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Congestive Heart Failure Questions

Discussion in 'Cat Health' started by amandal83, Jun 10, 2018.

  1. amandal83

    amandal83 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Jun 10, 2018
    hello all!

    I am new here, but upon googling questions I’ve stumbled upon this site.

    Friday afternoon I noticed a couple things off with my seven year old cat. Nothing major, but he seemed extra tired, and wasn’t eating. It was when he let my two year old pet him I knew something was wrong! Took him in, said he wasn’t breathing great, did x-rays, said possible pneumonia and gave him an antibiotic shot and sent us home with steroids. An hour later I noticed him laying flat, open mouth breathing and looking BAD. I ran him to the hospital where they immediately put him in an oxygen cage and started diuretics. Almost lost him twice that night. He was able to come home the next night. This afternoon hebfinally is drinking andbusing litter box. Still not much eating, but I read that’s common.
    I’m curious if anyone else has been through this and has any suggestions/tips for me. I’m in shock, he’s been fine. He is part Maine Coon and they said this is common in their breeds. They told me with CHF the average life span is 6-12 months. Should we go through the cardiologist, or just keep him stress free at home and on his meds and comfortable?? At a loss right now, and just devastated. My top priority is keeping him comfortable and as happy as can be. How long did your cats live after being diagnosed??
    Thanks for any advice!
    Amanda
     
  2. amandal83

    amandal83 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Jun 10, 2018
    Oh, I should add the closest cardiologist is an hour away from me. Also, he is 7 and not a kitten, I didn’t see where to change that :)
     
  3. neely

    neely TCS Member Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Dec 22, 2005
    Welcome to TCS! :welcomesign: I'm sorry your cat has been diagnosed with CHF but glad you found our site. Here is an Article that I hope will be helpful: Heart Disease In Cats

    I also did a search and found these threads which may give you some additional information:
    Heart Disease/failure
    My baby girl got diagnosed with CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) today :(

    You mentioned the closest cardiologist is an hour away. Our vet has a cardiologist that comes to the office twice a month. Do you know if your vet has a similar relationship with a cardiology specialist? Wishing you the best of luck, please keep us updated on his progress. :alright:
     
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  4. amandal83

    amandal83 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Jun 10, 2018
    Thank you for the articles!! They did help! I don’t know if my vet has one come in but I’m definitely going to ask, that would be amazing!!
     
    neely and duckpond purraised this.
  5. duckpond

    duckpond TCS Member Top Cat

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    Dec 13, 2017
    Just wanted to let you know i will keep your boy, and you in my thoughts and prayers! sending hugs :grouphug:
     
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  6. amandal83

    amandal83 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Jun 10, 2018
    Thank you!!

    Just had an echo done (apparently one of the doctors at our vet just started doing them), and confirmed it is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. She’s going to discuss this with a cardiologist and figure out the best treatment plan.
     
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  7. duckpond

    duckpond TCS Member Top Cat

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    I will keep you guys in my thoughts and prayers! Hopefully they can come up with a plan that will keep him happy and healthy!
     
    amandal83 purraised this.
  8. amandal83

    amandal83 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Jun 10, 2018
    Thank you!!
     
  9. MoochNNoodles

    MoochNNoodles Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Where my cats are
    I don't know what the full difference is between HCM and CHF; but Noodles was diagnosed with CHF about 3 1/2 years ago. I did not want to put her through the stress of ultrasounds and travel because she already stressed easily during vet visits. The nearest cardiologist for us is also over an hour away. My vet was concerned it would be too much for her too. I do know the vet heard a murmur from the time she was a small kitten. We never felt a need to investigate that before.

    She gets medication twice a day. With that she has done well. I have the vet do home visits for her annual checkup and we try to avoid stressing her unnecessarily. But she still plays. She hunts any bug or sky raisin that enters the house. We are monitoring her thyroid and kidneys because she has been on a diuretic for so long and has lost weight. But she's 13 now and just had a good checkup. :)

    I hope you are able to come up with a good plan with your vet. We weren't sure what the future held when she was diagnosed. But I remember thinking every cat is different and we would take it as it comes. :hugs:
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
    amandal83 and duckpond purraised this.
  10. amandal83

    amandal83 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Jun 10, 2018
    Wow, that’s very encouraging!! Had she shown many symptoms of CHF? Clyde has the cardiomyopathy but it’s definitely CHF as well, the episode he had is indicative of it progressing to CHF. That’s so great to hear she’s survived 3 1/2 years!
     
  11. MoochNNoodles

    MoochNNoodles Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Looking back I see some. But I have suspicions they were also related to her having gone on a steroid. Noodles had been grooming her belly bare and we couldn't find a reason so we suspected stress (she's just now tolerating my 6 year old!). The grooming did improve after the injections so when it started again the vet hesitated but said we could try one more. A few days later she was lethargic and spending all her time either under the Christmas tree or in her kennel. That was when I noticed her breathing wasn't right. I got her in to our vet's main location on a Saturday morning and spent the afternoon at the emergency vet. After she was stable someone sent me an article that said something about steroids and cats with underlying heart issues can bring this on. I don't remember if it was a certain thing; or if it was just something being studied but not yet proved.

    The first few times she had injections I noticed her being more lethargic for a day or so; but perking up. I can remember noticing how her chest rose but not being overly concerned. It was summer and hot out. I know steroids make me feel odd. I don't know for sure that the meds brought it on. It may have happened anyway. Because Noodles can be a grumpy cat and pilling her was so difficult I didn't really want to try the prozac type route for the over grooming. Fortunately someone here told me about hiding pills in soft cat treats. Noodles gobbles those up so that's how I've been getting meds in her. She's still grumpy in her ways; but she's also playful and affectionate on her terms. She's currently sitting by my shoulder passing some gas (so I know she got into something she shouldn't have! :barfgreen: ) and watching kittens on a webcam. We refer to it as "watching her show." :lol:

    Interestingly enough; it was about this time that Mooch started having health issues also (but not with her heart). They are litter mates and were born on the street according to the paperwork the shelter had. Their mother was also up for adoption so she wasn't feral; but their start doesn't sound ideal. Oh; the over grooming also stopped after the CHF diagnosis. She had been grooming her lower belly and inner thighs of her rear legs.

    I've heard all kinds of lifespans for cats with a CHF diagnosis. I try not to focus on that too much. Of course back when it happened I was in shock thinking I might loose her then and there and I didn't know what to expect either. I just try to monitor her and work with my vet. My girls have become well known by our vet and the tech who usually comes with her. :lol:
     
  12. amandal83

    amandal83 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Jun 10, 2018
    When Clyde first got sick Friday they thought he might have pneumonia and gave him a steroid. I never gave it to him because he deteriorated so fast after we were home. When we got to the ER the doctor said it’s really good we hadn’t given it to him because steroids aren’t good for cats with heart issues, so your theory would make sense!

    Yes, I am definitely going to try not to focus on the number of months/years he might have left and just focus on him being healthy and happy!! Which, as you can see below, he seems to be!
     

    Attached Files:

  13. MoochNNoodles

    MoochNNoodles Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Where my cats are
    :loveeyes: That belly!! Such a cutie! I hope he continues to do well! :lovecat:
     
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