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
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
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
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
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
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:
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
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
> of my life.
> Since about October 28, Leo has been to the vet's for three
> stays, frequent chest taps, and is on Lasix, Enacard, baby aspirin,
> methazole (for HyperT),Diltiazem. The Methazole and Diltiazem are
> transdermal as he is a hard cat to pill...even the allo vet I take
> 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
> day overnight at the regional emergency pet hospital). I have seen
> several times suffer from rear leg/walking problems.
> Quite frankly, it was breaking my heart to see him this way and
> trip to the vet's I've worried it would be his last. When I brought
> home from last weekend's stay at the vet, it was after I couldn't
> "decision" on what to do -- euthanize him or bring him home -- and
> 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
> discharge, and he came home to my room which is fairly large...I set
> up several spots in corners and on my bed for sleeping and he's got
> litter, food and water in there. I took him back to his regular
> Wednesday for another chest tap, which he handles well (also handles
> car rides well), and they removed about 140 ml. He sleeps a lot,
> up a storm for me, and last night when we got home from Tgiving at
> cousin's he sat on my chest for a chin rub for a long time. But
> 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)
> apologies to anyone who has read this twice. I really get the
> though it is unspoken, that the vet is surprised I'm not putting him
> sleep yet. She said that even with a chest tap and sending him
> 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
> keep other stresses down (I have a very active 3.5 year old daughter
> comes in to pat him and watch cartoons -- gently -- with him, and an
> 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
> him separated...he is sleeping a LOT and seems content and prety
> 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
> 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
> if youi know what I mean (then he took a long winter's nap -- LOL)
> the vet said, he brightens right up when the fluid is removed and
> "decision" is not clearcut.
> My questions for all of you after this long introduction are
> what you might know about Enacard and Diltiazem, as well as the
> 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
> homeopathic remedies? Any referrals to homeopaths in Western
> I guess my big concerns are the right meds, the logistics of keeping
> in my room and quiet but yet with enough activity and affection that
> not lonely (he seems okay with this arrangement at the moment and
> always been a very active and assertive cat who would let me know if
> wanted out into the fray). I work full time, am also supposed to
> closing on a new house soon, moving, and need to try and get focused
> packing and those arrangements. Of course there is the whole
> rush, and my boyfriend who lives out of state will be going home
> couple of weeks -- logistically it has been easier and more
> 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
> has said this will cause his demise, is predicting the heart
> 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
> 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
> HyperT have been great and I have gained from their wisdom on that
> disease...hoping for the same input here, as regards his heart.
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