Congestive Heart Failure - 9 yr old...

Status
Not open for further replies.

kmd

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 7, 2011
Messages
71
Purraise
27
Our 9 year old male "Elmo" was diagnosed with heart mumur last year, and congestive heart failure this year. He spent 3 nights at Cardiologist (thank heavens for 24PetWatch insurance) and is back with us but on plenty of medication TWICE a day.
He is difficult to give medicine to, putting it in his food no longer works he just won't eat. My wife has success with putting the medicine in cat lax, and physically putting her finger to the back of this throat. I have some success with clear capsules or a pill popper.
This issue is, it seems his personality has changed tremendously. The medicine leaves him in a confused, unhappy state most of the time. He shows little interest in things he found fun before.
We faced early on that the medicine was going to be a task - what we didn't expect were the changes that include going to touch him and he recoils - thinking more medicine is on the way.
With chf, if meds stop then edema filling the lungs is the result - so not an acute heart attack - but a difficult, painful existence before death.
We have decided to ride this out for several months and see if anything changes - maybe get more used to meds (he has been on them 1 month) or come back a bit to his old habits.
The cardiologist was the one who brought up the discussion of, "at some point you have to face the situation of what quality of life it is for both of you to have this going on..." that hit like a ton of bricks...
Any thoughts would be helpful...
 

orangeishcat

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
622
Purraise
2
Location
KS
I wish I had some advice to give you on how to make your cat's life easier... all I can do is offer my prayers for strength and guidance. Elmo will let you know when it's time- animals have the ability to sense these things long before we do.
 

carolina

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Nov 17, 2008
Messages
14,759
Purraise
215
Location
Corinth, TX
Hi, I am sorry about your diagnosis...
I am HUGE believer in cat bags when giving medicine for a cat - have you ever heard of them? I have a thread with a video about it... It changed our lives here, literally. Bugsy has to take a few meds a day, and before the cat bag he was like your kitty - afraid of me, or always hiding under the bed.
The bag makes the whole process SO easy and unestressful, he is a completely normal cat and lives a life with no fear. It is great.
Here is the thread: http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=225588

Here is the Bag I Currently use for Bugsy: The Cat Sack
The one I think is the most cat friendly, is called KlawKontrol.
Klawkontrol will not be the one that will last longer, and it is not as tough as the cat sack. The cat sack will last forever, and it is made of thick, quality nylon.... There is just something about the Klawkontrol that is calms down the kitty...
I have success with both, and own both - for my other cats I have the Klawkontrol, and for Bugsy, the cat sack.
For pill poppers, I tried many, and I settled on this one: Pet Piller It has a thin and flexible tip, allowing you to deposit the pill/capsule all the way on the back of the kitty's throat very fast.

Anyways, hope this makes your life easier!
 

feralvr

TCS Member
Veteran
Joined
Dec 30, 2010
Messages
18,474
Purraise
689
Location
Northwest Indiana
Such a difficult disease to deal with and there are no easy answers. The quality of life of you cat has to be in for forefront, as I am sure you know. I did lose a cat last summer to sudden heart failure. I do know what you are going through because even though my cat never received the meds, my SIL's cat was on the meds and had the same type of symptoms you are describing. I just think it will be up to you and your cat to know when the time has come. The meds don't fix the prob. they just help prolong the life of the kitty and of course, it depends on how severe the heart disease has progressed too. Alot of components. Your vet is your best resource as he/she knows your cat. Sorry you are dealing with this terrible disease. Sending lots of vibes of support
 

aswient

TCS Member
Super Cat
Joined
Dec 28, 2006
Messages
1,151
Purraise
10
Location
New Jersey
My Patch is also very difficult to pill. He has the same heart condition and takes pills twice a day. I am able to give him pill pockets, but when I put them in I have to make sure all the pill is covered, he can detect any slight smell of the pill if any is showing. The pills I give him I am also able to crush into a powder and put it in his wet food that he really likes. He takes 3 pills, atenonol, plavix the other is for blood pressure. The sack that Carolina uses is terrific and I wish I could get Patch in something like that but he would never let me do that. After Patch got a good amount of his pills, I can see a difference in him, he's more playful now, he is 7 years old and we found out about this 4 years ago. Good luck.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6

kmd

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 7, 2011
Messages
71
Purraise
27
Many thanks, the Pill Popper is what I have some success with, but what I learned from the video is to enter the cat mouth from the side - this is something the cardiologist showed me to do with a clear capsule, she said, "right in the area where there's no teeth"... I tried it with clear capsule later that night and it didn't fly...
The cat bag would certainly be worth a try...
Thanks for all of your kind comments...
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7

kmd

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 7, 2011
Messages
71
Purraise
27
The video helped... I now have good luck with putting all of the pills in a clear capsule, using the pill popper and going in from the side of the mouth like the video posted shows. I am guessing that the disolvable capsule takes away any bitter taste of the medication. I do it when he is drowsey and it is working better.
He did pretty good for five days, and then he seemed lethargic and disinterested again...
Thanks for help and comments...
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8

kmd

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 7, 2011
Messages
71
Purraise
27
Elmo died on Monday, December 5, 2011, exactly 10 years to the day he came to live with us.

He did pretty well for many months, then slowly he would have a good day, then a bad day, back and forth. We took him back to the Vet 2 months ago, and basically found out what we expected... this was the beginning of the end. (The medications got fairly easy to administer with the clear capsules holding medicine and using the pill popper...) The Vet then said, "60-90 days...".

Last week, he had a fantastic week. Perked up and was acting so well I thought the prognosis was wrong. But Sunday brought a quick downhill fall. Additional heart medication given did nothing to help - which is also a symptom that the heart disease is winning and the medicine is losing. Sunday night he was in bad shape, by Monday morning we knew we were probably facing his last hours. He couldn't/wouldn't eat... met all three of the "make a list of the 3 favorite things the terminal cat likes to do... and when they don't want to do those anymore it is time to consider bringing him in" list.

We gave him some more heart medication and even pain medication and it didn't help. He continued to take on fluid and breathing was horrible.

We were able to spend 2 hours with him prior to his appointment, petting him and talking to him. At one point, he raised his head and turned and looked directly at me for about 20 seconds... he had been so unresponsive - other then a little tail twitch - I thought maybe he was acknowleding our love for him.

For a childless couple whose life revolved around these two cats - it is terribly tough.

This morning, our 13 year old cat woke us with her 2 or 3 time a year "nightmare meow", some kinda wild meow we never hear any other time, and she seems to be asleep or close to it when we check her. I had a hard time getting to sleep after that. When I finally did, I had a dream late in the morning, I dreamed I opened the back door of the house, and Elmo ran in (he was an indoor cat) and jumped up into my arms. Not the last forms I saw of Elmo of the weight loss he experienced, or the fluid he took on in the end that made him look pudgy, but good 'ol healthy Elmo from the time prior to his illness...

Thanks to everyone here for suggestions and concern...
 

feralvr

TCS Member
Veteran
Joined
Dec 30, 2010
Messages
18,474
Purraise
689
Location
Northwest Indiana
Oh no :eek:hno: I am so so very sorry about your little guy, Elmo :rbheart: I do believe that the 20 second look was him saying to you that it is alright meowmy, that he loves you so and will always be with you. :heart3: That dream :9: ......:sniffle: He was letting you know he is happy, healthy and free from his illness now and wants you to remember him the way he was before his illness :hugs: :hugs:

I know these words won't fill the void in your life, just know you are not alone here. To lose a beloved and dear kitty is truly the most difficult part of life. The hardest part of loving our furbabies is letting them go to the bridge :rbheart: Rest peaceful sweet Elmo :rbheart:
 

katachtig

Moderator
Staff Member
Admin
Joined
Jun 25, 2005
Messages
25,311
Purraise
2,923
Location
Colorado
I am so sorry for your loss.  I will close this thread now and when you are ready, please post a memorial to Elmo in the Crossing the Bridge Forum.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top