll do what we must for Zeke. Enjoy the days you have, spoil your kitty and love them every day.
              >
              > Janette
              >
              > ---
              >
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