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Grief struck and left with questions about HCM

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  • peteycat9
    Hello group. I m new to the board and was hoping I could understand more about Hypertrophic Cardiomypathy and what happened to my cat. My cat Checkers was
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 30, 2002
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      Hello group. I'm new to the board and was hoping I could understand
      more about Hypertrophic Cardiomypathy and what happened to my cat.
      My cat Checkers was less than 2 years old when he suddenly became ill
      and died, of what was later proven to be of Hypertrophic
      Cardiomyopathy. I am still stunned and heartbroken. I've read all
      that I can on this disease but what happened to Checkers still
      doesn't seem to fit in with what I have read about this heart
      disease.
      I found Checkers as an 8 month old stray last summer. He was weak
      when I found him but after feeding him, he perked right up. He never
      acted unhealthy in any way. He had a beautiful, shiney coat and
      eyes. He never was short of breath and never panted. He didn't seem
      any more tired than usual or weak. I had him vaccinated and
      neutered. He now was a strickly indoor cat.
      Then one afternoon (last month), he seemed under the weather and I
      noticed a third eyelid on him. He skipped supper, something he NEVER
      did before. I was concerned but I didn't think it was an emergency.
      I went to bed with the thought I would get him examined the next day
      at the vets. I never got that chance. He woke us up 4:00 in the
      morning in a howl. He was panting franticly with his eye pupils
      completely dialated. I found him cornered in a cabinet (I later on
      found out that he also lost all control of his bladder and bowels at
      that very spot). He was rushed to the vet hospital and placed in an
      oxygen cage. He was given Lasix and other drugs to ease his
      breathing. The vet on staff believed his problem to be a cardiac
      event. Later that day (when his breathing was stabilized), he was
      examined by another vet that listened to his heart and thought his
      heart sounded "normal". But much to my horror, I found out my cat
      was now blind and "circling" in his cage (a specific neurological
      symptom). Then, Checkers had a seizure(that was controlled) that
      night. By the next morning, I was called by the hospital and told he
      had another seizure and that he wasn't waking up from it. I was
      advised to let him go. It was the most horrible experience. Even
      during the euthanisia, he was seizing and making a horrible "honking"
      noise. I couldn't believe as I watched all this happen to this cat
      seemed so normal and healthy just 48 hour ago. My beautiful black and
      white cat was now gone.
      The necropsy showed significant Hypertrophic Cardiomypathy. His
      blood work was supposedly "normal". The vets could not prove a blood
      clot did this to his brain but theorize his sick heart put one out
      that caused all the damage. Here is where the questions lay. Can
      this disease present it's self with these terrible neurological
      symptoms and yet the vet listening to his heart picked up nothing
      unusual? He was neutered months earlier and again, no unusual heart
      sounds were reported. Even with a necropsy, I just don't believe I
      wouldn't have seen something in this cat's behavior before all this
      happened. I don't recall any "stressor" that happened before he went
      into distress. It seems most people with these cats with HCM at
      least had warning before the end came. What if his panting was not
      from a failing heart but because he was frightened by his loss of
      vision or because he was in pain? He never had any respitory
      distress before. I feel so cheated, guilty, and depressed. He died
      blind and semi comatose, not even knowing we were there holding him.
      Please help me understand what happened. I feel like I let him
      down. I loved him so much and cannot believe I couldn't have
      prevented this tragedy.
      Peteycat9
    • sallymerlin
      Hello there, I m so sorry to hear about your wonderful Checkers...it sounds like he had a wonderful albeit shorter than expected life with you and it s clear
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 30, 2002
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        Hello there,

        I'm so sorry to hear about your wonderful Checkers...it sounds like
        he had a wonderful albeit shorter than expected life with you and it's
        clear that you are a very loving and caring caregiver.

        Since my cat was diagnosed with this disease and since I joined
        this group it seems that often the very young kitties who get this
        disease often have little or no symptoms until just before or during
        their passing. Apparently it is a very difficult disease to spot in
        the younger animal, so I don't think you need to feel any guilt about
        it...or blame...apparently vets often don't see it coming either, even
        when all the best diagnostics in the world are applied. It's just so
        sad that Checkers had to go thru all that before he passed...but he
        was a youngster and it's natural that you wanted to give your furry
        friend every possible chance for a potential recovery...you had to
        try, sadly, it seems it just was not meant to be. And even though he
        may not have been able to respond to you at the end, I'm sure that
        some part of him knew you were there and that you loved him very much.

        Sudden events like this sometimes have secondary
        symptoms...seizures or paralysis...it sounds to me like blood clots
        could have been a real possibility...but as to whether your vet (or
        you) "should" have been able to see this coming, so many times cats,
        especially the young, active ones show little or no symptoms, until
        it's too late.

        I don't know if you have access to any Bach flower remedies...they
        can be found in health food stores, but they can be very helpful for
        dealing with emotional crisis/issues. Walnut is good for sudden loss
        and dealing with things beyond your control...and good old Rescue
        Remedy is so helpful too...they might help ease some of your pain...

        I know it's not much comfort, but it sounds like you did evrything
        you could for Checkers...and I am sure he had a better and longer life
        having found you than he would of if he had remained unadopted...you
        gave him a wonderful life, that is very clear.



        Heart's ease and healing to you


        Sally


        --- In feline-heart@y..., "peteycat9" <Maxicat92@a...> wrote:
        > Hello group. I'm new to the board and was hoping I could understand
        > more about Hypertrophic Cardiomypathy and what happened to my cat.
        > My cat Checkers was less than 2 years old when he suddenly became
        ill
        > and died, of what was later proven to be of Hypertrophic
        > Cardiomyopathy. I am still stunned and heartbroken. I've read all
        > that I can on this disease but what happened to Checkers still
        > doesn't seem to fit in with what I have read about this heart
        > disease.
        > I found Checkers as an 8 month old stray last summer. He was weak

        > when I found him but after feeding him, he perked right up. He
        never
        > acted unhealthy in any way. He had a beautiful, shiney coat and
        > eyes. He never was short of breath and never panted. He didn't
        seem
        > any more tired than usual or weak. I had him vaccinated and
        > neutered. He now was a strickly indoor cat.
        > Then one afternoon (last month), he seemed under the weather and I
        > noticed a third eyelid on him. He skipped supper, something he
        NEVER
        > did before. I was concerned but I didn't think it was an emergency.

        > I went to bed with the thought I would get him examined the next day
        > at the vets. I never got that chance. He woke us up 4:00 in the
        > morning in a howl. He was panting franticly with his eye pupils
        > completely dialated. I found him cornered in a cabinet (I later on
        > found out that he also lost all control of his bladder and bowels at
        > that very spot). He was rushed to the vet hospital and placed in an
        > oxygen cage. He was given Lasix and other drugs to ease his
        > breathing. The vet on staff believed his problem to be a cardiac
        > event. Later that day (when his breathing was stabilized), he was
        > examined by another vet that listened to his heart and thought his
        > heart sounded "normal". But much to my horror, I found out my cat
        > was now blind and "circling" in his cage (a specific neurological
        > symptom). Then, Checkers had a seizure(that was controlled) that
        > night. By the next morning, I was called by the hospital and told
        he
        > had another seizure and that he wasn't waking up from it. I was
        > advised to let him go. It was the most horrible experience. Even
        > during the euthanisia, he was seizing and making a horrible
        "honking"
        > noise. I couldn't believe as I watched all this happen to this cat
        > seemed so normal and healthy just 48 hour ago. My beautiful black
        and
        > white cat was now gone.
        > The necropsy showed significant Hypertrophic Cardiomypathy. His
        > blood work was supposedly "normal". The vets could not prove a
        blood
        > clot did this to his brain but theorize his sick heart put one out
        > that caused all the damage. Here is where the questions lay. Can
        > this disease present it's self with these terrible neurological
        > symptoms and yet the vet listening to his heart picked up nothing
        > unusual? He was neutered months earlier and again, no unusual heart
        > sounds were reported. Even with a necropsy, I just don't believe I
        > wouldn't have seen something in this cat's behavior before all this
        > happened. I don't recall any "stressor" that happened before he
        went
        > into distress. It seems most people with these cats with HCM at
        > least had warning before the end came. What if his panting was not
        > from a failing heart but because he was frightened by his loss of
        > vision or because he was in pain? He never had any respitory
        > distress before. I feel so cheated, guilty, and depressed. He died
        > blind and semi comatose, not even knowing we were there holding him.

        > Please help me understand what happened. I feel like I let him
        > down. I loved him so much and cannot believe I couldn't have
        > prevented this tragedy.
        > Peteycat9
      • peteycat9
        --Dear Group. I just wanted to apologize for my post, Grief Struck the other day. All of you are fighting to keep your fur babies alive and I now feel that
        Message 3 of 4 , Aug 1, 2002
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          --Dear Group.
          I just wanted to apologize for my post, "Grief Struck" the other
          day. All of you are fighting to keep your fur babies alive and I
          now feel that my very depressing story didn't belong on this board.
          I'm just so grief stricken and understanding HCM has become an
          obsession with me. It was the reason I joined this group, so that I
          could understand everything I could. I hate the fact that I had no
          time to say good-bye to my Checkers. The pain and guilt I feel is
          overwhelming, most of the time. He didn't deserve to go through any
          of what he went through. I wish the vets didn't try all their
          heroics. I knew nothing about HCM the night I brought him in. He
          was such a gentle and calm cat. I loved him so much. Please keep
          fighting for your kitties and do whatever is best for them.
          Sincerely,
          Peteycat9



          - In feline-heart@y..., "peteycat9" <Maxicat92@a...> wrote:
          > Hello group. I'm new to the board and was hoping I could
          understand
          > more about Hypertrophic Cardiomypathy and what happened to my cat.
          > My cat Checkers was less than 2 years old when he suddenly became
          ill
          > and died, of what was later proven to be of Hypertrophic
          > Cardiomyopathy. I am still stunned and heartbroken. I've read all
          > that I can on this disease but what happened to Checkers still
          > doesn't seem to fit in with what I have read about this heart
          > disease.
          > I found Checkers as an 8 month old stray last summer. He was
          weak
          > when I found him but after feeding him, he perked right up. He
          never
          > acted unhealthy in any way. He had a beautiful, shiney coat and
          > eyes. He never was short of breath and never panted. He didn't
          seem
          > any more tired than usual or weak. I had him vaccinated and
          > neutered. He now was a strickly indoor cat.
          > Then one afternoon (last month), he seemed under the weather and
          I
          > noticed a third eyelid on him. He skipped supper, something he
          NEVER
          > did before. I was concerned but I didn't think it was an
          emergency.
          > I went to bed with the thought I would get him examined the next
          day
          > at the vets. I never got that chance. He woke us up 4:00 in the
          > morning in a howl. He was panting franticly with his eye pupils
          > completely dialated. I found him cornered in a cabinet (I later on
          > found out that he also lost all control of his bladder and bowels
          at
          > that very spot). He was rushed to the vet hospital and placed in
          an
          > oxygen cage. He was given Lasix and other drugs to ease his
          > breathing. The vet on staff believed his problem to be a cardiac
          > event. Later that day (when his breathing was stabilized), he was
          > examined by another vet that listened to his heart and thought his
          > heart sounded "normal". But much to my horror, I found out my cat
          > was now blind and "circling" in his cage (a specific neurological
          > symptom). Then, Checkers had a seizure(that was controlled) that
          > night. By the next morning, I was called by the hospital and told
          he
          > had another seizure and that he wasn't waking up from it. I was
          > advised to let him go. It was the most horrible experience. Even
          > during the euthanisia, he was seizing and making a
          horrible "honking"
          > noise. I couldn't believe as I watched all this happen to this cat
          > seemed so normal and healthy just 48 hour ago. My beautiful black
          and
          > white cat was now gone.
          > The necropsy showed significant Hypertrophic Cardiomypathy. His
          > blood work was supposedly "normal". The vets could not prove a
          blood
          > clot did this to his brain but theorize his sick heart put one out
          > that caused all the damage. Here is where the questions lay. Can
          > this disease present it's self with these terrible neurological
          > symptoms and yet the vet listening to his heart picked up nothing
          > unusual? He was neutered months earlier and again, no unusual
          heart
          > sounds were reported. Even with a necropsy, I just don't believe I
          > wouldn't have seen something in this cat's behavior before all this
          > happened. I don't recall any "stressor" that happened before he
          went
          > into distress. It seems most people with these cats with HCM at
          > least had warning before the end came. What if his panting was not
          > from a failing heart but because he was frightened by his loss of
          > vision or because he was in pain? He never had any respitory
          > distress before. I feel so cheated, guilty, and depressed. He died
          > blind and semi comatose, not even knowing we were there holding
          him.
          > Please help me understand what happened. I feel like I let him
          > down. I loved him so much and cannot believe I couldn't have
          > prevented this tragedy.
          > Peteycat9
        • zellenecats
          No need for an apology....this is what this group is about. Love and support for the good days and the bad ones. I think most of know exactly what you are
          Message 4 of 4 , Aug 1, 2002
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            No need for an apology....this is what this group is about. Love and
            support for the good days and the bad ones. I think most of know
            exactly what you are going through. The grief can be unbearable...but
            speaking from my own too many experiences, the waves of sorrow do
            become fewer over time. The bad memories fade and the good ones
            remain. And the guilt, too. I think no matter how much I did for my
            kitties who have passed, it was never enough. I think this is a
            natural reaction to losing a precious spirit.

            If you need to talk with someone, feel free to contact me...

            z
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