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Ginger was just diagnosed with heart failure :(

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  • princessmelodyj
    Hi all, My 12 year old orange tabby kitty Ginger was just diagnosed a week ago with Dilated Cardiomyopathy with left and right side heart failure. She has up
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 24, 2013
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      Hi all,

      My 12 year old orange tabby kitty Ginger was just diagnosed a week ago with Dilated Cardiomyopathy with left and right side heart failure. She has up until now been very healthy. Last Thursday, out of the blue she threw up several times and was struggling to breathe. We rushed her to the emergency vet, and they put her in oxygen. They did xrays and blood work, and they found fluid around her lungs, and tapped her to remove it. They kept her overnight in oxygen.

      We took her home the next day, and she's on Lasix, Enapril, and baby aspirin. She has been lethargic, and barely eating. When she went back for her 1 week checkup, there was still a small amount of fluid, so she will continue to take the lasix 2x a day. Her kidneys were fine.

      It's just been so hard to see our once happy and active kitty like this. She just wants to lay around...she seems weak. She was chubby before, but I can tell she's losing weight. We are offering her food and treats...but she is not really interested. She is drinking water and peeing in the box...but no poop yet. She did eat some salmon when my daughter offered it to her tonight. Today she started sneezing and has a bit of a runny nose.

      I wonder if any of you have any advice or thoughts on anything else we could do to help Ginger?

      Thank you.
    • Laurie Stead
      I am sorry about Ginger s dx but don t lose hope. Unfortunately there usually are no warning signs until they are in heart failure.  How long has it been
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 25, 2013
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        I am sorry about Ginger's dx but don't lose hope. Unfortunately there usually are no warning signs until they are in heart failure. 

        How long has it been since she pooped?  Is she straining to go?  She may be constipated which can make them feel miserable. 

        As far as her DCM dx it is rare but a few kitties in this group have it, including my Boo.  She was dx through heart failure (similar to Ginger's story) in Oct 2011 and thankfully responded well to the meds.  I would speak to your cardiologist about adding vetmedin (pimobendan).  Although there is not a lot of study with cats, it is known to help dogs with DCM.  Boo went on it after she adjusted to the lasix, plavix and benazepril she was originally prescribed.  The cardiologist told me any cat with DCM should take it.

        Get used to taking Ginger's resting respiratory rate as that is the best indication of oncoming heart failure.  30+ is a warning and 40+ is emergency.  You'll want to get used to what is normal for Ginger so you can monitor any change.

        It's real difficult in the beginning... it's an adjustment for all but know that Ginger with the right meds can do well.  Every kitty is different but getting her the help she needed as soon as you saw difficulty saved her life.  Hang in there and get that constipation figured out. Bet she'll feel better once she has a good poop!

        Laurie and Boo




        ________________________________
        From: princessmelodyj <melody.jensen@...>
        To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Sunday, August 25, 2013 1:19 AM
        Subject: [FH] Ginger was just diagnosed with heart failure :(



         
        Hi all,

        My 12 year old orange tabby kitty Ginger was just diagnosed a week ago with Dilated Cardiomyopathy with left and right side heart failure. She has up until now been very healthy. Last Thursday, out of the blue she threw up several times and was struggling to breathe. We rushed her to the emergency vet, and they put her in oxygen. They did xrays and blood work, and they found fluid around her lungs, and tapped her to remove it. They kept her overnight in oxygen.

        We took her home the next day, and she's on Lasix, Enapril, and baby aspirin. She has been lethargic, and barely eating. When she went back for her 1 week checkup, there was still a small amount of fluid, so she will continue to take the lasix 2x a day. Her kidneys were fine.

        It's just been so hard to see our once happy and active kitty like this. She just wants to lay around...she seems weak. She was chubby before, but I can tell she's losing weight. We are offering her food and treats...but she is not really interested. She is drinking water and peeing in the box...but no poop yet. She did eat some salmon when my daughter offered it to her tonight. Today she started sneezing and has a bit of a runny nose.

        I wonder if any of you have any advice or thoughts on anything else we could do to help Ginger?

        Thank you.

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • elfinmyst
        Hi I`m sorry to hear of Ginger. I have a lovely orange kitty too. Enalapril is used to help slow heart disease and help it pump more easily.They can add
        Message 3 of 5 , Aug 25, 2013
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          Hi

          I`m sorry to hear of Ginger. I have a lovely orange kitty too.


          Enalapril is used to help slow heart disease and help it pump more
          easily.They can add another drug like atenolol or vetmedin later if enalapril
          isn't enough. Lasix removes fluid off the lungs and the aspirin is to prevent a
          clot forming.

          You need to measure her heart rate whislt sleeping at rest, but not
          dreaming. Measure for 10 seconds and multiply by 6. Around 15 to 25 is normal.
          Over 30 is caution and over 40 an emergency. Get used to what is normal then
          you can quickly see any changes in thebreathing which indicates fluid in
          the lungs. If her breathing changes, call the vet immediately.


          Was she diagnosed by ultrasound? If not, I would urge you to have one, they
          are really important to show what kind of heart disease it is. And was her
          thyroid checked? She may be sleepier than normal due to the enalapril but
          if she isn't eating, that can be dangerous too. Cats who dont eat in 24
          hours should see the vet as they develop liver problems. So it is good she is
          tempted by salmon. She may not be eating because she has a cold and can't
          smell her food. When my heart cats get an infection, they always get
          antibiotics as they are not as healthy as normal cats and easily get secondary
          infection.

          I would recommend CoQ at 30mg. Mine all take it, but once started never
          stop suddenly. Its from the health shop and has helped a lot with mine.


          Lyn


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

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Cindi
          I am here to learn but may have something of interest from a human standpoint. When staying at the hospital with my Mom who had heart failure from chemo, she
          Message 4 of 5 , Aug 25, 2013
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            I am here to learn but may have something of interest from a human
            standpoint. When staying at the hospital with my Mom who had heart
            failure from chemo, she would often tell me suddenly she was having a
            hard time breathing. During those times she was x-rays and given
            additional lasix. The docs told me fluid buildup can come very fast
            like that. Our cats cannot talk but it seems this may apply to them as
            well.


            Cindi missing the touch of Ditto
            There she was, elegant, beautiful, swathed in the shiniest of clinging
            silks, a vision of loveliness in coffee and cream --- a Princess from
            Bangkok, an Oriental Goddess, a Queen on her throne --- a Siamese cat!
            from May Eustace's Cats in Clover



            On Sun, Aug 25, 2013 at 7:52 PM, elfinmyst@... wrote:

            > You need to measure her heart rate whislt sleeping at rest, but not
            > dreaming. Measure for 10 seconds and multiply by 6. Around 15 to 25
            > is normal. Over 30 is caution and over 40 an emergency. Get used to
            > what is normal then you can quickly see any changes in thebreathing
            > which indicates fluid in the lungs. If her breathing changes, call
            > the vet immediately.
          • Maggie Wilson
            This is why I was wondering in the other thread if it may be better to give smaller doses of lasix more frequently? Cindi, your mom is really helping these
            Message 5 of 5 , Aug 25, 2013
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              This is why I was wondering in the other thread if it may be better to give smaller doses of lasix more frequently? Cindi, your mom is really helping these cats have voices. I don't want to hijack Ginger's thread but am curious about the lasix dosing.

              --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, Cindi <dittykat@...> wrote:
              >
              > I am here to learn but may have something of interest from a human
              > standpoint. When staying at the hospital with my Mom who had heart
              > failure from chemo, she would often tell me suddenly she was having a
              > hard time breathing. During those times she was x-rays and given
              > additional lasix. The docs told me fluid buildup can come very fast
              > like that. Our cats cannot talk but it seems this may apply to them as
              > well.
              >
              >
              > Cindi missing the touch of Ditto
              > There she was, elegant, beautiful, swathed in the shiniest of clinging
              > silks, a vision of loveliness in coffee and cream --- a Princess from
              > Bangkok, an Oriental Goddess, a Queen on her throne --- a Siamese cat!
              > from May Eustace's Cats in Clover
              >
              >
              >
              > On Sun, Aug 25, 2013 at 7:52 PM, elfinmyst@... wrote:
              >
              > > You need to measure her heart rate whislt sleeping at rest, but not
              > > dreaming. Measure for 10 seconds and multiply by 6. Around 15 to 25
              > > is normal. Over 30 is caution and over 40 an emergency. Get used to
              > > what is normal then you can quickly see any changes in thebreathing
              > > which indicates fluid in the lungs. If her breathing changes, call
              > > the vet immediately.
              >
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