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PRW
May 31st 08, 01:50 AM
I posted earlier this week (under a different user name, I'm away from
home and posting through Google instead of with Outlook Express from
my home computer) about my cat, 4-year-old Maine Coon/Norwegian Forest
Cat mix, who at first we thought had been poisoned because of dilated
eyes and agitation ... then we thought it was glaucoma or retinal
damage.

After a visit with a veterinary opthamologist today, who went above
and beyond a regular eye exam, and then a return visit to our regular
vet, we now know exactly what is going on.

Our cat has cardiomyopathy, with an enlarged left atrium. Which I
know, based on some research I've done online, is pretty much the
worst-case scenario here.

The cat apparently has a heart murmur that is coming and going. The
opthomologist detected one that she ranked as a 4 out of 6 on the
scale. However, our regular vet did not detect one, but they said that
it could be coming and going. Both vets detected harsh breathing
sounds.

The opthomologist also said it sounded to her that the left atrium was
involved. Our regular vet did X-rays, and the side view didn't show
anything but the direct view showed a very, very enlarged heart, as I
said in the left atrium area.

Our vet now feels certain that the cat threw a blood clot and had an
ischemic incident, like a stroke, the other day when his eyes were
impaired.

The next step would be to have an echocardiogram done to absolutely
nail this down, then go with some medicines to try to treat the
condition.

Our regular vet painted an optimistic picture, saying that vets are
doing amazing things in treating heart disease in pets medically these
days.

As I said, though, my research on this has painted this as a worst-
case scenario in which treatment with medicine will only stave off the
inevitable, maybe even for just a matter of months.

We love the cat, we don't want to lose him, we don't want to just sit
around and wait for him to die, our inclination is to do something ...
but I don't want to do anything that's just going to buy him a few
months with no guarantee of good quality of life, because that few
months would be for us, not him.

Anyone who's had experience with this, or knows anything about this,
can you give me some idea of just how dire a situation this is, and
whether going above and beyond in treating this cat would be just
staving off the inevitable for a very short period of time? Or is
there reason for my vet's optimism? I guess the question is, is there
any real, legitimate hope or reason for optimism here, because my
family and I feel like we've been punched in the guts and all the air
knocked out of our bodies right now.

Thanks in advance for any help or input.

PRW
May 31st 08, 02:02 AM
Had complete bloodwork, including thyroid, done today, will have
results in the a.m.


On May 30, 7:58 pm, "Matthew" >
wrote:
> did you vet check for hyperthyroidism if unchecked it can cause heart
> murmurs and eye trouble
>
> "PRW" > wrote in message
>
>

rich
May 31st 08, 08:53 PM
I do a bit of rescue work, and tend to keep the sickest as unadoptable. My Bear
passed on a few years ago with a similar condition. My vet didn't believe treatment
was advisable except for staying well ahead of colds, infections, and anything that
would tax his system. At the time, I was taking care of my mother (since deceased),
and did not have the time to do research on my own, but do not assume the vet is up
on the latest techniques. I found treatments for an FIP and a diabetic that the vet
was unaware of, with slight success in the former, and substantial in the latter. If
I were you, I'd be going nuts on the search engines as well as the newsgroups.

Good luck,
Rich



PRW wrote:
> I posted earlier this week (under a different user name, I'm away
> from home and posting through Google instead of with Outlook Express
> from my home computer) about my cat, 4-year-old Maine Coon/Norwegian
> Forest Cat mix, who at first we thought had been poisoned because of
> dilated eyes and agitation ... then we thought it was glaucoma or
> retinal damage.
>
> After a visit with a veterinary opthamologist today, who went above
> and beyond a regular eye exam, and then a return visit to our regular
> vet, we now know exactly what is going on.
>
> Our cat has cardiomyopathy, with an enlarged left atrium. Which I
> know, based on some research I've done online, is pretty much the
> worst-case scenario here.
>
> The cat apparently has a heart murmur that is coming and going. The
> opthomologist detected one that she ranked as a 4 out of 6 on the
> scale. However, our regular vet did not detect one, but they said
> that it could be coming and going. Both vets detected harsh breathing
> sounds.
>
> The opthomologist also said it sounded to her that the left atrium
> was involved. Our regular vet did X-rays, and the side view didn't
> show anything but the direct view showed a very, very enlarged heart,
> as I said in the left atrium area.
>
> Our vet now feels certain that the cat threw a blood clot and had an
> ischemic incident, like a stroke, the other day when his eyes were
> impaired.
>
> The next step would be to have an echocardiogram done to absolutely
> nail this down, then go with some medicines to try to treat the
> condition.
>
> Our regular vet painted an optimistic picture, saying that vets are
> doing amazing things in treating heart disease in pets medically
> these days.
>
> As I said, though, my research on this has painted this as a worst-
> case scenario in which treatment with medicine will only stave off
> the inevitable, maybe even for just a matter of months.
>
> We love the cat, we don't want to lose him, we don't want to just sit
> around and wait for him to die, our inclination is to do something
> ... but I don't want to do anything that's just going to buy him a
> few months with no guarantee of good quality of life, because that
> few months would be for us, not him.
>
> Anyone who's had experience with this, or knows anything about this,
> can you give me some idea of just how dire a situation this is, and
> whether going above and beyond in treating this cat would be just
> staving off the inevitable for a very short period of time? Or is
> there reason for my vet's optimism? I guess the question is, is there
> any real, legitimate hope or reason for optimism here, because my
> family and I feel like we've been punched in the guts and all the air
> knocked out of our bodies right now.
>
> Thanks in advance for any help or input.

Janet Boss
May 31st 08, 08:57 PM
In article
>,
PRW > wrote:

>
> As I said, though, my research on this has painted this as a worst-
> case scenario in which treatment with medicine will only stave off the
> inevitable, maybe even for just a matter of months.
>
> We love the cat, we don't want to lose him, we don't want to just sit
> around and wait for him to die, our inclination is to do something ...
> but I don't want to do anything that's just going to buy him a few
> months with no guarantee of good quality of life, because that few
> months would be for us, not him.
>
> Anyone who's had experience with this, or knows anything about this,
> can you give me some idea of just how dire a situation this is, and
> whether going above and beyond in treating this cat would be just
> staving off the inevitable for a very short period of time? Or is
> there reason for my vet's optimism? I guess the question is, is there
> any real, legitimate hope or reason for optimism here, because my
> family and I feel like we've been punched in the guts and all the air
> knocked out of our bodies right now.
>
> Thanks in advance for any help or input.

In 1992, my then 9 year old Mitze, who had a murmur since birth, threw a
clot, was partially paralyzed and was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy.
My vet recommended euthanasia, but another vet in his practice
recommended seeing the cardiologist. I jumped at the possibility of
saving her and we did that and things went from there. Kind of an "in
for a penny, in for a pound" situation.

There was no cure, but I'm not sure we really heard that as clearly as
we needed to. With meds and care, she recovered from the paralysis
after about 7 weeks and went on to live a pretty decent life for the
next 8 months, but with a lot of daily meds, side effects from such, and
a fair amount of veterinary expenses.

At 8 months, it happened again. We had just recovered from that
paralysis (about 7 weeks again) and it happened a 3rd time. That's when
we realized we couldn't continue. She died before the vet appointment.

If I had it to do over again, I'm not sure I'd put any of us through it.
Hindsight is like that though. While she did have 8 pretty good months,
then 2 rough months, but they were also a struggle with the meds and the
side effects, and the cost has to be a factor in most peoples' lives as
well.

If faced with the same thing today, I wouldn't choose the same route. I
don't know that it was right for her, and it was rough on all of us. I
think I was a bit selfish and fearful, not ready to let go.

An incredibly personal decision, we each have to know our limits of all
types, and take a very hard look at what a quality life is.

I wish you all the best in making tough decisions.

--
Janet Boss
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com

PRW
June 1st 08, 05:05 AM
Following up on this, we got the bloodwork report back today and our
vet described it as "perfect ... beautiful." No signs of liver,
kidney, thyroid, etc., problems. So basically, the cat has no other
physical problems aside from the enlarged heart and the incident it
caused with the eyes the other day. So we will be consulting a
cardiologist and going from there.

Rene S.
June 2nd 08, 02:59 PM
I wish I could offer some help, but I can only send my best wishes.
I'm very sorry about the diagnosis, but Cindy did offer some good
advice that's worth looking into.