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new member - heart murmur worries

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  • mslorrainecook
    Hi i found this group during an internet search on heart murmurs - apologies for the long first post :) my 6 yo Siamese baby girl , Mai- Ying, has been
    Message 1 of 7 , Jan 2, 2014
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      Hi i found this group during an internet search on heart murmurs - apologies for the long first post :)

      my 6 yo Siamese baby girl , Mai- Ying, has been diagnosed with a grade 3-5 murmur during her routine vet visit for Jabs last week.


      she absolutely hates leaving the house and the 5 minute drive to the vets is the most stressful experience we encounter , we have the yowling and the rolling around the basket, throwing herself at the door etc..and all this is with calming drops and feliway spray!

      so not surprised her heart was stressed, so after talking to my vet, they say its not a worry until she starts to show symptoms, at the moment she is eating, no panting, plays and in herself is no different than shes always been. she does cough but she has always coughed even from a kitten. she seems to cough when she wakes up but then nothing until the next morning.

      so my vet has been very good and said that there is no point in taking her in for a heart scan or blood pressure check at this point as she is healthy in herself and the stress of leaving the house and STAYING at the vets would put her pressure through the roof before any tests were done. thus the test itself would have a negative impact.
      i mentioned her breathing looked a little more stressed than normal so the vet has prescribed Fortekor one a day to see if that helps and im to take her back once every 6 months for a check up - unless im worried in the meantime.

      so my next problem - how to get the tablets down her - for the last 4 days ive been giving her them via the grab and shove down the throat technique, so i now have a very intelligent cat that avoids me like the plague as soon as we get up. im going to try the crush in food method tonight in the hope that eases both our stress levels.

      so, is anyone else in the same situation re the newly discovered heart murmur? and is there anything i can do to delay this turning into heart issues.
      the vet has told me that most heart issues are caused by the stress on the kidneys ( hence the fortekor) and other organs. should i be watching what i feed her? she eats applaws dry and iams wet, but ive just bought a more protein based wet food rather than cereal filled one.

      thanks for listening
      Lorraine :)

    • Laurie Stead
      Hi Lorraine - I have to say I disagree with your vet.  An echo with a cardiologist will determine if Mai-Ying has heart disease and if so treatment can start
      Message 2 of 7 , Jan 2, 2014
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        Hi Lorraine -

        I have to say I disagree with your vet.  An echo with a cardiologist will determine if Mai-Ying has heart disease and if so treatment can start now before there is an emergency like heart failure.  I have a cat that absolutely stresses going to the vet as well so I understand not wanting to subject them to that but in this instance I would say it is warranted.  They will give her something to take the edge off so they can do the echo and exam.  They WILL be able to read an echo even with a stressed out kitty. Shouldn't be any reason you have to leave her there... did you mean overnight?  The echo and exam should only take a few hours... I usually wait as I am too worried to leave ;-)

        As for the challenge of pilling - have you tried gel caps or feline pill pockets?

        Laurie and Boo





        On Thursday, January 2, 2014 5:53 AM, "mslorrainecook@..." <mslorrainecook@...> wrote:
         
        Hi i found this group during an internet search on heart murmurs - apologies for the long first post :)

        my 6 yo Siamese baby girl , Mai- Ying, has been diagnosed with a grade 3-5 murmur during her routine vet visit for Jabs last week.

        she absolutely hates leaving the house and the 5 minute drive to the vets is the most stressful experience we encounter , we have the yowling and the rolling around the basket, throwing herself at the door etc..and all this is with calming drops and feliway spray!

        so not surprised her heart was stressed, so after talking to my vet, they say its not a worry until she starts to show symptoms, at the moment she is eating, no panting, plays and in herself is no different than shes always been. she does cough but she has always coughed even from a kitten. she seems to cough when she wakes up but then nothing until the next morning.

        so my vet has been very good and said that there is no point in taking her in for a heart scan or blood pressure check at this point as she is healthy in herself and the stress of leaving the house and STAYING at the vets would put her pressure through the roof before any tests were done. thus the test itself would have a negative impact.
        i mentioned her breathing looked a little more stressed than normal so the vet has prescribed Fortekor one a day to see if that helps and im to take her back once every 6 months for a check up - unless im worried in the meantime.

        so my next problem - how to get the tablets down her - for the last 4 days ive been giving her them via the grab and shove down the throat technique, so i now have a very intelligent cat that avoids me like the plague as soon as we get up. im going to try the crush in food method tonight in the hope that eases both our stress levels.

        so, is anyone else in the same situation re the newly discovered heart murmur? and is there anything i can do to delay this turning into heart issues.
        the vet has told me that most heart issues are caused by the stress on the kidneys ( hence the fortekor) and other organs. should i be watching what i feed her? she eats applaws dry and iams wet, but ive just bought a more protein based wet food rather than cereal filled one.

        thanks for listening
        Lorraine :)



      • Nada
        My Sphynx boy was found to have a murmur in which had never been present in the past at 3.5 years old. He is a talker in the car and after an almost 2 hour
        Message 3 of 7 , Jan 2, 2014
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          My Sphynx boy was found to have a murmur in which had never been present in the past at 3.5 years old. He is a talker in the car and after an almost 2 hour ride in which he sat in my lap he had an accidental bowel movement due to the stress all over upon entering UF. His echo revealed HOCM, SAM, regurgitation and he was given a Free T4 test to check for Hyperthyroid and we were instructed to have our local vet do blood pressure checks. He was placed on Atenelol and his next scan showed decrease in the thickening of the heart walls, murmur could only be seen not heard and he was in much better shape. Three years later he recentt went in and we are now taking him off the Atenelol as his heart is increasing in size and the Atenelol can push him into CHF. I think placing your kitty under stress for a trip is alot less stressfull then your baby's heart being under so much possible stress that it ultimately causes death. If you care enough to reach out for advice I would think you are more concerned and its better to have a cardiologist look inside and really see whats going on as it could be as simple as a thyroid issue or a physiological murmur. Good luck and Happy New Year! 

          Cheryl Kerr

          On Jan 2, 2014, at 9:21 AM, Laurie Stead <kittykatwhiskas@...> wrote:

           

          Hi Lorraine -

          I have to say I disagree with your vet.  An echo with a cardiologist will determine if Mai-Ying has heart disease and if so treatment can start now before there is an emergency like heart failure.  I have a cat that absolutely stresses going to the vet as well so I understand not wanting to subject them to that but in this instance I would say it is warranted.  They will give her something to take the edge off so they can do the echo and exam.  They WILL be able to read an echo even with a stressed out kitty. Shouldn't be any reason you have to leave her there... did you mean overnight?  The echo and exam should only take a few hours... I usually wait as I am too worried to leave ;-)

          As for the challenge of pilling - have you tried gel caps or feline pill pockets?

          Laurie and Boo





          On Thursday, January 2, 2014 5:53 AM, "mslorrainecook@..." <mslorrainecook@...> wrote:
           
          Hi i found this group during an internet search on heart murmurs - apologies for the long first post :)

          my 6 yo Siamese baby girl , Mai- Ying, has been diagnosed with a grade 3-5 murmur during her routine vet visit for Jabs last week.

          she absolutely hates leaving the house and the 5 minute drive to the vets is the most stressful experience we encounter , we have the yowling and the rolling around the basket, throwing herself at the door etc..and all this is with calming drops and feliway spray!

          so not surprised her heart was stressed, so after talking to my vet, they say its not a worry until she starts to show symptoms, at the moment she is eating, no panting, plays and in herself is no different than shes always been. she does cough but she has always coughed even from a kitten. she seems to cough when she wakes up but then nothing until the next morning.

          so my vet has been very good and said that there is no point in taking her in for a heart scan or blood pressure check at this point as she is healthy in herself and the stress of leaving the house and STAYING at the vets would put her pressure through the roof before any tests were done. thus the test itself would have a negative impact.
          i mentioned her breathing looked a little more stressed than normal so the vet has prescribed Fortekor one a day to see if that helps and im to take her back once every 6 months for a check up - unless im worried in the meantime.

          so my next problem - how to get the tablets down her - for the last 4 days ive been giving her them via the grab and shove down the throat technique, so i now have a very intelligent cat that avoids me like the plague as soon as we get up. im going to try the crush in food method tonight in the hope that eases both our stress levels.

          so, is anyone else in the same situation re the newly discovered heart murmur? and is there anything i can do to delay this turning into heart issues.
          the vet has told me that most heart issues are caused by the stress on the kidneys ( hence the fortekor) and other organs. should i be watching what i feed her? she eats applaws dry and iams wet, but ive just bought a more protein based wet food rather than cereal filled one.

          thanks for listening
          Lorraine :)



        • Elfinmyst
          Hi Lorraine A grade 3-5 murmur is almost certainly something more than benign. I`d say it is absolutely vital to see a cardiologist and get a proper diagnosis
          Message 4 of 7 , Jan 2, 2014
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            Hi Lorraine

            A grade 3-5 murmur is almost certainly something more than benign. I`d say it is absolutely vital to see a cardiologist and get a proper diagnosis so she can start the proper treatment. Unfortunatley by the time they start symptoms, the first sign can be heart failure or a fatal blood clot. I don't want to scare you but to point out how important this is. A lot of cats here only were diagnosed already in heart failure and that is so much harder to treat than early HCM. A murmur is caused by backflow of blood or turbulence and isn't caused by stress. It means there is physical damage to the heart. 

            I understand she is stressed. I agree the blood pressure test may be false under those circumstances but she needs an ultrasound to see the heart condition. Please don't delay. If her breathing is more laboured than usual, that is most likely heart failure when fluid backs into the lungs. Fortekor can help but it depends on what heart disease it is. I lost my beloved Milli yesterday with holes in her heart. I have Trixi with HCM, Maisie with a dodgy heart rhythm. Each needs different drugs. 

            Unfortunately most heart issues in young cats are caused by genetic hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and pedigrees are more at risk. Kidney disease is fairly rare at six. If I were you I`d be asking for a cardiologist visit this week.


            Lyn



          • Emily Valentin
            Hi there, You found the right place to chat about your babies condition. My Tiger HATES taking pills. He will bat pills out of his food bowl and will smell
            Message 5 of 7 , Jan 2, 2014
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              Hi there, 

              You found the right place to chat about your babies condition. My Tiger HATES taking pills. He will bat pills out of his food bowl and will smell crushed pills in his food. So I've had to outsmart him a few times. I do crush his Vetmedin (1/2) in his food and I add a little bi of water and a little bit of low sodium chicken broth to mask the smell and flavor. Other times I add fish oil and drops of water and he, until now, hasn't notice that a pill is in his food bowl. Another thing that is awesome, is the pill pockets "Greenies Pill pockets" chicken and salmon flavor. You can find them at Petco, Petsmart or at your vets office. Get the chicken flavor bc it's easier to hide the pill in it. Whatever you do, do not let the hand that touched the pill touch the pocket. 

              I agree with all the nice ladies here that you have to get an echo done on your fur baby. Back in July my Tiger had a heart murmur, then we went back in August and vet said that there was no murmur and all was well. Come November my Tiger was in congestive heart failure with an enlarged heart (50% enlarged)! All in a matter of months! He did the coughing and sneezing and loud cranking purring. 

              Once you get the condition identified and under control vet trips can be limited to a few times a year. But please, his stress to going  to the vet to get his condition identified is nothing compared to the stress of your baby going into heart failure. 

              It's gonna take some learning but together with your vet your fur baby can have a comfortable life with heart issues. 

              Paw hugs from Tiger and Emily 

              Emily Valentin-Baker, SSP

              "Winners never quit. Quitters never win" ~ Mom  
            • Jenny
              Lorraine, I have had absolutely no success with feliway or any of the other natural calming products. I suspect their only effect is to calm owners by placebo
              Message 6 of 7 , Jan 2, 2014
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                Lorraine,
                I have had absolutely no success with feliway or any of the other natural calming products. I suspect their only effect is to calm owners by placebo effect. I am calm about medical matters and that usually rubs off on my cats but I do occasionally have to deal with my neurotic Kyra.
                Years back, my Kitty Cardiologist told me that the best calming medicine is the pain drug buprenorphine. I have had wonderful luck with it over the years. Not only does it work but it relieves the discomfort of the medical procedures such as drawing blood. I often give it even when a cat is not anxious just to make it a better experience. Maybe you could ask your vet about this.
                I recently lost my beloved Jessie at age 20. I adopted her from the pound as a semi feral stray when she was about 3 and kept her as a barn cat. She always got good vet care and lots of love. My barn cats are well cared for.
                She first needed meds in 2009 and it was difficult. But somehow I found that if I just slow down, she would be a willing participant.
                I put the pill inside a gelcap. That is a lifesaver. Most pills taste horrible. Prednisolone and Pepcid were 2 nasty ones she needed daily. I used a Buster pet piller. You draw up a tiny bit of water in it (don't fill it but just use a little) then when you give the pill, the water helps it go down. I would show her the piller and pill and pet her and tell her I loved her and to please take her pill and get well. I cleared all negative thoughts from my mind. I knew she would take the pill. I pilled her in the same place routinely. And there were always tasty treats right after pilling. Donovan always got treats too even though he didn't need pills. I swear Jessie looked forward to this special treat time where she was always first to have goodies.
                This is something you and your cat can do together as a team.
                The echo is so important. Ask the vet about trying it with the buprenorphine. I have had 2 HCM cats as well as some sick cats with anxiety issues over the years and it worked very well.
                Jenny

                Sent from my iPhone
              • Jordan Salim
                Heart kitties often outlive vetrinary prognosis for many years but ONLY with regular cardiac ultrasounds and proper medication. It is imperative she get a
                Message 7 of 7 , Jan 2, 2014
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                  Heart kitties often outlive vetrinary prognosis for many years but ONLY with regular cardiac ultrasounds and proper medication.

                  It is imperative she get a cardiologist and has regular appointments at least twice a year.
                  The constant monitoring of the heart and proper meds can add YEARS of quality life for a kitty.

                  We are all proof of that.

                  Additionally, ultrasounds are not invasive.

                  Good luck,

                  Jordan And Sheba

                  Sent from my iPad
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