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  • mereminne
    Hello everyone, I haven t posted here before. I ve been learning some things by reading all the posts, & now I have a question. If anyone can answer that
    Message 1 of 12 , Dec 1, 2002
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      Hello everyone,

      I haven't posted here before. I've been learning some things by
      reading all the posts, & now I have a question. If anyone can answer
      that would be great... I tried counting my cat Abby's heart rate last
      night by listening to her left side, and -- this is probably the
      stupidest new member question ever(!) but here goes --
      should I be counting the beats like this:
      1and/2and/3and/4and/5and/6and/7and/8and
      or like this:
      1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12/13/14/15/16?

      I assume it's the first way (since the heart goes "lub-DUB", right)?
      I counted 72 thumps in 15 seconds, and I guess that would mean the
      heart beat 36 times? I was using a digital clock instead of a second
      hand, so I should probably do it again, but I did this 4-5 times and
      it seemed almost always to come out to that many thumps per 15
      seconds. If I multiply that by 4 her heart rate would be 144 I guess?

      Abby is on Atenolol, and her cardiologist just advised me to bump it
      up to 1/2 tab from 1/4 because at our visit this past Friday, Abby's
      heart rate was higher than she thought it should be. But I noticed
      that Abby's heart rate seemed to be the same last night before I gave
      her Atenolol and 2 hours after I gave it. I'm not sure what to think
      about that.

      A little background on my Abby -- she is 17 and 1/2 and had surgery
      for Vaccine-Associated Fibrosarcoma in September. The pre-surgery
      tests, including an Echocardiogram, showed that she has Hypertrophic
      Cardiomyopathy and renal insufficiency. They put her on Atenolol at
      that time. At her last oncology follow-up the oncologist said she
      should now see a cardiologist, so Friday was our first appointment
      with one. They did a follow up Echocardiogram and for now (knock on
      wood) Abby's heart and kidneys seem to have stabilized. The VAS
      cancer is a nasty one, Abby's sister passed away from it 1 and 1/2
      years ago so I caught Abby's more quickly & we are hoping it was in
      time although with VAS you almost don't dare to hope. I am on the
      VAS Yahoo group too, and haven't really had time to start up posting
      here a lot as well, but I am so grateful to find all of this
      information. I wish I had known more about these groups while Abby's
      sister Melissa was going through her illness.

      Thanks for being here!
      Lacy, Abby & Melissa
      New York, NY
    • lipmancats
      Hi, There is no such thing as a stupid question! Your first guess on counting heart beats is correct. Our Widget has a gallop rhythm (short-long, short-long),
      Message 2 of 12 , Dec 1, 2002
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        Hi,
        There is no such thing as a stupid question!
        Your first guess on counting heart beats is correct.
        Our Widget has a gallop rhythm (short-long, short-long), so getting a
        heart rate on him is tough, even for our vet. The more you listen,
        the easier hearing what's normal for your kitty gets.
        I'm so sorry you've had to deal with VAS. Cancer is such a scary
        thing. A good oncologist can make such a difference. I'm glad
        you've got the heart and kidney issues under control.
        Hope Abby continues to do well.
        Take care,
        Barbara and the furry crew
        --- In feline-heart@y..., "mereminne" <mereminne@m...> wrote:
        > Hello everyone,
        >
        > I haven't posted here before. I've been learning some things by
        > reading all the posts, & now I have a question. If anyone can
        answer
        > that would be great... I tried counting my cat Abby's heart rate
        last
        > night by listening to her left side, and -- this is probably the
        > stupidest new member question ever(!) but here goes --
        > should I be counting the beats like this:
        > 1and/2and/3and/4and/5and/6and/7and/8and
        > or like this:
        > 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12/13/14/15/16?
        >
        > I assume it's the first way (since the heart goes "lub-DUB",
        right)?
        > I counted 72 thumps in 15 seconds, and I guess that would mean the
        > heart beat 36 times? I was using a digital clock instead of a
        second
        > hand, so I should probably do it again, but I did this 4-5 times
        and
        > it seemed almost always to come out to that many thumps per 15
        > seconds. If I multiply that by 4 her heart rate would be 144 I
        guess?
        >
        > Abby is on Atenolol, and her cardiologist just advised me to bump
        it
        > up to 1/2 tab from 1/4 because at our visit this past Friday,
        Abby's
        > heart rate was higher than she thought it should be. But I noticed
        > that Abby's heart rate seemed to be the same last night before I
        gave
        > her Atenolol and 2 hours after I gave it. I'm not sure what to
        think
        > about that.
        >
        > A little background on my Abby -- she is 17 and 1/2 and had surgery
        > for Vaccine-Associated Fibrosarcoma in September. The pre-surgery
        > tests, including an Echocardiogram, showed that she has
        Hypertrophic
        > Cardiomyopathy and renal insufficiency. They put her on Atenolol
        at
        > that time. At her last oncology follow-up the oncologist said she
        > should now see a cardiologist, so Friday was our first appointment
        > with one. They did a follow up Echocardiogram and for now (knock
        on
        > wood) Abby's heart and kidneys seem to have stabilized. The VAS
        > cancer is a nasty one, Abby's sister passed away from it 1 and 1/2
        > years ago so I caught Abby's more quickly & we are hoping it was in
        > time although with VAS you almost don't dare to hope. I am on the
        > VAS Yahoo group too, and haven't really had time to start up
        posting
        > here a lot as well, but I am so grateful to find all of this
        > information. I wish I had known more about these groups while
        Abby's
        > sister Melissa was going through her illness.
        >
        > Thanks for being here!
        > Lacy, Abby & Melissa
        > New York, NY
      • mereminne
        Dear Barbara, Thank you for so much for answering me. I am still at the beginning of learning about feline heart disease, and we are already looking at a
        Message 3 of 12 , Dec 2, 2002
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          Dear Barbara,

          Thank you for so much for answering me. I am still at the beginning of
          learning about feline heart disease, and we are already looking at a
          visit the kidney doctor since that was recommended by Abby's
          cardiologist. I want to be as informed as possible & so I thank you
          and I'm glad to know about this group, I will keep checking back. I
          wish you and Widget good luck.

          healing thoughts
          Lacy, Abby & Melissa

          --- In feline-heart@y..., "lipmancats" <barbaralipman@e...> wrote:
          > Hi,
          > There is no such thing as a stupid question!
          > Your first guess on counting heart beats is correct.
          > Our Widget has a gallop rhythm (short-long, short-long), so getting a
          > heart rate on him is tough, even for our vet. The more you listen,
          > the easier hearing what's normal for your kitty gets.
          > I'm so sorry you've had to deal with VAS. Cancer is such a scary
          > thing. A good oncologist can make such a difference. I'm glad
          > you've got the heart and kidney issues under control.
          > Hope Abby continues to do well.
          > Take care,
          > Barbara and the furry crew
        • cessna7391
          Just a quick reply, but with regards to counting the heart rate at the time of giving her Atentolol. Drugs go up in concentration in the blood depending on
          Message 4 of 12 , Dec 2, 2002
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            Just a quick reply, but with regards to counting the heart rate at
            the time of giving her Atentolol. Drugs go up in concentration in
            the blood depending on their biologic half life. I am not sure what
            the half life is for this drug but most of them are on the order of
            a few hours. So when you give the cat the drug initially, the
            amount in the blood goes up until reaching some equilibrium. From
            there is slowly goes down in concentration. Measuring the heart
            rate from hour to hour, you will probably not be able to detect much
            difference aside from what normally would be there. If you were to
            do the same and measure the heart rate say tonight and then measure
            it in 2 days, you certainly would notice a difference. The key is,
            you would not want to do that due to the side effects.

            --- In feline-heart@y..., "mereminne" <mereminne@m...> wrote:
            > Hello everyone,
            >
            > I haven't posted here before. I've been learning some things by
            > reading all the posts, & now I have a question. If anyone can
            answer
            > that would be great... I tried counting my cat Abby's heart rate
            last
            > night by listening to her left side, and -- this is probably the
            > stupidest new member question ever(!) but here goes --
            > should I be counting the beats like this:
            > 1and/2and/3and/4and/5and/6and/7and/8and
            > or like this:
            > 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12/13/14/15/16?
            >
            > I assume it's the first way (since the heart goes "lub-DUB",
            right)?
            > I counted 72 thumps in 15 seconds, and I guess that would mean the
            > heart beat 36 times? I was using a digital clock instead of a
            second
            > hand, so I should probably do it again, but I did this 4-5 times
            and
            > it seemed almost always to come out to that many thumps per 15
            > seconds. If I multiply that by 4 her heart rate would be 144 I
            guess?
            >
            > Abby is on Atenolol, and her cardiologist just advised me to bump
            it
            > up to 1/2 tab from 1/4 because at our visit this past Friday,
            Abby's
            > heart rate was higher than she thought it should be. But I
            noticed
            > that Abby's heart rate seemed to be the same last night before I
            gave
            > her Atenolol and 2 hours after I gave it. I'm not sure what to
            think
            > about that.
            >
            > A little background on my Abby -- she is 17 and 1/2 and had
            surgery
            > for Vaccine-Associated Fibrosarcoma in September. The pre-surgery
            > tests, including an Echocardiogram, showed that she has
            Hypertrophic
            > Cardiomyopathy and renal insufficiency. They put her on Atenolol
            at
            > that time. At her last oncology follow-up the oncologist said she
            > should now see a cardiologist, so Friday was our first appointment
            > with one. They did a follow up Echocardiogram and for now (knock
            on
            > wood) Abby's heart and kidneys seem to have stabilized. The VAS
            > cancer is a nasty one, Abby's sister passed away from it 1 and 1/2
            > years ago so I caught Abby's more quickly & we are hoping it was
            in
            > time although with VAS you almost don't dare to hope. I am on the
            > VAS Yahoo group too, and haven't really had time to start up
            posting
            > here a lot as well, but I am so grateful to find all of this
            > information. I wish I had known more about these groups while
            Abby's
            > sister Melissa was going through her illness.
            >
            > Thanks for being here!
            > Lacy, Abby & Melissa
            > New York, NY
          • targa66
            hi Lacy (and Abby & Melissa) - welcome to the group ... I m sorry I don t have answers to your questions (but it looks like others have been helpful). If you
            Message 5 of 12 , Dec 3, 2002
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              hi Lacy (and Abby & Melissa) -

              welcome to the group ... I'm sorry I don't have answers to your
              questions (but it looks like others have been helpful). If you don't
              mind my asking - do you have a cardiologist that you have been happy
              with in the NYC metro area? I need a 2nd opinion on my Pacino (low
              grade heart murmur; no evidence of HCM found yet).

              I appreciate any recommendations, and I truly hope Abby feels better
              soon. (I can sympathize with your situation - I lost my Targa-cat to
              a saddle thrombis in August, and am now very anxious about Pacino.)
              My thoughts are with you, Abby and Melissa.

              -Shelly

              --- In feline-heart@y..., "mereminne" <mereminne@m...> wrote:
              > Dear Barbara,
              >
              > Thank you for so much for answering me. I am still at the
              beginning of
              > learning about feline heart disease, and we are already looking at
              a
              > visit the kidney doctor since that was recommended by Abby's
              > cardiologist. I want to be as informed as possible & so I thank
              you
              > and I'm glad to know about this group, I will keep checking back.
              I
              > wish you and Widget good luck.
              >
              > healing thoughts
              > Lacy, Abby & Melissa
              >
              > --- In feline-heart@y..., "lipmancats" <barbaralipman@e...> wrote:
              > > Hi,
              > > There is no such thing as a stupid question!
              > > Your first guess on counting heart beats is correct.
              > > Our Widget has a gallop rhythm (short-long, short-long), so
              getting a
              > > heart rate on him is tough, even for our vet. The more you
              listen,
              > > the easier hearing what's normal for your kitty gets.
              > > I'm so sorry you've had to deal with VAS. Cancer is such a scary
              > > thing. A good oncologist can make such a difference. I'm glad
              > > you've got the heart and kidney issues under control.
              > > Hope Abby continues to do well.
              > > Take care,
              > > Barbara and the furry crew
            • mereminne
              Hi Shelly, Since August, I have been taking Abby to the Animal Medical Center at 62nd and York Avenue in Manhattan. Our cardiologist is Betsy Bond. I had
              Message 6 of 12 , Dec 3, 2002
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                Hi Shelly,

                Since August, I have been taking Abby to the Animal Medical Center at
                62nd and York Avenue in Manhattan. Our cardiologist is Betsy Bond. I
                had never taken my girls to the AMC but it was recommended highly when
                Abby got VAS cancer and I've since learned it's a "state of the art"
                teaching facility. I'm hoping I'm doing the best I can for Abby. It's
                also a 24-hour facility. It can be a little frustrating as it's a
                large hospital so you sometimes have to wait a long time in the waiting
                room & make sure to keep track of things yourself -- but as I said,
                they are supposedly a top-notch facility so if you're looking for a
                second opinion it might be a good bet.

                take care,
                Lacy, Abby & Melissa





                --- In feline-heart@y..., "targa66" <sgorove@g...> wrote:
                > hi Lacy (and Abby & Melissa) -
                >
                > welcome to the group ... I'm sorry I don't have answers to your
                > questions (but it looks like others have been helpful). If you don't
                > mind my asking - do you have a cardiologist that you have been happy
                > with in the NYC metro area? I need a 2nd opinion on my Pacino (low
                > grade heart murmur; no evidence of HCM found yet).
                >
                > I appreciate any recommendations, and I truly hope Abby feels better
                > soon. (I can sympathize with your situation - I lost my Targa-cat to
                > a saddle thrombis in August, and am now very anxious about Pacino.)
                > My thoughts are with you, Abby and Melissa.
                >
                > -Shelly
                >
              • mereminne
                Thank you very much for writing.. I m still a little confused about this. I measured her heart rate before, & 2 hours after, giving her the drug & I did not
                Message 7 of 12 , Dec 3, 2002
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                  Thank you very much for writing.. I'm still a little confused about
                  this. I measured her heart rate before, & 2 hours after, giving her
                  the drug & I did not hear any change at all. I should do it again
                  today.. it's a little difficult since when I put my ear on her she
                  tends to purr! I also don't even know if 144 is an acceptable rate for
                  her or if I should be worried... well, we are working up to 1/2 tab per
                  day & still not there yet; hopefully that will do the trick.

                  Lacy, Abby & Melissa

                  --- In feline-heart@y..., "cessna7391" <cessna7391@y...> wrote:
                  > Just a quick reply, but with regards to counting the heart rate at
                  > the time of giving her Atentolol. Drugs go up in concentration in
                  > the blood depending on their biologic half life. I am not sure what
                  > the half life is for this drug but most of them are on the order of
                  > a few hours. So when you give the cat the drug initially, the
                  > amount in the blood goes up until reaching some equilibrium. From
                  > there is slowly goes down in concentration. Measuring the heart
                  > rate from hour to hour, you will probably not be able to detect much
                  > difference aside from what normally would be there. If you were to
                  > do the same and measure the heart rate say tonight and then measure
                  > it in 2 days, you certainly would notice a difference. The key is,
                  > you would not want to do that due to the side effects.
                • Sally J.Smith
                  Hi Lacy, You might want to think about getting a stethescope...you can get a reasonably priced one (15.00) or so from many pet stores and online med
                  Message 8 of 12 , Dec 3, 2002
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                    Hi Lacy,

                    You might want to think about getting a stethescope...you can get a
                    reasonably priced one (15.00) or so from many pet stores and online
                    med stores...it's a bit tricky to use, with all the purring
                    especially...I used to wait till Muffin was asleep and do it then. My
                    vet also wanted me to count and record his respiration rate, which was
                    a lot easier to do.

                    Muffin's rate was between 140 and 160 when he went on the
                    Atenelol...afterwards (and it took several weeks of him being on 1/4
                    tab per day before we saw a change) it went down to between 120 and
                    130 usually, though sometimes it would go into the 1teens...which the
                    vet did not want to see happening too much...she liked between 120 and
                    130 for him. He was 18 yrs. old and weighed about 11.75#...if that
                    helps. What was more impressive was that he was having dropped beats
                    (several in a minute) and after the Atenelol, his rhythm got real
                    regular and the skipped beats really became more scarce...like maybe
                    one in 15 minutes...the vet liked this a lot.


                    Good luck!

                    Sally



                    --- In feline-heart@y..., "mereminne" <mereminne@m...> wrote:
                    > Thank you very much for writing.. I'm still a little confused about
                    > this. I measured her heart rate before, & 2 hours after, giving her
                    > the drug & I did not hear any change at all. I should do it again
                    > today.. it's a little difficult since when I put my ear on her she
                    > tends to purr! I also don't even know if 144 is an acceptable rate
                    for
                    > her or if I should be worried... well, we are working up to 1/2 tab
                    per
                    > day & still not there yet; hopefully that will do the trick.
                    >
                    > Lacy, Abby & Melissa
                    >
                    > --- In feline-heart@y..., "cessna7391" <cessna7391@y...> wrote:
                    > > Just a quick reply, but with regards to counting the heart rate at
                    > > the time of giving her Atentolol. Drugs go up in concentration in
                    > > the blood depending on their biologic half life. I am not sure
                    what
                    > > the half life is for this drug but most of them are on the order
                    of
                    > > a few hours. So when you give the cat the drug initially, the
                    > > amount in the blood goes up until reaching some equilibrium. From
                    > > there is slowly goes down in concentration. Measuring the heart
                    > > rate from hour to hour, you will probably not be able to detect
                    much
                    > > difference aside from what normally would be there. If you were
                    to
                    > > do the same and measure the heart rate say tonight and then
                    measure
                    > > it in 2 days, you certainly would notice a difference. The key
                    is,
                    > > you would not want to do that due to the side effects.
                  • targa66
                    thanks, Lacy! I ve actually been there before, but only for emergencies - for regular check-ups, I ve brought my cats to a few different places. I agree with
                    Message 9 of 12 , Dec 4, 2002
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                      thanks, Lacy!
                      I've actually been there before, but only for emergencies - for
                      regular check-ups, I've brought my cats to a few different places. I
                      agree with you that it is an amazing, state-of-the-art facility (but
                      I also agree that it's very big and slow, which is why I've always
                      gone elsewhere for "regular" visits). I think I will bring Pacino
                      there for a 2nd opinion - I have found that the vets there are
                      wonderful and caring (even if the other staff is not always the
                      warmest).

                      I think you are probably doing the best for Abby - when it's
                      something serious, my understanding is that AMC is really the best
                      bet. Best wishes and hugs for Abby, and thanks for the quick
                      response!
                      -Shelly
                      --- In feline-heart@y..., "mereminne" <mereminne@m...> wrote:
                      > Hi Shelly,
                      >
                      > Since August, I have been taking Abby to the Animal Medical Center
                      at
                      > 62nd and York Avenue in Manhattan. Our cardiologist is Betsy
                      Bond. I
                      > had never taken my girls to the AMC but it was recommended highly
                      when
                      > Abby got VAS cancer and I've since learned it's a "state of the
                      art"
                      > teaching facility. I'm hoping I'm doing the best I can for Abby.
                      It's
                      > also a 24-hour facility. It can be a little frustrating as it's a
                      > large hospital so you sometimes have to wait a long time in the
                      waiting
                      > room & make sure to keep track of things yourself -- but as I said,
                      > they are supposedly a top-notch facility so if you're looking for a
                      > second opinion it might be a good bet.
                      >
                      > take care,
                      > Lacy, Abby & Melissa
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > --- In feline-heart@y..., "targa66" <sgorove@g...> wrote:
                      > > hi Lacy (and Abby & Melissa) -
                      > >
                      > > welcome to the group ... I'm sorry I don't have answers to your
                      > > questions (but it looks like others have been helpful). If you
                      don't
                      > > mind my asking - do you have a cardiologist that you have been
                      happy
                      > > with in the NYC metro area? I need a 2nd opinion on my Pacino
                      (low
                      > > grade heart murmur; no evidence of HCM found yet).
                      > >
                      > > I appreciate any recommendations, and I truly hope Abby feels
                      better
                      > > soon. (I can sympathize with your situation - I lost my Targa-
                      cat to
                      > > a saddle thrombis in August, and am now very anxious about
                      Pacino.)
                      > > My thoughts are with you, Abby and Melissa.
                      > >
                      > > -Shelly
                      > >
                    • mereminne
                      Thank you Sally for recommending a stethoscope, I am going to get one soon. I ve listened to Abby s heart a couple more times (using a second hand too) and it
                      Message 10 of 12 , Dec 5, 2002
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                        Thank you Sally for recommending a stethoscope, I am going to get one
                        soon. I've listened to Abby's heart a couple more times (using a
                        second hand too) and it seems to come out regularly to 144 even though
                        I'm increasing her Atenolol. We are not quite up to 1/2 tab yet -- but
                        I am already confused, because the vet thought the Atenolol from the
                        night before had worn off by the time she saw Abby around 12 noon,
                        that's why she recommended increasing the dosage from 1/4 to 1/2. But
                        that night Abby's HR was the same before & 2 hours after the Atenolol &
                        it so far seems to stay 144 before & after even though I'm increasing
                        the dose. I guess if it doesn't change by the time we get up to 1/2
                        it's time for another call to the cardiologist... if not before.

                        Thanks again -
                        Lacy, Abby & Melissa
                      • cessna7391
                        Pharmacology of Atenolol. It is not very soluable in water but onlyb slihtly so. Which means that is slowly absorbs through your cats digestive tract into
                        Message 11 of 12 , Dec 5, 2002
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                          Pharmacology of Atenolol. It is not very soluable in water but
                          onlyb slihtly so. Which means that is slowly absorbs through your
                          cats digestive tract into its blood stream. It does not all go in
                          at once. From there, the time it takes for half of it to be
                          digested is 6 to 8 hours with the drug reaching peak plasma
                          concentration in 2 to 4 hours. The effect of the drug on the heart
                          is usually on the order of 24 hours.
                          The take home message is that if you gave your cat a pill last
                          night, by noon the next day, the effect of it has not worn off.
                          --- In feline-heart@y..., "mereminne" <mereminne@m...> wrote:
                          > Thank you Sally for recommending a stethoscope, I am going to get
                          one
                          > soon. I've listened to Abby's heart a couple more times (using a
                          > second hand too) and it seems to come out regularly to 144 even
                          though
                          > I'm increasing her Atenolol. We are not quite up to 1/2 tab yet --
                          but
                          > I am already confused, because the vet thought the Atenolol from
                          the
                          > night before had worn off by the time she saw Abby around 12 noon,
                          > that's why she recommended increasing the dosage from 1/4 to 1/2.
                          But
                          > that night Abby's HR was the same before & 2 hours after the
                          Atenolol &
                          > it so far seems to stay 144 before & after even though I'm
                          increasing
                          > the dose. I guess if it doesn't change by the time we get up to
                          1/2
                          > it's time for another call to the cardiologist... if not before.
                          >
                          > Thanks again -
                          > Lacy, Abby & Melissa
                        • mereminne
                          Hello cessna, Thank you, that helps explain things some. It also causes me to worry a bit about a problem I had thought I was avoiding. I give Abby psyllium
                          Message 12 of 12 , Dec 5, 2002
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                            Hello cessna,

                            Thank you, that helps explain things some. It also causes me to worry
                            a bit about a problem I had thought I was avoiding. I give Abby
                            psyllium husks for her digestion & she really needs the help -- I used
                            to give them to her in her morning & evening meals, because without
                            them she gets terrible constipation/hairballs etc.. When she started
                            Atenolol I heard that psyllium "binds" Atenolol (in the digestive
                            tract, I believe) & keeps it from being effective, and an herbalist
                            told me to make sure I gave the Atenolol 6 or more hours after the
                            psyllium. So, I've only been giving the psyllium at breakfast ever
                            since then, and I give the Atenolol around 12 or 1 at night. I hope I
                            have not been blocking the effects of the Atenolol somehow anyway, if
                            it takes that long to be digested.

                            The thing is, it doesn't seem to be slowing down her HR so far. But I
                            hope it will, we're doing about 1/3 tab now & I'll try to have it up to
                            1/2 by early next week.

                            Lacy, Abby & Melissa

                            --- In feline-heart@y..., "cessna7391" <cessna7391@y...> wrote:
                            > Pharmacology of Atenolol. It is not very soluable in water but
                            > onlyb slihtly so. Which means that is slowly absorbs through your
                            > cats digestive tract into its blood stream. It does not all go in
                            > at once. From there, the time it takes for half of it to be
                            > digested is 6 to 8 hours with the drug reaching peak plasma
                            > concentration in 2 to 4 hours. The effect of the drug on the heart
                            > is usually on the order of 24 hours.
                            > The take home message is that if you gave your cat a pill last
                            > night, by noon the next day, the effect of it has not worn off.
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