Kitty just dx with cardiomyopathy---how to make her feel better?
- Hi everyone,
My sweet cat, Olive, was diagnosed last week with hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy, as well as mild left atrial enlargement. She hadn't been acting like herself for several days, so I took her to a vet, who suspected heart disease. I was completely shocked because she's only five and had always been healthy prior to this. Anyway, she was referred to a cardiologist, who did an ultrasound and confirmed her diagnosis. Olive is very dear to me and I'm so sad to see her go through this!
She has been prescribed atenolol, 6.25mg twice per day. But even though her heart is being treated now, she still doesn't seem to be acting like herself. Prior to this, she was very active, curious, social, and playful. Now she seems to always be tired, and spends most of her time hiding out in the bookshelf. I can tell that she's really not feeling well, and I hate seeing her suffer like this. I'm wondering what other people have done to help their sick kitties feel more comfortable, and would like tips on what I can do to make her feel better.
Olive is young to have HCM but it is good you spotted it quickly. Atenolol
is usually the first medication given to mild disease and helps with the
obstruction. It is perfectly normal for the first few days on atenolol to be
more sleepy and tired as the body adjusts to it, but if there is a real
change I would contact the cardiologist or vet to check her blood pressure
hasn't dropped low.
There are things you can do to help. As she has obstruction, did they give
advice on blood clots? All my HCM kitties take plavix at my request to
reduce the risk of this. The alternative is nattokinase( must not have vitamin
K) from the health shop. I gave Doctors Best before we switched to plavix.
CoQ 10 at 30mg is another thing I give my heart cats. It needs to be given
daily, from the health shop , and mine have taken it for up to 7 years. But
dont stop it suddenly if you start so be prepared to insist its given if
your cat is ever hospitalised.
You have a new task to do as a newly diagnosed 'heart mommy'. Learn about
breathing. Wait until Olive is asleep then count her breaths over 10
secs.(times by 6) for the minute. Up to 30 is normal, 30+ time to see the vet and
Also watch her breathing so you can spot changes quickly. Learn how deep
she breathes, whats normal. You dont need to do this all the time, I was
constantly checking at first, but now a quick twice a day works for me. You're
looking for an increase in rate, sharp breaths, struggled breaths, double
breaths. These are easy to spot if you know what is normal.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]