Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

fionasmom

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Jamie, who is 4, had an echocardiogram yesterday which showed moderate hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and tachycardia. The doctor prescribed Atenolol and Plavix. He has been having issues with high BUN readings for about 2 years and his last renal index indicated kidney failure within two years. Given that his doctor ordered this recent test, I assume that there is a connection between the kidneys and the heart, some of which I understand, some of which is still not clear to me. Jamie exhibits no external signs of any distress. I have been reading past posts on TCS, so if you posted about this condition within that last two years, I have read your response....just to save people from starting their stories all over again.

As of today, I have not started the meds as I have to get the Plavix at a human pharmacy. Jamie is not one to be fussed with so my first attempt will be to hide the pills in something that he will eat. The 1/4 of the Atenolol is very tiny and might not be a problem, but I understand that the Plavix is bitter. Fortunately, I have tons of various sizes of gelatine capsules which I use for the dog and can start by putting it in one of those and then disguising it in food. When that fails, I have found that Wedgewood does have transdermal compounds of both meds for cats.

I will speak to his personal vet today; it was the practice owner who called yesterday to give me the results as Jamie's vet was off. Another echo is recommended in 6 months but I want to find out if I should be taking him to a veterinary cardiologist in the meantime. I did have a cat years ago who had dilated cardiomyopathy although that vet was quite relaxed about the situation....like wait and watch. The cat dropped dead at my feet with no warning, something I would like to avoid this time around. Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated.
 

mrsgreenjeens

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I don't have any experience with HCM, but do have experience with kidney disease. At the moment, the HCM is of greatest concern though. I would ask your regular Vet whether or not they feel you should get a Veterinary Cardiologist involved. Do they have one available at their clinic? That would be optimal, but unusual.

I would also say that in reading about HCM, sometimes not treating it is actually better for the patient than stressing them out by medicating them day in and day out. Of course, these medications are probably very helpful, IF you can sneak them into them with no undue stress. I guess it's a catch 22.

Please keep us posted on Jame's progress as you and he travel this road.

:vibes: :vibes: :vibes:
 

MissClouseau

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Jamie, who is 4, had an echocardiogram yesterday which showed moderate hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and tachycardia
I might be little help but if you are unsure of the skills of this vet with ultrasound reading, I would go to a cardiologist if possible, or at least someone who is knowingly good at ultrasound. There is a common understanding among the vets in Turkey anything ultrasound related should be left to specialists. As one vet recently told me, “anyone who has the machine can look, but can they see or understand what they see? No.”

Best wishes to you and Jamie🍀
 
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fionasmom

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Thank you for your replies. I completely agree that a specialist might be needed and I have certainly used them for my dog. Out here in LA, it is easy to find one and I would probably go to the Animal Specialty Group where my dog was treated. He took his first Atenolol last night and I am watching for any side effects. What his vet has done seems very standard and correct according to research I have been doing. The other med is not readily available in that dosage but Wedgewood in AZ/NJ does have it so I have ordered from there.

I completely agree with baby steps and with not stressing Jamie out any more than necessary. I am not eager to jump in with meds too quickly until I have more information.
 

Bird

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My HCM cat gets 5 meds total! But she has had two life-threatening saddle thrombus blood clots caused by HCM, and has been given a very poor prognosis. I put three meds inside a size 3 gel cap, and that includes 1/4 of a clopidogrel tablet (Plavix). I have also put it inside a size 4 gel cap. The 1/4 pill piece is very small, and yes, it is bitter. My cat could tell when it was mixed in with food and wouldn't eat it. If you coat a small gel cap in something tasty (like Squeeze-ups, Churu, cream cheese, whatever they love), some cats will just eat the gel cap. A small pill can also be hidden inside a soft moldable treat like Meowmix Irresistables, and I am careful not to touch the pill with my fingers when I do this, so that no trace of pill dust gets on the outside of the treat. My cat has not had any side effects from the Plavix in particular, and I watch closely for side effects. Of course Plavix may increase bleeding risk, so you want to be careful with any serious wounds or surgery. My understanding is that Plavix is not effective for all cats--something to do with genetics.

Unfortunately, there is currently no drug that directly treats HCM, not even for humans with HCM. However, there is a promising new human drug that is awaiting FDA approval called mavacamten, for the treatment of HMC--the first of its kind. If it does get approved, fingers crossed that some clinical studies in cats will be done with this drug.

And yep, I would go to a cardiac vet specialist.
 
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fionasmom

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B Bird Thank you for your reply. You have been through a lot with your cat and HCM. Jamie has not sign of clots as of right now fortunately. I use gelatin caps for my dog and combine his meds that way to decrease the number that I am putting down his throat and have them in lots of different sizes. Will try your methods of disguising the pills as well.
 

Makowiec

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Just wanted to send some support, my 4 yr old bengal passed away due to HCM, I never knew he had it so when he suddenly died I paid for a necropsy and there was it, his heart was 3 times bigger than average...
Good luck with your kitty.
 
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fionasmom

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I am sorry for your loss. Four is very young. My ex neighbors were Bengal breeders and they were beautiful cats.
 
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fionasmom

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Jamie is going to see a veterinary cardiologist in the near future and his vet has scheduled blood pressure checks for him. Oddly enough, both his personal care physician and the specialist asked me if he ate grain free.....it was sort of like "and he doesn't eat grain free food, does he?" Both said it is an antagonist in both cats and dogs for the condition which was news to me. Jamie could be the poster boy for grain free, so this is going to have to change.

His kidney readings are now considered to be a function of the overriding condition which was always the HCM.
 

Bird

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Jamie is going to see a veterinary cardiologist in the near future and his vet has scheduled blood pressure checks for him. Oddly enough, both his personal care physician and the specialist asked me if he ate grain free.....it was sort of like "and he doesn't eat grain free food, does he?" Both said it is an antagonist in both cats and dogs for the condition which was news to me. Jamie could be the poster boy for grain free, so this is going to have to change.

His kidney readings are now considered to be a function of the overriding condition which was always the HCM.
Grain free foods were implicated in dogs with DCM (not cats), but there is still *not* clear evidence about that connection. People misunderstood the media articles about that. It was the peas, potatoes, lentils and similar ingredients in some foods (which are used in place of grains) that were implicated in dog DCM. The jury Is still out on the effect of those ingredients in food.
 
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