My 9-year-old was just diagnosed with CHF today

catcat339

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I’m devastated, as apparently the heart failure was rapidly triggered by a steroid shot the vet gave him for a skin reaction. He did not present heart murmurs beforehand but went into respiratory distress overnight. Now he’s back from the vet and seemingly okay. Vet got him started on several medications and it pains me to think that I don’t have much time with him anymore.
 

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I am so very sorry. The sad truth is that any living being can react adversely to a medication at any time. DO NOT blame yourself or your vet for what could not be foreseen. CHF is a real beast, but you could have quite some time with him yet, GOOD time. You just never know. Try to get in the habit of treasuring each and every day, not looking forward too much. Don't let worry about what is to come destroy the pleasure of his company and love now. My heart with yours! We will be with you on this journey. You are not alone.
 
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catcat339

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I am so very sorry. The sad truth is that any living being can react adversely to a medication at any time. DO NOT blame yourself or your vet for what could not be foreseen. CHF is a real beast, but you could have quite some time with him yet, GOOD time. You just never know. Try to get in the habit of treasuring each and every day, not looking forward too much. Don't let worry about what is to come destroy the pleasure of his company and love now. My heart with yours! We will be with you on this journey. You are not alone.
I cried reading your message, thank you!

That the CHF was traced to a single incident means the vet can treat it easier. It may not progress fast or at all after the problem is taken care of. Look on the bright side.
Possibly, he didn't need oxygen or overnight stay.
 

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If you have the option of consulting a veterinary cardiologist, I recommend that. I know that it sounds like some horrendous expense, but I have found that specialists often can cut to the chase and determine what is happening. Jamie, who is a young cat with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, sees a cardiologist and it was well worth it. All medical records from this most recent experience are yours, so can be taken to a specialist to save a little money if possible.
 
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catcat339

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If you have the option of consulting a veterinary cardiologist, I recommend that. I know that it sounds like some horrendous expense, but I have found that specialists often can cut to the chase and determine what is happening. Jamie, who is a young cat with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, sees a cardiologist and it was well worth it. All medical records from this most recent experience are yours, so can be taken to a specialist to save a little money if possible.
Yes we have a referral for him, but there's a long wait in my area.
 
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catcat339

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Little bit on an update, his respiratory rates seem fine. Kidney levels dangerously high after the furosemide injection at the vet not to mention the heart markers. Before his heart disease was triggered he would eat like a horse (3 oz wet food + 3-5 oz added water each meal) but now is only interested in dry food (gave him a few kibbles of Orijen every few hours). He didn’t drink a lot of water or pee a lot on day 2 despite the furosemide so I opened a jar of chicken baby food for him, which he ate out of a spoon. Not sure how to increase his water intake. I have a fountain set up and another water bowl for him.
 

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Oddly enough, furosemide can cause a lack of urine despite the fact that it is a diuretic. It does not stay in the system that long in animals whose kidney function if normal. If you don't like what is happening, keep in touch with your vet until you see the specialist. If the fountain is new, give it a few days as some cats don't run right over and start to drink from them.
 
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catcat339

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Oddly enough, furosemide can cause a lack of urine despite the fact that it is a diuretic. It does not stay in the system that long in animals whose kidney function if normal. If you don't like what is happening, keep in touch with your vet until you see the specialist. If the fountain is new, give it a few days as some cats don't run right over and start to drink from them.
It's an older fountain from when he was still on a dry food diet, so he probably needs some time getting used to it. Up until the episode he was transitioned to a wet diet + added water in his wet food and never touched the water bowl.
 
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catcat339

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A bit of an update. My boy is still alive, but went into heart failure again earlier this month. He's had his cardiologist visit and is now on Pimobendan, which made him more active. Outside of his medications, I give him fish oil, ubiquinol, dandelion leaf extract and occasionally some renal supplements. He is mostly on a low sodium diet but sometimes I do have to entice him with Orijen kibbles or he won't eat.
 

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I am so sorry about your kitty. I have not heard of steroid injections triggering chf. Usually there is an underlying heart disease first. It doesn't just happen overnight. Treatment with fluids for crf can trigger an episode of chf which is what happened with Sybil. But when we took her to a cardiologist he determined she had advanced hcm. I don’t know how this was missed but I had thought she may have it for years because she had atshma but sometims it looked more like hcm to me. But tests were negative. I do recommend not doing aggressive fluids though for crf kitties and doing heart screening first if possible, because that did put her into a crisis which shortened her life. Her crf was not advanced so she would have been ok with less fluid treatment. And had the heart disease been detected earlier she could have been treated for it.

I know how hard this is. I am glad your guy is still here and doing well. 💕. My Tess had HCM as well, she was only 10 at the time that she went into heart failure and then she developed kidney disease eventually from the Lasix. But she lived quite well for three years before the kidney disease. I was told later that this is not typical and she survived a long time. I hope your guy does too.

I just read someone else’s post here recently who said their cat had put been put on a human blood thinner / anticoagulant, Xarelto, here is a link. Anyone using Xarelto (rivaroxaban)?
Their kitty has survived I think 2 saddle thrombi.

I highly recommend talking to your DVM about that because that is the only thing that will prevent clots/ saddle clots which is what ended up taking Sybil. There was a research trial going on at the time Sybil was diagnosed but nobody was prescribing it then for cats.
 
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catcat339

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I am so sorry about your kitty. I have not heard of steroid injections triggering chf. Usually there is an underlying heart disease first. It doesn't just happen overnight. Treatment with fluids for crf can trigger an episode of chf which is what happened with Sybil. But when we took her to a cardiologist he determined she had advanced hcm. I don’t know how this was missed but I had thought she may have it for years because she had atshma but sometims it looked more like hcm to me. But tests were negative. I do recommend not doing aggressive fluids though for crf kitties and doing heart screening first if possible, because that did put her into a crisis which shortened her life. Her crf was not advanced so she would have been ok with less fluid treatment. And had the heart disease been detected earlier she could have been treated for it.

I know how hard this is. I am glad your guy is still here and doing well. 💕. My Tess had HCM as well, she was only 10 at the time that she went into heart failure and then she developed kidney disease eventually from the Lasix. But she lived quite well for three years before the kidney disease. I was told later that this is not typical and she survived a long time. I hope your guy does too.

I just read someone else’s post here recently who said their cat had put been put on a human blood thinner / anticoagulant, Xarelto, here is a link. Anyone using Xarelto (rivaroxaban)?
Their kitty has survived I think 2 saddle thrombi.

I highly recommend talking to your DVM about that because that is the only thing that will prevent clots/ saddle clots which is what ended up taking Sybil. There was a research trial going on at the time Sybil was diagnosed but nobody was prescribing it then for cats.
Yep, my boy had asymptomatic/undetected HCM and the steroid injection pushed him into heart failure. He is on usual heart meds, lasix, pimobendan and also plavix. His kidney values don't look good at this time.
 
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