Itchmo Forums for Cats & Dogs

Pet Health (not to be substituted for qualified vet advice) => Feline Heart Disease => Topic started by: catbird on October 12, 2014, 08:02:32 AM



Title: Linley's heart condition
Post by: catbird 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.   ???  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?


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: Fizzy1 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!   ::)


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: August 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!


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: caylee 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.


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: Spartycats 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.


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: catbird 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.


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: Spartycats on October 12, 2014, 04:59:17 PM
It was a very rare effect.  It's probably just adjusting to life-as-usual again.


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: GKit 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.   :P  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. 


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: catbird 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.


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: lesliek 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 !


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: Spartycats on October 16, 2014, 02:51:27 PM
How is Linley doing?


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: catbird 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!


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: caylee 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 -  :-* :-*  :-*

Hugs


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: catbird 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.  ???


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: petslave 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.


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: Spartycats on October 16, 2014, 06:45:19 PM
It's wonderful to hear such a good report, Catbird.  Especially that the medication was not the problem, and his agitation has gone away.  I'm sure he will continue to get stronger.

Has the Hound & Gatos reappeared?


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: NedF on October 16, 2014, 10:30:03 PM
I'm really happy to hear he is doing better catbird! I do hope his strength will improve as time goes on. I await the day when you tell us he has returned to his favorite window bed!


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: catmom5 on October 17, 2014, 03:52:26 AM
So happy that Linley is eating well and feeling better.  :)


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: lesliek on October 17, 2014, 05:10:52 AM
Very happy to hear how well Linley is doing !


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: catbird on October 17, 2014, 05:40:14 AM


Has the Hound & Gatos reappeared?


No rabbit yet, at least here. I'm hoping maybe next week.


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: catbird on October 18, 2014, 01:04:35 PM
He got in his window bed this afternoon!  :) And is still there.

It doesn't seem to be a strength issue at all, since he was also able to jump to the top of the half-wall to try to eat Phantom's tuna this AM.


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: Mandycat on October 18, 2014, 09:24:53 PM
That is great news, catbird!  Linley is back!   ;)  I hope he continues to do so well.   :)


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: August on October 18, 2014, 10:23:55 PM
Oh, what a happy sight that must be!   :D  Yay!  I'm so glad to hear he's feeling so well!


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: catmom5 on October 19, 2014, 04:39:13 AM
 :) :) :)
So very nice to hear!


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: lesliek on October 19, 2014, 05:23:12 AM
 :) :) Glad to hear he is up to stealing Phantom's tuna !


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: caylee on October 19, 2014, 05:28:39 AM
 :D Glad to read that Linley re-found his favorite bed! Hopefully all of his bad issues are being addressed by the heart meds now.

Good boy Linley!  :-*



Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: Meowli on October 19, 2014, 12:31:02 PM
Yay for Linley-I hope he continues to feel good enough to keep up doing "the tuna caper".
 ;D


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: NedF on October 19, 2014, 09:12:17 PM
That was quick!  :D Good boy Linley! What good news!  :) :)


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: alek0 on October 19, 2014, 09:28:22 PM
Glad to hear Linley is doing better.


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: Fizzy1 on October 21, 2014, 07:26:12 AM
That's such good news that Linley is getting back to his normal routine.  Did his "cold" clear up?   Are you sleeping better now?   :-*


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: catbird 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?"


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: GKit 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  ;))!  Lol the tuna stealing! :D


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: August 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.   :P


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: NedF on October 23, 2014, 10:36:33 PM
Happy to hear things are settling down and you are feeling less stressed! :)


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: NedF on October 27, 2014, 03:51:25 PM
How is Linley doing catbird?


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: catbird 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.)


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: August on October 27, 2014, 05:25:48 PM
Cara's yowling could make for a great Halloween effect.   ;)

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!


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: caylee on October 27, 2014, 06:48:23 PM
Yay for Linley continuing to get back to his normal self little by little.  :D


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: lesliek 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 !


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: GKit 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.  :D


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: NedF 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!  :D


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: Fizzy1 on October 29, 2014, 06:38:26 AM
It's just so great to hear that Linley is doing so good.   :-*


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: Sandi K 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.   


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: catbird 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.  :(  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.




Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: petslave 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.   


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: NedF on March 23, 2016, 11:14:52 PM
I'm so happy to hear an update on Linley! I had been wondering how he was doing. I'm glad to hear he is doing pretty good despite a couple of bumps along the way. Finding the right balance of medications can be so difficult. So glad you had experience with the enalapril and knew to stop it when he had the gagging. I hope his HCM doesn't get any worse and he has many more years with you. He is clearly one of those special cats, a "heart cat" in more ways than one. {{{hugs}}}


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: lesliek on March 24, 2016, 05:17:20 AM
Thank you for updating us ! I am happy he is back to doing well & sympathize on the med dosage issues. It's a balancing act when they can't take the meds that will help them .


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: catmom5 on March 25, 2016, 04:17:17 PM
So much has been going on. I'm so sorry to read of Linley's heart issues. Glad to hear he's home, happy and that things are stable right now. Hoping for lots of these happy, calm days (weeks, months, years) yet to come.
catmom5


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: August on April 03, 2016, 11:46:48 PM
It was good to read your Linley update.  It sounds like he's enjoying life and chilling out.  That's really good to read.


Title: Re: Linley's heart condition
Post by: merrihart on April 08, 2016, 10:59:36 AM
Aw, lovely Linley  :-*  I will keep him in my prayers for you.