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Author Topic: Linley's heart condition  (Read 60481 times)
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catbird
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« Reply #30 on: October 21, 2014, 08:46:59 AM »

Yes, the nasal and eye drainage appear to have mostly cleared up, thankfully. And what confirms in my mind that it was a virus is that now two other cats have a tiny bit of drainage (they are fine otherwise.)

I am indeed feeling more relaxed and sleeping better, as I see him getting better. I still tend to over-react to any little change in him, but I have to stop and tell myself, "If you didn't know that he had heart and kidney problems, would you still be upset about this?"
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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
GKit
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« Reply #31 on: October 21, 2014, 01:34:58 PM »

I'm so happy to read Linley is doing better (and that you are able to sleep better  Wink)!  Lol the tuna stealing! Cheesy
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« Reply #32 on: October 21, 2014, 03:11:45 PM »

It's nice to hear that you're feeling much more calm and are able to sleep well again.  It's so hard not to be overly sensitive about the one having stuff going on.  Every little thing seems to be a sign when you're always zoomed up too close.   Tongue
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NedF
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« Reply #33 on: October 23, 2014, 10:36:33 PM »

Happy to hear things are settling down and you are feeling less stressed! Smiley
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NedF
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« Reply #34 on: October 27, 2014, 03:51:25 PM »

How is Linley doing catbird?
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catbird
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« Reply #35 on: October 27, 2014, 04:18:13 PM »

Thanks for asking, Ned, he continues to do pretty well. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Almost every day, we see tiny steps of progress back towards his normal self, little gains in strength or more normal behavior. While he is a much quieter, slower cat than he used to be before becoming ill, and I think that is likely to be permanent, he does play some, is eating and drinking, seems to tolerate mild exercise and minor stress with no difficulty, and appears to be comfortable and enjoying life. He hangs out in his window bed a lot of the time, watching the world go by as he always has.

He's not gaining weight back very fast; he is eating what would have been a normal amount for him before, but I don't think it's enough to promote much gain. His appetite seems very good, but he is unpredictable about what foods he'll eat and which he will just pick at. Not sure exactly what I want to do to add calories, given his multiple issues and allergies. He's too thin for who he is.

His injury is all healed up and his fur is growing back in all the places that got shaved, although since he's long-haired, it will take awhile to grow out fully.

And he takes his pills so nicely! I don't know if it's the fact that they are a flavored chewable variety and taste pretty good, or that he's just a docile cat (he was the favorite patient while he was at the vet school for that reason), but even if I don't get the pill placed quite right, he will usually chew it up and swallow it, rather than spitting it. He is very cooperative about these pills, for which I am certainly thankful, since he has to get them twice a day (and it's actually like giving two pills each time, since they are large and need to be administered in halves.)  He remains on only the pimobendan.

He's heard the doorbell for a few deliveries and hasn't gotten upset at all, so maybe we won't have to cancel trick-or-treat. Although if we have it, we will for sure have to lock up door-darter Cara (and listen to her yowling behind the closed door all evening.)
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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 #36 on: October 27, 2014, 05:25:48 PM »

Cara's yowling could make for a great Halloween effect.   Wink

That's really great news about Linley.  I guess it's good that he's become a bit relaxed.  And it sounds like he's happy and comfortable.  So great that he's so easygoing with his pills, especially being that you have to give it twice a day!
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caylee
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« Reply #37 on: October 27, 2014, 06:48:23 PM »

Yay for Linley continuing to get back to his normal self little by little.  Cheesy
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« Reply #38 on: October 28, 2014, 04:32:53 AM »

That is good news ! Now to get some weight back on him , wish I had some ideas for you !
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« Reply #39 on: October 28, 2014, 05:07:04 PM »

It sounds like stable improvement. I'm glad! 

I had to laugh at the description of door-darter Cara, though. I can just imagine.  Cheesy
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NedF
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« Reply #40 on: October 28, 2014, 07:29:00 PM »

I am so glad to hear he is making progress! Even though he is not gaining weight as fast as you'd like, he's eating regularly and that's great! And what a good boy he is with his pills. Pilling can be stressful for everyone involved so what a relief he takes them so easily. He is such a sweet boy! Many prayers for more steady progress.

I see Cara is evening out his sweetness by being a little naughty! That's always the way with those youngsters!  Cheesy
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Fizzy1
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« Reply #41 on: October 29, 2014, 06:38:26 AM »

It's just so great to hear that Linley is doing so good.   Kiss
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« Reply #42 on: November 03, 2014, 03:06:31 PM »

Im so glad to read Linley is doing better, he went through such an ordeal.  I hope he starts gaining some weight back, maybe things will still improve with a little more time, it hasnt been too long since having to spend that time at the vet clinic, it was quite a bit of time there, poor lil guy.  You have done such a great job caring for him, catbird.   
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catbird
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« Reply #43 on: March 23, 2016, 04:32:39 PM »

Since heart issues have been a topic on the forum recently, I thought I'd update on Linley, since I haven't talked about him here in a long time. You may remember that in September 2014 Linley had an episode of congestive heart failure, we discovered that he had HCM (genetic), and that Lasix to treat the CHF sent him into acute kidney failure, resulting in a long hospitalization.

At his follow-up labs with my regular vet in March 2015, Linley's creatinine was down to 2.2, cause for celebration. He was being maintained on the pimobendan for his heart, and although he'd slowed down from the "wild man" he used to be, had been feeling and acting quite well, eating and drinking, playing with Cara Manx, and so forth.

We took him back to cardiology for his yearly recheck appointment in late December 2015, and the news was disappointing. His HCM had worsened on the echo, and there were possible signs of fluid in his lungs on the chest x-ray (although the radiologist said there could have been other causes as well for what he saw, including chronic exposure to allergens, and we know Linley is an allergic boy. It could be dust mites for all we know.)

Most troubling, this echo showed signs of beginning turbulence in the blood flow in the heart, which had not been seen before. This puts Linley at risk of clots, including the dreaded saddle thrombus.

The best news was that his creatinine had gone up only slightly, which could have been just a variation or a difference in labs from when it had been measured in March 2015.

They put him on three new meds, in addition to continuing his pimobendan--enalapril twice daily to make it easier for his heart to pump, Plavix once daily to prevent clots, and a milder, potassium-sparing diuretic twice daily to treat the fluid in his lungs. The meds were introduced in stages one at a time.

Unfortunately, after about 2.5 weeks, Linley was looking thin and miserable, was not as active, and his fur was dull and falling out in clumps. I'd also noticed a couple of gagging episodes, which I had never seen in him before. I suspected the diuretic and possibly the enalapril were causing this, since I'd had coughing and gagging myself when I was tried on a medication in that group to treat high blood pressure.

I stopped both the diuretic and the enalapril after an episode where he gagged up foam and green bile. (This scared me, because vomiting up green bile was what he did when he went into acute renal failure.) By the next morning, Linley was looking a lot better, and within a few days he was his usual self, his hair stopped falling out, and the shine was returning to his coat within a week. After waiting another a week, I slowly re-introduced the enalapril, giving only one dose daily instead of two. He did OK with no gagging or other signs of trouble, so I re-added the second daily dose. Within two days, he had another gagging episode.  Sad  So I put him back to once daily. He's been doing OK this way for a couple of months. He has another cardiology recheck appointment coming up soon.

This kittyboy clearly cannot tolerate diuretics, even though his kidney insufficiency isn't bad at all. He will probably turn 10 years old sometime in "kitten season" this year, based on my vet's estimate of his age when we found him in 2007. He remains sweet, silly, and affectionate, and is the best cat I've ever had with taking meds (thank goodness!)  We are very, very careful not to scare him in any way, since it was an episode with the vacuum cleaner that brought on the original CHF episode. He runs and plays with Cara, plays with toys sometimes, and continues to enjoy sitting in his cat bed in the bay window, watching the world go by. I really hope they can find meds that will help his heart without hurting him otherwise, and that his HCM will stabilize.  As the cardiologist said in December, the important thing is that he appears to feel well and enjoy life. She said that to look at him, you would never suspect that he has the health problems that he does.


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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
petslave
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« Reply #44 on: March 23, 2016, 05:02:37 PM »

Thank you for the update on Linley catbird!  This detailed account can help others with cats in the same health crisis.  It sounds like he's doing well despite how compromised his heart function is.  In no small part to you being so involved in watching him closely & adjusting his meds of course.  I hope he continues to enjoy life for much longer, and they can find the right combo of drugs to help him with that without compromising his happiness.   
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