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My cat has been diagnosed with CHF

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  • anushal77
    I’m sorry this is a long story. I’m a new member on this forum and my cat, Bubble, has recently been diagnosed with CHF. A bit of background on Bubble: He
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 9, 2014
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      I’m sorry this is a long story. I’m a new member on this forum and my cat, Bubble, has recently been diagnosed with CHF.

       

      A bit of background on Bubble: He was a stray that we took on about a month ago. He’s about 1 year old and had a clean bill of health at first (except for worms and fleas). About 3 weeks in, he sustained an injury (a possible car accident) and went missing for a week. We found him and brought him back home.

       

      We had him checked with the vet the next day. Because he was also scheduled to be neutered, the vet put him under anaesthetic to do x-rays and get him neutered. The blood test before neutering came back normal and x-ray showed a healthy heart but one broken rib (last rib, called 13th rib, had broken and disengaged).

       

      After this procedure was done, the heart problems started. 3 days after the op, the vet noticed a murmur (grade 2/6) and about 6 days after that the murmur increased to 3/6. Bubble had gone off his food and seemed to have breathing difficulties. That’s why we took him to the vet but we initially thought the rib was the issue.

       

      He had another x-ray. It showed a bit of an enlarged heart but not a huge amount of fluid in his lungs. The next day, he went for a scan and he was diagnosed with HCM. The vet said he had CHF, because the muscles in his heart are not pumping well enough and he has fluid in his system. He was given 20mg of Frusemide per day, Fortekor, clopidorel.

       

      Our vet wants to do another scan in 10 days, then 3 months.

       

      I am not sure what your thoughts are on this issue but it strikes me as odd that his heart issues started after his procedure. I was wondering whether there was a link or whether this is a usual trigger for heart disease.

       

      Also, we were potentially looking to get a second opinion instead of going for the 10 day scan with the current vet. Can anyone suggest any good vets in London – we are based in west London but will travel to a certain extent (Bubble gets stressed in the car so not long distances at the moment). We have insurance on Bubble but are currently in the 14 days cooling off period so the heart issue would most likely be an exclusion.

       

      Last thing is, I’ve heard and read really bad things about Frusemide. I’m under the impression that there is no real alternative but Bubble’s dose does seem high. I talked to my vet and he said he’s actually on a low dosage and they might increase it if his breathing doesn’t get better.

       

      I’d be grateful for any input or advice. My husband and I have no experience with CHF (Bubble is our first cat so no experience about a lot of things).

       

      Thank you very much,

       

      Anusha


    • Westgold
      Hello -- I am sorry to bear about Bubble. I have a good friend in London who is a breeder. I asked him to recommend a good vet, and this is what he answered
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 9, 2014
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        Hello -- I am sorry to bear about Bubble.  I have a good friend in London who is a breeder.  I asked him to recommend a good vet, and this is what he answered --
         

        I would recommend this lady gets in touch with Kitten To Cat vets. They are in West London, so not far to travel and they are a really good practice and are cat-only feline specialists.

         
        Please keep us informed ----
        take care, Michelle & Tigger Too in Toronto
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Monday, June 09, 2014 7:12 AM
        Subject: [FH] My cat has been diagnosed with CHF

         

        I’m sorry this is a long story. I’m a new member on this forum and my cat, Bubble, has recently been diagnosed with CHF.

         

        A bit of background on Bubble: He was a stray that we took on about a month ago. He’s about 1 year old and had a clean bill of health at first (except for worms and fleas). About 3 weeks in, he sustained an injury (a possible car accident) and went missing for a week. We found him and brought him back home.

         

        We had him checked with the vet the next day. Because he was also scheduled to be neutered, the vet put him under anaesthetic to do x-rays and get him neutered. The blood test before neutering came back normal and x-ray showed a healthy heart but one broken rib (last rib, called 13th rib, had broken and disengaged).

         

        After this procedure was done, the heart problems started. 3 days after the op, the vet noticed a murmur (grade 2/6) and about 6 days after that the murmur increased to 3/6. Bubble had gone off his food and seemed to have breathing difficulties. That’s why we took him to the vet but we initially thought the rib was the issue.

         

        He had another x-ray. It showed a bit of an enlarged heart but not a huge amount of fluid in his lungs. The next day, he went for a scan and he was diagnosed with HCM. The vet said he had CHF, because the muscles in his heart are not pumping well enough and he has fluid in his system. He was given 20mg of Frusemide per day, Fortekor, clopidorel.

         

        Our vet wants to do another scan in 10 days, then 3 months.

         

        I am not sure what your thoughts are on this issue but it strikes me as odd that his heart issues started after his procedure. I was wondering whether there was a link or whether this is a usual trigger for heart disease.

         

        Also, we were potentially looking to get a second opinion instead of going for the 10 day scan with the current vet. Can anyone suggest any good vets in London – we are based in west London but will travel to a certain extent (Bubble gets stressed in the car so not long distances at the moment). We have insurance on Bubble but are currently in the 14 days cooling off period so the heart issue would most likely be an exclusion.

         

        Last thing is, I’ve heard and read really bad things about Frusemide. I’m under the impression that there is no real alternative but Bubble’s dose does seem high. I talked to my vet and he said he’s actually on a low dosage and they might increase it if his breathing doesn’t get better.

         

        I’d be grateful for any input or advice. My husband and I have no experience with CHF (Bubble is our first cat so no experience about a lot of things).

         

        Thank you very much,

         

        Anusha





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      • Elfinmyst
        H there I`m sorry to hear of Bubble, it is not unusual for an anaesthetic to cause a HCM cat to go into heart failure. HCM is uncommon in young cats but not
        Message 3 of 5 , Jun 10, 2014
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          H there

          I`m sorry to hear of Bubble, it is not unusual for an anaesthetic to
          cause a HCM cat to go into heart failure. HCM is uncommon in young cats
          but not unheard of, my kits were diagnosed as kittens. I would strongly
          recommend Bubble goes to a cardiologist if he hasn't seen one, or has
          the scans forwarded. The drugs he are on are a normal choice for heart
          failure and the 20mg is not the maximum dose. It is essential the fluid
          comes off his lungs and once the heart drugs work that may reduce.
          Clopidogrel is to help prevent clots. Most of my cats are on these
          drugs too.

          It is also possible the accident stressed him into heart failure too,
          but the good news is you have caught it early and it can now be
          treated. Bubble is lucky to have such caring owners, but a good
          cardiologist is now vital. Mine go to Liverpool university, there are
          others at most of the vet schools and also private cardiologist in the
          UK.

          You need to learn to count breaths now. When Bubble is asleep count
          over 10 seconds and then times by 6. As he is in heart failure, it
          might be higher than normal. You need to find whats normal, get some
          video of it. Then keep an eye for changes like increased breathing,
          double intakes, open mouth. All these are signs he is in trouble.
          ANything over 40 a minute I class as an emergency.

          Please ask lots of questions, the people here have years of experience
          between them. Post Bubble's picture:)

          Lyn


          www.furkids-selkirks.com
        • anushal77
          I m sorry I ve been replying to everyone individually because I didn t realise how to reply to group. I m going to try replying to the group this time and see
          Message 4 of 5 , Jun 11, 2014
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            I'm sorry I've been replying to everyone individually because I didn't realise how to reply to group. I'm going to try replying to the group this time and see if it works. 

            I'm just wondering Lyn, how many times a year do you take your cat to see a cardiologist. Bubble is stressed when he travels so we wanted to go somewhere near but the specialist hospitals on your list are 1 to 2 hours away. 

            We'd need to get a vet referral but that hopefully should be ok.  

            Thanks
          • Elfinmyst
            Hi How often they go depends how stable they are. Maisie and Alex go once a year, Trixi every six months. Maxi is nine months. So it entirely depends on the
            Message 5 of 5 , Jun 11, 2014
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              Hi

              How often they go depends how stable they are. Maisie and Alex go once
              a year, Trixi every six months. Maxi is nine months. So it entirely
              depends on the progression and severity of disease. Sometimes when a
              new drug is introduced they go after 12 weeks just for the ultrasound
              to see if its working. Yearly seems normal for stable cats, six months
              for more poorly ones.
              Toby had very mild heart disease and he had a check every 2 years.

              Lyn


              www.furkids-selkirks.com
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