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Introducing Leo

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  • Laurie D Dickson
    Hi, my name is Laurie and my cat is Leo. Leo has hypertropic cardiomyopathy secondary to hyperthyroidism. He was diagnosed about 1.5 years ago and is age 15.5.
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 29, 2002
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      Hi, my name is Laurie and my cat is Leo. Leo has hypertropic
      cardiomyopathy secondary to hyperthyroidism.

      He was diagnosed about 1.5 years ago and is age 15.5. He's been my
      foo-foo boy his whole life and with me through some very important parts
      of my life.

      Since about October 28, Leo has been to the vet's for three overnight
      stays, frequent chest taps, and is on Lasix, Enacard, baby aspirin,
      methazole (for HyperT),Diltiazem. The Methazole and Diltiazem are both
      transdermal as he is a hard cat to pill...even the allo vet I take him to
      commented on how he can hold a pill that you think he's swallowed.

      Most recently he spent last weekend at his vet's (he also spent Veteran's
      day overnight at the regional emergency pet hospital). I have seen him
      several times suffer from rear leg/walking problems.

      Quite frankly, it was breaking my heart to see him this way and every
      trip to the vet's I've worried it would be his last. When I brought him
      home from last weekend's stay at the vet, it was after I couldn't make a
      "decision" on what to do -- euthanize him or bring him home -- and the
      vet felt it best to bring him home at least for a few days since I
      hadn't seen him over the weekend. She tapped his chest on Monday before
      discharge, and he came home to my room which is fairly large...I set him
      up several spots in corners and on my bed for sleeping and he's got his
      litter, food and water in there. I took him back to his regular vet's on
      Wednesday for another chest tap, which he handles well (also handles the
      car rides well), and they removed about 140 ml. He sleeps a lot, purrs
      up a storm for me, and last night when we got home from Tgiving at my
      cousin's he sat on my chest for a chin rub for a long time. But he's
      having trouble with his breathing and I am thinking I may call about
      another chest tap tomorrow morning.

      I've posted about Leo's situation to the feline HyperT (thyroid) list so
      apologies to anyone who has read this twice. I really get the feeling,
      though it is unspoken, that the vet is surprised I'm not putting him to
      sleep yet. She said that even with a chest tap and sending him home,
      there is a high probability that he will have a fatal heart problem.
      I've been keeping him in my room to keep his activity level down and to
      keep other stresses down (I have a very active 3.5 year old daughter who
      comes in to pat him and watch cartoons -- gently -- with him, and an 8
      year old female cat Chloe who was always the "underling" and asserts
      herself with him in a stressful way). I don't feel guilty about keeping
      him separated...he is sleeping a LOT and seems content and prety happy.

      I should also mention that his eyes are clear, he is not in any pain
      aside from discomfort breathing when the fluid builds up, there's no sign
      of CRF, his weight is WAY down but he eats, drinks, pees in box and
      yesterday made a truly impressive poop for a skinny little cat on Lasix,
      if youi know what I mean (then he took a long winter's nap -- LOL) As
      the vet said, he brightens right up when the fluid is removed and the
      "decision" is not clearcut.

      My questions for all of you after this long introduction are primarily
      what you might know about Enacard and Diltiazem, as well as the risks of
      his heart problem. What should I be prepared for if he throws an
      embolism? I want to do the right thing by my little bud. What about
      homeopathic remedies? Any referrals to homeopaths in Western
      Massachusetts?

      I guess my big concerns are the right meds, the logistics of keeping him
      in my room and quiet but yet with enough activity and affection that he's
      not lonely (he seems okay with this arrangement at the moment and has
      always been a very active and assertive cat who would let me know if he
      wanted out into the fray). I work full time, am also supposed to be
      closing on a new house soon, moving, and need to try and get focused on
      packing and those arrangements. Of course there is the whole Christmas
      rush, and my boyfriend who lives out of state will be going home for a
      couple of weeks -- logistically it has been easier and more reassuring to
      know I have backup with my daughter in case of a cat emergency.

      I don't want to feel forced into a decision on Leo because of what's
      "convenient" for me. He's a huge part of my life and family. His vet
      has said this will cause his demise, is predicting the heart problem, and
      the tech there said on Wednesday that she thinks he will hav a suden
      problem and I will need to do something quick.

      BUT he is my foo foo boy and I can't bear the thought of pre-empting his
      last days if possible. I just want to be prepared for an emergency.

      Anyway, if any of you have nursed a geriatric cat through this
      combination of illnesses, I could really use the support. The folks on
      HyperT have been great and I have gained from their wisdom on that
      disease...hoping for the same input here, as regards his heart.

      Laurie

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    • Sally J.Smith
      Greetings Laurie and Leo, Thanks for the long and informative intro...and needless to say, we are all sorry that you have to be here but happy you ve found us!
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 29, 2002
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        Greetings Laurie and Leo,

        Thanks for the long and informative intro...and needless to say, we
        are all sorry that you have to be here but happy you've found us!

        One thing that was not clear in your intro was if Leo had been to
        see a cardiologist and has he had an echocardiogram? The reason I ask
        is because Leo's fluid buildup seems rather regular and it is possible
        that a different combination of drug therapies might, I stress "might"
        be better at controlling this. A cardiologist would be the best source
        for this info...I know there is one in the Albany, NY area who comes
        well recommended.
        I did notice that Leo is not on Atenelol...something which most
        cats here ARE on...you may want to look into it as it might be
        helpful.

        Your strategy of limiting his stress and making his world as safe
        and comfortable as possible is a good one, you may want to think about
        a ramp up to your bed too...my eldercat had a fall jumping OFF the bed
        and twisted his front leg and consequently his rear quarters as
        well...I was terrified it was a blood clot, but it was not...but it
        still took a long time for him to recover.

        While sleeping a lot is common in eldercats and many who also have
        heart conditions, it's also important to remember that moving around
        helps keep fluids from settling in too much. It sounds like Leo has a
        nice balance of rest and activity albeit gentle activity, but some
        moving around is recommended as it helps to push the fluids thru the
        system.


        As for the threat of thrombosis, this is the thing we are all
        concerned about. Firstly you should know that IF it does happen, it
        does not necessarily mean a PTS...look back over the archives and do a
        search for bloodclots and thrombosis and you'll see several stories of
        kitties who have recovered from clots or who are living at present
        with clots! If it does happen there are several drug therapies which
        can be helpful.

        You mentioned that Leo has had episodes of poor strength and
        co-ordination in his hind quarters...it is possible that he has
        already had some minor clots which have cleared themselves...I'm no
        vet, but this does seem to show up from time to time with kitties who
        are suffering from HCM.

        For me, the threat of thrombosis was my greatest fear.I live far
        from emergency vet services and what I worked out with my vet (who is
        a wonderfully compassionate woman) was an "emergency only" dose of 2
        controlled substances which would have to be given by me in a worst
        case scenario. I never did have to use them, and I returned them when
        no longer needed (my Muffin passed away) but it was reassuring that IF
        the unthinkable were to happen, I could, if I had to, administer two
        shots which would have relieved his pain and put him into a deeply
        relaxed state...and he might have even passed, but it was our
        intention to only relieve his pain so that he would not be suffering
        while we would be waiting for a vet to arrive for a home PTS, which I
        had also made clearance for.

        I realise this was an extrodinary trust placed in me by my vet,
        but we both loved Muffin dearly and she knew I could be trusted...I
        also have no kids who could have accidentally found the
        syringes....but this is a drastic measure for an unusual
        situation...our vet was literally in another state!

        As for your Foo-foo boy...I love that phrase!...you might want to
        look into some Network Chiropractic work...it helped Muffin a great
        deal when he was all twisted from his fall...check around the internet
        for referrals...I'm sure there will be someone near you who you can go
        see...especially if Leo likes his car rides. Or you may be luck to
        find someone who will come to you, as animal chiros frequently do.

        And as far as homeopathic/herbal stuff is concerned, another
        suppliment that many heart felines go on right away is CoQ 10...it
        seems to be quite helpful. There are loads of posts and discussions
        here in the archives about it. Another thing is Dandilion extract, but
        it works slowly over time, but it may help.

        If you can find a vet who does accupuncture you might find that to
        be helpful too...my Muffin really benefited from it...

        One vet that I can recommend is Dr. Schoen

        http://www.Drschoen.com/practice_L1.html

        I don't know how close he is to your location but he does do
        consults. He does do accupuncture and may be able to recommend a vet
        closer to you if you can't go to see him. I do know if a good woman
        vet up north of you, but she's in central Vermont...Castleton...lemme
        know if you want her name and number...she used to be Muffin's
        accupuncture vet.


        As for the stress of your impending move...you might want to add
        some Bach flower remedies...they can be administered topically so that
        is a relief..."Walnut" for dealing with the move and "Star of
        Bethlehem" would be good, but if you can't find those, good old Rescue
        Remedy will be better than nothing.

        And finally, should you want it, I can recommend this Animal
        communicator...his name is David Louis...and he's in the Albany
        area...may be close enough for you...here is his website:

        http://www.talktoyouranimals.com

        it might be good to do this before your move...just to re-assure your
        Leo and to see if there is anything else that would assist him in your
        move and transition....moving is always a big deal for our
        felines...but loving reassurance in extra doses will go a long ways to
        helping him deal with the stress.

        One thing I'd also like to recommend is to take LOTS of pictures!
        Whether Leo is with you for one more month or another year or longer,
        you can't have too many pictures! And you may also want to save his
        fur from his brushings...I wished I had saved more before my Muffin
        got his wings.

        You sound like a wonderful and devoted CatMom and Leo sounds like a
        lucky and adorable boy...give him a big cuddle for me! And welcome to
        our group!



        Sally and Angel Muffin





        --- In feline-heart@y..., Laurie D Dickson <ldickson@j...> wrote:
        > Hi, my name is Laurie and my cat is Leo. Leo has hypertropic
        > cardiomyopathy secondary to hyperthyroidism.
        >
        > He was diagnosed about 1.5 years ago and is age 15.5. He's been my
        > foo-foo boy his whole life and with me through some very important
        parts
        > of my life.
        >
        > Since about October 28, Leo has been to the vet's for three
        overnight
        > stays, frequent chest taps, and is on Lasix, Enacard, baby aspirin,
        > methazole (for HyperT),Diltiazem. The Methazole and Diltiazem are
        both
        > transdermal as he is a hard cat to pill...even the allo vet I take
        him to
        > commented on how he can hold a pill that you think he's swallowed.
        >
        > Most recently he spent last weekend at his vet's (he also spent
        Veteran's
        > day overnight at the regional emergency pet hospital). I have seen
        him
        > several times suffer from rear leg/walking problems.
        >
        > Quite frankly, it was breaking my heart to see him this way and
        every
        > trip to the vet's I've worried it would be his last. When I brought
        him
        > home from last weekend's stay at the vet, it was after I couldn't
        make a
        > "decision" on what to do -- euthanize him or bring him home -- and
        the
        > vet felt it best to bring him home at least for a few days since I
        > hadn't seen him over the weekend. She tapped his chest on Monday
        before
        > discharge, and he came home to my room which is fairly large...I set
        him
        > up several spots in corners and on my bed for sleeping and he's got
        his
        > litter, food and water in there. I took him back to his regular
        vet's on
        > Wednesday for another chest tap, which he handles well (also handles
        the
        > car rides well), and they removed about 140 ml. He sleeps a lot,
        purrs
        > up a storm for me, and last night when we got home from Tgiving at
        my
        > cousin's he sat on my chest for a chin rub for a long time. But
        he's
        > having trouble with his breathing and I am thinking I may call about
        > another chest tap tomorrow morning.
        >
        > I've posted about Leo's situation to the feline HyperT (thyroid)
        list so
        > apologies to anyone who has read this twice. I really get the
        feeling,
        > though it is unspoken, that the vet is surprised I'm not putting him
        to
        > sleep yet. She said that even with a chest tap and sending him
        home,
        > there is a high probability that he will have a fatal heart problem.
        > I've been keeping him in my room to keep his activity level down and
        to
        > keep other stresses down (I have a very active 3.5 year old daughter
        who
        > comes in to pat him and watch cartoons -- gently -- with him, and an
        8
        > year old female cat Chloe who was always the "underling" and asserts
        > herself with him in a stressful way). I don't feel guilty about
        keeping
        > him separated...he is sleeping a LOT and seems content and prety
        happy.
        >
        > I should also mention that his eyes are clear, he is not in any pain
        > aside from discomfort breathing when the fluid builds up, there's no
        sign
        > of CRF, his weight is WAY down but he eats, drinks, pees in box and
        > yesterday made a truly impressive poop for a skinny little cat on
        Lasix,
        > if youi know what I mean (then he took a long winter's nap -- LOL)
        As
        > the vet said, he brightens right up when the fluid is removed and
        the
        > "decision" is not clearcut.
        >
        > My questions for all of you after this long introduction are
        primarily
        > what you might know about Enacard and Diltiazem, as well as the
        risks of
        > his heart problem. What should I be prepared for if he throws an
        > embolism? I want to do the right thing by my little bud. What
        about
        > homeopathic remedies? Any referrals to homeopaths in Western
        > Massachusetts?
        >
        > I guess my big concerns are the right meds, the logistics of keeping
        him
        > in my room and quiet but yet with enough activity and affection that
        he's
        > not lonely (he seems okay with this arrangement at the moment and
        has
        > always been a very active and assertive cat who would let me know if
        he
        > wanted out into the fray). I work full time, am also supposed to
        be
        > closing on a new house soon, moving, and need to try and get focused
        on
        > packing and those arrangements. Of course there is the whole
        Christmas
        > rush, and my boyfriend who lives out of state will be going home
        for a
        > couple of weeks -- logistically it has been easier and more
        reassuring to
        > know I have backup with my daughter in case of a cat emergency.
        >
        > I don't want to feel forced into a decision on Leo because of what's
        > "convenient" for me. He's a huge part of my life and family. His
        vet
        > has said this will cause his demise, is predicting the heart
        problem, and
        > the tech there said on Wednesday that she thinks he will hav a suden
        > problem and I will need to do something quick.
        >
        > BUT he is my foo foo boy and I can't bear the thought of pre-empting
        his
        > last days if possible. I just want to be prepared for an emergency.
        >
        > Anyway, if any of you have nursed a geriatric cat through this
        > combination of illnesses, I could really use the support. The folks
        on
        > HyperT have been great and I have gained from their wisdom on that
        > disease...hoping for the same input here, as regards his heart.
        >
        > Laurie
        >
        > ________________________________________________________________
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        > Only $9.95 per month!
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      • diane
        Laurie, Sally gave you some good pointers. It sounds like Leo handles rides and the vet well, I would think if you prepared a room for him at your new house,
        Message 3 of 4 , Nov 30, 2002
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          Laurie,

          Sally gave you some good pointers. It sounds like Leo handles rides
          and the vet well, I would think if you prepared a room for him at
          your new house, he would handle that well too.

          As for the whole Christmas rush, if it were me, I'd forget about
          Christmas and concentrate on Leo. Christmas is stressful enough as it
          is and IMO has become so commercial that the true meaning is lost.

          Keep us posted,


          Diane
        • cessna7391
          Hi Laurie. I am in a very similar situation but my cat is only 3 and has only about 6 months to go, as I am told. Generally, I have a very hard time with the
          Message 4 of 4 , Dec 2, 2002
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            Hi Laurie. I am in a very similar situation but my cat is only 3
            and has only about 6 months to go, as I am told. Generally, I have
            a very hard time with the idea of putting her down to ease my
            suffering. She is content, and purrs when she can. It sounds to me
            like your cat, though not her normal self, is still enjoying some
            quality of life.
            Your vet is right, she will eventlually pass. But we all will and
            that is no reason for us to euthanize one another. I would say if
            she starts getting uncomfortable and in pain, maybe you should
            reconsider. But when the time has come for him to pass, he will let
            you know in his own way.
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