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Re: [feline-heart] New to the group

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  • diane@mathermotorsports.com
    Hi Voula, My Kearra and my SO s Mudgie both have heart disease, different types. Kearra was dx d in 1995 and is still going strong. Mudgie was dx d a couple of
    Message 1 of 20 , Oct 15, 2000
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      Hi Voula,

      My Kearra and my SO's Mudgie both have heart disease, different
      types. Kearra was dx'd in 1995 and is still going strong. Mudgie was
      dx'd a couple of years ago and is a wild man. Neither of them exhibit
      signs of breathlessness at all.

      I have ultrasounds done on each of them at least once a year, or
      whatever length of time the cardiologist suggests. The only signs
      either one of them had was the vet hearing a murmer during a routine
      exam.

      I would definatey get Pebbles ultrasounded. That will give you and
      your vets a better idea of which form of disease she has and how to
      treat it.

      As of yet neither of ours have any other problems besides heart
      disease, but Mudgie had a really bad reaction to the Dilacor he was
      on earlier this year. So I can't help you with the multiple meds
      issue, but I'm sure others here can.

      Good luck and keep us posted!


      Diane


      At 3:41 PM -0700 10/15/00, Voula Augerinos wrote:
      >Hi everyone,
      > I have just joined the group to find out more about heart disease
      >in cats. My cat Pebbles is seventeen years of age and has
      >hyperthyroidism and "mild" CRF. The vets have heard a mild heart murmur
      >two or three times in the past year. I take Pebbles to the vet on
      >average every 6-8 weeks for checkups.
      > What are the symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy? From reading
      >I have done it is possible that there are no obvious symptoms.
      > I asked the vet about doing an ultrasound and he said it wasn't
      >necessary because Pebbles has no symptoms. Sometimes though I notice her
      >breathing seems a bit jerky when she is sleeping. Her breathing seems
      >okay otherwise, though the other week her nostrils did flare slightly. I
      >will ring the vet again this week and ask for an ultrasound. He says he
      >doesn't want Pebbles to take thyroid medication because it would, in his
      >words "her kidneys wouldn't take it".
      > The other week we saw our old vet because the current vet was away.
      >Last year our old vet said not to give Pebbles Tapazole (neo-mercazol
      >here in Australia) because she would "soon go to God". This year he
      >strongly recommends it, and scared me about heart disease and possible
      >clots.
      > Pebbles' blood pressure is normal. Does this mean less chance of
      >clots?
      > Recently I lost my other cat Sachie to cancer on the kidneys and
      >kidney failure, so this makes me even more scared of Pebbles developing
      >kidney failure from treating the hyerthyroidism.
      > Pebbles and Sachie often played together, racing around chasing
      >each other. The last two months when Sachie was ill, they didn't play.
      >Does a cat who can race around without any breathlessness have heart
      >disease?
      > Any information you could help me with would be much appreciated.
      > I see there are familiar names on the list, as I am on other lists
      >with some of you.
      > I know I have all of a sudden become very scared of losing Pebbles
      >because it is only two weeks since losing my Beautiful Sachie.
      >Love, Voula and Pebbles and my Beautiful Angel Sachie.
      >
    • Jonathan Rosenberg
      ... Welcome to the group, Voula ... though we re all sorry that you need to be here. ... Do you take her this often at the vet s recommendation? What does
      Message 2 of 20 , Oct 15, 2000
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        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Voula Augerinos [mailto:catwoman1@...]
        > Sent: Sunday, October 15, 2000 6:41 PM
        > To: feline-heart@egroups.com
        > Subject: [feline-heart] New to the group

        > I have just joined the group to find out more about
        > heart disease in cats.

        Welcome to the group, Voula ... though we're all sorry that you need to be
        here.

        > My cat Pebbles is seventeen years of age and has
        > hyperthyroidism and "mild" CRF. The vets have heard
        > a mild heart murmur two or three times in the past year.
        > I take Pebbles to the vet on average every 6-8 weeks for
        > checkups.

        Do you take her this often at the vet's recommendation? What does he/she do
        each time?

        > What are the symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy?
        > From reading I have done it is possible that there are
        > no obvious symptoms.

        Absolutely. Heart disease in cats often goes undiagnosed until it is too
        late.

        > I asked the vet about doing an ultrasound and he said it
        > wasn't necessary because Pebbles has no symptoms.

        Well, he's the vet but I disagree. I would insist on an ultrasound. You
        are wise to question his decision.

        > Sometimes though I notice her breathing seems a bit jerky
        > when she is sleeping. Her breathing seems okay otherwise,
        > though the other week her nostrils did flare slightly.

        It's very unclear whether these "symptoms" mean anything. We had a cat who
        always had funny breathing while sleeping. But his heart was fine & stayed
        strong until he succumbed to cancer at age 16. Nonethetless, you should
        have the ultrasound done.

        > I will ring the vet again this week and ask for an
        > ultrasound.

        Excellent.

        > He says he doesn't want Pebbles to take thyroid
        > medication because it would, in his words "her kidneys
        > wouldn't take it".
        > The other week we saw our old vet because the current
        > vet was away. Last year our old vet said not to give
        > Pebbles Tapazole (neo-mercazol here in Australia)
        > because she would "soon go to God". This year he
        > strongly recommends it, and scared me about heart
        > disease and possible clots.

        From what I know, it is essential to treat hyperthyroidosm as soon as you
        find it. It is true that treating it can unmask a kidney problem. But you
        still need to treat the hyper-T problem to avoid heart damage. BUT the good
        news here is that the heart damage is very often reversed once the hyper-T
        is treated!

        > Pebbles' blood pressure is normal. Does this mean less chance
        > of clots?

        It was also (IMHO) irresponsible of him to scare you with talk of clots. I
        have some experience with these in our old guy Lynx. They are scary & they
        are, indeed, usually associated with heart disease. BUT, no one is really
        sure why some cats get them. Most cats with heart disease do not get clots,
        so I really wouldn't worry about them.

        > I know I have all of a sudden become very scared of
        > losing Pebbles because it is only two weeks since losing my
        > Beautiful Sachie.

        That's perfectly understandable. As I said, I'm an amateur, but I strongly
        recommend an ultrasound & that you treat the hyper-T.

        > Love, Voula and Pebbles and my Beautiful Angel Sachie.

        --
        JR
        & Tabby (RB), Licorice, Tigger, Lynx
      • Voula Augerinos
        Hi everyone, I have just joined the group to find out more about heart disease in cats. My cat Pebbles is seventeen years of age and has hyperthyroidism and
        Message 3 of 20 , Oct 15, 2000
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          Hi everyone,
          I have just joined the group to find out more about heart disease
          in cats. My cat Pebbles is seventeen years of age and has
          hyperthyroidism and "mild" CRF. The vets have heard a mild heart murmur
          two or three times in the past year. I take Pebbles to the vet on
          average every 6-8 weeks for checkups.
          What are the symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy? From reading
          I have done it is possible that there are no obvious symptoms.
          I asked the vet about doing an ultrasound and he said it wasn't
          necessary because Pebbles has no symptoms. Sometimes though I notice her
          breathing seems a bit jerky when she is sleeping. Her breathing seems
          okay otherwise, though the other week her nostrils did flare slightly. I
          will ring the vet again this week and ask for an ultrasound. He says he
          doesn't want Pebbles to take thyroid medication because it would, in his
          words "her kidneys wouldn't take it".
          The other week we saw our old vet because the current vet was away.
          Last year our old vet said not to give Pebbles Tapazole (neo-mercazol
          here in Australia) because she would "soon go to God". This year he
          strongly recommends it, and scared me about heart disease and possible
          clots.
          Pebbles' blood pressure is normal. Does this mean less chance of
          clots?
          Recently I lost my other cat Sachie to cancer on the kidneys and
          kidney failure, so this makes me even more scared of Pebbles developing
          kidney failure from treating the hyerthyroidism.
          Pebbles and Sachie often played together, racing around chasing
          each other. The last two months when Sachie was ill, they didn't play.
          Does a cat who can race around without any breathlessness have heart
          disease?
          Any information you could help me with would be much appreciated.
          I see there are familiar names on the list, as I am on other lists
          with some of you.
          I know I have all of a sudden become very scared of losing Pebbles
          because it is only two weeks since losing my Beautiful Sachie.
          Love, Voula and Pebbles and my Beautiful Angel Sachie.
        • diane@mathermotorsports.com
          They always do a small shaved section on the tummy. I m not sure about sedating. Perhaps it depends on the cat? Diane
          Message 4 of 20 , Oct 15, 2000
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            They always do a small shaved section on the tummy. I'm not sure
            about sedating. Perhaps it depends on the cat?


            Diane


            At 9:16 AM -0700 10/16/00, Voula Augerinos wrote:
            >Hi Diane,
            > thank you for your reply.
            > Yes I now will definitely get an ultrasound done. I am wondering do
            >they have to shave the cat, or sedate it?
            >Love, Voula and Pebbles and my Beautiful Angel Sachie.
          • Laura Penny
            Hi Voula, We meet again! I ll try to answer all your questions. Both my cats (16) have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), including heart murmurs. They also
            Message 5 of 20 , Oct 15, 2000
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              Hi Voula,

              We meet again! I'll try to answer all your questions.

              Both my cats (16) have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), including heart
              murmurs. They also have early CRF and hypertension; in addition, Lucky has
              diabetes and Kassy has hyperT.

              I knew something was wrong with Kassy a few months before her dx. She was
              sluggish, but her kidneys--always suspect--weren't bad. But one night, she
              was breathing very rapidly while she had her little purrbox on, so we took
              her to the ER. The vet said it was normal, but found a grade 1 murmur. They
              did an x-ray, and my vet said the heart had a slight valentine shape,
              indicative of HCM. I had just lost Annie to this 6 months before, so I
              freaked! We had an echo done that dx mild-moderate HCM.

              Kassy has been on diltiazem (cardizem) since Jan. 1998. She just had a
              repeat echo and her heart is in better shape now than it was then. The
              cardiologist said her heart is very stable. She also takes Norvasc for
              hypertension and Tapazole for hyperT. We've had a little weight loss problem
              recently that we hope is just the hyperT. Her creatinine fluctuates between
              2.1 and 2.6, and her BUN was 24 last time.

              Lucky had no symptoms of HCM at all. We just did a screening echo after
              Kassy's dx and happened to find it. Three cats in one year with the same
              disease, none related. In 3 years, her disease has only progressed a little.
              She's also on diltiazem and Norvasc. Her creatinine goes between 2.1 and
              2.4, but her urine has a low specific gravity of 10:20. She has a grade 1
              murmur.

              Neither cat is on fluids. I don't let the cardiologist sedate either of them
              for the echoes, although they do say a lot of curse words. :) Lucky gets her
              pits shaved, but Kassy won't stand for it.

              My cardiologist said left atrium size is one of the most important factors
              in determining clot risk. If it's normal, the risk is less than if it's
              enlarged.

              I can send you links if you want more info.

              Laura

              -
            • Jonathan Rosenberg
              ... I see two downsides to this approach: 1) Hyper-T can cause all kind of problems besides heart disease if left untreated. 2) There is a good chance that
              Message 6 of 20 , Oct 15, 2000
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                > -----Original Message-----
                > From: Voula Augerinos [mailto:catwoman1@...]
                > Sent: Monday, October 16, 2000 12:09 PM
                > To: feline-heart@egroups.com
                > Subject: Re: [feline-heart] New to the group

                > I wonder if it's possible to treat the heart if there is
                > a problem by using heart drugs, if the treatment of the
                > thyroid with drugs might affect the kidneys? I know that is not
                > getting to the root cause though. What do others think?

                I see two downsides to this approach:
                1) Hyper-T can cause all kind of problems besides heart disease if left
                untreated.
                2) There is a good chance that treating the hyper-T will NOT reveal any
                kidney problems.

                > Yes it will be a fine balancing act. And I wonder whether
                > I would be best to seek a specialist referral for the heart
                > and thyroid?

                I most strongly recommend seeing a vet cardiologist.

                > I do want to continue using the herbs though if possible
                > in combination with any drugs that might be needed. So I
                > don't want to alienate the regular vet because he is trained
                > in TCM.

                Any good professional should be happy to have a specialist involved.

                > > . . .

                > That is a relief, but no-one can give a guarantee though.

                There is no guarantee for anything in life.

                > Love, Voula and Pebbles and my Beautiful Angel Sachie.

                --
                JR
                & Tabby (RB), Licorice, Tigger, Lynx
              • Jonathan Rosenberg
                BTW: regarding the ultrasound. As far as I know it is very rare for a cat to be sedated for an ultrasound. Our guy Lynx is incredibly wiggly during the
                Message 7 of 20 , Oct 15, 2000
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                  BTW: regarding the ultrasound. As far as I know it is very rare for a cat
                  to be sedated for an ultrasound. Our guy Lynx is incredibly wiggly during
                  the ultrasound (as they tell me each & every time), but he has never been
                  sedated. Of course, he does come back all covered with the gel they use :-)

                  Ask the person who will be doing the ultrasound. I'd be very surprised if
                  they suggest sedation (unless your cat is entirely unmanageable).

                  --
                  JR
                  & Tabby (RB), Licorice, Tigger, Lynx
                • Voula Augerinos
                  Dear Jonathan, thank you for your reply. ... Pebbles has acupuncture and chinese herbs for her hyperthyroidism and CRF. So the visit is a checkup, perhaps
                  Message 8 of 20 , Oct 16, 2000
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                    Dear Jonathan,
                    thank you for your reply.

                    Jonathan Rosenberg wrote:

                    > > I take Pebbles to the vet on average every 6-8 weeks for
                    > > checkups.

                    > Do you take her this often at the vet's recommendation? What does he/she do
                    > each time?

                    Pebbles has acupuncture and chinese herbs for her hyperthyroidism
                    and CRF. So the visit is a checkup, perhaps acupuncture, Traditional
                    Chinese Medicine (TCM) diagnosis for possible adjustment of herbs and
                    dosages.
                    Then as needed, blood tests, blood pressure check, listening to her
                    heart with stethoscope, palpating kidneys and other organs.

                    > Absolutely. Heart disease in cats often goes undiagnosed until it is too
                    > late.

                    That is my fear. He said if she has heart problems we can also use
                    herbs. But how do we know if we don't do an ultrasound?
                    A while ago when Pebbles' heart rate was up he suggested using
                    drugs to lower the heart rate. But then the heart rate went down over a
                    period of a week. So we didn't give the drugs.

                    Before we started treating the hyperT with herbs last year, Pebbles
                    heart rate was between 180-240 beats a minute and her heart felt like a
                    fist coming through her chest. A month after starting the herbs her
                    heart rate went down to between 130-180 beats a minute, and it didn't
                    feel like a fist coming through her chest. She also started putting on
                    weight, eating and howling less, and drinking less. She put on nearly a
                    kilo in weight, back to her normal weight. Though over last summer she
                    lost weight again, and has since put back on half a kilo. Though I know
                    this summer will be a challenge. The herbs havee definitely helped
                    Pebbles in her hyperT symptoms. But in the past couple of months her
                    symptoms have worsened, and in the past two weeks since Sachie left us,
                    they have gotten pretty bad.

                    > > He says he doesn't want Pebbles to take thyroid
                    > > medication because it would, in his words "her kidneys
                    > > wouldn't take it".

                    I wonder if it's possible to treat the heart if there is a problem
                    by using heart drugs, if the treatment of the thyroid with drugs might
                    affect the kidneys?
                    I know that is not getting to the root cause though. What do others
                    think?

                    > >From what I know, it is essential to treat hyperthyroidosm as soon as you
                    > find it. It is true that treating it can unmask a kidney problem. But you
                    > still need to treat the hyper-T problem to avoid heart damage. BUT the good
                    > news here is that the heart damage is very often reversed once the hyper-T
                    > is treated!

                    Yes it will be a fine balancing act. And I wonder whether I would
                    be best to seek a specialist referral for the heart and thyroid?

                    I do want to continue using the herbs though if possible in
                    combination with any drugs that might be needed. So I don't want to
                    alienate the regular vet because he is trained in TCM. Last year we had
                    very good results with the chinese herbs for Pebbles.
                    Though the funny thing is he treats other cats that have hyperT and
                    CRF with thyroid medications, and he said most do well and don't go into
                    kidney failure. I need to ask him why he is reluctant to do so with
                    Pebbles.
                    Last year he said Pebbles was doing better with the herbs than a
                    lot of cats he is treating with thyroid drugs.

                    > > Pebbles' blood pressure is normal. Does this mean less chance
                    > > of clots?
                    >
                    > It was also (IMHO) irresponsible of him to scare you with talk of clots. I
                    > have some experience with these in our old guy Lynx. They are scary & they
                    > are, indeed, usually associated with heart disease. BUT, no one is really
                    > sure why some cats get them. Most cats with heart disease do not get clots,
                    > so I really wouldn't worry about them.

                    That is a relief, but no-one can give a guarantee though.
                    Love, Voula and Pebbles and my Beautiful Angel Sachie.
                  • Voula Augerinos
                    Hi Diane, thank you for your reply. Yes I now will definitely get an ultrasound done. I am wondering do they have to shave the cat, or sedate it? Love, Voula
                    Message 9 of 20 , Oct 16, 2000
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                      Hi Diane,
                      thank you for your reply.
                      Yes I now will definitely get an ultrasound done. I am wondering do
                      they have to shave the cat, or sedate it?
                      Love, Voula and Pebbles and my Beautiful Angel Sachie.
                    • Voula Augerinos
                      Hello dear Laura, we do indeed meet again! Thank you for your excellent reply. As always, you bring me comfort! ... So it appears that the drugs haven t
                      Message 10 of 20 , Oct 16, 2000
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                        Hello dear Laura,
                        we do indeed meet again!
                        Thank you for your excellent reply. As always, you bring me
                        comfort!
                        Laura Penny wrote:
                        > We meet again! I'll try to answer all your questions.

                        > I knew something was wrong with Kassy a few months before her dx. She was
                        > sluggish, but her kidneys--always suspect--weren't bad. But one night, she
                        > was breathing very rapidly while she had her little purrbox on, so we took
                        > her to the ER. The vet said it was normal, but found a grade 1 murmur. Yes, apparently Pebbles' murmur is mild and intermittent.

                        > Kassy has been on diltiazem (cardizem) since Jan. 1998. She just had a
                        > repeat echo and her heart is in better shape now than it was then. The
                        > cardiologist said her heart is very stable. She also takes Norvasc for
                        > hypertension and Tapazole for hyperT. We've had a little weight loss problem
                        > recently that we hope is just the hyperT. Her creatinine fluctuates between
                        > 2.1 and 2.6, and her BUN was 24 last time.
                        So it appears that the drugs haven't worsened her kidneys? How much
                        Tapazole is she taking?

                        > Lucky had no symptoms of HCM at all. We just did a screening echo after
                        > Kassy's dx and happened to find it. Three cats in one year with the same
                        > disease, none related.
                        I can only imagine how you would feel. I read recently that with
                        the increased screening and ultrasounds that vets are finding a lot of
                        heart disease in cats.

                        > In 3 years, her disease has only progressed a little.
                        That is good that it has been three years. Of course I don't know
                        if Pebbles has heart disease yet, though it would not surprise me, and
                        if she has, for how long she has had it. I am definitely insisting on an
                        ultrasound and if one vet won't do it, I will tell him that I will go to
                        the other vet. I have become like a madwoman with losing Sachie, my
                        fears for Pebbles have intensified a lot.

                        I don't want Pebbles sedated either.

                        > My cardiologist said left atrium size is one of the most important factors
                        > in determining clot risk. If it's normal, the risk is less than if it's
                        > enlarged.
                        That's good information to know. Is blood pressure THE risk factor
                        for clots, or is it a risk with heart problems without high blood
                        pressure. Pebbles' blood pressure was normal some weeks ago.

                        > I can send you links if you want more info.
                        I would really appreciate that. I want to learn as much as
                        possible, because like Sachie with trying to get subQs at home, I need
                        to be informed to argue my case.
                        Love, Voula and Pebbles and my Beautiful Angel Sachie.
                      • biggers_eric@yahoo.com
                        Hi, my name is Eric and I currently have a very sick cat named Gatsby (5 year Tabby). I m wondering if any one else can give me some answers from their
                        Message 11 of 20 , Jun 12, 2001
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                          Hi, my name is Eric and I currently have a very sick cat named Gatsby
                          (5 year Tabby). I'm wondering if any one else can give me some
                          answers from their experiences.
                          She started having trouble breathing, so my wife took her to the vet
                          and they found a large amount of fluid in her chest pushing on her
                          lungs. They drained it (240 cc) and tested it to see if she had
                          chylothorax (tear in the thoracic duct), but the tests determined
                          that the fluid composition couldn't be from that condition.
                          They've done blood tests, heartworm tests, an echocardigram, and many
                          x-rays. They drain the fluid (another 140 cc) but it still keeps
                          coming back around her lungs, so they put her on Lasix to absorb a
                          lot of the fluid and a heart medication called Diltiazem (generic for
                          cardizem). I'm very worried that this might keep dragging out,
                          because even on these drugs the fluid still accumulated (even though
                          it was a smaller amount). They drained 20 cc yesterday.
                          I don't want to make her suffer anymore if she really cannot be
                          treated, but it's very hard to just give up. This whole ordeal has
                          been very expensive and I just don't know if she'll ever get better.
                          If anyone has had the same experience or can offer any advice, I'd
                          like to hear from you.
                          Thanks, Eric
                        • Jonathan Rosenberg
                          I would suggest you see whether you can get a referral to an internal medicine specialist (or cardiologist) near you. You can start by looking here:
                          Message 12 of 20 , Jun 12, 2001
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                            I would suggest you see whether you can get a referral to an internal
                            medicine specialist (or cardiologist) near you. You can start by looking
                            here:

                            http://www.acvim.org/Kittleson/search.htm

                            You're not likely to do better than an ACVIM specialist.

                            > -----Original Message-----
                            > From: biggers_eric@... [mailto:biggers_eric@...]
                            > Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2001 4:16 PM
                            > To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com
                            > Subject: [feline-heart] New to the group
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Hi, my name is Eric and I currently have a very sick cat named Gatsby
                            > (5 year Tabby). I'm wondering if any one else can give me some
                            > answers from their experiences.
                            > She started having trouble breathing, so my wife took her to the vet
                            > and they found a large amount of fluid in her chest pushing on her
                            > lungs. They drained it (240 cc) and tested it to see if she had
                            > chylothorax (tear in the thoracic duct), but the tests determined
                            > that the fluid composition couldn't be from that condition.
                            > They've done blood tests, heartworm tests, an echocardigram, and many
                            > x-rays. They drain the fluid (another 140 cc) but it still keeps
                            > coming back around her lungs, so they put her on Lasix to absorb a
                            > lot of the fluid and a heart medication called Diltiazem (generic for
                            > cardizem). I'm very worried that this might keep dragging out,
                            > because even on these drugs the fluid still accumulated (even though
                            > it was a smaller amount). They drained 20 cc yesterday.
                            > I don't want to make her suffer anymore if she really cannot be
                            > treated, but it's very hard to just give up. This whole ordeal has
                            > been very expensive and I just don't know if she'll ever get better.
                            > If anyone has had the same experience or can offer any advice, I'd
                            > like to hear from you.
                            > Thanks, Eric
                            >
                            >
                            > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                            > feline-heart-unsubscribe@onelist.com
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                            >
                            >
                          • sciani@aol.com
                            Eric: We went through this with Whiskers (17yo) starting last Thanksgiving. His chest was tapped several times - a total of more than one liter. An internist
                            Message 13 of 20 , Jun 13, 2001
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                              Eric:

                              We went through this with Whiskers (17yo) starting last
                              Thanksgiving. His chest was tapped several times - a total of more
                              than one liter. An internist dx'd moderate cardiomyopathy. In
                              January, a cardiologist finetuned the dx to Restrictive
                              Cardiomyopathy and gave the cat 4-6 months. I think the last tap was
                              in January.

                              I was ready to give up just at the point Whiskers turned the corner.

                              Whiskers is also anemic and suffers from IBD, so he gets quite the
                              handful of pills.

                              For the heart and chylothorax:
                              Diltiazem
                              Enalapril
                              Furosemide
                              Spironolactone
                              Potassium Gluconate
                              Taurine
                              Rutin
                              Co-Q10

                              For the IBD:
                              Prednisolone
                              Salmon oil

                              For the anemia:
                              Iron
                              Vitamin B-12
                              Folic acid

                              A blood test last week had a BUN of 40, but creatinine was normal.
                              An x-ray showed a little fluid around the lungs, but not enough to
                              tap. Vets are so pleased/surprised, they don't want to change
                              anything he's getting.

                              Whiskers seems happy to be around. He's not active, rather weak and
                              sleeps a lot, but his appetite is very good and he still walks up and
                              down stairs and hops onto the bed at night. I know we have him on
                              borrowed time and have no expectation of his returning to his old
                              self.

                              Yes, it has been expensive and kinda crept up on us, so we don't go
                              out to eat at fancy places and my wardrobe will make do. Guess I
                              won't be quitting my job anytime soon. ;-)

                              Each kitty's situation is a bit different. If you plan to continue
                              further with Gatsby, the feline cardiologist is the way to go.

                              Please keep us posted.

                              Susan C




                              --- In feline-heart@y..., biggers_eric@y... wrote:
                              >
                              > Hi, my name is Eric and I currently have a very sick cat named
                              Gatsby
                              > (5 year Tabby). I'm wondering if any one else can give me some
                              > answers from their experiences.
                              > She started having trouble breathing, so my wife took her to the
                              vet
                              > and they found a large amount of fluid in her chest pushing on her
                              > lungs. They drained it (240 cc) and tested it to see if she had
                              > chylothorax (tear in the thoracic duct), but the tests determined
                              > that the fluid composition couldn't be from that condition.
                              > They've done blood tests, heartworm tests, an echocardigram, and
                              many
                              > x-rays. They drain the fluid (another 140 cc) but it still keeps
                              > coming back around her lungs, so they put her on Lasix to absorb a
                              > lot of the fluid and a heart medication called Diltiazem (generic
                              for
                              > cardizem). I'm very worried that this might keep dragging out,
                              > because even on these drugs the fluid still accumulated (even
                              though
                              > it was a smaller amount). They drained 20 cc yesterday.
                              > I don't want to make her suffer anymore if she really cannot be
                              > treated, but it's very hard to just give up. This whole ordeal has
                              > been very expensive and I just don't know if she'll ever get better.
                              > If anyone has had the same experience or can offer any advice, I'd
                              > like to hear from you.
                              > Thanks, Eric
                            • pjscpa31a
                              Bobby Knight is one of my recent rescue fur babies. My vet estimates he is around 2 years old. Since joining our family we noticed that Bobby has an
                              Message 14 of 20 , Dec 28, 2004
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                                Bobby Knight is one of my recent rescue fur babies. My vet estimates
                                he is around 2 years old. Since joining our "family" we noticed that
                                Bobby has an occassional deep cough. Yesterday, the vet checked him
                                to be sure there were no foreign objects in his throat by examination
                                and x-ray. It was during the x-ray that he discovered that the
                                otherwise healthy looking kitty has an enlarged heart. He also
                                performed an ECG and prescribed that I give him 1/2 tab of lasix, two
                                times a day and return for a repeat set of x-rays and ECG in 30 days,
                                unless of course the cough worsens. He indicated that the enlarged
                                heart can be the cause of the cough - he didn't find anything else...

                                I know from my experience with the Yahoo VAS support group, that I
                                can learn a world of info here from you. Can anyone provide me any
                                information - should I seek another opinion? Is an x-ray and ECG
                                enough to make a correct diagnosis. Should I seek a specialist for
                                Bobby? Is there anything else I should be doing for him?

                                I have dealt with feline leukemia and VAS, but this problem is a new
                                one for me. I would appreciate all info you can send my way.

                                Pam
                                Spooky, Daphne, Katy, Cissy, Spike, Bobby Knight and angels Taffy,
                                Boots and Magic
                              • Susan
                                Pam, It sounds like your regular vet a DVM has diagnosed Bobby. Most cats on this list are seen by a type of vet who has an additional advanced degree called
                                Message 15 of 20 , Dec 29, 2004
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                                  Pam,

                                  It sounds like your regular vet a DVM has diagnosed
                                  Bobby. Most cats on this list are seen by a type of
                                  vet who has an additional advanced degree called ACVIM
                                  for the American College of Veterinary Internal
                                  Medicine. You can look for ACVIM vets close to you by
                                  going to:

                                  http://acvim.org/wwwfp/Directory/Cardio_Geo.pdf
                                  for cardiologists.

                                  or:
                                  http://acvim.org/wwwfp/Directory/SAIM_Geo.pdf
                                  for small animal internal medicine (internists)

                                  either of which would be qualified to treat Bobbie for
                                  heart problems.

                                  Part of the reason I bring this up is because lasix
                                  monotherapy, ie. lasix prescribed without being paired
                                  with an ACE-inhibitor such as enalapril is not
                                  recommended (See Dr. Clarke Atkins articles in the
                                  links section).

                                  Susan



                                  --- pjscpa31a <pjscpa31a@...> wrote:

                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Bobby Knight is one of my recent rescue fur babies.
                                  > My vet estimates
                                  > he is around 2 years old. Since joining our
                                  > "family" we noticed that
                                  > Bobby has an occassional deep cough. Yesterday, the
                                  > vet checked him
                                  > to be sure there were no foreign objects in his
                                  > throat by examination
                                  > and x-ray. It was during the x-ray that he
                                  > discovered that the
                                  > otherwise healthy looking kitty has an enlarged
                                  > heart. He also
                                  > performed an ECG and prescribed that I give him 1/2
                                  > tab of lasix, two
                                  > times a day and return for a repeat set of x-rays
                                  > and ECG in 30 days,
                                  > unless of course the cough worsens. He indicated
                                  > that the enlarged
                                  > heart can be the cause of the cough - he didn't find
                                  > anything else...
                                  >
                                  > I know from my experience with the Yahoo VAS support
                                  > group, that I
                                  > can learn a world of info here from you. Can anyone
                                  > provide me any
                                  > information - should I seek another opinion? Is an
                                  > x-ray and ECG
                                  > enough to make a correct diagnosis. Should I seek a
                                  > specialist for
                                  > Bobby? Is there anything else I should be doing for
                                  > him?
                                  >
                                  > I have dealt with feline leukemia and VAS, but this
                                  > problem is a new
                                  > one for me. I would appreciate all info you can
                                  > send my way.
                                  >
                                  > Pam
                                  > Spooky, Daphne, Katy, Cissy, Spike, Bobby Knight and
                                  > angels Taffy,
                                  > Boots and Magic
                                  >




                                  __________________________________
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                                  Yahoo! Mail - 250MB free storage. Do more. Manage less.
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                                • karen
                                  Hi, I was directed to this group from another and am grateful such groups exist, I have found the info in the files very helpful. I was wondering if anyone
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Nov 13, 2005
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                                    Hi,


                                    I was directed to this group from another and am grateful such
                                    groups exist, I have found the info in the files very helpful. I
                                    was wondering if anyone here has had a cat with Dilated
                                    cardiomyopathy, my little cat Anfield who is 10 years old has
                                    been diagnosed on friday with this complaint. Three weeks ago
                                    she had a chest xray and I was told she had an enlarged heart at
                                    this time I was hoping it was the other cardiomyoathy and not
                                    the dilated one, I believe this is the worst one to have and the
                                    outlook is poor.



                                    I have a few questions I was wondering if anyone could help me
                                    with, The first is can this complaint be correctly diagnosed
                                    from a chest xray or does it need an Ultra sound(I am asking my
                                    vet could he refer me to a specialist tomorrow when I see him
                                    again) and has anyone had a cat with this complaint that has
                                    survived more than a few weeks.



                                    I was devastaed when I asked my vet what the longterm prognosis
                                    is and he told me on the downside 3-4 weeks and the up side
                                    anything up to 12 months. I feel so useless and helpless for her
                                    I have had anfield since day one, she means the world to me.
                                    Sorry for all the questions.



                                    Karen.



                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • Lisa Clarizia
                                    Hi Karen, My kitty, Baby Boy, has severe dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). He was diagnosed about 15 months ago, and with a combination of meds and supplements, is
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Nov 13, 2005
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                                      Hi Karen,

                                      My kitty, Baby Boy, has severe dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). He was
                                      diagnosed about 15 months ago, and with a combination of meds and
                                      supplements, is doing pretty well.

                                      DCM is often considered to have a poor outcome, but my little guy has a very
                                      bad heart and has lived much longer and much *better* than anyone said he
                                      would. I know of at least one other person who has had their DCM kitty
                                      survive this long as well.

                                      In answer to your question -- no, you really can't diagnose what kind of
                                      cardiomyopathy a cat has by x-ray alone, you absolutely need an ultrasound
                                      to determine this.

                                      As for supplements, you need to start giving her taurine and coenzyme q10
                                      right away. Taurine deficiency is one possible cause of DCM (though rare in
                                      cats who eat commercially available food) and she should be getting it just
                                      in case. The q10 is critical for DCM cats as well, I credit it with saving
                                      Baby Boy's life and allowing him to feel as good as he does. I would also
                                      add l-carnitine. You can get all these at GNC or the Vitamin Shoppe or a
                                      drugstore -- I would give 60-100 mg of q10 per day and 125-250 mg of the
                                      taurine and l-carnitine a day. You can add them to her food.

                                      Is Anfield in congestive heart failure (CHF)? What meds is she getting? If
                                      she is in CHF, then she should be getting a diuretic (lasix, sometimes
                                      combined with another diuretic called spironolactone) and a med called an
                                      ACE-inhibitor (enalapril, or another like it).

                                      If at all possible you should get her to a specialist as soon as possible.
                                      She needs an accurate and definitive diagnosis to receive the most
                                      appropriate treatment. I hope this helps, welcome to this list though I am
                                      sorry you had to join us, and I hope Anfield is feeling better soon!

                                      Lisa


                                      On 11/13/05, karen <Torchgirl@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Hi,
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > I was directed to this group from another and am grateful such
                                      > groups exist, I have found the info in the files very helpful. I
                                      > was wondering if anyone here has had a cat with Dilated
                                      > cardiomyopathy, my little cat Anfield who is 10 years old has
                                      > been diagnosed on friday with this complaint. Three weeks ago
                                      > she had a chest xray and I was told she had an enlarged heart at
                                      > this time I was hoping it was the other cardiomyoathy and not
                                      > the dilated one, I believe this is the worst one to have and the
                                      > outlook is poor.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > I have a few questions I was wondering if anyone could help me
                                      > with, The first is can this complaint be correctly diagnosed
                                      > from a chest xray or does it need an Ultra sound(I am asking my
                                      > vet could he refer me to a specialist tomorrow when I see him
                                      > again) and has anyone had a cat with this complaint that has
                                      > survived more than a few weeks.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > I was devastaed when I asked my vet what the longterm prognosis
                                      > is and he told me on the downside 3-4 weeks and the up side
                                      > anything up to 12 months. I feel so useless and helpless for her
                                      > I have had anfield since day one, she means the world to me.
                                      > Sorry for all the questions.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Karen.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Your reply will go to the author of this message. If you feel your reply
                                      > will benefit the entire group, please change the "To:" line to
                                      > feline-heart@yahoogroups.com
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > ------------------------------
                                      > YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > - Visit your group "feline-heart<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/feline-heart>"
                                      > on the web.
                                      > - To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                                      > feline-heart-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com<feline-heart-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com?subject=Unsubscribe>
                                      > - Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
                                      > Service <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/>.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > ------------------------------
                                      >



                                      --
                                      Lisa Clarizia
                                      lclarizia@...


                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • samanthag1977
                                      Hello Everyone, My name is Marc and my cat Samantha was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy in February 2009. She is a black American Short hair about 12-14 years
                                      Message 18 of 20 , Jul 21, 2009
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                                        Hello Everyone,

                                        My name is Marc and my cat Samantha was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy in February 2009. She is a black American Short hair about 12-14 years old. The doctor gave her four months to live. She is still hanging in there as of today, (the 5th month) but I have to go out of town for a week next week for business and I'm feeling a lot of guilt about it and worried that something might happen to her while I'm gone. My neighbor is a big cat lover and takes care of her while I'm away. I lost my job in April and it has been kind of a blessing that I have been able to be home with her most of time to care for her. I just got a new job last week and will be traveling some.

                                        I first noticed her heavy breathing which prompted me to take her to my vet back in Feb. He drained about 4 ounces of fluid from her chest cavity and referred me to a heart specialist who performed an electrocardiogram, x-ray, etc. and confirmed her condition. I've had her on Enalapril, Vetmedin and Lasix since then.

                                        I'm having a very difficult time dealing with this, knowing at any moment she could suddenly die or worse become paralyzed and be in a lot of pain while I'm away. I have no children and she is my sole companion. It's really hard to deal with this alone.

                                        Thanks for listening. I'll post a picture of Sam as soon as I figure it out.

                                        Warm regards,

                                        Marc
                                      • Judi Levens
                                        Hi Marc; I understand your concern, we ve all been through this, but the dianosis is not necessarily a death sentance. It s equally true that she may die or
                                        Message 19 of 20 , Jul 22, 2009
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                                          Hi Marc; I understand your concern, we've all been through this, but the dianosis is not necessarily a death sentance. It's equally true that she may die or she may last fo several years with the meds. You might add some supplements including cQ10 and nattokinesse or natto zyme (brand name) to help her survival chances and there is something called Cardio Strength taht many people here swear by. Try to have your friend understand how to count Sam's breaths as that is probably the best indication of distress happening...if they become rapid have him take her to the emregency vet. Also, if you want to talk with a pet communicator...we have one we use before trips to be sure that Max understands that we are leaving but we will be back soon and he'll be OK...I can give you a name. Good luck with Samantha.

                                          Judi and Max


                                          To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com
                                          From: m.goldberg@...
                                          Date: Wed, 22 Jul 2009 05:18:49 +0000
                                          Subject: [FH] New to the group





                                          Hello Everyone,

                                          My name is Marc and my cat Samantha was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy in February 2009. She is a black American Short hair about 12-14 years old. The doctor gave her four months to live. She is still hanging in there as of today, (the 5th month) but I have to go out of town for a week next week for business and I'm feeling a lot of guilt about it and worried that something might happen to her while I'm gone. My neighbor is a big cat lover and takes care of her while I'm away. I lost my job in April and it has been kind of a blessing that I have been able to be home with her most of time to care for her. I just got a new job last week and will be traveling some.

                                          I first noticed her heavy breathing which prompted me to take her to my vet back in Feb. He drained about 4 ounces of fluid from her chest cavity and referred me to a heart specialist who performed an electrocardiogram, x-ray, etc. and confirmed her condition. I've had her on Enalapril, Vetmedin and Lasix since then.

                                          I'm having a very difficult time dealing with this, knowing at any moment she could suddenly die or worse become paralyzed and be in a lot of pain while I'm away. I have no children and she is my sole companion. It's really hard to deal with this alone.

                                          Thanks for listening. I'll post a picture of Sam as soon as I figure it out.

                                          Warm regards,

                                          Marc










                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        • elfinmyst@aol.com
                                          Hi Marc I fully understand your caution. Every time I leave the house, it is at the back of my mind and I`d panic if I had to go on holiday. But in my
                                          Message 20 of 20 , Jul 22, 2009
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                                            Hi Marc

                                            I fully understand your caution. Every time I leave the house, it is at the
                                            back of my mind and I`d panic if I had to go on holiday. But in my
                                            experience, cats don't listen to their prognosis. Trixi was given 2 months at age
                                            12 weeks and is nearly three in August!

                                            Enjoy every day. Would your neighbour keep Sam in her house perhaps? I
                                            could say don't worry, but I know I would, and that's a normal part of having
                                            heart kitties! Remember she wants you to be happy and part of that is your
                                            new job.
                                            Sounds like she is on the right medication to support her.

                                            Lyn:)

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


                                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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