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Author Topic: Linley's heart condition  (Read 52510 times)
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catbird
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« on: October 12, 2014, 08:02:32 AM »

I decided to start a new thread for updates on Linley, since the emergency situation is thankfully in the past.

This morning, he is more active than he has been in over a month! (The crisis ER situation was 3 weeks ago today.) I can't decide if it's good or bad. On the one hand, I'm glad for the increased activity level, and he seems to be tolerating it very well, with no breathing problems or anything like that. It seems like he's feeling better and better. OTOH, he seems very emotionally volatile.

He actually played a little with Cara last night and this morning, as would have been normal for him a few months back, running up and down the stairs with her. At one point, I even found him wrestling with her, but I intervened, since I did not know who had started it, and if it wasn't Linley, I thought it might be too stressful and strenuous for him.

Then, shortly after that, he got into a biffing match with poor Kalahari! And he's been very easily spooked by any number of normal events this morning, from the radio being turned on (low volume, and he is used to this because we listen to music most days), to my daughter putting her belt on the floor, to my quietly bringing a jug of cleaning product up from the basement.   Huh  Six or seven times, he's looked scared of some normal event and fled to his hiding spot downstairs, although he has always come back a few minutes later.

He spent time at the deck door watching the birds and squirrels, first time that's happened since he got sick. After a sustained period of wakefulness and activity that lasted more than 3 hours, he's finally laid down on one of his favorite chairs for a nap.  He seems quite well.

He's also approached me mewing several times, his "asking" meow that he usually does when hungry, even though there are multiple bowls of food all over. He has seemed more hungry than he's been in a long time.

And what is all this extra-emotional stuff about?
« Last Edit: October 12, 2014, 08:21:53 AM by catbird » Logged

The problem with cats is that they get the exact same look on their face whether they see a moth or an axe-murderer--Paula Poundstone
Fizzy1
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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2014, 09:18:46 AM »

Hmm, maybe he's still just getting over the whole experience of the last 3 weeks?  I do think the increase in his activity is really positive, although I would be just like you, nervous as heck about it!   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2014, 01:23:09 PM »

Could he also be tuned into you guys and your reactions?  Could you be looking at him every time any noise happens and he's wondering why?

Anyway, it's great that he seems to be feeling so much better!
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caylee
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2014, 03:19:13 PM »

Good to read that Linley is more active and eating better.

Poor guy doesn't know quite what to think about his experiences these past three weeks, since there is no way he is able to understand his medical condition the way we humans can.

Maybe the increased level of emotions could be just his reaction to all of the stress he felt during those three weeks - a sort of unwinding. Or maybe it could be compared to the human reaction to a bad fender bender car accident, where you have a tendency to fear driving again because you think things could repeat themselves all over again.

Hoping that this phase, too, shall pass and Linley will be himself again.
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Spartycats
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2014, 04:12:09 PM »

I hope not, but you might want to ask if it could be the pimobendan.  Read one study of "unusual agitation" as an adverse effect.
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catbird
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2014, 04:26:29 PM »

I hope not, but you might want to ask if it could be the pimobendan.  Read one study of "unusual agitation" as an adverse effect.

Oh, I so hope not too, because he is doing so well with it. He has been on it 3 weeks, and seemed fine until today.
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Spartycats
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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2014, 04:59:17 PM »

It was a very rare effect.  It's probably just adjusting to life-as-usual again.
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GKit
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« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2014, 04:50:38 AM »

I'm so glad Linley is doing better and playing!  I hope the extra emotional stuff is just a passing thing. It's wicked hard not to fret over every nuance, I know.   Tongue  Does he like to be pet when he eats? Pretty developed this strange thing that she wanted you to come with her to the food bowl and pet her while she ate; as if she needed permission or something even though she was the only cat in the house. 
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catbird
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« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2014, 05:24:18 AM »

Now that I think about it, his extra nervousness started after getting his toe stepped on Friday evening. The nervousness was mild on Friday evening and Saturday, and most noticeable on Sunday morning. Linley is a very sensitive cat and has a long history of reacting strongly to anything that scares him--years ago, DH walked in the front door in a rainstorm with his umbrella still partly open. Linley happened to be in the area at the same time, freaked out at the umbrella, and was scared of DH (without umbrellas) for close to two weeks after. He eventually got over it, though.

Maybe all the vet visits and hospital trauma of the past few weeks, put together with the fact that he now seems to be feeling a lot better and so is awake more, accounts for what we saw. I sure hope the poor guy feels more secure soon!

He ate and drank well, and took his pills well, this morning; seemed his usual self and not agitated. And I think he's starting to gain back some weight.

Yes, GKit, especially since he's come home from the hospital, he sometimes likes us to pet him when he starts to eat. And he does now want us to bring the bowl to him if it's wet food, although he will go to the dry and to the water fountain on his own.
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« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2014, 07:47:40 AM »

We saw some of that with Remy also . I think it's a combination of stress , fear of ending up back in the hospital & possibly the meds . It doesn't matter if it's the pimobendan , there is no other drug at this time for the same thing . He has to stay on it . Maybe some rescue remedy in the water bowls & on his ears ? Just a heads up , but they usually get more lethargic when levels are getting bad , so be happy with the spooky cat routine ! Also be happy that he wants to eat , even a little extra weight won't hurt him . In the long run he has a wasting condition , so keeping him from losing too much may get hard . Remember he is only on the 1 drug so far , he has many other meds they can add as needed. Hopefully he will have many years drug & symptom free !
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« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2014, 02:51:27 PM »

How is Linley doing?
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catbird
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« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2014, 04:43:02 PM »

Thanks for asking. The hyper-nervousness completely disappeared after 3 or 4 days, so I guess it was just related to getting his toe stepped on after all the trauma from the hospital and so many vet visits, and not his med, thank heaven.

His appetite continues to be good, although he's inconsistent about what he likes and doesn't like. His stools, which were at first either mushy or dry, and small, are closer to normal although still just a bit drier at times than is usual for him. He is taking his medicine well. His leg injury is almost entirely healed up; there is only a little pinprick-sized scab now. He is alert and seems to have pretty normal sleep-wake-activity periods now, although I still don't think he's sleeping as soundly at times; he is more likely to awaken at a sudden noise than he was previous to his hospitalization. I attribute this to the hospital experience, since I've also seen it in recently-rescued cats. They are just jumpy for awhile.

He still seems somewhat weakened, although it's not too bad, and he's definitely a lot better than he was when first discharged from the hospital, or in the week before he went there. He is able to jump up on furniture, on the table, go up and down stairs, etc. But I notice that he seems to have to think about it a little bit before going up, as if he is gathering his strength or something. His respirations are fine after going up and down stairs so I don't think it's his heart per se. I notice it most at the scratching post--he can't support himself in a full "vertical" position on his hind legs to reach up and scratch high; he kind of hunkers down on his haunches with his trunk closer to the ground, and doesn't reach up as far. (I also saw this with Kalahari after her bad UTI last year, and was surprised at how long it took her to be able to stand on her hind legs normally--months, if I remember right. Of course, she is twice his age.) I have been thinking that this is because he is still recovering from all he went through, being so ill and barely eating for over a week. He probably had some muscle wasting. At least, I hope that is all it is. He has been out of the hospital only a little over 2 weeks, and had numerous tiring vet visits, bandage on his leg, all that, up until a week ago.

He has had a very little bit of clear nasal and eye discharge on and off for about the past 5 days, so I am guessing he picked up a virus or something with the hospitalization and/or all the clinic visits. I was worried at first about congestive heart failure recurring, since during the scary respiratory episode he had copious clear nasal drainage that he hadn't had previously. But then when I noticed a little from his eyes, too, I figured it was more likely a virus. Or, since he's an allergic guy, it could be some kind of mold in the air right now with the leaves on the ground. Or maybe some ingredient in all the new foods we've tried to stimulate his appetite. I hope I am right.

His coat is soft and shiny, although there are now some white hairs showing in his black area. They appear shorter like they are new hairs just growing out, so I am wondering if the serious illness caused this, something like the way Siamese can have sprinkles of light hair in their dark areas after being ill. Maybe the hairs that "sprouted" when he was so ill couldn't form pigment at that time.

He sits on laps and purrs, gives lots of head-bumps, and loves his "chin-scritchies", so seems to be the loving kitty-boy he always was in that respect. But he is a quieter kitty-boy.

He still hasn't gotten into his favorite bay window bed, which is where he was when the respiratory distress episode started. I don't know if it's just because he doesn't have the energy to get up there yet, or whether he associates it with what happened to him and is afraid to go there.

I still worry about him, but not quite so much. He actually pounced on a toy mouse and batted it a few times tonight!
« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 05:24:16 PM by catbird » Logged

The problem with cats is that they get the exact same look on their face whether they see a moth or an axe-murderer--Paula Poundstone
caylee
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« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2014, 05:38:46 PM »

Sounds like Linely is getting back to being himself again before all of the stress of hospitals, vet visits and long car rides. Hope he continues to gain more strength as time goes on.

For Linley -  Kiss Kiss  Kiss

Hugs
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catbird
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« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2014, 05:50:04 PM »

One other sort of puzzling, but positive, change I wanted to add; maybe someone has thoughts about why this occurred.

For a few weeks before he got sick, he was shedding a lot. He doesn't usually shed much except in the spring "shed" season; I remember thinking it was kind of different for him to shed extra in the fall. But now, the extra shedding has completely stopped.  Huh
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The problem with cats is that they get the exact same look on their face whether they see a moth or an axe-murderer--Paula Poundstone
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« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2014, 06:13:30 PM »

I'm so glad he's doing so well, even if he still isn't back to 100%.  You may eventually end up with the opposite problem of having to separate him & Cara if they play too hard - that will be a hard one!

He may have been having trouble for weeks to months before the actual crisis, which may be why he was shedding.  They are so good at hiding their illness.  Of course my first thought was something happened to cause this, and as always, food contamination of some sort, or lack of taurine, or some other lack or excess, came to mind.  But heart kitties are often diagnosed only after they go into crisis mode.  Who knows how long many of them coast along with it, not showing any symptoms.
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